Signalwoman Martin wasn’t happy. “I bleedin’ don’t know why I let you talk me into this.”
“Don’t be an old Scrooge,” Dorothy told her. “It’s Christmas, and these poor lads are half a world away from their homes and families.”
“Wouldn’t be so bad if it were our own blokes,” Margaret grumbled.
“You know fine and well there are no Aussie ships in Surabaya.”
“That’s cuz the soddin’ Limeys have them all shepherdin’ convoys to Singapore, so the warehouses will be chock-a-block full when they surrender ’em to the Jap-o’s.”
Dorothy tried the high road. “Think about the ratings. If a smile and a bit of sweet cake can bring some happiness to them on the Lord’s birthday, it’s little enough to do.”
“It’s not the smile and sweet cake that’s givin’ me the collywobbles. It’s bein’ dressed like Father Christmas’s call girl.”
“You think showin’ a bit of leg is gonna win the war, then?”
Dorothy giggled. “Your legs, my girl, might just turn the whole campaign around. We’re just reminding the lads what they’re fighting for.”
They were both dressed in cherry red velvet dresses that failed to make it down to the knee, with faux white fur on the hem, on the short-sleeve cuffs, and on the collar; and Santa Claus hats of the same bright red material, with a white puff-ball at the peak.