Expect the Unexpected

One of my favorite lines is from a 1930s Bette Davis movie, in which she plays a vampy girl who is popular with the boys. Sort of a Scarlett O’Hara type without the distraction of the Civil War and “birthin’ babies” nonsense. Typical of the genre, Davis portrays a woman of questionable virtue who may be honest, but it’s pure escapist fantasy. She’s young and attractive enough to pique the curiosity of many a would-be suitor, and if he’s rich and handsome, she might be interested…

The scene occurs, if memory serves, on an apparently Southern front porch and Bette is suitably dressed in full skirts and petticoats, frills galore, as she greets her male caller. Assuming that the way she acts indicates an interest in smooching or something more, the debonair gent attempts to kiss her–in public, right there on her front porch! GASP!

Of all the things she could have said or might have done, here’s Bette’s reply to his amorous intentions:

“I’d love to kiss you, but I just washed my hair…”

Now, isn’t that the sweetest put-down of all time?


© Copyright 2015 Linda L Labin, PhD


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