This Pearl Harber (Notice the Spelling) Never Gets Bombed

Plus: Real-Life Soprano Fun on Wiretap Radio

By Buck Wolf

June 7, 2001 — When Pearl Hussey married Tony Harber 17 years ago, it was a day that would live in infamy — she became Mrs. Pearl Harber.

Some women have really been burned when they've taken a married name. But few can top Mrs. Harber, a 43-year-old homemaker from Church Stretton, England, who cringes each time she's asked if her ship has come in.

"Many of the remarks I can't repeat, as you can imagine," she says. "I go into a pub and invariably someone asks, 'Is Pearl Harber getting bombed?'"

She could go on all day, but she'd rather not complain. With three kids, ranging in age from 10 to 16, life's too good too good to bother with the small headaches.

But Harber reads newspapers, watches TV, and passes billboards in her travels, just like the rest of us. And just like the rest of us, she's been bombarded with marketing for the Hollywood popcorn muncher Pearl Harbor.

"It's like the world is shouting my name," Harber says. "You can't really get used to it. I wish it would end."

Harber just saw the $140 million Disney movie, and here's her review: "Not bad … great action. The love story is a bit much. And it's a little slanted toward the American side. But that's what you would suspect."

Wiretap Radio

You think Tony Soprano is the only gangster who talks about anxiety, depression and his cholesterol count? Fughettaboutit!

HBO may have put The Sopranos on hiatus until well into 2002, but now you can listen to real gangsters talk about the benefits of eating yogurt while trying to run a crime family. — a Web site also known as "Wiretap Radio" — has obtained FBI telephone recordings of two alleged soldiers of New York's Genovese crime family — and they sound like the Soprano crew yakking it up at their Bada Bing hangout.

"I'm taking a vow of silence. I won't say how we obtained these recordings," says Joseph Jesselli, a reporter with and transcriber of the tapes.

"But if you like The Sopranos, you're really going to get into Frankie and Fritzy talking about their enlarged hearts, decrepit health and dysfunctional families. We listened to this and said, 'Gee, this is a comedy routine.'"