A day has now passed since Benita decided to 'adopt' Clemmie, and the news has the entire community in a state of shock! As the transfer paperwork takes three days to complete (Bob Hope, in a phone call, referred to it as the "sobering up" period, as "Benita must have been plastered when she came up with THIS idea!"), my wife is spending the time preparing for our houseguest...and I've retreated to my Hollywood office, to avoid dealing with her misguided enthusiasm...
While contemplating enlisting in the Foreign Legion, my phone rang...it was Cary Grant, calling from the set of his new picture...
"For God's sake, Ron, haven't you told Benita that Clemmie shot you???"
"I can't, Cary," I replied, glumly. "I gave Hearst my word NOT to tell Benita about the party."
"Yes, but he never expected you to run into a situation like THIS! Maybe you can talk to him..."
"He and Marion are artifact hunting in Kenya, or someplace, and aren't expected back for a month..."
Cary paused, in thought, then said, "I've GOT it! Get Jack Barrymore over and tell Benita he didn't write that letter!"
I laughed. "Actually, he loved what Clemmie did! It took him 'off the hook' of being responsible for the monkey...He sent a 'Congratulations' telegram, then took off for Mexico, with Dolores!"
"Yeah, that sounds like Jack..."
I sighed. "The problem, Cary, is that most of the women of the community aren't aware of Clemmie's escapades...and most of the men dare not 'fess up' to them!"
Cary laughed. "Clemmie has been in more hotel rooms than a Gideon Bible," he agreed. "What's going on at your home?"
"Oh, Benita is all fired up, of course! I haven't seen her so enthusiastic about a 'cause' since she got everybody in Hollywood to buy Basque goat milk, to support the Spanish insurgents!"
"Don't remind me of that, Ron!" Cary laughed. "By the time it arrived from Spain, it had all curdled...The only person who got any benefit from it was Bill Fields, who fermented it, and sold it as 'Genuine Inca Joy Juice'!"
"I still remember the Peruvian 'hit men' who tried to kill Bill for that...Tourism still hasn't returned to normal..."
We both chuckled, and I continued, "Benita has been buying out stores, getting a wardrobe together for Clemmie..."
"...and she got our handyman, Ernesto, and a group of his friends, to build the ape a treehouse...Tarzan, himself, would be proud of it..."
"A treehouse, Ron? Clemmie will never go for that!"
"You know that, and I know that, but Benita..."
"Well, she's been reading up on simian diet, and has filled the house with tropical fruit..."
"Well, at least you'll get some exotic daiquiris, out of it..."
I agreed, glumly.
"How's Juliet doing?"
"That's the worst part," I admitted. "I never realized how lonely she must be, without a brother or sister..."
"She's thrilled about her new 'friend', and has been filling the house with drawings of Clemmie..."
"Are you worried about her safety?" Cary asked, slowly. "I mean, Clemmie isn't exactly sane..."
I answered, slowly, "Of course I am...but I've known Clemmie for a very long time, and she's never bothered a child...she may be a crazy wench with an over-active libido, but children have always been safe...it's their fathers who are in danger!"
"Well, you better remember that, chum..."
"I still have the bruise on my chest to remind me!"
"How DID you explain that to Benita?"
"I told her I got it playing handball with Conrad Nagel...which was funny, as neither Connie nor I have played handball in over thirty years!"
"And she BOUGHT that???"
"I'm Ronald Colman, Cary...I don't tell lies!"
We both laughed, and Cary said goodbye.
So I sit here, apprehensively facing the arrival of the last creature I want in my home...
THE RONALD COLMAN SAGA
"The Dinner Party for Erich von Stroheim"
"The Misadventures of John Barrymore's Cheeky Monkey, Clementine"
"The All-Star Surprise Party for Laine"
"The Classic Hollywood Long Beach-Catalina Yacht Race"
"The Ronald Colman Seance"
"My "Lost Horizon" Surprise!"
"A Night at the Hollywood Canteen!"
"But I Thought You Were..."
"The People vs. Ronald Colman"
"The Epic Hearst Costume Party..."
"The Monkey on Ronald Colman's Back Saga" (A 9-Part Adventure):
"A MAN, A MONKEY, the MOB, and RONALD COLMAN!" (A 5-Part Adventure):
"Introduction: Broadway, 1920..."
"Chapter 1: A LONG Memory..."
"Chapter 2: Barrymore's Reply..."
"Chapter 3: Barrymore in Cement!"
"Chapter 4: A Desert Grave..."
"SURPRISE PARTY for RONALD COLMAN!"
"The RONALD COLMAN Banner Collection"
Finally, if you'd like to 'go to the source', with over 200 photos of Ronald Colman's life and career, please visit Myspace.com/Ronald Colman...the page that started it all!