Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #367

Hi there.

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…


52 replies »

  1. I can picture Freud and Lizzie going at it. Maybe even some other voices joining in. Maybe Ma and Pa Borden giving her shit from beyond the grave?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Twisty fun! Like Lizzie’s parents, I was not expecting that ending. And I quite agree with Rivergirl. But now my brain wants to find a word to rhyme with scissors. Can we consult Eminem? He’s good at making things rhyme. 💕

    Liked by 4 people

    • I proffered a few scissor-rhyming words in my response to Rivergirl. And then I challenged her with another word. And yes, I’m expecting you to scroll back up to that comment, because I’m too lazy to type all that mess again. At least I’m not sending you unsolicited emails… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If Ms. Lizzie (or Betty, Beth, Liz, Ellie, Eliza, and the multitude of ‘nicknames’ for Elizabeth) had access to Prozac, I think things might have turned out a bit better. Alas. Dr. Freud was undoubtedly of the ‘fewer meds, more treatment’ school of thought and too busy being a pioneer in his field and all that to consider that keeping some folks ‘quiet’ with chemicals was a better plan. Not that Prozac had been invented in that day…. Um. I’ve lost the plot, haven’t I? Blame it on the meds. *snicker* Lizzie might have gone mad from being forced to type on that thing. My father had one very similar to the one pictured, and you really had to pound the keys to get any reaction. No wonder that girls of that era had such well-developed arm musculature.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Truth be told, I typed out my first little stories on an ancient contraption such as Betty’s. I rarely got through a paragraph without all the damn mechanical keys getting stuck in a cluster of woefulness, requiring me to pry them apart before I could continue. It was annoying at the time, but I think it prepared me for dealing with all the idiots in my later life who would cluster together and try to impede my chosen pathways.

      But yes, all that exercise led to admirably-developed arm musculature. I looked quite fetching in a tank top… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think its half of a twinset. To go with one’s tweeds. The twinset includes a long sleeved cardi to slip over one’s bare arms if the air turns a tad chilly 😉

      Liked by 3 people

    • Lynette: Perhaps the sweater DID have long sleeves until The Axing Incident? Collateral damage?

      amandAVN: Wait, is THAT what a twinset is? I’ve seen the term, but I wasn’t sure what it meant. Thanks for sharing, and please stick around to share in the craziness of Bonnywood…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The Boop of Betty is a late late add-on to the Revised King Size Blame per-version of the Weird Of Gawd. (I thought it was a staple on every Okie bookshelf. Right beside the Art Of The Deal and the John Birch Society handbook?)
    Yes, the Lizzie Axe/Freud angle is fraught with all manner of sexual innuendo. Sigmund would do well to realise that he can be well-despatched by not only a quick hatchet job. A far faster way of deleting the Alpha e-male is fifteen pounds of flying Olivetti clipping the prominent Doctors skull. Rough editing at its worst.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I didn’t see Lizzie Borden coming. Nice twist. I agree. If Lizzie had access to Prozac and psychoanalysis, probably nothing would have happened. What could have pushed her over the murderous edge? Is that because of her thoughts like “What’s the point? I’m apparently destined for Hell?”

    Liked by 2 people

    • And really, don’t most lives come down to having or not having access to the things we need? If only life was an equal-access opportunity for all. But it’s not, so most of us fumble along and make do.

      As for the thing that pushed Betty over the murderous edge, it might have something to do with that laborious typewriter. Been there, done that, didn’t enjoy it at all… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So, all those people were killed with a typewriter and the left-wing media covered it up to keep people from knowing that back in the day journalists were just frustrated typewriter murderers! Another bit of information available on the Internet that the “so-called” experts missed. cheers

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Yup… Merriam Webster: a combination of a matching pullover and cardigan worn together. And thank you… Bonnywood is entertaining AND educational! What more could I ask for? So I’m quite sure I will be back😊

    Liked by 1 person

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