“Time to go, girls!” says Maria, the supervisory auditor, pushing back her chair, sticking out a leg, and checking her hose for runs. “This is important government business!”
Like good little accountants, in an almost synchronized manner, Carol, Olive, Gladys and Maria put down their pens, turn off their calculators and pick up their purses. Looking into the purses reminds them, that besides being state auditors, they have private lives. Maria, the eldest at 31, is newly married and trying desperately to have a baby. Carol has just moved in with a boyfriend it has taken seven years to catch. Olive has dark circles under her eyes from staying out late at rock ‘n’ roll clubs every night. Gladys owns two cars, a house, two dogs and a cat, and wants a master’s degree but can’t go back to living like a poor student.
As the four tap, tap, tap down the grey government hall in their heels, Maria says, “You’re organized, industrious and honest, and you deserve the perk you’re about to receive.”
They push into the women’s toilets and line up at the mirror, where they examine their reflections, brush their hair, draw on fresh lipstick, and spray perfume on necks and armpits.
They enter the elevator wearing red smiles and soon are tapping out of the pink granite building into the glaring sunlight.
“Sunglasses on!” says Maria. She inspects them. “Don’t slouch, Olive! Tuck in that blouse, Carol! We’d better look good for this meeting!”
Under the blue sky, they march in pairs along the sidewalk towards the domed capitol building, also built in the famous pink granite.
At the door, two guards block their entry and ask for ID.
“State auditors!” barks Maria. “We have business inside!” They present their ID cards, then a few steps on, in violation of state auditor etiquette, they stuff the cards deep into their purses. They tap, tap, tap on into the huge hall across the marble floor, past side-hall entries and stairwells and elevators—but there is not a soul in sight.
“Where is he?” says Gladys. “And where is everyone else?” They reach the cavernous central court and stop a moment, peering in all directions. “Not even a helper at the information desk,” says Maria. “We’ll have to write that up.” The others cackle in glee.
They troop on through the empty majestic building. “My feet are getting tired,” says Carol, who usually complains first. “Shush,” says Olive.
When they reach the opposite end and exit the door into the daylight, they can see hordes of people. They crane their necks, and to the left see a long line of black Jaguars waving royal flags, and finally peering to the right, they find him.
Prince Charles is wielding his saber over a five-foot-wide cake shaped like the state of Texas.*
The sword sticks. The crowd roars.
Maria calls out, “We four sexy babes are here for you, Chuck! Over here!”
No one hears her over the roaring, except the four women. They sigh and glance at their watches, then pull their IDs out of their bags.
“Lunch hour is over,” says Maria. “Back to work!”
Texas Sesquicentennial celebration article from Chicago Tribune, click here.
YouTube Video footage of Prince Charles, click here.