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Woman Sues Over Bawdy Birthday Greeting Ed: Note contents

July 19, 1985

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A woman who says she was humiliated when a singing telegram company mistakenly sent her a risque message rather than the birthday greeting her boyfriend ordered is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

Ramona Hardeman, 35, says in her lawsuit that the Eastern Onion messenger who delivered the message in front of a roomful of her Chevron Shipping Co. co-workers accused her of being ″unchaste, immoral and promiscuous.″

Messenger Roger A. Ford draped Ms. Hardeman in streamers, put a hat on her head and handed her a horn, announcing, ″Here’s a horn for a horny chick,″ according to the woman’s attorney, James Paul Green.

At one point, the messenger handed her a soap facsimile of male genitalia and advised her to play with it in the bath, Green said.

″She just collapsed on the floor and went into hysterics,″ he said Thursday. ″What went on was not the sort of thing that any woman would want to happen to her.″

Green said Ms. Hardeman’s now ex-boyfriend had ordered an ordinary birthday message to be delivered. He did not say why the couple broke up.

Ed Gormley, franchise owner for Eastern Onion in San Francisco, said there apparently was a mistake by a company dispatcher, who confused the birthday song order for Ms. Hardeman with another request.

Even so, he contends Ms. Hardeman’s allegations aren’t accurate.

″What they claim was done or said is not what we claim was done or said,″ Gormley said. ″We have thousands of satisfied customers.″

The company has delivered singing messages via aspiring actors and comedians to people such as President Reagan and Howard Cosell, he said. ″The telegrams we deliver range from clean to risque. That’s our style. There’s no way to conceal the fact that our telegrams are embarrassing. People like to embarrass people.″


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