|Second from the right is Joan O'Donnell. |
She was Vivien Leigh's Stand-In for the epic movie "Gone With the Wind".
Photo taken in 1940 with Joan's mother and brothers.
Aside from the occasional bouts of mid-day narcolepsy wherein I’m either dreaming that I’m toiling away on a television show (oh, sooo close to tonging a donut at Craft Services!), or lost in Las Vegas unable to find my purse (don’t need a psychiatrist to interpret that particular recurring nightmare); I’m expanding on my last blog post, as I’ve since chosen to don a plethora of metaphorical hats.Of late, lured by the intoxicating promise of winning $5,000.00 a week for life by the Publishers Clearing House emails which threaten me with “DO NOT IGNORE!” warnings lest I use any other search engine, I’d kind of run out of things to look up. I don’t suffer from any medical issues (hey, my parents take mid-day naps too!), I couldn’t give a crap about what’s “trending” in pop culture (I weep for our currently wildly illiterate children); nor did anything (aside from getting back to work in January!) peak my interest.
Ergo and Q.E.D. (I’m being redundant to make a point,) I donned an imaginary professorial mortarboard and typed “stand-in” into the research engine to determine just what the intellectual world might think of my chosen career.Apparently (as cited by the Merriam-Webster database), the following synonyms apply: “Backup, cover, designated hitter, fill-in, substitute, reserve, sub, alternate, understudy, apology (WHAT???), makeshift, stopgap.”
Also, if I read the website correctly, a “Locum Tenens” (aka “stand-in”) dates as far back to Medieval Latin circa 1641. (Good Heavens! In lieu of busses, were we all thrown under chariots???)With my imaginary mortarboard still atop my red-headed ponytail intact as PCH on the following evening once again terrorized me with menacing “AT RISK IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND!” warnings, I benignly entered the date “1641” into the parameters to appease the theoretical cash mongers.
Turns out, King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland was actually beheaded in 1641... (Thanks for that cheery info, PCH.)Ergo and Q.E.D., clearly I needed a new hat on my noggin whilst I still had a head.
>>><<<Donning an imaginary powdery blue wig with ringlets, strutting about the bat-cave with an occasional “Pip, pip”, “Cheerio” or “How’s about a spot-o-tea?” (incredibly lame) British accent, I settled me-self down for a proper inspection as a Tory Barrister to contemplate the litigation of my on-going embattlement with the EDD (Unemployment Dept.). A triplicate form had arrived via snail mail (TRIPLICATE!), once again demanding to know my earnings for a week back in September, wherein I had declared my whopping earnings of a “Saved by the Bell” residual check for all of $6.34.
And just like that (*whistle*), this faux Tory embraced her American Indiana Hoosier heritage, strapped on a metaphorical cowgirl Stetson and hopped upon her mighty High Horse named “Righteous Indignation”. If I had to dig my spurs into the Government one more time, by golly, they were in for some serious whupping!Ahem...
Ergo and Q.E.D., I once again needed a cooler head to prevail (despite my endless range of acting diversity), as a better brim with which to view the bigger picture could certainly “behoove” me.
My triplicate EDD form filled out, my oath of authenticity duly signed with my signature for the third time (FFS), and heading to the bank a few days later to deposit a (literally, one year ago) reimbursement check for a “free” flu shot last November from the Motion Picture Television Fund, I opted for a new imaginary cap to crown my cranium.Stopped at a red street light at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Fairfax, I sat in my car and glanced at the patrons waiting for a bus. I clearly remembered my prior forlorn days of public transit seven years ago (not anything I’m proud of, but some lessons are hard-earned and well worth the outcome!); and coddled in the comfort of my Toyota “Cecilia”, I tried to strap on blinders to avoid recalling any further unpleasant sense memories.
Yet before I could even begin to rein in any acutely absurd observations, I found myself already sporting a Sheriff’s hat, my inner Barney Fife once again welling up to the task and eager to prove my current worth as a some sort of valuable contributing member of society!And whilst I certainly didn’t mean to stare, one gentleman in particular immediately caught my stealthy eye. He didn’t see me of course, nor was he one of those deranged ding-dongs who stand in the middle of the road looking for the giant orange metro liner. (It’s the size of a HOUSE, people! Trouncing into the street won’t make you see the bus any sooner, nor make the driver arrive any quicker. And did I mention that it’s ORANGE?)
But I digress!Instead, this unique (maybe 80 year old gentleman?) public transit patron worked quite diligently to surreptitiously stuff his ziplock of narcotics (?) deep into the sole of his right lavender striped sock, casually lowered his pant leg for concealment, popped open a silver can of Fresca, took one sip, poured half of the soda out behind the bench, and proceeded to refill the container with a half pint of liquor pulled from a brown paper bag. (Well, at least he wasn’t driving under the influence!)
>>><<<“Ergo” and all “Q.E.D”s aside, the likelihood of me without an official Barney Fife tin star pulling to the side of the road to summon police seemed preposterous, as two black and white patrol cars had already barreled past me with full lights and sirens blaring down the boulevard obviously in pursuit of a significantly more dangerous criminal.
I also no longer needed my cowgirl Stetson, as much to my shock, awe and overall disbelief in urban myths, my bank drafted an email to alert me that a wire transfer from EDD was in effect to wrangle, lasso and eventually deposit $317.00 into my checking account. WOO-HOO!!! (And ta-ta, Tory Barrister wig, you mawkish magpie!)And while I shall always sport my imaginary professorial mortarboard in search of my ongoing quest for knowledge, this Locum Tenens was due to don the annual bonnet that has yet to ONCE ever comfortably rest upon my big old Charlie Brown head: i.e., the Thanksgiving cook’s toque...
For your dining pleasure my friends, would you care to preview this year’s potential menu?Certainly I’d enjoy some appetizers:
And what’s a fabulous holiday feast without spuds?
(Just add water to the fill line, nuke the granules and in about two minutes you get fluffy “mashed potatoes”!)
I even sort of had a festive dessert!
Yet as to the main course? Hmmm... That might take a bit of creativity as any kind of fowl generally creeps me out...But A-HA!
Like a beacon of light on a miner’s helmet in the darkness, one item shone brightly on the shelves at my local 7/11! After all, how could I POSSIBLY go wrong with a microwaveable “Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac” bowl of beef, elbow pasta and a creamy Velveeta cheese packet, co-mingling like family gathered at Thanksgiving dinner?
Hmmm... (I’m by no means slandering Kraft Foods for a well-intended idea for those of us who so often dine alone on holidays, but 1020 mg of sodium??? Did you put the salt-lick in with the cow? And why am I having sense memory flashbacks to the smell of opening up a can of Alpo for my childhood dog “Poppy”???)>>><<<
As Thanksgiving grows near, I must say that I’m mostly grateful for all of my family and friends who’ve stood fiercely by my side during a challenging year. For your love, laughter and support, I thank you from the bottom of my heart to the tip of my bonnet!And as to the looming day of obligatory feasting? Well, what can I say... Sometimes you just need a talented stand-in. (Or, you know, a McDonald's drive-thru!)
~Pumpkin pie P