Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #112

In this snapshot from 1920, patrons at Whitey’s Pub and Bordello react to the news that women were just given the right to vote with the 19th Amendment. (Notice that there are only two people smiling: the bar-back on the far right, who apparently later gave birth to Freddie Mercury, and the one guy at the bar who is too blitzed to identify his own mother.) Interestingly enough, some of the people in this photo are now on the Supreme Court of the United States, where they are doing everything they can to return America to a time when people were forced to sip from different drinking fountains.

Another thing that started in 1920? Prohibition. Not that you would know it, based on this photo, further proof that some unhappy white men rarely follow the rules that they try to enforce on everyone else.

Scotch the Cat, wandering up as I type. “Daddy?”

Me: “Just a second. Daddy’s trying to finish this story.”

Scotch: “But Daddy…”

Me: “Hang on, Little Buddy. I’ll get you some treats in a minute.”

Scotch: “I already knocked the bag off the table and ate them all, so you need to buy more. I was wondering if… hey, what’s that?”

Me: “Scotch, we’ve talked about this. I can’t always see the weird things you think you see in empty corners, staring at the nothingness in horror until I start to get creeped out.”

Scotch: “Oh, I’m not playing that game. You’re looking at it right now in that picture. Down at the bottom. Are those hot dogs?”

Me: “Ah, hell. How did I miss that?”

Scotch: “Because you drink?”

Me: “You sure have a lot of attitude for somebody who licks his own butt.”

Scotch: “That’s racist. Can I have some hot dogs?”

Me: “You just ate an entire bag of treats.”

Scotch: “But they didn’t taste like hot dogs. I want hot dogs.”

Me: “You’ve never even had a hot dog. How do you know you’ll like it?”

Scotch: “You never let me go outside but I still want to try it.”

Me: “Look, we’re done with this discussion. Daddy’s got to rewrite this entire story because he didn’t see the hot dogs, and that changes everything.”

Scotch: “So does that make me an editor, because I made you change the story?”

Me: “It makes you annoying.”

Scotch: “Editors are supposed to be annoying, everyone knows that. You need to pay me for my services.”

Me: “And you need to pay for all the damn food you eat.”

Scotch: “Okay, good point. Then just mention me in the story.”

Me: “This story is not about you.”

Scotch: “I’m a cat. Everything is about me. Put me in the story or I hire another lawyer.”

Me, sighing: “Fine. I’ll give you a walk-on.”

Scotch: “Good. It’s the least you can do after destroying my hot dog dreams.” Then he trotted out of the room to go stare at an empty corner.

I opened a new document.

In this snapshot from 1920, an annoying cat walked into a bar…


Previously published.



40 replies »

  1. And in Canada May 24, 1918, following passage of An Act to confer the Electoral Franchise upon Women S.C. 1918, c. 20, women in Canada were granted the federal franchise…sigh ☺️🤓 great post
    Brian 💫 smiles hedy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Hedy! In a related note on women’s suffrage, it’s sad that, to this day, there are still some women who don’t vote and think of it as “men’s work”. What century are we in?


  2. Ah, women voting, cats with hot dogs, drunk men. Will anything really ever change. If you put this photo in the current time the clothing would change and there’d be no bar, no keeps, no hot dog treats just a cat and his daddy sitting at the desk.

    Simon has learned to say “mom” I swear. He says mom mom mom when he wants treats, but his are gone too, he’s just that pretty so everyone treats him. He got out last night little sneak. Came in wouldn’t look at me, climbed up on the bed about 3;30 said, “mom?”
    What Simon, mom is mad at you you can get eaten up here in the woods now.
    He said mom I sorry, purr purr
    I said no baby talk
    He said mamma?
    Purr I love you.
    Go to sleep Simon and no outside anymore.
    Simon then went into a tirade about how stupid my husband is it’s his fault he left the garage door open – cats always tell don’t they?
    But he’s had Turkey legs and hot dogs and chicken and tune-tune-tunas
    And he’s a spoiled mess but a beauty.
    So he says mom I love you you won’t die, abd I said yup I hope before you cause if you did I would too, I adore my Simon. No matter how much of a rascal he is he is so loyal I am not certain I could stop the tears if anything happened to him. Craig almost had a heart attack the first week we were here, so in got out it was about 2 am
    In tears – well wailing – I said go find him and don’t come back without him.
    He took flashlights and treat bags
    You can guess the ending.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This was funny and touching and sweet and wonderful. (I’d add “just like you!”, but you’d just slap me and tell me to get over it.) I fully understand how precious pets can be, even when they are misbehaving little shits. And to be honest, it’s usually ME that does all the baby talk, whilst the cats stare at me with utter dissatisfaction, dismayed that the inane Two-Legged creatures get to control the food supply when the Four-Legged creatures are obviously superior…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank god through no fault of their own they’ve not got thumbs. Simon has taken to jumping up high enough to get his back paws on the door handles to eat dem ber-dees. Mom please I neeeeed to eat dem ber-dees. Pleeese. Just one live one. So I got him a toy that looks like a small roomba with a red light on it and that seems to have soothed his poor spoiled suffering cat soul. But there is no better than a warm kitty when you need a hug. He blinks at me and gives cat kisses and I blink back in response. He marches up to me and falls in a drama fest on his side and points at his mouth with a paw as if to say oh god I can’t go on workout nourishment. He could stand to lose a pound. His breed is nicknamed the silk brick. Brick my ass. Maybe silk overstuffed pillow!

        Thank you Brian. I take the compliment and won’t bitch slap you. At least not this time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Except one man, people are wearing the same hat; except the first several people with drinks, most others don’t seem to hold drinks in their hands and they seem a little dazed, just standing there, probably stunned by the news. As for those delicious hot dogs, nobody in the photo is paying attention to them, but thanks to Scotch the Cat, we are. Clever cat. Tomorrow Scotch is going to ask for a chef cooked steak or seafood after watching TV ads, and probably even a dish of Scotch whisky to go with his treats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it really does appear that all of the menfolk are in a quandary about how to deal with the womenfolk being able to vote. And there are still some men to this very day who don’t understand why women should have a right to do ANYTHING. Sad, but true.

      Scotch always expected more than he really deserved, which was part of his irksome charm.

      As for hot dogs, my favorite is Chicago-style. You?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t know hot dogs are categorized by regions. I only know beef, turkey, mixed… Let me think, I bet I will enjoy Chicago-style since I love hot dogs of all kinds, even the vegan hot dogs from Tofurky.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahaha…change the cats name to Henry and I recognize the story. My keyboard seems to be a cat magnet. Once he gets his “noogies” (ear rubs) he will leave me alone, but it takes a while. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And yes, my keyboard also seems to be infused with catnip. The cat kids will plop spread-eagle across the whole thing, usually right at the moment when I have a wee bit of inspiration for a story. And then they want to get snippy with ME for questioning the home-steading… 😉


  5. Sometimes I wish I had a cat. I’ve had several throughout the years, but not now. They’re so cute and cuddly when they’re kittens. They love to sit on you lap and follow you around, begging for food or….something. Who the hell knows?
    BUT…they have to eat and poop and clean themselves….not to mention that they’re a lot like children. Cute as can be at first…then they grow up. So… no kiddens or kiddies for me, ever again. I got burned on that deal four times! But…sometimes I wish I had a cat. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see what you did there, opening and closing with the same line, just like I did. You are just TOO clever. (Which scares me a little bit. Just kidding. Sort of.) I do enjoy having pets but, truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have any at this point if it weren’t for Partner, who has rescued the last two cats we have had. It’s just too hard when they pass on…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pets give great joy…and cause great sorrow. That’s why I don’t have any, truthfully. The last pet I had was a pet rat. Yes…I said rat. His name was Rastus, and he was the funniest thing. Rats don’t live but a couple of years, if that. Mine lived for two and a half years, and died in my hand while I was telling him it was okay to leave.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, I would have missed the hotdogs too if not for Scotch. He’s worth his weight in treats. Give the cat a dog, man!

    Do you suppose bars had hot dog grills in the 20s? The loss of them must have hit the men hard. (Yet another thing they likely blamed women for.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, your ponderance on “hot dog grills in the 20s” naturally triggered me to Google a bit. Apparently hot dogs were invented in NYC in the 1860s, and they were originally called “dachshund sausages”, a name that would give me pause if I didn’t know any better. And yes, it eventually became trendy to serve them in bars, initially without a bun. The bread cushion and trimmings came later.

      Having said that, on the previous version of this post, someone called me out, saying the hot dogs were actually sausages. After having done this research, we’re actually both right…

      Isn’t trivia deliciously satisfying?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, the days of Scotch and Huny-dog. 4-ever in our hearts… *sniff* I was going to be snarky with a pithy comment about how that photo was of the last bastion of male isolationism before the Suffragettes got in and ruined everything for them (theoretically). But the thought of a beautiful kitty and a golden little chihuahua have gotten so much damned smoke in my eyes that I can’t continue. R.I.P. Scotch. R.I.P. Huny. You’re missed and never ever forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And, of course, I get all smoky when you get all smoky. Every time I re-share something that mentions Scotch, I know where you’re heart is going to go, and I join you there. Another one of our many tight little bonds…


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