Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #253

Left to right…

Drunk Lady #1: “This pizza is so good. If the man who invented pizza walked by right now I’d bang him right here on these steps. And then take a nap.”

Drunk Lady #2: “I keep missing my mouth. Why is this so hard? Hey, what happened to my shoes?”

Drunk Lady #3: “Silly, you traded them for the pizza. We spent all our money on tequila shots. Wait, maybe that was last weekend. Anyway, I think we should sing now. I have a very important song about muskrats. Or maybe it’s musketeers. Something musky, I don’t know, but the chorus is really good.”

Drunk Lady #4: “Oh my God! My plate is empty! Somebody stole my pizza! I’m so sad now. I need to write a poem about my pain. Oh wait, here’s my pizza, it was just upside down. Why are my fingers greasy? Are we still in Newark?”

Little Girl in the Background: “Seriously? They can get away with that mess but I get in trouble if I’m heard and not seen? I can’t wait until I’m old enough to drink and be a tramp.”

Joan Crawford, suddenly appearing out of nowhere because she was very good at doing such, tapped Little Girl on the shoulder with a bit more force than necessary: “I’m old enough to drink and be a tramp. Why haven’t I been alerted of this opportunity to indulge in either prospect?”

Little Girl, briefly mesmerized by Joan’s aggressive eyebrows but quickly shaking it off: “I don’t know who you are. I think that says a lot about why I didn’t say anything to you. Now, if you don’t mind, can you leave this scene? It might be my big break, and I fully plan on being the next Shirley Temple.”

Joan: “Oh, honey, that little pest doesn’t have any alcohol in her drink. If you really want to succeed, stick with me. I know a thing or two about getting what I want.”

Little Girl: “Did you really want those eyebrows? Because a plane could land on them.”

Joan: “And many planes have. I scored two husbands once I made them thicker than humanly possible. And who have you married? This is a critical part of your resumé.”

Little Girl: “Well, I’m seven, so, do the math. I won’t be throwing a bouquet for a good decade or so. Unless we move to Arkansas.”

Joan: “You’re never too young to start the manipulation of men. But I suppose we can wait a day or two until your eyebrows unnaturally thicken. Now, these women over here. Why are they the focal point of this scene? I can’t fathom why the director would do such. Unless the director is George Cukor.”

Little Girl: “Um, I think they’re popular because they drink and they slept with lots of the tech crew. At least that’s what the gossip columnist, Beulah the Bitter, said in the news article on my Kiddie Kindle.”

Joan: “They look wretchedly old and decayed. We have to get rid of them.”

Little Girl: “But they’re the same age as you, according to a plot point by the writer of this story. One that he failed to adequately develop so he’s shoving it into the mix now. Why do they look so dried-out and homely when you are so dewy and fresh?”

Joan: “It’s the cheap gin, dear. Never select a liquor bottle that is on a lower shelf than your bosom.”

Little Girl: “Did I mention being seven? I don’t have a bosom. Just a couple mosquito bites and a prayer.”

Joan: “You poor thing. Anyway, back to me, where it should always be. Let’s take over the scene and shove the pointless starlets out of the way so we can get top billing in this movie. You take out the two on the left and I’ll take out the two on the right.”

Little Girl: “But what if they fight back?”

Joan: “No worries. I’ve managed to sleep with several Air Force generals, and I’ve convinced them to provide air cover during our conquest.”

Little Girl: “Air cover? Are you sure the planes can get past your eyebrows? They might get ensnared and take out the wrong targets.”

Joan: “Nothing in life is guaranteed. But while you see a chance, you take it. Ready?”

Little Girl, briefly surveying the scene: “Okay, fine. I really want me a piece of that pizza.”

Joan: “Aim higher, Shirley Two. Everybody can get pizza. It’s what you do with the pepperoni that matters. Let’s go!”


Previously published in “Crusty Pie”, considerably revised and extended for this story’s debut on Bonnywood. Bonus points if you spy the Steve Winwood reference.


41 replies »

  1. “When you see your chance take it.” (The gods of lyrics say that it should be “while”. Anyway, Brian, in the past few years we have all taken on Joan Crawford eyebrows rather than shaving them off and replacing them with badly drawn on penciled ones. Many of us no longer look like we are in perpetual amazement. Thanks be to gods or whomever! There are a few left however wandering around with arched skinny eyebrows and a lips-in-an-oh. The vapid look. Fun story. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am in a cesspool of abject shame and despair over my misquoting of the lyric. And the horror is intensified by the fact that I once OWNED the 8-track of that album when it first came out, 700 years ago. I know better, and I have failed miserably.

      But I quickly got over it and now I’m back to you. Are naturally-thick eyebrows the thing now? (I no longer read the right magazines.) I may need to go back and edit every Joan Crawford bit I’ve ever posted, and those posts are legion… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • lol Actually I would have said “when” as well but I was verifying that I was right about that being the Steve Winwood lyric when I saw “while.” I loved Steve Winwood in the 80s. Higher Love? Great song. (I never knew he was part of great groups before that; a smidge before my music awareness time.)
        And, yes, thicker brows are in and not necessarily due to the pandemic. Everyone is rocking what Brooke Shields did all of those years ago. Well, except for the ones, as I say, who will be perpetually surprised due to overplucking. 😀


  2. I wonder why only four women in the front get to eat pizza while the rest just stand there watch. And the eyebrows LOL. That’s funny. That’s a unique perspective on beauty. Hahaha. Usually attention is paid to other parts of the face.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Caught the Steve Winwood reference, and I see how it applies. When you take a chance on those clothing choices (what are those “shoes” that number three is wearing??), you wind up with badly mannered dinner-mates and pizza that appears to have been used as a mop. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still agog over “those shoes”. I can only assume that this was considered appropriate footwear whilst bathing/swimming/eating pizza during the turn of the century. Or maybe she has a side-gig as a wrestler. We may never know…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I do admire Joan for her gumption and determination, but I think she had a tendency to break boundaries that shouldn’t have been broken. Of course, I wasn’t there at the time of her heyday (if memory serves, I was in South America researching the cryptic literature of the Mayans), so I didn’t have the best intel…. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aw damn. I meant to tag it “The Annual Berry Pie EATING CONTEST and Bra Burning of 1932.” Some of those untrammeled breasts in the photos (see that large woman far right over there) would be labeled WMDs in later years. Those things could give someone a wicked concussion! (Upon second glance everyone but Mildred in the Middle up there does appear to be eating pizza. Someone oughta pass Mildred a freakin napkin…because she’s got smears all over her face..)

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m the first to admit that the further one studies this subversive photo, it becomes increasingly clear that I overlooked many relevant details. This was not my finest hour when it comes to precision social commentary. After all, I completely ignored the fact that Frizzy-Haired Gal on the Left is wearing ballet shoes. What fresh hell is THAT? And, as you rightfully point out, Thunderina on the right and her dual thunders are clearly a threat to the continued existence of our nation.

      Perhaps I need to speak to my pharmacist about possible and unexpectedly adverse mental malfunctions caused by the 712 prescriptions that my doctor has ordered.

      Or maybe I should just quit composing posts when it’s late at night and I really should be getting my ass in bed… 😉


        • There was (and still might be) a contest where people competed by eating as many pies as they could, as fast as they could. It was popular at fairs (carnivals) and such events, and it was obviously very very messy! I was being silly. I’m sure nobody burnt their bra in 1932, only in the 1960s. But the photo tells us that a lot of women in that photo were (apparently) not wearing any bras. Still, if they were going swimming it makes sense, doesn’t it?

          Liked by 3 people

          • I totally agree with you. Even though the burning happened in 1960s, the thought and the intention had been there in 1932 and practiced by forward thinkers like those in the photo.
            Pie are so delicious and I wish somebody will invent a way to make eating pie as healthy as eating celery.

            Liked by 2 people

      • We must take inspiration when and where it falls… I noted those ballet shoes too but thought I might be hallucinating. The ballet shoes or no shoes are far better options than those extremely strange lace-up ‘swimming shoes’ (or whatever…are they an early version of tennis shoes??) that the woman on the right in our unholy trio up there are wearing. I know! This photo was about ‘f-ugly and inappropriate footwear 1932…” Boy! Those folks got up to a LOT back then… *snicker*

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, Brian, spotted the Winwood reference too. Off his album ‘Eyebrow Arch Of A Diva. ‘ I think. And why do I get the feeling Miss Crawldad feels she must belittle the salami?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll have to toss aside your valid concern about Crawldad’s belittling of salamis, despite the significance of such, and focus on “Eyebrow Arch Of A Diva”. That sounds like the perfect title for my first autobiography. (For the record, I plan on a series of 10 such autos. Far too many people have done me wrong to limit my output to just one volume. I never forget anything. Except for the prompt payment of utility bills.)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. And what is happening with these matching outfits? Are they all in reformatory school? Even the seven-year-old girl? Or is this at the public swimming pool? The woman behind drunk number one appears to have added two flowers to her headgear; she’s also sporting some powerful biceps. Maybe she’s the prison warden or lifeguard in disguise? What unpleasant event stained the pillar behind drunk number one? J.

    Liked by 2 people

    • All of your observations are particularly adept, surfacing valid issues that were not properly explored in my initial and secondary whack at this sordid saga. I think it’s very clear that I should analyze this much more deeply. Perhaps a ten-part miniseries is in order? Working title for said series: “That Day at the Community Baths When I Suddenly Realized That I Might Not Fully Understand Communal Bathing”…


      • Drunk number one? Flowery headgear? Biceps? The plot thickens. I thought outdoor communal bathing only happens in ancient Rome… Or you are referring to a swimming pool as a bathing place (without the soap of course).

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Their footwear choices are confusing, as others have pointed
    out -++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++.

    Sorry, Merricat wanted to add something to my comment. I’ve no idea what the message means, maybe Cleo can decipher it for us?

    In any case, thank you for giving me a Steve Winwood earworm. (I mean this sincerely) He sends me to a happy place. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I shared the encryption with Cleo, and she advised that Merricat is a bit miffed that a certain play-toy was not found in the expected location. Has there been some spring-cleaning that was not fully authorized?

      P.S. I wore out my 8-track of Winwood’s “Arc of a Diver” in my formative years. WORE it OUT. Mmm hmm.

      Liked by 2 people

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