Evangeline mid-performance. (Note Divena's tank on the right. Not only was she trying to muscle in on The Oyster Girl's claim to aquatic fame, she was encroaching on her stage space! The WAGON!)
The management at the Casino Royale immediately gave Divena top billing, a move which Evangeline was having absolutely none of. One night, while Divena was doing her nautical thing, Evangeline had decided "balls to this" (possibly not in those exact words, however) and marched onstage wielding an axe.
"I just wanted to break the tank into a million pieces, and I did. I went out there and I just started pounding away at the bottom. I didn’t want to hurt her, but I was just in such a rage that I didn’t want her to take all the spotlight."
The furious stripper smashed the tank open, sending water crashing over the edge of the stage, drenching the audience and leaving a bewildered Divena spluttering at the bottom of it. Apparently, before the startled performer even had a chance to crawl out of the destroyed tank, Evangeline reached in and pulled her hair, as if she hadn't already gotten the message loud and clear.
Conveniently, a photographer from Life magazine was in the attending crowd and managed to capture the entire incident, making it headline news the next day. Evangeline has always denied that it was a publicity stunt and insists that she had no idea that there was a photographer in the audience. Saying that though, cameras in 1949 weren't exactly the most discreet of apparatus, so he can't exactly have been Mr. Inconspicuous.
A look that seems to suggest that one should not fuck with The Oyster Girl unless one wants their head caved in from a sudden change in water pressure.
Evangeline was promptly hauled off to prison where she was photographed again and fined $10, which, considering the nationwide publicity and cover of Life she got out of it, was a total bargain.
Incidentally, I've been rambling on about the sexy publicity stunts pulled by the brazen ladies of the 30s, 40s and 50s over on Boob.ie, most of which involved their boobs. So that particular post contains pictures of boobs, just so's you're warned. Boobs.