You Rang?



So tell me? How did you ring in the new Millennium on January 1, 2000? I know how one woman did, and I swear this is a true story. The woman – whom I’ll call Priscilla – is nobody that you may have met. She comes from a quite ordinary family, although she had a great uncle who used to tell tall tales in a mock German accent on radio in the 1930s.

Like many women still into the dating scene in their late 20s, Priscilla is having a harder time finding dates. As a result, she almost didn’t use the $75 ticket she had to a New Year/Millennium bash at the Hyatt Regency Hotel just outside of Chicago’s Loop. But she changed her mind after her roommate Sharon convinced her that maybe there would be unattached men – maybe even Mr. Right – at the party.

You might have seen Priscilla briefly on the American Broadcasting Company’s feed from Chicago during its daylong Millennium broadcast. She was the lady in the black party dress with the white collar, a sparkling teal party hat, and glasses with big round lenses. Priscilla has worn glasses since early childhood, mostly because of an eye condition that precludes her wearing contact lens. She didn’t mind wearing glasses as a child, except when some of the meaner kids said she looked like the “smart girl” on “Scooby Doo, Where Are You.”

You might also have noticed that within seconds of the segment hitting the air, the brown-haired hunk of a man next to her grabbed her and gave her a long kiss. If you noticed, her eyes crossed at that moment.

To say that Priscilla was surprised is an understatement. “What was that?” she asked the hunk. “I’ve been watching you all evening,” the hunk replied. “You’re the most beautiful gal I’ve ever laid eyes on. I couldn’t resist stealing a kiss.”

Priscilla wasn’t used to getting that much blarney from a stranger, but she was flattered. So when the hunk began to lift her off her feet and suggested that they give the camera something really interesting to broadcast, she went along. In the next Chicago shot, Priscilla was sitting on the hunk’s shoulders, waving a party horn and the hunk swayed her from side to side. Priscilla was definitely excited.

Then the minicam’s red light went out for the last time. The hunk placed Priscilla back on her feet, turned and walked away. Priscilla followed, calling, “I didn’t get you name.” “Not important,” the hunk replied.

Priscilla followed the hunk to his table, where she received a tremendous shock. A blonde-haired hunk greeted the man, and the two embraced. “I missed you, Rolph,” the second hunk said.

“I thought you said I was the most beautiful gal you ever saw,” Priscilla told Rolph, who snickered and replied, “Thanks for going along with the gag. That display on camera will set my parents’ minds at ease. They want me to find a nice girl and settle down. It’ll take the heat of me and my soulmate Dirk.” Dirk grinned. “You’re right,” he said. “She does look like the smart girl on ‘Scooby Doo.’” Dirk handed her a business card, adding, “My boutique is having a sale starting Monday. I’m sure you’ll find a nice green turtleneck sweater there.”

Priscilla’s feeling of embarrassment doubled when Rolph added, “A girl like you should associate with shaggy hippies and talking dogs. Now leave us alone.” Priscilla returned to her apartment in the southwest suburbs at 1:40 a.m. and was greeted by Sharon.

“I saw you on television tonight,” Sharon said. “So did your mother. She called from Ohio. Who was that handsome guy…?”

“I’d rather not talk about it,” Priscilla said, but she did anyway.

“Now you have me worried,” Sharon said. “I know that you don’t bear foolish men easily. And I also know what you really keep in that sample-size Listermint bottle in your purse. You didn’t…”

“Nothing happened,” Priscilla assured her roommate.

“Better not,” Sharon scolded. “Writing age regression stories is one thing. And your readers enjoy them because they think they’re fantasy; something that puts a tingle in the lower stomach like when a roller coaster starts down a hill at 60 mph. They wouldn’t if they knew that you really could be…”

“Nothing happened,” Priscilla reiterated.

Sharon wasn’t so sure. And her suspicions were compounded when the January 3 Daily Southtown arrived containing a picture of the first locally born twins of the new Millennium. The twin boys, Eddie and Teddie, were reported to have checked in at Oak Lawn Community Hospital at 1:20 a.m. Closely staring at the babies’ picture, Sharon made an uneasy realization. Teddie had Rolph’s eyes. So that’s my story, and I swear that every word is true!

You don’t believe me? Hey! Vas you dere, Sharlie? (Sorry to steal your pearl, Uncle Jack.)