Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cheers, Daleks

Welcome to the dog days of summer, my darlings. Are you all relieved now that my 2-part Doctor Who & the Daleks story is concluded, and I, of course, survived? If the daleks had killed me back in 1930, I'd have a hard time flogging in the 21st Century.

So, how true-to-life was this adaptation of an unpublished chapter of my memoirs? Well, as I pointed out last week, it presented me as a stage star in New York City, when I was actually in Hollywood that entire year, shooting my first three talkies: The Godawful Truth, An Affair to Forget, and Dancing in the Drink; the latter film a musical not released until 1931. And by no stretch of the imagination did I ever speak with that accent, but then the actress who played me, Miranda Raison, is English, and was faking what she thought of as an all-purpose American accent. Also, I have never found it necessary to repeatedly tell people "It's Tallulah; three Ls and an H." to distinguish myself from all the Talulas out there.

But they did get my hair color right, they got my age about right, which is more than I ever did, and they portrayed me as single, which I was in 1930. Of course I was never engaged to anyone named Lazlo (Who could love a man named Lazlo?), but Lazlo was played by Ryan Carnes, who is best known for playing Justin, the gay lover of Andrew Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives. Further, the character of Lazlo was genetically crossbred with a pig by the daleks, and turned into a man-pig. Tallulah loved him anyway. Hmmm. A gay man who turns into a pig, and I just ignore it and go on loving him just for the fine porkings. Darlings, that is the story of about five of my marriages, so that was very true to Life.

And of course, The Doctor and I did defeat the daleks, and prevented them from mutating the population of America into daleks. At the end of the show, the last dalek transported itself away, to try their fiendish experiment somewhere else. So where did it go? Hmmm. 1930, humans turned into racist monsters claiming to be The Master Race, and exterminating anyone who was different from them. Well we all now know that the daleks went to Germany. Fortunately, we still defeated them in a little skirmish called World War II. You may have read about it. It was in all the papers, and I think they made a movie about it.

So did any of the human/dalek/Nazi hybrids survive the war to this day? Only one that I know of.

But Lazlo was a fictional character, a composite of a few of my husbands. Actually I was on a heteroll at the time. In 1929, I was married for about 10 hours to Count Vlad Tepes, who had many faults to be sure, but was certainly heterosexual, if a bit kinky. Sadly, his fatal Sunlight allergy killed him on the morning after our wedding night, leaving me with only a couple world-class hickeys and the need for an immediate transfusion to remember him by.

I married again in 1933. I don't remember the wedding or courtship, as I had been celebrating the end of The Great Evil [Tallulah's term for Prohibition. She still refuses to use the word. She seldom displays inhibitions either. - Douglas] , and I lost a few months. When I woke up, I was Mrs. Boris Karloff. I took the professional name Karloff-Morehead, as Boris always said that was what drew him to me. Here's a photo from our wedding night, as I showed Boris just what Morehead was all about. Did you know he was a Shriner? And I had to teach him the value of moisturizing.

The marriage was a short one, though it was considerably longer than my marriage to Vlad. It lasted only until late 1934. It ended due to a silly misunderstanding. I was never going to slice off his penis and keep it in a jar with all those others. I'm 87% sure those were fakes, props from a movie I'd been in years before, Bluebeard's Daughter. Even after Boris realized this, he was too traumatized to return to Morehead Heights, or ever again enter any room I was in. Honestly, I have never intentionally decockpitated any man. Defrocked? Yes. Decocked? Never. I live with a Headless Indian Brave, not a dickless one. Lorena Bobbitt's statement that she was only following my example was pure poppydick. I learned early in life, that a penis that is not attached to a man is semi-useless. When I'm singing "When the red, red hobbit comes bob, bob, bobbitting along, along," it's just a children's song.

But these little misunderstandings happen in every marriage. What wife hasn't chased her naked husband around the house with a butcher knife, screaming "I'll slice it off and feed it to the dog, you bastard!" once or twice a year? We're always sorry afterwards. Who knew a second circumcision was a bad idea? No matter what you've heard, I don't have a penis myself, so I had no way of knowing that foreskins don't grow back. I thought that maybe they had to be pruned periodically. Good lord, that pesky hymen of mine tried to grow back twice. I finally had to have it cauterized. Anyway, there was almost no harm done. I would point out that he sired his daughter after his marriage to me, so maybe I did it some good.

I made my most expensive movie, The Revenge of Cleopatra, during the time I was Mrs. Karloff-Morehead. Here's a lovely shot of Boris visiting me on the set. As you can see, he came straight from his lodge, and still hadn't moisturized.

[I must reiterate here that the Karloff Family stoutly denies that Tallulah was ever married to Boris Karloff, and clings to the story that he was married to Dorothy Stine Karloff, the mother of Sarah Jane Karloff, at that time. I wasn't there, or even born yet, so I don't know if that's true, or if it was just a desperate delusion born of deep denial by the traumatised Karloff. - Douglas]

Sad though it was, it was my last marriage to a truly hetero male for 20 years, unless I was married to one (or 2 or 3 or 4) during my wartime blackout. And those two marriages acquainted me with fear. I'm The Lady Who Terrified Boris Karloff! I can, if I choose, concoct horrors to freeze the blood in your veins. Want proof? Look at this:

Just keep telling yourself, it's only a joke. Unless you're Zsa Zsa, poor Thing.

On another subject just for a moment, I read that Ingrid Bergman died again this past week. She was of course, the legendary director of such classics as The Seventh Seal of Dr. Lao, The Virgin Sprung, Alexander's Fanny, Scenes From a Divorce, Through a Shotglass Darkly, Wild Razzberries, Nattvardsgästerna, and The Nutty Professor. She was a genius. Who else could have made a whole career out of being depressed while speaking gibberish? She will be missed, especially by the manufacturers of Prozac.

Cheers darlings.

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