Jewish World Review Feb. 23, 2004 / 1 Adar, 5764
Is there life after Ken?
In news that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Barbie and Ken are breaking up.
Like most people, I thought Barbie had ditched Ken years ago when it became obvious that Ken had little interest in women but a lot of interest in musical theater, if you catch my drift.
What the future holds for Ken is unclear, but I personally wouldn't be surprised if he ends up waiting tables in Key West or maybe wins a starring role on the spin-off "Queer Plastic Eye for the Straight Guy Doll."
The couple had been together for 43 years, making one wonder why it took them so long to realize their relationship was a sham. Russell Arons, vice president of marketing for Mattel, compared the relationship to a "Hollywood romance (that) has come to an end," ignoring the fact that a Hollywood romance is usually over 42 years and 6 months sooner than Barbie and Ken's.
Arons, who apparently figured out a way to perform some sort of Vulcan mind-meld with the dolls' plastic brains, said that Barbie and Ken "feel it's time to spend some quality time apart."
Arons added, more than a little chillingly, that although the "romance" has officially ended, the couple "will remain friends."
(This is easy for Barbie to say since she has all the cars, jewelry and glamorous careers while Ken is left with little more than the slinky chiffon number and spike heels that he filched from Barbie's closet.)
Of course the real reason behind the break-up is as old as molded plastic itself: Barbie found someone else.
Reflecting Barbie's newly single status, Mattel is releasing the Cali (as in California) Girl Barbie, complete with board shorts, a bikini top, metal hoop earrings and a deeper tan. Her new boyfriend (pass the airsickness bag, please) is Blaine, the Australian boogie boarder.
I have never met Blaine, but already I don't like him. Sure, Ken was an androgynous freak with the personality of waxed paper, but he was essentially harmless unless he happened to drop a picture frame on your head while he was redecorating your living room. Blaine, on the other hand, is clearly a sleazoid who hasn't done an honest day's work in his life but manages to get by by charming the sequined halter tops off naive, impressionable dolls like Barbie.
You know the type: Tall, blond, muscular, bronzed, dazzling smile but can't read a restaurant menu without moving his lips. Barbie must be careful not to get swept off her tiny feet by the charming but disreputable Blaine.
"Why don't we throw some shrimp on the barbie, Barbie? Get it?" lame Blaine will chortle. "And, oh, by the way, mate, why don't you give me the keys to your Jag so I can pop out and get us a six-pack of Fosters?"
If Barbie falls for lines like this, she and her board shorts and metal hoop earrings will be on the first Greyhound back to Topeka.
Maybe, if she's lucky, she can talk Ken into taking her back.
Not that he's such a great catch, but that breezy chiffon number does flatter his figure.
Appreciate this column? Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.
02/18/04: California needs its chi adjusted
02/11/04: Pleeze by sum stuph frum me
02/03/04: A tale of two generations
01/28/04: Warning: Labels on products are getting wackier and wackier
01/21/04: It's a computer! No, it's a side dish! Skeptical? Look under the hood
01/07/04: Nursery rhymes to scare the kids by
12/30/03: Ear-scratcher fingered by police
12/24/03: Gifts for that not-so-special someone
12/18/03: Things we hate to do
12/09/03: Keep your name out of this book
12/03/03: When tots control the world
11/18/03: Danger: TVs falling from above
11/11/03: Songs that won't go away
11/04/03: Keep technology away from the monkeys
10/29/03: A career of sensational regrets
10/22/03: Ig Nobels reward weird science
10/16/03: TV golf needs a kick in the pants
10/08/03: That's geek to me
09/30/03: A man, a woman and a cat
09/22/03: A tale of two spams
09/16/03: Librarian action figure will be taking no guff
09/10/03: Slackers need to remain invisible
09/02/03: No fun in the summertime
08/26/03: The algebra of love
08/11/03: Journey to the center of the pavement cracks
08/06/03: Word dominance by U.S. appears a fait accompli
07/28/03: Ads that are hard to swallow
07/09/03: Keep cows out of the classroom
07/03/03: Little-appreciated facts about unshaven men
06/24/03: Brother, can you paradigm?
06/18/03: Cats, TV not a good mix
06/10/03: In defense of grumpiness
06/04/03: Do we really need keyboards in our Port-A-Johns?
05/29/03: Always a dull men's moment
05/21/03: Bad PC hygiene leads to bugs
05/12/03:Army mops up; Tony Blair doesn't
05/06/03: Grill a hamburger for PETA
05/01/03: Exams spice history
04/23/03: Too much money? Tax me more!
04/14/03: When good gourds go bad
04/11/03: One fish-tale that isn't --- and that's no lie!
04/02/03: Do you really want to know what your dog's thinking?
03/26/03: Pajamas make high school less stressful
03/21/03: It's time to be nice to the French
03/03/03: The ultimate clean and constructive sport
02/12/03: Get a bang out of cleaning with cruise vacuum
02/06/03: Voluntary kindness? Not likely
01/28/03: Signs our economy is on upswing
01/22/03: There may be cash in your old underwear
01/15/03: Banish these words, now more than ever
01/07/03: Coughing as an art form
12/24/02: Parents shell out for missed homework
12/17/02: French government says no to @ symbol
12/11/02: A latecomer joins fellowship of the DVD
12/02/02: Don't worry, be fat, unfit and really happy
11/18/02: Intrigued by a German invention that could get teens out of bed before the crack of noon
11/06/02: A noose by any other name ...
10/29/02: Iranian dogs on notice
10/22/02: Talk about a job that stinks --- literally!
10/15/02: The official world's funniest joke
10/02/02: Japanese turn eyes to computer haikus
09/27/02: Oh, no! Bosses want to know what's on your mind
09/24/02: An airbag, humanity's salvation?
09/17/02: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!
09/06/02: Come listen to a story about a man named ... Bill
09/03/02: You're not in preschool anymore!
08/30/02: A charming idea from a brutal, whacked-out, megalomaniacal dictator-for-life
08/26/02: Blubber water? How to put on the pounds by gulping H20
08/21/02: The latest evidence that Mother Nature is out to kill us
08/13/02: Computers, airplanes and Canada don't mix
08/06/02: The sky's not falling? Dang it!
08/02/02: Some fond memories of worst TV shows
07/30/02: Pay my credit-card bill, please?
07/25/02: Something to celebrate
07/22/02: Baseball needs to ban the fans
07/16/02: Hasbro should consider new inaction figure
07/11/02: Decline in trash-talking is harming our mental health? Well, #@%&!
07/08/02 Americans retain right to fork tongues
07/01/02 These laws were made to be broken
06/18/02 Watching enough commercials?
06/03/02 Throwing your vote to the dogs
Hey, Mom, could you spare a dime?: Parents' obligations unending
© 2002, Sarasota Herald Tribune