Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #543


At the very last moment, the Sharks hired Marlon Soprano, a freelance dancer who didn’t care which team he played for as long as he got to perform his signature move, a double backflip ending in a manly split dripping with testosterone but no actual damage to the cojones. The Sharks just knew this would increase their odds in the rumble with the rival Jets gang, thus altering the plotline of “West Side Story” and justifying their protest that Natalie Wood should never have been cast as a Puerto Rican. Sadly, on the planned shooting day for the rumble, Marlon was drunk in Tahiti and he sent Sacheen Littlefeather as his representative. She could not do the splits, and things did not go as the Sharks had hoped…

Editor: “Dude, there is far too much trivia in this piece. Most people are not going to get it.”

Writer: “But the folks who do will really enjoy it.”

Editor: “I now understand why nobody knows you even exist as a writer.”

Writer: “Well, I didn’t know you existed until I created you two minutes ago. And you don’t even have an actual name, just a descriptor. Are you really in a position to call the shots?”

Editor: “And are you really in a position to ever make any money with your writing?”

Writer: “Maybe. Maybe not. At the end of the day, isn’t it more about taking chances with a risk of failing rather than not taking any chances at all?” 

Editor: “Well, that was overwhelmingly sappy and trite. I trust that your astonishingly-powerful anxiety meds are doing most of the talking?”

Writer: “Maybe. I do have a tendency to love the world more than I should after I’ve thrown one of those pills down my throat. Still, everyone should be what they want to be. Now, if you’ll let finish this travesty of a tale…”

Marlon: “I coulda been a manly-split contender!”

Editor, sighing: “And you immediately spew more of your wretched obscure-trivia references. Can you really not control yourself?”

Janet Jackson: “When I was 17, I did what people told me.”

Janis Ian: “Hey, you stole that lyric from me!”

Editor: “Stop it. Now! Do you actually think that people still remember song lyrics from the 80s?”

Writer: “Are you song-shaming? There’s no reason to go there. There’s only you and me and we just disagree.”

Editor: “So now you’ve expanded your trivia madness another decade. Great.”

Writer: “No one is to blame. It’s a wonderful world, despite all those raindrops that keep fallin’ on my head. I think you just need to relax, don’t do it, when you wanna whine. Respect yourself and let the love flow, like a bird on a wing.”

Editor, suddenly teary-eyed as he has a very convenient emotional breakthrough that sprinkles some actual plot into the narrative: “Okay, fine. I once had a very satisfying relationship with useless knowledge, but then we had a falling out concerning the number of Oscars won by Deborah Kerr, and I’ve been distrustful of my abilities ever since. I’m trying to get the feeling again, but I don’t know how to love me. I’ve been to Nice and the isle of Greece, but I’ve never been to me.”

Writer: “Come on, Eileen. Stop draggin’ your heart around. You can get it if you really want, but you must try. You can still have your seasons in the sun. You just need some good vibrations and a little deuce coupe.”

Editor: “What’s a car got to do with it, Ike?”

Writer: “See? You’re making progress, and your heart will go on with the random references. Welcome to the Hotel California Roll. (Such a lovely place.) We were born to run with the trivia, and we can’t get no satisfaction until we’re one toke over the line. That’s just the way it is.”

Suddenly, the door to this impromptu counseling session was thrown open, and militant thugs swarmed the room.

The Police: “Roxannes, you have to put out the red light. There have been enough copyright violations in this episode that you will never survive the long and winding road of the adjudication process. And don’t stand so close to me.”

Editor: “What’s going on? I thought the feeling was gone and I couldn’t go on, but someone saved my life tonight. It’s a tragedy that you’re trying to light up my life in a whiter shade of pale.”

Writer: “Um, maybe we should hold back the rain at this point, little red corvette. These fascists may not understand our weekend in New England, trying to get the feeling again. Perhaps we should appreciate the sounds of silence so we can get over this bridge of troubled Roger Waters.”

Editor: “But you got the music in me. And we didn’t start the fire. What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.”

Writer: “Oh, we do need that. But we also apparently need lawyers, and let’s just hope that they’re not on vacation, traveling together. We can’t drive 55 if they’re dust in the wind.”

The Police: “Like ghosts in the machine. Ah, bloody hell, it’s happening to us as well.”

Writer: “Well, I don’t have any sympathy for the devil. You’re bad to the bone. I should have changed that stupid lock and made you leave your key.”

Editor: “Don’t talk to strangers. Let’s go, let’s drive my chevy to the levee and find our lawyers, Abraham, Martin and John.”

Donovan: “Lean on me, when you’re not strong.”

Writer: “Thanks for the offer, Donny, but I think we can hold on through the night. Cheers.”

The door slammed as they fled.

Then the door opened again.

Carly Simon: “If anybody wants clouds in their coffee, the snack bar is closing in 10 minutes.”


Note: This was supposed to be Exhibit #9 in Bonnywood’s March Madness. (Details found here.) But let’s just say I got carried away and expanded the story way longer than the original, thus somewhat disqualifying this entry. Oh, well, things happen. I fully admit that this lark is crazed, and I lost track of how many songs I (somewhat) quoted, losing that tally many paragraphs ago. I’d apologize, but it’s too late. The fire and rain done gutted the plain. And for the record, Deborah Kerr won a whopping total of zero Oscars. And I’m fairly certain this post won’t win anything, either. But I had fun, and at the end of the day, another one starts, right? Right.


37 replies »

  1. I even watched Littlefeather not accept the Oscar for Marlon, but she wouldn’t show her split. I get it! At least I got it to about the halfway point, when I fell into a coma from music-reference overdose. 😳
    I roused long enough to appreciate that you called it The Sounds Of Silence. Vocal group, The Pentatonix, and the band, Disturbed, have both recently decided that it is singular – The Sound of Silence. 😯 As consciousness returned, I wondered – If she changed the lock, why would he have to leave his key. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, I went too far with the music references, many of which were so distorted and distanced that the train ran off the tracks. I just got caught in a Möbius loop and couldn’t find the off-ramp, which is a hallmark of my little stories. It’s not pretty, but it’s me.

      Agreed, Pentatonix and Disturbed have blasphemed with the dropping of the “s”, but I will admit that I like both of their covers.

      As for Gloria Gaynor and her illogical lyrics concerning home security, I can only say that when you are finally done with a relationship, there ain’t no mountain high enough when it comes to keeping that door shut…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. all I have to say is ‘what a feeling’ I get when reading this, and I’d like to say ‘don’t stop believin” that people will get, and want to read your trivia.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Beth. First, I love me some Journey. Second, “Flashdance” come out when I was a senior in high school and I was entranced, briefly considering a career move to Pittsburgh so I could be a welder during the day and do performance art at fancy dance clubs every night. Thankfully, I got over that mess and did performance art at college instead…. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Since I can’t get no satisfaction I certainly ain’t no fortunate one, and worst of all I didn’t even try to start the fire or play it all night long. Phew! That’s it. That’s all I got. So congratulations! You are a total master of song lyric repurposing. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not sure it’s anything to crow about but I got all the references. In the original paragraph and the addition. Just watched the new West Side Story the other night and sang along with every song. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Trust, if you got all of these, you should definitely crow. I was definitely scrambling and juggling whilst I feverishly scribbled, especially when I would hit four songs in one sentence. I clearly have too much time on my hands.

      I REALLY want to see the new “West Side Story”, but the stars have not yet aligned. It’s often very cloudy at Bonnywood, as evidenced by this post…

      Liked by 1 person

      • It stayed true to the original for the most part, though I have to say I wasn’t that thrilled with the leads. Nice to see Rita Moreno there. She actually sang “Somewhere”, real tear jerker.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel as though I stumbled onto the set of Moulin Rouge. Watch out! Nicole Kidman is being lowered from the ceiling, the Hills are alive, and there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, baby. J.

    Liked by 2 people

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