Pin Up or Shut Up

Cigarette fiction by a woman of excellent breeding and impeccable moral fiber.

Coming out in 1944. Reckon Mom and Dad will take the news just fine!


Coming out in 1944. Reckon Mom and Dad will take the news just fine!

The way to a man’s heart is through his fist.

The way to a man’s heart is through his fist.

An Ode to Film

Author’s Note: To celebrate a year in Los Angeles, I wanted to find a way to commemorate and share my memories thus far of this wonderful city. For one year, I’ve been compiling the list of films I’ve watched in The City of Angels (see what I did there?). The content of tonight’s story is experimental. Sharing a story written entirely from the list of films felt right to post here because so many people were involved in the movies I’ve watched. I’m so thankful to my family and friends for the suggestions which opened me to try a new form of storytelling. 

Without further adieu, enjoy tonight’s story!

The Age of Innocence.

It’s a Wonderful Life! Little Miss Sunshine. and the Half-Blood Prince. 500 Days of Summer! Singing in the Rain.

Titanic. Network. Dead Poets Society. Nightmare before Christmas. Dinner for Schmucks.

Pillow Talk. Say Anything. Accepted. Post-Grad. Paris Je Tie ‘me. Sucker Punch. Going the Distance.

The Fighter. The Punisher. Go. I’m Still Here. Doubt. 13 going on 30. Obsessed. Lover Come Back! Letters to God. He’s Just Not that into You. Winter’s Bone. Dear John. The Break Up. Blue Valentine.

A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Mystic River. Eyes Wide Shut. The Science of Sleep.

Cigarettes and Coffee.  Party Monster. The Hangover. 127 Hours.


Road Trip! East of Eden.

The American. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

New York, I Love You! Manhattan. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. North by Northwest. Fargo. The Men who Stare at Goats. West Side Story.

Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas.

Clueless. Capitalism: A Love Story. Brokeback Mountain. District B13. The Social Network. Showgirls. The Room. Rent. Cheaper by the Dozen. Must Love Dogs.

Amelie. Laura. Almost Famous. Norma Jean and Marilyn. The Two Towers.

The Taming of the Shrew. An Education. Burlesque.  How to Train your Dragon. How to Marry a Millionaire.

The Black Swan. Certified Copy. Pin Up Girl.

Bewitched. The Usual Suspects. X-Men: First Class. The Lost Boys. Swingers.

Rebel without a Cause.

The Aviator. Ed Wood. You’re Not Alone Anymore. Take Me Home Tonight.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. The Girl Who Played with Fire.

Jaws. Crank. Inside Deep Throat.

The Green Hornet. Bitchslap. Howl. The Thin Red Line. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

Full Metal Jacket. Inglorious Bastards. Crime and Misdemeanors. The Departed. The Deathly Hallows. Despicable Me.

Castaway. Into the Wild. LA: Confidential. Down and Out in Beverly Hills. The Burbs. The Good Girl.

The Return of the King. The Graduate. Your Highness. The Conversation. Up in the Air. The King’s Speech. Stand by Me. Too Big to Fail. The Holiday. Midnight in Paris. Miracle on 34th Street. The Shining. The Fellowship of the Ring. A Very Long Engagement. The Princess Bride. Homeward Bound. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. Away We Go!

"Don’t think it, ink it."

Elvgren, Gil. Spotty Performance (Occupational Hazard; Stenographer). 1962.

"Don’t think it, ink it."

Elvgren, Gil. Spotty Performance (Occupational Hazard; Stenographer). 1962.

Watered Down

Bill was standing at the water cooler as Mandy came to fill her glass.

"You would do well for yourself if you’d lighten up," said Bill. Bill was the son of Mr. Wilson, CEO of Sensory Soap & Co.

"You think so?" said Mandy, assuming his father had told Bill to speak with her.

"Some of the other guys say so as well."

With that, Mandy’s suspicions were confirmed. “I guess, I could try some lighter colors.”

He nodded.

"Mr. Wilson mentioned this to me once before—do you remember that time I’d accidentally untucked my blouse?" Mandy admitted. "I’ve really been giving it a try. Asking other girls what their tricks are."

Grabbing her cup, Many left and went straight to the bathroom. She looked into the mirror. She began applying several layers of her matte lipstick. As she continued to pile, her pouty smile became crusty and creased. So Maddy picked up a paper towel next to the sink and wiped the color off. She sighed.

A magazine laid on the vanity table. She sat in the chair which was reserved for customers. 

A new color by Loreal used a photo of a girl who looked just like her. And she was absolutely stunning.

"I need that color!" said Mandy.

Just then, a face appeared in the mirror. It was an elegant woman who was only marred by the distraught look she carried.

"Mandy, go back to your desk." 

"How do you know my name?"

"Dear girl, as you worry about how I know your name, what Loreal lipstick you must carry in your purse, or how the color of your office appropriate outfits make Mr. Bill Wilson see you, others worry about the same things. Just do your job, and don’t distract yourself with this frivolous nonsense." 

Mandy worked hard for the next week, spending less time in front of the mirror or at the water cooler and more time completing tasks with punctuality. Towards the end of her lunch break on Friday, Mandy was surprised to see Mr. Wilson waiting for her when she got back.

"Hello Mr. Wilson, I’ve just come back early from lunch so I might finish this project before the weekend. I hope that’s alright."

"Mandy, I’m glad to see you. I’ve given it some thought, and the way you conduct yourself as a professional individual without worrying about frivolous nonsense or waiting for others to ask you to do something, I can see you are a real asset to this office. I’m happy to offer you a position we’ve decided to create specifically for you. Does Executive Assistant suit you?" 

"Thank you sir. I’d love to hear more. Would you be available for a meeting at 5pm tonight after I’ve completed this project?"

Mr. Wilson smiled and walked away, hearing the clicks of Mandy’s keyboard over his own footsteps. 

© cc elisabeth

Image: A Refreshing Lift. Gil Elvgren. 

Getting brought
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Getting brought

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