Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh, Dear Me

Goodness gracious, my bunnies. I'm so sorry that I have taken such a long hiatus, but I do have a reason. I can't go into much detail as I fear that I'm being watched, but suffice to say that I am on the "lam", for lack of a better word.

I was leaving from my perch on the rooftop of the Woodward Building in Soho, where I was watching through my spy specs, my husband and that thing he calls a woman exiting a late night bistro. As I came from the back door, I was suddenly struck in the base of skull and collected right then and there.

"Collected" you ask? Yes, dears. In my line of work, we never say "kidnapped", since we're not kids and there is no napping involved. It sounds so amateurish that way. And "absconded" is what one does with a neglected cookie on the countertop. "Collected" is what a mother does with her wild brood, or what a tiny girl or a doddering first lady does with Easter Eggs. Gather those things which need gathering. And that's what happened to me. It was nothing personal, though it was quite unpleasant.

I was sequestered in a warehouse just off the meat packing district. I know this, even though I was blinded folded because I could smell the raw beef and sausage casings through the gauze. The held me there for weeks, it seemed and I'd have escaped sooner but it seemed that the lunt who was guarding me never tired of gazing at my gams and melons, so I couldn't get a moment to use the dental underwire. What's this, you ask? Suffice to say that pimply adolescents have retainers, spies have dental underwiring, slipped on each morning for situations just like this. And since I could tie a cherry stem into a sailor's knot with my tongue, it's not a major task for me to slip off the wire, fashion it into a corkscrew and free myself from any ridiculous knot these Boy Scout rejects could have tied.

So now, there is a trail of dead collectors in my wake, I have a husband and a whore with whom I have unfinished business and I'm late for a fundraising party at the Waldorf Astoria. And my dress is an absolute mess.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Mare at Night is Not Really a Nightmare

I had a puzzling dream the other night. I was in my kitchen, making a tuna casserole and I was out of toasted breadcrumbs. The house I was living in wasn't my house at all, but one of the homes of my old Black Cat prowls, a tract house in the San Fernando Valley. Anyway, I went onto the porch to see if perhaps there would be bread there (it was a dream, bunnies, so it isn't supposed to make sense). Anyway, out on to the porches of every single cottage down the street came a single woman, housedress alight with various floral prints, hair looking sculpted as if from clay. And simultaneously, they each called out for breadcrumbs, that their husbands would be home any minute and their tuna casseroles weren't ready. And then, Seabuscuit came galloping down the empty roadway, whinneying at the top of his lungs. And so I dashed inside, and began hammering lumber across the door, fearful that they would began pounding upon my door, thinking I had a loaf of bread stashed somewhere inside. And as I pouded the ten-penny nails through the hard cedar planks, the nails twisted themselves back out again, like worms crawling out from the dirt. And then I woke up, lightly dewy in perspiration.

I'm feeling oh so worried, kittens. This morning I was going through Walter's jacket pockets (you would think I would know better after discovering the aged nectarine and the exploded tube of Ben-Gay). What should I find but a matchbook from the St. Sebastiane Hotel off 49th street. Walter hasn't been to that hotel, that I know of, ever. For those of you not familiar with the St. Sebastiane, it rents rooms for $3.00 per hour, $2.50 if you bring your own linens. And what's with the matchbook? Please, Walter. Taking a matchbook from a hotel in which you are doing something scandalous is so cliched, it's rather "1932 Film Noir" if you ask me. And ridiculously stupid. But here's the puzzling thing: I'm not the least bit jealous. Perhaps since I've never really been able to give of myself to him, there's nothing he has of me that he can hurt. So many women, they give their heart and soul to their men and then when those men act like men do, the poor women blather on about how "he stole a piece of me." No, honey. He didn't steal from you. You gave it to him. He just didn't take care of it and left it laying around so that it could get damaged by the elements. That's what men do. Unless it's kept safe behind their zippers, they don't give a damn about it. And even that thing they throw out for any Susan that wants to look at it.

So what to do with the tramp he's meeting? I could easily find her, of course. I could find her and snap her neck before she even smelled the Chanel Number 5 wafting from my collar. And I might. Oh, I'm not jealous, dears. I'm telling the truth in that. I just hate to be made to look the fool. I'm a lot of things, but "stupid" is not one of them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bubble, Bubble, Toilet Trouble

Oh dear me, but Bora Bora was Love-a, Love-a! I'd forgotten what it was like to simply rest, not having to roll a plan of attack around in the back of my mind, watching from the corner of my eye at every Tom, Dick and Mary that saunters by, anticipating the telltale glint of polished metal that may come flying at my temple either in bullet or knife form. The pool was wonderfully warm, the cocktails were chilly and copious and the massuese was...well...suffice to say that the masseuse was thorough.

But as with Russian caviar on toast, the gentle tingle running up my gams and the guilty pleasure of a vanilla Tastee-Freeze, all good things must come to an end. A gal can't spend her whole life sipping Mai Tais and drinking in the local cabana boys' white, toothy smiles, can she? Not when evil continues to fester in this wonderful world of ours.

On the way home, we had a stopover in Shanghai, which I thought was an odd diversion coming from Bora Bora to Los Angeles. I nearly put in a curt phone call to my travel secretary, but upon landing, I received a fortune cookie that had the telltale odor of Pine Sol. I cracked it open to find a brief, but crystal clear message informing me that I was to take suddenly ill, running posthaste to the nearest powderroom to my gate. Once again, Walter gave me a wide berth as I sqeaked out an explanation, hands to my nether regions, dashing on my $150 Giles Sinclair pumps across the tarmac to the glass double doors.

In the powderroom, there was one stall in which the door was securely locked. Pulling a bobby pin from my hair, I opened it in no time at all, then began spinning the Scott towel dispenser as directed. It was necessary to spin at a specific speed, as the instructions written on the paper were not in code, but in the obscure Tzichitan script that I had (thankfully) mastered when stranded so many years ago on the island of Tzichiti (south of Psusupsusu in the Pacific ring around LaRosie). And when I saw what I was to do, I was not surprised, but I was supremely peeved. Why, oh why dear Goddess does it have to be me? And not even have the common decency to provide gloves that reach up to a dame's elbows?

I kneeled, as one would do should she feel the overwhelming urge to purge, or if she has dropped her Tiffany platinum and diamond earring into the toilette. The route that waste travels when flushed away is not the pathway I'd have predicted. There is a snakey manner to it, a design that one's forearm does not navigate easily. But if determined, a lithe gal can retrieve the plastic bag filled with explosives and if she is at the top of her game, she can draw it from the bowl without puncturing the bag and hence, ruining the contents.

It had been years since I'd dabbled in explosives and much has progressed since the days of the French Resistance. Plastics. Electrical centrifuges. Mercury-based ignition points. Good grief. And the lunt that wrote the directions should either have his eyes checked or gouged from his head with spoons. I'm sorry my bunnies, but I was so livid I could hardly spit. It was a miracle I didn't blow myself from Shanghai to Peking. Suffice to say, it worked. I managed to construct the explosive Tiki Doll as instructed, slip it into the handbag of the wife of Secretary of Defense Xiaoping (sorry, dear Fang, but you knew when you married the snake that it might come to this).

Liftoff was uninteresting, save for the sudden yellow glow and the quiver of turbulance that appeared from below. I understand that Judy Garland is appearing in New York this coming week. I so love her. I'll never forget that wild night we spent in the Bronx, when we took the wrong subway after a night of appletinis and brie-stuffed crouquets. But then, that's another story.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Walter and I were stranded at the airport for nearly six hours, snowed in and forced to make small talk while waiting for clearance to leave for our vacation to Bora Bora. My luggage had already been stowed, elsewise I'd have simply taken my rabbit muff and snuggled against the pillow that is my husband and had a bit of a catnap. But no. I had to make do with an extra pair of hose that I'd slipped into my coat pocket, which I stuffed with copious amounts of Kleenex to soften the resting of my head on Walter's shoulder. We talked of the sun and surf that would be awaiting us soon, and I dreamed of a certain summer's day of my youth, an afternoon of chasing the waves at the Atlantic shores of Martha's Vinyard with my childhood friend Stephen. How I miss dear Stephen. I wonder sometimes if he thinks of me, imagines even in his wildest dreams that lovely, pert Vivian LaFontane has moved from tossing pebbles to hurling knives. I picture him in his tiny cabin in Fairbanks, Alaska, typing furitively at his typewriter, churning out those gripping, sultry poems for which he has made such a name for himself.

The snow was so pleasant, soft and wispy and even though I had to endure Walter telling me for the seventh time about the time he and his brother built a snowman the size of farm tractor, I didn't mind. I was warm in the crook of his arm, the stash of Wisconsin cheeses that I discovered in my handbag were delightfully delicious and I knew that Bora Bora wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Need a Vacation in the Worst Way!

I'm just so tired these days. I don't know if it's the weather or the constant demands upon my skills and time. I'm certainly not a young flower anymore, that much is true. There are days that I operate in the mindset of youth, where I walk down the street envisioning myself as one would have seen me ten, fifteen years ago. Free of worry lines, skin taught and curves holding up like girders on the Chrysler tower. And then I walk past the picture window of any number of shops, glancing over to take in the sumptuous display of jewelry or shoes that the store owner has taken upon himself to advertise. And then I am reminded that I am not the young sparrow I once was, but a mature woman, one who—no matter the speed with which I can traverse the back alleys—cannot outrun the evils of time.

Walter and I will be leaving for Bora Bora at the end of the month and I only wish I could show the slightest sliver of excitement. But I can't. I must be as pleasurable to be around as a death row stool pigeon licking up the remnants of his last meal. I don't know. Maybe it's time for something different. There is a search party leaving for Tibet in six weeks, in search of a vanished agent by name of Red Robin. It's not a life that needs to be saved, it's a tiny square of microfilm, securely embedded in a part of the body that will, if not salvaged posthaste, will soon appear in the light of day should decomposition be occurring right now.

Monday, March 3, 2008

What's in borsht? Beet's me!

I had the opportunity to travel to Leningrad this month, but I declined. I don't typically get the privilege of doing so, therefore I make sure I have sufficient grounds when asking for a postponement of duties. The truth is, Walter is simply not up to the travel. We've been to the land of nesting dolls and vodka before and we've been real sports in the Rusky region. But Walter is mired in the doldrums. I swear, my cherry blossoms, I thought it was we, the fairer sex, that were the harbigers of the moody blues. But give me a maiden in her menses any day over a man in the muck. First Miles, then Walter. I think Walter is coming off the end of his midlife crisis and since he wasn't able to buy a sportscar or take up with dainty Scandinavian tennis coach, I fear that he's realizing his moment to indulge within the excuse of a cliche is passing him by. I'm considering sending a masseuse up to his room, if only to give him some guilt to distract him from his own self-imposed misery. Do I sound cold, unfeeling and...oh dear, I hate to use the caustic and overused term...bitchy? Perhaps. But when you've spent evenings dodging shards of Waterford crytal, snipers hiding in the stormdrains along your footpath (shooting up, no less--try being surprised by an updraft of hot lead, bunnies) and stitching your own six inch knife wound, courtesy of a stupid and clumsy (and, subsequently expired) rookie agent of the Persian guard, then you try and drum up sympathy for a man who sits like a loaf of rising bread dough in the library, lamenting over the loss of a few more strands of hair. Oh well, such is the lot in the Delacourt palace.

Speaking of Miles, he is for the better, thank the gods of gaydom. Upon the completion of the Dim Sum mission, we'd pulled into a shipping warehouse at the docks, to await our contact and transport down the coast. Who should slide open the doors with such brutish grace but Agent 76, aka, "The Silver Wolf." A man's man, if I ever saw one and it didn't take long for me to figure out which of us he'd be helping into his boat first. "A stunning accent of ocelot, Madame Delacourt," he noted. "I have a smoking jacket made from the same cat." Purrr.... And Miles sprung into action. I captained the boat all the way to Norfolk, while the men...took a catnap in the cabin.

I do so love the sailing life, don't you?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shall I Dim Sum More?

Poor Miles. My heart bleeds for the dear boy. I remember the first time we met like it was yesterday. We were in Katmandu, Walter and I and I'd double-vaulted over a concrete fence topped with broken Coca-Cola bottles. My hands were a bloody mess (and I say that with literatal meaning, not with a British bent). I'd dashed into a small tea shop and there, leaning against the counter smoking a cigarello was the most dashing, handsome man I'd seen in ages (Sorry, Walter, but the description cannot be avoided). Hair the color of Kansan straw, just baled after lunch on a June day, eyes like a Caribbean coral reef. "Either you've just come from an emergency interchestal heart massage, or you could use a slathering of merchurochrome on those mittens." I knew then that he was none other than Miles, aka "The Blue Dolphin". He commenced to wrapping my hands in moistened Franciscan gauze (made from Italian llama, no less) and whisked me to a waiting car, where we raced from the city, him shooting an Argentinian Ballesta Molina over his left shoulder, using only the side mirror for reference, while I hurled Molotov cocktails (made from the local distilled rum, a waste of perfectly good sprits I might say, but then I digress...).

I wouldn't gather his personal proclivities until later that night when I, and I'm embarrassed to admit this now, couldn't for the life of me figure out why the man hadn't made a pass at this smoldering dame. It was when he smiled and said simply, "I love your furs, but I'd prefer to feel the outside than venture inside." Ah, but of course. And it was, at the moment, a match made in heaven. We've been there through thick and thin, Miles and I, and now when I see those crystal blue eyes well with tears over the loss of his dearly beloved, my heart melts along with his.

The Dim Sum was divine; I only wish I could have partaken. The representative from Chile was immediately recognized in his sage green Farah suit and his moustache that was more "moose" than "Stache" if you know what I mean (and I know you do, my fair pussies). The cosmetics bag was just as lethal as I'd expected. How, you say? Well, sit back into your Davenports, my dears and read on:

The first layer from the tube number one must coat the lips entirely. Allow to air dry for no less than five minutes. Apply the cherry red #3 from case #2 (Do NOT mix these up. Case #3 applied in step 2 will melt your lips off like a crayon mashed into a dashboard cigarette lighter). Do not apply this more than one hour before the mission is to be carried out. Lure the target into the kitchen, ask him to breathe in the sumptous aroma of the potstickers. The canister, it steams well, does it not? Opens those pores nice and wide? Make a joke about the phallic shape of the potstickers, then laugh and kiss him with a peck on the cheek. Feign embarrassment over your lewd actions and blame the heat in the hellish kitchen. Wipe the lipsick from his face using a handkerchief, swirling in a clockwise fashion, ensuring that it grinds in to the skin nicely. Excuse yourself to the powder room, remove the protective underlayer of lip cover (using a tissue, dear, not your supple fingertips) and flush said lip prophylactic down the comode. Appear concerned as the gangly Chilean in the Farah suit clutches at his heart and falls to the floor in sudden death. "Oh dear!" you say. "I just spoke with him a moment ago and he appeared well. He said the most ribald of things to me, I shant repeat it even if you tie me to the radiator and pelt me with dried macaroni, but dear me the man didn't deserve to die, oh no he most certainly did not!"

I'm simmering chicken soup and chamomile tea for Miles. He is smiling now, bless his lovely soul.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Hat Box and White Fox

My driver, Miles, has been in a sour mood lately. I've always had a fondness in my heart for the third sex, those boys who banter in the noon hour with the dames, but slip into the night with the lads. The feds will never admit it, certainly not that lout in lace Hoover, but the homosexuals really are some of the best operatives out there. They're incredibly detail-oriented, they can read behind the eyes of even the most poker-faced men, they can separate business from pleasure seamlessly and, let's face it, they know how to handle a gun. I've watched Miles talk to his Colt like it was a longtime lover, caressing it, oiling it, guarding it closely. While he's not discharged it more than a half dozen times in his life, he's not missed his target once.

Miles is my driver, but I should be lying if I didn't admit to more than that. He's my net, my bridge, my oxpecker. What that, you ask? Why, the oxpecker is also known as the tick bird and it is the loyal companion to the rhinoceros. The rhino has a symbiotic relationship with tick birds, like Watson to Holmes or Mrs. Claus to the Mister. In Swahili the tick bird is named "askari wa kifaru," meaning "the rhino's guard" and this nifty bird eats ticks it finds on the rhino and noisily warns of danger. The birds also eat blood from sores on the rhino's skin and in this way, they obstruct healing. But they are still tolerated, as I tolerate Miles even though he sometimes shares his opinions far too often, thus aggrivating my own deep-seated wounds. For shame, but what's a girl to do? Anyway, Miles is downcast because a boy in his heart has been out of communication for some time, now. He last saw him when were in Paris and the man in question was to take a short jaunt to Puerto Rico and contact him via telgram shortly thereafter. He's not heard word one, and so Miles is as pissy as a little girl whose jump rope has burst into flames in the middle of "Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish..." I should try and be more patient because the man has saved my skin on more than one occasion, but please. This is why love and death seldom mix (and when they do, the combination is positively murderous, my jelly beans).

I arrived in New York shortly after my last entry and received the box and, as I'd predicted, there was no hat enclosed. Rather, I found a tiny cosmetics box and an invitation to Dim Sum at Chef Ching's Cafetorium two days following. When I opened the case, I became smart to the shade of lipstick I would be sporting. What next? Why, the white fox stole, of course!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cocoa, cinnamon and jalapenos, oh my!

I tasted my first Mayan chocolate the other day. It was in the form of sipping chocolate, thick and creamy, with a hint of fire as it tumbled down my swan-like throat. I've been to Guatemala thrice. I've met with Shamans, have partaken in hallucinagenic poultices, learned to drop birds from the tops of ceiba trees using nothing but a hollowed-out bamboo shoot and a sharpened coati tooth dipped in the mashed remains of a poison dart frog (this would come in handy on trip number three, in my encounter with General Jorge Francisco, rest his dictatorial soul). Still, not once was I ever offered a taste of Mayan chocolate, in spite of what I still believe was my uncannily close relationship with the Mayans of the region. I would grouse, "harrumph," but that would be childish and gauche. Istead, I'll hold my head up and say, simply, "Cest le vie!"

It's been awhile since my last entry and I wish I could say it's because I've been oh, so busy, galavanting here and there around the globe, saving the world from evil men. But I can't. It's been positively, hideously boring, bunnies. Nothing but fruit cocktail, tea and butter cookies in between pedicures and Tupperware presentations. We're in canvassing mode right now. It seems that the troops are getting thin (in numbers, not in weight, unfortunately), thanks to age and mishaps. New blood is needed, so I've been hosting "cosmetic parties" while touring the country on what is being touted as the "geotastic tour." Ambassadors are making a monthlong swing through these glorious U-nited States, painting a bizzarely picturesque panorama of their acheivements as diplomats abroad. And the constant smiling I must do. Lord of lunchmeat, my face hasn't hurt this much since my mission in Sicily, when I was forced to drag 300-lb Don Vito Stromoli from the top of the butte to the seaside, using only my teeth and his smelly belt. Don't ask why, because it hurts just to think of it.

I shall be returning to Manhattan in a week. There is a purple hatbox waiting for me in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel. To be honest, I hope it's not a hat.

Monday, January 7, 2008

There's Nothing Like a Good Menthol Fizz to Clear the Pores

I saw the fabulous Dame Louisa Galtrier performing the lead role in the underperformed Moss Hart high drama, “The Bamboo Prison.” It never really gained any traction stateside and after having experienced it, I can see why. While Lady Galtrier was sublime (as always), the timbre of the narrative really never took hold for me. It takes place in the Philippines, you see, and Dame Galtrier played a wayward missionary struggling to survive in the jungle after having crashed in a small prop plane. She spends half the play lamenting at the lack of food, yet the set designers saw fit to paint mural upon mural dotted with mangoes, papaya and sumptuous pineapple. I found it hard to sympathize. I mean, really. Make a fire, my bunny. Make a fire, boil down the juice of the local fruit, give it ample time to ferment and you have an endless parade of cocktails at your disposal. Sounds less like a prison and more of a much-needed vacation.

Zinnia is on the mend, in case you're wondering the outcome of my last entry. I freed her from the task of turning down the lights on her husband by doing the job myself. Oh, no need to fawn at my generosity, dears. She'd have done the same, as would most any of the Black Cats. It's an unwritten pact among the litter. While we've all recited and signed the oath to place “duty before love”, it really only works on paper. Love, even when one enters into it as a charade, finds its way into one's pores, resting just under the epidermis, leaking ever so slowly into the capillaries. It's a toxic venom, and you ladies who have been stricken by it know the torch song I sing. It's natural that it's men who would give such a heartless mission to an agent. Why, a man would kiss his wife one minute, send her sailing over the railing of Niagara Falls the next. Don't think so? I've seen it, my blossoms. No less than seven times; one lady even grazed my cheek with the heel of her boot. I was genuinely shaken and stirred.

It was a quick job. Quick and clean, just the way I like them. Representative Schilack was a fine man, but a weak one at that. When your hand works in money as much as his did, I suppose it's tempting to let things get sticky now and then. A C-note here and there. One thinks those things go unnoticed, but they don't. And when you try and find your way out of the storm by looking to the red lights of a communist regime, there's really no turning back. I can understand why they looked to Zinnia to do the job; she is the closest to the target, after all. But we girls must stick together. And so, when my friend excused herself to visit the hotel boutique, I slipped into the suite, knowing that Mr. Schilack had stepped into the shower. There's nothing better for the pores than a heavy dose of steam and when they get good and open, all kinds of things can find their ways into them. Even a half ounce of secretion from the rare Venezuelan tree frog, mixed in a solution of menthol fizz can find its way from beneath the washroom door, among the steam and into the bloodstream of an unfortunate, but supremely stupid man. “It was a heart attack,” the papers would say. But then, the papers always say it was a heart attack. They have neither scruples, nor imagination.