Billy-Wilder-and-Marilyn-Monroe-Some-Like-It-Hot-Set-billy-wilder-26776512-990-1262In the den she opened the liquor cabinet and looked at an assortment of bottles she could have sworn had been at the same levels since 1987. She sat on the couch where she had read while her father watched the Academy Awards. There was an ashtray on the side table. Nobody, as far as she could remember had ever smoked in the house, not even Bob’s big brother, Manny. Next to the ashtray were a lamp, a phone (not wireless), and a Rolodex. A Rolodex.

Anne flipped through the cards. She remembered catching hell on one of her pre-teen visits for calling, in quick succession, a bunch of luminary “B’s”… Bacall, Beatty, Brooks (Albert and Mel), and someone only noted as Billy with a German accent that had picked up and chatted affably until asking to speak to her father. She looked for Billy’s card. It was still there. In her father’s hand and in various inks it noted a birthday, included a quote, “If you’re going to tell people the truth, be funny or they’ll kill you,” and finished with the date March 27, 2002. Billy must have been Billy Wilder.


  1. George Kaplan

    A treat! Is it altogether too, too *predictable* of me to say that I LOVED that and found it alluring? Publication cannot come quickly enough, o Gifted Scribe…
    Fabulous picture, too. Ohhh, Marilyn! 🙂
    And… Happy Birthday, Billy, you acerbic Genius you!

    • Billy Wilder: “After redoing the same shot 42 times I took her aside and hugged her and said, to calm her down, ‘Don’t worry, Marilyn,’ and she looked at me with wide-open eyes and said, ‘Don’t worry about what?’ “

  2. Confession: I am a naive Antipodean in matters Hollywood, and much else besides! Is it too naive to suppose that the pre teen escapade is based on one of your own?

  3. Heather in Arles

    Oooh, you sly sprite you! Shorter than a movie trailer and far, far more tempting…”always leave them wanting more”? Mission accompli!
    I can’t WAIT for the publication…

  4. Thanks for sharing a bit of your novel – whee!! How exciting!

    Also, I’ve found this to be very true: “If you’re going to tell people the truth, be funny or they’ll kill you.”

  5. beautycalyptique

    very enticing bit.
    very crisp writing, I love it.
    I just could smell the wood of my parents’ bar cabinet at once.
    (for a house of complete non-drinkers, the booze collection was rather impressive.)

    • I loved all those bottles of mysterious liquids, amber, clear, ruby red, chartreuse, all lined up in neat order. That their contents never matched the aesthetic appeal – well, these things happen. 😉

  6. Pingback: Happy Birthday Billy Wilder | waldina

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