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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


by Donna Hilbert

Barbie never thought she’d live to see another financial meltdown.  She had put the 80’s and the S&L crisis away along with shoulder pads, Jazzercise, big hair, and her George Michael CD’s.  But, viola!  Like some smarty-pants French man once said, déjà vu all over again!  First Lehman Brothers collapses and Ken loses his job, but he doesn’t panic because he’s diversified their personal holdings.  Practicing what he didn’t preach to his clients, he invested a fortune in real estate—in actual houses not just buying up loans.  He said, “Don’t worry doll, no one’s ever lost a dime betting on Vegas condos!  Florida’s pure gold! The Inland Empire is hot!”  And, “the Euro, we have Big Bucks in Euros!”

Barbie tried to go about her business being cheerful and pretty, spending mornings at Hot Yoga and afternoons Pole dancing.  Ken spent all his time in his underwear sitting at the computer selling long, selling short, and periodically screaming out, “I’m leveraged up the ass!”  Barbie found that alarming.  More alarming still, that he hardly left the house any more.  She feared that he’d sink back into depression, start again with the booze and the pills.

Barbie had worries of her own, though she tried not to show it.  Lately she’d found a few hairs on her pillow and her eyelashes were starting to thin.  Nerves are hell on the looks!  Her knees were stiff in the morning and her shoulder was permanently wrenched.  And, just as Fox News had predicted, Death Panels rule!  Her insurance plan refused to  cover plastic surgery—as if for her it was optional!

Barbie had her thumbs poised on her Blackberry to text Blaine in Australia—nothing like sexual tension to cheer a girl up—when Ken screamed from his office, we’re under water! Under water everywhere!  She ran around the house looking for leaks, finding none, she looked out the window, the ocean was still in it’s place.  Ken had clearly lost his mind.  She couldn’t in good conscience cheat on him now.  Under water?  Whatever could that mean?

Donna Hilbert
's latest book is The Green Season, World Parade Books, 2009.