Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #335


Douglas Fairbanks, left: “Well, here we go again.”

Mary Pickford, right: “Now, Dougie, let’s not be grumpy. You know we have to deal with the press, it’s just what we do as Hollywood Royalty.”

Douglas: “But why do we have to let them into our house? It’s annoying.”

Mary: “Because the common people want to see how the rich and famous live. It’s a social service, really, letting them dream about having a grand life such as ours. It helps them forget that their lives are meaningless, and it prompts them to buy tickets to our movies so they can dream some more. That’s just how America works.”

Douglas: “It’s still annoying. I really wasn’t planning on wearing pants today. What about my own dreams?”

Mary: “The people don’t care what you might really be like. They only care about the image you have created. Image is everything, darling.”

Douglas: “They why are you doing that odd thing with your foot?”

Mary: “I’m trying to be quirky and fun-loving.”

Douglas: “It looks like you’re drunk and forgot how to stand properly.”

Mary: “I am drunk. You’re not the only one who planned to have uncovered loins today, until the damn doorbell rang.”

Douglas: “Then stop answering the door. We have servants who can deal with that.”

Mary: “You’re still missing the point, my beloved. When the publicity machine rolls your way, you’ve got to put on a happy face and embrace it. Otherwise, we actors become box office poison and we have to do something wretchedly dreadful like run for governor of California or appear in informercials about designer breast implants. We can pretend to be something we’re not for an hour or so. Speaking of which, have you put away all your… toys? That one reporter over there is vibrating with an intensity that means he will be asking for a tour of the second floor.”

Douglas: “Oh. Well, it’s entirely possible that there’s a bong sitting on the balcony off our bedroom.”

Mary: “I’m so disappointed in you, my pet.”

Douglas: “Why is that? Are you mad because I didn’t clean up after myself once again?”

Mary: “Of course not, my love. I’m upset that you didn’t bother to invite me to the balcony before the schtick hit the fan. You know Momma loves the herb garden, and it’s not fair that you withheld the latest harvest.”

Douglas: “You’re right, I’ve been a Humphrey Bogart and I’m sorry. Perhaps I can make it up to you later with some slap and tickle? We can play that game where you are willing to do anything to win an Academy Award.”

Mary: “That does have a certain appeal, but perhaps we should switch it up this time. I think you should be the one who accepts the Oscar, so to speak.”

Douglas: “Done. I’ve had enough Herb Alpert that I’m easy like Sunday morning.”

Mary: “Splendid. Okay, shush now, the reporters are ready with their questions. Remember, image is everything.”

Hedda Clodhopper, lead correspondent for The Hollywood Blather: “Mary, love the quirky foot action. What else have you been up to today?”

Mary: “We’ve just arrived home from church. It was a lovely sermon, all about truth and honesty and living a clean life.”

Louella Parsnip, lead correspondent for Fox Spews: “And how about you, Douglas? Did you revel in the revelations of a higher power?”

Douglas: “I certainly did. As I sat in the balcony, I had wonderous visions and I loved everybody and everything.”

Mary: “Okay, then. It’s been lovely chatting with all of you, but I’m afraid we’ve got to run. We’re late for an awards ceremony.”

Hedda: “Oh? I wasn’t aware of any ceremonies this evening.”

Mary: “It’s a private affair. Invitation only. We’ll let you know how it turns out on our blog.”

Louella: “I hope both of you win!”

Mary: “I think we just did.”

Douglas: “Praise be!”


Previously published, slight modifications made.


Later, Mary: “Whew! I’m glad that’s over. Run get that bong and let’s explore the whiter shade of pale.”

Douglas: “Ohhh… I think I finally understand that song now.”

Mary: “No, you don’t. And neither does the writer of this post. Still, clean yourself up and meet me in ten.”

The Bong: “Why does nobody ever bother to clean me?”

Hedda, outside the gates of Pickfair, turning to Louella: “I didn’t buy any of that. Did you?”

Louella: “I’ve never bought anything in this town. Except life insurance.”


17 replies »

    • I’m not sure AT ALL concerning what Mary might be doing. Then again, I’m never sure what I’M doing, so….

      But I think it’s safe to say that Lassie is not involved. He’s upstairs (yes, they were all male, even though they were “cast” as female) taking advantage of the implements on the unattended balcony…

      Liked by 2 people

    • As a certified bulge aficionado, I can testify that the curtain-bulge on the left is merely the result of poor housekeeping. (The maid has a bong, as well.) The curtain-bulge on the right is Bette Davis, waiting for the invention of talking pictures…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mary: Oh lord. He dragged out that old photo again! What will the press think?
    Fairbanks (the ‘pick a number’): You give them too much credit my dove. They CAN’T think, they can only do what their masters program them to do!
    Mary: (sniffing delicately because ladies never ‘honk’ publicly. Behind closed doors all hell breaks loose) You’ve been at the herb garden again, haven’t you? You didn’t get into my special stash again, did you? That reminds me I have letters to be written, which I never shall send.”
    Fairbanks: And you think I’m stoned! That didn’t even make any sense at all! You know, I agree. Sepia tones do nothing for either of us, Who can tell what shade of pale we are, washed as we are in the grime of bad film!
    Mary: Come along now. Those horrid reporters have vanished and it’s time for a bit of tickling..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meanwhile, up those stairs, the herbs and the herb accessories are plotting a coup. They are tired of being used and abused, and they are intent on better union representation. They are waiting for just the right moment (although they aren’t sure what that moment might be) and then they will kick their hazy plan into action, even though they don’t really have a plan. Because they’re herbs. And accessories…

      Meanwhile, down a set of stairs that we can’t see, the servants are plotting their own coup, mainly because they heard through the grapevine about the impending coup two floors up and the servants are a bit jealous. They don’t have any realistic plan, either, but isn’t that what Hollywood is all about?

      Like

    • Ladies: Yep, there’s definitely some kind of filter mess going on with this photo. Back in the day, whilst doing yet another one of my Internet searches for vintage photos, I ran across a whole trove of images with that same overlay of whatever, all roughly from the same time period. I’m guessing it was the “style” in those years, though it doesn’t make any sense to me. Perhaps I should put my own bong down and do a bit of research.

      But speaking of that trove, there are several stories in the archives that use them, and now I’ve been inspired to dig some of them out, assuming that I can find them. Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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