(Almost) everyone into the pool


Back before Hurricane Ian blew it away, I rented a house in Florida for a few weeks. The house came with four bedrooms, three baths, an ocean view, and a Barbie doll. There was an extra charge for the first three items, but as far as I can tell, not for the doll, fully realizing the small print giveth and the small print taketh away. Since I am not conversant with the multiple variations of Barbies, I gave her several different names. This doll had no elbows or knees that bent. All her limbs stuck out like she had a terminal case of tetany. Just about the only activity she could participate in was sitting in a chaise lounge, developing wrinkles and skin cancer. So initially I called her Melanoma Barbie. Then I got to thinking that maybe her knees and elbows used to bend. You know, when she was Young Barbie. Because I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, her second name was Old-Age Stiff-Jointed Barbie. Everyone who can relate, hold up your hand. If your wrecked shoulders allow such excursions.

We got into the habit of changing her position every time we walked by her. With no little amount of irony, we realized this was the future of all of us with declining flexibility … someone passing by and rolling us over so the drool drips out the other side of our mouths.

In addition to a Barbie, the house also had a pool and a hot tub in a lanai. A lanai is what people in Florida call a screened porch. To punish land speculator Henry Flagler for putting his first wife in an insane asylum so he could marry some bimbo, the gods in charge of evening things up made the bug population of Florida approximately forty bazillion times the human population of Florida. While this did not slow down the influx of northerners, it did create a booming economy for people in the screen business.

While I was in Florida, I used the lanai to do yoga. It was exceedingly groovy on the rare occasion I was actually moved to get the yoga mat out. But here is a very hard truth. If you miss even four days of yoga, your joints and muscles seize up and turn into concrete. I have a strong suspicion this is what happened to No-Yoga Barbie. She missed a month or two and her tendons and ligaments have been replaced with Sakrete. That’s why Invalid Barbie with her stick-straight arms and legs is not the ideal yoga partner.

Here is a handy thing for Florida Barbie. Her bathing suit is painted on. Yes. Many people of all ages have clothes that look as though they are painted on but hers actually are. She can jump into the water at any time. She might want to think carefully about entering the pool since she can’t bend her arms or legs or even float for that matter. All Barbies have about 0.005% body fat so she probably isn’t naturally buoyant. If you do cast her forcefully, head down, not unlike a javelin, it sort of looks as though she’s diving. Her form isn’t bad unless the dive requires any kind of tuck. At that point her scores are going to be zeroes across the board and not just only from the Russian judge. Since she is a Long-Term Florida Resident Barbie, she surely knows better than to venture into any Florida lake, no matter what the local real estate agent tells her. ALL Florida lakes contain alligators. I used to crew on a racing sailboat on a lake just teeming with alligators. If there ever was an incentive not to tip over, this was it. I was a singularly lousy sailor. My skipper tried coaching in terms I could understand. “The sail is a wing,” he would call out, along with less helpful statements like “Hard alee” and “You’re buying the beer.” All I could think is, if an airplane wing flopped around like that sail did, I’d be bailing out and taking my chances with the gators. Couldn’t figure out why they kept me on. Then it occurred to me that if we did capsize, I might be alligator bait while the rest of the crew made good their escapes.

Now I have a plan for that. I’m going to pop the doll’s plastic head off and fill the cavity with raw meat. Then if we do tip over, I’ll be saved by Decoy Barbie

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today

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