Lady Lynda stepped up from the wood side steps to the stage. Once she got there her signs of nervousness disappeared. She quickly perused the mostly young to middle aged crowd. Her observation was couples in various ethnic groups, including blacks and Hispanics. She tastefully cleared her throat and started lecturing. The middle aged woman looked demure in her lemon chiffon sheath.
“I am truly grateful you came here to see my teach you proper manners. Can you imagine how thrilled I am to be on this tour. I want to thank you from the cockles of my heart…”
Suddenly a young rowdy male teenager in tee and jeans yelled “WTF lady!!!”
Lady Lynda replied “My dear young man. I understand what you are trying to say. Allow me to tell you my talk is only tonight. I’m terribly sorry but its not Wednesday, Thursday, Friday too.”
Lady Lynda partook from the cup nearby. “Its only water. I think it was be the height of impropriety to drink something stronger. I’m certain you get my drift. Getting back to my talk. Etiquette is the art of making people feel comfortable. Specifically my mission is to save young womenkind of hellocious influence of this dastardly world. Do your utmost never to disparage anyone. If you need to do so, do it discreetly. In that way they won’t get hurt. As they say what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Please don’t comment on disparities too. For instance if you see a man whose 2’8” and a man whose over 8′ don’t say well thats the short and the tall of it. Pardon the sentiment of telling a person with different colored eyes. Well one blew this and the other blew that way. These two examples bring back the time Seymour and I visited the World Cheapest Freak Show in Intercourse PA. Stop tittering. That’s the height of decadence. I forlornly remember the star freak was a man with a deviated septum. The poor dear I thought but for the grace of the LORD there go I. Here’s a different example If you ever meet siblings who were born conjoined twins never mention the song by Peaches and Herb “Reunited. I deign believe it would traumatize the poor dears. Let them go their separate ways. I recall some years ago a dear woman friend called me in the middle of night. She was utterly distraught discovering her favorite male movie star was bald. I consoled her by mentioning ‘Look what he’d save in hair products. Why the snickering?” Lady Lynda inquired puzzled and rather miffed.
Some slutty young woman yelled “That’s not the only benefit. Besides I could really use a “Snickers” right now. as she snickered.
“Pray tell what ever could be some other good in being hair deprived?
A sassy young woman dressed in a purple shag hair style, matching make up in the latest Goth fashion yelled “A different benefit comes to be me right away” She emphasized the word comes ever so slightly but enough that many of the individuals there quickly understood her drift.
Lady Lynda still puzzled decided to ignore the woman who so intensely reminded her of the female charges of the “Charm School for Wayward Girls” If only this dear waif was so unfortunate not be part of her class. Maybe if she ignored her crude remark and continued on with her talk, the poor dear just might learn a thing about proper manners. Such as not interrupting with crude remarks.
Lady Lynda continued smoothing out her fine lemon chiffon dress to regain her composure. “Moving on I remember the other day I was walking through the corridor of a subway station. A young man came up to me and said he wanted to let his thing do its thing with me. I told him of course constructively yet firmly. That was the worst pick up line ever!!!” Besides thing is such a general term. He looked peeved at me but it was for his own edification. I told you won’t impress if you are redundant. Let me repeat. Noone likes someone who uses redundancies.”
“Speaking of being redundant I hope you were edified by my talk and I continue my tour. I wish you adeiu my dears.”
Well, I have news to share. Lady Lynda shall not accompany me in the Primrose Detective agency in my criminal sleuthing. She will continue on the lecture circuit, teaching our young ladies decorum and manners. I consider it a meritorious undertaking. People need to know proper manners and morals in these hellacious times. Man was born a savage and needs the ameliorating effect of such instruction. A lady is to draw the line at her neck line and not topple over at the first utterance of an insincere or nefarious compliment. Ardor should be contained until the wedding night. Then Pop Goes the Weasel. A little witticism for you, dear. Ah the glorious, halcyon days of youth and innocence. But, I do digress.
Well my next case involved the shady, sorrowful, sumptuous death of the late pop singer, Tom Bones best known for the song, “What’s New Scaredy Cat”, whoa, whoa, whoa. He was a fine looking, rustic, bawdy looking Welch man, and had a way of moving that suggested amorous intent. He had a passionate voice so as the melt the heart of the most chill of women. Ah, those quivering hips, I deign to say. I am so outré, so naughty. I even shock myself.
I viewed the pictures of the crime scene, so gritty, and graffic like a Diane Arbus picture of the idiots standing on their little pin heads, (the poor dears). I asked, Moe Wheedle, the head detective, if I might view the murder scene to get some psychic vibes I might be able to gather there. I felt the evil presence of an unknown woman waft through the still air. People used to ask me for the happenings at the end of their lives and I used to tell the truth and got into a lot of contretemps and sometimes, fisticuffs, so now I tell all women their ex- husbands will be at their graves, pining for them and regretting the acquisition of their trophy wives. For men, I tell them I see them bedding Marilyn Monroe in a pile of thick, rose hued cumulus clouds after death.
Tom was found head down at the New York Park Hyatt, frothing at the mouth. To me, this indicated a poisoning of some kind. Mo Wheedle affirmed this theory, but said that the tox screen revealed no known poison. Mo, a large, fat frumpy man, in wrinkled suit and dirt on his collar, chewed his tobacco said, “I think he was headed for the ‘terlet’ when she done him in.” His second sergeant said, “Ah, boss, you always say that every time.”
“Cuz, it’s true most of the time, pilgrim. When people are emptying their bladders it’s an excellent opportunity to kill them because then they’re not alert! Ya see.”
I concurred though I did not exactly follow his line of reasoning. Always butter up the detectives and let them feel superior. A man’s ego is so fragile, my darlings. Well again I digress. The room looked like a Victoria Secret set with panties bras, bustiers, and silk stockings thrown about and Moe Wheedle surmised that Tom was a closet “fairy” to use his patois. I informed him that women threw their panties and room keys on the stage when Tom Bones performed and he just said “Oh,” and looked pensive, no mean task for him. In fact he looked kind of misty in mind like phone ringing nobody home. No wonder he needed a psychic!
Before leaving me to my musings, he paused at the door, and turned to say, “Oh yeah one thing is kinda preculiar. He had been drinking heavily and he had a pair of black lace panties in his mouth when he died. Watcha think of that, Madame Carol?”
I gueried him as to whether he tested the panties for poison and he pompously said that he had and not to try to second guess him as he was in charge of the investigation not me!
I apologized for my foolhardiness and expressed my amazement at his superior sleuthing and told him I was just a mere woman. He was much soothed and walked out like the cock of the walk.
I decided to study the women in his life for it was known he never had dalliances with his fans though he did collect and take their panties with him after the performances. I knew the mode of poisoning it had to be in the panties and was an unknown poison.
He was married to Helena Bonham Farter for ten years and I surmised she knew him best, so I researched her first. She was an astounding beauty, dark haired and porcelain skinned, like an E. A. Poe heroine. I liken her to the mistress of the “House of Usher”. She was for a delicate woman a ferocious lover, wild and wanton. What do the men say, “a lady in the board room and a whore in the bedroom.” When they divorced she went to “The Farm of Funny”. And she came out of that place distraught, morose and moody, and took to burning Tom in effigy every Sunday, chanting, “Die, die you rotten scum. I’ll burn your damn wandering cock”.
Afterward he dated a stripper a Miz Una Linear, a tempestuous Taurus. Though beautiful as Botticelli’s Venus on the Half Shell, she was terribly insecure. In fact, she took to her bed for three days after seeing crow’s feet forming under her vapid cerulean eyes. She was like a cavern that could never be filled, and her constant neediness drove Tom away. This is a lesson, for you, Dears, never be a tabula rosa for “Nature abhors a vacuum.”
Then there was Meredith the Monolith, a dominatrix, he dated for a time. She was stern and masterful and liked to give Tom a good thrashing on occasion and she demanded he “worship” her feet by licking her toes. There were many others but I picked these for they seemed the most “unmanned”. A little bon mot for you, darlings. I decided to interview Helena as the other two had alibis at the time of his death. Besides in the old movies the wife is always the culprit. One can’t argue with that can one. There is one thing I must shamed facedly admit. When I went to the morgue to see his corpse I sneaked a peak at his ‘love instrument’ and I deign to say it was magnificent. I am no angel after all.
So, I interviewed Helena, the ex-wife, who was not without wit. The first thing she said was “I want you to know I’m not burning Tom in effigy anymore. That would be redundant!” Then she let fly raucous laughter like a hyena on the Serengeti Plains. I liked her: I love a good belly laugh.
“Why do you not ask the cause of death?” I inguired.
“Madame I read newspapers, you silly goose, after all I do live in this world. I loved Tom and would never actually harm him. I so state it,” she countered. They are not aware of which kind of poison killed him, a real pity. It’s like that Escher painting of a man climbing stairways that lead nowhere.” And came the outrageous laughter again.
“You know Tom was really the only man I ever loved, so giving, kind and sensual, and the voice of Gabriel, The Angel. I could not harm a hair on his head. Never. Ever.”
I saw a movement out of the corner of my eyes and asked her what it was. She replied that it was her two Gila Monsters, Mort Sahl and Sally. Did I tell you Tom had a fascination with women’s underwear, putting it in his mouth, and throwing back a shot of Stolichnaya, and then singing “I am marching to Pretoria.”
“You did it didn’t you? Gila Monsters are deadly poisonous. And you knew of his fetish.”
“Perhaps so, if memory serves. But on the other hand I am certifiable insane and gasp, don’t know right from wrong. So do you think I climbed the fire escape like a cat burglar and poisoned all the pants. Ha! Prove it! The evidence is circumstantial and don’t you think I’m smart enough to destroy the tainted pair of underwear. This is all hearsay evidence. Never would I poison them all. You can’t call this a confession either as I had no lawyer present and you did not read me my Miranda rights. Pet the lizards: they are fond of you.” Her laughter was so incongruous to her pale unearthly Degas like beauty.
Curiously Strange. But, I liked that evil women. Things down with panache and style are commendable. Of course I turned her in but knew she would be wild haired reciting snippets of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, running amok when they came for her. “Mad but north northwest” as they say.
Written by CAROL ANN bond author of POEMS OF THUNDER @ Amazon & BN.com
Lady Lynda May Hoffenfetter Toze was filled with glee. Her tour was finally commencing. She was delightfully pleased she made a concerted effort to start her delectable teachings was here. The ruffians of society would be saved by her elucidations. It would be a fait accompli. Her fervent dedication, preparation would now pay off.
This was moment she was waiting for. At last she would make her grand entrance to the dilapidated peons of society. Lady Lynda told herself she would gently, genteely elucidate proper manners. Never, no matter how ignominious, she would never impugn them.
To do so, she dogmatically reminded herself would the height of rudeness. Plus it was intolerably insensitive. It wasn’t their fault they were so ignorant. It was her duty to teach them. Not to harangue the ignorant crowd.
Now was the moment. She would momentarily make her grand entrance onto the stage. Her flowing lemon yellow chiffon dress she so tastefully wore would complement her tasteful gold and garnet jewelry. There Lady Lynda would instruct the people the way of correct etiquette. They would be boors no more.
It was at the Lula P. Dankwarth municipal Conference Center. It was in Savannah GA. It would be at the grand ballroom. She wished she wasn’t feeling butterflies in her stomach. So much so it seemed as if an entire colony. She was glad she put on enough deodorant, antiperspirant and lightly dusted herself with lilac dusting powder. On her soft delicate hands, stylish white gloves. Oh yes she thought that would be the height of rudeness to let them see her sweat or even worse, emit a disagreeable odor. She would be a hypocrite.
Even so Lady Lynda was pleased her flowing chiffon outfit breathed in a most delightful manner. Now if only she could breath as delightfully. This was the moment of truth. It was do or well she realized the rest of the saying. She would appear to be a blithe, sophisticated spirit. But underneath she was feeling like a charlatan. She knew it was imperative she was up to the task. But just this once she would seize the moment.