Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet Madge

Madge came into existence one afternoon spent with my sisters at an engagement party. An offhand remark, "nice wrap" I believe it was, turned into one of those add-on stories where each person continues adding information until you have a complete story - or as in our case - until you are laughing so hard you cannot continue on without a nap and a box of tissues.

We created Madge.

To the best of my recollection it is the late 1940's, and Madge, in her late 50's, works as a hat check girl at a popular Hollywood night club. She tends to wear navy blue or black dresses - rayon - with large polka dots. She keeps a lacy handkerchief tucked in her decollete and wears baby doll sling backs. Her red lips are outlined a bit, Lucille Ball style, her eyebrows have been plucked into non-existence and are filled in with reddish brown eyebrow pencil lines with a nice arch over the right eye. Her yellow blonde hair is in an up-sweep held together by an array of bobby pins. Madge is a bit overweight, but the tightly cinched belts on her dresses are a reminder (to her) of her once 19 inch waist. Did I mention Madge smokes non filtered Pall Malls? Her raspy voice is a result of 25 years of talking with a cigarette parked daintily in the side of her mouth.
It's a busy night club, the Florentine Room, so when Madge talks, you can only hear her end of the conversation:

Hey Darlin, did you want your wrap?
Oh, you're waiting for.. ..who'd I see you come in with.... Johnny? Johnny Weise?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
You been seeing him long, Darlin?
Can Madge here give you a little advice? Hey are you cryin' Darlin'?
What'd he do?
Oh, it's what he said.
Here, use my handkerchief. Yeah, it's clean.
Oh, scuse the ashes. Let me brush that off the counter.
No, you don't have to tell me about Johnny. He comes in here all the time.
Yeah, with pretty girls just like you. Treats them all just like you. Thinks if he gives you a good dinner he can say whatever he wants and show off in front of his low life friends.
He said he does what? Johnny? Heh heh. Naw. He don't have a real job that I know of. He just does work on the side, but I'm not gonna get into that Darlin'. He catches wind that I've been talking about him he'll give me what for.
He's gonna come out looking for you in a minute. Let me give you some advice. If you're as smart as you are pretty, you'll high tail it out of here, Darlin' and find some nice guy that treats you like a lady.
Yeah, you don't have to tell me. I've seen a thousand of you come in here for a free meal with some guy that pretends he's a big shot. Say's he knows agents and writers. Well, they don't know anybody. They just know how to talk a good story and then they want you for dessert. Heh heh.

My best advice is you go back to the farm town in Iowa, or Oklahoma or Indiana and finish school and find yourself a nice life. You ain't gonna find it here, that's for sure.
So what do ya say? Let Madge call a taxi for you. You slip out the back door.
Johnny? Oh, let me handle him, Darlin. I'll tell him you're feeling a bit under the weather in the Ladies room.
Sure, I'll call that taxi right now. You can wait out back. My Georgie is out there waiting in the car for me. He comes to pick me up every night. Doesn't want any of these wise guys messin' with me. He'll watch out for you. Got the ticket stub?

Now let me find your coat, blue one, ain't it, and we'll get you outta here lickity split, Darlin'.


Betsy said...

Oh, I think Madge is a sweetie with a big heart! :) My favorite line...

Here, use my handkerchief. Yeah, it's clean.


Debby said...

Madge sounds like a great gal. Hope she kicks the Pall Mall habit before they knock her right out of her polka dots.

Terry said...

Oh Muse
I love Madge .
Madge is so real to me
She is right out of my childhood,
My young adulthood,
hey whenever I need Madge she has always appeared for me out of some smoky
silver blue haze.
Madge is such a wise woman of the world.
Thanks Madge.
I wish she would write a book so I could keep her words of wisdom handy.
Oh Muse I am so touched by your post.
Thank you .
I have a feeling Madge has been visiting a lot of kittens over the years .
Love ya

steviewren said...

Madge reminds me of Daphne and her friend Skippy on the Andy Griffith show. Remember those two fun loving broads? I think Skippy was the one with the raspy voice.

I hope you are crazy busy writing a novel. I'm positive you could write a best seller.

Jane In The Jungle said...

Ok myfave...scuse the ashes... and I can just see her say it!!

Martha said...

Love the hat, the postcard from the Hollywood Cemetary, Everything!!

Bibi said...

Har! I too love to make up stories like this...and I have a hat veeery similar to Madge's, though that's where the resemblance ends...

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Love your imagination, Muse! :))

Lanny said...

Loved the story, but I would like to know how a PallMall parks daintily anywhere, especially on the side of large red lips? Giggled half way through the story just from that one image.

Beth Niquette said...

Wonderful story and I LOVE the hat!

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