The Cocktail Bar

NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.

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 Silver Bells

Dateline: 10 December 1951

From The Heart Of The Hestia

Oh, hello, Darlings all! I am Marcelene G., career houseblonde, a Mrs. and mother of two grown-up girls. I could no longer idly sit by sipping champagne cocktails evening after evening and have our rival women's maggie, McCall's, get any more free publicity with those lovely hat photos! After all, the Kadorian Ladies' Home Journal is "The Magazine Women Believe In": we have a certified circulation of more than 4,000,000!

 I am a staff writer for Food and Homemaking - and the only qualified houseblonde in the department. (I got the job by winning a cooking competition: I dreamt up what is now commonly known as a Coronado Crown Wiener Roast - two dozen wieners stuck end-on around a central spinach-mayonnaise mold to resemble a crown roast of lamb, but far less expensive and almost as tasty!) Hats and high fashion are all very fine and very feminine - don't get me wrong - but without a warm, happy hestia for a smartly-dressed brunette to come home to, hats and high fashion don't count for beans - and that's all she'll have to eat if her blonde doesn't know her way round a kitchen! That's what my department is all about: helping new brides become competent houseblondes and helping experienced houseblondes keep au courant with the latest developments in domestic science, foodstuffs and home appliances.

So here is a picture of me in our maggie's own test kitchen, in front of the very latest in Kadorie ranges, displaying my grand lemon chiffon cake (those are apple rings baking in the oven). 'Course, it looks as if I have just taken the cake out of the oven, but that is just for show - every blonde knows, (or should!), that the icing is put on after the cake is all cooled!


Very Happy

Dears and darlings, here is your own Ellhedrine. You can always guess what I have been up to when you haven't seen me for a spot - just working away, preparing for all those dreadful exams. Now that I know I shall see Miss Barbara sometimes at Milchford I am foply anxious to get there (foply is the next one up after triply, you know - singly, doubly, triply, foply).

 And every one has been so nice to me. Miss Barbi and Mina saying I am exotic, even though I am only Ellhedrine Joans from a little town in Quirinelle who goes to Brightsea for her holidays, and even though I wear a green school uniform and only put on my squirrel coat to come here. Well, of course that is kind, but I can hear in your dear voices that you really mean it. I am not sure how you can, but I know you do, and that has made me so very happy.

 Miranda, your game is just a wonderful idea. Now, I'll tell you who I feel like on the silver screen, but you must promise not to laugh. It is Katherine Hepburn. Now isn't that strange. Every one says "Surely you mean Audrey Hepburn", but I don't, I mean Katherine. I know she is terribly brunette and I am rather on the blonde side of blonde, but she is who I mean, even so. I could never be chic and poised like Audrey, but Katherine's wonderful, high-strung, nervous vitality - yes, you see it now, don't you? - and her magical theatricality (perhaps that is what makes me seem exotic if I have a hint of it). When I see one of her films I "catch" her for days afterwards and sound much more like her than me.

 In the summer my two brunette cousins came down from Milchford with a group of sophisticated 'varsity blondes and brunettes, and Dora said "This is little cousin Ellhedrine [and she did pronounce the "h", bless her]. She suffers from the delusion that she's Katherine Hepburn", and Lucilella said. "Nonsense, darling, she doesn't suffer from it, she thoroughly enjoys it."

 Anyway, I am sublimely happy at present, and Katherine-ing away like anything when I'm not swotting. And all that hard work does seem to tone me up and make me feel more alive and able to take an interest in just about everything. It is so good for me.

 The only cloud in the ointment (as dear Ariadne might have said) is this thing about babies. I mean, it does worry me. I am perfectly resolved to marry - well, some one - as soon as I finish at Milchford. But babies. Oh dear, do you think she'll mind awfully? I just couldn't I mean what should I do with them? I'm scarcely more than a baby my. . . no, what I mean is I just - well, gosh, you know.

 Oh, one other thing that confused me. What is Father Christmas. Is Father a name? Or was it a misprint for "farther"? And who is Santa Claus - the same person? And didn't you mean Sinta, which is a charming Eastern name (like Ellhedrine - tee-hee!). Well, anyway, who is she? Is she blonde or brunette? And what has she to do with the Star Fairy?

Oh dear! We knew this was going to get complicated. Santa (not Sinta) is a - well, a sort of magical person - a very important Spirit - in Telluria. Not exactly blonde or brunette, but sort of - well - magical. This is not a matter that should concern you, or, indeed, that you can really understand.

Films and Fairies

Hello Miranda,
How did it feel to be grown-up for a night? Do tell! Don't be silly, you didn't sound silly at all. I'm only twelve and although I adore ovaltine with a quite unnatural ardour (it's so comforting and milky and warm - rather like mummy) I would love to try big girl drinky-poos. But who cares about that when I can dream of being Miss Johnson in "Brief Encounter". I like to think I'm like her because of her delightful vowels, her wondrous figure and her moral courage amidst the temptation of smouldering passion. I have no idea what that last bit means but I read it in one of Mummy's "Photoplays" so it must be right. Mummy says I'm more like Miss Day in "Calamity Jane"... Mummy says the nicest things.

 I was very concerned when Annalinde had doubts about Santa. But I bit my lip and then thought how wonderful the Star Fairy sounded. I would much rather have the Star Fairy tinkling down my chimney. Mummy says if I'm an especially good girl, I may stay up late and bake some fairy cakes for the Star Fairy. I think she would like that. Annalinde, if I promise to behave myself and not to fidget, please may I be the Star Fairy on top of your Christmas tree? Mummy says I might.

 Lots of love and cuddles,


Hello blondie Victoria and welcome to the Cocktail Bar. Another Ovaltiney! Perhaps we shall have to become a Cocktail Bar and Ovaltine Fountain. But, sweetie, it's all right to tell the girls that you were at the Embassy when the famous Santa conversation took place. And have you ever heard the song that goes:
Every little girl would like to be
The fairy on the Christmas tree?
It is very popular in Trent just at the moment, and very sweet. Do come again soon!

Music Playing: The Quirinelles with Magic Moments

Dateline: 9 December 1951

A Galvanic Crystal Ball Picture From Arcadia

Oh, I say! Ladies! I say! Must I ping on the edge of my crystal champagne glass with my fingernail to get your attention? You are all so frightfully busy nattering away twenty to the dozen here that an Arcadian brunette from the Near East can barely get in a word edgewise! You Westerners are all so terribly clever, what with your magic lantern machines, Vitagraphs and new-fangled Radiophones, I believe they are called, sending music and speech effortlessly whizzing through the ether. (Oh, d**nation! - pardon my French - my crinoline's caught on one of those dreadful Art Neo furniture corners again! The Management really ought to give a little consideration to Eastern pettes and their expectation of rounded ornate curlicues and turned legs on furniture! After all, our Coin of the Realm is just as good as anypette's...)

 But I stray from my purpose: you may not be aware that we Arcadians have our own up-to-date inventions, too, something rather like your ordinators, I should think: Mme. Oblonsky, the great Russian Visionary Scientist, demonstrated one last season at the New Century Scientific Exposition. She called it the Oblonsky Patented Galvanic Ray Crystal Ball. Now her blonde assistant, Mlle. Tretyakova, has opened an elegant little gallery at the Permanent Exhibit of Science - for 2s. one can send a picture to anypette in the Empire and have tea and clotted cream, too! It is quite the amazing machine, powered by a Voltaic Pile, so this is what I am using to send you a wonderful Arcadian photograph. But do not fear that a blonde is in charge! Mme. Oblonsky looks in on her assistant at least thrice daily, (and twice again every evening), to assure that all protocols are faithfully followed.

Now to the meat of the matter: I quite agree with Mmes. Susan M. and Phyllis D: this saloon bar is entirely too, um, racy at times, frequently lacking a proper, respectful depth and weight of feminine racination. So my 2s. is sending you, by means of the Oblonsky Patented Galvanic Ray Crystal Ball, (encased in a mirrored-veneer walnut burl cabinet with carved, fluted legs), a deeply racinating and delightful dry-plate photogravure depicting a Memorable Moment from Motherhood by the famous American pictorial photographerette Gertrude Kasebier, entitled Blessed Art Thou Among Women. One can see the original hanging through January in the Imperial Photographic Society galleries if one cares to travel to Elsbethton, but the roads from the West are often impassable wintertimes, so I do not recommend it: the Crystal Ball remains the best alternative for any but the most dauntless traveler. I do hope Mme. Oblonksy's patented device, in Mlle. Tretyakova's blonde (but able) hands, does justice to this marvelous photogravure!


Embassy News

Hello, precious pettes! Annalinde here! Our local cinema has just acquired something new - trailers! One of our dear friends in Culveria has found some for us, and we have just seen a lovely trailer for the Odeon's Christmas Film, The Bishop's Wife with Loretta Young, David Niven and Cary Grant. It is a lovely film about an angel (so I am told, I haven't seen it yet) so if any of you can get hold of a copy in the near futch, we can all see it more or less together, and perhaps have a chat about it here at the Cocktail Bar.

Well with all this mother-and-child jollity the last day or two, I thought you might like to see this month's Quirrie House Wife which arrived on the Embassy doormat a few days ago. Isn't it gorgeously delightful? I just adore real maggies, don't you?

 A mildly embarrassing mome yesterday when some dear pettes were visiting the Embassy. Some one asked me "Do you believe in Father Christmas?" I said yes - but I did hesitate a little, and this did not go unnoticed. "A qualified yes, perhaps?" said some one. Well, you can imagine my embarrassment, because all at once I realised that my hesitation could be attributed to - well, to vulgar skepticism; that I might be seen as the sort of girl who doesn't believe in Santa Claus for the most dreadful adult reasons. How mortifying! Many girls, after all, go through a phase of not believing in fairies at fifteen or so, but one really should be over it by the time one gets to twenty-one.

 No, goodness me, that wasn't my reason for hesitating. My reason was that in Aristasia we have the Star Fairy in her silver chariot who brings presents at Nativity-time, and, of course, although I have the misfortune to live on the fringes of the Pit, I am a blood-loyal Aristasian through to my very heart of hearts. So I explained this, and said that we believe in both Santa and the Star Fairy, and some one said "But the Star Fairy more", which, I suppose, is about right; but don't think we don't believe in both. There is always room for a healthy syncretism, I say.

Oh, and that maggie. Isn't the little girl adorable? It struck me that if you have been living in the Pit, you might have forgotten what a little human girl looks like. One could very easily forget that living in the Pit, because one never sees a little human girl there any more, and it is an important thing to remember at this time of year. So here is a close-up of her for you to love.

 Kisses to all of you,


Another Mom Heard From

I think that the Management will have to start a special Mothers' Night, there are so many of us here! My name is Phyllis, I'm from Kadoria and I'm a blonde mom (again) and I agree with Susan M. that the center of gravity of this establishment needs to be brought down a peg or two once in a while. (Oh, don't misapprehend me, I love the jinkiness and the fragrant Turkish ciggies on long holders, smoked through veils, and the Pin-Ups for Blondes and the hats and the threat of a pinch on my way to the powder room, so I really do mean only once in a while!) But sometimes we girls need reminding that we are here, after all, to make babies.

Well, my brunette and I have just made another, her name is Margaret, she has the regulation ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes (with nails almost too tiny to see) that look as if they are made out of translucent pink wax, but they grasp and wiggle! (It's always amazing, you know!) She has already learned how to gurgle and hiccup. Here is a snapshot taken only last month, where I have just brought her home from the hospital and put her in her new room all freshly painted and curtained in pink chintz and have finally let her big sister, Sarah, tip-toe in to see her for the very first time. Sarah seems as enchanted as I am!


Music Playing: The Quirinelles with Life could be a Dream (Sh-boom)

Dateline: 8 December 1951

The Silver Screen Game

Miranda here darlings! And 'Nettie too, and she's said that today, since it is the first snowfall of the year, I could have a hot buttered rum, so, please, dear barmiss, a hot buttered rum for little me! No, Mommy, not just rum flavoring, I was hoping for the real thing. Well, OK, I 'spect it's better than silly Ovaltine at least. And a girl can pretend. Can I have a ciggie? Please? I know Mrs. Culver will lend me her art neo holder, won't you, Mrs. C? Oh please? No? Yes'm. No, I understand. But, dear Mommy, may I please ask all the girls here to play a game with me, a special little Nativity game? I can! Thank you, Mommy, thank you.

Ahem. Excuse me. Everyone. Please. Oh, that's better. Nice and quiet so we can talk. Thank you. Oh. Now I've forgotten what I wanted to say. How embarrassing! [a helpful whisper from Mommy] Oh yes. Could we all play a little game? I thought it might be fun to say who you think you really are inside. I mean, who from the movies you think you really are. I mean, who is you, really. Oh, now I've fumbled it all, and maybe you don't even know what I mean, but, here, I'll go first.

 I think that maybe I am the girl Miss Monroe plays in The Seven Year Itch, even though I am only sixteen years old because she is so simple and sweet and a little on the dumb side. I don't mind saying it, but I am, you know. A little on the dumb side. But who would mind if she were as pretty as Miss Monroe? I'm not, as you can see. As pretty as Miss Monroe, but the way she looks and acts is just the way I feel, so I pick her.

 But, if I were to say who I want to be more like, it would have to be Bernadette in Song of Bernadette,. because, like Miss Monroe, she is simple and sweet, but she also is so good. Watching that movie just makes a girl want to be as good as she can, even if nobody else understands what being good means.

Oh, I am sorry to babble. I really am. And now I am crying and I don't know why except that you all have been so nice to let me talk and I think 'Nettie wants to take me home now, because maybe it wasn't just the rum flavoring after all, and here I am making a Great Fool of myself in such a grown up place.

I hope you all can tell me who you think is most like you on the silver screen and maybe you can say too who you wish you could be more like as well, so I don't feel so silly for having said all that.


Well, this is turning into a family Cocktail Bar, isn't it? But please don't worry - Miranda, Ellhedrine, Rose and all you other not-yet-eligible-to-hold-public-office pettes. You are all most welcome so long as you behave yourselves as nicely and charmingly as you have all been doing so far.

For Miss Fox and Her Petal Down Under

Oh, hello there to you pettes Down Under, enjoying polka-dotted sundresses in December! How odd, here Up Over it is something like seven degrees and snowing softly, sundresses are a pleasant memory and something to look forward to in six months. But to help you enjoy your Down Under summer even a bit more (and since Barbi, Lover of Lyrics, is on holiday), here are the lyrics for a lovely, soft, slow Gwen Miller song for summer, called Moonlight Cocktail. It is genuine Kadorie Heavy Cream Big Band Music. You may substitute "December" for "June" in the first line if you wish, but it won't scan if you do.

Moonlight Cocktail

 Couple of jiggers of moonlight and add a star,
Pour in the blue of a June night and one guitar,
Mix in a couple of dreamers and there you are!
Lovers hail the Moonlight Cocktail!
Now add a couple of flowers, a drop of dew,
Stir for a couple of hours till dreams come true.
As to the number of kisses, it's up to you:
Moonlight Cocktails need a few.
Cool it in the summer breeze,
Serve it in the starlight underneath the trees
You'll discover tricks like these
Are sure to make your Moonlight Cocktail please.
Follow the simple directions, for they will mean
Life of a different complexion, where you'll be queen,
You'll awake in the morning and start to sing,
"Moonlight Cocktails are the thing."


 Follow the simple directions, for they will mean
Life of a different complexion, where you'll be queen,
You'll awake in the morning and start to sing,
"Moonlight Cocktails are the thing."


Music Playing: The Quirinelles with Rock and Roll Waltz

Dateline: 7 December 1951

Nativity Fleeming

Hello All you glorious pettes, decked out in your holiday splendor,

 I'm sorry to be away for so long, but with Nativity just around the corner, my little home is simply buzzing with festive activities. I wanted to tell you about one little thing we did yesterday, and had such a fun time doing it too. Last summer, at a fleem, my little tyke and I found a set of Nativity stencils, right out of Quirinelle, for only ten bongo cents! Well, we tucked them away in our Nativity box and found them just yesterday, and then sprayed a snowpette on the window, using a can of spray snow and the stencils. We only used one of the dozen stencils because once you've used them, you can't use them again in other years, and this book has to last us for many, many Nativity seasons.

 I always am so amazed by how lovely those Fairies are to send such treasures to us through the Iron Curtain. Dear Norma, please don't worry your little head about the Pit. As our kind sagette has said, 'tis better to be ignorant when ignorance is bliss. But, yes, wartime does have some advantages, I suppose, and inexpensive hats is one of them. Though, darling, you would simply die if you heard how bungled some of them come through the Iron Curtain, and of course, no girl would ever wear a battered hat, so quite often lots of repair work must be done on the hats before they remember the glory they knew on the right side of the Curtain.

Your Very Own,

The Right Answer

Our sweet, anonymous Editrix is quite arch at times! Me, an expert in Kadorie fashion, not knowing how to eat with veil and gloves? Dea forfend! Of course I knew all along and really was "setting a test"! The winner for veils is Annalinde - one rolls up one's veil, naturally, even a close-round-the-chin one. As for Annalinde's comment on gloves and Miss Rosalind Russell, well, such extraordinary sophisticettes as Miss Russell will at times transcend ordinary rules of etiquette - they create their own as they go along, you see, and no eyebrows are raised. But Miss Russell is very much the exception. For example, the pettes in the circulation department had a dinner party at Lundy's last month and I was invited, too. (Lundy's is a big Spanish mission-style seafood house and clam bar on the edge of Sheepshead Bay in southeastern Brooklyn - it serves 5,000 luncheons and dinners each day and has 220 waitresses! It is the place this season for the younger set to be seen and for the slightly older set to have good seafood and do some, um, sightseeing, so just about everypette goes there.) Anyway, the special that night was Maine lobster, with buttered corn on the cob on the side. Everypette removed her gloves, I can assure you. Miss Russell was not in evidence, but Miss Rita Hayworth was in from the coast to plug her latest film, Tales of Manhattan,, and she was there - gloveless, I might add, and enjoying her lobster and corn on the cob along with the rest of us.

 There were some interesting runners-up in the veil contest, however. Rose ventured a guess which was almost correct. In fact, whenever hors d'oeuvres are served at garden or cocktail parties and one is primarily chatting and striking serious poses - not having a meal - one's veil must stay in place (as must one's gloves), and is, in fact, daintily lifted for each morsel and sip. My question had to do with a full, sit-down meal, though. Sorry if I was at all ambiguous about it. But the most interesting incorrect answer of all came from a pette who must be a very young thing: she thought one should drink everything (even soup) with an elegantly long sterling silver straw, with delicate flexible sections in places, poked through one of the holes in one's veil, and one should cut one's food into the teensiest of pieces and pop them through the veil into one's mouth when no one is looking. Peas, she said, would be a snap, but mashed potatoes might pose a bit of a problem. Another pette suggested formal luncheons and dinners are too great a temptation anyway, so that veils and gloves should never be removed because they are a good way to lose weight.

 As for the etiquette of kissing through a veil, well, I am not sure where Annalinde lives, but we Gotham brunettes generally roll back the veil casually (if we are wearing one), as if to see a little more clearly, perhaps, as the atmosphere thickens. And as for the blonde's veil, we follow Rose's suggestion and lift it daintily, but with a certain practiced deliberateness, for each lovely taste, so any restraint posed by a veil is merely theoretical, a boundary nominally marked, a titillation, really, a sense of the forbidden just within reach. But scarves? Oh,Annalinde, I cannot judge, I have never visited Quirinelle. Here in Kadoria scarves may be worn on a beach if it is quite windy, or when sailing, but otherwise hats are de rigeur. As I said several days ago, under normal circumstances a girl would no sooner be seen without her blouse on as without her hat (though some brassiere ads, which we have begun running of late show girls doing precisely that - a hat but no blouse! But advertising is not my department, so don't go blaming me!)

 Enough about etiquette! On to today's hats! First is a perky Victorian bonnet in black felt studded with gold macaroni beads and set off by delicate artificial peonies and buds. Note how the dress' plunging neckline reinforces the more diminutive cleft of the bonnet itself. Now for the piece de résistance, pettes: a glimpse of the newest millinery fashion from far western Kadoria, right on the Quirinelle border. This is the look of the future, girls! The adorable pette (with eyes as green as Audrey's) is wearing a smashing black oystershell hat of woven black horsehair over an armature of hooped whalebone, its brim softly bound in fine tulle.

 At the outset I promised you fabrics, feathers, flowers and furs, and have even thrown in horsehair and whalebone as a bonus. You see, that is what I began by saying: hats allow Maid to display and enhance her connectedness with all Dea's creations, from which Maid lovingly and reverently selects only the most beautiful and them refashions them through the magic of millinery to enhance her own precious feminine beauty.


Mothers and Babies

Oh, dear, I hesitate to speak up at all, a cocktail bar is perhaps not quite the place for a girl who's a mother, particularly with all these sophisticated, articulate and elegant pettes who seem to come here all the time and talk about jinky music, or hats, or are brilliant scholarettes en route to Milchford, or are professorettes, sagettes, editrixes, singers, poets and wits, but, if I may, with your kind indulgence, girls, say a few words ....

All this refined buzz and heady chatter about femininity and feminine archetypes and beauty, yet no one seems to be talking too much about that essential feminine archetype, perhaps the most primal: Mother. Nor has anyone mentioned maternity - you know, expecting: being with child, confinement, babies, nursing, changing diapers, getting up five times a night, not fitting into any decent sort of clothes for six more weeks, getting depressed, never ever wanting another then wanting another the very next moment, being the envy of one's sisters, the immense pride. In short, I am speaking being a new mother in all its stages and ramifications, from the first dawning that one is carrying life within her, through the rapid (and often uncomfortable) changes of pregnancy, through the shock and surprise and pain and even outrage of delivery and then a great peace and then the welling flood of an entirely new sort of love for one's baby, her implausibly diminutive digits, clutching and unclutching the air, or one's finger, or kneading one's breast as she nurses, the incredibly delicate perfume of her head that only comes from a baby nursed on mother's milk, her first smile: this is an archetype you girls should have before you in a place called Femmeworld, don't you think?

 After all, as a Kadorian like Norma I can vouch that every girl's dream is Marriage and Babies (and a little white house with flowers and trees and don't forget a fine set of silverplate flatware, settings for twelve)... so where's the Maternal in this place, anyway, this place that says it is a racinated, feminine empire? All I see around me is fancy hats, sweet drinks, long ivory cigarette holders, Art Neo paintings of Trentish pettes in frilled dresses, advertisements for stockings and garter belts and pictures of helpless blondes caught in embarrassing moments - all very feminine (and sometimes gently erotic, a girl must admit), but lacking one essential feminine archetype: motherhood.

So to put a proper image before your eyes, here is a picture of a brand-new Kadorie mom about to discover some of the joys I've just mentioned. Are there any other moms here who would care to talk about babies? I've had four, and two are all grown up already and have flown the nest, but they are still my babies, you know.


But of course! We all love mothers, especially blonde Mummies like you. Are any of you other blondes Mummies? (brunettes too, of course, but you aren't quite so intimately involved in the process, are you?). As for this editrix, she can confidently declare she knows all about babies - why, she used to be one herself.


My Blonde Mummy, (who is actually more like a brunette than my brunette Mummy, isn't that odd), used to tell me that when wearing long evening gloves, one merely un-buttonned the wrist, slipped the hand out there and tucked the hand part of the glove up the back of the arm part. I dismissed this like a silly blonde (hmmm. .. maybe this runs in the family) until I saw a picture of the Pit-Queen-Mother doing exactly the same thing at a formal banquet!

 Well! If SHE does it, then it MUST be right!

 Of course, this only applies to those lovely long shaped gloves extending to the elbow or beyond, worn with the divine sleeveless or even bare-shouldered gowns.

 Mind you, I have taught Blonde-Mummy a few things myself. She is not exactly a hat-girl, but the scarves! Hanger after hanger of beautiful silk scarves, each with the matching gloves and shoes and outfits. Myself, I hold a reputation of having a hat-stand at home with hats that I really wear - although the very delicate and beautiful ones are carefully boxed in rows in the wardrobe (when Petal hasn't snuck in and started trying them on, that is. I wouldn't mind except she leaves them out all over the bed, and then where IS a girl to sleep)

 So if you see a tall, gorgeous brunette-with-hints-of-red sporting a tight-waisted polka-dotted sundress with matching hat, gloves and shoes, walking elegantly down George Street next week, stop and say hello!

 Until then



Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.