the Tattooed Lady..."
by Sylvester Lewis
Lydia lit the
wooden match with a scrape of her thumbnail and
puffed life into the cigar clenched between her
teeth. She sank back into the pillows of her
chaise and, with a wave of her hand, commanded
Okay, boys. Shoot!
dressing room was filled with flashing lights and
popping bulbs as the newsmen scrambled to get
that front page shot. A riot of
questions filled the room.
boys, Lydia shouted raising her arm so they
all could get a good look at the huge diamond
ring on her left hand. Lemme give it to you
straight. Me and the little guy is finally gonna
get hitched, she continued. 'Yeah, the
little runt said he hadda have for me his wife.
Imagine. Me. Mrs. Thumb!
on the sparkling rock and polished it against her
bosom. Hypnotized by the dancing lights inside
the fiery stone, she cooed Fifteen carats!
I ain't never seen nothin' like it. We was having
dinner at the Claridge and just finished eatin'
them Ersters Rockefeller he's so nuts about. He
always eats a double order of 'em when we go out
on a date, don'tcha know. All of a sudden, he
climbs up into me lap, pops the question and
slips the ring onto me finger. What's a poor
helpless girl like meself's to do?
the happy day? someone called out.
being the Queen of Tattoo, I gotta get a coupla
new pitchas first, if they can find room for 'em.
She reached around and dunked her cigar into a
glass of champagne. Her robe slipped from her
shoulder to reveal a stunning depiction of
Washington Crossing The Delaware. She flexed her
bicep and Washington bowed. Then, the edge of her
gown slid off her thigh to give them a view of
the Grand Canyon. The room exploded in blinding
flashes of popping bulbs and quivering
OOHS and AAHS.
quittin' B & B's Circus, she continued.
Ziegfeld called me from New York. He wants
us to work up an act for his new show at the New
Amsterdam soon's we get back to the States. Maybe
we can get married on stage as part of the act.
That'd be a show stopper! She laughed and
slapped her thigh. Then take a little
honeymoon trip. Hackensack. Hoboken. Someplace
take her eyes from the ring. She seemed to lose
her brashness and became pensive. Her voice
softened. Who'da thunk it. Maybe a new
career for him and me. Settle down in a nice
little house, not TOO far from Broadway. Live
like normal people. I know I'm not dreamin',
she said pinching her arm. Ain't life grand?
Can't wait to get started. A whole new life. I'm
so happy I could cry. She wiped make-believe
tears from her heavily mascaraed eyes.
you leaving, another voice asked.
week, she answered. We's takin' the