The Cocktail Bar

Memories of Evenings Past

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NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.


Can We Help Ariadne?

Oh my, I was quite concerned to read Sister Yrsula's latest missive about the financial plight of dear Ariadne. I had no idea that things were so bad. Not that I myself exactly understand all those columns of itsy-bitsy little numbers, after all, we have brunettes to take care of that sort of thing, but I can quite imagine how dreadful it must be to find oneself without means.

We simply cannot allow Ariadne to suffer such hardship. Can't we do something so that the dear girl doesn't have to face a long and bitter winter, without silk stockings, hot toddies, fresh flowers and the other necessary creature comforts? Is there no one here among us with some idea as to how we could help?

JEWEL


As the following communication indicates, the matter may be more serious than we knew.


A Communication from the Bureau of Missing Blondes

A patronette of the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar, a certain Yrsula, recently contacted the bureau regarding the whereabouts of the blonde named Ariadne. This minute to is inform her and any of her brunette acquaintances who may have similar problems with missing blondes, that our staff are not able to offer assistance in such matters without a much more thorough description of the missing individual(s).

Please be aware that the last several months have witnessed a virtual epidemic of missing blondes in the London County Council area, roughly coincident with the opening and rising popularity of the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar. Several nearby hospitals specialising in emotional disorders, including St. Yvyanne's Neuraesthenia Clinic in Kent, have reported disturbing incidents involving lost, abandoned or confused blondes who had just left the said Aphrodite Cocktail Bar. [See this Archive]

Despite severe budgetary constraints, the Bureau has nonetheless established a number of lost blonde claim depots at major railway termini, London Airport and near the main department stores. These depots are furnished with powder rooms and lounges for blondes who have forgotten their destinations and or home addresses and telephone numbers and have arrived at the end of the line bewildered, often in tears. Some are delivered to us by department stores when they are found wandering about after closing times. As soon as a positive identification is made, the brunette mummie, brunette sister or wife, as the case may be, is contacted and the blonde released into her custody.

Based on our experiences, we are convinced that sense of direction -- not to mention the ability to remember addresses and telephone numbers -- is congenitally deficient in many blondes. Identity cards have proven of little value, as they are invariably lost or left in a forgotten or misplaced purse. We have even experimented with titanium identity bracelets, but have not yet been able to design any that meet with most blondes' fashion approval: they either refuse to wear them at all or contrive to get them removed by the rare blonde acquaintance who knows how to use basic tools.

In the case of the above-referenced Ariadne, a description of age, height, weight, eye colour and hair length, style and colour rarely suffices to effect a positive identification. Our staff require additional information regarding general taste in clothing, particularly lingerie, including not only style and colour, but the actual brand names, if known. "Gorgeous silky cream slip with a deep lacy hem" is simply too vague for us to go on. That's almost as useless as telling us that a blonde has five fingers on each hand.

Should Yrsula be able to assist us in our inquiries by providing said additional details, we shall be pleased to pursue the matter.
INSPECTOR VYOLET SARACHILD
BUREAU OF MISSING BLONDES
ARISTASIAN EMBASSY SECURITY DIVISION


New Arrivals

Oooh, how lovely!

The sweet scent of perfume to wash away the ever so tiresome odor of masculinity clouding my every pore! Pardon me, may I sit with you? Now if I may put my bags... just so... There, everything is in order. May I just cross my legs, sitting comfortably to listen in? I'm new here.
CYNTHIA


Paradise Found

How fortunate I am to have found this heavenly place. I'm going to sit atop this barstool, drink in the sights and conversation. Anyone care to join me?


Music Playing: Freda Staire singing "A Fine Romance"

In from the Cold

Well I'm afraid that us Arctic girly-girls are a little overwhelmed by all the fancy talk and finery being so wantonly displayed. Do you mind if I just sit here and sip on a hot chocolate (laced with cognac, please) while I get to know all of you. I have some mighty interesting stories of love and lust under the Northern Lights to entertain you with. I'd be happy to share one in exchange for an escort into the inner sanctum. That's me defrosting over in the corner... Ta Ta
PEGGY


Dorinda Greets Her Friends

Oh, dear! I am just such a buffoon at times! Kora, I was so flustered when mustering up the nerve to invite you for drink, I didn't introduce myself: Hello, I'm Dorinda -- brunette in blue glasses.

Why, Jewel, how charming of you to say so! The new coiffe is quite a change from the waist length hair I left lying in ringlets on Miss Yekaterina's floor.

And I must quickly add that my heart is warmed to see Ellhedrine and Janet reconciled; now all that remains is the delightful stories to be told...
Warmly,
DORINDA


Antipodean Spring-Bunny

I was just passing through on this desperately windy spring day and just had to sit to catch my breath. When oh my! my breath was completely taken away - I do hope you'll excuse me for staring, but I had no idea I might be intruding despite a sense of deja vu - indeed the sense is so overwhelming that I almost think I might swoon - somebody catch me....
HEVELYN


Yrsula to Janet

Good show! (No play on words intended) Now you and I have Sister Athleen in common in addition to our taste in blondes. I was delighted when I learned of your decision to accept my suggestion for consummating your chastisement. You certainly described the Sister Athleen I know (and respect) right down to the chrome watch. If I remember correctly, tardiness in attending one's own punishment usually merits an additional stroke for each thirty seconds en retard, so I do hope you are standing tonight at the bar by choice and not by necessity.

And speaking of blondes, what has become of our own Ariadne? She seems to have dropped right off the edge of Elektraspace without leaving the vaguest trace. I dropped by her flat just yesterday (I had peeked at the St. Yvyanne patient register to find where she lived) and was told she had moved several weeks ago, leaving no forwarding address.

The poor sweet gullible muddle-headed creature was quite destitute -- in fact in debt -- and I am quite concerned for her safety. If any of you pettes have an inkling of her whereabouts, please let me know.

YRSULA


Hevelyn Again

My dears, now that I have caught my breath since stumbling into the cocktail lounge on a wayward breeze, I must just say how pleased I am that this place exists. I must tell mama, when next I write home. At present I'm getting my 'education' and travelling such a long way. I long to meet Miss Right. But then who doesn't? I do confess to needing a bit of assistance though - as I live sooo far away. I would like to find out how I could be invited to the inner sanctum and indeed how to be able to better contribute to the vivacious conversation I hear around me. Alas I am an expert in little, but I am a qualified Psychologist if that is of any use to anyone. ( I won't even charge -tee hee! - as if I would charge!)
Devotedly yours,
HEVELYN, brunette


Music Playing: the Quirinelles singing "Music, Music, Music"

How to Work the Juke Box

I have been wondering about the music in here. It is often so beautifully appropriate. "As Time Goes by" playing while Miss Janet gives play to her Bogart fixation, and just now that very subtle touch "Keep Young and Beautiful", undoubtedly inspired by Jewel's mention of the Marcel wave, since the song contains the lines:

When you're seen anywhere with your hat off
Have a Marcel wave in your hair

Someone around these parts really knows her popular music. Could it be that quiet little blonde behind the bar? Or are some of the patronettes themselves responsible? I noticed the wonderful Quirrie-art-deco juke box in the corner, all chrome and coloured neon. How does one work it, may I ask?
PATRICIA


Well, yes. Virtual juke boxes can be a little tricky until you get the hang of them. You need a virtual shilling piece. If you haven't one, then the simplest thing is to ask the bar-blonde to operate it for you. It has (as you may have noticed, a very full selection of the music of Marychild's Dance Orchestra (from Trent - all brunette except for their vocalist, Lindy Lynne) and The Quirinelles, the pony-tailed blonde vocal group from (you guessed it) Quirinelle; but, being a magic juke box it can play virtually any popular song, provided a) it was not written after 1960 and b) the artists are female. We say virtually, because, of course, no juke box can hold every record, but why not give it a whirl? You are all welcome.


somehow I am feeling very nervous. Its a strange feeling for me, as I usually feel self confident. This environment is new, and I am unsure as to how to proceed. This is my first time here and I have already bookmarked it. I look forward to returning. I hope to be able to enter the inner sanctum soon. Until then, I will read the conversations in the cocktail bar and learn more about how to write so sensually and descriptively. Until next time,
Girly-girl CHANTEL

PS - I am a redhead. We have gotten little mention on this site. Are there any other flame colored beauties among us?


Just to put all you newcomepettes in the piccie, blonde and brunette are not descriptions of hair-colour here, but of sex. In Aristasia blondes are fair-haired and brunettes dark-haired (hair-colour being a secondary sexual characteristic), but among Tellurians of Aristasian leaning, a blonde might be raven-dark and a brunette lemon-gold, and, of course, either might be red-headed. So, dear Chantel, despite your delicious red tresses, you must also decide whether you are blonde or brunette.


Music Playing: Marychild's Dance Orchestra playing "Keep Young and Beautiful"

Anon to Kora

Oh, excuse me, please... uh, hello, Kora? (Eyes turn downward and as faint blush washes over her face.) I... I am delighted to see you. I confess I noticed you here the other day, but I was too shy to say hello. But isn't this place just lovely? Why, it makes me feel as though I could, I could... (She looks down blushing more deeply, smoothing her perfectly-fitted silk tweed skirt over her hip.)..why, I don't know... (She looks boldly through her blue glasses into Kora's eyes and smiles broadly.) Won't you have a drink with me?


My New-Found Friends

Do please excuse my recent absence from the cocktail bar. It would seem that the inclement weather and the heightened emotion from having made your acquaintance took their toll and I have been confined to my bed for the better part of a week with la grippe. Fortunately I have been blessed with a relatively strong constitution for my sex, unlike sweet Ariadne, who despite having suffered such a turn not so long ago, bore the shock with such grace that she most surely has become a role model for other blondes in difficult circumstances.

As always, the cocktail bar reverberates with such sparkling company. I am so excited at the prospect of getting to know you all a little better. Dorinda, darling, your coiffeur is absolutely the last word in brunette chic. I myself have favoured the marcel wave of late, but perhaps something more au courrant is called for. Perhaps you could recommend your stylist?

Miss Divina, let me be the first to welcome you in. As a new girl here myself, I know how thrilled you must be feeling to find yourself in such delightful circumstances. All the more so for one who spends so much time travelling - it must be rare indeed to find yourself in so convivial a situation.

Dear Janet, I should also like to be among the first to extend my hand in friendship. Beneath that tough brunette exterior, I am sure you are a sincere and well-meaning girl, who was merely led astray by one too many cocktails. As it would go against my upbringing to turn down any kind-hearted or well-intentioned offer, perhaps the bartender would be so kind as to mix me a Daiquiri and send it over to the fire, where I shall be waiting. It seems the chills haven't quite abandoned me yet.
JEWEL


Ellhedrine Welcomes Janet

Dear Janet, thank you so much for sending me this lovely drink. Let it be a token that all the past is done with, and you are here reborn. Do come over and see me some time if you want to. I am not a silly nervous blonde and I know that everything is all right now.

What an exciting story you told about your visit to Sister Athleen. Now that winter is drawing on, perhaps we should all tell stories round the fire, things that have happened to us -- or that might have happened to us. I am going to try to think of something.
ELLHEDRINE


Janet Returns to the Fold

Well, here's looking at you, pettes. Actually, it is you who are looking at me. What's the matter, didn't you never see a brunette before?

Alright, I know what you're thinking, only you're all too pretty and polite to ask. "What happened?" You think I'm going to tell you? Well, maybe just an itsy-bitsy bit. Just let me hop onto this bar stool -- and don't you dare look at my petticoats. I'm not a blonde to be ogled. Well, all right, you don't have to look the other way either. A girl likes some admiration.

Very well -- I mean okay -- here's my story, or as much of it as I'm prepared to tell you. And don't start interrupting me on account of my bad grammar. I know grammar same as you do, but I like to get a bit of atmosphere by talking tough.

Okay then. I was offered Miss Barbara's option of spending a day and an evening in nylons with obvious runs (laddered nylons as we say where I come from) as a penance for putting my hand uninvited up young Ellhedrine's skirt. I turned it down (the penance I mean, not the skirt). I'm tough, but I'm not that tough.

The other option was Yrsula's -- to be attended to by Sister Athleen, the head nurse at St. Yvyanne's and an expert disciplinarian. I downed a whisky sour and accepted it.

It took a few days to arrange the assignation. Sister Athleen was just finishing a week of night duty. I offered to go down to the clinic (I kind of wanted to check the joint out after what Ariadne had said about it) but I was told Sister Athleen was coming to London and I should meet her there. I said okay.

It was a foggy evening when I set out. London was London. Not the run-down, gibbering, fluorescent parody of London you'd find in the Pit. Blondes in chic coats, white gloves and hats. Brunettes in wide skirts and perfect lipstick, their faces painted like china dolls. Even a few em-ee-en in bowler hats with furled umbrellas. The cars were all black, tall and curvaceous, like show-blondes in mourning.

I got to the place. It was a respectable, suburban semi-detached. What was I expecting? An opium-den? The lighted windows glowed yellow, promising a haven from the swirling Autumn fog. At any other time they would have looked inviting. But this wasn't any other time.

I knocked on the door. Three times, as arranged. It was opened by a parlour-maid in a crisp black uniform with a starched white apron. The frills of her shoulder straps stood out like two tuck-pleated butterflies against the suburban wallpaper. I had the feeling she would have opened the door just the same if I'd knocked four times or even five. But the proprieties have to be observed. If I'd remembered that a few days ago, through a haze of Fountains of Youth, I wouldn't be here now. But I hadn't. And I was.

"Come in, miss," said the maid. Ordinary words. You can hear them any day from any maid in any house in any street in this city or any other. Ordinary words, but to me they were heavy with significance. I looked at the maid, trying to remember something out of long ago. Wondering if she knew, or guessed, what I was here for. Wondering if her black stocking-tops showed when she bent down to dust the low places. Or did she? What did she know about low places? She looked like a pretty classy maid to me. She probably had girls under her to do the dirty work. I watched her and wondered.

"Well, come in, miss and stop letting the fog in," she said.

Was it the fog they wanted to keep out, or the prying eyes of -- of whom? In that fog nobody could see anything much, so I guessed it must be the fog itself. Funny -- that's what the maid said.

I was shown into a long room. It looked like a study with a desk at the end. Behind the desk sat Sister Athleen, devastatingly neat in her nurse's uniform. Not a hair out of place. Everything about her was starched from her apron to her voice and the chrome watch pinned above her left breast might have regulated the movements of the heavens. I sensed that when Sister Athleen was in charge everything was on time to the second and in place to the inch. On the desk in front of her was a long, slender cane in a rich dark colour with a crook handle.

"You are Janet, I take it," she said.

"That's right, Sister."

She lifted her watch with her right hand and looked down at it. "You are two minutes and twenty seconds late," she said.

Well, pettes, I said I'd tell you as much as I was prepared to, and that's as much. I think I'll stand at the bar for my next drink. These stools put a lot of pressure on the tender places. I'll say this for Sister Athleen. She's an expert all right.

Jewel, may I buy you a drink? And barmaid, send one over to Ellhedrine, if you would, with my compliments. JANET


Misses Miss Each Other

Thank you for both the seat and the message. I'm so pleased to find that where I expected rebuke I found a gracious welcome! I do recall seeing you the other day. I fear that my attire then was most out of character. I was ever so eager to allay my curiosity (indeed, thank you); in borrowed things that barely...well, I suppose you remember me as well. I was a sight, to be sure!

And then to return with chastened dress and demeanor and receive this most delightful intelligence--what a pity to have missed Dorinda here.

Of course I'm intrigued! Describe her, please, perhaps I can remember her.
KORA


Helvetia to Kat Woman

Kat Woman, you look utterly it in that Kadorian (1940s) hairstyle and that long purple dress slit so deeply up the side, with your elegantly painted lips, and - goodness! that whip (a Kat'o'nine-tails?). What does a blonde want with a whip? But I suppose it is all part of your costume. Anyway, you invited some one to invite you to dance, and I am some one, and I am invited, and you are invited. Shall we dance?
HELVETIA


A Tap on the Shoulder

May I sit Pette?

On moonlights waters,
Dost you transcend.
Unto the hearts of others,
Oh goddess heaven-sent.
Aphrodite.

Mine heart been lost,
I beseech your love.
Please lover returnest from yon loft,
Soft turtle dove.

From a lonely Nippon Amber-Brunette,
MELANIE


Kat Woman Walks In

I'm a beautiful blonde who is new here. Is there a brunette who would like to escort me for an evening of dancing? KAT WOMAN


A New Brunette

Petals

I was just breezing by when the scent of fading lavender mingled with rich rum chanced upon my nostrils and drew me so irresistibly to the inviting violet hue of this rather amusing bar. Goodness how gorgeous you all are! I must confess that find my senses pleasured by all that I see here. What a honour to be in such delightful and enticing company! My travels are many and it's not so often that one finds such an astonishing show of beauty, dash and polish. Exquisite, really, quite exquisite! I do believe that more than a splash of fun could be had here. I'm not about to make loud gestures, but I'm sure that the classic cut of my velvet breeches and the quality silk of my stockings will divulge a little of myself to any onlookers who may have cast a fleeting glance over here. Darlings, I feel tonight will indeed be fun, mines a velvet touch, if you would be so kind, Bar tender.
DIVINA DIVINE


Jewel Plucks up the Courage

I've been flitting by the cocktail bar for quite some time now, hoping that one of you stunning brunettes might possibly escort me in. But I understand there has been a spot of bother lately with one of quite bold a nature, and anyway my impetuousness just got the better of me and I had to come in and experience the ambience for myself.

What can I say? Except the frisson I am now feeling is almost too much (but not quite, dear hearts) Thank heavens for cocktails, don't you think - so steadying for one's nerves - although I must confess that I've nearly ripped my darling little paper umbrella to shreds in all the excitement.

The cocktail bar is divine. Why didn't I find you sooner?

JEWEL


So glad you did come in. Jewel. May we buy you a drink and congratulate you on your courage. I say, move up you pettes, there is a delightful blonde here who needs a seat. It is a little crowded at the moment, dear, but do make yourself at home.


Dorinda Recovers from the Rigours

Hello, all. I'm just back from an ever so dreadful day... I felt the need for your charming company. Tell me, dears (she said, emboldened), have you happened to catch sight of that impetteuous and crashingly brunette Kora? I should like to see if she would allow me to buy her a drink, and perhaps we could chat about life and lipstick.

Orlando and Sasha, you dance beautifully together! Don't you just love the waltz? It is just like champagne in the way it makes your head spin and your body all tingly, as if the bubbles were rising against your skin--divine!

DORINDA, smartly bobbed brunette


Les Femmes Americaines

Greetings. We are two American femmes., who e enjoy drinking caffe, reading about captivating, romantic and empowered women, and occasionally practicing the waltz. When we dance, as a brunette and a blonde, under candelabras and upon crimson carpet, we feel the sensual caress of breasts encased in black velvet corsets, or ankles covered in sable stockings. Our pulses quicken, and the ice melts.
ORLANDO and SASHA


Hildegaard Pops In

Please forgive my appearance - I have been spending the day shopping, and I must have walked the length of Main Street in search of somewhere cosy and bright to enjoy a cocktail or two before heading home. If a kind lady would direct me to the powder room, I would like to refresh myself before sitting down...
HILDEGAARD (blonde)


Katalina Introduces Herself

My dear ladies,
What enchanting company you all are. As I sip my marguerita I listen to your dulcet tones and imagine the stars are bright tonight, even though the clouds are thickening in the sky.

I would certainly love to come to your darling Christmas party, and time is drawing near.

I will now continue mulling over my marguerita, and allow another charming lady to speak.

Yours in petticoats,
KATALINA


Another Embarrassing Question

Gracious Aristasians, I do hope you will forgive my brazen brunette manner, but being more impetuous than patient, I am compelled to ask. Oh dear, how am I to broach this? Well, let us suppose that a new brunette arrived, and that she, though feeling a bit foreign (perhaps we could imagine that she was from the states, and lived the northern woods), was elated by the discovery of this supremely fetching community. Suppose that this brunette were to have caught sight of (oh, her heart is skipping), well another brunette who captured her fancy with her own bold inquisitive manner. (Of course that positively rapturous bais-cut velvet gown was a terribly distracting; especially the way the soft and heavy material clung to the curve of her hip, with the slightest hint of suspender expressing itself there.) Well, my dears, whatever should she do? How is she to know if this brunette likes other brunettes?
In a quandary,
DORINDA


Actually, this question is not all that embarrassing. In Aristasia there is not really a clearly defined class of brunettes who like other brunettes. Most brunettes appreciate their own sex at times, and a certain amount of flirting (and even kissing) goes on between the same sex, both among blondes and brunettes. I don't think any brunette would think you - I mean, your hypothetical brunette - odd for being attracted to her. She would tend to be flattered even if she did not reciprocate.


Mary to Polyhymnia

Dear Polyhymnia,
Yes, do come and sit with me. I do not mind at all your looking at my ancles (do you mind if I spell them "ancles" as dear Jane Austen does? I find that orthography somehow exquisite). In Arcadia where I come from, stockinged ancles are considered quite as daring as stocking-tops here in Trent and Quirinelle, and I confess that your seeing mine makes me blush from head to toe with a hot, rushing sensation; but the feeling is really rather agreeable. What a thrilling and dizzying place this is!

Dear Polyhymnia, would you be so very kind as to buy me a drink. I do not know, I confess a great deal about cocktails. What do you think a blonde might like?
MARY


Dorinda Comes In

My dearest sisters, I am captivated by your conversation! Here I am, simply lost in the rugged northern woods... well, you can imagine my rapture to have stepped gingerly into your company. First, the enchantment of meeting Miss Marianne, and now I have discovered (or rather, the blessed Goddesses have allowed me to) your gracious community. (And I must confess that, though I know not fully of her transgression, Miss Janet has quickened my breath.) Then, as if I needed any further provocation to introduce myself, I see someone who's name is ever-so-close to mine! I, too, am a D. Bright and I would be honored if you all would call me.
DORINDA (Brunette)


Harasina Says Hello

Dearest Pettes,
I have been reading over past conversations for quite some time this evening. This is my first visit to your enchantingly charming haunt, and I believe I have found myself a new home, I hope to be welcomed. I am young and inexperienced in the worlds of undergarments and cocktail bars, and am looking for some guidance and friendship...I will be visiting again soon, but I fear that it is getting to be past my bedtime.
Lovingly
the young HARASINA


Welcome, Harasina. Do not forget to tell us what sex you are (you look blonde to me, but it is hard to be sure in this light)


Unidentified Femme Object

Hi, can I sit next to you. I'm new here and very confused. Do you like leggy Blondes?


As Winter Approaches

Hello to all. I have been wondering as winter approaches what I shall do? This year I got really used to lazing around in the sun and relaxing on the deck with my friends. As a blonde I like the attention I can get while mixing out in the world during the good weather. Lately when I go into the city to shop, and browse, I'll been putting on two piece suits, with skirt and jacket and a crisp top. Underneath it my favorites of late have been creamy tap pants and chemise with lace edges. None the less, I feel that autumn is turning into winter & I will have to spend more time in doors. I am hoping that someone will join me, but no such luck of late. Tell me if you have any suggestion for winter plans, fun, or activities.
Wondering,
OPHELIA


Tap pants? We've heard of tap shoes. Is that what you mean? In England there are some winter events coming up, including a pre Christmas cocktail party (interested girls in England should let us know if they would like to come). Here in Elektraspace we shall have to think about decorating the Cocktail Bar with holly and tinsel, but we don't like to do it too soon. Once December starts we shall be serving hot rum punch at the Bar at threepence ha'penny.


ADD YOUR COMMENT TO THE CONVERSATION

Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.
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