Well, things have certainly taken a turn for the worse in my life...When I attempted 'mouth-to-mouth' on Clemmie, at the end of our camping trip, thinking she was drowning, the blasted monkey turned it into a French Kiss, which my Benita, unfortunately, witnessed...she refused to accept my explanation, all Juliet would say was "Daddy kissed Clemmie!", and, of course, Clem reverted back to her 'dumb ape' act...all of which made me look like a sex-crazed lunatic!
Benita tossed my clothes into a suitcase as soon as we got home, and I took up residence in this charming little abode...
Oh, the motel wasn't that bad...the cockroaches had the good manners to wait to come out after I turned out the lights, the neighbor's squeaky-bed sexual gymnastics would end by dawn, and the maid promised she'd change my linens before the end of the year...
I missed Benita and Juliet terribly, though, and Clemmie's 'Master Plan' to force me into her arms seemed to be working, brilliantly...even if I had NO desire to be there!
After a week, I had my first guests...my old friends, Bill Powell and Jean Harlow...
"Still hugging humans?" Jean quipped, as the pair entered my somewhat spartan dwelling.
I laughed, embracing her, and said to Bill, "You better watch out, Bill, she's in the arms of 'The Beastmaster'!"
Bill laughed, and reminded me, "Don't forget, I work in the same studio as Weissmuller, and you'll need a few decades in the gym to catch up to him!"
We all sat at my broken-down dining room table, and I asked, "Have you seen Benita?"
"No," Bill said, sighing. "Oh, we tried, but she said she was ill! To my knowledge, she hasn't seen anyone, answered the phone, read a newspaper, or listened to the radio, since she kicked you out."
"Maybe it's for the best..." I said. "Have you seen the papers?"
I tossed two on the table...
"When will Errol learn to keep his zipper up?" Jean remarked.
"Well," I laughed, "It's the other headlines that concern me..."
"Ah, they got your good side," Bill said, and I groaned!
"There's more," I said, and tossed out another couple of papers...
"When did Benita start dating Schickelgruber, the House Painter?" Bill asked.
"She won't, as long as I'm breathing," I laughed. "Chaplin visited, recently, and I guess to the tabloids, all men with little moustaches look like Hitler!"
"I assume Clemmie 'leaked' these stories?" Bill said.
"Who else?" I replied, bitterly. "The girl's been working overtime, that's for sure...What do you think, Jean?"
"A nine-month-old Black Belt...can you believe it?"
Bill shook his head, then asked, "Are you getting any mail about this?"
"Letters? Oh, I get letters!"
"Three guesses who sent that one," I said, sarcastically. "Has anybody even seen Barrymore?"
"I haven't," Jean said, "But I've heard on the grapevine that Dolores hates sex, and Jack is going crazy! Imagine, a girl with all the equipment she's got, NOT liking it!"
"I hear she's trying to get Jack to quit drinking, too," Bill added. "Fat chance of that happening!"
"Here's some more letters," I said.
"Now I've become the Spokesperson for Bestiality!"
Jean muttered, "How do you suppose Ann and Kong...well, do it? I mean, size matters, but..."
"I don't want to know," I said, flatly. "Of course, I haven't gotten whole-hearted support from the entire primate community..."
"Ever since Clemmie snubbed him, Cheetah's been bitter," I explained.
"What?" Bill laughed. "Nothing from Trigger?"
"The afternoon mail hasn't arrived yet," I replied. "This is the strangest letter..."
"Close Encounters of the Weird Kind," I said, shaking my head.
I got up, streched, and walked outside.
"I'd suggest going for a swim," I said, "but it looks like they haven't filled the pool since the Stock Market crashed..."
Bill and Jean joined me, outside...
"Ron," Bill said, "Why don't you move out of this dump, and stay with me? I've got plenty of room, and I'll bet my place isn't raided nearly as often as this place is!"
"Bill's right," Jean chimed in. "You look awful, you need to get out of here!"
I sighed, and smiled, wistfully. "I appreciate the offer, but I'm hoping Benita will come to her senses, soon...and if she sees me staying in a dump, she may see reason earlier...at least, I hope so!"
And even as I spoke, Benita was receiving her first guest, since our break-up...Bette Davis...
"Are we alone?" Bette asked, as she entered our house.
Benita nodded. "I decided Juliet needed to get out, a bit, so the MacMurrays are watching her for a few days..."
"Where's the monkey?"
"Outside, somewhere...she hasn't been in, much, since...since the camping trip," she replied, her voice quivering. "She's had a very traumatic experience..."
"Oh, please!" Bette drawled, sarcastically. "Were you always this stupid, or did it begin recently?"
"Let's sit down, girl, we need to talk..."
Getting comfortable on the couch, Bette continued. "How did Ronnie say he got the bruise on his chest?"
"Why, playing handball with Conrad Nagel..."
Bette burst out laughing. "Ronnie and Connie playing handball??? And you BOUGHT it???"
"Certainly...Why not?" Benita replied, defensively.
"Because your little monkey SHOT Ronnie, at the Hearst party!"
"WHAT???" Benita hissed. "That's...that's impossible!"
"I was there," Bette said, bluntly. "If the bullet hadn't hit a brass button on Ronnie's jacket, he'd be dead."
Benita shook her head. "Why didn't he tell me?"
"Willie Hearst made everybody swear to silence...not to tell ANYBODY...and the honorable idiot Ronnie is, he kept his word!"
"The guy must really love you, to let you 'adopt' the monster who tried to kill him!"
"I can't believe this!!!"
"Apparently there's a world of things you can't believe!" Bette said, laughing coldly. "You know, we weren't going to even HAVE that Women's Club meeting here, until Ronnie called us, and begged us to, for your sake...We all despise Clemmie...and then that ape spiked the punch..."
"Are you saying...everything about Clemmie being in love with Ronnie is true? That she really does speak, and write letters, and..."
"Try to hump the guy?" Bette finished. "Totally! After all that pregnancy nonsense, didn't you know?"
"I...I thought Jack Barrymore made everything up about her being pregnant..."
"Jack???" Bette laughed. "You give him far too much credit! He's been her lover for years!"
Benita slumped forward, stunned.
"I've been such a fool..." she said, slowly...
Back at the motel, I was testing the healing properties of massive quantities of alcohol...
"Ah, Benita," I slurred, "Look at the state your Ronald is in, now...The Perfect Englishman gone to seed...You try to do the right thing, the proper thing...and you're kicked in the teeth..."
"Bartender! Another round! Oh...I'm the barkeep!" And I drifted into a semiconscious fog...
I'm not sure how long I was out, but as I came to, I slowly realized Clemmie was sitting in front of me, staring at me!
"So," I said, groggily, "Are you here to gloat?"
*SNORT!* No, Coley...but *CHORTLE" I almost had my WAY with you, while you were sleeping! *WINK, WINK!*
"Hey! I can understand you! The alcohol must loosen some 'perception' brain cells, or something! No wonder Jack can make sense of your gibberish!"
*LEER* You know, Coley, this is all YOUR fault! *SNIFF, SNIFF!*
"My fault??? Do you think I chose to wreck my marriage??"
*SNIFF* I LOVE you! *SNORT!* But I'd have settled for one LITTLE KISS! *CHORTLE* But not 'Goody Two-Shoes' Colman! *SNIFF, SNIFF!* One kiss, and I'd leave you alone! *SNORT!*
"Are you saying, if I simply kiss you, you'd 'fess you, and end all this nonsense?"
*WINK!* A REAL kiss, though...one that YOU give ME! *SMACK, SMACK!*
I thought about it...the idea made me ill, it was too warped to accept...but if it would return my life to normal...
"I'll...I'll do it..."
I placed my arms around the monkey, and tried to fantasize it was Benita...Our lips met...and Clemmie shoved me onto my bed,
I counted to ten...then pulled her away from me, shouting, "ENOUGH!"
And standing at the door of my room was Hedda Hopper!!!!
"Well, well, well, sometimes anonymous tips DO pay off!" she laughed. "Thank you, Ronnie, for tomorrow's headline! Do you have any comment you'd like to make, for my story?"
Pushing Clemmie away, I rose, my fury finally exploding! "YES, I DO!"
"I've had ENOUGH of all the lies, the innuendoes, the circumstantial evidence, the blackening of my character! I am going to SUE every TABLOID for LIBEL!!!! And I'm going to WIN!"
Hedda shook her head. "We have an army of attorneys to protect us..." She smiled. "We never lose these lawsuits!"
"You've never dealt with ME before! I'm MAD as HELL, and I'M NOT going to TAKE IT, ANYMORE!"
The final chapter was about to begin...
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!