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Saucy Sara Villiers sings along with the oldest telegram.

Singing telegrams have always seemed to me to be the epitome of ritual humiliation, an ordeal devised by the kind of nearest and dearest who claim to have your best wishes at heart but secretly enjoy the sight of

you with egg on your face.

I was recently an unwilling witness to such a spectacle in a city bar when ‘Vicked Vendy‘, a bondage-garbed amazon, made a dramatic entrance. Peeling off clothes, cracking a fearsome whip and descending on a raucous office party she recited a mind-bogglineg crude verse as she forced her ‘victim' to peel off her garter. lcringed but the recipient

suffered it all with remarkable

aplomb; as he and his friends howled

with laughter I had to conclude that some people actually enjoy the experience.

‘Most people like them, they're great fun,‘ smiles Rosemary Sloan. who runs a singing telegram agency in Kelvinbridge in Glasgow. ‘I guess some people feel suspicious, their first reaction is “Oh no, this is going


to be so mortifying“, but we never do that kind ofsleazy kissogram where girls take their clothes offor try and undress the client or where the guy forces someone‘s hand down his jockstrap. We're not interested in embarrassing anyone; we can do our sing-o-grams in front ofchildren or even in the presence of the parish priest.‘

Last year Rosemary, a solicitor

The List 23 March 5 April 1990 81