SLEPT UNTIL 10:30 -- lots of late telegrams last night -- and still half asleep, called my office for the day's schedule. "Four Wonderwomans and a cake," they told me, "and be sure to check again because there'll be more by tonight." They also said that a lot of people have been calling and requesting me since I was on television last week.
NBC sent a crew to film me delivering birthday and anniversary greetings and it was shown on the news serveral times during the day. The office said that customers have been calling and asking for "that blond girl who dresses up like Wonderwoman and sings those crazy songs."
When I dropped out of college last year to work full time for Eastern Onion I didn't realize that I'd be running in and out of nightclubs and parties blowing whistles and singing and ripping off my dress Covered-up Wonderwoman costume underneath, Mom) on television. But I certainly am enjoying it, most of the time anyway. I'm trying to build up a fund so I can go back to college in September but something, usually repair work on my 1974 Mercury, keeps happening to deplete my bank account.
My first telegram of the day is at Trader Vic's restaurant. I pretent I'm the hostess (all of these performances are cleared with the management in advance) and I go over to the person who is going to get the telegram and ask if there is anything I can do for him. "No," he says, not suspecting a thing, "everything is just fine." "In that case" I say to him, "I have something to show you, something important." I quickly step out of my skirt and blouse -- his eyes are popping in amazement -- and, dressed in the red and blue Wonderwoman outfit, I read the Eastern Onion proclamation. Everything in the restaurant is quite now, everyone is watching as I begin to sing the "Happy Birthday" song to the tune of "The Stars and Stripes Forever." The guy is embarrassed at first but by the end of the song he's laughing and marching around the table with me.
Outside again I jump into my car (it's making strange noises again) and drive crosstown to Adelphi, where I go to a little suburban house to deliver a "Have a Great Day" telegram to four little gray-haired ladies who are peacefully playing bridge when I arrive. Their nephew has sent them the message and they are delighted. They also make a big fuss over me ("such a cute little girl") and insist that I have some cake and tea before I leave.
The rest of the telegrams today go just as smoothly. Some days are like that: everything goes right. Other times, like when I got thrown into a swimming pool at a garden party or when I couldn't get into the radio station to deliver the telegram, I'd just as soon forget. Tuesday
My day off, hurrah! I sleep late, gossip with friends on the telephone, do some laundry and drive down to Georgetown with my boyfriend, where we splurge on some expensive clothes. Furlined boots and an Indian dress for me, a suede jacket and desiger jeans for him. Some of our friends spend there money on booze or drugs; we are into nice clothes. We catch a movie, then pick up the ingredients for vegetarian spaghetti sauce and go to my house to prepare it. Just as we're sitting down to eat, my folks come home from the theater and say it smells so good that they'll have some too. My two sisters and brother hear us laughing in the kitchen so they come downstairs, "and as long as we're here anyway, we'll try a little spaghetti." Fortunately, we made a lot, so there's plenty for everyone. Wednesday
Today I have a different kind of telegram. A wife wants me to go to her husband's office and tell him that she is pregnant but I can't use any words. She wants a mime show and she wants me to use pink and blue balloons. The office asks if I can do it. I say, "Of course, no problem." As it happens, I studied mime for several years with the Round House Street 70 company and I love it. It's always been my dream to go to Paris and study mime with Marcel Marceau. I put on my clown outfit, red and white stripped pants and puffy sleeves, paint my face and deliver the silent message. It takes the guy about 10 minutes to figure out what is going on. When he finally understands, he gets so excited that he collapses into a chair and keeps saying, "I don't believe it, I just don't believe it." He is so happy that he hugs me and gets clown makeup all over his jacket.
Back in my car . . . oh, no, it's making stranger noises. I slather cold cream all over my face and drive downtown to the Senate Office Building for a "Happy Anniversary" telegram. I'm really getting to know my way around the government buildings and I've got the parking tickets to prove it. Parking in downtown Washington is almost impossible and, even though I've got an "Eastern Onion Singing Telegram on duty" sign for my window, it doesn't always help. Thursday
My alarm didn't go off. I wake up to an empty house and the awful realization that I've got to be in Springfield, Va., in exactly a half hour! I'm zipping along the Beltway, speeding I guess, when I hear a police siren in back of me and a policeman motions me over to the side. "What can I lose?" I think, so I grab a party hat and a whistle from the back seat of my car, jump out, rip off my coat (Wonderwoman costume underneath) and begin singing the "I'm Sorry" song . . . right in the middle of the beltway. The policeman laughs so hard that he only warns me to "take that speed easy," and lets me go.
I drive slowly and carefully the rest of the day and finish up at 9:30. When I get home my folks are in the middle of an office party for my dad's business associates. Since I'm wearing my red tuxedo and have my kazoo and whistles handy, I dash in and do a "Gratitude" telegram for them. "That's my daughter the Onion," my mom says when she introduces me around later. Friday
This morning I go to the State Department disguised an an energy consultant, complete with hair tied back into a bun and horn-rimmed glasses on my nose. I'm in the middle of reading a long speech -- the guy who ordered the telegram had written it for me -- when I casually untie the bun, toss my glasses over my shoulder, rip off my dress (Wonderwoman costume underneath), leap up onto the tabel and sing the "Boring Meeting" song ("This is not a great occasion/ I've been asked here to explain/ These meetings are always boring/ They are always quite the same.") to the tune of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."
Onward and forward to more telegrams. I've applied for jobs, had legal and dental advice, pretended to buy real estate, delivered telegrams at the Capital Centre and at the circus. The person who orders the telegram makes up the scenario; I just act it out. Saturday
Only two telegrams this afternoon, so I spend almost the entire day lounging around and reading in front of the fire. At 7 o'clock, I have to go out to do a "Happy Birthday" telegram, wearing a big red and white cake-shaped thing while I sing. My little brother asks if he could come along and watch. I say, "Sure, glad to have the company," and we start off. On the beltway again (where else?) my car, which has been making funny noises all week, just dies. It is dark, cold, starting to snow and worse yet, I have to get to my telegram. A police car stops and we tell the two policemen our problems. They drive us to the country club where I am suppose to perform, wait for us, drive us back to the car, call a tow truck and wait until it comes to be sure we are all right. Jeff is thrilled at getting a ride in a police car and I'm glad that I hadn't had to disappoint the people who ordered the telegram. My poor car, though, is really sick this time! Sunday
No news about my car; the station won't know until tomorrow. I've put hundreds of dollars into it and it still doesn't run well. It's just too old and has too many miles on it. Should I buy a new one and finance it? Should I give it all up and go back to school? Should I move to California or New York? Too many decisions to make on a cold Sunday. I'll play Scarlett O'Hara and think about it tomorrow.