Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 11.3

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Iset full black gown Lulu - Goddess-3 (1)
Yes… she’s back.   Art by Rob Goldstein

Welcome everyone.  The diesel-punk train has arrived at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  It’s great to see all you Sheiks and Shebas! 

The diesel-punk train has been stuck in that Egyptian sand dune where it exited the pittura metafisica — both in the story and in my head.  Sunday is my writing day, so as I pen this, I was looking for inspiration.  I landed on the video composite (below) of Louis Armstrong. It includes some 1920s footage.  At the video site, there’s a nice bit of history too.

The second song “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal,” got me going with this episode.  Does that seem like odd inspiration?  Read on and you’ll understand.

Louis Armstrong – Satchmo At His Best – Legends In Concert

San Francisco artist, Rob Goldstein  created the pos-i-lutely swell images for this episode.  If you need a comprehensive review of this serial, I did that with a Real World Tech Review episode. 

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

All the angel-bots were excited to see Papá, who turned out to be Nikola Tesla. The inventor brought his violet ray machine and tried, unsuccessfully to heal Valentino.

Lulu felt an odd fluttering sensation inside her head. A strange but beautiful woman blinked into her sight but disappeared. 

Valentino’s condition deteriorated and Pearl told us,  “He was raving something, but his speech was slurred.  It sounded like he kept asking about something, Is it whatever.  I asked him ‘Is what?’ but he moaned and passed out again.”

Later, Lulu barely overcame the urge to shave Pearl’s head for her superiority complex and the snobbish things she said about Lulu and her family. 

Valentino Trumpet_The Mystic_Dark-2
Valentino uses the trumpet to call us to the train.  Art by Rob Goldstein

What do you think I did with the “things” that spontaneously drove this chapter? Without further ado, let’s get a wiggle on with Chapter 11.3.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet? 

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 11.3

Remote Control, Sarcophagus 


Virtual reality photograph of Gramps playing the Theramin
Art by Rob Goldstein

Everything seemed to sparkle.  Lights reflected in the chrome-and-glass coin-operated machines of the automat.  I stared absently at the beautifully ornate mirrors, marble, and marquetry, as my half-eaten fried chicken got cold.  A sign identifying Horn & Hardart* was positioned vertically so that the words lay on their sides. 

“Everything has been sideways from the minute he showed up,” I muttered, my mind on Valentino.  “Including my feelings.”

It was true. From revelations about my absent mother to all the strangeness of the oddly different versions of Atlantic City and the Cotton Club.  I felt like my entire life was catawampus, sideways

One of the clockwork attendants was clearing plates from a nearby table.  Placing the dishes on a cart it pushed some buttons and the cart rolled smoothly away to the kitchen.  Remote control, I’d never get used to it.

“Pardon, Miss?” Woo asked in a voice subtly accented with Chinese.

I didn’t know it was her until she spoke.  Though a few of the clockwork attendants had distinguishing features, most of the were identical.  Only their unique voices set them apart.

Automat Lulu Bot
Lulu waits for news about Valentino’s condition.  Woo brings refreshments.

Reaching to a different cart, Woo placed a bloody mary and a small bowl of horseradish on my table.  She asked if anything was wrong with my chicken.  I told her that it was fine and thanked her for remembering the horseradish that I had not requested.

The clockwork attendant shifted in a foot-to-foot hesitation.  I had come to realize that movement meant they were uncertain about something, or perhaps looking for the correct words.

“Thank you for your insights about the gowns,” Woo finally finished.

“Oh, you mean for Pearl?  It was nothing.  I’m sorry she was being such a rubber to you,” I told her.

The automaton lives up to the name angel-bot, I thought.  Woo had the patience of a saint to deal with Pearl.

Burgers Lulu Recline
Lulu in the train’s automat… with cheeseburgers

She looked at me curiously when I shook my head and stuck my fingers in my ears.  That weird fluttering sensation deep inside my ears ― I’d felt it once before.  It was back.  Fluttering like a bird trapped inside my head, trying to escape.

My head started to buzz.  That also happened the other time.  Lights blared like a camera flash, although I realized the lamps in the automat hadn’t so much as blinked.

From one of the strobes of light, the strangely beautiful woman in a long white gown appeared for the second time.  Her long onyx hair lifted on a current that might have been from air or from electricity.  She still wore that funny little hat.  It looked like a tiny chair on top of her head.

The woman leaned down and sniffed of me!  I drew away.  She sneered but it turned into a vulpine grin.  Although that didn’t seem any friendlier.  With another flash of light, she vanished.  I shook my head again. 

Repeated clicking caused me to turn toward Woo.  Her eyes blinked convulsively.

“I have to go―” I started.

“Miss, we should―” Woo began.

“Check on Valentino,” I added in chorus with the angel-bot.


Tesla no hat Conducting-1-1
Tesla preparing to use the violet ray on Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

At the suggestion of Moon, the engineering attendant, I had played music on the theremin several times.  Moon had hoped it would repair Valentino’s connection with the train.  That was a side effect of when the train’s Tesla coil was sabotaged.  However, any positive effect the eerie music had on the enigmatic man didn’t last long.

We had high hopes that Nikola Tesla could cure Valentino using his violet ray machine.  However, despite the inventor’s efforts the benefits of the machine did not appear to be what Valentino needed.  Tesla was in the middle of another session when Woo and I walked into the room.

Valentino moaned fretfully as Nikola Tesla used the odd-looking contraption he called a violet ray.  His speech was slurred as if he was zozzled, although I knew it was from his sickness.  It sounded like he asked if something was set.  He repeated the word “is.”  Then he started saying my name along with his ravings.

“Is what set?” I asked him, but my lack of understanding only seemed to upset him more.

As Tesla worked, the room was suffused in violet light.  The air became charged with static electricity.  A sizzling noise met my ears. 

When I commented on a pleasant smell that seemed to be one of the effects, Tesla told me that it was the odor of ozone.  He said we should go ahead and inhale the ozone, that it was good for us.  Then he took a deep breath as if to illustrate.

I didn’t understand what was going on, but it seemed to soothe Valentino.  He stopped ranting whatever it was he wanted to know about “Is.”

Pearl Turban 3
Pearl wearing turban to hide her hair, by Rob Goldstein

Only then did I notice Pearl sitting behind Tesla.  She wore a modest pastel gown in an outdated style.  A matching turban hid her fair hair.  Her long earrings were notably missing.  She looked like the women of the past, whom Tesla was quoted as saying he preferred.  She had also hidden the things of which he had phobias ― human hair and women’s earrings.

Pearl moved the stool on which she sat, staying as close to the inventor as she could get without causing him to trip over her.

To my surprise, Tesla gave Pearl a fond glance.  Her plan to win Nikola Tesla seemed to be working.

I saw my grandfather’s intense gaze.  The man could stare down a locomotive if he put his mind to it.  At first, I thought he looked at me, but his eyes were fixed on a spot just over my shoulder.

Gramps Arrives waves
Gramps by Rob Goldstein


“Now all she needs is some pigeons,” a voice said from behind me.

Startled, I turned around to see the onyx-haired woman from before.  She pushed past me, moving toward Valentino.

“I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you rascal, you,” she said as she moved closer to the semi-conscious Valentino.  “Oh, I’ll be tickled to death when you leave this earth, it’s true.”   

Satchmo?” Gramps muttered incredulously, causing to the woman to divert her intense gaze from Valentino to him.

She gave my grandfather that vulpine smile and winked!  His eyes bulged. 

It scared me half to death.

“But I can’t let you die just yet,” the woman added, turning back to Valentino.

I heard the fluttering again, but that time it was not inside my head.  Abruptly the woman had wings!

Iset Purple wings Lulu - Goddess-5
The strange woman returns — with wings


I remembered the huge multicolored wing I had glimpsed a few times.  I wondered if it was her.  I couldn’t tell because everything in the room had a purplish cast from the violet ray machine.

Abruptly Valentino sat up on the table where he lay.  He shouted a single word.

Sarcophagus!” he cried.

In an instant the winged woman stepped toward Valentino.  Her large wings obscured my view. 

“Is… Ist…,” Valentino raved.  “Iset,” he finally spoke clearly.

Then I was blinded by intense repeated flashes of light.  When the spots cleared from my vision, the woman and Valentino were both gone.

The angel-bots rushed to a window and pulled back the curtains.  I could see the black-haired woman spread multicolored wings. 

She flew away, carrying Valentino with her.

Valentino Iset Cape Blue Resurrection (2)
Iset carries away Valentino.  Art by Rob Goldstein


The End


Is-who?  Iset?  That might be good… Then again she didn’t exactly seem friendly, so it could be really bad!  And now the strange winged woman has noticed Gramps.  I’m with Lulu — that would scare me too!

Real World Notes

Satchmo.  Louis Armstrong (via OneMediaMusic) Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. 

Horn & Hardart automat 1920s
Horn & Hardart, Times Square, New York, circa 1920

Horn & Hardart and its cavernous, waiterless establishments represented a combination of fast-food, vending and cafeteria-style eateries. These restaurants, with their chrome-and-glass coin-operated machines, brought high-tech, inexpensive eating to a low-tech era.  became an American icon, celebrated in song and humor. With their uniform recipes and centralized commissary system of supplying their restaurants, the automats were America’s first major fast-food chain.

I hope you will be at the station again next week to catch the diesel-punk train.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the oyster’s earrings!


Satchmo’s songs on the video at the top of this post are: 

1. Hello, Dolly!

2. I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You

3. Muskrat Ramble

4. On The Sunny Side Of The Street

5. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen

6. Jeepers Creepers

7. C’est Si Bon

8. Medley: Now You Has Jazz / Tiger Rag

9. The Birth Of The Blues (feat. Frank Sinatra)

10. I Love Jazz

11. South Rampart Street Parade

12. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South

13. Just Because

14. St Louis Blues

15. Some Day You’ll Be Sorry

16. When The Saints Go Marchin’ In 

17. The Umbrella Man


Now some shameless self-promotion for my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.


99 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 11.3

  1. ‘Beware the devil woman,’ from the mouth of Cliff Richard, is that what we all need to be saying about Iset? She sounds rather frightful. I can fully understand why she stared at Gramps, given that there is some kind of hsitory between him and Valentino, Teagan. So, at last, we know who those multi-coloured wings belonged to. I hope she hasn’t taken him to her love nest.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hugh, you’ve made me happy, seeing how you’ve absorbed this story. Thank you, my friend. I see Iset as maybe having a feather (screw) loose. Your comment makes me think I’m subtly getting that idea across. Stay tuned — there is more to come.
      Thanks for being on this train. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You are so kind, Hugh. That means a lot to me. My career is a failure, the ruins of deliberate sabotage that no one, who could, was willing to help me put to rights. So my writing is my only source of similar satisfaction. Thank you from my heart. Hugs.


    1. Dear Andrea, I’m so glad someone finally understood who she was. Thank you.
      Although, I’ll make sure it’s clearer next time anyway…
      Yes, there is more to Iset than meets the eye! 😉
      I’m glad to see (in your comments) that Winston is doing okay. Hugs to you both.
      You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Robbie. I’m happy you enjoyed it. The woman, Iset, has been hanging around for a while now. She finally let us see more than her multicolored wings, but we still know little about her. I think there is more to come. 😉
      Thanks for being on this train. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, dear, I’m sure Valentino will not be gone for long but Grandad is involved more than he is letting on and telling Lulu. hmmm will he fess up in the next episode? Great, Teagan, I’m loving this serial. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jennie! I’m happy you liked it.
      I’m a little worried about Gramps… the way that woman, Iset, winked at him.
      He recognized the woman’s remark about “I’ll be glad when you’re dead you rascal,” as one of Louis Armstrong’s (Satchmo) songs… but then he did run a speakeasy before he got on the train. We’ll have to see what happens to Valentino — and now to Gramps too! 😀 Thanks so much for visiting. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Deborah.
      My week… I wish something had flown away with me too. Unfortunately the closest I’ve come to that is feeling like my head might fly off my body from the stress. LOL. But the weekend is near! All will be well. At least until Monday. 😉
      I’ll reserve luxury accommodations on the train for you — with a couple of personal angel-bots and a supercharged Kodak Brownie for you. 😀
      You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Always a good story, Teagan. I am very interested in Iset who now has Valentino in her clutches. Excellent images by Rob. Thanks for the background on Horn and Hardart. I saw an automat when I visited NY in the early 60s but didn’t pay attention to them. I wonder why they went out of business?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, John. I’m tickled pink that you’re on this train.
      Yes, I wonder about that too. Part of me wonders if some kind of ordinances and health inspection stuff might have made it too difficult to keep them going. It seems like it would have been a chap way to do business, but what do I know? Fast food probably got the blame but that doesn’t make sense to me.

      For Horn and Hardart, This article blames it on “They were serving big meals. They weren’t adjusting to customers’ preferences.” Although I don’t think all of them tried to serve big meals… It’s an interesting article if you’re curious, although dated 2006. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/14553052/ns/business-small_business/t/revival-automat-features-modern-twists/#.W2IWgTIvyF4
      Thanks again. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Holley. Bandana or turban, I’m sure you’re nicer than Pearl has been lately in the story. Just don’t put on any earrings to frighten Tesla. 😉 Maybe bring him a pigeon to flirt with.
      I’m glad you enjoyed Satchmo. Thanks for visiting. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m always distracted by the pictures, sort of a guilty pleasure, and then there’s Satchmo too. So I flapped and fluttered a bit with the story and had to go back because i wanted to know more abut the hat like a chair but it’s not (yet) relevant. And violet rays? Like inside a sweet jar on some sort of literary sugar high. Oh dear I need to sit down… PS i was trying to come up with another version of bee’s knees and the best I came up with was the lizard’s gizzards which didn’t seem to quite work… the pig’s wigs? the hare’s stairs, or stares? the fly’s thighs? the mosquito’s mojitos? maybe a few of those would help…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LMAO! Geoff, I just ate my last bite of lunch (fortunately, else it would be all over my computer screen)… I’m laughing out loud — literally. I could really go for that mojito, but not if the mosquito comes with it.
      Ah, but the woman’s hat like a chair finally is relevant now. Forgive me being coy… Iset is a less known name for someone else… who is known for a throne-looking headdress. I chose the name Iset because I don’t want to show up on Big Brother’s key-word searches for a group whose name is an acronym spelled like the better known goddess name. (That should be enough double-talk to satisfy a politician.) http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/egypt_headdresses.html#.W2HrZzIvyF4

      All my benedictions are 1920s compliments that I’ve found in my research. You’re the oyster’s earring, or you’re the caterpillar’s kimono, you’re the kitten’s ankles, or…
      You’re the monkey’s eyebrows! Huge hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Diana, I’m just glad I could still surprise people! 🙂 More shall be revealed next week. (Waves magician’s cape and stuffs rabbit into hat.)
      Rob really outdid himself with the series of Iset images. I couldn’t show all of them in one post, but the others are equally gorgeous.
      Thanks for being on this train. Wishing you happy writing with your new trilogy. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh wow, Teagan! Now we have a train with no master. And who is this mysterious and powerful woman with wings and why does she want Valentino dead?? My goodness, this was a great segment and I have so many questions. I love Louis Armstrong. He had such an amazing gift. As always, the artwork is superb! Where do we go from here, dear one? I can’t wait to find out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jan, it’s great to see you.
      I think there is more than meets the eye to whatever is between Valentino and Iset. 🙂
      Maybe some answers next time… but probably more questions too. LOL. Thanks for being on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Teri. It’s good to see you. LOL, “I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you rascal” doesn’t bode well, huh?
      Gramps owned a speakeasy when this story started. So there’s no telling what connections he has. He might even be a secret jazz man with shades and… but I’d better not tell. 😉
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob will appreciate that, Mary. He’s been a little under the weather lately.
      LOL (the locomotive). I remembered Lulu interrupting a stare-down between Gramps and Valentino in an early episode — so I wanted to bring that back.
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another fabulous episode, Teagan. There was so much going on in this one, and great suspense with Valentino. I really like that guy but have a bad feeling about Iset. It’s fun to see how you pull everything together in these segments, bringing in things (like the wing(s)) from earlier eps. Well done.
    Kudos to Rob for more fantastic artwork. He does such a fabulous job of bringing your characters and story to life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mae, I really appreciate this feedback. I put a lot of thought and effort into bringing past episodes back into the story. As you can imagine that gets more challenging as time goes by.
      A agree completely about Rob’s work. His images of Iset are particularly gorgeous. Thanks for being on this train. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh no! This took a turn I was not expecting. Now I’m worried. I think I’ll be shifting foot-to-foot until next Wednesday. This is one of your best episodes with respect to drawing us in and smacking us with some reality.

    I love the subtle ways the bot-attendants exhibit human qualities.

    I like the illustrations and I’ve always liked Louis Armstrong.

    Keeping a good thought for Valentino.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Dan. Thanks so much for being on this train!
      The minute I heard that song, I knew what I had to do with it. That first line has been on a continuous loop in my brain ever since. (Although that might have something to do with Mordor too. LOL)
      I’m glad to know I could still catch you by surprise. Hopefully even more surprises in store. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is Wednesday and that means that over on Teagan Geneviene’s blog it is Jazz Age with Lulu and the gang. Which this week includes the music of Louis Armstrong to accompany the shenanigans. This week the mysterious woman who pervades the train with purple overtones causes Lulu to reverberate and Valentino who is fading fast to……….. you will have to go over to find out!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Being a romantic, I loved this line: “Everything has been sideways from the minute he showed up,” I muttered, my mind on Valentino. “Including my feelings.”
    Can’t wait to see what Iset has planned for Valentino! Loved the images, Rob. You’re amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jacquie. I agree — and Robs images of Iset have been particularly gorgeous.
      Yes, it’s been a bumpy ride for Lulu. We’ll see if things go from sideways to totally upside-down! Thanks for visiting. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

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