When I was 31, I went back to the gym, walked more, ate better and lost a few inches around my waist. What outfit did I buy to show off my newly trim – well – trimmer figure? A Wonder Woman costume.
Over the next four years, Wonder Woman turned up in unexpected places. When I used some (sadly not all) of my Ansett Frequent Flyer points to fly spontaneously to the Sydney Olympics, I got last-minute tickets to the Greco-Roman Wrestling and the Synchronised Swimming. Wonder Woman turned up to the former. She put in an appearance at the end of a ‘Colloquial English’ game show played at Home Valley Station on the Gibb River Road. She sang at Esperance Backpackers, and passed inspection at the Quarantine station on the Western Australia / Northern Territory border.
She almost won me (dubious) TV fame. I wanted to be in the second Australian series of Big Brother. In my audition tape, I wore my barrister’s wig, gown, bar jacket and jabot, spun around and took them off to reveal my Wonder Woman costume underneath. Of the 27,000 people who entered, I got down to the last 280 before being culled in a Perth hotel on a Friday afternoon.
And Wonder Woman played tennis at Perth’s 2001 Pride March. I was a member of the gay and lesbian Loton Park Tennis Club. Every year, two people would walk down William and James Streets, carrying a net, while some of us in costume hit balls to each other. It was quite hard because:
(a) it wasn’t light enough to see the balls clearly,
(b) it was too noisy to hear them, and
(c) we had to avoid hitting the crowds lined up on either side of the road.
Wonder Woman, though, was easier than being a nun (as I was in 2000) because there was no wimple to flap in the way, though perhaps not as glamorous as when I ‘frilled’ the crowd as Chris Evert, with my blonde wig, green bows and fake sewn rhinestones.
During the march, I encountered two other Wonder Women, and one or two scuffles ensued over who was the real Wonder Woman. But the festive atmosphere meant we couldn’t be too nasty for too long.
A few weeks later at an election night party (when John Howard won for the third time), I spotted a pretty lady sitting quietly, who looked familiar, but I couldn’t quite place. Then it came to me.
‘Excuse me,’ I asked, ‘weren’t you Wonder Woman?’
She was, we bonded, and she referred to me as the One True Wonder Woman, and I acknowledged her as an Honorary Wonder Woman.
The One True Wonder Woman retired in 2004, although I occasionally wore the bracelets for strength just as Téa Leoni did in an episode of The Naked Truth. When I encountered her (Wonder Woman, not Téa Leoni) in Buenos Aires at the 2005 Pride March, I immediately felt a sisterly bond.