Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Front Page Drama
Show: Switchboard Secrets
Date: Nov 16 1933

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
OPERATOR
GLADYS
PROFESSOR
CLERK
MAC
WOMEN'S VOICES

MUSIC:

NONE (COLD OPENING)

WOMEN:

(ANSWERING PHONES) "American Weekly. One moment, please." "Long distance, please." "American Weekly. -- No, we're sorry, the line's busy." (CONTINUES IN BG, BEHIND ANNOUNCER)

ANNOUNCER:

Presenting "Switchboard Secrets," another in the series of dramatizations based on stories featured in the American Weekly, the magazine which is distributed with all Hearst Sunday newspapers from coast to coast. "Switchboard Secrets" was inspired by a story which will appear in next Sunday's issue of the American Weekly magazine. It was produced in the New York studios of the General Broadcasting Company.

Have you ever stopped to think about the stories telephone operators could tell if they wanted to? Of course, according to all rules and regulations, they're not supposed to tell company secrets over the switchboards. And most of them live up to the rules. Come with us to the switchboard of a large publication. See those flashing, winking lights. Hear the brisk snapping of the plugs as the competent operator answers the incoming calls.

OPERATOR:

(RAPIDLY ANSWERING CALLS) The American Weekly. One moment please. -- The American Weekly. The editor's line is busy. Will you wait? -- The American Weekly. Okay, go ahead. -- The American Weekly. (CONTINUES IN BG)

ANNOUNCER:

Now, this girl hasn't time to gossip even if she wanted to. But, er, let's see what she's saying.

OPERATOR:

The American Weekly. Oh, hello, Mamie! Awfully busy. Oh, no, don't hang up. Wait a minute. All the trunks are full so I can chat a second. Say, Mamie, I wish you could have heard the story one of our writers brought in this morning. Thrilling? I'll say. I wouldn't want to be that girl for a million dollars. What? Well, listen to this. It seems this stenographer, who was out of a job, saw an ad in one of the daily papers and answered it.

SOUND:

WOMEN'S VOICES OUT ... DOOR BELL BUZZES

PROF:

Yes?

GLADYS:

Did you advertise for a secretary-typist in this morning's paper?

PROF:

Why, yes, I did.

GLADYS:

My name's Gladys Miller. I've come to apply for the position.

PROF:

Oh, won't you step this way, please?

GLADYS:

Thank you.

PROF:

Have a seat, Miss Miller. I must ask you to pardon the appearance of the room. I'm afraid I'm not what you might call a tidy man.

GLADYS:

Oh, that's - that's quite all right, Mister, uh--?

PROF:

Byers. Professor Byers.

GLADYS:

Oh.

PROF:

I'm engaged in writing a scientific book. Most of my bibliography, as you can see for yourself, is scattered around the room.

GLADYS:

Oh, if you'll pardon my saying so, Professor, I don't see how you find what you want when you want it.

PROF:

(CHUCKLES) Quite right, young lady. That's why I placed that advertisement in the paper. I find I need someone to assist me in my research.

GLADYS:

Oh, I should be very happy here.

PROF:

Thank you, thank you. You, uh, are a typist?

GLADYS:

And a stenographer, too. I can take down your research notes or whatever is needed in your material, Professor. I'm really quite fast.

PROF:

Indeed.

GLADYS:

(CHUCKLES) I didn't mean it the way it sounded. I - I meant my shorthand was speedy.

PROF:

I understand. Have you done literary work before?

GLADYS:

Well, to be perfectly truthful, no. But I'm sure I can.

PROF:

I'm sure you can, too.

GLADYS:

You mean I'm hired?

PROF:

Well, not yet.

GLADYS:

I'm really a very good secretary. I can get you references.

PROF:

I'm not interested in references, young lady.

GLADYS:

Well, then, perhaps you're interested in this.

SOUND:

RAPID TAPPING ON KEYBOARD

GLADYS:

There, you see? I'm rapid on the machine, also. And now, uh, let me get that pencil and a piece of paper. There. All ready, Professor. You start in dictating. Go as fast as you like, 'cause I can take it.

PROF:

That's quite all right, Miss, er--

GLADYS:

Miller. Gladys Miller.

PROF:

Oh, yes, of course. That's quite all right, Miss Miller. I'm satisfied that you're accomplished in your vocation.

GLADYS:

Do I get the job?

PROF:

Well, I'm not sure yet.

GLADYS:

Well, I - I don't know what more I can do to prove myself capable of doing your work. You don't want references or tests of speed. Oh, of course! I didn't realize it before.

PROF:

Realize what?

GLADYS:

It's my hair.

PROF:

Your hair?

GLADYS:

Yes. I'm a brunette and you like blondes or redheads. Well, that can easily be taken care of. I'll change mine to any shade you prefer.

PROF:

Well, that's most generous and kind of you, I'm sure, but that won't be necessary.

GLADYS:

I wish you'd tell me why I won't suit you, Professor.

PROF:

Well, it's something you're not to blame for, and which you can't do anything about.

GLADYS:

I'm - too plain-looking?

PROF:

On the contrary, you're a very personable young woman.

GLADYS:

Thank you.

PROF:

That's the trouble. That's why I'm afraid you won't do.

GLADYS:

Because you think I'm pretty?

PROF:

No. Because you're a woman.

GLADYS:

Ohh.

PROF:

I said it was something you couldn't do anything about.

GLADYS:

(AMUSED) Well, yes. I'm afraid it is a little late now.

PROF:

Wait a moment. I think I have an idea.

GLADYS:

Yes, Professor?

PROF:

Something can be done about it, uh, if you are willing.

GLADYS:

I'm afraid I don't understand.

PROF:

Then I'll be frank with you. I can't stand having a woman around me. I haven't had anything to do with women since-- Well, never mind that. We won't go into that now. I wanted a male secretary but only one has applied in answer to my advertisement and he was too slow. I like your speed. You seem to have more than average intelligence.

GLADYS:

Thank you, Professor.

PROF:

I'm speaking impersonally, miss. Now, the job is yours on one condition.

GLADYS:

And that is?

PROF:

That for as long as you remain in my employ and in my house, you dress like a man.

SOUND:

WOMEN'S VOICES ANSWERING PHONES ... CONTINUES IN BG

OPERATOR:

What did she do, Mame? Why, she-- Oh, wait a second. (ANSWERS CALL, SWEETLY) Yes, Mr. Davis? Jones and Hart? Yes, I know their number. Yes, sir.

(PAUSE, CASUAL) Hello, Mame? It was the boss. Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. The girl thought it would be a kick to go around in boys' clothes. And she needed the job so she took it.

What? Oh, no, nothing like that. He was a perfect gentleman. Well, it seems they got the book finished and the job came to an end. And then her troubles began! You see, by this time, she'd gotten so used to wearing trousers and all - that, without thinking of what she was doing, she packed all her girls' clothes in her trunk. And the trunk got lost! Yeah! So when Gladys got back to the city, she didn't have anything to wear.

Huh? What did she do then? Why, she got a room with a young married couple. Until her funds ran out. And then she wired home for money.

Huh? Did they send it? Sure. And what a pickle she found herself in! Wait'll I tell ya. She-- Oh, uh, wait a second, Mame. (ANSWERS CALL, SWEETLY) The American Weekly. Business office. Yes, ma'am.

(CASUAL AGAIN) Hello, Mame? As I was saying. Here she was dressed in boys' clothes and all. So she had to take a boy's name in order to escape answering questions, see? Well, the money came in an order at the local telegraph office and Gladys went down to cash it.

SOUND:

WOMEN'S VOICES OUT ... TELEGRAPH KEYS CLICKING ... CONTINUES IN BG ... DOOR OPENS

CLERK:

(PRISSY, EFFEMINATE) Well? What can I do for you?

GLADYS:

(LUDICROUS FAKE DEEP VOICE) I have a money order I'd like to have cashed.

CLERK:

Very well. Let's see it.

GLADYS:

Uh, here you are.

CLERK:

Why - why, this says, "Pay to the order of Gladys Miller."

GLADYS:

Yes, I know it.

CLERK:

Oh, I can't cash it for you.

GLADYS:

Well, why not?

CLERK:

Why not? Why, didn't I just read you what it says? "Pay to the order of Gladys Miller."

GLADYS:

Well, you see, I'm--

CLERK:

Oh, now, look here, young man. Really. Don't try to tell me you're Gladys Miller. Puh-lease! My nerves!

GLADYS:

Uh, uh, I'm representing Miss Miller.

CLERK:

Oh, is that so? Well, where's your authorization?

GLADYS:

(FIRMLY) I'm her brother Don.

CLERK:

Well, so what?

GLADYS:

I want to cash this money order.

CLERK:

You're this party's brother, are you?

GLADYS:

Yeah.

CLERK:

All right. I'll cash it.

GLADYS:

Uh, thank you.

CLERK:

When you come back here with your sister.

SOUND:

WOMEN'S VOICES ANSWERING PHONES ... CONTINUES IN BG

OPERATOR:

Can you imagine being in a spot like that, Mame? Holding a check in your hand and not being able to do anything with it!

Huh? What's that? No, he didn't cash it. And poor Gladys had to go to one of the charity organizations. And, my dear, she slept right in the men's dormitory! Aren't you just tingling? And what she heard! My dear! The way men talk us over is nobody's business.

Huh? What's that? Oh, sure, I'll tell you 'bout what happened to Gladys. Well, she managed to escape discovery by coming in late at night and undressing in the dark. And in the morning, she-- Oh, wait a second, Mame. (ANSWERS CALL, SWEET AND INNOCENT) Yes, Mr. Davis? You got the aquarium?! Oh, I'm so sorry. I'll try Jones and Hart again.

(CASUAL) Hello, Mame. The boss again. As I was sayin', Gladys got along okay for about a week or so and then, one morning, while she was in the washroom--

SOUND:

WOMEN'S VOICES OUT ... WASHROOM DOOR CLOSES ... RUNNING WATER, BRIEFLY IN BG

MAC:

(BIG TOUGH GUY, YAWNS) Boy! Am I tired! Those cots are like railroad ties for sleepin'.

GLADYS:

(PATENTLY FAKE DEEP VOICE) Yeah.

MAC:

I guess you and me's the last to scrub up, huh?

GLADYS:

Yeah.

MAC:

Say, kid -- anyone ever tell you, ya talk too much?

GLADYS:

Yeah.

MAC:

Well, they was lyin'.

GLADYS:

Yeah?

MAC:

Well, I guess I'll beautify myself for the day. Ya mind if I borrow your soap?

GLADYS:

Nope.

MAC:

Thanks.

SOUND:

THUMP!

MAC:

Oh, gee, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to knock your razor off the ledge.

GLADYS:

Oh, that's all right.

MAC:

Well, never mind, kid. I'll pick it up for ya.

GLADYS:

Well, shucks, I'm not a cripple.

MAC:

(BENDS OVER) Well, neither am I. (RISES) There. There ya are.

GLADYS:

Uh, thanks.

MAC:

Oh, wait a second. I didn't bust it, did I? Let's see.

GLADYS:

(NERVOUS) Oh, oh, no, no. It's all right. Honest.

MAC:

(SEES THAT SOMETHING'S WRONG) Say--

GLADYS:

What's the matter?

MAC:

Nothin'.

GLADYS:

Well, I - I guess we'd better be hurryin' or we'll be late for breakfast.

MAC:

Yeah.

GLADYS:

Say, what are you lookin' at me that way for?

MAC:

What way?

GLADYS:

Well, I - I don't know exactly, but it - it's kind of funny.

MAC:

Yeah?

GLADYS:

Well, I - I guess I'm all ready. All but brushin' mah teeth.

MAC:

(POINTED) Ain't you gonna clean up your razor?

GLADYS:

Uh, not just now. I'm late for breakfast.

MAC:

Why, ain't you 'fraid your blade'll get all rusty?

GLADYS:

Oh, oh, that's all right. I don't care.

MAC:

Ya don't, huh?

GLADYS:

Why, ya see, uh-- I mean, I got plenty o' blades.

MAC:

Oh, yeah?

GLADYS:

Yeah, sure.

MAC:

Ain't that just dandy?

GLADYS:

Well, so long. I'll see ya later.

MAC:

Wait a minute! Don't be in such a hurry -- sister.

GLADYS:

Say, who are you callin' "sister"?! Why, I--!

MAC:

Now, now, take it easy, girlie.

GLADYS:

What do ya mean -- "girlie"?

MAC:

You know what I mean.

GLADYS:

I don't know what you're talkin' about.

MAC:

Oh, yes, you do.

GLADYS:

No, I don't!

MAC:

I saw your razor hasn't any blade in it! Why, you're no more a fella than - than I'm a chorus girl.

GLADYS:

Well, I - I guess I better get a move on.

MAC:

No, you don't. You stay right where you are.

GLADYS:

(SURPRISED, NORMAL VOICE) What are you doing?

MAC:

(SLIGHTLY OFF) Just lockin' the door to make sure that we ain't interrupted no more.

SOUND:

DOOR LOCKED

GLADYS:

Why?

MAC:

(CLOSER) Why? Because you and me is gonna have a nice little talk, sister.

GLADYS:

What do you mean?

MAC:

You heard me. Now, take it easy, girlie. There's nobody here but me and you. Say, what's the big idea?

GLADYS:

The big idea?

MAC:

Yeah. What are you doin' here, in dem clothes?

GLADYS:

Well, I - I lost my trunk. I - I haven't any clothes but these, and no money to buy any.

MAC:

(IRONIC) Is that so? Well, now, that's just too bad.

GLADYS:

You don't believe me?

MAC:

'Cause I've been readin' about you and your kind, girlie. You like to see how the other half of the world lives. Ya get a kick out of it, don't ya? Somethin' to serve up as tea party chatter for the dull winter afternoons.

GLADYS:

Oh, listen, you've got me all wrong, mister! I tell ya--

MAC:

Shut up! I'm doin' the talkin' here. You and the rest of your fancy friends get amusement in takin' guys like me apart, to see what makes us go. Ya call it "slummin'."

GLADYS:

Oh, no! Honest, I'm tellin' ya the truth--!

MAC:

Pipe down! You ain't in no Park Avenue apartment now, sister. And this time, I'm gonna give ya somethin' that you won't want to talk about.

GLADYS:

You keep away from me.

MAC:

Why, how you talk, Miss Van Astor! Come here, baby.

GLADYS:

Let go of my arm! Get your hands off me!

MAC:

Say, I'll bet you're a swell dish in your regular clothes, with your hair all slicked up and wavy.

GLADYS:

Let me go, do you hear? Let me go!

MAC:

And some lipstick on that pretty little mouth.

GLADYS:

(STRUGGLES) You beast.

MAC:

Oh, a little fighter, huh? Swell. I like dames with some fight in 'em.

GLADYS:

You unlock that door!

MAC:

Not until I'm ready, sister.

GLADYS:

(WITH EFFORT) Uh!

SOUND:

GLADYS STRUGGLES, POUNDING AND KICKING THE DOOR, THE FLOOR, ANYTHING

MAC:

Now, that ain't gonna do you no good, girlie.

GLADYS:

Let me out of here! You let me out of here or--!

MAC:

Or you'll what? Scream? Aw, no you won't.

GLADYS:

Let me out of here, I tell you! Let me out of here! Oh, please! Oh, please!

MAC:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) I guess you know what the head guy around here'd do if he finds out what you really are. And they make it plenty tough for dames what masquerades as men.

GLADYS:

I don't care! I'd gladly go to jail if I could only get out of here!

SOUND:

STOPS STRUGGLING

MAC:

Why, I ain't so bad. If you look me over careful. Come here, baby.

GLADYS:

Listen here, mister.

MAC:

Call me Mac.

GLADYS:

Listen, Mac. You've got me all wrong.

MAC:

Yeah. I heard that before.

GLADYS:

Maybe you have, but you never heard it when it was any more on the level.

MAC:

What do you mean?

GLADYS:

I'm not from Park Avenue. I'm from Cold Bridge, New York. I came to the city about six months ago looking for work and I - I answered an ad for a stenographer. And got the job on condition that I dress like a man--

MAC:

(SKEPTICAL) You don't say?

GLADYS:

Oh, please, please listen. You've gotta believe me! You've got to! It's the truth! Every word of it!

MAC:

I'm listenin'.

GLADYS:

Well, when the job was finished, I packed all my clothes but these and sent them on ahead of me. My trunk got lost. I was stranded here without clothes or friends or money and I--

MAC:

Why didn't ya make a touch on your folks?

GLADYS:

I did. I wired home for money but--

MAC:

But they turned you down. Yeah, I know.

GLADYS:

No, they didn't. They sent me the money.

MAC:

Then, what are ya doin' here? This is a charity joint.

GLADYS:

Well, they sent me the money order in my real name -- Gladys Miller -- and I couldn't cash it in boys' clothes. See? Here it is.

SOUND:

RATTLE OF MONEY ORDER

MAC:

So what?

GLADYS:

Oh, please listen to me. I swear I'll give it to you if you let me go.

MAC:

Well, a lot of good it'd do me. How could I get it cashed?

GLADYS:

(DESPERATE) You help me get some girls' clothes and - and I'll cash it for you. And I'll turn it all over to you. Every cent. (STARTS TO CRY) Oh, please! Please let me get out of here! I - I just can't stand any more!

MAC:

(SOFTENS) Say -- you may be one of them actresses and just foolin' me. But somehow, I - I can't help but believe you.

GLADYS:

Oh, I'm tellin' you the truth, Mac. Honest.

MAC:

Well-- (CHUCKLES) Okay, sister. You can go.

GLADYS:

(RELIEVED) Oh--

SOUND:

DOOR UNLOCKED

GLADYS:

Thanks, Mac. Here.

MAC:

Naw. I don't want your money order.

GLADYS:

Oh, but I promised it to you.

MAC:

Aw, that's all right. Say, you got spunk, sister. Yeah, I like your nerve. You know, you're a smart doll, puttin' up with a place like this. (LAUGHS) And even shavin' every mornin' with a fake razor to keep up the bluff!

GLADYS:

You - you won't give me away?

MAC:

Nah. Why should I? Ain't you got the same right to live as - as me?

GLADYS:

Isn't there something I can do for you?

MAC:

Well, if you put it that way-- Yeah. Yeah, maybe there is.

GLADYS:

What is it?

MAC:

Will you give me your ration of smokin' tobacco from now on?

GLADYS:

(LAUGHS) Oh, sure thing. Don't you want my razor, too? (LAUGHS)

MAC:

(LAUGHS)

SOUND:

WOMEN'S VOICES ANSWERING PHONES ... CONTINUES IN BG

OPERATOR:

Wasn't that lucky for her, Mame? After a while, she managed to get some girls' clothes and changed back again to bein' herself. Gee, I bet she was glad to pluck her eyebrows and marcel her hair again. I know I would be.

Huh? What's that, Mame? Oh, sure, lots of other things happened to her. Oh, but you have to read the story for yourself.

Huh? When's it appear? In next Sunday's issue of the American Weekly magazine. Yeah. Don't miss it. Oh, well, here comes another call. I gotta go. (ANSWERS CALL, SWEET AND INNOCENT) Yes, Mr. Davis? What? You didn't get the number? Oh, I'm so sorry.

SOUND:

OPERATOR AND OTHER WOMEN'S VOICES FADE OUT BEHIND ANNOUNCER

ANNOUNCER:

Well, that's a mighty good tip for you, as well as for Mame. Be sure to read the many other interesting experiences of this young girl who, through necessity, wore male attire. You'll find them all in next Sunday's issue of the American Weekly magazine, under the heading "Lost Her Trunk and the Astonishing Things That Resulted." The American Weekly is a magazine which is distributed with all Hearst Sunday newspapers from coast to coast.

MUSIC:

CLOSING THEME