When Tallulah Met Bette

Back in my bar fly days, when I would sit and drink for six or seven hours each night, a gentleman told me two apocryphal Tallulah Bankhead/Bette Davis stories. I report them here, verbatim. If you think I’ve embellished something, I have not. (These also profit from saying Tallulah and Bette’s lines in their voices, so please bear that in mind.)

“Tallulah was hosting a dinner party one night, and refused to come down until Bette had arrived. She was pacing upstairs, naked, waiting to see what Bette was wearing before she got dressed. And she looked out the window as Bette got out of her car and saw that Bette was covered in glitter makeup, which was at the time the latest thing. So Tallulah dumped some glitter on her snatch, raced downstairs just as Bette entered and said, ‘Dahlings, guess who came to lunch today?'”

“Tallulah and Bette were driving around the Arizona desert when Tallulah said she had to piss. So she walked a few yards out, lifted her skirt, squatted down…and a snake bit her snatch. Bette screamed, ‘I’ll get help,’ and revved the engine and tore into the nearest town. The doctor told her she had to suck the venom out, so she drove back to Tallulah, who was now delirious and crooning spirituals to herself. ‘What did the doctor say?’ Tallulah asked. ‘He said you’re going to die,’ Bette said.”

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