One weekday morning, whilst motoring down the Pacific Coast Highway in her Packard 12-cylinder custom-modified jet convertible (affectionately known as Trixie to its friends), Mizz Snarkity Snark spotted a hitchhiker in a tuxedo, all white tie and tails standing by the side of the road, gas can in one hand, thumb on the other.Putting on her most beguiling Daisy Buchanan face, MSS stopped to offer the handsome stranger a lift to the nearest petrol station.
Could Husband #20 be sitting in the passenger seat even as we speak? Well, he of the unfortunate name of Hubert Royce Delfin Carnegie Smith III certainly thought so as he watched our Mizz Lisabeth-Anne Snark out of the corner of his eye, as her diaphanous skirt Flappered itself around comely thighs while the Packard bore them south on Pacific Coast Highway toward the City of Angels and an eventual service station.
Before the lumbering Packard had crested the rise out of the midmorning fog and into Santa Monica, HRDCSIII had made up his mind to wed this stunning blonde beauty with the flowing raven locks. First, however, he would have to learn her name. That proved difficult, as I’m sure you can envision, as even our Mizz Snarkity Snark could hardly keep her name straight through the use of a carefully arranged stack of calling cards.
Chapter Three, in which MSS Dodges a Bullet and Catches a Train Instead
Fill in your maiden name and previously known last names (if any) on the line above your signature, Mizz Lisabeth-Anne Snark Smith Hughes…Langford Weatherly…Smith…
There’s barely enough room on the form to hold half of her previous names. She sighs, falters in her beautiful cursive handwriting, and faints to the floor. HRDCSIII, seeing the quandary, finally understands why she’d hesitated at his proposal. Gathering his courage, the full gas can, and his wrinkled tuxedo, he steps quietly from the office and out to the curb, where he hails a cab to Malibu and his stranded car.
Minutes later, Mizz Lisabeth-Anne Snark awakens from her dead faint, having successfully dodged a marital bullet at the Justice of the Peace’s office in Beverly Hills and avoided the potential hazards of a fourth Smith in her string of last names (and the risks of keeping them straight mentally). With a relieved sigh, she returns to the still-idling Packard and sets about salvaging her failing financial situation, snatching stability from the snapping jaws of a pauper’s wardrobe, of lice and men.
Never one to settle, and never known for any talent at giving up, MSS finds a petrol station, selects and dons her prettiest hat and frockiest frock from the locker-sized steamer trunk kept handily in the trunk of the Packard (next to the spare petrol tank), and hops on board the streamliner bound for the Chicago World’s Fair.
Two Bee Continued