Playtime : by Nicole Nader

(or Some People Call Me The Place Cowboy)

Well, by now there are those of you who may be asking the question "What kind of a birth was that?" You expected maybe a gush of fluids a nd the screams of a being sucking oxygen in its gaseous state for the very first time. Then I say to this portion of my readers (for upon reading these words you are MINE! MUHAHAHA!) provide such special effects for yourselves if you must have them. I make my entrance into your minds unarmed with infomercial frills. I give you unprocessed, 100% pure thoughts. No P. T. Barnum three-ring circus act to sucker you into believing that the sea monkey ideas I parade before your eyes are the one and only truth. I merely ask that you consider what I have to say when I say it (er...WRITE it, that is...). Use the musings and observations I conjure any way you wish. And if, in doing so, something sparks within you or leaves you bored as hell, so be it.

Here is what I intend to do. My purpose for existing is to visit a different place now and then and write down whatever the good old spirit of inspiration whaps me over the head with at that place and time. This will hopefully form into a coherent essay of sorts. Corny, huh? TOO BAD! That's the way it works! The subjects I will be feeding down my pen have no boundaries. I take suggestions, bribes, numbers at the deli counter, so on and so forth. Anything for a good story I always say! I will give you the location I am at in some detail, perhaps even going so far as to give directions. Then it will be up to you, intrepid reader, to decide whether of not you will make a sojourn of your own to the place that I have walked. I am not saying that this will make you want to write a story for us or anything suggestive like that...I would never resort to subliminal messages. To go on, I will try to stick to one topic per essay, but I warn you now, they don't call me "tangent boy" for nothing. Speaking of tange nts, any political correctness buffs beware. I no like P.C. You can call me the "location person" if you like, but please do it behind my back. One may ask: of all the nicknames out there, why the "placeman?" I am the proud owner of a severe wander lust. Whatever the reason, whether it be the mad search for inspiration or fleeing the doughnut brandishing law man, I seem to always need to be on the go. From the exotic to the mundane, many types of ground have felt my sole. Now i bear that sole to you my readers! (sniff...sniff, did I change my socks?) My imagination, too, I fear has come to rambling out on some wild romps. What I suppose I am trying to write (, dictate) is that I will try to use the travels of my mind and body to bring back an entree for your brain. Often one will discover a dish not palateable. So be it! Take what you like from the coming buffet of ideas. All I ask is that you try something new, if only once in a moon of your colour. Give the taste buds of your mind a surprise. My words are not, by any means, rock chiseled fact. Rather they are the musings of a fellow human. I write in the hope that someone will give me the benefit of the doubt, so that I know what it is like to be one of our species. This is a talent I think we all share. So follow me to places of shadows, light, cold, wood, dark dankness, and a plethora of other firmly rooted adjectives. Maybe once we are there, our imaginations can take us a bit farther.

**Since I have a weakness for disclaimer (editor's note: face it he's just weak), here is one: The only meaning for the word stable I know is the place where horses eat sleep, and --you know-- so don't be surprised if one moment I am the adjective heavy boy next door, and the next I metamorphose into Nihil, existential king of gothic angst.

Playtime (by Nicole Nader)

She rose to a mere twelve inches, yet captured all the sophistication possible with her posture permanently erect, a bosem fantastically endowed, a teeny waist and slim hips, with beauty oozing down to her impossibly arched feet. A little girl's dream: the glowing embodiment of it all. Yes, her royal highness, that immortalized icon of Mattel Inc., Barbie.

Like other girls, I spent countless hours by her side, assisting her in catastophe, whether it be squeezing into the latest glow-in-the-d ark tights, or pursuading Ken to take her to the soda shoppe in his trans am. She lived the soap opera life in her small suburban Barbie community in a corner of the family room. Naturally, life was flawless. Barbie and friends lived in a spacious 3 story cardboard penthouse equipped with a heart-embossed elevator. The pad was fully furnished with tissue box beds, little spool stools, and an unflushable toilet (Luckily for the Barbies and Ken, bodily excretions never occurred from their plastic frames, besides, the Kens had no way of removing their molded undergarments--consequently they avoided tragic ends.). Fortunately, the community had all the modern comforts, unavailable to their presuccessors, complete with McDonalds, an ice cream shoppe, and a mini-mall carefully constructed from xerox boxes. In between fashion shows and Miss America pageants, Barbie would spend time in her Hawain getaway, where she would trade her pink and purple unitard for a mo-mo. There, in her cottage, she would sip non-existent tropical drinks, while she relaxed on her hammock and plastic parrots squawked about. Luckily for Barbie, this exotic home-away-from-home was conveniently three inches from her house, so that travel expenses were not an issue. Whenever Barbie became exhausted from her daily schedule of mixing and matching, or brushing her hair, or trying to pry apart her fingers, she would venture into her motorhome which doubled for a fun vehicle to tear down the driveway in. Yet, there were some downfalls to the high life. Minor obstacles arose regularly in playland whenever the Go-bots or Transformers battled out WWVII. Most Barbieans had to relocate to Plexi-block crates until the political holocaust ended. Sometimes it took hours.

Indeed, the Valley of the dolls was not always a happy place. Often viscious rumors ran rampant about all the sun-kissed beauties. They were usually started by those jealous Barbie "has-beens" who were tragically maimed with scissors and magic markers, some with fingers practically chewed off.

For the most part, this rubber-headed wonderland was simple. The Barbies loved to bask in their flamboyant tights, and the Kens loved to get their teeth bleached. Then one day, everything changed. Politically Correct Barbie entered their tiny backward community. PC Barbie was like nothing Barbie or Ken ever saw. To start, her hair was brown and short, and her eyes were brown. Her plastic frame and rubber body was stark white, not attractively sun-kissed. Conveniently enough, she came with an assorted array of washable crayola markers all in earth tones.

PC Barbie was appalled at the fact that most Barbies didn't even own one pair of pants. She also resented the fact that Doctor, Lawyer, Chef, and Anchor woman Barbies did nothing but wear their uniforms. PC Barbie was determined to make something out of the Barbies. She was not about to continue letting local business productivity decline because of a complete lack of employees...


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