Margo Adams walks into the room. Suddenly, everybody starts acting like a man of the world.
By now, you know Margo, I'm sure. Yes, THAT Margo. Penthouse magazine! Wade Boggs of the Boston Red Sox! Barbara Walters!
Margo flounces into Alexilion the other day with B.J. Hunter on her arm. He likes to call himself B.J. Hunter in the Morning.
Well, this is B.J. Hunter in the afternoon. When B.J.'s schmoozing with the listeners on the radio at 5:45 a.m., he wears a tee shirt, shorts and Michael Jordan basketball shoes.
Now, with Margo Adams on his arm, B.J. is wearing a silk tie and a flashy gold watch. He's driving a Lincoln Continental, a far cry from that open blue jeep he drives to work at KOOL-FM every day.
Margo is dressed in bright yellow. There's not much jewelry, but there is a Rolex watch on her left wrist.
"What are you doing with Margo Adams?" a man asks of B.J. He seems affronted.
"This is business," B.J. says. "After lunch, I'll be offering Margo an interesting proposition."
The headwaiter overhears B.J.'s remark. He smiles, knowingly. Clearly, he is a man of the world.
"Something for madam to drink?" he asks Margo.
"Perrier?" she asks.
"No," he replies, "but we have the Italian equivalent."
"That doesn't have enough kick." Margo says. "I think I'll take straight club soda."
A Greek salad will be enough for her.
B.J., normally a meat-and-potatoes man, orders the same.
Margo Adams has grown accustomed to people backing off when she meets them head-on for an interview.
"People think I'm a real bitch," she says.
"I'm not as hard as I look in those pictures in Penthouse," she explains. "I was so nervous when they took them. I'd never done anything like that before . . . "
There have been two articles in Penthouse and six weeks of crossing the country back and forth doing radio, television and print interviews.
By now Margo must have formed some opinions about the media. She must have learned to deal with people's varying reactions to her.
"Let me tell you something," she says. "I went into this thing thinking very highly of Geraldo [Rivera]. I always defended him.
"But I don't anymore. His show was a terrible experience. On top of that, after it's over, there's no way to get away from the audience.
"The only way out is to walk right down the aisle and get on the elevator with them.
"Here's a guy next to me in the elevator. He'd been screaming at me all during the show that I was a bimbo. Now, he's telling me he didn't mean it, and he wants to have a date.
"Once you get on the show with Geraldo, he's cold and distant. It's just the opposite with [Phil] Donahue."
Adams smiles but barely pauses in her monologue.
"Donahue greets you before the show. During every intermission he asks if everything is okay. Then, after it's over, he makes a special point of thanking you for coming on with him."
Adams remembers that some interviewers had a problem with her because they wanted to remain friends of Boggs.
At first, she said, Larry King didn't even want to do the interview.
"Then, when I did get one with him, he was incredibly laid back," Adams recalls.
She remembers it had been different with Bob Costas who does a late-night talk show from a New York restaurant.
"He sat real close to me. At first he told me he was taking a chance because Boggs might get mad at him.
"Then he started telling me how he'd been to the Olympics for NBC and how everybody who had never cheated on his wife did so when they got to South Korea.
"There was one time during a commercial break that he told me that I'd be the kind of girl he'd like to have an affair with."
Adams says she thinks it says something about the state of American sportswriting that most sportswriters declined to interview her.
"The ones who did," she says, "never looked me in the eye. And not a single one of all the writers assigned to cover the Boston Red Sox in New England ever tried to contact me."
She even tried to get a writer from the Boston Herald to ghostwrite her story, but he turned the assignment down. One of Adams' favorite sportswriters, Tom Boswell of the Washington Post, also passed on a chance to interview her.
"They're all afraid of Wade and what he'd say," Adams says.
She shrugs her shoulders.
"Let me tell you something about Wade," she says, leaning forward. "I watched him for four years. I saw him get harder and meaner as he got more successful.
"When I told him I was going to tell my story, he just laughed at me. He told me nobody would care, and it would be in the papers for a day and be over.
"Well, now it's been running for a year, and he was stupid enough to give it a new start by going on the Barbara Walters show.
"I think that was the biggest mistake he made because now people have changed their minds. They're on my side because they got a look at what Wade's really like."
"Can you imagine? Wade went on with Barbara Walters because he was actually convinced it would give him more prestige?" A man asks Adams if she had ever considered selling her story to Playboy instead of Penthouse.
Adams smiles, knowingly.
"We went to Playboy first," she says.
"I wanted $100,000 and they offered only $10,000. I didn't even get to talk to Hugh Hefner.
"So we called Bob Guccione at Penthouse. He told me to come to New York right away. He put me up in his house. He practically made me a partner.
"He said, `Look, I'm gonna make you a great offer. But I'm only going to make it once, and I'm not getting into a bidding war with anybody.
"`There will have to be nudity. Every one of our readers will want to see what Wade Boggs saw.' "I dreaded the nudity but I understood. I went with Penthouse, and it will end up paying me more than $250,000."
"And what will you do when all this ends?" a man asks.
Margo Adams smiles confidently.
"I'll go back into the mortgage banking business in California," she says.
"You see, I'm really NOT a bimbo.