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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Music Playing: The Ladyton Six, That's a-Plenty


A Boa for a Belle!

My very dear Tootsie,
What a beautiful Boa! I have been admiring one not nearly as nice as this in a nearby shop window - and this goes so well with my new red shoes... how very thoughtful of you.

 So do tell me more about this music of yours?
Miss Fox


A Professional Pette's Domestication -- PART ONE

Hello, pettes. My name is Brenda, Brunette, at least I had always so supposed. I am a generally serious professional pette, a medical doctor, (and mother of three girls), who has only lately found her way to this marvelous site. I am fortunate enough to have a blonde cousin who lives in New Quirinelle; she gave me this address, but only after "preparing" me for several weeks by purging the smell of the Pit from my nostrils so that I could smell the fresh air of Femmeworld when I arrived. The spiritual cathartic my cousin chose from her pharmacopoeia consisted of a series of small packages she sent me over several weeks last summer, packages containing the fruits of her fleeming forays in New Quirinelle, where real goods of all sorts abound. My cousin ventures forth into this racinated agora every Friday, so by the following Friday her treasures arrive.

 The first package contained an up-to-date Quirrie women's magazine, Woman's Day, a frilly over-the-head apron from eastern Quirinelle, a windie of Kadorian hit songs, and a lovely, soft Quirrie white dress. My two younger daughters, Alicia, who is eight, and Nancy, who is a budding teenager at 13, evinced little interest in the package's contents until they saw the glorious dress, which they both instantly clamored to try on, something quite unusual for little Alicia these days, as she fancies herself a steely-eyed and knowing tomboy who spurns dolls and likes to climb trees and has re-christened herself "Al." The dress was far too large for her, of course, but it fit Nancy perfectly, so it was quite clear to all three of us that it must be Nancy's, as Nancy is smaller than I am. The realization pleased Nancy no end, but it sent Alicia into a sullen black pout which lasted until bedtime, when it abruptly dissolved into a little girl's piteous tears: Alicia felt herself the Neglected Orphan of the World because she did not receive something she would not have desired only a day earlier -- a dress! But it was the neglect felt by an orphan embittered by lively envy that her older sister, by decree of Fate or Fairies, had received something of great value. I cuddled Alicia for a long time and reassured her I would write to my cousin and see whether a real dress might not be found for her too (and for me!). She fell asleep with a smile on her face.

 As for Mom, being dressless, I had to content myself with apron, magazine and windie, so the next morning found me decked out like a good Quirrie houseblonde, (imagine!) gaily flipping pancakes, listening to Gwen Miller and her orchestra and reading snatches of a novella in Woman's Day about a childless young couple who adopt a baby. I became so absorbed that I burned the pancakes of course!

 After feeding the family, I sat down and read that magazine cover to cover, pettes! It was bursting with feminine archetypes -- mothers, little girls, brides, giggly teenagers, career girls, dignified grandmothers, coeds .... In its plentiful photos and drawings, not one girl or woman appeared to be trying to be anyone -- they just were what they were, and they radiated feminine contentment and satisfaction at being just themselves, just as Dea had meant them to be! With real music playing, with a delicate consciousness of wearing my frilly houseblonde apron, with the images of real women and girls dancing through my head, I found myself quite enraptured, nourished, really, by the rich milk of feminine reality flowing into me. In a strange, giddy trance I began to feel I was the girl in the story, I became the perky little blonde housewife showing off her sparking clean kitchen to her smartly-dress girlfriends, I was the soft young bride-to-be, far-seeing into a rewarding future as wife and mother, contemplating which silverplate pattern she shall select at the bridal registry

In short, darlings, I melted into a deep and soul-satisfying feminine self-absorption, an unfamiliar longing to be pampered, a smoldering desire to tie myself tightly to the hestia, that lasted the whole weekend; I remained on cloud nine for the following week, then the next package arrived.

 BRENDA, MD, Professional Brunette with sudden streaks of blonde inexplicably emerging from a very long dormancy.

TO BE CONTINUED



Here is a snapshot taken of Brenda at work that week, still on cloud nine, still nominally very much the professional pette. Don't you think she looks ever-so-slightly distracted?
 
 

Sweeti in Distress

A somewhat distressed Sweetipops, here, my delightful darlings! My romantic Rebecca, I am so touched and flattered by your willingness to entrust me, a recovering pit-maiden, with a task of such importance to you. Of course, I will make it my sacred duty to call you the moment Miss Elizabeth arrives! Here...let me fold up the note with your phone number...and put it someplace where I won't lose it...Here! Right in the top of my stocking! Of course, you'll forgive me if my stockings happen to be pit-bound thigh-highs, but they do have pretty lace tops, don't you think? By the way...by name is Barbi...oh! She's gone!

 Did you all see that tall, gorgeous goddess with her heavenly blonde hair in those ringlets all the way to her voluptuous hips...and a tear in her enchanting emerald eye? She and Miss Elizabeth seem to be very good friends, don't they? And I was so looking forward to the tale of their last reunion. It's so sad, isn't it, that an easily explained misunderstanding has caused a rupture in such a close relationship and, well...is that a little, itsy, bitsy tear forming in my eye? Oh, dear, I'm beginning to blubber myself! My darling Diana, do you have any idea what has happened to Miss Elizabeth...or...sweetheart...if not....would you happen to have another silk, personally embroidered hankie that I could borrow?

 In a way, I know how it feels to be left to one's self. I've been sitting here for nearly an hour, sipping my Martini, crossing and recrossing my legs, checking my make-up (there's nothing more to touch up, my precious pettes, this is as good as I get short of a complete make-over), rocking my foot to the romantic rhythms of Miss Henshaw, listening with rapt attention to all the Aristasian cultural and geographical narratives from Amy, and Valetta, and Miranda, and Miss Barbara...and...well...just everyone...and even trying to come to terms with the determined Deborah's confusion and the wise, but anonymous, sagette's reply, but...well... actually, I'm just itching (that explains the wiggle when I walked over here, darlings) for at least one of the blonde bombshells (or even one of Lulu's toons!) that call the Cocktail Bar their home to give me a pinch and a little of their company and conversation, but...except for the ravishing Rebecca, of course, who's affections so clearly belong to Miss Elizabeth...nothing! Absolutely nothing! Can it be (NO...NO...it can't...the angel of Elektraspace--there is one, isn't there?--would never let it happen--would she?) that the only way I'm going to get myself a blonde bombshell is to order one from the barpette...who is quite a delicious damsel in her own right?

 Well, if that is how it's going to be...so be it. Darling?...Barpette? Yes...me...over here...with the teeniest, weeniest threat of a little cry coming on...a Blonde Bombshell please...on the rocks!

 On the lookout for Miss Elizabeth, I remain, A dedicated and devoted (if momentarily dismayed) Sweetipops,
BARBI


Music Playing: Annette Hanshaw singing I've Got IT, but It do'nt do me No Good

Soubriquets and Toons

The Mistress of Cerries was right when she said Miss Helen Kane, not Miss Annette Hanshaw was the model for Miss Betty Boop. Here in Vintesse, Miss Kane is known as "The Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl", while Miss Hanshaw is known as "The Personality Girl". Miss Clara Bow (she of the "bee-stung lips") is called "The It-girl". Don't ask me what that means, but I was reminded by the song Miss Hanshaw is singing at this mome.

 By the way, Miss Boop is a fine artist in her own right whoever she may be "modelled on". I met her is a Cocktail Bar in Clairmount, Vintesse where she was singing (have you heard her wonderful recording of The Broken Record?). She was gracious enough to let me buy her a drink after her act, and I found her charming and colourful, with that special glow that toon girls have. I have never spent half an hour with a nicer blonde, and saying that in here is really saying something.

 Without meaning to get on my soapbox, I'd just like to say: when are people going to realise that toons are loyal subjects of the same standing as the rest of us. People should not laugh at them just for being what they are or "accidentally" drop heavy objects on them just to see them squash all flat and then boing up again. I know it doesn't hurt them, but it is disrespectful.

 Some of the finest girls I have ever known have been toons, and if it were not for antiquated customs we Westerners should have outgrown long ago, I should very likely have married a certain painted blonde from Quirinelle.

 All right. Sermon over. I'll have a Fountain of Youth, if you please, Miss.
LULU


Missing Pette

Oh, my dears, I'm in need of some comforting. I haven't heard the slightest peep from Elizabeth since she left the bar in tears many nights ago. She hasn't responded to any of the messages I've left at her hotel, and she's never in her room when I drop by. Where can she be? The concierge assures me she has not checked out. He seems to think she had plans to stay here for some time. So then where? Sigh.

 This is all just a silly misunderstanding and I just know if I could speak with her I could make things right. If she happens to come by, would you tell her I was here looking for her, and... if she would just be still for two moments and wait here for me. Here is the number where I can be reached; ring me the moment she steps in the door, pette, please, will you? It's just so important. Thanks, you're a doll.

 I have to excuse myself now; I'm starting to blubber and I don't want to get raccoon eyes in front of all of you. I just miss her so! 

My love to all,
REBECCA


Music Playing: Miss Jessie Matthews singing When You've got a little Springtime in Your Heart

Evergreen

What a keen idea Brunette Mommy had to bring all us blondes to the Cocktail Bar after that wonderful movie. But I'm getting ahead of myself, so, stop distracting me, as Coz' Ariadne says.

 Here's how the evening went. It was a regular meatloaf Friday night, when right in the middle of supper, Brunette Mommy cleared her throat in the way she does when she is about to say something Very Important. Well, every blonde around the table sat up a bit straighter, beause the V. Important things Brunette Mommy usually says have to do with lines and, um, worse, and then when her voice-clearing turned into a big smile, we all relaxed a little, and she announced that a new movie had come to New Quirinelle from Trent! Not New Trent, but Real Trent. Well, the squeals of delight were quite hard for little blondies to supress, so we didn't, because we knew that when Brunette Mommy announces the newest release, it's time for blondes to primp and preen and go out on the town!

 Lots of struggles over the itsy bitty bathroom mirror ensued, made even more piquant for knowing that soon we would be swept into a world where every girl has an entire room of her own, with a vanity, and walls made of gigantic mirrors, so that she never needs to push or squeeze or, most important, share the reflecting glass! We were feeling especially glamorous, with a visit to Trent in our near future, so even shy little Rosie decided to wear her short sleeved dress with long evening gloves and that extra special hat Blonde Mommy bought her in New Trent, with more feathers than hat to it! We don't know how it happened, but somehow all five blondes were ready to pile into the wood-paneled station wagon in enough time to catch the newsreel before the film.

 We even arrived in time to have a lively chat before the curtain went up and the newsreel began. All five blondes wanted to wear their most fluffy petticoats, so all lined up in the seats, our laps made a funny wave of skirt and petticoats, and we giggled about that as we settled into an evening in our very favorite place in town. The theater was built by a Trentish architect, so with a Trentish film in a Trentish theater, all seemed perfectly right just then, as we giggled and munched on popcorn and drank our soda pop.

 All of our hearts began beating faster the moment the yards and yards of velvet curtain rose and the newsreel began. The newsreel was a tribute to Miss Marilyn Monroe, and I noticed Brunette Mommy was quite attentive and the rest of us were happy to think that at least Trent doesn't have a monopoly on glamour. We do have Miss Monroe after all.

 Then the movie itself. Pettes, it was a perfect Aristasian movie, called Evergreen, with art neo set after art neo set, and luscious scenes and lovely seductive dancing and ultra ultra femininity in the form of one slightly slouchy, completely enchanting Miss Jessie Matthews, who dances and sings throughout. Plus, there are hints at personae, at returns to more traditional times, at all of the wonders of Aphroditism, including a peep or two at some delicious undergarments! If you are lucky enough to have your local movie house show this film, go and see it! It's marvelous.

 But don't just take my word for it. Here is what Ariadne said about it:

Yes, it's as light as a good souffle, but one cannot get enough of Miss Matthews. There is that number, were she and the young man and her mother's blond girlfriend are backstage, and Miss Matthews rehearses her little dance number, which I found absolutely sizzling, Miss Matthew's dancing, I mean. That little slouch, that almost lascivious, sinuous flip of the hips.
And if a blonde says so, imagine the effect on a brunette! I think that might be why Brunette Mommy thought a little bit of the bubbly (out of blonde mommy's shoe!) might make the evening complete. But of course it is strictly cream soda for us little ones. Drat!

 Love,
MIRANDA


The Sense of Belonging

Oh I feel positively the luckiest girl in all of Culveria because right now my absolutely favorite song is playing, "Button Up Your Overcoat." I always like to think of that as a theme song of sorts for Aristasians, because we do all belong to each other.
Eat an apple every day
Get to bed by three.
You better take good care of yourself
You belong to me.
(and with those bohemian hours the Embassy pettes keep, that second line has an even more precise Aristasian meaning!) And here's a verse for Tootsie:
Keep away from bootlegged hooch
when you learn it's free
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me.
Well, that is one of the most precious things about belonging to a real culture, isn't it? That we can be so connected with each other, as if by a golden thread connecting Maid to Maid, that we really do own one another, so much so that "taking care of yourself" isn't something you do for yourself, but rather something you do for the people you love. Quite nice, to my way of thinking.
Love Until Next Time,
AMY Yes, we have always loved this song. The first little booklet we ever did was called When the Wind is Free precisely because of the concept of belonging that the song conveys. Did you know that an American professor of literature once said that the words of this song constituted one of the finer lyric poems in the English language? (He probably wasn't thinking of the bootleg hooch verse which may be apocryphal in any case).

 Incidentally the version we know is:

Keep away from bootleg hooch
When you're on a spree
You know we rather believe Miss Hanshaw makes up some of her own words to these songs. Do you know I get the Blues when it Rains?. Well the second time round she sings:
I get the blues when it rains
I lose my rouge when it rains
Each little drop puts a shine right on my nose,
Each taxi-cab spalshes mud on my silk hose
Who else but the delightful Miss H. could have written that? Apart from you, of course. And you. And that delightful little pette sitting on that much-too-high-for-her Art-Neo bar stool. And no - I didn't forget you. Well, who else but one of us could have written it?

Music Playing: Annette Hanshaw singing Button Up your Overcoat


The Forbidden Charms (or charmed forbiddings) of Vintesse

How enchanting to have a Pipsie here to make this place lots more lively and entertaining. And it's me, Amy de Culver, one of those dull, respectable Quirrie girls, who says so!

 I have often thought about how a whole culture is required for naughty behavior to be fun. And since the Pit isn't a whole culture, nobody has much fun. Sure, Pit-crawlers can wildly pursue one fleshly "pleasure" after another, but are they really having fun? If the cookies are free for the taking, without a limit to the number Miss Naughtiness can have, before long, stealing from the cookie jar loses its charm.

 Is that why the girls in New Vintesse have so much fun? Everything is illegal there! And when they get away with drinking some hootch, dancing the Charleston, and smoking those loooooooong cigarettes, they really are living it up, aren't they?

 But I'm not jealous. Really, I'm not. Give me a Thursday evening at home with my sweet family, the little ones in bed and the couple next door over for a game of dominoes, and I'm having just as much fun as Tootsie. I am. Honest! I am.

 Love,
AMY


Aetherial Homes

You know, a long time ago, Miss Trent mentioned aetherial homes and I asked what they were -- and she told me -- and said that they are not assigned by one's mistress, but one must find one's own, perhaps without seeking it. I am not sure precisely what she said. At about the same time, Miss Trent recommended I try to get hold of some racinated music; she mentioned a number of artists, including Annette Hanshaw (I think this was the one she said was the model for Betty Boop, but I may be getting her confused with another). I found several: Al Bowlly, Hutch and Miss Jessie Matthews, with whom I instantly fell in love, I mean with Miss Matthews. No hard edges for that shiny -- I played it incessantly, even transcribed all the clever lyrics -- one song each night -- and popped them over to the Embassy. I was riding so very high! I was transported, you see. I even found a film of hers, Evergreen, and watched it several times and was delighted by it. So I thought, well, maybe Trent is my aetherial home.

 But I really do think it is Kadoria, for some of the reasons you mentioned. Vintesse, well, I don't know much about it, do I? A bit frenetic, action in silent movies going at too fast a clip, the Charleston, etcetra etcetra. Nice, but light. And sometimes quite naughty, too. As for Trent, at times its stylization is a little too much -- almost too-elegant elongated lettering -- in silver -- and elegant, elongated pettes -- also in silver. A silver lame province. Posture a little bit slouched, a kind of low-shouldered, languid look, sometimes subtly sinuous and not as tightly girdled, either (see Miss Ginger Rogers in, say, Top Hat), not at all like the forthright, straight-backed Kadorian pettes of the unyielding, straight-across high shoulders.

 You see, I find Kadoria so very unaffected, and still pretty free of what I like to call Pit-adumbrations, such as the cold, spindly furniture and the cheapening influences seen cropping up everywhere, whether in automotive design or in movie cartoons. And when I read a Kadorie magazine, I am illuminated like a taper -- I glow and I burn with desire to be there and be them, the pettes, I mean. Like summer blooms, they all seem to fade in eastern Quirinelle, the images have lost a bit of their luster for me. Can't help it -- that's my natural resonance, I think. I was actually quite surprised when I found myself attracted to Kadoria.

 I know that the pettes at the Embassy must be chuckling at my silly reasons for liking or not liking, but I don't have the wherewithal to come p with philosophical reasons for liking one or another province, it's all very emotional.


Chuckling? How could you think it? No, you are absolutely right. An aetherial home is not a thing one chooses for philosophical reasons or any other. It chooses you. That, of course, is what Miss Trent meant all that time ago when she said that one finds it without seeking it. We get ourselves all sorted out and make a perfectly rational decision as to which province is right for us, and then Pop! the right one hits us and it isn't the one that we expected at all. Just like love. And of course sometimes it is the one we expected, just as we often marry the brunette next door (I mean blondes do in general; of course no one blonde marries more than once except under the most exceptional circumstances). And sometimes one finds oneself whisked of for an excursion into a province one had never understood or much liked, and it is like a love affair that may be brief and dazzling or may become a lifelong romance.

 Oh, and it is Helen Kane who is the model for Betty Boop. Annette Hanshaw is a close friend of hers and has imitated her to perfection in her rendering of I Want to be Loved by You.


Music Playing, Ruth Etting singing Stars are the Windows of Heaven where Angels Peep Through

Cocktail Bar...or...Coffee Lounge...or...

An amazed Sweetipops here, my precious pettes! My goodness...and I do mean goodness...so much has been done in so short a time. Who ever thought that blondes could create such wonders? What have you wrought in my short absence? Why, it's a veritable treasure house of feminine delight that you have created, almost, as it were, from...well...nothing but the elusive electrical emanations of Elektraspace. I don't know what to say! I am absolutely speechless... well, almost speechless...

 Returning from my Pit-bound "vacation," I was eagerly looking forward to the sensual delights of the Cocktail Bar: the scent of the finely fragrant perfumed air, the taste of the perfect martini, the sound of laughter from the exhilarating company of the delightful darlings whose company I have come to love, the sight of the deliciously exposed stocking top and inner thigh of some devilish darling crossing and recrossing her lovely legs, and, almost certainly, a playful (and maybe something more?) pinch from a pretty pette. Well, imagine my surprise when I arrived to discover the cornucopia of feminine fancy and philosophy that you Aristasian's have conjured up. I'm ashamed to say that I never expected such a delectable display of invention and artistry.

 In all honesty, when I first discovered Femmeworld and the Cocktail Bar, I thought that I knew all that there was to know about being a girl, because, after all, how much was there to know? How could I have been so mistaken? I have subsequently discovered, just by questioning, mingling, and having fun with you, that being a girl is a richer experience than I ever imagined. I owe to you Aristasians, proprietors of the most satisfying, energetic, creative, and entertaining world in all of the electrical universe, the discovery of my own erotic sensibility (who would have guessed that it was there?), and femininity, where I formerly found my sexuality and femaleness (whatever that was supposed to be). And now...something as simply titled as "The Girl's Page" is a doorway into a feminine landscape of such growing depth, complexity, and enlightenment that, maybe it's just the blonde in me, I can't keep myself from being repeatedly astonished at your boldness, imagination and accomplishment.

 I have only one question...well, maybe more than one, but right now I have only one question...after a girl has devoted some time to the philosophy of the feminine at the Academy, wandered into the Inner Sanctum to appreciate the commentary and enticing erotic displays, and had her senses titillated by the daring darling in distress with her dress up and her panties down...where do I go to relax, have a drink, and show off my new stockings and, if anyone watches closely enough (I have been practicing, you know!), maybe a little suspender (garter belt?) and inner thigh of my own...the Cocktail Bar (can Miss Barbara be right...has everyone left?), or the Coffee Lounge (I recognize a few of the faces here, and maybe some of the underpinnings, too!), or the Common Room (is anyone ever there?), or...

 Oh, la! Sometimes, being a blonde can be so difficult!

 A positively awestruck Sweetipops,

 BARBI


Welvome back Sweetipops, you've been missed. And thank you so much. We do so appreciate being appreciated! As to where to come, well just take your choice between here and the Coffee Lounge. The Common Room is either closed or about to close. It was the meeting-place for femmeworld, but with our recent remodelling of the Elektra universe, this very Cocktail Bar has become the main meeting place (the Common Room began its gradual decline from the day the Bar opened. I fear the pettes are too fond of their manhattans and Blonde Bombshells to patronise a dry speakeasy), with the Coffee Lounge specialising in nylons and other pretties (which doesn't mean, of course, that they can't be glimpsed here).

Toot-Toot-Tootsie, Hello!

Well, see, Sweetiepies, this is how it is. I was just a bit, well, bored with all of those jinky gin-joints I usually frequent in New Vintesse, so a friend of mine said, "Tootsie, you need to pop your little flapper self over to the Cocktail Bar. Very different atmosphere. Quite sophisticated. Nice decor too. You might like it." So, see, I did, and I am, here I mean. She was right about the decor, I adore the chrome and pink, but, jeepers, with so many Quirrie girls, the ambiance of this place could use a little livening up. I guess that's what I am here to do! Liven you all up. Respectability has it's place, but in a speak-easy? Ain't this the place for a little bit of naughty fun?

 Lucky us! I've brought some homemade hootch, 'cause, see, if it's legal, it's just not as good! And here is a feather boa for you, Miss Fox, and a long cigarette holder for you, Miss Ramona. And you, little blondie behind the bar, change out of that silly milk maid ensemble and into this daring sequined dress. You'll feel better. And I'm sure you'll get more tips (and pinches!) to boot. Here's a Victrola I brought and some real records too. Deborah, would you be a dear and wind it for me, while I look for just the right song to set just the right mood? Here we go. Listen to those crazy musicians: Miffy Mole, Jaimie Lytell, Red Nichols (she's really a blonde, with red hair), and Vintesse's Sweetheart, Annette Hanshaw. I just melt when she sings her little blonde heart out! Oh this one is my favorite: "I gotta get somebody to love."
 
 

We're all born for something.
If love is really something,
then I was really born
for nothing at all.

 I'm just a tree.
Just a little sap.
I wish I was a poodle dog
on somebody's lap.
I gotta get somebody to love.

 I'm like a song no one ever sings
wish I was a phone bill;
I'd get plenty of rings.
I gotta get somebody to love.

Ain't this better? Anyone for a little black bottom dancing?
That's all!
Love,
TOOTSIE
Phone bill? Are you sure it's phone bill? Or has some one got something on her mind after all those deliciously wicked international calls to the Aristasian Embassy? We don't know the song (yes, there are a few up-to-date songs we don't know) but may us blonde textual critics suggest that phone bell sounds more likely to us?

 Okay, Tootsie. Its nice to have you here. Ain't we got fun?


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