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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VISITING THE EMBASSY:
girls in Pit-london who love Aristasia and would like to visit Aristasian soil may discuss a Visit to the Aristasian Embassy, which is five minutes from an Underground station. Pop us a note if you are interested.

Music Playing: The Quirinelles with Rocking Around the Christmas Tree


Dateline: Nativity Eve 1951

Every Little Girl's Nativity Eve Dream

I, for one, remain terribly confused in re the matter of Santa Claus, whether she wears a rather naughty, short, red, fur-trimmed outfit with nylons or is, um, someone quite different. The other matter that makes my pretty little blonde head spin is this Telluria, Aristasia-in-Telluria, Aristasia and Culveria business. Golliwogs, (as Ell-Hedrine might say) do you suppose Santa is blonde or brunette? Or neither?

But ... fret not, dearest Darlings, we who have lived in Telluria all know that every little girl's Nativity Eve dream is to stay up 'til midnight and surprise Santa delivering presents (and perhaps even serve Santa warm milk and cookies!) As a pette who was a little girl in the historical 1940's, I can aver that such was my dream, and I was a Very Proper Little Girl with a Very Proper Upbringing. So here, for your Nativity pleasure, is a picture of a little girl from Kadoria (or Telluria-in-Kadoria, if you are able make the distinction), actually living her dream! Of course, all we can see, like the chained denizens of Plato's cave, is Santa's shadow. That is simply because we are not little girls any more. But the little girl in the picture can see the real Santa.

 NANCY
KADORIE LITTLE GIRL NOW GROWN UP


All This and Heaven Too

Dear lovelies, isn't exciting that Nativity is nearly here? Here at the Embassy we are overwhelmed with last-minute preppers and having a quite splendid time.

 Last night we all went to the Maryhill Odeon (have you made your Home Cinema yet? Why not do it over the holiday season?) and we saw Miss Bette Davis and M. Charles Boyer in All This and Heaven Too. Golliwogs, it sounds a happy title, doesn't it? But it is so sad! We all cried and cried through the second half. Of course the brunettes pretended not to, and tried to affect that their handkerchiefs were merely for the assistance of the Weaker Sex, but if you think there was a dry eye in the house, then either you have never seen All This and Heaven Too, or you don't know very much about brunettes.

 Well, of course, you probably haven't seen All This and Heaven Too, as it has only just been made, in Kadoria (golliwogs, it's Kadoria's year this year, isn't it?). But do see it if you get the chance. Only remember to take three handkerchiefs. One won't do at all.

 After the Odeon we all went to the lovely new café where you can sit by the log fire and have Ovaltine, only last night they served wine in honour of the season, and Wendy, the littlest blonde present said what a sad film it was, and some one asked her which part she thought saddest, so we watched as she thought of one sad bit and then another sad bit, and then, without being able to say a word, burst into tears in the middle of the café. Luckily the waitress had not been to the film, so she had a dry handkerchief to lend her.

 Nativity love to all of you,
ANNALINDE


Please Don't Forget About Us Pettes In The Tropics!

La! Dahlings, all this glittery seasonal chatter of Winter and North and Snow and Cold might lead a girl to conclude that Nativity doesn't ever come to sunnier climes, such as down here in Kadorie Palm Beach! You boreal birds can chuckle all you like, but we delicate tropical specimens also celebrate Nativity though it is 90 degrees in the shade and though we use potted palms as Nativity trees. Pray, where else can one go out carolling in the evening, then take a moonlight dip in the phosphorescent, feminine, velvet-soft sea at midnight with one's own brunette? (Tomorrow night the moon will still be almost full - a hot tropical moon! Look out of your frost-ferned high-latitude windows and see for your ice-bound selves!)

Now Palm Beach, as you know, boasts some of New Kadoria's most elegant shops, whose only other outlets are found in New York, London and Paris. So here I am, just this morning, returning from an last-minute emergency Nativity shopping spree. A Very Special Brunette is going to be overwhelmed on Nativity morning: some of these boxes contain the loveliest unmentionable things that are usually thought of in connection only with most melting of blondes, but which brunettes secretly covet, especially in those final fluttering moments of consciousness, (like the soundless beating of moths' wings at the bright windowpane), before they float off sleep to every night...

 Joyous Nativity, Dahlings!

 MILDRED, BLONDE


Music Playing: Snowy White Snow and Jingle Bells by Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra


Dateline: 23 December 1951

A Singing Nativity-Tree

Dear Sweeties! How just-too-adorable to see Santa in all her finery and then that lovely picture of the darling Star Fairy all the way from Aristasia. Do you think some of us edge-of-the-Pit-pettes will be able to hear the Star Fairy jingling through the sky on Nativity Eve at about Midnight. Oh, and Ellhedrine, would I be very clever and Aristasian if I guessed that Midnight corresponds to Mid-winter and the North, just as Noon must correspond to Mid-summer and the South?

Well, here is a Nativity picture from me to you - a human Nativity Tree no less, and who is she? Don't you recognise her? She is that delightful singing child, Deanna Durbin, and if you haven't seen any of her films make it a New Year's resolution to see one or two. You'll be in for the treat of your life!

 New Year. Golliwogs! Just think, we'll al have to get used to saying 1952 soon. Won't it seem strange? I wonder what 1952 will bring for us all.

 With joyful love to every one of you,

 WENDY



Yes, of course. You are quite right about midnight. The science of symbolism is very logical once you get the hang of it.

Cards from Miss Barbara

Dearest Darlings,

 It's with the most full and aching heart that I wish you all a lovely and tender Nativity. My heart aches because I wish that we all could be in the same room together, opening the gifts we've sent one another, kissing and hugging and holding hands, not just in Elektraspace, but in a fair firelit room, with each of our shadows dancing on the wall behind us.

 How sweet and touching Annalinde's lyrics and how moving and True the scripture Lucia gave us. What more, dear friends, is there than to love the simple and true things, to cherish friends who will be there forever, and to continue to do battle with all that is evil around us? This is life in all of its fullness, in all of its simplicity.

 And now, nativity cards and presents all around! Barsweetie, please, some eggnog for everyone. A toast to good friends. And may 1952 see the Empire grow and prosper and bring the Light of Nativity into the darkness of the world.

 With forever love,

 MISS BARBARA


Special thanks to Miss Barbara!

I must publicly thank Miss Barbara for recently sending me a up-to-date magazine. It came in yesterday, but I was so busy with the holidays that I didn't check the bongo mail till late in the evening. Was I ever surprised to find the magazine she had promised to send, as well as a personal note from her wishing me a happy holiday!! Thank you thank you thank you Miss Barbara!!!!! I will be ever so careful with it, and I promise to send it back the minute I have finished reading it.

 I wanted to see what the difference was between bongo magazines, and a real magazine so I went to the grocers and peeked at a bongo magazine. The magazine Miss Barbara sent me, is McCall's January 1953 addition. There are articles in this real magazine about being fed up with teenagers, as well as articles concerning children's health and well-being. In addition, there are articles that help a busy homemaker be more efficient as well as thrifty. All of the articles and stories were interesting, wholesome and good.

 The pit magazines were no where near as wholesome. Their articles talked about things I won't even mention here, other than to say diseases people can get by acting bad, and ways to act bad without getting the diseases. While occasionally you ran across a article that encouraged a girl to be efficient and thrifty it was a rare occasion.

 On the whole, the up-to-date magazine was more enjoyable, as well as informative. Again, thank you Miss Barbara for sending me the magazine!

 Sincerely,
ELIZABETH


Happy Holidays from Donna

Hi Girls!
Just dropped in to add my best wishes to all the pettes who happen by here in their busy rounds of holiday preparations. I know I've been up to my earrings in things to do.

 I haven't said much here, but I want you all to know that I've been listening intently and adore the total atmosphere of Femmeworld. I wish I could spend more time here... or even move here myself... but there are responsibilities here in the Pit that I can't ignore.

 But the respite offer by you girls is delightful and I offer my sincerest gratitude along with hugs and kisses and promises to return and spend more time with you all.

 DONNA SAWYER


Music Playing: Silent Night by Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra


Dateline: 22 December 1951

The Star-Fairy

Thank you for the lovely picture of Santa Claus we saw at the Cocktail Bar recently. She is really very charming, though very - well, very Western for a Higher Spirit, if you know what I mean. But then Telluria is very Western, I understand.

Anyway, I thought all you Tellurian sweeties would like to see a picture of the Star Fairy, so you will know who visits us Aristasians down our chimneys at Nativity. The Star fairy is actually the Princess of the Sylphs, or air-elementals, and, of course, Midwinter corresponds to the Northern compass point and the element of Air. And did you know that just as the House, or Hestia is a microcosm of the world, and the fire in the hearth is one with the Sun in the Cosmos and the Heart in the body of maid, so the Chimney is like the Opening in the Sun, by which we leave the material world? It is the Northern Path to the Upper Regions, and thus corresponds to all the other seasonal symbolism. That is why we send messages up the chimney to the Princess of Air, and why the word cheminée (chimney) is closely related to chemin (way or road). Well, a Milchford scholar has to know these things, you know. Even a blonde one.

 The picture isn't the sort you see in children's books with her chariot and her team of white horses with silver hoofs, and her train of fairies (sylphs) - although all these things are very traditional. It is a painting done recently by a famous Arcadian artist. And we see her alone, shedding Her light over the waters of the River Thamë and the City below. I do hope you like it.

 ELLHEDRINE


Nativity Draws Near

It is the last Sunday of the Advent, my dears, and I thought I might read you something seasonal. It will be very familiar to all you Aristasians-born; but to the Tellurian pettes it may be new, and I should explain that this is the traditional reading for Advent; but wherever you may be, let us prepare our hearts for the blessed Mystery that we are approaching. At the darkest moment of the year, She sent Her light upon the world.
 
 
When the first night was come upon the world, The Mistress of All Things stood alone once more, as She had in the beginning. 2. For a terrible abyss had opened to lie between the world and She, and Her creatures could not look upon Her brightness.

 3. And She stood in contemplation upon the waters of the first darkness' like a great Dove upon the waters She brooded 4. And she became absorbed within Her and communed with Her own self; and Her light ceased to shine forth from Her, and yet Her light grew greater. 5. And she fell to her knees. And the surface of the waters became turbulent, and the great waves curled over Her, and their white foam could not be seen in all that darkness.

 6. And when the waters became calm again, the Mistress of All Things rose to Her feet 7. For She had conceived a Daughter that was not separate from Her, but one with Her, and the Child of Her light.
 
 

LUCIA

A Couple of Soldiers

I loved Alisilene's piece about the song Remember Me. How right she is about the gentle romance of everyday married life, and how important that is in the songs of the Real World. Of course, she can't know (thank Heaven!) how alien such a thing would be to the nightmare-world of the Pit.

 Here is a song that seems to me to have a special meaning to those of us living on the edge of the Pit. Like Alisilene's, it is sung to a blonde wife by her brunette, like hers it epitomises the romance of married life; like hers it is based on a conceit - that of comparing a married couple to soldiers; but to me, it has an extra meaning, as many up-to-date songs have. A meaning the writer could not conceive of, yet seems magically so true. For isn't this a song about those of us who live on the edge of the Pit, about our courage in the face of its horror; about our steadfastness, always holding to what is true and good in the face of unnameable corruption and ugliness; always depending on each other, defending each other, standing shoulder to shoulder and defending the sacred Hestia like a fortress against a world gone mad?
 
 

A Couple of Soldiers

Introduction

 Everybody has trouble,
Care and worry too:
Some lie down and won't get up,
Some go smiling through.

 I'm in love with somebody,
Hope is never gone
The love we feel for each other
Keeps us marching on.

 Refrain

 We're a couple of soldiers,
My baby and me,
Fighting shoulder to shoulder,
Whatever may be.

 When she's weary, I cheer her,
She patches my clothes,
Then I bring her a medal:
A little red rose.

 Trouble and hard luck we face with a grin,
Like regular soldiers, we never give in.

 With a smile
All the while,
To the end we'll always be
Just a couple of soldiers, my baby and me.

 Yes, Alisilene, Trentish music is wonderful. The lilting saxophones and muted trumpets of your glorious bands are so jinky and friendly, and through all the razzmataz come sentiments as noble and uplifting as these. No wonder we love it.

 ANNALINDE


Music Playing: White Christmas by Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra


Dateline: 21 December 1951

Vintesse Music

Pip-pip, Pippsies! How too, too utterly delightful to see you all. Really. I just thought I'd pop in my tuppence-ha'penny for the jinkiest music avaliab. I mean, of course the music of Vintesse. Oh, I'm not going to claim it is Great Art, like the outpourings of the Trentish crooners, but you won't find better fun anywhere. How, for example, is this for sheer unadulterated jinkitty-doo? Imagine, if you will, a red-hot tune, and then savour these deliciously dotty words:

I Like Music

I like music
Old or new,
But music
Makes me do the things I never should do.

 I like music
Sweet or blue,
But music
Makes me do the things I never should do.

 My self-control was something to brag about
Now it's a gag about town
The things I do are never forgiven
For just when I'm livin' 'em down,

 I hear music
Then I'm through,
For music
Makes me do the things I never should do

 Mmmmm-MM! Didn't that really hit the spot?

 POUPEE


Unmentionable Confusion

As a recent visitor I must admit to a certain amount of confusion. I recently purchased the Great American Pin-up book which, contrary to the sample drawings displayed on the pin-up page is not simply about pette's whose unmentionables have done the unmentionable, but contains hundreds of drawings of exquisite finery from the 50's and earlier. And as a blonde, I would point out that of the thirteen ladies pictured losing their panties, six are brunettes, if you lump the redheads in with them. I am also wondering where the blonde's stockings in the elevator scene went , as they don't appear in the book.

 JESSIE



We should like to point out that, although, for reasons at which we can scarcely conjecture, the subject has attracted considerable comment at this Cocktail Bar, the truth is that only one of the pictures on the pin-up page actually depicts a blonde losing her unmentionables and the others may be fairly described as "drawings of exquisite finery from the 50's and earlier" (or, more properly, "from Quirinelle eastward"). We could hardly make a fair representation of such a massive and glorious book on a single page, but we did try.

 Clearly you are new here, Jessie, or you would know that a blonde can have raven-dark hair and still be a blonde. Stick around a while and you'll pick up the idea.

 As for the disappearing stockings - well, it's nice to see a girl lose something other than her unmentionables once in a way, isn't it?


Holiday Greetings From Trudy and Rosie

Hi, Pettes, it's us, Trudy and Rosie, Kadorian Blondes-in-residence in New Quirinelle, on a whirlwind Christmastime visit to Gotham. We arrived Monday night on the overnight Sky Chief from Chicago, but didn't get a wink of sleep because the South Side Girl Gospel Singers had booked most of the Pullman coach and rehearsed at full volume till all hours.

 So as soon as we arrived at Penn Station we grabbed a cab and headed uptown to our cousin J.'s on Broadway and West 107th., jumped into bed and didn't wake up until dinnertime. In J.'s neighborhood, nothing is ever more than a step away, so we had our choice of dozens of fine local restaurants. So we settled on Elaine's Chop House, where we all had Porterhouse steak and Potatoes O'Brien, a Gotham specialty.

 Next morning at the crack of dawn we rushed downtown on the Broadway-Seventh Avenue local to Times Square, just in time for the box offices to open on Broadway -- they open at 11 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which are Gotham matinee days. We managed to get tickets for the matinee performance of Showboat at half-price! That gave us three hours to kill until show time, so we hoofed it over to Fifth to look at the Christmas window displays at B. Altman's and Saks, then ogled the skimpily-skirted ice skaters at the Rockefeller Center and gazed at the huge Christmas tree -- this year, a 90-foot Norway spruce delicately festooned with thousands of tiny, multicolored lights. Then we decided to have a peek in at Tiffany's up on 57th., 'cause during the holiday season just about anypette can go in to stare longingly at all the glittering merchandise -- the salespettes don't have time to shoot withering glances at those without the slightest intentions of buying -- meaning us, (as a rule). We saw the most delish diamond wristwatch for only $8,000! Imagine -- three year's wages for a watch! This one had a heavy gold bracelet-band encrusted with diamonds, the edge of the case itself was studded with more, and the entire watch face was literally paved with the teensiest, most darling diamonds one could ever imagine! But the watch hands were white, so that it was impossible to see their position against the watch face of diamonds, so the watch was not really a watch, because one could not tell the time! So Rosie takes one look, cocks a fine eyebrow and cracks, "Any girl who can afford a watch like that doesn't ever need to know what time it is anyway." Sometimes Rosie can sound just like a brunette, you know.

 So by then it was getting near show time, and we hadn't yet luncheoned, so we hoofed it back double-time over towards Broadway where all the eateries are (a girl could starve looking for a place to eat over on Fifth which wouldn't set her back a month's rent!) So we turned onto Broadway and we found ourselves smack in front of the famous Carnegie Delicatessen, so we went in for luncheon. It was packed with elegant theatergoers (like us) and the walls were all covered, from wainscoting to ceiling, with autographed black-and-white glossy photos of famous Broadway stars and movie actresses and writers, etcetra etcetra. We had a waitress named Flo with a face like an old bucket of nails and a rusty voice to match: she whipped out her order pad with a snap and growled, "Whad'll it be, hon?" at Rosie. So when Rosie hesitated for a less than a second (all those months in New Quirinelle have blunted her timing), Flo spun on her heel, rasping, "I'll be back when you goils are ready." But she was a really very sweet waitress (one mustn't be put off by hard-boiled Gotham ways), so afterwards, when the lunchtime crush had slightly abated, she wanted to hear all about New Quirinelle and the magic bus ride we took to get there last summer. As for the luncheon, well, Rosie and I shared a pastrami-on-rye with Swiss, which should really have been called a rye-on-pastrami with Swiss, because the sandwich was so very gigantic that the bread slice on the bottom could not even be seen, while the forlorn top slice looked about as large as a half dollar, teetering precariously on a quivering mountain of pastrami before finally toppling onto the plate. We each had to "eat down" our halves with a fork before we could put the top slice of rye on and pick them up with our fingers as proper sandwiches! They came with a side of potato salad that must have been more than a pound. Plus a plateful of Gotham half sours and pickled tomatoes -- special treats we have sorely missed during our stay in New Quirinelle where sweet, home-made bread-and-butter pickles are the rule.

 So on the way to the theater Rosie and I bought each other carnation corsages from a pert red-nosed pette in a little kiosk on the corner and made it to the matinee just in time! (Well, almost: the sweet young blonde usherette had to shush our giggles and take us to our seats in the dark, expertly trailing the beam of her flashlight on the plush carpet behind her to show us the way.) Gosh, Showboat was great! This is the first revival of it in the fifteen years since its first Broadway run in '27, so of course the cast was new -- all very young pettes. The costumes were terrific! The story starts in 1887 and ends up in 1927, so all their elegant dresses and hats change with each scene. So the cast went from wearing full bustles and broad-brimmed straw bonnets with elaborate florals to skimpy flapper dresses dripping with beads and tight-fitting cloches.

 After the show we took the subway back up Broadway to 103rd. and stopped in at Lorette's Intimate Fashions, a tiny but very exclusive lingerie shop for Gotham girls in the know -- it's one of those little hole-in-the-wall places with hardly any display -- the stock is piled high in boxes floor-to-ceiling, so a girl really has to know what she wants. Mme. Lorette, a knowledgeable brunette of a certain age, knows most of her clients quite well -- what they like, what they don't -- and which particular lingerie line happens to best fit this or that particular client, so she was pleased to see both of us and trotted out her latest (and silkiest and laciest) arrivals from Paris, intimate fashions unimagined in New Quirinelle (nothing quite so naughty there -- land of apple pie, canned tomatoes and sensible pink cotton underwear, you know). So Rosie and I each made a discreet acquisition or three, then strolled uptown a few blocks to the New Asia Nail Salon where we treated ourselves to a manicure and polish job, performed by shy Chinese pettes who were all the while gossiping gaily 'mongst themselves -- in Cantonese -- probably 'bout their clients (as the maids in the Gammymaid Society thought they might do 'bout their mistresses, and probably will, sooner or later), with the added delight that they can gossip right in front of them! So here is a picture of sweet Rosie, feeling every inch the properly pampered blonde, rolling down her frilly sleeves after her manicure. And glowing.

 Bye, Pettes All! Have a very merry Christmas!

 TRUDY,
BLONDE FROM KADORIAN GOTHAM (ON HOLIDAY FROM NEW QUIRINELLE)


Punitive Service and Santa Claus

I am still confused as to what punitive service is, as I am still very new to the customs of the land of Aristasia. What exactly is punitive service? Is it a type of solitary confinement, like when you've been naughty and your Mommy sends you to your room for a period of time? Or is it more involved than that even? In understanding the implications, it seems to be so different from the laws in the Pit, as when someone is bad, they get sent to a place called a jail.

 How long they have to go depends on how bad they were, and if they had been bad before the current offense. It's much like when your Mommy sends you to your room, except a lot nicer.

 Unfortunately, jails in the pit aren't that much of a deterrent, for people in jails must be kept comfortable, they can't be made to work, they must be fed well and provided with all kinds of amenities that some normal good working people can't even afford. And never never, no matter how naughty or bad they are, can they be smacked! A lot of people in the pit, who are tired of working, will do things to get sent to the jails so that they can live so nicely. I have a feeling that punitive service in Aristasia is nothing like the jails of the pit though, as Aristasia is sane, and the Pit just makes no sense at all.

 Well, enough questions about unpleasantries such as jails and punitive service (though I would like to understand more about the differences, if someone would be so very kind to explain it to me!). I'd rather talk about my favorite thing in the world, the lovely holiday season that is now upon us. I so enjoyed the picture that Mary posted of dear Santa Claus, in all of her red finery. I've often wondered if anyone has managed to stay awake long enough on Christmas Eve to see her descend down the chimney. I have tried many a year, sneaking out of bed and watching from behind the couch. For some reason though, every time I fall sound asleep, dreaming of all kinds of magical things like children riding their sleds all bundled up on Christmas morn, and girls opening all sorts of presents under a brightly lit tree, while the smells of gingerbread and apple pie waft through the house. I always awaken in the morning, sore and stiff from the position I fell asleep in to find that the wondrous Santa has already made her way to my house, and left her bundle of joy behind. Last year she even left me a note telling me to stop sneaking down the stairs, otherwise in the future she'd bring me a lump of coal and maybe even some switches!!! Be assured that this year I will resist the temptation to peek, and will stay firmly rooted in my bed all night long!

 We have been so busy here, baking cookies and making candies for the festivities next week. We've finished all the decorations and the wrapping of presents, so now we're down to the final countdown for Christmas Day to get here. It seems like these days are the longest and slowest days of the year, as we wait.

 I do hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, filled with joy and family and everything one should hold dear. Just make sure to leave out plenty of milk and cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve too, for she has lots and lots of work to do that night, and gets powerfully thirsty as well as hungry, and the sugar in the cookies gives her the energy she needs to carry out her work!

 Sincerely,
ELIZABETH



Punitive Service! What a curious Nativity topic! However, since we have got on to it, let us try to explain it. It is nothing like solitary confinement. What it means is being bound as a maidservant to a mistress for a period of time under very strict conditions. Just how strict depends on the nature of the Punitive Service, but Punitive girls certainly get smacked.

 There are no jails at all in Aristasia, and one must understand that, since there are no em-ee-en, and also since Aristasians generally love their country and their District and their County and feel deeply bound by ties of love and loyalty to the other Aristasians about them, crime is much rarer than in the Pit, and generally fairly minor when it does happen. So usually a smack or an imposition is given for offences, sometimes a few days of Punitive Service, or for big offences (by Aristasian standards) a few weeks or even months.

 The idea of Punitive Service is to help girls reform by a mixture of love and strictness.


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