who is also a qualified Speech and Drama Teacher, took over ‘Singing Telegrams’, the oldest agency in Scotland, and renamed it Entertaining Ms Sloan, forsaking the law courts to spend more time on the administration of the business. This includes penning the personalised ditties which are printed up on individual cards for each customer. ‘I made this one up for a fortieth birthday,’ she says, gamely bursting into song:
The family rang saying the world has to know
That it ’s time that you’ve reached the big Four and 0
And it's no, nay, never
No, nay, never, no more
Will you see 3 and 9 years
No, never, no more.
‘We use a tune people recognise and always include a chorus so that everyone can join in,’ she explains. ‘Some people like to write the words themselves. One man wrote a poem which was absolutely pornographic which I refused to ask my staff to perform. Eventually someone took the poem as a scroll and delivered it singing:
I’ve brought this message for you
Which I ’ve tied up in ribbons
’Cos the words are so blue’
A recent job was at the birthday party of an 80-year-old lady whose friends had demanded a Tarzan sing-o-gram — didn’t the old dear risk a heart attack at being confronted by a muscular young loin-clothed Adonis?
‘Oh, no!’ laughs Rosemary. ‘Older ladies always insist on Tarzans, I think the older they get the more amorous they become; they read about toyboys in the paper and really fancy the idea. The guys prefer to go out to a hen night, even though they’re likely to get ogled at and kidded on, than go to see an old lady - they’re the ones who make a grab at them!‘
The company ethos may not be sleazy but it’s certainly saucy: costumes range from ‘Little Devils’ and ‘Naughty Nurses’ to sexy police uniforms. ‘The girls usually go out dressed as French Maids or Showgirls but, with a bit of improvisation, we can provide anything the client wants.’ To illustrate this point Rosemary’s effervescent assistant Karen (gigglineg assuring us that she never does the sing-o-grams) obligingly shrugs into a gorilla suit a few sizes too big for her and stumbles around the office , stewing under the photographer’s blazing lamps.
A woman phones in for a kissogram for her husband’s birthday; before she rings off, she seeks assurance that the girl will be attractive and wear stockings, and insists that she must be blonde because that’s what hubbie likes.
‘It’s funny.’ muses Rosemary, ‘we get a lot of women asking for sexy sing-o-grams for their spouses but
men never do. When we send out Tarzans it’s to a hen night or because a female friend ordered it. Husbands always warn “Don’t dare send a Tarzan round" - so the lads go in cavalier, highwayman or pirate costumes.’
Deliver us from hunger
Twenty ways to feed a couch potato.
Picture this: after a hard day at the office you trudge home steely-eyed as it chucks down. Dishevelled and worn , surrounded by stacks of stained crockery, you force open the fridge door to be greeted by a
solitary tin of sick carrots.
Simultaneously, like a deluge of damp squid, you realise the corner shop has closed for the night. Cut! Re-write: sinking into an armchair, feet steaming by the fire, you reach for the phone. Let’s see: I’ll have braised lobster in black bean sauce with a side order of crunchy vegetables, oh and a bottle of your best lager.
Whether a necessity or a treat, phone food is neither as expensive nor as limited as is generally assumed. The fast food industry is enjoying a boom as people have less time and inclination to cook for themselves. Taking a cue from America, the emphasis is on minimum effort and maximum choice. Below, The List draws up a menu of what is available and where.
I Di Maggio’s Pizzeria 61 Ruthven Lane, 334 8560. 1083 Pollokshaws Road, 632 4194. Open every day, 5.30—11.30pm. Servicing a mile radius. both branches of Di Maggio’s charge 50p to deliver fine 11in pizzas to your door. They also supply pasta, steaks and burgers.
I Ferri’s Restaurant 1 Antigua Street, 556 0225/5592. Open every day. deliveries from 5pm. A friendly and popular Italian restaurant, Ferri’s will send out almost anything from their menu, which includes pizzas, pasta and steaks. all over
Edinburgh for no extra charge.
I Mamma’s 28-30 The Grassmarket, 225 6464. Open every day, deliveries from 5pm—midnight. If you spend £5 or more , Mamma’s will hot-foot giant pizzas of up to 16in to a given location, as long as it is within a two mile radius. Basic pizzas are from £2.75—£7.95 with optional toppings and they also deal in panzerotti, pasta salads, cakes and alcohol. All deliveries cost 50p.
I Perfect Pizza 12 South Clerk Street, 668 4599. Open every day, 11.30am—1 1pm. Recently opened, Perfect Pizza offer a very competitive service. They will deliver a pizza of any size, (£2.70—£7.50), free of charge, if you live in the Newington area, extended to Princes Street.
I Pizzeria Romana 10 Forrest Road. 225 5128. Open every day, deliveries from about 5.30pm. Romana will only consider delivering £10 orders, though they make no charge. A 10in pizza will set you back about £4.50.
I Nightpalace 1379 Paisley Road West, 882 3863/3615. Open every day from 5pm. For a surcharge of 60p, you can enjoy special fried rice from Nightpalace, as long as you live within reasonable distance, for instance Govan or Pollok.
I New Rainbow Restaurant 173 Kirkintilloch Road, Bishopbriggs. 772 1731. From the northern outskirts of Glasgow, New Rainbow Restaurant will deliver locally. The charge depends, according to the proprietor, ‘on whether you are my friend or not.‘
I Welcome Inn 114 Ayr Road. Newton Mearns, 639 5405/5398. Open every day. The Welcome Inn specialise in Cantonese and Peking cuisine and will deliver from their extensive menu, locally and to
outlying areas such as Clarkston and Giffnock for around 90p extra.
I Haloman Carry Out 39 Newtoft Street, Gilmerton, 664 8552. Open every day, 4pm—midinght. Servicing the southern outskirts of Edinburgh, Haloman deliver Cantonese cuisine locally and as far afield as Loanhead and Penicuik, for 80p.
I Mister Lee’s l Kingsknowe Road, 443 0153. Open every day, deliveries from 4pm. Mr Lee will send Cantonese cuisine all over Edinburgh for a 60p surcharge.
I S.W.S. 8 Stenhouse Cross, 455 7804. Open every day except Tuesday. S.W.S. cover most of Edinburgh and charge according to the distance. Central Edinburgh would cost around ill .20.
I Agra 995 Crow Road, Anniesland, 959 4083/954 0712. Open every day, deliveries after 5pm. Tandoori specialists who service their local area with a charge depending on the distance covered.
I Bombay Palace Gavins Mill, Milngavie, 956 1439/5520. Open every day, deliveries after 5pm. Specialising in tandoori cuisine, the Bombay Palace will deliver locally including Bearsden and sporadically further into town reaching areas like Maryhill. The charge varies from around 50p—£1.30.
I Himalaya Tandoori 1878b Paisley Road West, 882 3099/882 5174. Open every day, deliveries after 5pm. A large tandoori restaurant, the Himalaya are prepared to travel up to four miles with their steaming curries, and will charge ill—£1.35 for the service.
I New Delhi l015 Crow Road. 959 5409/958 0995. Open every day, deliveries after 5pm. A sister restaurant to the Agra, New Delhi
82 The List 23 March -— 5 April I990