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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Real Shame (Rated PG) August 16, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Reader, beware. Megan is letting me post on her blog again. The reason this time is that there is a story that she wanted to tell, but she felt that I remembered it better than she did.

About seven years ago, Megan and I worked and lived at the Astor’s Beechwood Mansion in Newport, RI. It was wonderful. We lived in a mansion on the ocean for eight months. What’s not to love? Before we were able to start doing living history tours, we had to go through a sort of history boot camp. We were each handed thick packets with years of family history for the Astor family and those who married into it.

I played Marshall Orme Wilson, who was married to The (Yes, that was her title) Mrs. Astor’s youngest daughter, Carrie. He was a southern gentleman from Georgia, and was, therefore, the only upper class character who needed an accent. I tell you this so that you can imagine the following dialogue in a gentile, southern voice.

Years before I had the pleasure of playing Mr. Wilson, there was a poor guy who got words mixed together as he was giving a tour of Mrs. Astor’s changing room. During her stay in Newport, Mrs. Astor would never be seen in the same gown twice. She would wear a gown to an event, whether it be a dinner, a tea, or just a ride into town, and then have her maids cut it up and sell the scraps. Well, the Mr. Wilson giving the tour said, “It was real shitty that she never wore those dresses more than once… I just said shitty didn’t I? I mean to say it was a shame or a pity, but it came out shitty.”

After his tour was finished, he went to the office of the artistic director, slapped fifteen dollars on the desk, said, “I just said shitty on tour,” and ran back out of the office.

The director shouted, “Woah, woah! What?!”

The poor boy explained to the director what had happened, and the director replied, “It’s ok that you accidentally said shitty, but did you have to say it two more times?”

I can honestly say that I never did anything quite that bad on any of my tours. Though there were some after work activities that I’d rather no one tell stories about. 🙂

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One Response to “A Real Shame (Rated PG)”

  1. I think what the tour guide said is a PERFECT example of the Freudian slip – because that behavior of rich people is ridiculous, and the reason for things like the French and Russian revolutions: people are starving, but the rich can wear a gown once/bathe in goat’s milk/have banquets at which people retire periodically to throw up. It IS shitty.


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