Flipping through the TV channels looking for something to watch on Sunday evening I happened across a screening of the hokey old film Forbidden Planet costarring Anne Francis and Robby the Robot. Up until that moment I hadn’t thought about her or her TV alter-ego in years. Coincidentally, I opened the Washington Post yesterday morning to discover that Anne Francis had passed away on December 2. She was 80.
To me Anne Francis is, and always was, Honey West the beautiful girl detective with a pet ocelot and a great sports car. As a child, I not only wanted to look like her, I wanted to play with her toys.
In Honey West’s world martinis were made with gin and vermouth, probably shaken not stirred ala James Bond. She would have scoffed at the idea of an apple or pomegranate martini and besides, she needed her fake olive on a toothpick to bug the conversations of those she was investigating.
Always well groomed she was frequently seen freshening her lipstick. No one ever suspected it also served as a radio transmitter. When threatened she would pull off her earrings and throw them on the floor where they exploded with tear gas. Honey never suffered from any ill effects from the gas, however, for she was never without her pink- laced, black garter that somehow converted instantly into a gas mask.
Honey West was an angel with no need of a Charlie and there was nothing bionic about her. She was a real woman with no need of implants of any kind. Reading about her yesterday made me smile and I hope that someday, when flipping through the channels on the TV, I run across her again.
Until then, I invite you to create a kitschy new girl detective in her honor. Write a short story in 1,500 words or less and post it as a comment to this blog. Include email contact information so I can notify the winners.
Cash Prizes – First Place: $50.00 Second Place: $30.00, Third Place: $20.00 Submissions Accepted January 5 –February 5, 2011 Winners Announced February 19, 2011. Decision of judges is final.