(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.

CHAPTER 35 :Where's Barbie? (Episode 9)

At the Daily Grind Coffee Shop, where Barbie's surprise birthday party is underway, the guests have eaten and drunk and loosened up a bit.

It is getting late, and still Barbie has failed to show.

While waiting for the guest of honor to arrive, they have managed to pass the time, each in his or her own way. Whoops. It looks like that Mexican hat dance was a little too complicated for Marilyn's tipsy feet.

"That's a lovely dress. Although I'm sure someone has already told you that it makes you look fat."

"You know, I was thinking much the same thing. Too bad red is not your color."

"So what's with the Santa hat...?"

"I used to have some really good parties. There was this one we had Prince Charley and what's her name-- the frumpy one? And the governors of four states, and also Brad Pott and Angelina Belle... am I boring you?"

Duh. Name dropper.

Mitzi is exhausted.

Ken is pensive.

He finds himself confiding in the staff.

"She's three hours late. I'm worried about her."

"Maybe she didn't get the message."

"Oh, yes, I'm sure she did. Of course we told her it was a swimming party, so she wouldn't get suspicious."

"Hmmm. Where did you tell her this swimming party was at?"

"Here, of course."

"Me thinks therein lies the problem. Maybe she thought somebody was pulling her leg and decided not to give them the satisfaction of seeing her fall for it."

"Who? Barbie? Impossible. She was made without a brain."

How sweet, he really does still care about her.

Continued in Chapter 36, most recent post at top of page.


(Episode 9)

"Oh, I hope we're not too late."

"Don't worry, Mabel. Everything is going to be all right. The police will probably be there before we are. "

"At least the storm has died down."

"Is that car following us?"

"If not, it seems to be going the exact same route."

"Geez. There must be six cars tagging along behind us. At this time of night! On a quiet residential street. What's going on?"

"Let's head that way and see if they follow us. We'll circle back."

"Whew. They've all kept going. I guess we were getting paranoid. But there sure are a lot of cars going that same way."

"Strange. Must be some big event."

They drive on.

"There's the house...who are all these people?"

"My goodness, maybe we're crashing a party."

to be continued....



(Episode 9)

The Smalls pull up to the Ratchet house only to find that a crowd has gathered.

Perplexed, they stare at the shadowy figures congregating on the front porch.

Suddenly Mikey pipes up. "Dad!" She points at someone in the crowd.

"I know that girl. It's Courtney! She's in my class. Maybe Alice called her, too. "

"I'm going to call Mitzi. I don't know what's going on here, but Barbie is supposed to be at the Coffee Shop. Perhaps Mitzi knows something."

Meanwhile, inside the Ratchet house, Betty and Barbara are having a little girl talk in the kitchen.

"Are those lashes real?"

"As real as I am."

Barbie reaches for another cookie, then suddenly freezes. "Your doorbell. Someone has followed me!"

"Oh, it's probably just one of Henry's friends, come to copy some homework. Henry!!"

"I'll get it!!"

"Hey! Hi guys. You made it."

"Is she here?"

"In the kitchen. Everybody come in, but be real quiet. The baby's sleeping."

"Where is she? Is she as beautiful as they say?"

"Everyone. Shhhh. You can go on into the living room."

And they keep coming.

"Welcome. Come in. Come in."

"Do I hear people talking and laughing?"

"Goodness, you certainly are edgy. Someone must have turned on the television."

And not so very far away. "Hard to believe that we're all going to meet Barbie very soon.

"When I was in high school, I used to keep pictures of her in that hot zebra-striped bathing suit inside the covers of my notebook."

"Hey. You too?"
to be continued....