Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Miss Phyllis and I were zooming through the back roads of Georgia on our way to another house during yet another move. At first I wasn't sure of what I had seen. What it looked like was two teams of Barbie dolls dressed in football uniforms squaring-off for the Superbowl on the somewhat busy intersection of a country highway. Miss Phyllis, also a purveyor of all things extraordinary turned to me in astonished glee. Indeed, we had both witnessed the same thing.
"I love the South." Miss Phyllis said.
This is just the sort of thing I live for. At first I thought maybe it was just some sort of Southern football thing, but the display changed though out the years. The display was somewhat legendary in that area of Georgia. Ask just about anyone about the Barbie display and they'd seen it. I appreciated it as just another piece of Southern eccentricity and imagined it a gazillion years from now as future archaeologists tried to determine just what it was and what it meant. Until I learned the full story behind the peculiar monument.
A week before the Bulldog and I had to move again I learned the truth behind the legendary Barbie display from my hairdresser.
"Oh!" she said when I told her about this crazy display. "That lady is famous. Do you know the story behind it?"
It seems the woman (we'll call her "Miss Belle" for purposes of this story) who lived in the house on that corner had cultivated some lovely and expensive bushes on the corner where the Barbie display now lived. One day the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) determined that the bushes created a safety hazard. Without warning, GDOT removed the offending shrubbery without so much as a: "Ma'am, your bushes are blocking the view." Astonished at this gross violation of her personal rights, not to mention the downright bad manners of failing to inform her they would be removing her carefully cultivated greenery, Miss Belle hatched a plan. From that day forward, in protest against the almighty GDOT, Miss Belle orchestrated one crazy-assed Barbie display after the next. She has kept this up display for YEARS, changing it whenever she is so inspired. Neighbors have complained that display is tacky, but Miss Belle has stood her ground. The display stays.
As the Bulldog and I drove out of Georgia one last time during yet another move, I couldn't help but look for Miss Belle's display. I was not disappointed. There it was in all its plastic glory: The Barbie Beach and Bar-B Rodeo.
I love Miss Belle, whoever she is.