Pure and Regret

    Well, Tink has done it again! This Weekly Word Challenge gives us an attribute, and an emotion: Pure and Regret.

    Chatty just loves old advertisements. This fondness dates from the time she found a really old Sears Catalog in her grandmother’s attic one summer afternoon. If we are to believe the slogan that dates from 1879, you can’t get much more “pure” than this:


    And, spelling aside, this product promises pure water from your faucet:

    Of course, we all know the expression “Pure as the driven snow” (although by the time Chatty had a chance to get up in the mountains to see some snow, it was neither “pure” nor “driven”, but this is the best an Arizona desert girl can manage:


Tallulah Bankhead, one of Chatty’s favorite actresses, put a spin on that expression, as noted in her 1952 “Tallulah: My Autobiography”:


    Moving on to Regret, Paul Anka modified the music of a French song and wrote new lyrics especially for Old Blue Eyes, and it became his theme song:


    Have you ever finished a book and then taken another look at the cover art, only to realize that the artist obviously had not read the book and was just using the title for inspiration – which was unfortunate, because the title has little or nothing to do with the story?

Miss Otis Regrets is  Cole Porter’s haunting, tragic and passing strange ditty about a society woman who catches her lover cheating (or the cad deflowers her, thus ruining her life – Chatty can never decide which), so she kills him, and then is strung up by an angry mob. But, because she’s the courteous type, before she dies she apologizes to the friends with whom she was to lunch, regretting that she will be unable to attend. As last words go, in Chatty’s opinion they lack depth, but she can’t deny it makes for a great story! Chatty can only wonder what kind of mood Cole Porter was in when he wrote this, but it’s a cool song. It’s been sung by everyone from Edith Piaf and Ella Fitzgerald to Bette Midler, and from The Mills Brothers and Nat King Cole to Jose Feliciano (those last two being Chatty’s favorite versions). The singer acts as narrator, as the story is being explained by Miss Otis’s loyal servant after her death.

This sheet music illustration from 1934 appeals to Chatty’s sense of the absurd, because like the aforementioned books, this artwork conveys NOTHING of the song’s sad story – instead, it makes Miss Otis look like a spoiled (and frighteningly skinny) brat pouting because she can’t go to a 4-martini lunch with her BFFs. Then again, perhaps the artist had indeed heard the lyrics, but decided that showing Miss Otis on a makeshift scaffold under a tree with a rope around her neck might have made selling the sheet music problematic…



“Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today, madam,
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.
She is sorry to be delayed,
but last evening down in Lover’s Lane she strayed, madam,
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.

When she woke up and found that her dream of love was gone, madam,
She ran to the man who had led her so far astray,
And from under her velvet gown,
She drew a gun and shot her love down, madam,
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.

When the mob came and got her and
dragged her from the jail, madam,

They strung her upon the old willow across the way,
And the moment before she died,
She lifted up her lovely head and cried, madam……
Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.

Miss Otis regrets, she’s unable to lunch today.”

    Here’s a guy who was into regret BIG time – just like Miss Otis, though for completely different reasons (although the result was the same). He’s a staple in American history textbooks from grade school on, but Chatty is betting he really surged ahead in the popularity polls when he was pictured on this useful stamp, issued in both 1925 and 1929. Those were the good old days – when postage could be measured one-half cent at a time:

    Lastly, here’s an example of regret that occurs nightly in Chatty’s kitchen:


    Many thanks to my friend Ann, for the tutorial she gave Chatty to show her how to insert balloons and text into her pictures. Not bad for a first effort, is it, Ann? I even found the “flip” and “rotate” commands!

    Well, that concludes Chatty’s take on Tink’s challenge this week. We’ll have to wait and see what she comes up with next!



About merseamersea

setter of cryptic crosswords, designer of jewelry, paper and card maker, editor, quilter, embroiderer, cook, avid mystery reader and occasional writer. Find me on Facebook as Maggie-beth Rees Rasor.
This entry was posted in photos, Weekly Word Challenge. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Pure and Regret

  1. Great job on the “balloon” Chatty and thanks for the link! I love the collages also.

  2. gary says:

    you went to town!!!!!!your little doggie is welcome here anytime, for some extra treats and spoiling

  3. Heather says:

    Those were great! Love the Miss Otis one. I’ve never heard that song! Can you believe it?! It appears I’ve lived under a rock for far too long. I did have a boyfriend in high school who’s nickname was Otis. I regret that I gave him nearly a year of my sixteen year old life and that he broke my heart to pieces in the end. Damn Otis types! HE!! Now, he lives 3 miles from me and I get to see him at my class reunion next month. Joy! Did I mention he and my husband despise each other? Should be fun! 😉 On a side note – from my posting about Miss Manners – unfortunately, the breaker of all good manners isn’t a friend, no, alas, I would have to say I’d most likely shelf that friendship. No, this one was part of the package deal when I got the hubby. I guess that’s what is meant with the vows “for better of for worse”. It’s the Mother in Law. =0 I’ve fantasized many of times of shelving her though, trust me. BTW – I requested that a different nurse come to my home – someone more professional. Still getting weighed and poked but hopefully by someone with better manners. 😉

  4. kcinnova says:

    I really must learn some photoshop skills, or anything like them! More importantly, Chatty rocks the WWC. Every. Week. Ivory Soap? [smacks forehead] I could’ve had a 99-and-44-100ths picture! Oh, well. I’ll leave the genius to her work; Chatty is safe in her WWC status. Your doggie is cute!

  5. You did good! I love Bette Midler’s version of “Miss Otis Regrets.”

  6. Karen says:

    I REGRET that I had no PURE ivory snow at home. I am not as crafty as you are with the collages. Great Job!

  7. Reb says:

    Great job Chatty! The first version I heard was the Ella Fitzgerald version, then the Bette Midler one. I can’t decide which I like better though.

  8. Tink says:

    Aw. I love the caption for the puppy picture! And your collages are always so cool.

  9. Well played! I especially love the Regrets! Namely, the Paul Anka lyrics that Mr.Sinatra sang so beautifully and Miss Otis.

  10. oh yay! your comments are working now! your comments are working now! Chatty, I LOVE your blog, been wanting to tell you that for a long long time!

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