Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #511


Anna May: “I’m sorry, I was momentarily distracted by my own perkiness and I didn’t quite catch what you were saying. Could you repeat it, please?”

Police Officer: “I said that you seem awfully chipper considering we just found the famous movie producer, Irving Hindenburg, floating in the pool behind you.”

Anna May: “You did? Oh. Well, I don’t recall inviting him over so I hope you arrested him for trespassing.”

Office: “We couldn’t quite do that, Miss Wong. Because he’s dead. And I was trying to see what you knew about how he became that way.”

Anna May: “That’s terrible! Now I’ll have to have the entire pool drained and scrubbed. Do you have any idea how much that costs in today’s economy?”

Officer: “I’m thinking the focus should be more on the fact that Irving won’t be making any more movies and not the possible impacts to your household budget.”

Anna May: “This smells a bit like harassment. Should I be calling a lawyer? I have several on standby. Sadly, now that I think about it, none of them know how to get the producer smell out of a pool, so I’m not sure why I still have them on my staff.”

Officer: “I wouldn’t be firing anybody just yet, as you might need one of those lawyers here in a bit. It depends on how you answer my next few questions. Tell me about your relationship with the deceased.”

Anna May: “There isn’t one to tell about. I have no idea who this Imogene Salzburg person is or why he found it imperative to bite it in my personal waters.”

Officer: “The name is Irving Hindenburg. And he was the producer on your last three films, It Happened One Afternoon, Birth of a Libation, and A Streetcar Named Libido.”

Anna May: “Oh, that Irving Hindenburg. You should have been more forthcoming. One runs across so many Hindenburgs in the movie business. Still, I barely know him.”

Officer: “Even though you just sued him for breach of contract concerning the profits from your Libido?”

Anna May: “I didn’t sue him. My lawyers did. Maybe you should ask one of them why they stabbed Imogene and shoved him in my previously-pristine pool where I once used to swim laps without worrying about rude people asking too many questions.”

Officer: “I never said that Irving was stabbed, so it’s quite interesting that you happen to know such. But I will say that we also found arsenic in the California rolls on the sushi platter you have set out on your lanai. Just who did you intend to eat that?”

Anna May: “Not anyone I know. California rolls are the Prius of the sushi world, with that imitation crab abomination. Nobody with any real respect for the art of possibly dying from consuming raw seafood wants anything to do with that California mess.”

Officer: “Yet you, or someone on your staff that works for you, served those hybrid rolls anyway. The tray is right there, understandably untouched what with the ring of dead flies around it. Death seems to be fairly common on your estate. Do you really not understand how things are not looking good for you right at the moment?”

Anna May: “I understand that me and my coordinated outfit are getting a little tired of you making baseless accusations and hinting that someone of my professional standards would need a backup strategy in case the stabbing angle didn’t work out. I always get it right on the first take. It’s offensive that you might even think I need a Plan B.”

Officer: “I see. Okay, could you extend your coordinated arms so I can place handcuffs on them? Because your Prius battery just died and I’m your new charging station.” 


Previously published, slight changes made. (Fair disclosure: No offense intended towards the Prius owners of the world. I’m just sharing dialogue from the witness testimony in the court trial, swear.) Anna May does not know how to play well with others, a missing quality she will greatly rue when she gets to The Big House and discovers she no longer has a private staff or a private toilet…

Trivia bits from Anna May Wong’s Wikipedia page, in case you’re interested: “Wong Liu-tsong (January 3, 1905 – February 3, 1961), known professionally as Anna May Wong, was an American actress, considered to be the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star, as well as the first Chinese American actress to gain international recognition. Her varied career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio.

In 2021, the United States Mint announced that Wong would be among the first women depicted on the reverse of the quarter as a part of the American Women Quarters series. She will be the first Asian American to appear on US currency.”


25 replies »

    • Wait, Canada is responsible for the California roll AND Hawaiian pizza? That completely changes my outlook on your lovely country. (Not really, but I sometimes get a bit dramatic with things. Have you noticed?) And really, every collection of people invents or copies something that perhaps they shouldn’t have. After all, Texas invented willfully ignorant people and Oklahoma copied them.

      But yes, Anna May chose the wrong way to deal with life’s speed bumps. Plan ahead, people. Plan well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Now I have to do some defence (but not of Anna May). 😉 The California roll is really good when made properly with real crab in it – so light and delicious. Not that rubbery dreck I’ve often witnessed. And Hawaiian pizza? Now that’s real fusion; it was invented by a Greek guy. Also good when made well with fresh ingredients. A mix of sweet and salty on a thin crust? Yummy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, I’m right there with you, despite my feigned dissatisfaction with these treats. I love California rolls, when “made properly”, just as you describe. And I have a fondness for Hawaiian pizza, with the same caveat: The ingredients must be aligned just so. TOO much pineapple makes things too wet. And although the duo of pineapple and ham can be fine (a duo that is the standard in Texas, regardless of the original recipe), things are much better when a third ingredient is added: bacon. This ups the ante with the sweet/salty pleasure sensation, at least in my book.

          It sounds like we should be having adventurous meals together at some point, yes? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Sushi..ugh. Back in a past lifetime when I worked I would annoy one of the managers badly by telling him I didn’t eat fish bait. He would argue that it wasn’t. I asked if it was raw fish and when he would answer yes, I reiterated my comment on it being fish bait. Hers does however seem to be an interesting insect control. Be that as it may, to stab a supposed drowning victim seems a bit of an overkill.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fair confession: I actually like sushi (including technically non-sushi California rolls). I just had some earlier this evening at the Chinese buffet we went to for my birthday. I will say that there is, most assuredly, a difference between “good” sushi and “I am NOT touching THAT” bad sushi. It’s an art, but gobbling up such is certainly not for everyone, as it’s a unique taste. Partner won’t even get near COOKED seafood, so he understandably questions our relationship every time I wander near the sushi bar…

      As for Anna May’s overkill, well, I learned a long time ago to never trust excessively perky people. (There’s just something off, there.) This is why I avoid cheerleaders and anybody who plays a tambourine… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • If we are offering confessions…it really doesn’t bother me what others eat. We each have our preferences. That particular manager had this superiority, better than any and all, attitude so it was fun annoying and taking him down a notch ever so often. That could play a large part in why I no longer work there..ah well.
        And yes, the excessively perky are best avoided. I have one of those as a relative. I love them dearly..over there.. waaaaay over there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Irving Hindenburg stabbed while drowning! Oh, the Humanity! The Humanity!” Radio Announcer at the premiere of “The California Hawaiian Pizza-Roll” (a prequel to the Muppet Movie, “Just a Few More Dollars in Chinatown”).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, I’ve never heard of her before. I have to say I know very little of the Hollywood circle you have been writing about, although i have to say my ignorance hasn’t dampened my curiosity.
    I just read her wikipedia page and she was an amazing and intriguing woman. There are so many courageous people that I don’t know…Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anna May Wong really was an inspiration, despite her being rigidly typecast throughout much of her career, so I felt a little bit bad about maligning her “character” with this twisted tale. But it’s just a story, one that tumbled out of my brain on a fevered night and I just ran with it. Besides, her image is now on American currency, whilst my image is on, well, nothing. I think she’ll be fine… 😉

      Like

  4. As a Prius owner, I must protest the association with those silly fake California Rolls. Good sushi is nom nom nommy! And also, isn’t sushi Japanese?? 😲 Just sayin😉

    Seems Hollywood is still full of Hindenburgs… and Washington DC too, now that I think of it.

    Poor Anna May… a plan B is always a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did hesitate over the Prius comment, which is why I included the disclaimer in my footnote. I finally decided that everyone can just blame Poor-Planning Anna and her self-involved mouth.

      Now, sushi. I adore it, but I must confess that I’m not fully schooled on all aspects. I know what I like, but I don’t always understand all the offerings so I generally pass on the quizzical options. There are tons of sushi bars in the Dallas area (not sure why, as there are many Texans who will never eat anything “foreign”, missing the concept that EVERYTHING is foreign unless you’re eating Native American food), but most of them are outrageously expensive. I actually get my sushi at a grocery store in Waxahachie, south of Dallas. (Trivia: They filmed “Places in the Heart” there, years ago. In the town, not the grocery store, for clarification.) It’s fresh and delicious, the prices are not so eye-opening, and they don’t have anything unsettling like poisonous blowfish. In fact, I think I’ve just decided what I’m having tomorrow. (But it will be a solo adventure, as Partner will have nothing to do with seafood in any form.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • My Prius outrage was completely feigned as I’m sure you know😉 my California Roll outrage was real though🤷🏼‍♀️ I’m not super adventurous with sushi either… usually sticking to salmon or tuna, and I must consume seafood solo as well. Even take out Fish & Chips gets me the Evil Glare Of Death. Luckily I’m immune to such looks from Daughter, being the Master myself😉
        💌

        Liked by 1 person

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