President and Mrs. Reagan are reportedly a little annoyed at more than the fact that Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos allowed a Honolulu TV station to film them receiving the first couple's phone call.
Administration spokesmen declined to talk about the particulars of the Saturday night conversations between Reagan and Marcos and between Mrs. Reagan and Imelda Marcos. But the silent television footage showed Imelda Marcos weeping, and sources described the conversations as long and agonizing.
One senior administration official said Sunday that by the time they hung up, the Reagans had had quite enough of the Marcoses. He left the impression that any more such calls are unlikely because Mrs. Reagan didn't like the idea of Reagan being put through the wringer -- or of being put on the spot herself. Word is that she found the emotionalism of the call distasteful.
Imelda Marcos appeared to have taken a page from Mrs. Reagan's fashion notebook for that television cameo: She wore a red dress.
Hawaii's Imelda-watchers speculated that the dress was one of two (the other a flowery print) given her by Friends of Marcos during a recent "care" package visit with the Philippines' former first couple.
In four recent televised appearances (at Hickam Air Force Base the day after the Marcoses arrived, at a Roman Catholic mass in their rented home, on ABC's "Nightline" with Ted Koppel and in an interview with NBC's Tom Brokaw) Imelda wore the same dark green dress, giving rise to speculation that for the first time in 20 years she didn't have a thing to wear.
Saturday, as Ferdinand and Reagan talked, Imelda paced nervously with her rosary in hand. Her feet, however, were not visible, so no one could see if she wore the new black shoes Friends of Marcos also gave her.
It was one footnote in the saga of Imelda's shoes that history may have to forgo.
While President Reagan was throwing a coconut with an aide on the beach Saturday, Mrs. Reagan strolled over to a lone man lying on his back with his hands behind his head, playfully putting her foot on his stomach. It turned out he was no stranger, but hairdresser Julius Bengsston, who was staying over the weekend with the Reagans at the home of Hawaiian businessman Chris Hemmeter.
CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante found out there is no such thing as "casual conversation" with Nancy Reagan where affairs of the heart are concerned.
At the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner earlier this month, Plante, the group's new president, introduced Mrs. Reagan to Robin Smith, field producer for the network's new weekly magazine show "1986."
"She's my unofficial fiance'," Plante explained.
"What do you mean 'unofficial' fiance'?" the first lady asked.
"Well, she'd like to have a ring," Plante replied.
"When's your birthday?" Mrs. Reagan asked Smith. Told that it is July 29, the first lady thought a minute and then said, "You're a Leo, I'm a Cancer -- we're very much alike."
That being settled, Mrs. Reagan turned to Plante with the final word:
"Get her a ring."
The unofficial expert on Bali in this traveling White House press operation is newcomer Michael Guest, an assistant in the office of Edward Djerejian, deputy press secretary for foreign affairs. Guest is the man who prepared the voluminous press briefing book for the trip, an opus White House spokesman Larry Speakes has called the best ever prepared for one of Reagan's foreign trips.
Guest took a holiday in Bali when he was working at the American consulate in Hong Kong a couple of years ago. He had just checked into a very modest ($3-a-night) room, when someone knocked at the door. Opening it, Guest found a grizzled old man wearing a T-shirt and shorts and carrying a bucket.
The old man made no comment as he pushed Guest aside and walked to one side of the room, where he removed the bucket's lid, took out something that looked like a lizard and flung it against the wall. He then walked over to the other side of the room, pulled another lizardlike creature out of the bucket and threw it against that wall. And with that he departed.
Utterly baffled by then, Guest went next door to ask a fellow tourist what it all meant. The neighbor explained that the visitor was a Balinese exterminator declaring war on bugs with that secret weapon of the tropics, the gecko.
Copies of a guide for travelers in times of terrorism, "Safety Tips for Safe Travel," awaited White House staffers on Air Force One when they boarded for President Reagan's trip to Southeast Asia.
Printed by Overseas Travel Brochures Inc. of Washington, D.C., the tips include such suggestions as avoiding sidewalk cafe' tables, restaurants frequented by Americans and other westerners and solo walks, as well as not speaking English on foreign air carriers or discussing personal matters with strangers.
If kidnaped or hijacked, the publication warned, one should show a bank card instead of a passport as identification, keep knowledge of the terrorists' language to oneself as an asset to be used later, not be lulled by friendly approaches and consider all detrimental effects if planning an escape.
Included with the brochure was a bilingual flashcard for use in Indonesia and Japan in the event the staffer was lost and trying to find the police station, the hospital, the U.S. Embassy and the nearest military base.
There was one footnote: "No U.S. Military Bases in Indonesia."
The flashcard would have come in handy for White House spokesman Speakes and then-deputy chief of staff Michael K. Deaver on Reagan's 1983 trip to Tokyo.
On an early-morning jog, they got lost on the other side of the Imperial Palace. Japanese passers-by turned blank stares to the Mississippi-born Speakes' cries of "Okra? Okra?"
Not until Speakes and Deaver reached a police station could anyone translate "okra" into Japanese: Okura -- the same hotel he'll be staying in this trip.
Nancy Reagan's debut as a flamenco dancer in Spain last year proved to be such a media hit that she just may expand her repertoire to include Balinese and Malaysian dancing.
"There's always a good chance," Elaine Crispen, the first lady's press secretary, told reporters asking whether Mrs. Reagan plans an encore to last year's fancy footwork.
Mrs. Reagan will attend folk dance performances in Bali and Kuala Lumpur as part of the schedule her East Wing advance team has worked out for her.
Protest demonstrations by the pro-Libyan Islamic Party have been promised when she goes to Kuala Lumpur, and a little "impromptu" dancing might be one way of telling some in the audience that in the Reagan White House, the show always goes on.