Welcome to the Fun-derdome
The pink plastic dream houses glisten in the sunlight. The cornucopia is set in the middle of an idyllic roundabout. The dusty corners of the cardboard box loom overhead—daylight streams in through the attic window. Today is the day the Barbies fight to the death. Marissa sets down her distressed copy of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins and readies the Barbies for the clash. Her small hands set them in a circle. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. The cannon sounds and they are off their podiums.
Journalist Barbie launches from her place, tossing her notepad aside. The notepad bounces onto a typical patch of pavement before exploding into pink glitter. Diplomat Barbie and Paratrooper Barbie are scattered into well-tanned limbs. Stereotypical Barbie is well-trained and precise, hailing from District 8. She plucks a throwing knife from the piles of artificial weaponry and takes aim. The blade lands squarely in the chest of President Barbie through her presidential sash. She lets out a shriek of “Girl power” before she clatters to the ground, grasping at a wound that yields no blood. Across the roundabout, Construction Worker Barbie is cracking under the pressure (not because she is a woman and isn’t strong, but because this is a life or death situation that would have anyone upset). She begs Saxophonist Barbie, “Please, this is no life, under this authoritarian regime where we are forced to tear each other apart. Barbies are supposed to build each other up, not break them down.” Saxophonist Barbie says “Totally girl,” and executes her.
Lawyer Barbie takes a medieval sword and decapitates Astronaut Barbie, her bubble helmet rolling across the astroturf. Canadian Mountie Barbie tenderly dresses Chef Barbie’s wound, because that’s what close friends who are girls do for each other. In a tranquil field, Ballerina Barbie does perfect pliés to pick primrose. After Judge Barbie sentences Weird Barbie to three counts of oddness and one count of scissoring, Weird Barbie punches her until her plastic head becomes concave. In the dead of night, Cat Burglar Barbie tries to ambush Carriage Driver Barbie because even Cat Burglar Barbie doesn’t really know how to rob people because she’s pure of heart, but the palominos stampede away, leaving Carriage Driver Barbie in their wake with cheap gold carriage tracks across her chest.
In a creative plot twist, Writer Barbie poisons Dolphin Trainer Barbie’s drink. “Here’s a fun refreshing beverage, Barbie,” says Writer Barbie. “Thanks, Barbie, I’d have no reason to distrust you since we’re essentially the same consciousness in various outfits,” Dolphin Trainer Barbie replies and drinks from the canteen before slumping over, stiff. Journalist Barbie holds Mermaid Barbie at penpoint as Mermaid Barbie wields her trident between Canadian Mountie Barbie and Teacher Barbie. “Decide! For the sake of posterity!” Journalist Barbie yells. Mermaid Barbie squeezes her eyes shut as she stabs Teacher Barbie with a fake ice cream cone. “We need more women in STEM…” Teacher Barbie lets out weakly as her last words. Then from the bushes leaps Lawyer Barbie, she bashes Journalist Barbie’s head in with a rock. She strikes a stylish pose, “Now that’s justice!”
Used to food in empty plastic containers, Chef Barbie languishes in starvation and slowly succumbs to her wounds. “Help me Barbie,” she pleads to Canadian Mountie Barbie, who cradles Chef Barbie in her arms. “Sleep well my sweet child, soon you’ll be with Ruth.” She pretends to close Chef Barbie’s eyes because Barbies do not have working eyelids and that would be scary if they did. Stereotypical Barbie scales the ridges in the cardboard, desperate to find a world outside the Barbiedome. She mutters the lyrics to Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” under her breath as she defies her fate.
In a four-Barbie showdown, Weird Barbie and Saxophonist Barbie are bludgeoned to death. Covered in blood, Dentist Barbie squeals, “We made a great team, Physicist Barbie!” Mermaid Barbie strikes again, skewering Cat Burglar Barbie on the end of her glitter sparkle trident. “How dare you kill Dolphin Trainer Barbie, she was a marine life advocate!” cries Canadian Mountie Barbie as she sinks a knife into Writer Barbie’s chest. A Molotov incinerates Dr. Barbie. “Y’all ready to die?” Cowgirl Barbie asks, before butchering Canadian Mountie Barbie and Ballerina Barbie. Physicist Barbie hotwires a hot pink convertible, and it speeds into Dentist Barbie. With her last gasp, Dentist Barbie says “Remember to floss at least once a day, ladies…” Cowgirl Barbie falls victim to the blast crater of the initial bloodbath, her body littered on top of Paratrooper and Diplomat Barbie.
Physicist Barbie wrenches a purple bow and arrow from the cornucopia. Mermaid Barbie swims her way menacingly across the plastic ocean. “This isn’t Dreamtopia anymore Barbie!” She screams as she lunges with her trident. “You’re right, THIS IS BARBIELAND!” Physicist Barbie kicks Mermaid Barbie down 300 style and readies an arrow. “You’re a bad, bad lady President Coin,” Physicist Barbie says. “What? Who’s that?” Mermaid Barbie replies. Physicist Barbie lets the arrow fly. Mermaid Barbie’s blue hair is tainted with imaginary blood, her glimmering color-changing-with-water scales go limp. “This is a dark day for one Barbie,” the Physicist says to herself, “but one giant leap for Barbie kind!” The winner is Physicist Barbie from District 3!
“Marissa! It’s time for dinner!”
And yet, the battle is won for another day. But who is to say that this is over? After one more episode of Sonny With A Chance, the Barbiedome may bear witness to another clash of the Barbies…
Connor Stanford is a junior theater studies major who still mixes barbies with transformers. You can reach Connor at [email protected].