Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Barbie Goes to the Algonquin

By Dorothy Parker of YOU MIGHT AS WELL DIE, second of the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries, by J.J. Murphy
Barbie takes a break during her presidential campaign to stop by the Algonquin Hotel.

"Hello!" Barbie said cheerfully to the group of friendly faces. These people were dressed in funny, old fashioned outfits. They sat at a large round table in the dining room at the Algonquin Hotel. "My name is Barbie. I love New York!"

"And we love you, whoever you are!" the men at the table said enthusiastically. "Won't you join us for lunch?" One of them pulled out a chair for Barbie. 

"You're so friendly!" Barbie said happily, and sat down. She loved making new friends! "What do you do?"

"We skewer idiots," said a woman at the table. "So thank you for joining us."

Her name was Dorothy Parker. She was not tall and her hair was not blonde. She was funny! 

"You're funny!" Barbie chuckled. 

One of the men looked closely at Barbie's pretty outfit. He said, "Let's get you out of those dry clothes and into a wet bikini." His name was Robert Benchley. He was funny, too!

"Isn't it wet clothes and dry martini?" Dorothy asked. 

"Let's not quibble over little details, Mrs. Parker," Mr. Benchley said with a laugh. "So what do you do, young lady?"

"I like to go shopping. I like to put on make up. And I like to ride horses. But most of all, I like spending time with my friends and having fun!" Barbie said enthusiastically. 

"What a doll," Dorothy said, looking up at the ceiling. "And by that, I mean her face is plastic and her head is empty. She's like the women I met in Hollywood." 

Dorothy spoke in riddles. She was so funny!

"Oh, I love California!" Barbie said, and clapped her hands. "I have a townhouse there!"

Dorothy looked at the ceiling again. She did that a lot! She asked, "What do you do for a living, dear—besides taking your clothes off and on?"

"I'm a vet," Barbie said happily.

"Me, too!" said a tall man. He was almost as tall as Barbie. His name was Robert Sherwood. "I served in France during the Great War."

"Hee hee," Barbie giggled. "I meant I'm a veterinarian! I'm also an astronaut. And a chef. And a teacher. And a rock singer. Right now, I'm running for President!"

Barbie was very proud of her achievements.

"President?" said a chubby man. He too looked very closely at her pretty outfit. His name was Heywood Broun. "You've got my vote—no matter which position you take. What is your favorite position, if you know what I mean?"

"Here is my position," Barbie declared. "I believe that no matter if you're blond, or tall, or pretty, or skinny—or all of these things—you can be whatever you want to be! If you dream it, you can do it!"

"Really?" Dorothy asked. "I once dreamed that men would learn to forsake a beautiful woman and flock around a brilliant one. It's fair to say that, after getting out in the world, I've never seen it done."

"Ooooh, I love how you talk!" Barbie enthused. "Would you be my vice president, and live with me in the White House?"

"There goes the neighborhood," Dorothy said. "Actually, the vice president lives in Blair House."

"Oh silly, Blair doesn't have her own house!" Barbie explained gently but firmly. "She lives at Princess Charm School!"

"Ah, I should have known that politics is beyond your ken," Dorothy said.

"Ken? But Ken is going to be my Chief of Staff!" Barbie exclaimed. She stood up. "Well, I must be going now. It's been super extra special getting to know you all. Bye!"

Barbie strolled out of the hotel. It was a bright, shiny day in New York City, and Barbie walked happily along to her next destination.

"Gee, that was fun! Those people are certainly interesting," she thought pleasantly to herself.
"But damn, that Dorothy Parker is a total f*¢#ing bitch!"

Barbie just loves spending time with her new friends at the Algonquin Round Table.

That damn Dorothy Parker appears in MURDER YOUR DARLINGS, nominated for an Agatha Award in the Historical category. She also appears in YOU MIGHT AS WELL DIE, now available online and in bookstores.


  1. Fabulous, darlings, but why didn't you ask her where she stands on the issues? I would have loved to hear her thoughts on that.

  2. As a matter of fact, I did ask her where she stands on a number of issues. I found out that she's like many politicians--she stands as far away as possible from the biggest issues.