Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Norma Desmond Chronicles: Norma's Halloween Seance

Hollywood's Busiest Medium: Madame Crackpotski

Chapter 5 of the Norma Desmond Chronicles.
Norma got off on a temporary insanity plea, did a short stint in a spa-like psych center and is now free in Hollywood. She's back and better than ever!

The last time we saw Norma, she was just beginning to get her life back together. She and Max were starring in the successful sitcom, "Max and Madame," the Hollywood community had embraced her, her fans had returned and Max (whose carpal tunnel syndrome had healed since he no longer had to write bogus fan letters) was getting closer to making his big romantic move. All of Norma's stars were aligned when word reached her that Joe Gillis was making appearances at seances all over town and was trashing her.

The old Norma would have been thrown by this and might have either reached for the gun or the razor, but the old Norma was dead. The new Norma decided to fight fire with fire and face her demons head on.

"Max! We will have a Halloween seance right here at Sunset Boulevard and invite Joe to tell his story to my face!"
Norma envisions a Hollywood-style seance.....
While Max did not relish the thought of Joe Gillis returning to the house - dead or alive - he acquiesced. After all, once Norma got a notion in her head there was no stopping her. He hired Hollywood's most expensive psychic medium, Madame Crackpotski, to conduct communication with the other side.

Norma assembled an "A" list guest list for her seance:
Mr. Sheldrake
Nervous that Joe Gillis would find out that "Bases Loaded" was
being made as a Betty Hutton
Naturally, the Waxworks
Buster wouldn't have "passed" up this opportunity!
HB Warner made sure he brought his own ashtray - just in case
Anna Q. Nilsson was curious. She never liked Joe.

Joan Crawford
Norma's BFF
Cary Grant
Well, Norma wasn't dead
Orson Wells
Orson knew his way around a magic act
Bogey and Bacall
Hollywood's most popular couple. Norma could use their support.
Billy Wilder
Billy had invited himself. He was VERY interested in this story.

Garbo was invited, but declined.
"Miss Garbo respectfully and regretfully declines your invitation."

Valentino was invited from the other side.
Not too concerned about Joe Gillis, but curious to see if the tiles were still tango-worthy
And - the most important guests of all: Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons.
Norma was counting on these two blabber-mouths to set the record straight.
Word of Norma's seance spread all over town, and crowds of the curious, well-wishers and friends of Joe Gillis eagerly awaited the results.

As the guests settled in and held hands around the table, Madame Crackpotski made contact with the departed Joe. Here is an exclusive transcript of what transpired:

Madame Crackpotski (Aka MC): Joe Gillis. Come in Joe Gillis...
(the table levitates and an icy wind blows through the room as the organ wheezes).
Joe (through MC): it's me folks! I'm here.
Norma: Joe, Joe - why are you lying, saying that I killed you over Betty Schaeffer? Tell the truth Joe, tell the truth!
Joe: Sorry, Norma, but Sheldrake needs a good story, not the truth. I wanted to sell him the Bases Loaded story, but he just wouldn't budge. I was desperate!
Sheldrake: It was all Betty Schaeffer's fault! She said your stories were no good!
Norma: Joe, you didn't leave without the platinum cigarette case and the vicuna coat. You took them all, and my diamond tiara, and, on the way out, you threatened me with a gun. You lied and you stole from me and I shot you in self defense!
Joe: Sorry, Norma, I didn't want to look as though I was in it for the money. And besides, Betty wanted the tiara. She wanted the monkey, too, for some reason, but I didn't feel like digging him up. Norma, I guess I had it coming. 
Norma: Thank you, Joe.
Joe: Say hello to Max.....and thank him for all of the cocktails. Well, folks, goodbye. I've got a sweet deal of a story lined up. This town hasn't heard the last of Joe Gillis.I'm going to sell a story to Paramount even if it kills me. Oops - it already did!
Another cold wind blew through the room and Madame Crackpostki fell into a heap on the floor. Joe was gone and Norma was vindicated (sort of). Everyone congratulated Norma, who was positively glowing. Louella and Hedda promised to tell her story to the world and to CB De Mille.
CB will surely call now!
Max was happy for Norma, but he noticed that Billy Wilder had left early. Just what was he up to?
Keeping a watchful eye over Norma
To be continued...
Stay tuned for the final entry of "The Norma Desmond Chronicles."


Page said...

So, So Funny! And your photo captions are priceless. I would love to be BFF's with Joanie as long as I could keep her away from my man. This is a seance I would love to attend. Although with Keaton in attendance it would be difficult to keep a straight face.
Really enjoyable!

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Page. I imagine things were really hopping at the mansion that night. Funny thing - I always kid in these posts that Norma and Joan are BFFs because I view Joan as the last silent-style movie queen. I recently read a Crawford bio that said that she greatly admired Swanson and copied her style and the way she treated her fans. Birds of a feather, it seems!

Christian Esquevin said...

Very creative FlickChick. How would you like to direct this movie?

FlickChick said...

Well, Christian, I think Billy Wilder did a fabulous job on the original, but I would like to see the further adventures of Norma!

Dawn said...

FlickChick, You have great talent in spinning such a funny story.. I can not wait to read what happens next..

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Dawn. Norma is such a great character. It's fun to imagine what she will do next!

ClassicBecky said...

WHERE did you find that fabulous seance picture?! The participants look dead too! Your pictures were so perfect, and your story hilarious. I love the Chronicles, Flickchick ... you have a real flair for this kind of comedy. Kudos!

FlickChick said...

A little fun with photoshop (wish I knew more about it). Here's hoping your scary days are over, Becky.

ClassicBecky said...

Ooops! Forgot to tell you my favorite line, with that dazzling picture of Valentino ... "Not too concerned about Joe Gillis, but curious to see if the tiles were still tango-worthy" ... good one!

DorianTB said...

FlickChick, you had me at "Madame Crackpotski" and didn't let go! :-) What a funny, delightful story! The photos you chose were spot-on for this daft little tale! I thoroughly enjoyed this! More, more!

FlickChick said...

Oh, thank you, Dorian! Norma and the gang are such fun - I'm going to hate to bring their story to a close soon.

Diane said...

I just love the Norma Chronicles.

FlickChick said...

Diane - Norma must soon be riding off into the sunset....