Thursday, February 19, 2004

A Big Stick

About that Teddy Roosevelt doll. It was mine, originally—a G.I. Joe, in fact, part of a limited-edition series of twelve-inch models that cameout a few years ago, commemortaing famous real-life soldiers. I'm not a collector, but these came to my attention during a random trip to the toy store, when I saw two beautifully-crafted figures honoring the Tuskegee Airmen (the first figures in the series, I think) and was quite taken with the concept. This being known, my wife gifted me with the Roosevelt figure, in full Spanish-American War regalia, on my next birthday.

The fellow was almost immediately adopted by Claire, of course—she was three or four at the time—and in short order our 26th President was pressed into service as an escort for Barbie. (I note with some amusement that the Pink One has lately dumped her longtime boyfriend. Poor Ken: if he can't win out over an Australian boogie-boarder, what chance did he have against Old Rough And Ready himself?)

One day, while cleaning Claire's room, I found TR and Barbie lying together in a heap, both stripped. This was a super-deluxe Barbie, all its limbs and joints fully articulated. Noting this, I did what any parent would have done: I posed Barbie and Teddy in a series of amusing pornographic tableaux.

The effect was slightly disturbing. The most unsettling aspect was how natural President Roosevelt looked in his new role as triple-X headliner: his cut physique and frozen, oddly joyless grin were part of it, but I think mostly it was the mustache. Let me say it unequivocally: Teddy Roosevelt was born to be a porn star.

Admit it, History: that nickname, "The Rough Rider," even sounds like the title of a blue movie.

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