Past Imperfect – #242

“The only thing that can possibly explain this scene is the now-empty enormous coffee cup in the lower right…”

Suddenly, someone stomped into my home office. I cannot name this person because said person is one of those family members who does not care to be mentioned in my stories. I’d give this person a pseudonym, but I’m one of those family members who gets a little miffed when stomping family members get sand in their crack for no reason, and me giving Person a clever pseudonym felt like undeserved validation at this point. (If you don’t like me writing about the things you do right in front of me, then stop doing things right in front of me. What part do you not get about me being an observational writer?)

Person apparently did not get any of the parts about being a writer, despite my fingers being poised above a keyboard as incense burned and Billie Holiday warbled in the background. “What are you doing?”

Me: “I’m writing. Because I do that. Would you like to borrow my dictionary?”

Person: “Then stop it. Right now.”

Me: “Okay, lots of rebuttals come to mind, but we’ll start with this: Why are you in my house? You don’t live here. I thought you were out of the country, doing fake charity work where you pose for three minutes with the one homeless person in a country that otherwise features exotic nude beaches where you can loll about all freebird, fisting martinis once the photo-op is done.”

Person: “I sense a lot of bitterness.”

Me: “I sense a lot of misdirection.”

Person: “Okay, fine. I was on the beach in St. Tropez when I got the text that you were about to use a photo that you absolutely should not use in your latest batch of lies and innuendo on that horrid website you have.”

Me: “Wait, you got a text? From whom? The cat?” (I glanced around the room until I spied Scotch the Cat ensconced on one end of a nearby couch, giving off that aura cats have where you don’t know if they want to kill you or if they are simply biding their time until the next treat-dispersal cycle. Hmm.)

Person: “I cannot reveal my sources without undermining society as we know it. Suffice it to say that the text was received and I immediately ran from the beach to a private plane piloted by someone I did not sleep with at that time, so keep that in mind when you attempt to weave your mendacious blog post.”

Me: “You’re fresh from the beach, then? So, you really do have sand in your crack. I love the smell of literary devices made flesh in the morning.”

Person: “I’m not following you. Just like your blog.”

Me: “It doesn’t matter. I’m tired and there’s only so much time in the day, a quote that I use as a footer on all my emails. Let’s cut to why I shouldn’t use this photo.”

Person: “Are you really that insipid? In your weak attempt at caffeine whimsy, you are apparently unaware that this photo is documentation from a time when matrimonial arrangements in our family were decided by fisticuffs between the matriarchs. Mrs. Freud, on the left, is trying to prevent her daughter from marrying the son of Mrs. Slip, on the right. They both fought valiantly, but in the end the judging officials called it a draw, and the marriage was allowed to transpire, even though the families continue to battle until this very day. Long story short, you wouldn’t have been born if the conjugation had been deemed verboten.”

Me: “Wait. You’re saying that our very existence is the result of an unresolved Freudian Slip?”

Person: “Yes! You can’t let this word get out or I will never get to sleep with the hunky pilot who transported my sandy crack across the Atlantic. His family has at least minimal standards, unlike ours. You simply cannot focus more shame on our branch of the family tree by publishing this post.”

Me: “The hell I can’t.”


Two seconds later, the phone rings.

Me: “Hello?”

Mom: “I’m thinking this is a good time to discuss my bequeathing options.”

Me: “I’m sorry, you’ve got the wrong number.”

Mom: “That only works in St. Tropez. Sit your ass down and listen to me…”

Previously published in “Crusty Pie” and “Bonnywood Manor”. No changes made for this post. The “Pie” version merely consisted of the first line. The “Manor” version, as in the above, clearly shows that I went far beyond the concept of “let’s spruce this one up a bit”.

High School Guidance Counselor, circa 1981: “Brian, why can’t you just let things be? Where is this urge to over-compensate coming from? I sense some unresolved childhood issues.”

Me: “Ya think? What was your first clue?”

Counselor: “Your birth certificate.”

16 replies »

  1. That’s not a coffee cup; it’s a chamber pot. Although why it’s all breezes and birds is a mystery. But then again, so are those hats. The back-in-the-day prize fighters were both stylish and adroit, something we don’t understand any more. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Whatever that thing is, it’s not right and should not exist. (Just like most of my stories, come to think of it, but we’ll save further contemplation of such for another day.)

      But yes, although I’m not a fan of pugilism, folks used to have some degree of style and decorum about them, back in the day. In modern society, most folks don’t have any sense of either, no matter what they are doing… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! After all, if we can’t play with our words, what ARE we going to play with? At our age, the list is very limited. Words, creative ways to extend our limited budgets, and the order in which we take our daily medications. That’s about it… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. But your quote just reminded me of another story, buried in the archives. Hang on whilst I run track it down. I left a nice cheese-and-olive tray on the counter, should you get a bit peckish before my return…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. From the cat perspective ‘treat-dispersal’ is the aptest phrase, Lol. Those two biddies with their bloomers all in a twist should just call it a draw. (Old joke; ‘You shall not grasp so easily through my slip.’) Yes, very dated but so are the pugilistic old biddy’s and their seconds.

    Liked by 3 people

    • As my partner is fond of saying, if cats knew how to open a can of cat food, they would rise up and decimate the humans. True story.

      The Biddies and Seconds ARE dated but, as Lynette points out, at least they had some sense of style. The modern concepts of spat-resolution, aka “drive-by shootings” and whatnot, are clearly lacking in their originality and delivery…

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh, my goodness.
    That school guidance counselor just might have been on to something with the birth certificate. So factual. So totally devoid of emotion or shaming behavior.
    Too funny, Brian!
    Have a great weekend – a pox be upon that person for messing with Freudian slips.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, I’m sure Scotch did an extensive amount of social-media damage to both my reputation and familial relations. (He was just that way, always up to something.) But since he’s moved on to another version of what we all are, his social-media imprint has faded a little. But not entirely, and I hope it never completely does…

      Liked by 3 people

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