Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shoals Barbie

The Quad Cities in Northwestern Alabama and the immediately surrounding area is known as The Shoals, a Chamber of Commerce-generated name. Anyway, some unknown acerbic commentator satirized the social differences in this microcosm in terms of types of Barbie dolls. I reprinted it because I thought it was witty and trenchant:

Florence Barbie
This princess Barbie is only available at English Village. She comes with optional Volvo sedan or luxury SUV and lives in a waterfront dream house. Available with or without facelift and tummy tuck and comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags and sorority T-shirts. Florence Ken comes with optional Clark's Wallabees and an assortment of The North Face fleeces/jackets. He is available at Alabama Outdoors.

Sheffield Barbie
This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer-Gut Ken out of Central Barbie's (discontinued) house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, strawberry lip gloss, three cans of hairspray, 48-color eye shadow and eye liner kit and a see-through halter top. Comes with Barbie's dream double wide trailer. Available at Wal-Mart.

Tuscumbia Barbie
This modern-day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar mini-van and matching gym suit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation or secondary education. Traffic-jamming cell phone sold separately. Available at Cold Water Books.

Muscle Shoals Barbie
This gossip-queen Barbie comes glued to the front seat of her Ford Expedition with your choice of two children that comes with his or her own personalized baseball, soccer ball or softball sticker for the back windshield. Muscle Shoals Barbie is only sold as a two-pack with Ballpark Midge so that they can discuss how much better they are than Tuscumbia Barbie. Ken comes with his own coaching uniform because it's the only way he can see the kids. He's too busy working so he can afford to move Muscle Shoals Barbie to Florence like she told him to. Available at Target.

Russellville Barbie
This Spanish-speaking-only Barbie comes with a 1984 Toyota with expired temporary plates and three babies in the back, without car seats. This is the only Barbie willing to do manual labor. Ken comes in a meat-packer's uniform and is missing three fingers on his left hand. Green cards are not yet available for Russellville Barbie or Ken. Available only at Dollar General.

Central Barbie
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a classic Metallica shirt, and Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. Wants to major in NASCAR at Northwest-Shoals Community College. She has a six-pack of Coors Light and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free. Available at Wal-mart.


  1. I've never visited -- just passed through a few times. Yet, it seems to ring true. Where is Central?

  2. My knowledge of Alabama is limited to my time at Squadron Officers' School at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery (that's pronounced "muh-GUM-ruh") ... but I have been many other places across the south where these Barbies are available and plentiful, including rural southwestern Virginia. Classic satire!

  3. I am going to share this. I had seen it years ago and did a google search of Shoals Barbies and your blog was the only thing that showed up. If I remember right there were more Shoals area cities/towns listed but I can't remember.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, OB. I was aware of only those six -- maybe there are Waterloo and Rogersville Barbies out there, but I can't feature what they are like. You have a nice column; I see Duckbutt and Elvis are followers.