Barbie recently celebrated her 50th birthday this past week, and the "on a lighter note" news desks across the country have filled out their column inches with recaps of the history of the world's most famous doll. Largely forgotten in all of this is the story of Ken, Barbie's neutered friend and sometimes-companion. To help shed some light on this forgotten plastic figure, I acquired a Ken doll at a garage sale, and with the help of a mysterious carnival-gypsy, animated him and stole his possessions. Included amongst them was his journal, from which I present some selected highlights...
Who am I?
My name's Ken. I came home from the store a year ago in the company of two new Barbie dolls and Lindsey Blackman, our owner. My hobbies include wearing clothes and sitting. My life consists of an endless parade of weddings and dates and vacations that I find myself going on with one or more of the six Barbies who accompany me through this "life." And this journal? I'm writing it to help provide a constant touchstone, something to grasp on to for support as I whisk through this pink and purple hell.
Last week I went to work for 15 minutes in the shoebox, while Work-Out Barbie went jet-skiing, cooked a cake, drove her Corvette to the pony farm and changed outfits four times. Then I went home, where Work-Out Barbie and I mashed our faces together against one another for a minute and a half while Lindsey made noises that she believed to be representative of kissing. I then laid motionless on the ground while Work-Out Barbie went jet-skiing some more before Lindsey was called for dinner. I remained on the floor for eight days, where I thought about death.
I got married again today, this time to Cool Times Barbie, which is I think the sixth time we've been wed. The ceremony was attended by 18 garishly painted ponies, four stuffed animals and the rest of the Barbies. None of my friends made it, again. Not that I actually have any friends of course. Lindsey sat the stuffed bears on my side of the aisle, but those guys have never said a word to me in my life. I think they're dicks.
My first, fifth, eighth, sixteenth, twentieth and thirty second wife. The pants are atrocious, but otherwise she's ok.
First sexual encounter
Lindsey's friend Katy came over today. They talked about horses for about half an hour and then talked about how boys were gross. Katy, whose parents don't keep tabs on her television watching I'm guessing, tried to explain the concept of sex to Lindsey, who simply was not getting it. Finally Katy grabbed Ice Capades Barbie and me, stripped off all of our clothes and started banging us together in some crude semblance of the reproductive act. I found it unsatisfying, as all my encounters with the Barbies are, when Katy said something that shed some light on my circumstances. Apparently I don't have any genitals. What the fuck?
This is really bothering me, and it's hard to verbalize specifically why. Until yesterday I didn't know anything was missing from my life. Yet now that I know about the existence of junk, and the fact that mine isn't there, I can't think about anything else. It'd be like if there was a deaf guy, who lived by himself his whole life, and never met anyone so never even comprehended that people could speak and hear sounds. And then one day people come to his house, and they're the first people he's ever met, and they're jabbering back and forth at each other, and he can't figure out why and then one of them writes down on a piece of paper (he can still read) "Your penis is missing."
I am that guy.
Oh fuck, yes. I'm going camping! This is the first time I think I've been out of the house. Because Lindsey is stupid and careless, normally only Hawaiian Fun Barbie is allowed outdoors, a fact obvious to anyone who's observed her weathered hide or pungent bouquet. I am totally serious - she smells like dog shit. Anyways, the whole family is going on a camping trip, and I get to ride in the fucking car with everyone.
A new friend?
So the car ride itself was pretty uneventful, given that I spent it at the bottom of a bag. Still, exciting just to know I was in a car. When we got to the campground, Lindsey was told to play with her brother Scott for awhile, and for the two of them to "just shut up" for a second while the grown-ups figured out how to raise the tent-trailer they borrowed from the Fletchers. So that's how Sun Sensation Barbie and I met one of Scott's friends, Grimlock.
Grimlock is so fucking cool. He is a dinosaur, which is awesome, but he is also a robot too! I know, right? He has got a gun and a sword and he's been on TV. That stupid idiot Lindsey wanted Grimlock to marry Sun Sensation Barbie, but Grimlock wasn't having any of that, and he bit Barbie right in the goddamned leg! Fucking right! Anyways, Grimlock lent me his sword and we fought for a little while. Lindsey got bored pretty quick and that was the end of that, but I was exhilarated. That was maybe the happiest minute of my life.
Grimlock came over today while the kids were at school. I had no idea he could move under his own power. He is so cool. I thought he'd want to play or fight or something like the time when we met, but he wasn't like that this time. He just wanted to shoot the shit. "Grimlock be super chill for awhile," he said. So we sat around talking. It was fun - he's got like a million stories about getting oral sex in various situations.
Grimlock took me to a bar last night (so cool) and we stayed there for hours drinking (7&7's are awesome) and dancing with the girls. Later, when we were heading home, I let it blurt out that my penis and testicles were missing. Grimlock nodded silently, the gravity of what I'd just told him or his partial retardation causing him to struggle to find words. Eventually he asked if I remembered another doll, who had cascading blond hair and a plasticy complexion. I told him that sounded exactly like Rock Star Barbie, who had gone missing over a year ago. Grimlock told me that her head and two arms had been found in Scott's room, and that some of the other robots were whispering that Scott was insane, a psychopath bent on dismembering his victims. Grimlock left it unsaid, but I filled in the blanks: Scott had stolen my balls.
Quivering with rage
Ever since Grimlock told me about Lindsey's brother, I've been seething. Today I snapped at Lindsey. There was another wedding scheduled apparently, but I wanted no part of it, and during the ceremony I told her to "go fuck herself" right in front of the Barbies and ponies and everyone. She looked pretty shaken.
A dark place
I'm stuck in a drawer. Lindsey hasn't spoken to me in a month, and I guess Grimlock can't get to me now either. I've mostly been working on my novel. The protagonist is this guy who travels the world, meeting strangers and trying to bait people into offending him in some way, before flipping out and snapping their necks with his bare hands and so forth. It's actually pretty calming to write - I've got 800 pages so far.
The dawn breaks
Grimlock pried open the drawer today and fished me out. He took me to a hall closet that hadn't been cleaned out in three years and said I could hide out there. I stammered, tears streaming down my cheeks, my mouth hanging open wordlessly. Finally I gasped, "Why? Why do so much for me?" Grimlock explained that when he was filming Transformers: The Movie he met Judd Nelson, who also didn't have a penis. At the time Grimlock had made fun of Nelson for this, something he regretted. "In you, Grimlock see way to make up for past youthful transgressions," he said.
Then Grimlock showed me the greatest treasure of all. In his claw he offered a small ball of Play-Doh which he demonstrated could be used to fashion a new set of organs for my personal area. After some experimentation with length and girth we settled on a nice half inch length - although he left me the extra dough, giving me a hilariously large stage-wink when he did so.
Finally after a hug and some more tears, Grimlock left, and I began to settle into my new home. The mind boggles at the whole new world of freedom and potential and anatomical wonder that has been opened up for me. I must admit to being a little overwhelmed with the possibilities.
I have been playing with this thing for days! This is awesome! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.
It's easy to work the system and win these awards even if you don't deserve them.