Sunday, September 05, 2010

MAGPIE TALE: Delicious

Our contribution to the Magpie Tales Series. There rest are here.

Lulu Giggler bit the apple and thumbed through Vanity Fair as she waited at Transgressions Salon on the east side. She ignored the muffled chatter in the waiting area, knowing that she was the object of every stealth conversation. Lulu was a part of the Giggler family of Louisville whose rise to fame and fortune came during the First World War when her great grandfather T. Everett Giggler invented the multi-level parking garage. Having seen the various car parks of Europe, he was unimpressed with what he saw there and felt that there should be something unique for storing automobiles in the U.S.

At nine stories, Giggler Elevated Garage was for years the third tallest building in Louisville and was soon copied from Detroit to Manhattan to even Wichita where the Gigglers built a combination parking garage and beauty salon, not unlike a flapper era version of Transgressions.

T. Everett's sister Eileen often claimed that it was her idea, something that she envisioned on the Cunard line when she, her brother and their mutual spouses were returning from a tour of Catalonia and Tuscany. Eileen swore for years that after hearing her brilliant idea, T. Everett wired it back to one of his assistants, and plans were drawn up before they even arrived at the docks in lower Manhattan.

Eileen did benefit from the garage fortune but managed waste it away, first with Ernesto who was 25 years her junior and then a series of husbands and suitors, included a counterfeit Swiss count and a "rising star" who claimed to have an exclusive contract with R.K.O., though no one recalled ever seeing any of his films. "Oh, yes, I was in that one with Jean Arthur. The one with all the snappy dialogue."

Eileen would meet a tragic end in Dubrovnik in the early 1950s. She managed to restore her lost fortunes after the end of the war through clever investments in rayon and linoleum, but her fondness for mysterious suitors resulted in a horrible final scene as she fell from a poorly crafted hotel balcony where she fell to her death while her husband of only 48 hours and 45 years her junior looked down in horror.

Though Lulu never met Eileen, she had a mixed reaction to those who said she was "the spitting image of her great-great Aunt Eileen. She was always struck by stories of Eileen's flaming shock of hair and mercurial temperament. But she resented her mother's constant chiding, "Be mindful of who you date and where you invest, Lulu. You don't want to end up like dear old Eileen."

Just as she was becoming engrossed in an article about Peggy Guggenheim -- whom Eileen accompanied on their first trip to Machu Picchu -- her stylist escorted her to her station.

"And are we going to be brave with a bit of color today, Miss Lulu? What do you have in mind?"

Taking a big bite, Lulu raised her apple, smiling defiantly as she chomped away.

"Ah. Excellent suggestion. Delicious. Absolutely delicious."



At 7:11 AM, Blogger Helen said...

I like Lulu's spunk! Nicely done.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Helen - Something about red heads, I guess.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger kathew said...

ah yes...the color's tempting- I know from personal experience...but afterwards I felt like Lucy....not Lulu!
Nice Magpie!

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

kathew - Maybe there is something called the "moneyed red".

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Tumblewords: said...

Delicious, indeed!

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Gregg Biggs said...

Tumblewords - To the core. :)


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