(Episode 9)

While Barbie is being comforted at the Ratchet home, supper has just concluded in the Small household. Margaret has dishes detail while Mabel is getting little Randi into her pajamas.


"What is it, Pumpkin?"

"Can I go over to Alice's house?"

"At this time of night? Besides, it's storming out."

"She called me and she wants me to come over really bad."

"But Sweetheart, we were going to have some cake. Here's your mother now. What occasion did you say it was, dear?"

"Barbie's 50th birthday."

"Oh, right. How could I forget? You don't want to miss that, Mikey."

"But...but Barbie is over at Alice's house."

"Barbie is where?"

"Alice says Barbie is at her house. She got lost or something and came to their house dressed only in a cape and her birthday suit."


"Her birthday suit? Is this show x-rated?"

"It's a cultural thing, dear. Those famous models have their own peculiar ways. We mustn't judge."

"So can I go? I never met Barbie before. She's like a top super model, Mom. She's been on all the magazine covers."

"That's true, Mabel. Even the swimsuit issue of Ports Illustrated."

"Well! If she's really at the Ratchet house, maybe we should all go. I've never met Barbie in person either, but I've admired her all my life. I'll call Betty to see if it's all right."

Margaret gets Mikey to help her carry the dishes to the sink. "Are you girls pulling her leg?"

"Honest. That's what Alice said, and she doesn't lie."

"I sure hope you're telling the truth, for your sake. It all sounds fishy to me. Anyway, Barbie is supposed to be at her surprise birthday party at the coffee shop. With Mitzi."

"Well, she got lost."

"That doesn't surprise me. The only thing between her ears is hairspray. I'm sure she couldn't find her way out of a Blomingdale's bag."

Mabel, meanwhile, has been trying to call Betty. "I can't get through. The phone is busy...or maybe off the hook. "

"Oh, probably they just cut the phone lines."

"Who cut the phone lines?"

"The bad guys. The ones who are after Barbie."

"Bad guys are after Barbie? You didn't tell us that."
"Whoops. I guess I forgot to mention it. Alice says Barbie's in mortal danger."

"Is her dad there?"

"Nope. Alice said he went off to the pub with his buddies to look for work again."

"I'm going over there right away. Jeff, you'll have to come. We'll call the police on the way."

"I'm coming. Alice invited me. I want to see Barbie."

"I'm coming. No way I'm missing this."

"We can't take the kids into harm's way."

"But, Da-a-ad. They probably bugged our phones and they'll come here looking for us, too. Dead men tell no tales."

"Who would bug our phones?"

"Homeland Security, Uncle Jeff. I'm sure Barbie is high on their list of undesireable people. She's got all kinds of international connections, relatives in just about every country, and its well known that she made charitable contributions to Middle East terrier organizations. Now that we're mixed up in it (thanks to Alice and Co. ), we could all suffer mysterious accidents. Or be locked up incommunicado for years."

"Yes, Dear. It's safer if we stick together. We'll all go."

"All right, but let's not do anything silly."

"Silly? Us? Ha ha."

Continued in Chapter 35.

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