In the Pip of Time & 10 Things Not To Do

Hello, everyone!  We have a guest today.  My thanks to John W. Howell, for agreeing to do a joint post with me, using one of his fabulous lists of what not to do!  Actually, this post is already live at his blog, Fiction Favorites.  Some of you have already visited there, so I thank you and I apologize for giving you a rerun.

John recently re-launched the first book in his “John J. Cannon” trilogy, My GRL.  Click here for details.  He also has the marvelous blog I mentioned above, Fiction Favorites.  John uses a different theme for each day of the week.  Mondays are a fun take on lists with Top Ten Things Not to Do.  So now I present John’s part of this collaboration.  

John W. Howell — take it away, my friend!

Top Ten Things Not to Do If You are Transported Back to the Roaring Twenties

This week’s list is inspired by Teagan R. Geneviene who is working to release her next 1920’s novel. In a discussion, she wondered aloud what it would be like to be transported back to the roaring twenties. My mind went immediately to the Top Ten things one shouldn’t do if transported. You see, I have the belief that Teagan can do anything she puts her mind to doing. I feel it is my job to warn her in case she is successful. So here is the list.

Top Ten Things Not to Do If You are Transported Back to the Roaring Twenties

10. If you have been transported to the roaring twenties, do not try to pay for anything with the money in your pocket. If you do, at best you’ll be a laughing-stock. At worst, you may be charged with counterfeiting. (Nothing like a little time on bread and water to help that waistline huh, Bunky?)

9. If you have been transported to the roaring twenties, do not let anyone see your iPhone or Apple watch. If you do, at best they will think you are from Hollywood. At worst, you might find yourself tied to a stake on top of a very big pile of wood. (That guy with the kerosene and matches heading this way is not the fire chief, Buford.)

1923 Quasimodo claims sanctuary for Esmeralda
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) Quasimodo claims sanctuary for Esmeralda.

8. If you are transported back to the roaring twenties do not think you can tell someone how a computer works in hopes of usurping Bill Gates. If you do, at best you’ll have very confused people trying to understand your directions. At worst, that jacket you are being fitted for is not for show. (Does the name Bellevue ring a bell, Buster?)

7. If you are transported back to the roaring twenties, do not try out your Charleston until you see how others do it. If you do, at best those old movies were wrong. At worst, most everyone will assume you have been over-served. (The nice part there are no cell phone videos to go viral huh, Tex?)

6. If you are transported back to the roaring twenties, do not laugh when you are served a martini in a teacup. If you do, at best the bartender will think you are drunk. At worst, the gang may assume you are a Fed and invite you to take a swim while wearing cement overshoes. (Boy, those guys play rough don’t they, Slick.)


5. If you are transported back to the roaring twenties do not wave second-hand cigarette smoke away and claim you are allergic. If you do, at best you might be asked to leave. At worst, Tiny the Bronx wrestling champ and the club bouncer might ask you to leave his way. (You were sure that door was going to stop you from hitting the ally weren’t you, Champ. Oh yes. Tiny says you owe him for a new door.)

4. If you are transported back to the roaring twenties, do not grab a megaphone and start singing Winchester Cathedral. If you do, at best you’ll get strange looks. At worst, people will think you have a crush on Rudy Vallee. (You see Ferd, it would be like singing a Bono song. It’s just not done.)

3. If you are transported back to the roaring twenties do not try to pump your own gas. If you do, at best you won’t be able to crank the pump. At worst, the local service station attendant may think you are after his job. (How did that large monkey wrench feel before you passed out huh, Babe?)

1920s Vaudeville Cats postcard
1920s Vaudeville Cats Postcard

2. If you are transported back to the roaring twenties, do not ask for a doggie bag at the restaurant. If you do, at best you’ll get a raw bone. At worst, the chef might assume you felt his food was only fit for dogs. (I would not argue with a guy who has such a big knife, Pard. In fact, I would take off running.)

1. If you are transported back to the roaring twenties, do not use slang until sure of the proper context. If you do, at best you might insult a few people. At worst, you may have triggered a full-blown riot. (Who knew Twenty-Three Skidoo was a code word for a steelworker rebellion. Not you huh, Putz?)


Ha-ha!  I love John’s lists.  Another favorite day at his blog is Wednesday Story Day.  (First episode here.) What a whiplash inducing serial that is!

Okay, now for my part of this joint post.  This vignette is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip.  (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story, click here.)

Most of you know that I’m fond of doing “pantser” stories, written spontaneously, according to random things, provided by readers.  This time I took my three things from numbers nine and ten of John’s list:  Counterfeiting, Time, and Hollywood.  I hope you enjoy this impromptu vignette.  Here goes!

In the Pip of Time


“Aelita, Queen of Mars” was playing at the Bijou Theatre.  I was brand new in town and my pal Alastair Wong invited me to go to the show with a group of his friends.  However, the friends cancelled.  To my surprise, Granny Phanny and Dr. Veronica Vale took the tickets.  At first I couldn’t understand why they would want to see a science fiction film about a soldier, an inventor, and a police informant taking the first flight to Mars.

Veronica reminded Alastair and me that she and Granny had been, and basically would always be suffragettes.  They encouraged films with strong female characters.  Of course, in this story, Aelita is not what she at first seemed and things end badly for her.  Nonetheless she was a strong character and the two older women wanted to see the show.

Afterward, Granny and Veronica were still animatedly discussing the story as we walked out of the Bijou.  Alastair and I were fascinated by the Hollywood “movie magic” that created the Martian city and the spaceship.  As you might expect our discussion was more whimsical than that of the older generation.

“What if somebody from Mars came here?” Alastair pondered.


I always got a kick out of Alastair’s mildly British accent.  So I was already smiling when I told him Martians would have a tough time fitting in with humans.  It was doubtful that anybody would think they were the bee’s knees! 

A man wearing a bizarre metal hat and strange clothes burst out of the theater.  He tried to close a fancy briefcase as he ran.  Several bills flew out of it.  He grabbed most of them, but I noticed the breeze took one over to a planter.  The man just kept running until he rounded the corner of the Bijou.

Out of curiosity, Alastair and I followed him to the dead end alley behind the theater.  We backed against the wall, when a moment later a woman ran after him.  She had pointy cone shaped things over her ears.  Though no one was with her, she spoke as if in conversation with someone.  She held something that must have been a large gun, although it didn’t look quite like any shooter I’d ever seen.  She pointed it at the man and yelled for him to stop.

Gods_of_Mars-1918 Edgar Rice Burroughs

Then she fired the gun — I think.  At least she pointed it and seemed to shoot it, but I didn’t see it do anything.  However, the trash can six feet ahead of the guy exploded.  He looked at her fearfully, but he kept running.  So she threw a whirling thingamajig at his feet, causing him to fall.

The woman jumped on him, with her knee in his back, pinning him to the ground.  She muttered something about “low-life securities thief.”  He grunted at the pressure from her knee.

Then she spotted Alastair and me.  We shrank further against the wall.  The odd gun looked even bigger when she pointed it at us.  That bearcat had a fierce glare, I can tell you.  To my astonishment she abruptly started laughing.

Sci Fi Costume 1920s woman.png

“I could warn you not to tell anyone what you just saw,” she stopped chortling long enough to say.  “But if you did, they’d think you were insane.”

Still chuckling, she touched one of the pointy cones that covered her ears.  She and the man disappeared into thin air!  It was as if they had never been there at all — except for the exploded remains of the trash can.

Alastair and I exchanged wide eyed looks, speechless.  He made an obviously uncomfortable attempt at laughing.

“Those Hollywood types.  They’ll do anything to promote a film.”

“But there was nobody to see that but us,” I managed to say, though it was more of a squeak.  “It wouldn’t be much of a promo.”

I headed back around the corner, remembering the paper that fell out of the odd man’s briefcase.  The man had missed one and I saw it land in a planter.  I plucked it out of the greenery.

“That looks like mazuma,” Alastair whispered.  “Cash money!  But it’s not any currency I’ve ever seen.  Maybe it’s counterfeit.”

Inspecting it closely I nodded and turned the paper over to read both sides.  “It says ‘Federal Reserve Note’ but you’re right.  It must be counterfeit.  It’s odd looking, but even if it was from some other country, they’ve got the date wrong.  It says 2419.  As if maybe somebody transposed the date.”

Alastair and I continued to stare at one another.  Now and then one or the other of us would take a breath, start to say something, and then shrug mutely.

Finally I summoned the only words I could.  “I wouldn’t mind getting spifflicated about now.”

Alastair agreed.

The end.


1920s Man on Moon Drinking

If you want to know more about the upcoming 1920s culinary mystery, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, click here.

Thanks so very much for visiting.  Mega hugs!


Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

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78 thoughts on “In the Pip of Time & 10 Things Not To Do

    1. Hey Mary. You are so nice to catch up here. It was a ton of fun to work with John. I’m delighted you enjoyed this. Pip will be making the rounds to a few more blogs, The Wall Gallery (Kirt) (actually I’ll be sending her buddy Hank Hertz there), No Facilities (Dan), and maybe back to A Pug in the Kitchen too. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love the joint post….love John’s top things not to do if getting transported back to the 20’s and it goes without saying….love your part….the way your creativity works never ceases to amaze me….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the list, if I’m going back to the twenties I will take a copy. If I could I would love to, the twenties seemed such an exciting decade. Or I could borrow the device from the time traveling heroine in your story, what an exciting thing for Pip and Alastair to witness. Loved the story, Teagan mega hugs my friend. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adele. I’m so glad you enjoyed this joint effort. John is an absolute riot. I tune in each Monday to see what new threat “Tiny” will pose. LOL 😀 I really appreciate your encouragement. Mega hugs right back!


    1. Isn’t that the truth! It’s amazing how much communication alone has changed since days when it was unusual for a home to have a telephone. Thanks so much for visiting Andrea. I’m happy you enjoyed both parts of this joint effort. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Lavinia, it’s so lovely to see you! I’m especially delighted that you enjoyed this, because it was such fun to create. I’ve had that Vaudeville cats image for a long time and I’ve always loved it. Apparently the animal costume pictures were really popular back then. I have a few artsy magazine covers with woman/cat or butterfly combos, and photos of an actress with bunny ears (not Playboy kind).
      Wishing you a hug-filled new week. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading this for the third time because yes, it’s that god I was smiling and felt like dancing and not wanting to stifle my creative impulse, for my dancing can only be known as creative (being kind), I roaring twenties myself (put down my laptop first, that would have been messy and perhaps dangerous with all the flyingness going on).
    Thank you, dear Teagan and John, you both have a particular set of skills, #1 Skill, putting a smile on faces; that is a gift you both are kind enough to share.
    Did you leave this at my blog party yet, if yes, apparently my brain is more fried than I thought, not a surprise after yesterday (long story) and if no, what are you waiting for, get over there and thrill more people and get them smiling too.
    Hope this week treats everyone kinder than last week.
    Mega I had no one to check my Charleston against, egad, I’m sure it was ok, right? hugs xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, my timey-wimey crystal ball says your Charleston was sublime! I so look forward to your visits, and this was no exception. Thank you for your kind encouragement. I’m tickled that you enjoyed this collaboration.
      I’m sorry your Saturday was a brain-fryer. We need peace on our weekends. Mine went bust first thing too. Some bizarre and relentless bad allergy attack. Either my histamines are still firing like crazy or it flipped into a sinus infection for the rest of the weekend. I’d like to think I’ll wake up free of it Monday, but I’m not betting on it.
      I should have known there’d be a price to pay when I finally got a decent night’s sleep Friday night… Oh well.
      Wishing you relaxing, restful, peaceful, blissful, all the good fulls and mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your crystal ball would be wrong (although I”m sure Crystal would always be right), but it’s kind of you to say. lol 😉
        I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been well – sinuses are evil, truly, I believe they were invented by a malevolent force. My son gets them at this time of year and he’s deciding he’d rather battle the forces of darkness and the undead rather than have one more hour of sinus issues. I don’t know about that, but I do think they’re horrible. I hope you feel better very soon and and have a wonderful week (despite work, arrggh).
        Mega ban all sinuses hugs xoxox

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Clever vignette and list, Teagan and John! How creative to join forces like this ~ It’s like two posts in one! I won’t do the Charleston dance if transported back, for fear of John’s words coming true. Ah but to be in the roaring 20s with Pip – wow that would be so cool!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christy, I’m sure you and Pip would be great friends! 😀 Don’t worry about the Charleston — I find that after a couple shots of tequila, I’m a great dancer!
      I’m delighted you enjoyed this collaboration. I really appreciate you taking time to read and comment. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hanging in there, Kathryn. I have to admit I struggled to get going with this story, so I’m happy to know you enjoyed it.
      How are you doing with your hand? I know the healing period is long for such a severe injury.
      Your visit cheers me as it always does. 😀 Happy weekend hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Teagan, the healing has hit a bit of a standstill, as far as straightening the finger out. Otherwise everything else is great with it, thank you so much! I think your struggles certainly paid off with this one. Weekend hugs back to you! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. John’s “10 Don’ts” was funny, but also shows how important research is when writing something from the past (Is the 20’s really almost 100 years ago?!) Yikes. Another fun snippet, Teagan. You always leave me with a smile. Hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana, if I left you with a smile, then I’ve reached my goal.
      Yes, re the research. Lucky for me, I enjoy it. All the various “Three Things” serials involved a lot of research. Often people just weren’t thinking about the “things” they left, so it was also a great exercise in creativity to connect the inappropriate thing with the story. It was all huge fun though.
      I’m delighted I could introduce you to John and his work. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. John, it’s an honor to work with you — but it’s also terrific fun! I had a great time with this collaboration.
      Thanks for re-sharing again at your place. You are far too kind. I’m looking forward to the Sunday stroll in your neighborhood. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind, Dan. Thanks for re-visiting the post here. I thought John’s list was great as it was. It’s just that I can’t stop myself with adding the images. I can get really carried away with finding the right ones. So when I read the list and realized that I already had the right ones… Well, that “voice” took over. 😉 Happy weekend hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Olga. It’s great to see you. I will be waging war on dust bunnies this weekend — I think perhaps they have brought in some time travelling cousins…
      Thanks for taking time to read and comment. Huge hugs!


  6. “My Girl. Talkin’ ’bout My Girl…” What temptations you give us. All sound advice for teleporting back to most any time really. Guns that shoot, or maybe not, and whirling thingamajigs. I like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to see you, Tim. I’m delighted you enjoyed this joint effort.
      Thanks for the validating feedback. As soon as I gave the time travelling cop a gun I started tapping the backspace key. I had to describe it as my 1920s flapper would have perceived it. Writing about technology in different eras is certainly a brain exercise. Wishing you and yours a sensational Cat-urday. 🐱 Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gerlinde. It does seem like such a lovely era. They had indoor plumbing, and the Great Depression had not begun. Even if a lot of helpful technology was missing, ti was a simple time, yet not devoid of modern convenience.
      I hope all goes smoothly for your Easter vacation. Mega hugs right back! ❤ 🙂


    1. Oh Carol, I’m so sorry. It seems like 2016 was an awful year, and the “year of the Fire Rooster” is every bit as challenging as threatened. It lifts me up that John and I could give you a smile in a difficult time. (I can always count on his blog giving me a smile.) So thank you for taking time to say that. Wishing you all good things. ❤ Great big hug!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank yu Teagan only the latter part it’s just a very dear lost her darling daughter yesterday and her sone this time last year and to the big C . Kerri has two twin boys of 7 which makes it so sad for them them . But you should not have to lose both your children to the same disease and see then go from this world before you it is not natural order of things 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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