Thursday, November 4, 2010

Honey West, Girl Spy

When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the concept of being a spy.   I watched shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart, I Spy and The Avengers, and of course James Bond movies.  I read detective novels such as the Nancy Drew books.  When the book Harriet the Spy came out, I was totally fascinated.  I bought lots of notebooks and tried to take tomato sandwiches every day in my lunch but it became difficult when tomatoes weren't in season.

But my ultimate favorite was Honey West, girl spy.

Played by Anne Francis, Honey West was a television show about a girl who inherited her father's detective business.  Honey had a pet ocelot and a sidekick named Sam Bolt.  Their transportation was a specially-equipped mobile crime lab/spy van with "H.W. Bolt and Co., TV Service" on the side. Honey had all sorts of cool devices like a lipstick microphone. (She didn't have Max Smart's shoe telephone, though.)

Totally enamored with the idea of being a spy,  I decided to see if I could discover any neighborhood secrets.  Only two things stopped me:  1) I wasn't allowed out of the yard, and 2) our yard was enclosed by a 5 foot high board fence. Not to be foiled, I came up with a brilliant plan.  I would climb up on the top of my playhouse (a shed that was shorter than regular buildings) and spy from the rooftop!

My willing partner in this scheme was my little brother.  I explained to him that he was Sam Bolt and I was Honey West. His part was to help hoist me up to the edge of the roof and then I would climb up to the rooftop.  Never athletic, the struggles of getting up on the roof required much grunting and scrabbling on the shingles. Any criminal within the vicinity would have heard someone coming.  To make matters worse, once I was crawling up to the ridge of the roof, Sam began bawling, "Jerr... how am I going to get up there?"  "Ssh...I'm not Jerr, call me Honey West.  Sam doesn't climb the rooftop, he stays on the ground to catch Honey in case she falls!"


Finally, I made it to the ridge of the roof and peered over to see what I could see.  Horrors!  There on the other side of the fence was David, the neighborhood menace.  He was standing there with his arms crossed, a knowing smirk on his face.  "Why hello, Honey West, are you spying on me?"

Cheeks flushed with embarrassment, I beat a quick retreat back to the ground.  

Never a quitter, I tried again on other days.  I learned to use climbing up on a chair instead of my little brother to reach the edge of the roof. It was quieter, and he didn't much like being Sam anyway. Yet, anytime I surveyed the neighborhood from my rooftop perch I never learned anything new.  It was just my luck to live in a place where there were no spies or criminals .... Of course, now I realize that anyone could glance up and see a kid on top of a roof looking at anything they might do!

I never quite lost my fascination with spying .... I discovered the Emily Pollifax novels and Miss Marple mysteries and read them over and over. 

I came to realize, though, I could never be a spy.  I just wasn't observant enough!

Case in point:  I was a young married driving home from work one day.  My husband's vehicle had broke down on the side of the road.  As I approached, he saw me and thought "Thank God, I can get a ride," and started waving at me.  I kept driving, my mind lost in its own dreamworld.  He realized I didn't see him and he began yelling and jumping up and down.  I blew right past him and went on home never seeing the crazy person on the side of the road.

If he had been a Russian spy, I could be dead right now.

I'm linking this post up over at Mama Kat's.


  1. That is hilarious that you drove right past your husband. VERY observant! hahahaha LOVE it. Sounds like something I would do.

    Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

  2. LOL!!! Oh Jerri, I haven't been reading here lately, but I'm SO glad I stopped in today to read this wonderful post!! Great stories!


  3. I haven't heard about Honey West but she must have been a great spy.
    Thanks for dropping by my site.

  4. Priceless post. I loved Honey West myself...and as a small child read the heck out of Nancy Drew. I wanted to be a spy myself.

  5. I totally forgot! This show is why I wanted a pet ocelot so badly!

  6. Ha ha! Your poor husband. I don't remember that show but I probably would have been idolizing this Honey West too if I'd seen it! ;)

  7. I forgot all about Honey West! She was awfully glamorous for a spy.

    I loved Nancy Drew.

    Lately, we've been getting The Return of Sherlock Holmes on DVD at our library (Jeremy Brett as Holmes). I can usually tell my husband who the criminal is in the first five minutes...I'm annoying like that.

  8. Spy movies and novels are awesome. I don't think I've ever read Nancy Drew, but i read the Hardy Boys. Sherlock Holmes is my all-time fave. And that English woman detective...I forget her name. She's awesome.

    But that's so funny you left your husband standing (or rather jumping up and down) on the side of the road. What did he say when he finally got home? And how DID he get home?

    On another note, thanks for commenting on my jackie chan post. Isn't it always nice to hear when some actor/actress is involved in charity AND really, truly cared not just for publicity pusposes?

  9. Great post! You made me giggle as you blew right past your husband!! I love spy movies and so does my eight year old daughter. She has discovered the world of Nancy Drew and often pretends to be a spy. Thanks so much for sharing and for stopping by my site-

  10. I've never heard of Honey West, but that is so funny about driving past your husband. Now that is something I would do. I am not observant AT ALL, hahaha!

  11. LOL! Driving past my husband while stranded on the side of the road is SO something I would do!

  12. I am amazed at how many women wanted to be spies! I think more women than men!

  13. Ooo, I loved Harriet the Spy, though you did introduce me to Honey West. I loved Get Smart and reading mysteries, and I still do!

    Now I find my 4 y.o. getting into mysteries like Scooby Doo and mysteries by Richard Scarry. His favorite phrase: "I've been framed!"

  14. Ohhhhh you are a RIOT!!! That is just the funniest story ever! I can't believe I never heard of Honey West... I sure watched all the others!

  15. That is so something I would have right past hubby and never even realized. Bering a spy or detective sounds fascinating, but I am afraid I would be a very one.


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