My name is Betty. This shouldn’t surprise you, because in the year that I was born everyone on the damn planet named their child Betty. This was a disappointing development, and nothing hacks away at your self-esteem like being christened with an uninspired moniker shared by half of your entire high-school graduating class. On top of that, my parents named all my brothers and sisters after people in the Bible. But I’ve never heard of a Betty in the Bible, have you? So this means my parents took one look at me and instantly decided that I was not going to Heaven. Great.
Anyway, I was hired for this advertising campaign because one of the producers thought I was perfect for portraying a secretary who is overjoyed at getting to use this fancy new typewriter. I don’t know where he got that idea. I’ve never used a typewriter in my life. (What’s the point? I’m apparently destined for Hell.) And as you can see, there are no words on the prop piece of paper jammed into this thing, and there’s nothing scribbled on the steno pad that could possibly inspire me to type. It’s completely unrealistic, just like the expectations I had for this perm when I walked into the beauty shop over on Maple Drive.
Still, I suppose I should be happy to have this gig. I don’t have to do much other than hold my hands in a certain way and smile like I’m having a secret orgasm. And I’m one of the few people who can pull off a Peter Pan collar without looking insipid. I guess I should just keep smiling for the camera, even though it is humiliating and psychologically-damaging.
Sounds of a door opening and someone entering the room.
Someone: “What are you doing sitting at my typewriter? You should be over on the couch.”
Betty: “Oh. Well, I was just posing for some publicity shots, Dr. Freud.”
Freud: “Publicity shots? There’s no one else here, Lizzie.”
Betty maybe Lizzie: “Who the hell is Lizzie?”
Freud: “That would be you, my delusional little pet. I just explained this to you, once again, before I stepped outside for a cigar that was just a cigar. It’s really getting tiresome how you can’t stick to the agenda and remember who you are, Miss Borden. Now get back on that couch and let’s talk about the significance of the axe. I have a thesis due on Monday.”
Previously published. Slight changes made. And yes, I realize the tail end of the tale doesn’t make any sense for those of you who don’t know the story of Lizzie Borden. But when the anarchic twist popped into my head, I just couldn’t ignore it. Hopefully you still had fun until things went in an unexpected direction, just like Lizzie’s parents…
Categories: Past Imperfect