Thursday, April 23, 2015


Annie was popping off and trading the heads on her vintage Barbie dolls when Edith went up to get her. She gets a kick out of 'Ken with boobs.' Her Barbies don't like Ken. They like G.I. Joe. But he's a drunk and an abuser, so they go out to lunch and talk a lot.... Pancakes... They go for pancakes... And they all drive pink Camaros and are grade school counselors. One is a vampire, grade school counselor. But they give her an office with no windows, so sunlight isn't an issue.

Edith said - They want you downstairs. Sarah's grandfather is there...

Annie crinkled her nose.

Edith - Well, you gotta go...

Annie - I don't have to stick my fingers in his mouth anymore?... Do I? He stinks. He makes me puke. I mean it.

Edith - Well, go see what he wants. Jonathon won't let him do nothing to you. You know that...

So she went down... When she got there, the old man was telling a story... He went - She set up this a shoeshine stand... right on the sidewalk, next to a tobacco shop and that's where she sold 'leg shaves.' Women of a certain type used to get their legs shaves right there in the open, out on the sidewalk. Male swimmers did too... the whole nineteen thirty two French Olympic swim squad... all of them. Took pictures for Life Magazine and everything.  You can see my mother, there in the background. Big chrome safety razor... Always used a big, chrome, safety razor. In thirty three, when Hitler got voted in... (everyone thinks it was a coup or a revolution, but it wasn't. they voted for him) he did away with the public leg-shave girls. Sent 'em to Dachau. Switched 'em to heads, underarms and other places. We never saw her again. My mother, I mean. She wasn't Jewish. Christian... from an old Christian family. But she was a leg-shaving girl and there was absolutely nothing anybody could do. I was twelve years old. We came to America in thirty four. Mutiny On The Bounty... that was the first picture I saw......

Then he noticed Annie leaning against the wall. What are you lookin' at me for? she said.

Not one to notice other people's concerns, he ignored her question and said - Annie... how would you like to be a public-leg-shaving-girl?

Annie - I thought the Nazis kill you for that?

Old Man - Not here... and there's money in it.

Jonathon - Isn't she young?

Old Man - Not really... Proper training takes time. The good ones could do it with their eyes closed. 

Sarah - I think you're crazy...

He just chuckled. 

Annie said - What if I cut somebody?

The Old Man smiled and said - You'll see... You'll see.....

<more next time>

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