The Cocktail Bar

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

I can't believe I'm doing this. I'm spending the night at my girlfriend and her husbands house. He showed me how to get on the internet and I found the site that will make me buy a computer. I didn't think this was possible!? thank you.
RENEA

What is a Drawing Room?

A drawing room is not a room for drawing in, but for withdrawing to. It is short, originally for withdrawing room. In my country, where dinner is a great ritual that begins with cocktails (or among more traditional people, sherry) at 5, and then by dressing before the Rite Proper begins, there comes a time, much later, all courses having been consumed, when the blondes withdraw from the table to the drawing room, leaving the brunettes to their ruby havena (the decanter passed always to the left) and their elegant scented cigarettes.

 It is an excellent arrangement, for while the pleasures of mixed company are enjoyed for most of the evening, a period is ensured in which the brunettes can talk about brunette things and the blondes about blonde ones. It is always the leading blonde's prerogative to initiate this move, and in more traditional houses not only does a blonde never smoke (a few blonde blushes at the Cocktail Bar, I fancy), but the brunettes should never smoke while the blondes are present, for fear of offending their sensitive little noses.

 I have heard of a great brunette wit in Arcadia, Ola Ferala, who talked so wonderfully after dinner that the blondes quite forgot to withdraw. They sat together so long that the great oil lamps began to gutter, and at last a blonde said to the wit:

 "Oh, Miss Ferala, that lamp is smoking"

 To which Miss Ferala replied with a sigh: "Happy lamp."

What brunettes do when the blondes have withdrawn, I have, of course, never seen for myself. They talk of those things brunettes talk of when blondes are not present. Mostly things too boring and businessy for blonde ears, I think, though sometimes jokes that are a bit naughty - though probably not even remotely naughty by Pit standards.

Blondes are terribly cosy in the drawing room. We have coffee, and sometimes a little rose-aramani (though only a little, because it goes to your head like anything after wine) and we can chatter and giggle about all the little things brunettes would think silly.

Just as it is the blondes' privilege to withdraw, it is one of the senior brunettes who must make the ritual proposal: "Shall we join the blondes?" And then the brunettes come in, delicately scented with sweet Novacairen smoke and a breath of old Havana, and the maids give them coffee so elegantly, for they too are part of the ritual dance, and the conversation is always a touch different in character from the earlier conversation at table. Somehow it has that delicious late-night feeling.

Well, the drawing room is used during the day of course - not for withdrawing - but it takes its name from its great ritual function in that High Rite of the Hestia which we call dinner.
MERELINE


The Blonde Film

Hello to all of you pettes in the Cocktail Bar, though I can't see if many of you are here, for recently I have broken my spectacles and must rely only on my hearing, and from the sound of this place -- which just a few weeks ago was a beehive of excitement and activity -- there isn't a single sweet soul sitting atop a single bar stool.

 Well, to get things shaking again, I thought I would let all of you sweet cinema-goers who have recently watched that lovely film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes read a little Elektra-debate between Miss Bland, Miss di Naxos, and Miss Trent. You see, Miss di Naxos is taking a course through Elektraspace from Miss Bland (who is a university lecturer). Miss Trent, you see, is the dean of the university where Miss Bland teaches. Enjoy it all and let the rest of the girls know what you think about the film!
 
 

MISS di NAXOS:

The difference in the movements of the two women is absolutely striking. Miss Russell is far more restrained in her motions -- she clearly has joints, moves within a much narrower range, a more constrained amplitude. Miss Monroe, on the other hand, appears jointless and undulates flawlessly like some form of sea life, an anemone perhaps, or like the fronds of some sea plant stirred by gentle, to-and-fro tidal currents. Were she to be depicted as Machine Art, she would be an assembly of frictionless bearings. But why should I repeat, in new words, what I wrote to Miss Trent just a few hours ago, before having received your letter? This is what I wrote:
"It is quite difficult to watch anything else when Miss Monroe is on the screen. She is so liquid in her movements one wonders whether she really has any joints or bones, wonders how she remains standing. And her lips and eyelids have the same, unusual fluid motion. Her whole presence conveys an impression of continual melting , softness and surrender, but she never dissolves, just keeps endlessly melting. You need to see how she moves her eyelids -- it is as unusual a motion as the strange undulations Miss Bette Davis displays in Of Human Bondage. A unique personal signature, as it were, that no other girl can hope to forge."
Driving home today from the office, I was pondering how to discuss brunette and blonde archetypes in the film. And again, we are very much on the same wavelength, I think. The key is not to be found in the characters as created by the screenwriters in Hollywood, not in the costumes nor in the direction. The screen characters as written (as opposed to the God-given personae of the actresses) are where the contradictions are found. Miss Lee is a calculating, rather hard- hearted person, a realist, very practical, conceives and executes detailed plans, deliberately displays false emotions as a matter of habit, seems to have human love for no person, uses her physical beauty as a tool to get men to do what she wants (or as a weapon to keep them from doing what she does not want) -- all despite her being "the blonde". The character is unfeminine, in fact, despite the ultra-feminine actress who plays her. On the other hand, Miss Shaw, the putative brunette, genuinely loves a man for himself (does not "love" him for money or material gifts), believes in love as the essential ingredient in marriage, almost ostentatiously eschews material riches, displays more softness and kindness and compassion than her nominally blonde companion. So we have a blonde brunette and a brunette blonde, in terms of the characters being represented. But, as I said, when one looks at Miss Russell and Miss Monroe themselves (apart from their stage roles), then we have an brunette brunette and a blonde blonde. Hollywood has chosen its actresses well, but the characters Hollywood has created for them to play don't quite match.

 So if one looks to the human artifice in this film, (which seems to have confounded the archetypes) one may miss the archetypes entirely, or get tied up in knots. The archetypes are in the two women themselves, that is, in their true personae, which they are as unable to suppress as a wolf pretending to be a sheep can suppress being a wolf (after all, the wolf always ends up eating the sheep, not being served up as a leg of mutton). When Miss Russell pretends to be Miss Lee in the courtroom scene, she seems like a twelve-year old girl trying to play the part of, say, Richard III.

 But do not misunderstand me when I talked about the soufflé quality of the film -- that is what was interjected by the writers and the director (and certainly not by the original author, Miss Loos, who wrote the book and the script for the stage musical, but not for the film) . My point is that the loveliest symbols (or essences incarnate) of femininity in the movie emanate from the two women themselves, despite whatever lines and direction they were given.
 
 

PAPER ON GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES

WRITTEN BY MISS di NAXOS FOR MISS BLAND

 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes opens abruptly with a dazzling display of two feminine archetypes, blonde and brunette. Without fanfare or introduction, even before any credits are shown, the curtain parts and Marilyn Monroe, blonde, and Jane Russell, brunette, burst onto the stage like Roman candles, wearing identical tight- fitting, red sequined gowns with plunging necklines and revealingly high slits. This stunning simultaneous entrance signals that, despite the film's title, it is not to be just about blondes. It is to be about blondes and brunettes. Both are arrestingly beautiful women, but, though unquestionably feminine, identically clad and performing identical dance steps and singing almost identical lyrics, they are not quite the same species of woman. As for the "gentlemen" part of the title, well, none are seen on the stage, nor anywhere else, for that matter, until *after* the credits: they are to be of only secondary importance.

 The archetypes are defined in short order: Miss Russell, raven- haired, is tall, broad-shouldered and somewhat sharp-featured; Miss Monroe, pale blonde, is smaller, softer and seems a bit out of focus. In their pyrotechnical opening number, Miss Russell's clear and shifting gaze appears directed, like a falcon's, to one or another specific object outside camera range; Miss Monroe's rather myopic eyes never seem to find any focus at all. The women's' movements, though similar inasmuch as they are precisely in step, are yet astonishingly different. Miss Russell's are slightly constrained, almost etched, with shallow dips, understated rolls of shoulders, hips and derriere; her facial expressions traverse a narrow range, projecting self-containment, strong purpose (she even winks briskly at one point, as if to say, "I'm a no-nonsense girl and I've got this number completely under control, just watch me!"). Miss Monroe, on the other hand, fairly undulates like some form of primordial sea- life, her movements of greater amplitude, and, though precise, are neither snappy norclipped, projecting instead an almost pillowy softness and an ultra-feminine yielding. Her facial expression also undulates like the rest of her body, covering a far broader spectrum than Miss Russell's; her lips and eyelids, in particular, convey receptivity, vulnerability, an irresistible "come take me, I am yours" invitation, but strangely not promising exclusivity. Their voices differ as well: Miss Russell's is deeper, sharper and a bit clearer when compared to Miss Monroe's, which is honeyed and soft, with velvety, caressing, nurturing overtones.

 What archetypes do these two women (not the characters they play) symbolize? Miss Russell is brunette (her hair could be blonde, but she would still be brunette). A brunette is forceful and strong, knows where she is and where she is going at every moment, is in control, plans ahead, is rarely at a loss even in the most unpredictable and challenging situations -- in short, a brunette is competent, organized, independent. Miss Monroe, on the other hand, is blonde (and were her hair color dark, she would still be blonde). She is soft, yielding, lacks crisp goals and does not plan any further than next Tuesday, or even Monday, perhaps. Despite her elaborate costume, she exudes domesticity: she would look delightful even in an apron, one knows. A blonde is dependent, requiring protection not just from the world, but from herself. She somehow does not seem fully competent in practical matters but one somehow knows she will make a wonderful mother.

 As we are introduced to the characters they play, we find the archetypes initially reinforced. Miss Lorelei Lee, played by Miss Monroe, is engaged to a young millionaire, Mr. Esmond. He is sending her to France on the Ile de Paris to educate her; he has engaged her girlfriend, Miss Dorothy Shaw, to be Miss Lee's Chaperone. Again, we find that a blonde is not a fully trustworthy creature; she requires a brunette to keep her out of trouble, to protect her, to make various mundane practical arrangements (such as paying taxicab drivers). Miss Shaw also provides a wise-cracking, occasionally sardonic sense of humor cum running social commentary throughout the film, whereas Miss Lee is so literal-minded that she seems incapable of getting a joke at all.

 But as we learn more about the two characters, we find them, like most people, to be far more complex. Each character, having defined her predominant archetype early on, proceeds to demonstrate attributes of her "opposite" throughout the rest of the film. In the matter of men, for example, Miss Shaw is hopelessly "impractical". She is attracted to men on the basis of animal magnetism alone, ignoring their "vital statistics" (meaning, in Miss Lee's lexicon, their income and their propensity to shower a girl with gifts, especially diamonds). She is not yet engaged to be married. Miss Lee, on the other hand, (already engaged to a mouse of a man -- but a rich mouse), strongly resists being physically attracted: she carefully weighs a man's financial position before allowing her emotions to emerge -- it is not clear, in fact, that they ever do.

 Consider the following dialog:

 LORELEI: I hate to think where you'll wind up -- you're wasting all your time on unrefined persons without money.

 DOROTHY: Honey, did it ever occur to you that some people just don't care about money?

 LORELEI: Please don't be silly -- we're talking serious [sic], you don't want to end up with a loveless marriage, do you?

 DOROTHY: Me, loveless?

 LORELEI: That's right. Because if a girl is spending all of her time worrying about the money she doesn't have, how is she going to find time for being in love? I want her to find happiness and stop having fun.

 DOROTHY: That baffles me.

 LORELEI: You'll thank me some day.

 Which is the blonde and which the brunette? In a further "reversal" of archetypes, while Miss Shaw starts their ocean voyage by aimlessly flirting with the men's Olympic team and later, more seriously, with the private detective Malone, Miss Lee starts by systematically screening male passengers, according to specific criteria, to select the suitably rich ones as possible matches for her girlfriend. She cunningly threatens the ship's maitre d' with taking all her meals in her stateroom in order to get the millionaire she has chosen for Miss Shaw seated at their table. Who has clear goals and plans for them accordingly?

 Miss Lee may not know where France is, but she is superbly informed on the intricacies of marriage law in the several states (she knows a man can consent to be married at sixteen in Tennessee). Miss Lee conceives and executes a plan for retrieving a roll of film with incriminating photos of her and Sir Francis Beekman together; when she gets the film, she promptly has it developed and uses the pictures as a tool to pry a diamond tiara out of Sir Francis with the very subtlest of blackmail. Later on, when she realizes she will have to inveigle $15,000 out of Mr. Esmond to pay for the tiara, she knows just how much time to allot to the task: $15,000 requires precisely one hour and forty-five minutes. How much time to talk a reluctant millionaire father into giving consent to her marrying his son? A piddling job: give me just three minutes alone with him, she says. What a consummate professional! Miss Shaw, meanwhile, has impractically fallen in love with the less-than-wealthy (and soon to be unemployed) private detective Malone. In her dealings with others (besides Lady Beekman) she sometimes betrays considerable softness and compassion, camouflaging it, however, under her rather thin, hard-boiled veneer. She dissimulates poorly: in the courtroom in Paris, posing as Miss Lee, she is about as convincing as an eight- year old girl playing Desdemona pleading for her life. Miss Shaw, in short, reveals a blonde side as surely as Miss Lee reveals a brunette one.

 Clearly, Woman may be Blonde or Brunette, but whichever she is, she must have a personal admixture of both archetypes, unique as a fingerprint, one merely prevailing over -- never excluding -- the other.

EMBASSY GIRLIE POPS IN:

We saw the Blonde film today. We adored it. I have never seen it before.

I don't agree with A. about role-reversal. I think MM (or LL) is wholly, utterly blonde. That sort of calculatingness is not at all inconsistent with being blonde. She might be rather naughty blonde at times but she is a blonde (in fact the matter of blonde selfishness is touched on in Children of the Void, just before Lehnya leaves with Annalinde for the Odeon).

 Besides, I was quite in agreement with LL's (or MM's) speech at the end, where she said that money in a man helps a girl, just as prettiness in a girl helps a man. After all, men may look nice in dinner suits, but they haven't anything in the way of physical charm, as that dance with the near-naked athletes so amply demonstrated. Diamonds are much prettier.
 
 

MIRANDA (blonde bystander)

I KNEW you would all love, adore, appreciate, enjoy the movie!

 I knew it I knew it I knew it! And I am so happy that it was fun to watch. Don't you adore Marilyn Monroe? Did you read Miss B's letter to Miss di N., in which she says just what you said, about MM being completely blonde. She knew as she was writing that you could say it much better.

To be continued . . .


An Invitation to Barbi

Oh, Barbi!
Forgive me for taking so long to reply, my pette. I was so distracted by the interesting thing you did with your mouth while you were pronouncing my name that I did not at once realize you were waiting for me to say something. But of course I would be happy to remain with you here, my sweet dear. As a matter of fact, it seems to me you're ready for another Martini now.

 As for Amy's idea of having an international movie night, I think it's about the cleverest thing I've heard in a long time. Would you be so kind as to watch with me, right here in Elektraspace? I just know you will love "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." It's one of my favorite movies. A gentle lady once asked me which of the stars - Jane Russell or Marilyn Monroe - I preferred. Flustered, I replied that I didn't really know. Well, wasn't that a silly thing for me to say? Of course, I was simply reluctant to say anything that might be construed as uncomplimentary to Jane Russell. And certainly they are both actresses of remarkable talents (Those girls couldn't drown!). But really, I think we all know that no one exists on the screen except dear little Marilyn.

 Well, we are all silly, more or less, I suppose. Only sometimes we are much sillier than others. But won't you join me in movieland after this round, dear Barbi? I am always so pleased to see a pretty blonde enjoying herself, and I know you will.
Yours faithfully,
RAMONA


Music Playing: Marychild's Dance Orchestra playing "Body and Soul"

A Traveller Arrives

When I first saw the mother-of-pearl spires of Acadia my heart filled with joy and gratitude to those who have come before me. In my heart of hearts I held on to what was rightfully mine despite the best attempts at colonization by the alien nation of the genetically challenged. They have eroded year after year at the pillars of my soul, yet, after experiencing the joys of Aristasia (long live the Empress!) there is still fear and trepidation within. "Am I beyond redemption", I wearily ask myself as I prepare to meet others in my new home. "Will they genuinely love me or discard me when I'm old and gray?" "Where will I live?" Hundreds of questions torment and beat upon the ramparts of my heart. "Have they forgotten the long years of their sojourns or the scars they too bear?"

 "No", I tell myself, "they have not." But still I wonder, "Oh why don't I have that self confidence I still remember of my youth. Where has it gone? Have I let them steal that too?" I cry in anguish burying my face in my hands. "I am but a pauper compared to the opulence which surrounds me", as the ocean wells again inside. I'm clothed in well mended homespun and I marvel at the fine silks dance in the wind never once imagining such colors ever existed on any plane of existence. "Could this finally be home?"
CIERRA


Take a stool, dear Cierra, and have a drink on the house. You've come a long way and you deserve it. Please make yourself at home here and get to know some of the girls. We think you'll be happy.

An Old-Fashioned Brunette

Hello my dears
An old fashioned brunette, a cup of love, a small kiss right there (first thing in the morning!) and utter joy at finding YOU on my PC. This is a needful thing, this house of wonders, in our ram-infested archipelago that we call world.

 No matter what, DO keep this lovely place alive forever...
MONA


Well, forever is a long time, Mona sweetie, but so long as you keep buying Martinis and chatting so charmingly, the Cocktail bar will be in business for the foreseeable future.

A Postcard from Manuela

Girls, girls,
there are ordinators in the East! Thus, a quick postcard from this wonderfully Art Deco town that is and should remain a well kept secret. A great many oldwordly Blondes and Brunettes here, but alas nothing like the Cocktail Bar. This made me very painfully realise how addictive you girls are (and soooo industrious!).
Wish you were here,
MANUELA

The Esoteric Pronunciation of "Ramona"

A somewhat flabbergasted and flattered Sweetipops, here, my delicious darlings! My goodness...so many things happening so fast! If one doesn't keep one's ears and eyes on constant alert, one might miss so much; but, I suppose that's what archives are for, aren't they? Miranda, my reliable reporterette, your delightful description of life in New Quirinelle, Culveria has finally given some shape to my less-than-fanciful blonde imagination about what an all-female world would be like (outside of the fabulously feminine company here in the Cocktail Bar, of course). I can't wait to hear more. And Ariadne...gone to Culveria, too? I'll miss her presence, but I'm grateful that she is able to keep us informed about her adventures abroad.

 And, speaking of gratitude, please accept mine, my ravishing Ramona, for finally securing my elusive Martini. Brunettes must be even more capable than I imagined. At least, you certainly are! Why, you even remembered to leave out the olive! My delicate blonde taste buds, you know. Before I forget, of course, you can call me Sweeti. Actually, you can call me anything you like, my charming, gracious pette. Your name, on the other hand, musically glides through one's soft, luscious lips with a magical rhythm...RA (lips open)...MO (emphasis here, lips nearly osculating)...NA (lips open, an exhalation, "Ahhhh," of contentment)...and I couldn't, wouldn't, call you by any other.

 Well, my daring darling, how sensitive of you to be concerned about my possible offense at the revelation of your secret purchase. While it's true that my girly blonde ears burn to hear you describe, however briefly, your satisfaction with your newly purchased garment, rest assured, my precious beauty, that it's not a matter of my being offended; far from it! Rather, because of Matthilde's prose poem to the basque, and Jeannie's somewhat indelicate description of what happened to her, it's my discomfiture at imagining your lovely, soft, and scintillating self IN your new foundation, caressed, contained, and vibrantly feminine...see! Red from head to toe!

 Oh, Ramona...I'm so flustered! It's not a Pit-like, carnal thoughts... I hardly ever have anything like that when I am here...it's an innocently sensual imaginative attempt to share and savor the excitement of feminine discovery that you so clearly feel. Your pleasure becomes, by a kind of blonde alchemy, my pleasure. Then I become unsure, and vulnerable, because it's presumptuous of me to think that I know what you are feeling...because if you don't actually feel like I think you do, then I am feeling femininely delicate and sensual all by myself...Ramona, my sweet...am I making any sense? Eroticism is such a mystery and, sometimes (a lot of the time!), being blonde can be such a trial!

 Let me just take a sip of my Martini...There, now. I've pulled myself together again. Well, maybe one more sip. Now, my brunette belle, I want you to know that I thoroughly understand your enchantment by the exotic and mysterious European, Manuela. I, too, found her enthralling, but, I must be honest, quite intimidating. And I do apologize for leaving so quickly after she joined you, but, as you remarked, Quilenquithia lia Caerelinde (I just can't say "Kiki"), croonerette extraordinaire, was about to appear, and what blonde could resist HER charms? But that's old news, now, isn't it?

 Now, then, what do you think of Amy's idea to have an international movie night! I think that it's undeniably "swell." I know that you like the movies...Simone Simon is one of your favorites, isn't she?...and I have always loved the movies! "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," is the first suggestion, is it not?

 Just one last thing...I hope that you will forgive me for asking...but...you wouldn't mind sitting with me a little longer, would you? It will be all right if you aren't able, but I so enjoy your company, my radiant RA (lips parted slightly)...MO (accent here, moistened lips slightly pursed, almost a kiss!)...NA (lips parted, soft "A" floating away on a cloud))....and...if I need another martini...how can I possibly get one without you?
Hopefully, I remain, your Sweeti,
BARBI


More Lingerie Magic

I recently browsed across the pages of Femmeworld, which caught my interest (as well as my boyfriend when he watched me browse thru!) as well as my curiosity. Insisting I be ALONE to check out my own interests on the net I found the pages of Femmeworld to be rewarding as well as informative! I found The Magic of Lingerie to be descriptively true as I have also experienced the same type feelings when recently my boyfriend, Phil, surprisingly asked me to wear garters and stockings for him! Being a 90's type woman with love for the love of attractive fashions I bought the items being quite surprised how I looked and felt! Not to mention Phil's reaction when I surprised him!

 I found most pages to be very interesting that I have sent for a password as well as a Aphrodite name to be used for my personal use when I sign on! Keep up the great work and I'll stop by regularly as I think of becoming an Aristasian woman!

 HELEN K.


An Absolute secret

Hello, Dears!
I'm just fresh back from shopping, so I'm in unusually high spirits. If you'll all keep it an absolute secret, I'll tell you what I've done. I know I shouldn't, that it's breaking the cardinal rule of all such pleasures to tell, but I'm so giddy I've simply got to tell someone or I'll burst! So, is there anyone listening who shouldn't be? No? Then lean your daintily curling little heads in close, dears, and listen to this. I've purchased, for the first time in my sad, unknowledgeable existence, a corset! Well, it's probably more sort of a basque than a corset, and it's just very plain and white with a touch of satin and lace, and plain white garters, but my dears, I've really had no idea what I'd been missing! All those stories you've heard about good, solid foundations being indicative of a sort of subjugation, tantamount to sexual slavery, akin to bad old chastity belts? Well, simply not true, dears! Why, it's not even uncomfortable. Quite the contrary! I have never felt so alive, so vibrantly feminine, in my life!

 Whew! I had better stop myself there. I think I see some daintily-curled heads shaking. I'm terribly sorry if I've offended anyone, but really, this is quite a discovery for me!

 Sweetipops, my angel, oh, don't run away! I promise not to mention such indelicate matters again. How pink your ears have turned! Sit down, I'll get you that Martini. And I suppose you're right about too much sophistication being a little hard to keep up with sometimes, but really, Sweeti (may I call you Sweeti?), what else was I to do? Manuela held me quite enraptured in her spell, and besides all you blondes dashed away for the stage the minute Miss Caerelinde started performing! But I know what you mean, my dear, the divine Kiki was indeed breathtaking - more than once I found myself having a troublesome time keeping a grip on my own brunette composure.

 And what do you suppose has happened to Ariadne?
RAMONA


Funny you should ask . . .

Ariadne Going To Sea!

Oh, all these confusing Aristasian personae get a girl in more trouble than she can shake a rope at! There I was pouring my heart out to that shiek Miss fi'Amala who writes for that highly respectable Morning Letter and who does she turn out to be at that mome but none other than the notorious Miss Cantrella Rachette who writes for that horrid Looking Glass tabloid! (Well Miss Heatherington said it was horrid, but I couldn't stop reading it. There was also a wizard story about flying saucers sighted near Ladychester, with real photos of spacepettes, only a bit out-of-focus, just like those pictures of the Loch Ness Monster in last week's edition). But after Miss Rachette's article, Miss Heatherington could not very well get out old Number Two again, could she? But she gave me a glare that was almost as bad as the Bar Strap, but not really. >Tee Hee< But it doesnt matter, anyway, pettes
!

 Because yesterday I got an Elektrapost cable from Miss Elaine of the Queen Mary. Look, here it is, you can read it: "PREPARE FOR OCEAN VOYAGE QUEEN MARY SAILS SOUTHAMPTON 4 PM 15 JULY 1951 STOP COLLECT RAILWAY TICKET SOUTHAMPTON AND 50 POUNDS REAL MONEY CULVERIAN EXPRESS OFFICE LADYTON FOR PURCHASE NECESSARIES STOP DESTINATION NEW QUIRINELLE CULVERIA STOP PLAN INDEFINITE STAY STOP." See? It is all typed out on little strips of yellow paper stuck to a yellow sheet. I wonder how the typing pette manages to get such a teensy strip of paper into her typewriter? Most likely a blonde with very small fingers.

 But, La! pettes, I gave Miss Heatherington my fortnight's notice and brought my little red alligator notebook down to the distrik library to do some research on how a girl should prepare for an ocean voyage. So I wrote down a list of necessaries a girl who is sailing on an ocean should bring in my little red alligator notebook.

 Duffel bag, sailor hat, compass, sextant, telescope, sailmaker's awl, waterproof make-up, lemons (for scurvy), seasickness pills, southwester (thats a special elegant yellow macintosh thats shiny for storms), clasp knife, flare gun (a flare gun is ever so important because I once saw a film called Lifeboat where Walter Pidgeon saves everyone in the lifeboat after they hit an iceberg because he remembered a flare gun), water wings (in case there are not enough life vests to go round should we hit an iceberg and sink), a tin of sea biscuit and one of salt pork, a small harpoon and a set of semafour flags in matching colours. Then I bought a little book called The Sailorpette's Guide to Nautical Knots because there are ever so many ropes on a boat and they are always coming untied, like my hair ribbons I guess, so if I find one coming untied I shall know how to tie it back up in a trice and then we wont hit an iceberg and sink.

I am so excited, pettes! I have never been on a boat before. Do you think boats still hit icebergs and sink, though? I wonder if 50 pounds is enough to buy all my necessaries and still have some left over for a plain evening dress, an elegant retticle, new shoes, a good supply of nylons, frilly nautical underthings for when I am not actually up in the rigging reefing sails (sailorpettes are always going up top to do reefing or unfurling, but sometimes they dance in the ballroom, I hear)? Have any of you pettes ever been to sea before? Are there icebergs in July in the ocean, do you think?

 ARIADNE


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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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