Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #347

Becky Thatcher: “I sure as hell ain’t goin’ up there.”

Tom Sawyer: “But Huck said all the answers we ever wanted is at the top of those stairs.”

Becky: “Huck is a twit. That’s what he gets for runnin’ around barefoot all the time. The stupid just sucks up into your toes.”

Tom: “Why you actin’ that way, Becky? Didn’t we all have a swell time paintin’ that fence?”

Becky: “There wasn’t nothin’ else to do in that dumbass town. I had to do somethin’ to pass the time or I’d end up like that Lizzie Borden with her axe, cuttin’ y’all to pieces. Now that we hijacked that river boat and made it all the way to New Orleans, Loos-iana, I got bigger fish to fry. And why ain’t Huck here to help us out?”

Tom: “Well, he done found him somethin’ called Storyville.”

Becky: “Ain’t they got hookers up in that story place?”

Tom: “Maybe so, don’t really know if they got fishin’ tackle. We didn’t really have time to talk about it cuz he was runnin’ down the street and said he’d catch up with us later. His dungarees looked kinda funny, though, when he was runnin’ and all. Like maybe he stole another squash from the Piggly Wiggly and had to hide it real fast.”

Becky: “I swear, you are just as simple as he is. He was horny, Tom.”

Tom: “Horny? Like the devil? Why you callin’ him the devil?”

Becky, sighin’: “How many kinds of knucklehead are you? Oh, never mind. Anyway, I’m not goin’ up those stairs. I’m goin’ to Bourbon Street, where a woman can make a fortune just for bein’ a woman. I did not escape a dumbass town just to let opportunities pass me by. I got plans for a better life and I aim to make it happen.”

Tom: “Holy cow, Becky. How do you know so much about the world?”

Becky: “Cuz I get the Twitter feed on my smartphone.”

Tom: “The what on your what?”

Becky, sighin’ again: “This is why we have to part ways, Tom. You’re cute and all, but you’re draggin’ a sister down.” 

Tom: “Aw, dang it. Are you my sister? Why does every girl I get sweet on have to be kin?”

Becky, not even botherin’ to sigh: “That’s it. We’re done here. I’m off to make my fortunes. You just sit tight and wait for Huck to quit playin’ squat tag with his squash and then maybe the two of you can keep each other alive. Bye, Felicia.”

She trotted away.

Tom did not trot. He studied the staircase before him. No foolin’, Huck had said all the answers could be found up there. He took a deep breath and cautiously navigated the steps, rounding the curve and reaching the upper landing. There was a single door with the number “42” in tarnished copper. He knocked.

The door opened.

“Hello!” said Douglas Adams. “Are you my next hitchhiker?”

Tom: “Well, I don’t know about that. But I did hitch a ride on a river boat queen.”

Douglas: “Splendid! Have a seat and let’s get started…”

Previously published, slightly modified. I pulled this one out of the archives after Suzanne and I had a brief bonding moment over Douglas Adams in the comments of my previous post. Of course, THIS post somewhat falls apart at the end if you don’t know about Douglas, but I’ll risk the risk. And hopefully you still managed to enjoy things until the trivia consumed my soul. (“Is that a squash in your dungarees or are you just happy to see me?”)


P.S. Proud Mary keep on burnin’

29 replies »

  1. 42 and Douglas Adams? You totally had me until Proud Mary. I don’t actually have a lot of Rules For Life, but one of my most fundamental is that if the band starts to play “their” cover of Proud Mary or Dock of the Bay, it’s time to go home. (Even if you haven’t yet eaten your lukewarm meat/veg/cake frosted with what appears to be melted crayons.) Because there’s no telling what fresh hell will be released by hosts who blatantly commit such horrors.

    That personal rule (plus not mixing plaids and stripes, or wearing white socks after Labor Day) has gotten me safely through the past 67 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, so “Proud Mary” is the line in the sand, is it? Duly noted. I will now do my very best to avoid referencing The Unmentionable Song, as I simply can’t fathom intentionally offending any Bonnywood guests. As I was telling Partner just the other day, positive mental health is why I left a good job in the city-

      Uh oh. I think I might have a problem… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry to hear about the job situation but you don’t have to worry if you got no money. People on the river are happy to give—as long as you don’t ask them to listen to crap wedding covers of Proud Mary, of course.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Douglas Adams and CCR all in one post?? Oh my gosh! No that ain’t no squash, that’s delight. 😉 Huck had it goin’ on, but I always wondered if he and Becky hooked up in that cave in those books… Mark Twain? Care to explain? 😆 And for a little background music:

    One last bit: I’s from Yew-Taw, but even I know it’s New Awlins’ sonny. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I always wondered if Tom went huckleberry-huntin’ with Huck. Clearly, I had a different take on things whilst I was reading the classics as a wee urchin…

      Better yet, how about just “N’Awlins”? The fewer syllables you have to pronounce, the better, especially if you’ve been swilling Hurricanes in the French Quarter…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Meanwhile, Harry Potter, having found himself on the endless up-staircase at Hogwarts, encountered a pensive Tom Sawyer. “What are you doing here?” Harry enquired, having recognised Tom from his picture in Dumbledore’s study. “I’m not sure,” said Tom, “I can’t remember why I came up here or what I’m supposed to be doing. I think I could be looking for all the answers.”
    “Look,” said Harry, “unless you have Voldemort snarling in the back of your head, you’re in the wrong story, so kindly get the hell off my turf. And if you’re looking for answers, try Google.”
    Tom, to himself: “Why is everybody so pissed off and mean? I’m not doing any harm. I’m just a curious boy with a twisted sense of humour and an obsession with watching paint dry. And what’s Google??”
    Harry: “Tom, take my advice. You do not want to be here. Go back down, find Becky and learn to manage her career in squash-hunting. Once Hermione and Ron get here, you won’t have a chance. She’s really smart and Ron has way more cute freckles than you, so you’re toast. Besides, I don’t need any more competition.”
    Tom, in a low mumble: “What’s happened to my endearing charm and and boyish tactics? Are they gone with the wind??

    Liked by 1 person

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