Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chapter 22: Burn Barbie Burn!
Lately, I've been furiously working on my book, which chronicles some of my childhood. So, I thought I'd post an excerpt from a chapter draft. Enjoy! PS, this is based on a true story...which basically means it might be made up.

...Since I was the youngest, I was lucky enough to inherit not only my sister’s Barbie toys, but my relatives’ also. I had over 30 dolls, 4 houses, two cars, horses, pets, and various other play sets combined; these toys resembled a little town. Every weekend, I settled in for another afternoon of fantasy playtime, but for some reason, I was feeling bored with the same old story line—Barbie and Ken practice Satanism, Barbie and her friends have an orgy party, Ken gets dementia and wanders off …blah blah. I wanted something exciting and new. I glanced around the yard for inspiration. My sister and her friends had wandered inside. My father and brother were in the side yard shooting their pellet guns, while my mother had drifted into a booze-induced nap.  I spied the barbecue. There, on the side of the grill, was a large box of matches. And then it hit me. I grabbed the matches and rushed back to assemble my townsfolk.

The Barbie townhouse was the least attractive of all the dwellings. My mother thought it looked like a ‘shanty’ because it was worn and about to topple over at any moment. For months, she’d tried to throw it away, but I’d sneak into the trashcan and retrieve it each time. Carefully, I placed five of the saddest looking Barbie dolls into the townhouse (two on the first floor, two on the second, and one on the third floor). Next, I put two of my Ken dolls on horses (they would be the sheriffs), and set them in front of the townhouse. Now I needed an angry mob. I took the rest of my dolls and spread them out around the townhouse. I raised their arms so they might appear riotous, and placed a white shirt in the hands of one of the townhouse dolls (a sign of surrender). Last week, my mother told my sister that she looked like a hooker (after she came downstairs wearing too much makeup), so I decided I would rename the townhouse ‘The Best Little Barbie Brothel.’ That would definitely incite a crowd.

It was so easy to create the story. I could hear the townsfolk yelling, “We don’t want their kind in our village! Sheriff, are you going to do something about these harlots?” The sheriffs would attempt to placate the crowd by saying, “Calm down everyone. No one is breaking any laws, so just settle down and let the law take care of this matter.” Worried cries could be heard coming from the townhouse. “Help us! We’re innocent!” But the crowd would not recede. It only grew angrier and angrier. “Burn it to the ground! Burn it, I say!” And the lawmen were soon overcome. The crowd rushed at the building with burning pitchforks and torches. Before I knew it, I’d struck several matches and thrown them inside the townhouse. Because it was made of rotting cardboard, it immediately caught fire, and soon resembled a towering inferno. Sensing I was in some serious trouble, I yelped and fled the scene—hoping to take refuge under the kitchen table.

The first thing I heard was the voices of my father and brother. “Sir, I smell smoke,” my brother said. “Me too,” my father agreed. From under the table, I saw their legs run by the sliding glass door. “Oh shit! The Goddamn toys are on fire. Tod, get the hose!” By this time, most of the dolls and other houses were on fire. I watched in horror as the fire consumed my little village. After several minutes, however, the fire was extinguished. I heard my father begin to approach the sliding glass door. I began to shiver and whimper. My father’s stern voice said, “Jenifer! Where are you? You better get your behind out here right now!” “Ah crap,” I thought. “I’m so dead.”

My brother forced me outside and into a plastic chair. He smiled as he said, “Can we tie her up and interrogate her?” He got really close to me and said, “Better yet…how about I kill you and bury you in the backyard, and tell mom and dad you ran away?”

My father interjected with, “Alright Tod, quit it. We already know she’s guilty.” He turned to me and said, “Listen missy, I found the matches—the jig is up. Do you know what happens now?” I looked up at him slowly and whispered, “Is it time for me to give my dolls a funeral?”

“No! Take a look around kid. You’ll never be given another Barbie…ever! Now, help us clean this up before your mother wakes up.” And thankfully, my mother slept through the whole event. She woke up around dusk, none-the-wiser…still clutching her highball glass.

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