Past Imperfect – #498

Gary, left: “Is that someone at the door? Are you expecting anyone?”

Ann, right: “Of course not. I have no idea who it is. And I didn’t sleep with the vacuum cleaner salesman.”

Gary: “That seems like a lot of information to share when a simple ‘no’ would have been sufficient.”

Ann: “I’m sorry, dear. I’m just tired and worn out. But it’s not because I spent the entire afternoon letting the salesman show me exactly what all those attachments can do for the lady of the house.”

Gary: “You’re starting to worry me. Should I be concerned that you are denying things that you haven’t been accused of?”

Ann: “No, no concern at all. I’m telling you the absolute truth when I say that I have never slept with another man since we got married.”

Justine: “Excuse me, could I put in a word or two?”

Gary: “Who said that? Is there somebody else in the room?”

Justine: “No, I’m not in the room, because you haven’t opened this damn door yet, you babbling twits. Let me break things down for you, Gary the Slow. Ann is being clever with her phrasing, and so far she has told the truth. But if you replace the word ‘man’ with the word ‘woman’ in all of her statements, then everything she has just said to you is a lie.”

Gary: “Then that would mean…”

Ann: “That I’ve never slept with a man named Justine!”

Justine: “See, she’s doing it again, Gary. Now, before you two jump on the divorce train, could somebody open this door so I can get my sample kit that I left in your now-cold bedroom? I’ve got some other sales calls scheduled on this street full of lonely housewives.” 

Mystical Orb appearing above Gary’s right shoulder (his right, not yours): “Excuse me, but if all of you are done obfuscating, I’d like to interject a few words.”

Justine: “Excuse me, but I am not obfuscating. That won’t happen for another two weeks.”

Orb: “You’re pretty, dear, I’ll give you that, but you might want to read a book or two. I’m not referring to ovulation, I’m referring to… you know what, there’s only so much time in the day, and I’m certainly not in the mood for a vocabulary lesson, so I’ll try another route: Once this little triad is done with the wretched lying, I have a message for all of you.”

Justine: “I’m not lying. I never lie about anything. Well, except for the real reason behind why I woke up one day and decided to sell household implements to women whose households haven’t been implemented in quite some time. If you know what I mean.”

Orb: “I don’t know and I refuse to know, because, well, just.. NO. Let me try a third angle: Justine, you’re the only one who is still babbling, so could you shut the hell up for two seconds?”

Ann, glancing furtively at Gary, muttering: “Justine seems to be talking to someone that isn’t here. Of course, Justine is technically not here, either, standing on the porch as she is and not having sex with me, something I feel compelled to point out, although it does appear that this story is shifting in a direction that is not focused on me, thank the gods. Still and all, I suppose we should be concerned about the disembodied voice. Do you hear it as well?”

Gary: “Interestingly enough, I am hearing it, even though I generally don’t pay attention to anything you have to say because it’s usually not worth it. Why must you insist upon telling me how much lint you removed from the dryer trap on a daily basis? Could anyone ever benefit from such a report?”

Ann: “Well, with an attitude like that, is it any wonder that my fidelity weakened when someone rang the doorbell and offered to make me happy with an electronic device?”

Orb: “People! This is entirely out of hand. Perhaps you’re not aware that the appearance of an orb in one’s domicile is generally perceived as rather dramatic and noteworthy. Yet the three of you are giving me no true significance whatsoever.”

Justine: “That orb bitch seems kinda rude. Not that I can see her. This would probably be a really good time to open this damn door. And I still need my sample kit, so I think everybody wins if you throw the bolt.”

Ann: “And that brings us back around to Gary. If he would only throw the bolt every once in a while, maybe we wouldn’t be in this predicament.”

Gary: “And if you would only do something about that hair of yours that didn’t remind me of-”

Orb: “Silence! I am the spirit of Isadora Duncan!”

Crickets chirp.

Justine: “Well, that’s a bit of letdown. Who the hell is that?”

Ann: “Wasn’t she a dancer or something?”

Gary: “Never ask a Republican about dancing. We pretend like it doesn’t happen.”

Justine: “Wait, I seem to remember reading about this in my ‘Budding Lesbian’ magazine back in the day. Doesn’t the moral of her story have something to do with never wearing long scarves whilst riding in a convertible?”

Ann: “Oh, right. The scarf wrapped around the wheel and the girl got yanked to her death, poor thing. I guess that wheel of fortune didn’t work out.”

Gary: “Never ask a Republican about poor choices. We pretend like it doesn’t happen.”

Isadora Orb: “This really isn’t fair, folks. I worked long and hard in the afterlife to earn enough credits for a vestigial visitation, and when I finally do, I end up visiting the three people on the planet who care the least about me.”

Ann, suddenly feeling a bit maternal: “Sweetie, don’t be blue. We just didn’t realize how important this was for you.”

Gary, suddenly feeling a bit paternal: “Exactly. Isadora, how can we help you?”

Isadora Orb: “Well, if we’re getting right to the point, I’m very invested in learning more about vacuum cleaner attachments. We don’t have any of those where I’m at now. And, of course, I would greatly prefer a vacuum specialist who could show me how to work things on a regular basis, if you get the drift of my scarf.”

Justine, suddenly feeling a bit financial: “Okay, I think this is where I come in. Well, Isadora, I’d love to be there for you, truly, but as I’m sure you’re aware, my commission is based on convincing people to sign up for a long-term installment plan. Which means you need to make regular payments, and I don’t now if they have PayPal in Heaven.”

Isadora Ord: “Oh, honey, I’m not in Heaven. I would think that would be obvious by the fact that I was only wearing a scarf when I was yanked out of that car. And then there’s that whole business of me sleeping with anything that moved. And the fact that I spoke my mind when women weren’t allowed to do so. And… well, let’s just say that I didn’t pass the entrance exam. I’m in that other place.”

Justine: “Really? Well, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I know PayPal works down under, because I have lots of Republican clients there who pretend like it hasn’t happened. Would you like me to sign you up for the frequent-flyers program?”

Isadora Orb: “Actually, no. I’ve done enough random flying in my day. I still can’t get the smell of asphalt out of my hair.”

Previously published, in various incarnations. This version is based on a comment from a previous share, a query from the lovely D. Wallace Peach, who innocently but quite sagely pondered “what’s that glowing orb over Gary’s shoulder?” I accepted the challenge…

18 replies »

    • But the allure of the siren call is hard to ignore on a lonely Wednesday afternoon. Especially when you realize what can be done with that one attachment in the bag that never really made any sense until now…


    • Ohhh! Now everything in my life makes complete sense. Thank you for that.

      Wait, what about that mysterious bottle of Etruscan Salsa that Vivien Leigh bequeathed to Jamie Lee Curtis, with the stipulation that it only be opened if Red Rover finally came over? Now I’m very confused, once again. Oh well, status quo, moving on…

      Liked by 1 person

      • That mysterious bottle of Etruscan Salsa actually contained the Ghost of Carmen Miranda, who was the reincarnation of Russian Empress Catherine the Great and The Venus de Milo. The Metatexual Metaphysics of it are astounding, and can only be understood while looking at Virgil Finlay’s illustrations for Weird Tales Magazine – you will need the proper glasses, reading & drinking.

        Liked by 1 person

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