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for Lynn Crosbie

O Fluff, no one knows who you are.

You were produced for one brief year

(nineteen seventy-one) after

Mattel discontinued Skooter,

Barbie’s little sister Skipper’s

best friend. The toy company feared

the first generation of Bar-

bie consumers, baby boomers

nearing their teens, would disappear

once puberty struck. So you were

invented, a fresh face to lure

the next wave of greedy youngsters,

pink pocketbooks full of gener-

ous allowances or hard-earned

baby-sitting money, to stores

with well-stocked doll departments, where

you were displayed, a wide-eyed, cheer-

ful, puffy-cheeked tomboy, blonde hair

in twin ponytails, wearing your

green, yellow and orange striped over-

alls. You came with a skateboard, per-

fect for cruisin the park after

school with your pal, Growing Up Skipper.

Mattel executives were sure

that you would be a best-seller,

but your short shelf life was over

almost as soon as it had start-

ed. In essence, Fluff, you flopped. More-

over, today, when collectors

are willing to pay ten dollars

for a pair of Barbie shoes, you’re

not worth a lot, even NRFB (Never

Removed From Box). I remember

you, though. As a child, I smeared your

cheeks with grease and slid you under

my girlfriend’s orange plastic camper.

Barbie dolls were far too mature

for a girl like me to endure.

But not your flat-chested allure!

O tiny mechanic! The cars

I made you tune up and repair!

The engines you put together!

The windshields you washed, the batter-

ies you changed, tires you filled with air!

After work, you’d smoke a cigar-

ette, then skateboard home in the dark,

O smudged kid! O angry loner!

All my friends think that I’m bizarre

‘cause Fluff, no one knows who you are.