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.