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: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with All of Me

Dateline: 22 February 1952

A Convalescent Miss Mina

Alright you pettes. Which one of you is the highly contagious conveyoress of my horrid 'flu? Was it, I wonder, Miss Annalinde whom I heard daintily sneezing two places down from me at the Bar just the other day? For you see, I have considered all of my appearances and appointments on that day, when first I was stricken by that bed-confining poorlyness, and all has been ruled out except for my revelry at this very fine establishment. Oh, so I admit that I _am_ highly prone to delicacy of health... But nevertheless, many commiserations to any other pettes currently feeling decidedly under-the-weather. As for me, my matronettage of this Cocktail Bar testifies to my being over the worst of it. (For could I ever think of exposing all the other dear matronettes to virulence? Dea forfend!)

 Dear Elizabeth Ruth, my gratitude is boundless for those kind words you said to me when last I popped in. And coming as they did from a girl with positively the most musical, mellifluous voice I've ever had the pleasure to hear, too! As you can see, I'm blushing awfully. I had believed myself to be the shyest pette in attendance! By the way; I should love to see a Chinese wedding myself, and am very pleased that you have done. And the wedding dress of my dreams... hmm... Well, I suppose I would 'go the whole nine yards' (heh heh) and stay with the typical sari (I've never been able to think what that "...nine yards" phrase refers to anyway, if not to a length of fabric prescribed for the aforementioned garment...) I imagine I'd prefer a sort-of-brocaded one, with all of the fantastically lavish display of jewellery - ears, nose, hands, toes, fingers, neck, forehead, arms, ankles, wrists, etc... And of course my hands and feet shall be intricately hennaed, my eyes kohled, and the part in my hair coloured with vermillion... Essentially, all as one would expect and with bells on.

 But now, Elizabeth Ruth, I simply shall not be dissuaded from buying you a drink; perhaps one of those frothy pink delicacies you seem to favour? And barpette! One for Candida too please - yes, whatever she likes - oh, thank you.

 For, Candida, you are a veritable living doll. And not only because of your angelic wish for me to catch the bouquet soon (from your sweet lips to Dea's ears, as I've heard some Culverians say) but because of your exquisite storytelling - a venerable feminine tradition if ever there was one. I may be radiant as a bride, but never as radiant as the spell you cast when you begin to narrate aloud the mystical consciousness of Aristasia. Like the Ancient Customs we learnt from Amy and Tootsie for St. V.'s Day, your Story of the Bells captured that magical, atavistic evocation of the Sacred Mysteries inherent in any culture in which matrilineal knowledge is retained. (And yes, I should adore to wear white as a bridesmaid - preferably a creamy white, as I think that would be best set off against my skin.)

 Oh, and Candida, one more thing before I rush off to the powder room to re-plait this blasted hair. Has Miss Barbara been in tonight, do you know? Yes? Well, if you see her tomorrow, would you be so kind as to ask her, for me, whether it is proper for a blonde to buy a brunette a drink? Do tell her that I should like to show my appreciation for the consideration, and the wonderfully clever advice, she regularly bestows so gracefully upon all the girls here. She's such a poised, confident brunette - do you think there's anypette who could rival the smart sophistication of her fashion sense? It's equal to that of the inimitable Norma herself. Which reminds me - could you please also tell her, if it's not too much - that if it is what I suppose it to be (only from seeing Kadorie films) I humbly believe that a Kadorie home wave would suit her face perfectly. Thank you ever so much for passing this on, darling.

 The mention of Kadorie films brings me to this, pettes: an amusing sort-of-quincie that happened to little old me a few days ago, and which I'd almost forgotten. In fact, I believe it was the very same day on which Ariadne - that living, giggling quintessence of blonde vim and verve - glided breathlessly into the bar and regaled us with her engaging St. Valentine's Day adventures... But where was I? Oh yes - so on that day I saw an Eastern New Kadorie film, and at the end, quite out of the blue and having not an awful lot to do with the plot, (not, lot, plot... is that alliteration or some other linguistic deviation?) there appeared on the stage an enormous set masquerading as a wedding cake and being about the size of a large bedsit. Of course, the ubiquitous dancing girls promptly ascended the thing and performed a number (about a wedding, naturally) upon the surface of said cake. Alright, so they didn't exactly jump out of it, but they most certainly did "a dinky-dolly little tap dance." There, you see. The quincie is that my film featured New Kadoria, tap dancing pettes and Giant-Cake-on-a-Stage just as Ariadne was telling us all about those selfsame girly things!

 At last, lovely Marilyn! Congratulations on your forthcoming blessed event! And do you know - if you hadn't said those few words about sex-determination and hair colour in Chinese pettes, I, for one, would still be drifting about in an aether of not inconsiderable confusion. Because you see, I seem to have relatively little trouble in telling Eastern-or-Southern blondes from Eastern-or- Southern brunettes. (Such recognition of the sexes just seems to come more and more naturally as the knowledge of Aristasia becomes increasingly embedded in a girl's consciousness.) And since it has often been so easy to tell, I was worried that perhaps it's all too easy, and I feared I might really be going about it all wrong. But for the most part, I am now happily relieved of this insecurity.

 Visiting Pit-america as a mere girlchild, I remember Chinatown in San Francisco as being the place of which I was probably most fond. And I'd hardly thought of this for years - until just days ago, when the radiant Miss Marilyn Soong first graced the A.C.B.... Certainly, the Forbidden City sounds truly as delightful as can be.


The Trolley Song

Hi, Pettes, Mehitabelle here with the latest jinky hit from Eastern Kadoria. For the last three weeks Miss Judy Garland has been at the top of the charts singing The Trolley Song, accompanied by Georgia Stoll's orchestra. Now, Miss Garland does not have the finest voice in the world, but she puts so much electricity into her singing that the result is, well, it sounds just how Miranda must feel whenever she is in the presence of the melt-making Miss Featherington. Here, listen for yourselves:

 With my high starched collar and my high topped shoes
And my hair piled high upon my head
I went to lose a jolly hour upon the trolley
And lost my heart instead!

 With her light brown derby and her bright green scarf
She was quite the dashingest of 'nettes
I started to yen so I counted to ten
Then counted to ten again.

 Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding went the bell
Sing, sing, sing went my heartstrings
From the moment I saw her I fell

 Chug, chug, chug went the motor
Bump, bump, bump went the brake
Thump, thump, thump went my heartstrings
When she smiled I could feel the car shake.

 She tipped her hat and took her seat
She said she hoped she hadn't stepped upon my feet
She asked my name, I held my breath
I couldn't speak because she scared me half to death!

 Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer
Clop, clop, clop went the wheels
Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings
As she started to go then I started to know
How it feels .... when the universe reels....

The day was bright, the air was sweet
The smell of honeysuckle jarred you off your feet
You tried to sing, but couldn't squeak
In fact you loved her so you couldn't even speak

 [Miss Garland again]
Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer
Clop, clop, clop went the wheels
As she started to leave I took hold of her sleeve
With my hand, and as if it were planned
She stayed on with me and it was grand
Just to stand with her hand holding mine
To the end of the line!

 [Chorus] Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
Bang, bang, bang went my heart!


The War?

Can't a girl be gone a while? What's with this war? Who's taking care of the Quirinelle wounded or the Kadorian sweethearts? I'm here to fight, tell me my mission.


Attagirl, Lycress. The war is against the ugliness of the Pit, the battlefield is our own minds and souls, and every time we dress in up-to-date clothes, watch up-to-date films and make our homes more up-to-date, we are helping the War Effort.

Fleeming as Part of the War Effort!

Hello everyone! My, this place is getting so exciting, what with all the talks of the war effort being bandied about. Candida, thank you so much for the compliment on my daughter, for I think she is very special too! As far as fleem finds, the one I am most proud of is a real coffee pot, a corningware cornflower blue coffee pot that makes a perfect pot each time you set it on your stove top to percolate. I have looked for one of these for years and years and years, all to no avail. I can remember my great aunt making coffee in this exact type of coffeepot, and how fresh it tasted with every cup, and must admit while that wasn't what I was looking for specifically on this particular fleeming trip, I somehow managed to spot it from across the store! I of course think that the fairies had a hand in it but then I am a bit of a romantic!

 One other find I am very happy to have not one but several real cookbooks! I fear that I was raised in the Pit, and just had no real idea how to cook real food, things such as a turkey and a pot roast. My favorite one was printed in the historical year of 1919, and there is nothing you can do with food that this book doesn't explain how to do it, step by step even! It even talks about how to cook things such as reindeer and opossum, though of course I just skip those sections. But if ever a war or depression should threaten to cause normal foodstuffs to be unavailable, well with this cookbook I will know what to do to ensure my family's survival!

 Another great find was some original, real tins for things such as premium saltines and a bottle with the label still attached of Heinz ketchup! The silly person hawking these wares had no idea what their value was for she was about to toss them out with the trash when I came across them. Well of course, I immediately snatched these things up. They were of course dusty, and the tin showed some signs of age, but I was able to clean them up to where they can be used everyday. They look so much better sitting in my pantry and frigidaire than the bongo wrappings.

 Unfortunately, I haven't found many up-to-date clothes for myself, or especially real stockings at the fleems thus far, but I do keep looking, always hoping that one day I will find these much desired things. With all this talk about the war effort and matriatism, well I feel that first thing on the morn I must go out on a fleeming expedition to do my part to bring V.T. day in Telluria closer!! Of course, I will go out wearing my lipstick and nail polish as armor, tee hee!

 Dear Norma, come closer for I have a secret to tell you. You promise you won't tell a soul? Cross your heart?? Well, it's never to late to learn to sew! I for one am blonde through and through, and I didn't learn to sew as a young girl. I know that is shocking for a blonde, but remember, I grew up in the pit. After I had a little girl, well I decided that I would just have to learn to sew, so that she would have proper dresses of every color under the rainbow. When I first started, just threading a needle was a challenge to me and I would get headaches trying to understand what the instructions were telling me to do. I admit, I made a few gaffes, tee hee, like once I set a sleeve in backwards and didn't realize it until I went to attach the cuffs! But it gets easier. Sewing is constructing, and if brunettes can design such complicated things as buildings and airplanes, well a dress is easy as pie!!!! The only complicated things in most dress projects is getting the hem just right and setting the buttonholes. Seams are quite easy, especially with the up-to-date Singer machines, for they have it marked on the faceplate what the norm is for seams. And you can of course, take the dress to a seamstress or cleaners to have the hem and the buttonholes put in. Just start off with a simple dress pattern that has mostly straight lines and before no time, you will be sewing like a pro!! Then you of course will be the envy of all the other brunettes!! But don't let the blondies now that I gave away our secret about how easy sewing really is. We just make it look complicated giggle.

 With love,


Sewing and the War

Elizabeth Ruth here, and I really must protest against Candida's suggestion that only blondes can really sew! I posted a veritable hymn to home sewing a few days ago (I haven't seen it though, do you suppose Valentines Day festivities have addled the minds of the blondes who are responsible for that sort of thing?) and my dears, I am about as brunette as one could be (with certain blondish moments, of course.)

 I do agree with you, Candida, that sewing is participation in a ritual act. I expect our Sagette could comment fruitfully on the symbolism involved, but it is clear to me that sewing and the fabric arts are deeply essential - I mean, associated with the essence of things - and for that reason they are pervasive metaphors: we speak of "threads" of meaning; and "fabric" is a metaphor for continuity and community. Not for nothing are the traditional Fates associated with thread and scissors.

 I have often felt, while sewing a gift for someone I love, that I am somehow stitching into it my good wishes for them. While making a party dress, I sew into it all my hopes and fantasies and dreams - in fact, I won't work on it if I'm feeling grumpy or unattractive, for fear I'll sew those expectations right into the dress. While making a lovely maternity gown for my cousin, I found myself praying for her safe delivery and for the baby she carried, who is now the light of my life. My mother and her sisters all made each others' wedding gowns. When my sister helped me with the final fitting of mine, I felt like we were participating in a very very old ritual.

 In my recent travels to Amazonia (which I will tell you about sometime) I learned that it is a highly developed Eastern art, sewing spells and charms into clothes. Almost all clothes are made with the wearer in mind, and many with a definite activity in mind. Clothes for each kind of ritual act (religious rituals, the administration of justice, the compounding of medicine and all the healing arts, dancing and cooking) have not only their own style, but special songs that the seamstress sings, and scents that she breathes as she makes the garment.

 It's not so strange, when you think about it. Amazonian warriors go into battle wearing special protective clothes, made by people who are thinking about them as they sew. Isn't that also part of the War Effort in Kadoria, knitting socks and so on for the soldiers? Obviously it would be more efficient, in a superficial sense, to make them by machine; but it's good for soldiers to have warm socks knitted by hand by girls at home who are thinking of them and honouring them. And of course, babies everywhere wear clothes made by loving grandmothers and aunts, not just sewn, but knitted, so that the love and protective prayers for them are not just put into the seams and finishing, but into every stitch, into the very fabric of the garment.

 In any case, Candida, I assure you that you do know at least one brunette who can sew,


Yes, the thread is ultimately that which binds all things together - the Thread- Spirit Herself (Sanskrit Sutratma, Cairen (East Aristasian) Strivate) upon whom we are all threaded "like pearls upon a string". Of course there is much more that could be said about sewing and related arts such as weaving. Too much, in fact, to fit into one of our dolly-comments!

 But Elizabeth Ruth, how dreadful we are! We can't find your hymn to home sewing anywhere. It may, of course, be Lost in Elektraspace. But just as likely it is our silliness. Could you possibly post it again?

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.

And here are LOTS of delightful girly places to go