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by Kathleen Kersch Simandl                      



"This is so-o-o tacky," drawled the gaunt sixty-something woman to her confidant.  She was dressed in taupe sueded silk which, regrettably, matched her oft-cinched face in both color and texture.


"Indeed," sniffed her friend, a somewhat younger, but no less artificial-looking woman.  She added in a voice approaching a whine, "Couldn't they have, at least, had their au pair serving drinks." 


"I guess there's nothing to do but get some cocktails for ourselves," sighed Sylvia, smoothing her already perfectly slicked-back hair.  Then, clicking her tongue in disgust, she extracted the heels of her taupe pumps from the lawn and began picking her way over to a table set up under a kumquat tree.  Her friend trailed along, no more happily.


A casually elegant man intercepted the two before they reached the gin.  "Do you believe it?  No Bombay!"  All three party-goers shook their heads in a regretful and disapproving manner.  But, sighing yet again, Sylvia opened the styrofoam ice chest and clinked several cubes into a tumbler.  She replaced the plastic ice-tongs with distain, and then held her glass up to the afternoon sun – as if expecting to catch a cockroach lurking within the cubes.  This measure of genteel protest complete, she condescended to pour herself a brimming glass of Gordon's.


Sylvia wasted no time in turning the full tumbler into an empty one.  Then, before moving away from the bottle-laden table, insisted that her friend fix them both another.  "It's so tiresome, I'm sure you'll agree, to have to keep trekking over here."


Well into their thirds, the two antique debs further agreed that it was only right to accept the gentleman's offer to fix them each a fourth.   "O-o-o-oh," Sylvia trilled in acceptance of the drink.  "You're such a… little devil!  But… my dah-hling…I must go powder my nose now."  And, inadvertently slamming her drink on the now-damp cloth of the bar table, she rocked back once on her heels, then careened toward the house.


"That bathroom… is sh-o… tacky," Sylvia complained, weaving back to join her friends a few minutes later.  She attempted to straighten the hem of her Channel jacket, then turned toward her drink on the far end of the table.  The others suffocated scandalized gasps.  Sylvia's perfect, taupe straight-skirt was tucked up into her girdle, revealing a holey pair of panty hose, dangling a wet string of toilet paper.


Tacky.  But what would you expect from a woman who’d crash a garden-party?


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