The Truth About Barbie and Ken
by M. David Lutz on February 1. 2007
© All rights reserved
My parents never asked me to do that much around the house and I managed to do even less than that. I think I was a model child, though my sister would probably take exception to that statement, to which I would like to say, “This is my story and I can say what I want and if you don’t like it go and write your own story you doo-doo head.”
There were chores I had to do around the house like taking out the garbage. That might sound like an unpleasant task but we kept a 55-gallon drum behind the garage to burn trash. My parents actually told me, a ten-year-old, to go behind the garage where no one could see me and start a fire. This just proves it doesn’t require any intellect to be a parent. I so enjoyed burning the trash, watching the flames leap and dance. It would make me sad when the flames die out leaving nothing but smoldering ashes. That would make me scour the house for more things to burn such as letters from my school requesting parent-teacher conferences.
Often I would pretend I was a tribal chief, dancing around the burning barrel like it was an erupting volcano, wearing nothing but a loincloth, which was hell during those winters in Wisconsin. At the crucial moment, I would ceremoniously toss the sacrificial virgin, i.e., one of my sister’s dolls into the barrel.
Speaking of dolls, I always thought Barbie was a pretty, petite, young girl with classic looks, not stuck-up but maybe a little plastic. It was obvious with a figure like that she was a lot older than the girls she hung around with. Personally, she never did anything for me. There was an incident, though, years ago which caused our paths to cross. Maybe I had better start at the beginning.
It was on Friday when Jo, my sister, came home from school with a new friend. Immediately I thought, ‘this gal couldn’t be in the third grade; why would a classy chick like this Barbie, be hanging around such a snot-faced squirt like my sister.’ The two were playing in Jo’s room until suppertime. Conveniently waiting until the food is on the table, that is when my sister asks our mother if Barbie could stay for dinner. She was always doing that, the little turd. Mom never cared though; she always made enough food for an army and Dad traveled every week so he wasn’t even around to put a stop to this travesty. After dinner, Jo and Barbie disappeared. Waiting until is was dark and very late, that is when Jo asked Mom if Barbie could sleep over. What a sneaky turd. Since it was Friday night Mom said it was okay.
After that, Barbie simply moved into my sister’s room and started living with us. Why should I care? It was not as though I hung out with my sister anyway; maybe her new friend would keep her out of my hair. Barbie kept to herself but several times I caught her sneaking out at night and not returning until dawn.
One summer morning, I was out in the backyard of our three-bedroom ranch-style house with a two-car semi-attached garage, feeding the hogs and chickens, which really upset the neighbors in our residential subdivision. Jo came running out the back door, yelling, crying, and carrying on. She started hitting me. Could it be that all those times I had knocked her in the head had resulted in some type of permanent brain damage. I waited until she calmed down before I released my hands from her throat. Once she regained consciousness, I asked her, “Golly gee Sis, what the heck is the matter?”
“When I opened the door to my room I saw Barbie and GI Joe on the bed, with no clothes on.”
From what I could gather, GI Joe was conducting a close order drill on Barbie. It was understandable why my sister would be upset. She didn’t know what sex was since this happened before homes had cable and HBO. I can’t say I had a firm grasp on the subject myself back then or even now. Jo explained how Barbie started screaming for Joe to get off her, crying and carrying on, sobbing that he had taken advantage of her, and how she was innocent. By the time I got to the room Barbie had already covered herself up with a sheet [darn] and GI Joe was back in my room, hiding out. Jo was blaming me because GI Joe was MY friend so now I was responsible for all this. What was I going to do? This wasn’t like when I threw the football though the window or all those times I forgot to give our Basset Hound water and she would deliberately pass out in front of my mother just to get me in trouble. Nope, I would say of all the things my parents did not allow in the house while they were away, sexual assault would certainly be high on the list right after ‘don’t drink the last soda.’
Acting fast I locked Barbie up in the Dream Trailer, until the Crisis Intervention Team could get there. I chained my sister to a sewer pipe in the basement. While that wasn’t a first for her, this time it was ‘official business.’ After taping off Jo’s bedroom as a crime scene, I called the MPs and had GI Joe taken into custody to stand trial. The military, being a predominately-male organization had a lot of experience covering-up and dismissing such incidents.
I had to act fast and get this thing wrapped up one-way or another before my dad got home on Friday. That only gave me four days as there would be hell to pay if he found out there were military-naked-women-people running around his house and if that crime scene tape left any marks on the walls, there would be a murder trial following this one.
My experience as a criminal trial lawyer, being in the fifth grade, was somewhat limited. I had not been allowed to stay up late enough to watch The Perry Mason Show. However, I had seen a number of the Flipper episodes, which probably not going to help.
The cell door opened allowing me to consult with my client to map out our defense strategy.
“I’m innocent I tell ya, I’m innocent,” Joe kept repeating, with those sincere but droopy bloodshot eyes.
“Joe, Joe, Joe, I hope you can do better than that or you’re going down my man.”
Joe collapsed on the bunk, head in his hands. He may have been a war hero with a Kung Fu grip but to tell you the truth, he was about as bright as a 10-watt bulb. In a small way, I felt sorry for this dogface but on the other hand, I do not look kindly on any man who would mistreat a woman. Real men don’t do that. There I said it and I’m going to stand-by it. Trying to forget we had been friends, I needed to focus on this soldier’s day in court. He was entitled to the best defense, a fair trial, and then a swift hanging.
“Joe, what happened, start at the beginning.” Joe pulled himself up, taking a deep breath, in his own words told his side of the story.
“Well, little buddy, I had just finished my watch and was stowing my gear when I saw Ms. Barbie walking toward me. I pointed out that she had entered a restricted space, your bedroom, and she just laughed.
“Relax General, I just want to see how the other half lives,” Barbie teased Joe.
“Well anyways, we got to talking and then I escorted her back to her quarters. The next thing you know she was hugging and kissing me.”
“Joe, you’re trying to tell me that Barbie came on to you?”
“I’m telling you the truth; she was putting moves on me like a Singapore who. . .er. . .never mind. Anyway I couldn’t fight her off anymore.”
I never asked Joe why Barbie was singing a different tune. One thing was certain, if the military judge had to decide between GI Joe and Barbie, this soldier was going take a long drop on a short rope. Something didn’t add up. Barbie’s story stunk like two-day-old garbage behind a Chinese Restaurant. First thing I did was go back over the crime scene. There was no evidence of a struggle, nothing knocked over, no torn clothes. Barbie did not have a hair out of place and I checked her over twice. There wasn’t so much as a fingerprint on her. My suspicions were growing. It was not easy but I caught up with Ken, Barbie’s former boyfriend. He was pumping gas at a Shell Station. He was not very cooperative. This man was hiding something.
On the day of the court martial, GI Joe was sitting there in his Class A’s, and from the looks he was getting, this was a dead-man walking. Barbie was there very poised and proper. It would be an interesting case if nothing else.
There is no need to bore you with every detail of the trial. Suffice to say the prosecutor read the charges and then proceeded to call his first witness, his only witness. When Barbie finished giving her testimony, she should have won an Oscar.
When it was my turn to cross-examine, I said, “I have no questions for this witness, your honor,” everyone was shocked. I had to approach the bench and convince the judge that a ten-year-old with poor grades and a bed-wetting problem was capable of providing an adequate defense. I called witnesses like GI Joe’s sergeant and his mother, who pleaded with the jury.
“Just because my little Joey can rip the heart out of someone's chest with his Kun Fu grip doesn’t mean he’s not a good boy.”
Now it all came down to my key witness. It took a subpoena to get him into court and I had to treat Ken as a hostile witness. He wasn’t the only one who was hostile right about then. My sister had been locked in the basement now for four days. When I asked him what happened between Barbie and him, I must have hit a nerve because he started spilling his guts.
“It’s like this,” Ken started, “she had to use the inheritance from her parents to put Skipper, her younger sister, though school. When the money ran out Skipper had to move in with Barbie and was supposed to enroll in a Technical Institute to start Air Conditioning and Electrical Repair Classes.”
“How did Barbie’s mother and father die?”
“They were on vacation and had borrowed Barbie’s Malibu Beach House which she had managed to keep in the divorce settlement because Allan, who used to be my best friend got the pink Cadillac convertible, the big Woosie. The Beach House was located next to the inflatable pool in YOUR backyard and you and your even fatter friend Frank did a double belly flop in the pool creating a giant wave and wiped out Barbie’s Malibu’s Beach House.”
“So her parents were swept out to sea,” I said.
“No, when they heard about the Beach House they decided to fly to Tahiti and their private jet crashed in the ocean.”
Until Ken mentioned it, I had forgotten all about the pool and my friend Fat Frank. We had not seen each other since the day we were pretending to be Pirates. I went to pierce Frank’s ear and accidently stapled them to the side of his head, several times, each.
“Tell me about Barbie and Allan, I never knew she was married.”
Ken went on, “Barbie’s mother didn’t want Barbie to lose her innocent teenage image, so she insisted Barbie have a secret wedding and keep everything out of the papers. She never had to divorce Allan, the marriage was annulled.”
“Why was the marriage annulled?”
“As you know a marriage is not valid unless it is consummated. Barbie was still a virgin, more or less, with more less than more. After she married Allan, on their wedding night, that is when she saw that he wasn’t. . . . . ‘anatomically’ correct.”
After Ken’s initial statement, it was the Prosecutor’s turn.
He turned and looked at Ken with a piercing stare and then he asked, “You were Barbie’s first boyfriend, were you not?”
Ken answered curtly, “Yes.”
“Isn’t it a fact that you were envious of her success and popularity, angry at being her ‘accessory’ boyfriend?” Ken just sat there glaring.
The Judge interjected, “Answer the question.”
Ken softened a bit, “Maybe a little, so what?”
“So what?” continued the Prosecutor, “What about when Barbie finally dumped you and started dating your best friend Allan? Are you telling me that you wouldn’t look for an opportunity to get even with your ex-girlfriend?”
Angrily Ken replies, “No, it’s not like that, you don’t understand how things really were.”
Now the prosecutor raising his voice to finish discrediting Ken as a witness shouts, “Do you deny that you were in love with Barbie and when she was gone, you no longer enjoyed the fame and money that went along with being her boyfriend? Admit it, you harbored a grudge, and your testimony here today is just a pack of lies!”
“I’m telling the truth!” Ken shouts.
“Tell the court why we should believe you,” demanded the Prosecutor!
Shaking and coming to his feet, Ken points to Barbie and declares, “Because . . . she’s . . .my sister!”
The court broke out in chaos. Photographers were snapping pictures and the judge was yelling in vain to restore order. It took thirty minutes before the trial could continue. The judge allowed Ken to state in his own words the circumstances behind his outburst. According to public records, Barbie (two years older) and Ken were raised in an orphanage in Hamburg, Germany. An American couple, stationed in Germany adopted them. Ken went on to say that as Barbie started to take on her famous hour-glass figure, she started enjoying a great deal of popularity and interest on the Army base. By the time she was fifteen, she was out of control, running around with servicemen, hanging out in clubs, passing for much older and coming home at all hours of the night, if she came home at all. Things continued that way until finally, local authorities arrested and jailed Barbie, who went by the name Lilli, for underage prostitution. After leaving Germany and returning to the US, Barbie’s mother got the idea of turning Barbie into the teenage ideal and engineered the entire make-over, becoming her agent. Later when the matter of Barbie ‘dating’ came up their mother insisted Ken pose as Barbie’s boyfriend so that he could be her escort, chaperon, and bodyguard.
The prosecutor took another shot and said, “Your Honor I ask that this entire testimony be stricken from the records. It has nothing to do with the incident, which took place. GI Joe is the one on trial here, not Barbie.”
The Judge got mad at me.
“Young man, where are you going with this, if you don’t have a valid line of reason for this testimony, you’re going to get a spanking.”
“Excuse me your Honor, it is vital to my case to establish the actual character of the one and only witness against my client.”
The Judge warned, “Make it quick or I will strike the testimony and your bottom.”
Just like in the movies, I didn’t know what to do but my guts told me there was still another piece missing to this puzzle.
“Your honor, I would like to call my last witness, Skipper, Barbie’s kid sister.” When Skipper was sworn-in I began.
“Do you know the accused?”
“Tell the court how it is you know GI Joe.”
“Well, like Ken said, while we were living in Germany I met GI Joe, but I wasn’t old enough to date then. After we lost our father and mother, I started living with Barbie. When the bank foreclosed on the Dream Home, we had to move into the Dream Trailer. She took a job as a Hooter gal right after her divorce from Allan. Joe came to see me on a three-day pass when he got stationed at Fort Dix. You know how it is, we got busy.”
Since I was only ten, I asked her to explain to the court what ‘got busy,’ meant.
Skipper said, “You know, we were doing it.”
“Doing what?” I asked.
After six more slang expressions and one vulgar hand gesture it was established that GI Joe and Skipper were bumping uglies.
“Skipper, tell us what happened next, without anymore hand gestures.”
“Joe and I were at the trailer, Barbie came home early from Hooters, because it was that time of the month. . . ”
“PMS,” I quipped?
“Go on,” I said with a red face.
“She saw me and Joe getting it on, though I didn’t know that then. Later, after Joe went back to his base Barbie and I got into a big fight and she told me if she ever saw him again she’d get even with him.”
All of a sudden Barbie stood up, yelling at her sister, “You lying little slut, you’re just mad because I cut off your allowance from the inheritance.”
Skipper jumped up and shouted back, “You damn right I’m mad and that is why I taped the conversation I had with you after GI Joe was arrested - when you told me you made the whole thing up to frame him. You want me to play it for the court now?”
Barbie sat down as if she had been pushed into her seat, mumbling, “That won’t be necessary.”
I addressed the court, “Your Honor, I move this case be dismissed.”
The Judge announced, “I’ve heard more than enough, case dismissed!”
Whew, just in time, Dad would be home that evening. That barely gave me enough time to take down the crime scene tape, get my sister out of the basement, and hose her down before supper. Once I stuffed a few slices of pizza in her mouth and slipped her five bucks for candy, she was her old self again - obnoxious. She does have one redeeming quality, like FORD, she’s built tough!
I never collected any action figures after that. Our house was never cluttered with an over-abundance of combustibles or Barbie dolls. Jo lost track of Barbie who is in her forties now but the last I heard she was the third-shift attendant at a 24-hour laundry-mat in Boise, Idaho, dating a Smurf named Bob. Here is a little known fact for you; after Barbie and Bob started having regular relations, he wasn’t blue anymore.