(This is the second and final guest column by Kenneth Sean “Ken” Carson, better known as The Ken Doll, who co-stars in the Barbie movie along with—duh! — Barbie.)
Yes, yes, for all that’s pink and blonde, go see the movie. Everyone else has.
Everyone but me.
No hard feelings. I’m just tired of being arm candy. Since I was born/created in 1961, the toy makers have put me in more goofy outfits than you’d see on a runway at any New York City/Tokyo/Milan fashion show.
Sure, I’m plastic. I’m a doll. But I have feelings too.
At heart, I’m a redneck. A lunch pail guy. The common clay. I’m not Fashionista Ken or Travel Ken or Tennis Ken or any of the other silly things Mattel has made me out to be over the past 60 lonely years. And I’m definitely not Dreamcamper Ken; the most primitive I like to get is a Motel 6.
I’m been enough idiotic things for Mattel the past 60 years to last several pretend lifetimes.
I mean, it’s a job. I get it. I do. And I appreciate it. And it’s been fun hanging with Barb, an absolute peach.
And yes, the plastic money’s been good.
But I’m retiring. Tired of living a lie.
Why didn’t they create me like Oppenheimer, the star of that other movie, maybe let me split the atom instead of being created as a gigolo for capitalism? Even if Barbie, my female bestie, is quite fetching, well … there’s more to me than just molded-to-perfection plastic alloys!
Oh, the humanity!
So there you have it. I tried to be Ken. And failed. Tried to go to the galas and keep up the crunches so I wouldn’t look like a Whale Doll at pool parties. Tried the surfing and the hairdos and even got a face scrape (Mattel paid for it).
Years ago I asked to be a farmer and what’d they do? They put me in a checked shirt and an apron. An APRON! And check this sales pitch for Farmer Ken from what Mattel calls Sweet Orchard Farm: “Ken doll has an adorable piglet that kids can help him tend for role-play and storytelling fun.”
What? They gave me a piglet? I’ve been on the farm on castration day more times than I’d like to remember and that’s no fun for ANYbody, especially the pigs.
You want role play? Let me be a real farmer with a hayloft and some corn and a pony. I can be a farmer/rancher. Ditch the piglet. At least give me a tractor.
Oh, and here’s the ultimate indignity for Farmer Ken, according to the box I come in: “Doll cannot stand alone.”
You see what I put up with? What am I supposed to do, sit and milk all day? That’s gonna be a hard pass for me, dog.
And the asking price? A salty $34.95. I wouldn’t pay that for me and I AM me!
Mattel said “Fine. We’ll make you a … (get this, gang) … writer. You know, with a little snapbrim hat and a trench coat and a typewriter.”
Said they’d even “throw in a piglet, like with the Farmer Ken deal.”
What’s with these people and piglets, for heavens sake?
Good grief. Please, just … no. Writers are either rail thin and alcoholic or have a pot belly and smoke a pipe and think they invented the vowels and use big words like pubescent and eschew and ebullient. I learned to write in second grade and moved on. Please just … no.
Think I’d rather be a piglet.
Contact Teddy at firstname.lastname@example.org