Lent in Casablanca: Night 2 (Do NOT mess with Annie the Soapmaker)

“And for VERY special friends of Rick’s, we have an even bigger discount. Did I say 200 Francs? I meant 100 Francs.”

“No thank you,” Ilsa said to the street vendor.  She looked at Rick. “You spoke to me with such hatred, Rick.  Soon, I will leave Casablanca, and we will never see each other again.”

Ilsa turned, and walked into the market, leaving Rick behind.  She found a stall selling the richest, most fragrant soaps and lotions.

“I need some hand creme,” Ilsa said to the vendor.

Annie the Soapmaker looked up at the tall woman in the hat.  “Well, Fraulein.  ERDA Studios Morroccan Delight Emergency Hand Repair Creme is just 100 Francs.  However, for people who suck like you, we have a special idiot surcharge price of 500 Francs.”  Annie glared up from behind her table.

“I beg your pardon?”
“Oh, drop the sanctimonious crap, lady.  You were schtupping Rick in Paris, and loving every champagne-soaked minute of it.  Then you find out the guy with the gigantic stick up his ass wasn’t really dead, and you send Rick a note? What is this, third frakkin’ grade?”

“What do you know about it? How dare you speak to me that way. You know nothing about Rick & me.”

“Oh, go soak your head, you priggish  she-demon.  Who do you think has been drinking with him every night the past few months once Renault and Ugarte weave home? Me. This girl scout troop of ex-pat European wusses downs a few thimblefuls of Cointreau, and they’re oui-oui-oui  all the way home.”

“What are you saying?”

“That you yanked out his heart, lady! Jayzus.  You were supposed to be running back to your hotel to pick up your toothbrush and meet him at the train station, then you send him a note telling him to go to hell? You don’t think he’s justified to be hurt?”

“But the way he spoke to me last night. With such hatred!”

“In vino veritas, Pippi Longstocking. How the hell would you feel?”

Ilsa glared down at the feisty soapmaker. “How I would  feel is none of your business.”

“HAH! Rick and I are buds. You hurt him, and you want me to sell you fragrant essential oils and gentle emollients?”

“You are supposed to sell soap and lotions.  I want hand creme.”

“And I want…oh, let’s say 600 Francs.”

“It was 500 a minute ago!”

“Yeah, but you’ve pissed me off even more since then, so it went up.  Look, meine Frau.  I get it.  You were married to Laszlo, but you thought he was dead, so you threw yourself into Rick’s arms, and Lord knows what else.  You two were in love, and that was good.  Then, an hour later, you’re gone from his life, telling him never to look for you and `God bless you’ and that’s that? You just lack basic manners.  In your solipsistic little world, Rick was just supposed to take a little note and be happy with it?”

“But I had no choice!”

Annie’s face grew red. “You ALWAYS have the choice not to stab a person in the heart! You should have taken it!”

“Wha? How–”

“How I DARE, lady, is that I sat there night after night, drinking bourbon by the quart, and smoking packs of unfiltered Chesterfields till now I sound like Bea Arthur, and I watched a bad-ass cry.”

“Richard cried?”

“Like a sissy.”

Ilsa looked down at her feet, tears welling in her eyes.  “I suppose I didn’t consider his feelings the way I should have.”


“I was, how do you say…”

“A bitchwaffle?”


“A bitchcrepe?”

“Ah.  Okay.”

“He gets it. He knows you belong with Laszlo.  So don’t mess with his heart anymore, lady.”

“You mean–”

“I mean, if you so much as bat one of your lovely eyelashes at him, I will kick you square in the nuts.”

“D’accord.  And the hand cream?”

Annie looked up at the lovely woman in the hat.  “We’ll call it 250 Francs. If you can arrange to leave this godforsaken place without dicking Rick over any further, I’ll spiff you 50 back to pay for cab fare back to the airport.”

“Deal.”   Ilsa passed over 250 Francs, and took the lovely blue jar from the Soapmaker’s hands.  “Thank you, Annie the Soapmaker.  I will apologize to Rick, and leave Casablanca with a clear conscience.”

“Airy fe dameerak.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Have a nice day. Now get out of my sight.”

Ilsa smiled, and walked away with her hand creme. 

Yvonne the French floozy walked up.  “Annie? ‘ow much for zee  ‘and creme?”

“Oh, 25 Francs.”

“‘Ere you are.  Merci.  You know that `Airy fe dameerak’ really does NOT mean `’ave a nice day,’ right?”

Annie smiled evilly.  Her minion/husband walked up from the back of the tent.

“Mind the store, minion/husband. I’m off to the Blue Parrot.  If a tall German woman comes back, wondering why she got a nasty green rash, just point and laugh with great malice.”


8 Responses to “Lent in Casablanca: Night 2 (Do NOT mess with Annie the Soapmaker)”

  1. There you go. The creme needs to be called “Frankly my Dear, I don’t give a damn!” It’s just as cumbersome, but packs a punch!

    • It does pack a punch. Completely different movie, but brilliance is brilliance. I wonder what it would be like if Rhett Butler visited Casablanca…Hmm.

  2. I nominate “Airy fe dameerak” as the official name for the hand creme. It sounds vaguely romantic and foreign, and who’ll know what it really means besides someone who speaks Arabic?

    (Dude, you are SO naughty. You know that sort of thing could start riots in Egypt again, right?)

    • It does sound a lot more romantic that what it really means. I just Googled the phrase, and the top hit was the Cracked article I got it from. The second was a link to my blog. :-/

      Annie was actually here tonight. She delivered five jars of that very same hand creme, whose name is still under review. I’m thinking “Airy fe dameerak’” should not win. 😉 Happy Friday, Professor.

  3. This is fucking brilliant, Tom. How many times I’ve thought a movie character needed a good talking to, and Annie is perfect to do it.

    “You hurt him, and you want me to sell you fragrant essential oils and gentle emollients?” I cracked up.

  4. […] almost six years ago. It starts out rough, but smooths out a little by the end. I will never equal Lent in Casablanca’s Annie the Soapmaker’s Ingrid Bergman beatdown–that’s my favorite of all the ones I wrote, and (perhaps inappropriately) it makes me […]

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