Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #551

Carole was a bit troubled.

That last things she could firmly recall in the fevered menagerie of her mind was that she had spent a quiet evening at home, enjoying a bit of stir-fry based on a recipe a neighbor had handed her during one of those awkward moments when over-zealous neighbors knock on your door and misunderstand personal boundaries. She had then read a few chapters of Virginia Woolf, because such things happen when you don’t have a respectable itinerary for a Saturday night. Lastly, she had retired to her slumber chamber after a brisk but regular facial scrub involving apricot kernels and a dash of minced habanero peppers.

Carole woke up at 3am. Such a development was not something she had envisioned, especially when balanced against the shockingly-dubious amount of vodka she had swilled during the stir-frying and the Virginia-reading and the face-scrubbing. (If you open the bottle, you might as well finish it, right? It seemed like an appropriate thing to do. Just ask Joan Crawford.)

Carole’s immediate thought upon waking was that she should simply ignore this rude nocturnal interference that had disrupted her dream of being anointed queen of a medium-sized country wherein everyone basically got along and other countries didn’t bother to invade. Monarchs always have a much better chance at remaining monarchs when no one gets an attitude about anything. (Just ask the Romanovs.)

Sadly, Carole was unable to free her soul and drift away, so she tossed and turned a bit. During one of the turnings, she suddenly realized that she was wearing high-end couture rather than the standard, worn-out flannel nightgown she typically sported on those nights when Virginia Woolf was her only companion. What on earth? This was entirely absurd, and not in the fun way that things are absurd when they happen to other people.

Carole leapt out of bed (or rather, she awkwardly lunged out of said bed, because high-end couture is a heavy pain in the ass if you ever find yourself horizontal without taking it off) and marched toward her bedroom door. Just before she grasped the doorknob, something in her peripheral vision seemed a tad off kilter. She turned toward her bathroom for further study, and she spied the tube of facial scrub tossed carelessly on her otherwise exquisitely-organized vanity. (Have we mentioned vodka? Disarray is often a byproduct of consumption.)

Carole picked up the tube, which seemed to be mildly vibrating, in that odd way that things feel after one has passed out in high-end couture. Squinting, she flipped the tube over and perused the fine print that no one ever really reads, regardless of vodka intake. Our stupid lawyers are making us include this stupid warning that the combination of apricot kernels and minced habanero peppers can cause some people to believe they are world-famous concert pianists and compel them to give an impromptu performance in their living room whilst wearing heavy-ass couture.

Carole breathed a sigh of relief (life is so much easier when you can blame your inappropriate behavior on chemistry rather than personal choices), promptly threw the tube in her exquisitely-bejeweled trashcan, and went back to bed. Unfortunately, she had not bothered to read the rest of the warning. And in certain cases, people who use our product whilst swilling vodka for no respectable reason might have additional visions concerning deceased authors coming back to life. Perhaps we should not have used so many environmentally-hazardous chemicals in our skin-care products just because legislative loopholes allow us to do so.

Three minutes later, the Virginia Woolf tome on Carole’s nightstand spread itself wide and began to read aloud a passage from page 42.

Carole’s eyes popped open once again.

It was going to be a long night…


Previously published, slight changes made. Administrative bit: For those of you who have noticed that I’ve been underperforming with my commenting, both here and on your own blogs, rest assured that it’s me, not you. There’s been a certain degree of discombobulation here at Bonnywood Manor over the last several weeks (Exhibit A: The Texas ice-storm that knocked everything offline for days on end because our Republican leaders suck at basic decency) and I got woefully behind, with everything. Happily, I’m almost at the point where I can start being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our joining hands and singing songs of mutual admiration and the completion of social media duties.

In the interim, thank you for your patience, consideration and general tendency to be lovely examples of humanity. While you wait, please take advantage of Happy-Hour pricing in the Bonnywood Manor Bar, which features a lovely array of free appetizers. (Those shrimp puffs? OMG!) As additional entertainment, the Osythian Oscillators will be doing an interpretive dance in the Hartwell Theater located on the Lido Deck. (They aren’t all that good, but they mean well. Just keep drinking and you’ll be fine.)

 Till next time…


31 replies »

  1. A tickle of the ivorys, a tumbler of the Grey Goose, a broken- spined dog-eared Woolf; Oh, the woes, the accumulating trials and perils of poor addled Carole. Brian, is nothing sacred?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Okay, fine. You caught me. Suffice it to say that Carole and I once summered at a youth camp on the shores of Lake Petulance, and she one-upped me by snagging the lead role in that season’s production of “Macdeath”. I never got over it, and I have chosen to air my grievances in a sordid way…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Suddenly, Oprah walked in. “Carole, Carole, what’s your truth?” Oprah insisted. Carole, afraid of celebrity journalists who suddenly ask for the truth, thought as fast as she could. Make Reality Go Away Again, she said. Oprah nodded wisely. Never let reality get in the way of a good election, er, interview, she thought. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Habanero peppers” for facial scrub? LOL. I guess facial products are in the eyes of beholders, just like beauty and history. It is said ancient Egyptians put crocodile dung on their faces as beauty routine–actually crocodile dung was used in many health concerns. Carole has to obtain habanero since it’s so popular. Whenever something becomes fashionable, you got to try it no matter how spicy and stinky. And I agree that it was a medium sized country when Romanovs first started, but it expanded and expanded for 300 years until finally it ran out of money and was replaced by a revolution more cruel than before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we’ve learned two very important things with your comment: We should stop putting things on our faces that don’t belong there. And we should stop letting countries get bigger than they’re supposed to be. I fully support both of these stratagems… 😉


  4. Interpretive dance and shrimp puffs? Alright, I’ll forgive you this once…. but the mutual admiration society has rules young man. And rules must be obeyed, batshit crazy Texas politicians or no.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Truth be told, that footnote reference to the Oscillators was a lingering remnant from the previous sharing of this post, and, at least during that previous, She of Osythian Delight granted her approval. The terms may be different now, but I haven’t yet received a cease-and-desist order from her attorneys, so we’ll call it good for now…. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Carole (who would forever be ashamed that she had a moment of weakness and allowed that photo to EVER see daylight) was wondering how long they expected her to keep playing. The badly designed couture kept bunching up under certain tender parts of her anatomy and that’s not good for ANYONE (unless it’s desired. Carole did NOT desire such things). The dress was made of that horrid scratchy faux overly sequined material too, adding a thick layer to the whole discomfort problem. Lastly, Carole kept wondering how long the top might stay up and how well that double-sided tape actually worked, given it was made in a sweatshop in Bangladesh. The excess material at the bottom and the lack of almost any material at the top of the garment was proof positive (to Carole, and who was going to contradict her?) that one ought to pay seamstresses (seamstress BOYS too) very well indeed. Else such garments were made, and stars of the Hollywood firmament were expected to wear them. Carole sighed and got through the next scale. It just wasn’t FAIR.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a tragic tale (though quite titillating) and I must thank you for eliciting these tiny but important details from the photo. (If I had only studied things a bit more, perhaps I could have approached your degree of precise interpretation.) This will teach me to be more scholarly in my future endeavors with found photos of starlets caught doing something questionable.

      But at least Our Carole apparently knows how to play the piano, and I must admit that I admire such a talent, greatly. I greatly rue the fact that I cannot play any musical instruments (even the tambourine stymies me), but I am most saddened by my lack of ability concerning the ivory keys. If my youthful days had played out in a different way, and adequate training had been pursued as I wished, I can envision myself crooning lovely ballads in a piano bar where mildly-drunk patrons stop thinking about the problems, at least for a little while. There are worse careers one could have… 😉


      • And strains of one of Billy Joel’s better efforts (Piano Man) play softly in the background. The tips are generous and the drinks are free. I, like you, cannot play any instrument and I cannot read music. I sing. A LOT. And in the Time of Covid (which is exiting FAST thank you baby jesus) who cares about it? Ziggy howls if I hit a sour note, but other than that…. I have regrets about my lack of musical education as well. BUT. It’s odd where sometimes talent grows, isn’t it? I played the pan & spoon (you know, beating on a pan with a spoon) at our last (and only) family reunion for the family rendition of “Come Together”. My nephew (savant on any instrument, but his piano playing? AMAZING) put the ‘group’ together, and my s-i-l (not his mother, but the other one) brought out her violin, someone else had guitar and we all sang. Someone cell phone recorded it and hoisted it to FB and oddly? I played GREAT rhythm “pan” if I do say so. Sang damned well too IMHO. So who’s to say your own talent won’t burgeon at some unknown future point where the beer or tequila has flowed generously and you are called upon to add your part?

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I hope the manor survived without incurring damage from the cold weather? I’m afraid we here at the Yachtclub did have some damage. It’s taking a while to round up the proper deckhands to do repairs. We are a float though, and will carry on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No serious damage, other than much of the foliage in the landscaping (designed by the famous grounds-engineer Humberto Peyote) is now essentially shite and may not be experiencing a rebirth, come Spring… 😉


  7. “life is so much easier when you can blame your inappropriate behavior on chemistry rather than personal choices”–my thoughts, precisely. Hope your life and your state return to working order soon. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just KNEW we were simpatico in so many undiscovered ways. I’m almost always still up at 3am most nights, as I’m a confirmed Night Owl. The darkness and the quiet just inspire me. Not necessarily in a good way, but still…

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the shrimp puffs? Gone. Every last one of them. No idea who took them, either. Nope. No idea at all.

    Funny you should mention facial scrubs. As I waited for the shrimp puff platter to be refilled, I went into the office of the theater and the computer was open to YouTube where a Very Good Looking dermatologist said nix the scrubs, they are Bad, Bad, Very Bad, and as he was Smoking Hot, this dermatologist, I am inclined to believe him. Could you give Carole the message, please?

    Oooh, they just brought out the platter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It appears that we may have reviewed the same video. (Perhaps the “Smoking Hot” was the shared beck and call?) It’s my understanding as well that perhaps we shouldn’t be doing all that scrubbing. But I DO refuse to give up my peel-off masks. For the last several years, my body seems to think I’m still a 15-year-old, and the oiliness (and resultant, and horrid, “adult acne”) rages out of control if I don’t let various infused clays dry on my visage at least a few times a week. But does my body remember the energetic metabolism of a 15-year-old? Of course not.

      Excuse me one sec, as my assistant Cleo has just handed me a report from Bonnywood Security. Let me peruse. Uh huh. Uh huh. Oh? Really now? Hmm.

      Dearest Christi, it appears that we have a certain video wherein you were spotted knocking down Imelda Marcos in order to get to the shrimp puffs before she did. And then you proceeded to dump the entire contents of both Puff Trays into your clever but voluminous hand-stitched satchel you purchased from an up-and-coming designer in Taos. Then you knocked Imelda down again on the way back to your table.

      Would you care to explain yourself?

      Liked by 2 people

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