1920’s Story

The other day, a friend of mine posted a link to a list of 1920’s slang on Facebook. This is the link. I had some time on my hands, so I wrote a story using every one of the 59 listed slang terms. It’s like I’ve written a story in a foreign language.

Yes, I should probably get out more. Here it is, to be read in a deep Southern drawl:

My youngest cousin, Betsy, blue serge that she is, invited me to her wedding. I got the invitation a week ago. She works at the local hen coop down the coloured area of town, hit on all sixes, she does.

“Di Mi!” I said to my boyfriend at the time, a fakeloo artist and cellar smeller with a worrying taste for coffin varnish and hanging around in creep joints. As I said, boyfriend at the time. I realised he was a forty-niner after I caught him sneaking into my handbag to find my hope chest and purse. I’d been mistaken, again, thinking he was the Eel’s hips. I cast a kitten and streeted him. All that’s left of him in my house are a bunch of dead soldiers and some Indian hop.

He’d given me the absent treatment three weeks’ earlier at the frolic pad and I’d found him airtight. The boyfriend before (being a quiff in this day and age isn’t easy. My mothers’ worried I’m too fussy and thinks I’ll land up a Rock of Ages. She doesn’t know about all the barneymugging I’ve done. Luckily. She thinks I’m a bluenose. Banana Oil! I think I’ll keep it so.) had been a dead hoofer, so this one’s flight of foot left me breathless.

But back to my cousin. I hadn’t even known she was insured, let alone about to go down the middle aisle! She’d always been a baby vamp, we have no bug-eyed Bettys in our family, no sirree. I called her up on the ameche at work.

Maybelline, the hairdresser at the hen coop answered: “Maybelline’s. Hello!”

She could be a bit of a Lens Louise, so I exchanged pleasantries with her until I heard her calling Betsy. “Ofay! It’s your cousin Mary-Lou on the blower.”

I heard laughing and then Betsy was on the line.

“You’re going down the middle aisle? I saw you not a month ago. Who’s the lucky lalapazaza?”

“Oh, Mary-Lou, you’ll never believe. He was the fire extinguisher at the high school prom last month and I was there, togged to the bricks, helping with the serving up of the dinner. I saw him walk in and you could’ve given me the electric cure the moment I laid eyes on him.” She giggled.


“Well, I was having a small argument with that face stretcher, Mrs Mulligan, at the time, about whether to serve the starter immediately or later. You know, she‘s been doing the off-time jive since the declaration of independence with that Johnson Brother of a husband of hers. Did you hear he was found throwing jack at the bangtails after kicking the gong around? And him, the meat ambulance driver!”

I gave a Bronx cheer. “Betsy, get on with your story. Ish kabibble to that old flat tire. All I ever saw of him was him having long beat sessions while boiled as an owl at the blind pig with the bunch of torpedos that hang out there. Once a bindle punk, always a bindle punk. Back to you! ”

“Well, he came right over after the dance, as I stood outside waiting for a ten cent box to get me home. I got the screaming meemies as he leaned toward me. ‘You look like a bunny in that knee-duster and ground grippers. Cash or check?’”

I breathed in as she giggled again, sounding the happiest I’d heard her, ever.

“Nerts, Betsy! What’d you say?”


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