Thursday, March 4, 2010

What ever happened to Barbara Mao?

“Trading Barbs with China — of tires, chickens and unintended consequences”

— recent headline in the WSJ

Like most Americans, I’ve been forced to drastically cut back. While I still subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, times have been so tough, I’ve been only able to read the headlines.

I was more than discouraged to glance at the above WSJ banner from February 10, 2010: “Trading Barbs With China.”


Why are we shipping our Barbs overseas?

Being a smidge to the right of Attila, I’d have no problem swapping Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Pasadena Doo Dah Parade) for Barbara tse Tung, Mao’s long-lost identical twin sister.

While fighting elbow-to-elbow with Chairman Mao Zedong for the control of the Mainland in post-World War II China, Barbie Z mysterious disappeared after a heated and sometimes publicly violent debate with her brother over the color of the jumpsuits the billion-plus Chinese would some day wear. Barbara, who had cornered China’s mauve dye industry by 1948, wanted that indefinable “not pink, not red, not purple, not brown” hue to be China’s official color for the People’s Zombie Pajamas. Mao felt it was demeaning to call jumpsuits “pajamas” and trotted his sibling into a concentration camp to “…ahem, think more about Feng shui until the next Ice Age.” For decades, Barbara tse Tung was tied to a chair and subjected to hours of daily torture. Military intelligence officers showed her Sherman-Williams samples containing only one swash, “The People’s Dark Ravishing Avocado,” Mao’s favorite color, while asking: “Gosh. I can’t decide. Which one do you like — this one or this one?”

The roots of the feud between Mao and his sister went much deeper. Dr. Holly Peño, a fellow from the Washington-based Bob’s Prestigious Sino Research Center penned The New York Times bestseller, “China, Bad — The Latest 9,000-Page Snoozefest About How Asia Will Sit On Then Eat Us.” Mrs. P noted: “Perhaps the greatest slap to the face of Chairman Mao occurred when his sworn enemy, Taiwan strongman Chiang Kai-shek married his interior decorator, Zazu Pitts (no relation to the zany actress of the 1940s). The couple swore their vows in matching mauve jumpsuits with pleats that Mao’s sister Barb herself designed,” wrote Dr. Peño.

“Mauve is just not a happy color,” Mao said, in his famous 1952 speech at Zhongnanhai while a billion Chinese tried not to roll their eyes and snicker. Until his death in 1976, Mao was well aware that his unasked-for nickname of “Chairman” meant “82-pound head with a bad haircut” in the Sinitic languages.

Now 117, Chairman Mao’s sis recently emerged from a commie brain detox center (outsourced in Alabama) sporting a permanent and disinterested Zoolander stare at some distant horizon, not unlike our very president.

As far as one Barb trade goes, exchanging a libertine goat-slaughtering devil worshipping United States senator for a 64-pound centenarian commie intellectual whose only contribution to the world was to introduce the thigh pocket is a no-brainer. Besides fitting in at the home of the Boxer Rebellion, if the West Coast senator were banished to China, it would result in a special California election where someone more conservative, like Sean Penn or Alec Baldwin would be able to serve. Granted. While neither Mr. Penn nor Mr. Baldwin are conservative, they are master craftsmen in their field and can at least act conservative.

But that’s just one Barb.

But what about trading others?

What about Barbara Feldon, that leggy and wisecracking straightwoman from that classic TV series and solemn tribute to the CIA, “Get Smart?” What sort of Barb would we get in return for this national treasure? Who will China ante up when we boat over the likes of Barbara Bush, Barbra Streisand, Barbra Mandrell, Barbara Park, author of the beloved Junie B. Jones series or Barbara Walters, journalism’s answer to Elmer Fudd?

Are we expected to give up Barbara Eden, a completely unutilized national defense icon who, with the mere crossing of the arms and blinking could neutralize Iran’s entire and burgeoning nuclear weapons facilities? What will we get? Barbara Smyth-Wang: homeopathic clerk from the population center formerly known as Peking?

What are other unforeseen ramifications in this U.S.-China exchange of Barbs?

Will Mr. Obama create yet another useless layer of administration by appointing a Barbara Czar, followed by sub-Barb Czars, under-Barb Czars and Barb Czar support staff housed in some billion-dollar building, all spending merry days overseeing the proper counting, weighing, molar inspecting, tricep-pinching, bar-coding, shipping and handling of our beloved Barbs?

We must not trust the Chinese.

Too dim is our memory of the 1950s debacle in which China faced a crippling shortage of Debutante Balls. Secretly, the U.S. traded Debs with China. We were almost ready to send an armada filled with Debbie Reynolds, Deborah Kerr, Deborah Harry (she’s actually 83 today) and Debbie Nixon (Richard M.’s long-lost identical twin sister who disappeared after being used in the federal government’s “X-Files” experiments involving testing of a poison lipstick to assassinate Argentina’s Evita Peron). Dumb luck, just before the trade, U.S. intelligence discovered that China was shipping us women who were not actually named “Debbie.”

Let us stop the madness. Trading Barbs with China is a bad and lopsided arrangement. I’d much rather wake to WSJ headline: “U.S. Trades Michelles With China.”

That, indeed, would be good business.

Like some benign goddess, the First Lady could wander the Mainland, stamping out childhood obesity with but the wave of an asparagus wand and twittering admonition: “I declare thee thin-thin-thin!” In return, the United States would be blessed with Michelle tse Tung, Mao’s great-granddaughter and sizzling haute couture icon who invented Dark Fox Purple, which, as you know, is touted as the hot new jumpsuit color for China’s fall fashion lineup.

(c) 2010 by John Boston

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