Friday, 4 October 2013
I was Marie Antoinette with my hair done up so high I couldn't lean over in case I toppled and fell. A little bird who had a nest in my hair flew out and said: Think less of your hair or you’ll lose your head, and I thought, what does a little bird know about fashionable coiffure.
One day I was in my boudoir and a servant rushed in, all flustered and
wild-eyed and I glared at her and shouted: How dare you enter my boudoir, what do you want? and she said: Your Majesty, the peasants are revolting, and I said: I know they’re revolting, they’ve always been revolting, which I thought was quite witty so I made a mental note to remember it to tell Louis, and the servant, who looked nervous, said: They say they have no bread, and I said: Give them some cake, which I thought was very kind of me because I was rather fond of cake but due to my expanding waistline I decided to eat less of it and the servant ran off, and I settled down to having my hair powdered and built up even higher when suddenly this band of cut-throats calling themselves revolutionaries crashed into my room and I shouted: Guard! Guard! but no guards came because the cut-throats had cut all their throats, and there was one of the guards, a Captain Ferson, who often told me witty things which made me laugh and I hoped his throat hadn't been cut.
Marie Antoinette, you're under arrest, said the mean-eyed leader, and he looked at my hairdresser Léonard, and said: Now you can be free, Vive la révolution, and he left. Then Louis and I were taken from Versailles and put in the Tuileries which was cold and damp, and most inconsiderate because it was hunting season and Louis could imagine the forest and all the handsome stags he could be hunting and he sulked because he missed charging along on his charger. So Louis and his secretary worked out an ingenious plan; escape! I thought, how exciting! and they told me I would have to change my hair style. I refused and Louis said if I didn’t I would be recognized and we’d be captured and brought back to Paris and I said: The people love me and if they recognize me they will remember the cake I gave them and they will shower me with rose petals and direct us on our way. So off we went and we left the palace in our carriage and trundled through
France and no one cheered because
they were all asleep because it was in the morning, and I said: Where are we going? and Louis said: Montmédy, I've already told you, and he sounded awfully grumpy and
I said: No need to be so rude, and I
sniffled for a bit with my handkerchief but he didn't seem to notice, then I
got bored and asked: Are we there yet?
Then another band of cut-throats stopped our carriage and we were taken back to
Paris, and I was so frightened when the carriage was stopped I wet myself and called:
Louis Louis, which apparently was
later turned into a song by the Kingsmen but I didn’t know that at the time,
though in fact king’s men were what we most needed, and we were thrown in
prison. I have never seen anything so filthy and disgusting in my life and I
said to Louis: Whatever have things come
to when our servants are taken from us? and he said: I told you to change your hairstyle but would you listen? no, not you. Which wasn't
true, I did listen, I just didn't do it. I couldn't. And I cried, why should I
get the blame for the predicament we were in, and then they came and took us
out to the Place Louis XV and I saw madame guillotine and I thought my God
they’re going to chop my head off and I wet myself (which was horrible because
in the 18th century we didn't have Tena pads) and I had to climb the steps of
the scaffold and all the crowd shouting: Death
to the Queen, Death to the Queen, and I thought, if only I
hadn't married Louis and then I thought, no, I've been happy with him and not
many people have years of happiness in their lives, some only have a few weeks
of happiness and all the rest is misery. Then, distracted by fear, I inadvertently
stepped on the executioners foot. Sorry, I
said, I did not mean to do that, and he
made me lie down with my head over this filthy piece of wood all bloodstained
and I saw a cockroach and I wanted to scream but my throat was paralysed and I
heard the blade sliding, then clunk my head rolled away from my body and my
eyes looked at the blood gushing from my neck and a little bird flew out of my
hair and hovered and said: So now you decide
to do something about your hair.
Stars in Cars
Here we are in Beverly Hills for the thirteenth Stars in Cars extravaganza. And it's Brad Pitt in the lead in his Ferrari. Secretly hidden in the driver’s cabin is his wife, Angelina. At the moment she’s on her knees looking after his gearstick.
“What’s it like to be in the lead?”
“Well, I don’t want to sound big headed but I’m used to being in the lead. For me it’s normal.”
“That’s good to know. Thank you Brad.”
Let’s leave Mr Bighead as he roars off when his wife changes gear. Oops, I think he just said sorry for a slip with his fuel injection. So who’s behind Brad? It’s the gorgeous Linda Evangelista.
“How’re you doing Linda?”
Ooh, she’s very serious, concentrating on her driving.
“Do you think you’ll catch Brad, Linda?”
“Anyone with a nice ass can catch him.”
“No, I mean in your car.”
“Oh, I see. Of course I can. He’s useless if he hasn’t got Angelina to steer him round corners.”
“She’s in the car with him now.”
“That’s against the rules.”
“Are you going to tell anyone? ”
“No, I’m not a tell-tale. What’s she doing in there?”
“Moving his gearstick.”
“Will that pair stop at nothing. I’ll get them.”
Wow, she roars off in a cloud of smoke.
Ah, here comes Rita Hayworth.
“Whatcha driving Rita?”
“A Lincoln Continental.”
“It’s a big car.”
“I’m a big star and a big star needs a big car.”
“Do you think you can win?”
“I don’t know about win, but I’m sure gonna push that little tart Jolie off the track.”
“You know about her?”
“I saw her squeeze into his car and hide. Cheap hussy.”
“Not something you’d do?”
“Not so people’d notice.”
Now, that’s what you call glamour.
Oh, it’s Minnie Driver racing towards us at 200 kilometres an hour. Oh no, she’s hit the safety barrier. She turned to smile at a photographer, and now she’s flying up in the air.
“Whoa, Minnie, what did you think you were doing?”
“I never look good in profile, so I turned to give my best view, and lost control.”
“That was silly Minnie.”
“You can say that again.”
“What will you do now?”
“I’m just hoping I don’t land on anything spikey and get impaled. ”
Oh no, she plonked on a spiky aerial and got impaled. Poor Minnie, obviously not living up to the family name.
So it's Brad still in the lead and Rita is gaining on Linda, it will be close for second.
And even though Minnie is dangling like a kebab on a skewer the race goes on.
Here comes Marlon Brando.
“Why are you driving a Ford, Marlon? ”
“Ahm doin fah soo looky maaam.”
“Aam droon frah soaky loki maan.”
You’d’ve thought he’d’ve learnt to speak proper by now. My, here’s Al Jolson.”
“Mammy, how I love yuh.”
“Is that the only song you know?”
“How I love yuh, how I love yuh.”
“Yeah, tell that to Minnie.”
“Mah dear ole mammy.”
“Gotta let you go. And do something about your make-up.”
“Steve McQueen. You’re looking good in your Jaguar. Is that a race car?”
“Well, yeah, I guessed it was fast. So how come you’re so far behind?”
“I gave them a head start.”
“You think you’ll win?”
“Of course I’ll win. I always win.”
“You lost Ali MacGraw. Ooh, that’s a nasty look Steve. You know Marilyn Monroe’s behind you?”
Oh no, he turned to look, she smiled, and his Jaguar X120 has gone somersaulting down the track.
“Hi Marilyn. Nice car.”
“It’s British. Curvy like me.”
“Can you win?”
“I don’t care much for winning, I just wanna get myself seen.”
“You’re looking good.”
“Why thank you.”
“You know you’ve got Brad Pitt lapping you?”
“Well, there’s nothing like being lapped to keep a girl happy.”
“Hey Brad, it's Marilyn.”
Oops, Angie’s head suddenly appears with Brad’s gearstick clenched in her teeth. Mahwiline, she mumbles and Mr Bighead, seemingly in pain, smashes into a safety barrier.
“Hey, it’s George Bush.”
“Whatcha doin’ in the race, George?”
“I’m in a race? I don’t think so. I'm looking for a game of golf.”
“You must have taken a wrong turning.”
“I’d better turn back.”
Oh my God. He smashed into Charlize Theron. Oh this is terrible. Both cars in a ball of flame. Not only 9/11 and New Orleans, but killing Charlize as well. George, you’re such an idiot.
What's this! Linda’s stopped for a photo shoot.
“What are you doing Linda.”
“I see my favourite photographer, so I stop.”
Well, she's out of the race.
Let’s see who’s winning. It's Marilyn just ahead of Rita.
“What happened to Al, Rita?”
“I shot his tyres out.”
“That wasn’t very nice.”
“He wasn’t very nice. He gives a bad name to gollywogs.”
“Can you beat Marilyn?”
“If I don’t I'll sure be a good second.”
And it’s Marilyn in the lead. Oh no, she’s putting on lipstick. And Rita wins by headlight.
“Marilyn, why did you put on lipstick? You could have won.”
“But I couldn’t be seen with smudgy lips.”
“Well done Rita, how’s it feel to be on top?”
“My favourite position.”
“Pretty dangerous race.”
“I like danger.”
Well that’s it for Stars in Cars 2012. Be sure to tune in next year for more crashes and gossip.
Published in The Minetta Review June 21st, 2013
Samantha Memi, Spitfire Ace
Pilot Cadet Memi entered the Commander’s office, marched to the desk, saluted, stamped her foot and kicked herself in the ankle. It really hurt but, being brave, she didn’t flinch.
The Commander, Old Squinty as he was known, looked at her over the top of his glasses.
“You’re a disgrace, Memi, an absolute disgrace. When you scramble to fight Germans you don’t abandon your squadron and fly back to base.”
“It started raining, sah!”
“I’d left my washing out, sah!”
“My favourite lingerie, sah!”
Old squinty turned red, then purple.
“You’re here to fight Germans. Not flounce around in lingerie. If your father wasn’t Air Chief Marshall I’d have you thrown out. You’re a disgrace. Now get out of my office.”
“Don’t keep saying sah!”
When Pilot Cadet Memi left HQ she heard the wail of the scramble siren and saw all the other pilots running to the airfield. She ran to her plane, clambered in and strapped herself into the seat. She checked her lipstick in her mirror, and noticed something that shook her to the very core of her being – a dreadful hair growing out of her chin. What on earth was happening? She’d never had these sort of problems before. She had no tweezers with her. Whatever would she do if she got shot down and all the land girls ran to rescue her. She’d have to remember to keep her chin covered up. How silly to have a uniform with lots of pockets and no tweezers as standard issue.
The mechanic shouted, “Chocks away!” She thought he meant someone had some chocolates, so she leaned out of the cockpit and asked politely, “Can I have a praline, please?”
“Get this plane moving!”
So Memi trundled the plane along the runway and followed the others into the sky. She was surprised they allowed her to fly a Spitfire, especially as she came here for a job as a secretary. They obviously considered that, as her father was Lord Chief Right Honourable Air Lord Memi, she should be given more responsibility. Which was fine, except she wasn’t very good at flying.
Once she was in the air the worries about her chin came back to her. She felt the hair on her chin. My god, it was huge. It had grown an inch just while the plane took off. Her headphones crackled, and she flinched from the noise.
“Bandits ahead. Ten o’clock.”
She checked her watch. Half past two. She could never understand why everyone got the time wrong when they were flying. All the other planes veered off to the left, so she followed them. Weeee, she liked this bit, although sometimes they went too fast and it made her feel queasy. Then the planes started shooting their guns. It was so noisy. She whirled her plane round and searched for a Messerschmitt to shoot at.
What if she shot a plane down and it was a good looking German pilot. Everyone said all the Germans were evil, but before the war, she had been friends with a German and he was gorgeous. When he went home she was heartbroken. What if she shot down a gorgeous pilot and he survived; she could go and see him in hospital and say, ‘Sorry I shot you down. Maybe I could take you out for dinner to show I didn’t mean it’. And he’d look up from his hospital bed, see her hairy chin, and shout, ‘Aaaaargh!’
She’d have to get this hair out. She squeezed it tight between her thumb and forefinger and pulled hard. Her hand slipped and smashed into the steering wheel thingy and the plane went into a spin. Oops, she didn’t even have time to check if her chin was smooth before she saw a German plane straight in front of her. She wanted to honk the horn, get out of the way, but her plane didn’t have a horn to honk. She crashed into the German just as she thought it would be a good idea to bail out.
As she floated down in her parachute she wondered if the German pilot had done the same. They could float down together, and he would smile at her, glad to be out of the war, and shout, Ich liebe dich. She’d smile back. And when they landed she’d take him prisoner and ask for him to be assigned as her personal servant. As she was imagining him feeding her grapes she crashed into a tree.
When she awoke she saw a nurse leaning over her.
“How are we feeling?” asked the nurse.
“I don’t know about you,” said Memi, “but I’ve got a bit of a headache.”
“Your Commander is here to see you.”
Memi turned to see Old Squinty. He was smiling, but it was more like a grimace.
“Pilot Cadet Memi, I have pleasure in informing you that you have been promoted to Pilot Officer, and your outstanding bravery, which saved the life of your Squadron Leader and downed the German ace Hans Schicklgruber, is to be rewarded with the Distinguished Flying Medal.”
“Oh,” said Memi, “I saved the Leader?”
“The German was on his tail and he was a sitting duck till you swung into the Messerschmitt and chopped off his wing.”
“And the German?”
“He’s a prisoner.”
“Is he married?”
“I’m afraid I don’t know.”
Pilot first class Memi went to see Hans Schicklgruber, but he was old and wrinkly and not really her type. She was a bit disappointed.
Once she’d recovered from her injuries, she bought some very nice tweezers and returned to her RAF camp to continue flying. She never shot down any planes, nor did she meet her German Mr Right. But she did survive the war and had a medal to prove her bravery. Now she sits with her grandchildren and tells them tall tales of how she won the war.
Published by Every Day Fiction, December 12, 2011
The Tale of Pregnant Tinkerbelle
Everyone was shocked when they heard Tinkerbelle was six days gone and had got so heavy she couldn't fly. Who could have done it, everyone asked, but Tinkerbelle wasn't telling. So no one knew.
That isn't true. I knew, and in this Declaration I swear I will tell the truth of the matter.
Well, first let me tell you, Tinkerbelle was no virgin. I don’t mean she was on the streets, strutting her stuff every night, that wasn't her way, but she’s had more than a few fun partners in her life. I just want to make that clear: I'm not saying she was a slut, just that she was not a virgin – and her not married neither. Well, I don’t know how to put this, but when she was doing – you know, the naughty – she couldn't do it lying down. Her wings got in the way. So she always did it doggie style. She preferred beetles who found wings sexy. But her favourite partner, was Gerald the grasshopper. While he was pumping away he’d stroke her wings gently. They’d regularly meet in the woods where they would give each other a good seeing to. But Gerald isn't the father of her unborn baby.
I know all this may seem a bit, ‘what’s this got to do with the story’ but I'm just setting the scene to let you know what Tinkerbelle was like. Most people think fairies are all sweetness and light, and Tinkerbelle could be like that, but she had a darker side. I think she was a bit bipolar. I remember once at a party, I was with my husband, we're very well regarded ladybirds in our local meadow, although he prefers to be called a Lady boy, which I think is a bit perverse, and Tinkerbelle was there, high on coke and smack and shagging everyone in sight. I’m sorry I have to use that word but that’s what she was doing, and I have to tell the truth. She had no shame at all. And with everyone watching as well.
Anyway, the baby, yes, whose is it. Well, she'd had a row with Gerald, he couldn't get it up one day and she went berserk, called him every name under the sun. I mean, he's only a little grasshopper. So she stormed off and flew into the forest. Now, in the forest are a bunch of goblins and they can be so naughty. I know for certain they’re at the centre of drug smuggling, money-laundering, prostitution with underage butterflies that a few hours before were still caterpillars. I mean these guys are disgusting. So they caught Tinkerbelle and gang raped her. When she came out of the forest she was shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. But that wasn't what got her pregnant, no, but I just wanted to point out that she could have escaped being treated like that. She could have avoided going into the forest in the first place which is what anyone sensible would have done. And even if she did go in the forest she could have avoided the goblins, then she would have been safe. I think she wanted to get gang banged to make Gerald jealous. That’s what she was like.
Well I have to explain my reasons for writing this and telling the truth about the nature of Tinkerbelle and how she seduces insects no matter how low class they are. And that’s what she did with my husband, I don’t mean he's low class because he’s not. He's from one of the best ladybird families around. But Tinkerbelle seduced him, she used her fairy wiles on him, and that’s how she got pregnant. It wasn't his fault. You can see what sort of fairy she is. Her baby could be anybody's. It all happened when I was out for a fly around. She went to see my husband, drugged him and seduced him in order to have a ladybird baby. My poor husband – he was so shocked. If I could take her to the Fairy Court I would, but ladybirds aren't recognized, so I'll have to find some other way to show polite society what she is really like. And that’s what I will do. Cheapskate harlot. As you have already observed from my honest and truthful account Tinkerbelle is no sweet ‘honey wouldn't melt in my mouth’ innocent little fairy. No. She would make the whore of Babylon blush, whereas my husband, well I can truthfully say that there has never been a more honest and upright insect ever. He couldn't break a rule or fly in the face of custom. His weakness is to always want to help others in need. So obviously when Tinkerbelle had her way with him for – you know – the dirty thing – he was unable not to oblige and, in so doing, brought such disgrace on our family that I had to settle down and write a right and truthful chronicle of events for your most worshipful lordship judges of The Forest Court, so you would understand the predicament my hubby was in and not look upon him as a perv and banish him from Highbury Fields. All I want to do is clear our family name, and free my husband from malicious gossip. I bear no ill will against Tinkerbelle, even if she is a whore.
Written down by Alexander Beetle for the Forest Court (Petition no. 346TY782B2)
Signed X, for Samantha Memistopheles, Five Spot Ladybird of Lavender Meadow
Published in Danse Macabre, August 15, 2011
Love the One You're With
“Oh no, darling,” Mrs G said to her millionaire husband, “I couldn't possibly give birth to a child. All that distortion. And I have such a beautiful tummy. The maid will have to have it instead.”
So Hiram C. Grant went off with the maid and they had three children. And the ex-Mrs Grant grew fat and grumpy till she got too old to have children and blamed her ex-husband for her loneliness.
Published in Postcard Shorts, September 22, 2011
The Possum Who Coodled My Snook
“Hey Samantha,” said a possum. “How yuh doin’?”
“Okay,” I replied, “but somehow I feel there’s something missing in my life.”
“I bet your snook hasn’t been coodled,” he said.
“I don’t suppose it has,” I replied. “I don’t know what it is or how it’s done.”
And he took hold of my snook – which I’ll refrain from describing because I want this to be a family story – and then he coodled it, and I won't describe that either for the same reason.
Afterwards I felt much better, more relaxed, happier.
“Feeling better,” he asked.
“Much,” I answered. “Thank you,” and I whistled all day which annoyed my daughter when she came home from school.