La Toya Jackson’s autobiography
I was dressed to go out one day when I got the idea to play a practical joke on him. I snuck into my father’s room and on a second phone line called my brother. In my best New York accent, I said, ‘’Hello, Michael?’’
‘’Yes?’’
‘’This is Sidney Lumet’s secretary.’’
‘’Oh, hi!’’ Michael, having admired the director since working with him on The Wiz, was thrilled.
‘’Mr. Lumet’s in town and would like to see you.’’
‘’Really?’’ I heard the phone drop and then Michael’s footsteps as he ran toward my room, shouting, ‘’La Toya! La Toya!’’
I hid the receiver under a pillow. ‘’I’m in here!’’
His head popped in the doorway. ‘’Guess who’s on the phone! Sidney Lumet’s secretary! And guess what?’’ Michael was so beside himself with excitement I almost fell out laughing right then. ‘’Sidney Lumet wants to see me!’’
‘’He does?’’
‘’Yes. I gotta go back. She’s waiting for me.’’ A few seconds later I heard a breathless ‘’Hello?’’
‘’Yes, Michael,’’ I said in the New York accent, ‘’Mr. Lumet would like to see you at your home. In fact, he’s not too far from there right now. May he come over?’’
‘’You’re kidding! Hold on!’’
Michael rushed back to Joseph’s room. ‘’La Toya, what are we gonna do? He’s on his way over now! I wanna see him but…’’ My brother surveyed the house, which was always immaculate. ‘’Clean the house!’’ he cried, then ran back and told the ‘’secretary’’ he’d be ready. I couldn’t resist laying it on thick. ‘’You know, Michael,’’ I said, ‘’Mr. Lumet really thinks you’re incredibly talented, and he always talks about what a wonderful job you did on The Wiz.’’
‘’Oh, that’s very nice. But I’ve got to go and get ready. Bye!’’
‘’Mother!’’ Michael shouted. ‘’Sidney Lumet’s on his way over! Sidney Lumet’s on his way over! Everybody hurry up! Close the garage! Clean the house!’’ He was barking orders like a staff sergeant.
Michael was frantic, pulling out clothes and asking, ‘’But what should I wear? How should I fix my hair?’’ I played along, even as he stood out by the gate waiting for his esteemed guest. Finally, unable to bear it any longer, I strolled out to the driveway and casually inquired, ‘’So, Mike, are you camping out here?’’
‘’I don’t understand, La Toya,’’ he replied distractedly, peering through the gate.
‘’Well, what did his secretary say to you?” I asked coyly, ‘’Did she tawk like this?’’
Michael spun around. ‘’Yeah…’’
‘’Did she say, ‘Mr. Lumet thinks yawr incredibly talented’?’’
‘’Yeah!’’ He thought for a moment. ‘’Wait a minute,’’ he said suspiciously, ‘’you were listening to my phone call!’’
‘’No I wasn’t, Mike,’’ I replied innocently.
‘’Yeah? Then how do you know what she said?’’
‘’Because it was me!’’
His jaw dropped. ‘’Now you’re going to get it!’’ I laughed so hard I didn’t realize he’d picked up the garden hose. My brother drenched my suede outfit, laughing vengefully, while I screamed for Mother to rescue me.

La Toya Jackson’s autobiography

I was dressed to go out one day when I got the idea to play a practical joke on him. I snuck into my father’s room and on a second phone line called my brother. In my best New York accent, I said, ‘’Hello, Michael?’’

‘’Yes?’’

‘’This is Sidney Lumet’s secretary.’’

‘’Oh, hi!’’ Michael, having admired the director since working with him on The Wiz, was thrilled.

‘’Mr. Lumet’s in town and would like to see you.’’

‘’Really?’’ I heard the phone drop and then Michael’s footsteps as he ran toward my room, shouting, ‘’La Toya! La Toya!’’

I hid the receiver under a pillow. ‘’I’m in here!’’

His head popped in the doorway. ‘’Guess who’s on the phone! Sidney Lumet’s secretary! And guess what?’’ Michael was so beside himself with excitement I almost fell out laughing right then. ‘’Sidney Lumet wants to see me!’’

‘’He does?’’

‘’Yes. I gotta go back. She’s waiting for me.’’ A few seconds later I heard a breathless ‘’Hello?’’

‘’Yes, Michael,’’ I said in the New York accent, ‘’Mr. Lumet would like to see you at your home. In fact, he’s not too far from there right now. May he come over?’’

‘’You’re kidding! Hold on!’’

Michael rushed back to Joseph’s room. ‘’La Toya, what are we gonna do? He’s on his way over now! I wanna see him but…’’ My brother surveyed the house, which was always immaculate. ‘’Clean the house!’’ he cried, then ran back and told the ‘’secretary’’ he’d be ready. I couldn’t resist laying it on thick. ‘’You know, Michael,’’ I said, ‘’Mr. Lumet really thinks you’re incredibly talented, and he always talks about what a wonderful job you did on The Wiz.’’

‘’Oh, that’s very nice. But I’ve got to go and get ready. Bye!’’

‘’Mother!’’ Michael shouted. ‘’Sidney Lumet’s on his way over! Sidney Lumet’s on his way over! Everybody hurry up! Close the garage! Clean the house!’’ He was barking orders like a staff sergeant.

Michael was frantic, pulling out clothes and asking, ‘’But what should I wear? How should I fix my hair?’’ I played along, even as he stood out by the gate waiting for his esteemed guest. Finally, unable to bear it any longer, I strolled out to the driveway and casually inquired, ‘’So, Mike, are you camping out here?’’

‘’I don’t understand, La Toya,’’ he replied distractedly, peering through the gate.

‘’Well, what did his secretary say to you?” I asked coyly, ‘’Did she tawk like this?’’

Michael spun around. ‘’Yeah…’’

‘’Did she say, ‘Mr. Lumet thinks yawr incredibly talented’?’’

‘’Yeah!’’ He thought for a moment. ‘’Wait a minute,’’ he said suspiciously, ‘’you were listening to my phone call!’’

‘’No I wasn’t, Mike,’’ I replied innocently.

‘’Yeah? Then how do you know what she said?’’

‘’Because it was me!’’

His jaw dropped. ‘’Now you’re going to get it!’’ I laughed so hard I didn’t realize he’d picked up the garden hose. My brother drenched my suede outfit, laughing vengefully, while I screamed for Mother to rescue me.

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