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Reflections March 2016

Puttin' on the Gritz

Ken, the King of Spin

By Cappy Hall Rearick

The woman looks down at her hands. Her mouth turns into lizard lips just before she opens it to speak. "Well, I don't exactly sell books but I'm planning to write one. Currently, I'm in the phone sex business."

"If you take the Ken doll's head off, you will discover that
it is absolutely hollow inside."  – Anon

My friend and fellow columnist, Dickie Anderson, and I drove halfway to Miami before realizing that we had missed our turnoff to Kissimmee.

Worn out and giddy, we eventually find the library near Orlando designated for the writing seminar for which we overpaid to attend. We open the door 20 minutes late, tip-toe to our chairs and begin the arduous task of learning how to sell our books.

One look at the speaker is all it takes for me to gasp. "Good Lord!"

My friend whips around in her chair. "What's the matter?"

"Dickie," I hiss. "Look at the speaker. Who does he look like to you?"   

She squints into a brow knit. "Nobody."

"Look again. Dickie, it's Ken. As in Barbie and Ken, except this dude is Medicare Ken."

She wheels around, giving him the once-over with her brows knitted almost to sweater length. A slow smile creeps up her face.

"You just had to tell me this in the first two minutes of our less than graceful entrance, didn't you?" Her smile widens. She shows teeth.

Ken prances from one side of the room to the other while slicking back the sides of his silver lacquered hair with whichever hand is not waving in the air. His voice is loud and commanding.

Put all of your personal information on your website. Everything, including winning lottery numbers. Ha! Ha!" He pauses for the expected laughter. "Remember, you want people to be able to contact you."

A woman seated in front of us speaks up. "I have 30 websites with my phone number boldly printed on every one of them."

Ken bobs his head. "That's exactly what I'm talking about, folks." He turns to the woman. "I'll bet you have sold a ton of books, haven't you?"

The woman looks down at her hands. Her mouth turns into lizard lips just before she opens it to speak. "Well, I don't exactly sell books but I'm planning to write one. Currently, I'm in the phone sex business."

I poke Dickie. "Did you hear that?"

Dickie is staring a hole in the woman. "She's the size of a Barcalounger." At that, the woman spins around to fix Dickie with a glare strong enough to cause her hair to go limp. Nobody else seems to notice, certainly not Ken. His hands flap even faster than his mouth.

Afraid that Hotty the Barcalounger may have freeze-dried my friend with her deadly look, I am shaking Dickie's shoulder when the spin of Ken reaches my ears. "No matter what business you are in, you can still market your product without it costing you one dime. Just use your online address books and the address books of all your friends."

Soon to be EX-friends, I think to myself. I'm getting a bad feeling about this seminar, like maybe we popped into the wrong room. Before he can try to sell a talking Barbie to the Barcalounger, I whisper to my friend, "Are you feeling okay?"

Those brows of hers start knitting again and she gives me a vacant look.

"Dickie!" I hiss. "Snap out of it. You're scaring me into the middle of next week."

Her chin trembles. "Did you see the way that woman glared at me? I'm afraid to blink."

I glance around at the other faces and am astonished to see that they are all mesmerized by Ken. It's as though he is the opening act for The Rapture, world peace and election results all in one big package.

I yank my friend by the arm and five seconds later we are out of there sans 50 dollars’ worth of brainwashing. Dickie hasn't moved that fast since she was a teenage track star.

"You want to go home," I ask gently of my shell-shocked friend.

"Whatever gave you that silly idea? I'm up for some serious shoe shopping if you are."


Spin, sin or shoes. Smart gals have their priorities straight.

 

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