Chapters 30-38


Barbie's birthday is a national holiday in Plasticopia.

That afternoon at the Small house...

"Yum. What's the occasion?"

"Oh, hi, sweetie. Back from class already? I thought I'd make a cake to celebrate Barbie's birthday. It's her fiftieth, you know. A big one."

"Actually, I had forgotten. As they say, ignorance is bliss."

"Oh, come on. She's a national celebrity. Millions of girls have grown up with her as a role model."

"Exactly. That's why they have such distorted body images and spend six times more on makeup in their lifetime than they do on books."

"Say, what's this? You've been shopping?"

"Just something I picked up for Mikey for Barbie's Day. Wanted to surprise her."

"You bought her a Barbie doll?"

"Every little girl needs a Barbie."

"For what? Target practice?"

"I really don't know what you have against her. "

"She's a horrible role model for young girls, that's what. What does she teach them? That they should be anorexic bimbos whose only thought is what skimpy clothing they should change into next?"

"Barbie is not a bimbo! Why, she's done more in her lifetime than most women."

"Like what?"

"Well, she's been an astronaut and a baby doctor and a teacher and a secretary and she's even run for president. How many women can say that?"

"All a publicity stunt. The woman has nothing between her ears."

"Here's Mitzi. Let's see what she thinks."

"We're talking about Barbie. I say she's a waste of space which could be better used for other things. Like a recycle bin. What do you say?"

"Oh, speaking of Barbie, guess what! They're throwing a surprise birthday party for her at the coffee shop."

"No! How exciting!"

"Yes. It seems it was an old hang-out, a real coffee house, back in the 'beat' days -- you know, with poetry readings and skinny guys with goatees in black turtlenecks and berets. So every year her friends throw her a surprise party at the coffee shop."

"Does she ever catch on?"

"Oh, no, like I told you. Every year it's a surprise. They always come up with some excuse to get her there and she never suspects."

"I rest my case."

"Well, I gotta run."

"Bye, Maggie."

"Randi is in the living room playing with Doolittle, okay? I probably won't be back until late. Can she sleep over?"

"Of course. We'll have our own little party. So have fun! You are so lucky to be the in the same room with the Fashion Icon herself. Do you think you could get her autograph? Remember all the details so you can tell us tomorrow."

"I'll try. Ta-ta."

And a little later....

Barbara's friends have all gathered at the coffee shop for her surprise party.

There's plenty of snacks to fuel the gay spirits while they wait for Barb to arrive.

Mitzi and Sharon are manning the business end of the party, pouring drinks and refilling food trays.

Mitzi is fascinated by the glamorous and sophisticated guests, so well-preserved, even though they are all at least middle-aged, if not dead. When no one else is in earshot, she plies Sharon with questions.

"Who's the handsome older gent in the straw bowler?"

Sharon is familiar with them all, after many years of surprise birthday parties for Barbie. "Oh, that's Ken. He was Barbie's first boyfriend. For a long time he was her steady. They've dated on and off through the years, but now I hear they're just friends, although--to tell the truth--I think he's still got the hots for her. Doesn't he seem a little forlorn to you?"

"Why didn't they marry?"

"Who knows? Maybe because Barbie wasn't always faithful. See that fellow next to Ken?"


"That's Joe. Barbie dated him occasionally, when Ken wasn't available. Quite frankly, I would have gone with Joe straight-away. He's a lot more buff. "

"She likes her men blond, I guess."

"Usually, but she also had a soft spot for dark and handsome. Take the guy in hot pink, the one talking to Dorothy..."

"Barbie had a lttle thing going with him back in the 70s. I see he still likes those psychedelic colors. I guess if something works for you, you stick with it."

"What is Dorothy doing here? She must be at least ninety."

"More like a hundred. But Dorothy was quite popular when Barbie was young. All through the sixties and seventies she starred in an annual production about her trip to Oz. It was quite the adventure; there are some who think she never actually went to Oz...except in her own head. Who knows what she was smoking."

"How about the guy in black? What's his story? His makeup is almost as heavy as the lady next to him."

"Sometimes I forget what a baby you are. That's Elvis. He was a contemporary of Barbie. He died a number of years back--or so the rumor goes--but they bring him back every year for the celebration. So of course every year the makeup gets heavier."

"No wonder he seems so stiff."

"And the redhead?"

"That's Lucy. Also a contemporary."

"I like the outfit."

"For sure. They knew how to dress back then."

to be continued....


Genielinda said...

Better late than never! Personally, I think Barbie should stop counting. Lovely representation of the Barbie culture.

Plasticopia said...

Thanks, Genielinda. Your input is always so welcome. By the way, you had asked about the piano awhile back--it's actually homemade. Took me quite awhile to figure everything out, especially how to get the cover to go up and down over the keys. Made to scale, of course.