Sunday, July 5, 2009

She Used a Toaster As a Pocketbook and a Trash Bag for a Poncho. She Was a Fashion Hit in this Fine Fiction-"The Empress Wore Weird Clothes"

The toaster-pocketbook was Drew Parker's fashion idea. She also came up with the living crucifixion of a town smoker as example of what happens to those who dare light up.

Here's a funny fictional(?) story of the discovery of the genius of Drew Parker and how she'll go far from the outrageousness and satire she brings to cherished political ideals.

It's "The Empress Wore Weird Clothes".

Pic of the Day

"The Emperor Wore Weird Clothes"

I just didn’t know where to begin when the local yokel newspaper phoned me up for some inside information on my cousin Drew. Drew has been an oddball all her life and anybody who knew her could tell a nutty story about her.

She was always engaging in some stunt all through school and on through college. For my cousin Drew, my closest friend no matter our biological relation, has a self-professed purpose in life and it’s to make fun of everything that is stupid, dumb, hurtful, selfish, wasteful and up to no good at all.

This is all by the judgment, of course, of Drew herself.

What got the local newspaper suddenly interested in Drew was her Youtube production that had her giving out “pills” for depression to folks who complained about, well, being depressed.

It was a mock commercial and I knew just as soon as Drew jumped out of her chair in the sudden and often scary way of hers after a pharmaceutical commercial featuring allegedly depressed people who suddenly get happy and gay after taking one of these little pills, right here… that something was up.

Understand that Drew was right as she often is. If Drew is not right all the way, she always, but always, has a point of view that causes most around her to nod their head affirmative, as in…”yes, that’s true.”

“Those people are ACTORS, for God’s sake!” Drew shouted. I was busy clutching my heart from the sudden scare of Drew interrupting a peaceful evening with an ascent onto her imaginary soap box to express her flash of brilliance.

“This must be how Joe Blow drug company defines depression for God’s sake!” Drew continued her shout. I’ve changed the name of the actual pharmaceutical company to protect innocent druggists everywhere. “They dress up some woman in wrinkly, crabby clothes, no make-up, looking all boo-hoo. They recommend she get some of these miracle pills and boom!”

All the while Drew is practically screaming her hurried summary, this while bouncing around the couch with the joy of her released truth and frustration. “THEN…” Drew practically seethes as I shift myself to comfort that my heart has stopped racing and I’ll probably live. I watch my cousin and roommate as I have so often in the past, in a state of amusement and exasperation. I could only hope that she’d be done before American Idol came back on.

“They dress her in nice clothes, put on some lipstick, tell her to smile and there you have it!” Drew finally bounced down to a seating position but I got her point.

So Drew makes a Youtube movie where she gets some of her friends to dress real ugly. She gets her current unsuspecting boyfriend to be the pitchman for Joe Blow’s drug company. “Tell your doctor,” Ted says in response to Drew’s directing. “Depression affects everyone around you. Make-Me-Happy can help. Ask your doctor today.”

Then Drew had her friends, including me, dress up in ridiculous frocks, all froufrou, lace and tulle. We get our hair curled up and makeup applied and we all look like we are celebrities on Dancing With the Stars. We all smile and dance about merrily, again in response to Drew’s directing.

It’s a hoot, actually, something Drew likes to do. Drew did take some theatrical courses in college and she hopes to get a job on TV soon but goodness knows in our hick town she’ll probably not go too far. As I saw it, Drew would have to move to New York to get proper recognition for her “talent”.

Only problem is, I don’t know exactly what Drew’s talent IS.

Drew’s Youtube mockery of the Make-Me-Happy anti-depression drug captured the amusement of many of that web site’s visitors. Drew was, but of course, making fun of the notion that people wearing ugly, wrinkled clothing are depressed and with but a few Make-Me-Happy pills (ASK YOUR DOCTOR TODAY), clothes suddenly become ironed, smiles magically appear, loved ones smile with joy that their beloved is no longer depressed.

“My cousin thinks that the commercial over-simplifies the concept of clinical depression. She understands that there’s only a minute to make the point but how many fools watching that thing will get it into their heads that with but a couple of Make-Me-Happy pills their life will turn joyful, all with neatly ironed and pressed clothing, naturally?”

“Has your cousin participated in any other kind of humorous satire in the past? If so, can you give us a good example?”

The reporter at the local yokel newspaper sounded bored and evidently, per her question, wanted more examples of Drew’s zaniness.

My mind raced. I thought of the time she had us all dress up as dogs, greyhounds if she had them, and chase a real rabbit all around the lawn of the state capital.

This was Drew’s effort at mocking a state referendum on dog racing up for vote.

I thought the one where Drew actually had us hoist her on an actual cross at a major intersection in our town might be a turnoff for this sudden interest in her talent that might, who knows, take her to places where her “talent” will be valued, even give her a job with a future.

Drew carefully painted the words “TOWN SMOKER” above her head and had a foot-long cigarette dangling from her crucified lips. This was a Drew stunt put on in reaction to our town’s short-lived vote to prohibit smoking in our own damn apartments. Drew didn’t smoke but this was just Drew. She saw smokers as being the victims of everyone in town with absolutely nothing going for them except that they did NOT smoke.

“They can weigh 400 pounds, have leprosy, carry around a major case of the uglies and maybe be a serial killer but hey, let’s all get together and beat the hell out of the smokers. This way finally the lepers and serial killers of the world can carry around their own sense of self-righteousness.”

Then I remembered the incident of Senator Marklin.

Actually it wasn’t Senator Marklin. It was Senator Marklin’s daughter. Which is not Senator Marklin’s name, or his daughter’s, as I’ve changed the names to protect innocent senators across the fruited plains.

Drew, or Andrea Walker as is her proper name, has always resembled Jane Marklin, daughter of four-time elected senator of Wisconsin.

“It’s not that she’s unattractive,” Drew would lament at yet another comparison of her crystal blue eyes, pouty lips and thick brunette hair to the Senator’s daughter. “But she’s got no “soul”, no,” at this Drew would look up to the heavens for the right word, “sustenance,” Drew would finish. “She considers clothes to be what makes her and I would hate to think that I was like my Doppelganger and fashion was my reason to live.”

It was true that Elizabeth Marklin was known for her fashion savvy and I suspected that Drew, definitely no slave to fashion, ahem, resented not only the surprise at her physical resemblance to the senator’s daughter, but surprise that Drew was such a direct opposite to her ersatz twin in terms of any kind of fashion sense.

“I’ve got an idea,” Drew said one night. We were both attendees at the University of Wisconsin at the time, along with Elizabeth Marklin who used to draw all eyes as she attended classes wearing her latest fashion concoction that would be worn by hundreds of other young coeds the following day.

One day Liz Marklin showed up in gym class wearing a pair of black leggings. What was odd was the leggings, worn under a pair of gym shorts, as is often the case, had a line of fringe down the calf causing the fringes to bounce all about during normal physical education activities. It was just the strangest thing but it got plenty of attention. The next day almost every female coed enrolled in phys ed showed up wearing leggings with fringe down the back of the calves.

Another time Liz wore a rather pretty pink top that was outlined with feathers. You guessed it. Hundreds of coeds showed up the next day wearing tops outlined, accented or totally covered, with feathers.

“If the females in this school are so dim that they think wearing feathers around your torso or fringes on your legs is so cool, let’s give them some REALLY dumb stuff to copy and show how cool they all are.”

Drew really worried me when she started to talk like this. I got even more worried when, after jumping up and running into the kitchen, she came out with our toaster held oddly at her side.

“So what do you think?” she asked.

She was standing at the doorway to our little kitchenette, in a pose that would be interpreted as, well a pose, definitely a pose. Our little two-sliced toaster was held in her right hand, the arm hanging at her side. She held the toaster by gripping it with two fingers inside of the designated holes for bread slices to be toasted. My quizzical look was enough to inform Drew that I had no idea what she was doing.

Drew held up the toaster high in the air. “It’s my new pocketbook!” she shouted. Before the concept of a toaster as pocketbook could register on my brain, Drew continued with her explanation.

“We’ll have to find out when Liz Marklin won’t be on campus, of course,” Drew said to my mental query as to just who are these “we” people. “When she’s not around, I’ll fix myself up in fine fashion and pretend to be her. I think I can get away with it.”

Drew danced around with her toaster “pocketbook” and I had to duck for fear of a head injury. “Of course,” Drew said with a conspiratorial wink, “I’ll add a few odd fashion choices of my own making. All the while with Liz Marklin getting all the “credit”. And we’ll begin with this fine toaster pocketbook.”

Drew affixed a ziplock sandwich bag type thing inside of the toaster holes and managed to store her makeup, wallet and other assorted purse essentials inside and we then painted the thing red with a can of spray paint. I tucked the electric cord inside of the holes as we were not rich and after the toaster’s career as a pocketbook we would want to put it back to work as its original purpose. Adorned with a plastic flower, it looked right fine.

It took a little detective work but I did obtain Liz Marklin’s class schedule and it only took a quick peek at her Dad’s web site for me to ascertain that Liz would be accompanying her father on a campaign trip. She would not be expected to be on campus for an entire week.

Drew didn’t over-do it, I’ll give her credit for this. On the first morning of Drew’s unveiling as Liz Marklin, she dressed up in a happening pantsuit. It had a black cropped cotton jacket, covered a discretely low-cut bright red blouse for that pop of color, with pants that were straight-legged to a perfect length topping red sandals. She accessorized with a small gold necklace with matching earrings and, of course, that painted toaster as a pocketbook.

The females at the college went nuts. All day Drew attended Liz Marklin’s classes. Her outfit was smashing, as Liz Marklin’s outfits always are. Drew wore large sunglasses to further her disguise and she spoke as little as possible lest her secret be discovered. Drew would enter the class with a panache that was associated with Liz Marklin. She’d sit down quietly, place her book on her desk, and as quietly as possible she’d place that toaster alongside her desk, accessible but out of the way. All eyes, males, females and professors, were glued to that toaster.

At the end of each class, Drew would grab the toaster, pull it up on her desk and get busy searching for something inside, perhaps a lipstick in one bread hole, perhaps some change in another bread hole.

As hard as it might be to believe, the very next day a legion of female students showed up with, you guessed it, toasters to be used as purses!

Some females got clever and used a four-slice toaster for the purse and many affixed a strap to the things that they may be less awkward to carry. They were painted or had stickers on them or were simply polished to a very high, proud shine. Every class had two or three female students, all carrying toaster pocketbooks, all proud of their ingenuity, fashion-forward sense and hip style.

Two days later, Drew comes out the bathroom wearing a trash bag over her torso. “What do you think?” she said, giving a pirouette worthy of the finest Paris runway. I eyed that trash bag with more than a little skepticism.

“Of course I’m going to doll it up,” Drew explained as she pulled the black 20-gallon trash bag up a bit off her hip and pinned it with a flowered pin. “I have a few items I am going to put here,” Drew continued her fussing with the trash bag, pointing to an area below her neck. She then pulled out some unusual items, a flowered eyeglass case, a little zippered purse, other things. With panache she artfully pinned these items here and there and then filled them with necessary items, sunglasses in the eyeglass case, a little umbrella in the pretty zipper purse, that kind of thing. I pitched in and helped a bit, moving the pinned items hither and yon so that Drew would not look so much like a walking mini-billboard.

Drew regarded her self in the full-length mirror. “See?” she asked me, also regarding Drew in that full-length mirror and still with much skepticism. “I have everything I need with these handsome accessories, which add both practicality and decoration to my happening poncho. I am protected from the wet rain and as the piece de resistance,” Drew paused in her fashion assessment for drama, then pulled out what was a hood from her winter coat if my memory served me.

“A fine hood that can be pulled out of my pocket and affixed quickly right here for further protection from the elements.”

First, the hood was very inappropriate for that trash bag poncho as it was made from a heavy cloth with a fur facial outline. Second, where the thing was to be stored on the trash bag poncho was inside of a slit in the thing, held on by a safety pin. Third, where it was to be affixed on this landfill contraption was yet another safety pin behind the head hole of the trash bag. I expressed my considerable reservations to my cousin Drew. THIS would surely be too over the edge and would make her fashion masquerade totally unbelievable.

“Nonsense,” Drew pooh-poohed me with a wave of her hand. “They’ll love this fashion forward poncho and the next day trash bag ponchos will be all the rave.”

She was right, damn her. Drew wore that awful thing to all of Liz Marklin’s classes two days later, awaiting a rainy day just to show the practicality of this fashion invention. The next day females showed up with plastic ponchos fashioned from such as painting tarps to shower curtains, all sewed up and decorated with various elements to hold glasses, umbrellas and protective head hoods.

So I told the newspaper reporter this story of my cousin Drew and Liz Marklin and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Drew’s career as a fashion maven ended, of course, once Liz Marklin returned to class. The toaster pocketbooks and trash bag ponchos showed up for a few more days after that but with Liz denying any knowledge of these weird fashion accoutrements, the fads faded away.

Once my story hit the newspapers, however, Liz Marklin, daughter of Wisconsin’s Senator and now an up and coming politician in her own right, remembered the whole story. She got hold of Drew and now my once brainy cousin is an assistant to Liz Marklin, currently running as a representative in the 33rd district of Wisconsin and touted as both a female with happening fashion sense, fine looks and a political background that taught her all she needed to know to work up to a possible presidential bid. My cousin Drew is now part of all that and I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with having a job, however much it sells out your principles, and pursuing that American dream. I just miss what cousin Drew could have been, the minds she could have influenced.

I don’t see Drew much these days. Her job title is “First Assistant” to Liz Marklin and it would seem that Drew does a little of everything. On occasion Drew does serve as a sort of press agent for Liz Marklin. Marklin is only at the beginning of her political odyssey, wherever that may lead. I imagine that paid employees are expected to do a little of everything depending on the need.

The other day I saw Drew speaking to a reporter on behalf of “Joe Blow’s” drug company. Evidently they are supporting a bid for the House for Liz Marklin. “I myself was experiencing some severe depression. Once I had my doctor prescribe me some Make-Me-Happy pills I perked up so much that my dog and my family are glad to see me back to my old self.”

A week later Drew was being interviewed by yet another local yokel paper about the pending ban on cigarettes in the 33rd district, which Liz Marklin is going to support and the impending law was part of her platform. “Smokers are polluting the world and killing themselves,” I heard Drew say to my complete astonishment. “They should be crucified for the damage they cause the environment,” Drew finished up the interview with and now I was holding back some serious chuckles.

Yesterday I saw Drew show up at some campaign event wearing a huge pair of bunny slippers, complete with floppy ears and a big bow for a mouth. She walked around wearing those bunny slippers and of course no one asked about them as she was, after all, just a mere assistant and it was more important what Liz Marklin was wearing after all.

But I noticed plenty of reporters would have the camera somehow zoom in on those bunny slippers. Well hey, Drew was Liz’s First Assistant after all, right? Surely Liz Marklin influences her female employees in terms of fashion, right?

Could Liz Marklin be espousing some sort of fashion forward statement by having her First Assistant wear the next latest and greatest thing? After all, as I pondered the raised eyebrows of those reporters and reporterettes covering Liz Marklin’s campaign, those plastic ugly shoes with the holes and recessed heel called Crocs became all the rage against all fashion odds.

None of this is happening, even as I write this, in the state of Wisconsin. There is no 33rd district, at least none that I know of. There is no Liz Marklin running for the House of Representatives.

I smile as I warn yon reader to keep an eye on the news. For somewhere out there is a pretty, young woman, not a daughter of a sitting senator but with impressive relations in the congress, maybe the White House, now running for an important elective office. That pretty, young and very fashionable female has an Assistant.

I suspect this Assistant will be in the news, big time, right soon.

I can’t wait.

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