Past Imperfect – #505

Detective: “Do you know why we called you down to the station?”

Woman: “I have no idea. Is this something to do with the parking tickets? I really did mean to pay them, but I get distracted easily. I lived in Montana for a while and that messes you up a little bit.

Detective: “Yes, it says that here in your file.”

Woman: “I have a file? How did I get a file?”

Detective: “Well, you must have done something at some point. We’re too busy around here to create files on people unless there’s a reason to do so. This isn’t the FBI.”

Woman: “The FBI? How did the FBI become involved? I’m feeling really flushed right now and I might have to do something frantic in the near future.”

Detective. “I didn’t say the FBI was involved, I merely said… that’s really not the point. The point is that I’m investigating The Case of the Maltese Falcon and you have been identified as a suspect.”

Woman: “The Maltese Falcon? That sounds vaguely familiar, and it reminds me of the word ‘dashing’ for some reason, but other than that I have no idea what you’re talking about. What happened to this falcon?”

Detective: “So you’re aware that something happened to the falcon?”

Woman: “I’m assuming something did. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a case, correct? That still doesn’t explain why I’m here. Is this the point where I need to hire a down-on-his-luck lawyer who suddenly redeems himself by dramatically saving me in court and we eventually get married and have a rather swell life in Connecticut?”

Detective: “That doesn’t happen in real life. That only happens in the movies.”

Woman: “And that’s why I want to be in them.”

Detective: “The movies? Are you an actress?”

Woman: “Well, not exactly. Right now I’m a hat model.”

Detective: “So you do admit to wearing hats?”

Woman: “Of course I do. As if my rather-fetching mugshot doesn’t make that very clear. Are you sure that you didn’t live in Montana as well?”

Detective: “Very funny. Almost as funny as the fact that you are wearing incriminating evidence on your head.”

Woman: “I’m doing nothing of the sort. Wait, perhaps you could flesh out the details of your statement. Another thing I’ve learned from the movies is that the screenwriters will create absurd plot developments that don’t make any sense but work perfectly with a Max Steiner score.”

Detective: “We have several eyewitnesses who spotted you leaving the Tramp Tower at the very second that the Maltese Falcon went missing. Would you care to flesh out those details?”

Woman: “The Tramp Tower? Why, there are thousands of people who go to the Tramp Tower every day. Are you interviewing all of them?”

Detective: “We don’t need to. You’re the only one who left the tower sporting a dead bird.”

Woman: “That’s a baseless accusation. Wait, did I say that right?”

Detective: “Perhaps you should look at your mugshot again.”

Woman: “Oh. Oh! How on earth did that get there? Is this the missing Maltese Falcon?”

Detective: “Well, it was. The falcon has moved on to the aviary in the sky. And I’d like you to tell me how and why you helped it fly away home.”

Woman: “I’m at a loss. It’s very possible that I may have done something without really thinking it through. I have a tendency to do that. Can I call my best friend? She was with me at the time and she takes much better notes. Her name is Ethel.”

Detective: “Yes, we already have Ethel in the next room. But before I run fetch her, I need you to state your name for the record. This conversation is being recorded.”

Woman: “Recorded? You know how to record things?”

Detective: “Of course I do. It’s part of the job. And I run a nightclub on the side, where we often record the show and send the tapes to Hollywood, hoping for a big break.”

Woman: “Can I be in your show? Please? It’s all I’ve ever wanted, to be in a show.”

Detective: “We can talk about that some other time. Just state your name, please.”

Woman: “Lucille Ball.”

Detective: “Wonderful. Now, I’ll just run get Ethel so we can-”

Lucille: “And what’s your name?”

Detective, pausing, then: “It’s Ricky. But my name is not important. I’m just here so the other three people in the sitcom can use me as a setup for their jokes.”


P.S. Yes, Lucille Ball was actually a hat model for Hattie Carnegie, beginning in 1928. And now you know…


18 replies »

  1. Gosh, I’d be more inclined to buy the eyelashes and lipstick (or lippy as we often call it in Australia) than the hat because, as you so beautifully pointed out, it looks remarkably like a dead bird. Thanks for more about Lucy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I firmly believe that I was put on this earth to cast random trivia far and wide. Now, as for the “lippy” term, that’s the same word my partner uses. This might mean that he’s actually Australian and he’s been hiding something from me for 17 years. This would not surprise me in the least… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • I completely trust you. It’s just like the first time I landed on your blog and thought “THIS is the sister that my parents meant to create, not the annoying pest residing in the bedroom next to mine”…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That feather in her hat is a sign of a successful business woman, not an empty orange nest( “metaphorical political reference with air quotes”).

    You have to be bigley rich ( like a yuge hill of magic beans ) to afford a case of Maltese Falcon. Made with penot noir grapes, it has a light feathery tang on the tongue and a blackout at the far back of the throat. Best served with a red headed fem fatale . You may suffer a blackout, but you will never forget Paris once you are plastered. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment makes it very clear that you have spent an enormous amount of time doing intensive scholarly research (including sampling the grapes and feathers in the various valleys of France) in order to grasp all of the elusive finer points of Lucy Ricardo sporting mistreated fowl on her cabeza. This is magic and golden. And since you don’t want to forget Paris, plastered or otherwise, I take this as a sign that you simply must read my book. About Paris. (Shameless plug, semi-artfully inserted.) Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A pearl. How sweet of you to present this on what might be a rather dull Sunday morning. Oh who am I fooling? BWAHAHAHHAHHAHA (and the next time Trivial Pursuit is played and I’m included, I’ll KNOW that Lucille Ball was a hat model. Take that! *snicker* )

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.