Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #217

Toby, actress, confused: “What do you mean, what am I doing? With my hand?”

Hank, director, proving that he might not be a very good one since he was standing nowhere near the camera: “No, your outfit. Why are you wearing that?”

Boyd, assistant director, rumored to be a sarcastic drama queen and instantly proving so: “I’m assuming that Arkansas exploded and she was hit by shrapnel from Li’l Abner’s chifforobe.”

Hank, momentarily distracted: “What the hell is a chifforobe? And who is Li’l Abner?”

Boyd, smugly satisfied at his own wit: “I didn’t expect you to get the references. But someday, somebody will. Assuming that the sound people at this cheap-ass studio have actually figured out how to record sound.”

Hank, sighing: “You are beyond annoying.”

Boyd, counter-pointing: “And you are beyond competency.”

Toby, still confused but more irritated at this point: “Could the two of you stop trying to prove who has the bigger dangle and get back to me? What is wrong with my outfit, Hank? You’re the one who told me to put it on. And not take it off until you said I should do so.”

Hank, suddenly making the connection: “Darlin’, that was last night when we were… going over your lines.”

Boyd, also making the connection and intent on pursuing the realization, but unable to stop himself from throwing a grenade first: “I wasn’t aware that either of you could read.”

Hank, also unable to stop himself, but for entirely different self-image psychological issues: “And I wasn’t aware that you had a purpose on this movie. But I’ll have you know that it was a purely professional meeting we had last night.”

Boyd, imagining himself as Nancy Drew in The Secret of the Celluloid Trysting: “Would I be correct in assuming that this professionalism took place after numerous rounds of drinks at La Hacienda del Fuego and a subsequent room at Hotel de Caliente?”

Toby, still trying to be part of the conversation but not really all that invested: “You gotta admit, Hank. He’s pretty good.”

Boyd, knowing he was good and unable to stop himself: “And the further assumption would be that something went awry at a critical point. You asked her to don that hillbilly attire, who knows why but it’s a fair theorem to base your base desire on some naughty proclivity that developed during the summer you spent with relatives who couldn’t afford indoor plumbing. Yet you never asked her to take it off, as we can see in Exhibit A there on the stage. Which means that you either didn’t find what you were looking for or your stock market took a plunge. Perhaps too many cocktails? Or have you sublimated hidden desires that dare not be revealed in Arkansas?”

(The fake tree next to Toby, suddenly able to talk because the writer thought it would be whimsical to initiate such: “Wow, this is really getting exciting. This is a far better script than the one we’re trying to film.”

Toby, clearly not bothered by inanimate objects suddenly animating: “Girl, I hear ya. I thought it was me but apparently it’s him. I love the smell of redemption in the morning.”)

Hank, mortified but pretending not to be: “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Boyd. There is nothing wrong with my stock market and my fantasies are completely normal.”

Boyd, still riding the Nancy Drew vibe: “And do those fantasies involve pitchforks or plowed trenches?”

Hank, bristling at the direct-target hit but opting for diversion: “Look, you need to understand who is in charge here. We can disagree, but at the end of the day I’m the one who calls the shots.”

Boyd, parrying: “But the only shots that happened last night involved tequila and not the stock market.”

Hank, finally done: “That’s end. Let’s step outside and settle this once and for all. Man to man.”

Boyd, triumphant: “So it is pitchforks. Got it.”

They marched to the exit, bickering incessantly. The door slammed.

Tree, concerned: “So what does this mean? I hope they don’t shut the movie down. This is my first role and I’d really like to get my membership in the Screen Actors Guild.”

Toby, not concerned: “Oh, honey. Don’t worry about it. I’ve been around the block enough times to know us bit players will be fine as long as we pretend that we don’t know what we know. Say, you wanna go get a drink? I could use one.”

Tree, relieved: “Sounds good to me. But before we go, where did you get that outfit? I think I could pull it off in the right situation.”

Toby, already over it: “I have no idea where Hank found it. But I would imagine that somebody in Arkansas is pissed off that their chifforobe was destroyed during the explosion. Now, let’s go get those margaritas.”

Fifteen minutes later…

Hank, finally free of a certain denial: “Hello? Hotel de Caliente? I’d like to book a room.”

Boyd, never having denied it at all: “Try to get Room 216. It has the best view of West Hollywood.”

Previously published on Crusty Pie, gutted and revised for this share on Bonnywood.

The original micro-story:

“Exhibit A of what can happen when the director, the set designer, and the costume department don’t attend the same meetings…”

I’m thinking this version is a bit more satisfying.


19 replies »

    • Confession: I kept trying to put an “a” in the midst of that term, and Microsoft Word was not impressed with my efforts. I finally had to break down and look it up…

      Additional confession: The first time I heard the term was whilst watching “To Kill a Mockingbird” many centuries ago, as a wee bairn. Then I encountered it again when I read Harper Lee’s book. Some things stick, other things don’t, and that basically explains society…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The whole look is so confusing. The cap and bandana shout railroad, the sash around her waist pirate, the lil Abner hillbilly shorts and school girl socks and shoes..the robotic stance and doll makeup..I guess if you can’t go for one look, go for them all..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s very confusing, so it’s understandable that as soon as I ran across this photo it just HAD to go in my Crusty Pie inspiration folder. As for the “scavenger hunt” outfit, I must confess that there was a time in my youthful days when I would have worn something just as head-scratching. Now? I keep it simple and classic. T-shirt, jeans, Converse sneakers, deodorant? Check. Let’s go! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Is Toby related to Blondie? I swear I see a resemblance.
    I’m glad that Hank finally realized it was his *other* cousin Bobby Joe that he’d always fantasized about.

    I’m also surprised that Toby is still wearing that get-up. Tequila always makes my clothes fall off😲🤷🏼‍♀️
    I generally stick with Daiquiris instead of Margaritas😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • There IS a certain Debbie Harry cachet sprinkled in there, but I think she’d probably take a pass on the outfit as well. It can be fun to make a statement, but let’s not get carried away.

      Hank did finally see the light but, sadly, too many people take too long to get there.

      And yes, tequila is wicked. I allow myself two margaritas, tops. (Okay, maybe three if I’m snacking on absorbent and filling appetizers whilst sipping SLOWY.) It’s a hard stop, or there will regrets the next morning.

      Liked by 1 person

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