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.


A Barkeep's Tactical Defenses

So I see from today's Morning Letter that the slinky brunette who showed up in that unspeakably shocking red car yesterday evening was none other than the notorious Tattling Mereline, she who so unerringly captures the real spirit and ambiance of Aristasian night-spots. (I have heard that the District Governess' top staff peruse Miss fi'Amala's column every morning with the liveliest interest, taking copious notes.) But the Aphrodite Cocktail bar a rum sort of place? (Well, it is true that the cleaning staff found any number of, um, rent garments stuffed under seat cushions or into the sconces.) But if Miss fi'Amala prefers to meet sailorettes and lorry-drivers, perhaps she should try the Emerald Flagon on the other side of town, down by the harbour. I dare say a dainty creature like she would never reach the relative safety of the bar, brunette though she is, 'specially since I hear HMS Candre just came to port after being at sea for eight months. She'd go down like a dismasted schooner in a gale. Tonight I am particularly glad to see Hieronyma, our six-foot tall Amazonian bouncer (brunette) quietly sipping her White Lady (milk on the rocks) at Table one, right next to the door. (Hieronmya's all legs, if you must know, so she has a special way of concealing her height under the table and can actually seem quite inconspicuous. But when she stands, she looks like a telescope being extended). Hieronyma eats cheeky teenypoppers for breakfast, teenypoppers like that spotty "Toffee" Merinsie. What am I doing when I go off, indeed! Dash of whizzums, indeed! I see that she and her five gum-popping chumettes think they are supposed to be enjoying that squirt of cod liver oil I shook into their soda-floats, which, they doubtless believe, is the real thing. Look! Each is trying to smile more bravely than her companions --Toffee's grin appears quite tetanic. Well, at least these teenypoppers have got their vitamins! I do love to give children wholesome, nourishing fare, my maternal good deed for today. Well, after last night I have come to appreciate Miss Heatherington's wisdom in uniforms -- my billowy milk-maidy attire is actually rather protective -- sort of like cat's whiskers, if you know what I mean, or sort of like crinoline armour. There is almost no chance that even the most skilled brunette hands can discover my real whereabouts before my whereabouts have suddenly moved those few critical inches, accompanied by a small squeal, a "La!" and a giggle. It has become a rather routine dance-step by now: no need to embarrass patronettes, after all. That way they tip me just as if they had really hit the cow's-eye.

ARIADNE


Tale of Four Blondes -- Part III

So the long, black Lincoln, the Cunard-White Star company car, shot uptown into Gotham afternoon traffic. Savoring the limousine's unaccustomed luxury, me and Rosie instinctively snuggled our shoulders and backs (and derrieres) into its deeply-upholstered plush seats, all soft as moleskin, (and the same color, too), with fat armrests that pulled down from the back. We ran our fingers over the plush and over the bright, chromium window fittings and over the polished walnut-burl panels lining the doors. Rosie sat on the left, me on the right, heads turned away from each other while we watched Kadorian Gotham slipping noiselessly by as we glided eastwards along 57th towards the River. There seemed an acre of seat between us. We neither one had spoken a word since Elaine had closed the door behind us back at the pier, both of us lost in our own deep, brown study, each wondering what tomorrow's bus trip might bring.

Suddenly, as if on cue, we turned, saw a familiar glint in the other's eye, the familiar little triumphant smirk on the lips -- held the glance for a few moments in silent suspension, smirks spreading, then we burst out in identical laughs of girlish glee. "Could you believe that brunette, Trudy?" Rosie asked? "Do you think she's on the level?" (Us Gotham blondes always seem to harbor little kernels of doubt just as a matter of habit, even when our intuition tells us there is absolutely nothing to worry about.) I told Rosie not to give it a second thought and phrased it in standard Gotham English: ten-to-one Elaine was the Genuine Article, the Real McCoy, I told her. It would be hard not to come out ahead with odds like that. Then all our hopes and fears came rushing out in torrents, each of us talking over the other. The driver knew just where we lived; he parked out in front, sprang round and opened our door, saw us to the entryway of our building, gave us a smart Cunard-White Star salute then was gone, having said only, "Ladies," a one-word declaration, like a formal bow, only verbal, if you know what I mean.

So Rosie and me went upstairs and packed right away -- it took us only about five minutes to stuff two blondes' meager belongings into our battered little round valise, a light blue one, with the cracked mirror inside its top. Elaine had told us to pack light, but she needn't have -- that was the only way we could pack. We set the valise near the door then went out for burgers and cole slaw at the White Castle over on Lexington -- the White Castle where a girl could eat a not-very-good meal for eighty-five cents, but White Castle burgers filled our tummies just the same as a very good dinner, and, besides, White Castle was all we had dough for. On the way out, I slipped a little note under the super's door, saying we would be gone for two months, but we'd mail in the rent. We were already paid up for June. Now neither Rosie nor me had even been very far from Gotham -- sure, a couple of years ago we took a bus down to Atlantic City for a weekend: we thought Atlantic City was really the sticks. That was the only weekend either one of us ever spent outside of Gotham. So taking a bus trip to a place we had never heard of seemed quite a daring adventure.

So we stayed up all night chattering like schoolgirls, wondering what to expect, what Elaine meant about finding everything we needed in New Kadoria, worrying a bit about being so far from Gotham, and talking about girly-girl details like whether there would be lots of brunettes there. So we slept until ten, used up our last bread, bacon and eggs, fixed our hair, put on our faces, grabbed the blue valise on the way out the door and found the black Lincoln waiting for us at the curb. It was 1:15. The same driver took the valise from my hand, saw us safely nestled in back then drove us off westwards across town. Because of lunch-time traffic and crowds, it took a whole hour to arrive at the new Greyhound Terminal on West 34th. The driver conducted us to Bay Number 12, where sleek, art-neo bus stood, engine softly thrumming, a stainless steel bus with metallic green trim around the raked-back windows. It looked like a miniature version of the swell, up-to-date locomotive that pulls the Twentieth Century Limited, and the sign up front, at the top, said SPECIAL. Our driver handed us each the slim white travel folder embossed with the Cunard White-Star emblem, stowed our tiny valise in the luggage rack for us, wished us a pleasant journey, touched the brim of his peaked cap with two fingers, said "Ladies," again, (this time with an actual bow) then left us.

But this was no ordinary bus, even aside from its sleek, art-neo design. First of all, the bus driver, standing beside the open door of the bus as the passengers boarded, wasn't a chap, not even a brunette, but a blonde, though rather a serious-looking one, incongruously competent-looking. Second, though she was smartly uniformed in gray worsted with scarlet piping, skirt slightly flared, golden tresses neatly tucked up under her cap, the silver badge on her cap didn't read "Greyhound", but rather, "Culverian Tours." The blonde collected our tickets and we boarded the bus. Then came our biggest surprise -- all the other passengers were blondes, craning their necks and bobbing their heads side-to-side to see who it was who had boarded, and we recognized some of our friends -- Doris and Gladys and Agnes and Hannah and Charlene -- and a dozen others whom we did not know. We excitedly exchanged hugs and kisses with our friends, emitting mutual little squeals of delight, all of us talking at once about who else might be coming (only four more blondes boarded, but they were strangers) and where we were actually heading. At precisely 2:30, our driver, whose name turned out to be Betty, boarded the bus, climbed into the driver's seat, (while professionally guarding her skirt in the process, allowing not even the teensiest glimpse of lacy hem), cried, "All aboard," pulled the door closed with a lever and we were off. Betty drove straight across on 34th to the new West Side elevated highway, then uptown to 179th, where we crossed the George Washington Bridge into Jersey. Toll was a quarter, but, for buses, a dollar. We were immersed the whole way in that warm, sparkling haze of feminine chatter punctuated by the occasional silvery peal of blonde laughter, that inimitable silvery laughter one hears only when blondes are with blondes -- light, high and innocent, no sign of the often-feigned sophistication that sometimes creeps in when there may brunettes within earshot. So Agnes and Hannah, also roommates together, who were sitting across the aisle from Rosie and I, told us that they had met a couple of unusually charming, out-of-town brunettes that past week, who had given them tickets and fifty dollars traveling money. The other blondes had similar stories, with a common thread running though all of certain mysterious (and unusually elegant) out-of-town brunettes who had given them tickets. But not one us had the slightest idea of where New Kadoria was: Betty was maddeningly vague and evasive whenever we asked her ("Oh, it's just up the road a bit," or "What's to tell? It's just like any other west Jersey town, honey -- sort of.")

Now, you must understand that for Gotham girls, Jersey is the Far West USA, so Rosie and me took it for granted to find ourselves passing through small towns and farmland not thirty minutes after the bridge. Rosie was already keeping her eyes peeled for Indians, but I told the little silly we needed to cross the Mississippi River first, which was probably just around the corner somewhere, just past the Rocky Mountains, or just before them, perhaps. They were coming right up in a couple of miles, I figured. But instead of the Rockies, we found ourselves climbing a windy road into the Poconos in the New Jersey wilderness. The Poconos are famous mountains, but they are probably only just hills, because there was no snow on them, and mountains are supposed to have snow. Anyhow, they were just tall enough for their tops to be covered with fluffy white clouds, but when we got up into the clouds it was really pretty dense fog, so dense, in fact, that Betty pulled off the road at a turn-out and announced it might be smart to wait until the fog blew off. She got several picnic hampers out of the luggage compartment, filled with sandwiches, fresh fruit, cookies and thermos bottles of coffee and tea, so we all had a late lunch on the bus. It had gotten quite chilly up there in the clouds, so Betty left the engine running and turned on the heat. Conversation gradually slackened, laughter faded to soft giggles as we all become groggy and we finally napped, a busload of Gotham blondes and a blonde bus driver named Betty.

To be continued....


KIKI COMES to TOWN

by The Morning Letter's Star Reporterette Mereline fi'Amala

I have just heard the legendary, mythical and generally proverbial Kiki lia Caerelinde. Proverbial? Oh yes. And the proverb is: people who live in china shops shouldn't sing like Miss Caerelinde. It does seem to create a disturbance. Of course, we have all heard of the goings-on in West Quirinelle: blondes rending their garments, shrieking and falling into faints. But then West Quirinelle is West Quirinelle. So when I heard she was going to perform at the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar, not two miles from my doorstep (a mere two minutes in my red fin-tailed Sepharella, traffic and constabels permitting), I didn't know quite what to expect. To be fearfully honest, I'm not a great fancier of popular singers, but I am rather keen on seeing blondes rending their garments and screaming and falling into faints. Well, actually I have never see any do it before tonight, but it certainly sounded like entertainment to me. So off I whizzed to the Aphrodite, pausing only to collect two hundred lines for speeding from our friendly local constabel. She needn't think I'll be buying tickets for the Policepette's Ball this year. So let me tell you about this Aphrodite Cocktail Bar. It's a rum sort of place, which I suppose is better than being a gin joint. It's - well the only way I can describe it is translucent. It exists half in Maryhill, East Quirinelle and half in a place called Elektraspace, which is - well, if you don't know what it is, I'm not going to tell you. Much too complicated. So the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar, apart from being translucent (it looks fairly normal from the inside - at least until the barmaid Ariadne has given you a few Pink Ladies) is rather a swish sort of place. That sort of Quirrie bar that makes you think you're over the border in trent with all the sophisticettes. Black satin and clever chit-chat, and girls from places you've never heard of, because Elektraspace is - well I already haven't told you what Elektraspace is, so I won't not tell you again. That's what the Aphrodite was like, and to some extent it still is. At the bar itself you still find all those sleek pettes, and the ravishing bar-blonde, Ariadne who moves so neatly that giving her a little pinch is like getting the brass ring on the merry-go-round. A few brunettes claim to have done it, but it was always yesterday or tomorrow. I've never seen it. So what has changed? Well, by the door, as soon as I came in, I saw a group of five pettes who looked as if their collective age would only add up to mine on one of my more mendacious days. Three of them were the dizziest blondes you ever saw, chewing gum ever-so-delicate-like in a way that seemed to suggest unnameable things, and the other two were - well, I used to think I was a rough brunette, but one of these young wolves actually pinched me. They were the sort that carry a spare lipstick in their stocking-tops, and not to rouge their lips with. Was that the only thing that was different? Yes, it was, if you multiply it by a hundred or so. you could hardly move for these juviepops. Apparently it's been getting worse every night for about a week and a half. But tonight word had got round that Kiki was actually coming. So I fought my way to the bar, getting a few more pinches en jolly old route. I can't imagine what would have happened if I'd been a blonde. I certainly shouldn't have been able to sit on my stool when I found it.

To be continued. . .


A Request from One of Our - er - Younger Brunettes to Ariadne

Hey, blondie! Yes, you - who did you think? Six double soda-floats please, with a dash of whizzums, if you know what I mean. And blondie, what are you doing when you go off tonight. I know it's not till three. Prime of the evening, so what are you doing.

"TOFFEE" MERINSIE


Ramona Grows in Wisdom

Why my dears! I am quite overwhelmed! I may need more glasses. Barbi, sweetipops, do calm down. Your coiffure is perfectly charming, your gown divine, and you look beautiful in it. I understand that life in the Pit can be trying and confusing, and Heaven knows I sympathize with your confusion. When the world has gone mad, in whom can we trust? You are obviously a good girl, as I have always tried to be, and deferring to the better authority of those who are supposed to be your superiors, those who have seen more and done more and should be able to counsel you, is part of the very essence of goodness. In a sane, healthy society, such behavior ensures that the proper mores are passed along from generation to generation simply and effectively. But when the social order is turned on its head, and the instant gratification of the basest of our senses is deemed to be the ultimate goal, such counsel can wreak havoc in the lives of the innocent and trusting. We want to be good, we want to please, but what has become pleasing is simply too harsh for us. Girls today are presented with a picture of a universe in which people are ruled by their passions, and eschew any attempt at stability, solvency or grounding; for even "passion" is translated to mean a temporary bodily function: a few minutes of sensation which ought to be considered greater in value than a lifetime of rational happiness. It's extraordinary. But there it is. And here, thank heaven, are we.

And my dear Manuela, I am simply enchanted by your conversation. You are too perceptive: your intelligent, may I say worldly repartee does tug ever so gently at that tiny blonde kernel somewhere at the center of my being. However, I know you will understand that my small, secret anima is very dear to me, and also terribly fragile. I have learned through hard experience to guard it jealously, and cannot easily let down that guard, however enchanting the supplicant. Besides, I like being a brunette. And my dear, you are the farthest thing from a party-poop that I can imagine. (Don't let those naughty youngsters dancing in the corner give you the feeling that your classic style and well-modulated erudition are behind the times. They are only young.) No one here would dream of plying you with drink, if you'd rather not have any, tho' it is jolly good! Finally, Ariadne, do keep talking. I have sorely missed the bewitching sweetness of your conversation. And if Miss Heatherington gets angry, I will take full responsibility. But how could she object? The cheer and joie de vivre of a girl as radiant as you is more soothing than any balm to a weary traveler. Fill our ears with whatever comes into your distractingly pretty head. And by all means pour yourself a glass as well, if you're allowed. When does Miss Caerelinde go on? I have never seen her perform.

RAMONA 



Miss Caerelinde comes on quite shortly. Perhaps we have publicised her a little too far in advance, but please be patient - every one - just a little longer. You won't be disappointed. Thank you for your wise words, dear Ramona. You render the Nameless Sagettes of the Cocktail Bar quite redundant. 
Music Playing, The Quirinelles singing: "Summertime"


Trentish Pettes and Pit-Pulchritude

Sweetipops here, my delightful darlings! My most attractive Amy, thank you for noticing my Trentish bob coiffure! The thirties were the golden age of radiant femininity for me. I mean what can compare with some of the displays of positively ravishing, but innocent, feminine form and spirit that infuses so much of the cinema of that era? Why, even "King Kong", an otherwise boring, immature speculation on feminine power, was brought to luscious life by blonde Fay Wray, splendidly stunning, and chastely thrilling, particularly after she was stripped her down to her silk undergarments by the wild beast (a brunettish thing to do?). Not to imply that there is anything awry with Quirinelle fashions... it's just, well, everyone to their own taste, I always say. Anyway, returning to my hair style (it's so easy to be distracted when the company you are keeping is so ravishing at every turn!), I had it done by, I almost hate to admit it, a local bongo hairdresser whose charms were so attractive to me only a few weeks ago that I am somewhat ashamed to even mention her to you, especially in the midst of such polite company as I always find here... but, let me say... Elektraspace has begun to have a powerful effect on the way I see the denizens of the Pit where I still live. I'll tell you about her if you promise not to hold my former attraction to her against me...Yes?...thank you, my patient and pretty pettes, I knew that you would be understanding. Let me be honest and begin by pointing out that none of what I am about to describe really seemed to bother me at the time, but... it's different, now. Well, when I had this cut done, at her home rather than the salon (a money saving gesture, I must admit), she was wearing a pair of jeans that were so tight that you could clearly see the outline of her...her...I don't know what's come over me... I can't say the word that I would have used only a few weeks ago! Well, let's see... you could clearly see the shape of the cleft of her...well...you understand, don't you? Of course you do! Well, I'm glad to be past that part! She was also wearing a snug, crop topped T-shirt without any supporting undergarments on underneath it. Emblazoned on the front of the T-shirt were words to the effect that a certain necessary, but better left unremarked in polite pette company, bodily function "happens." Her banter about the tribulations of various late 20th Century daytime talk shows guests was vulgar in a typically post-Eclipse manner, filled with unashamed, epithetical references to heterosexual copulation, ubiquitously punctuated by exclamations of "you know," all of this delivered between chews on a succession of pieces of gum.

I can see the shocked look in your eyes, my disconcerted darlings...was your Barbi so debauched that she was attracted to what I now cautiously recognize as a gross caricature of a "liberated" female? What can I say in my defense? Precious little, but...the languorous look of her eyes, the sensuous shape of her full, darkly colored lips, the radiant color of her cheeks, the voluptuous flare of her hips, the whispered-breath nearness of her unsupported bust as she leaned close to my trembling lips to complete a cut here, touch it up there...well...I was so enchanted by her superficial beauty, and...remember...I had not yet discovered Elektraspace and its unexpected treasures of innocence and femininity...that I did indeed find her...attractive and exciting. Even now, my delicate darlings, I hate to admit it (but there is truth in beauty, and beauty in truth), I find myself still occasionally enticed by the pulchritude of the Pit; after all, it's all that I have known! It's so hard to give up what you are familiar with and replace it with a mystery! There it is. I just had to tell you. I hope that I have not offended any of you priceless pettes. I certainly never intended any such thing. If I have, I beg your most gracious indulgence. Now, before I quit (I hope that I haven't ruined my chances, but...here goes), that I would like to say to the romantic and utterly charming Ramona, that, should Manuela part company with you for any reason, I would be delighted to accept your invitation to spend a little time next to your scintillating self if I knew for sure that I was a blonde, since it seems that you are seeking blonde company. Physically, I am a blonde, but I think that there is more to blondeness in Aristasia than having blonde hair. La! Did I say that? Dear me...what a surprise! Maybe it's just that you are so enchanting in that gorgeous green gown, green being so lovely on a brunette, you know, just as I think that lavender (did you notice that my dress is lavender?) is so heavenly on a blonde, and I don't know quite how to accept your tantalizing request for blonde company unless I am a blonde like you want which I don't know. I am a relative newcomer to the Cocktail Bar, and, Elektraspace itself, for that matter, but I think that I feel just like you did...right at home...more, actually, because home was never like this! La! Again! I feel so confused and awkward...perhaps my anonymous councilorette would help me understand all of this...

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered, I remain your

BARBI 



Understand sweetipops? Who can understand these things? But you know, coming into Aristasian atmosphere is not exactly like being re-born. I mean. you don't feel like a little baby. But what you often do feel like is an adolescent, full of surging, confusing emotions and crowding life pulling in all directions at once. Because, gosh, one is coming to life, and like an adolescent, standing on the verge of life, with all its wonders and mysteries. Maybe it's like discovering, literally, a new dimension to life - like stepping out of a two-dimensional universe into a three dimensional one. Bewildering, exciting, startling, inexplicable, but above all, rich and full. 
Music Playing: The Quirinelles singing "Vaya con Dia"


The Barkeep's Warning

Oh, I have been to silent to long, pettes! After all, a barkeep should not hob-nob to much with the customers, or so Miss Heatherington, the manageress, has told me on several occasions. Why, I was dismissed from my last position as manicurist (in Exeter) for chatting to much while buffing pettes' nails! (At the Aphrodite Bar one is not dismissed except as the ultimate sanction: Miss Heatherington keeps a very special small leather strap under the bar, just out of sight and she knows how to use it for lesser offenses. But its her day off >Tee-hee<) I simply must speak up. J-j-just a mome, though, patronettes first! Oh, Miss Ramona, your magnum is chilled now. Shall I bring it over? How many glasses shall I bring, Miss? Miss Manuela, your Blushing Maiden is ready (I left out the rum this time, just as you ordered). Vanessa will bring it over to you. And here's another Grasshopper for Miss Amy. (her sixth? Well, its none of my business, is it? She's still standing.) Vanessa, be a sweetie, bring it along with Manuela's order, would you? There! Now I can speak up. La! Things are getting rather hot and heavy in the Cocktail Bar these days. Miss Heatherington needs to hire another girl, I should think, just to mix drinks. Over there in the back, right next to the Wurlitzer we have the quite possibly underage pony-tail crowd, swirling their skirts and flaunting their, um, not-very-understated undies. The South Sallyfield Kiki Fan Club have arrived in force and are stamping their feet! I am thinking of calling Hieronyma, our six-foot blonde bouncer (the one from Amazonia) if they get any more strident! And Miss Jeannie! Dea forfend! I am just mortified to hear the first circle of the Secret Places virtually named in mixed company! And under cover of going to church, no less! Why, we are practically getting back to the Good Old Cocktail Bar Days of Andrea and her riskay lingerie mania, for instants. Perhaps we should just set up the Wildfire Girls' lingerie counter right here in the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar and have a little old femme fashion show! High heels and, um, well, ask Miss Jeannie what else. Golliwogs, pettes, what ever happened to feminine modesty? What has happened to our high-flown Aristasian theories of feminine eroticism? You know, the less shown, the more promised, the better. I mean, when one gets down to actually naming the M***s V*****s and other intimmit parts of a girl that a good girl never mentions, (except perhaps to her blonde mummie and only when she has a very special need to do so), well, where will it all end? I thought the management were pledged to protect tender blonde ears from such shocking langwage! Are they asleep once again at the switch? If we are not careful, my dears, the District Governess may pay you a visit, then you all shall be standing at the bar for the next week or so! Don't say you werent warned by a girl who has already sampled her, um, gubernatorial directives, um, first-hand. Oh, I say, pettes, hush! Don't look right now, but when you can, take a discreet gander at that cool brunette who just slipped in the door, the one with the hat pulled down over one eye, the one wearing a Quirrie trenchcoat, who looks a bit like Veronica Lake. Mum's the word! Be careful!

ARIADNE


Manuela to Ramona

Why, Miss Ramona, I thought you'd never ask! I am delighted to join you there in your cosy corner with that flock of blondes you have gathered around you in the wink of an eye. I daresay, you've almost completely disappeared behind that largeish bottle of Moette. Never mind me forgoing the bubbly, I'm quite satisfied with these non-alcoholic concoctions Ariadne seems to take a rather suspicious pleasure in devising. Ooh, bless you, dear! Must be the season. Let me get rid of this bouquet for you, we don't want a runny nose and bleary eyes, now do we? So, how about we leave these charming girls to their gossip about Kiki, and have a chat, shall we say between one brunette and, uhm, another? No, doll, never mind those photo's, some things are indeed best left unseen. You must know, I'm ever so thrilled that after all those transformations you should finally come into your own. Yet somehow I can't escape the feeling that there is a definite blonde lurking beneath that accomplished coiffure of yours. In my ramblings earlier on fond memories got the better of me, but what I actually wanted to say was that things can be so confusing when you're young. Particularly when the world around you forces you to view things other than you feel they are, or could be. During one of the last of my corrective sessions with my revered mistress (I had pulled faces at Frau Oberst) I cried out in anguish that I never ever wanted to grow into a woman. I didn't like my hair, I abhorred wearing skirts: I wanted to be a man, to be able to wear breeches all day long and most importantly, I wanted to be hers! A pitiful declaration of love, surely, but Love nevertheless. And at this point we can safely trust Miss Winsloe's accuracy in every detail, because the woman who was supposed to be my teacher, mind you, turned white as chalk and told me in an even voice that such words were best left unsaid between us. And left it at that! Imagine, she simply left me dangling in those breeches. Later on in life I have been left dangling on many occasions, but, how to put it discretely, that took place under rather different circumstances. In these bountiful adventures and encounters with Blondes en Brunettes a like, I have been taught a thing or two. And, yet, I have to own up to still occasionally being somewhat befuddled. Don't you agree we are ever so fortunate to have finally arrived at Elektraspace, where that is not something to be ashamed of, but met with the most heartrending charm and understanding. Well, let's face it, Elisabeth von Bernburg, in spite of her severe femininity (garters and all, I should know), was too pit-bound to know what really is important in a girl's life. So, ravishing Ramona, please don't worry your possibly blond little head about not having touched at your most feminine self yet. Don't you think we should do whatever our sweet little hearts tell us to, since we are good girls essentially, and who knows, we might find ourselves at the be beginning of yet another beautiful persona? Perhaps you are right, I should try some of that sparkling stuff. I am such a partypoop, and this simply is not the place for it.

MANUELA


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