Jewish World Review Nov. 9, 2001 / 23 Mar-Cheshvan, 5762

Greg Crosby

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Home front -- THE front door opens and a rugged, good-looking man rushes in. He runs up to the beautiful blonde woman, takes her into his arms and excitedly tells her his news.

"Hey, babe, guess what? I've been called back into service!"

"W-what? Are you kidding me?"

"No, it's true!"

"I can't believe it -- at your age?"

"Yeah. They need me now -- more than ever."

"This is like, so totally unreal! I mean, after all this time."

"It has been awhile, babe, hasn't it?"

"It has been years. But why you? Why now? You did your duty long ago."

"Listen, honey, who else is better qualified? I served my first tour of duty in the sixties, during Vietnam. I retired from active service in 1978, but then came Reagan's military buildup and I was called back into action in 1982."

"And you outdid yourself. You served with honor right through the 1991 Gulf War. And now they want you back again? I can't believe this! Joseph, you've more than put in your time. Let them get somebody else now."

"I can't let them down. Besides, I have the experience. I've been there. And they really do need me -- it's a great thing to be needed, babe."

"Oh, sure, it's great for you, but where does that leave me?"

"What do you mean?"

"You're going back to active duty while I'm left here. I know it's selfish of me, but it's just not fair, Joseph!"

"That's just it, hon -- war isn't fair. But you'll be fine, honestly. Please don't cry." "N-nobody cares about me anymore."

"That's not true. You're just as important as I am. You're needed, too."

"Me? Doing what? I have no combat experience. What could I do?"

"The same thing you've always done, Babs."

"You mean..."

"Yes. Go shopping. Buy new outfits. Get an outfit for every occasion. Try new hairdos. Have fun! Play! The president has said that one of the best ways to fight this war is to keep the economy going by spending money. He said we should go out, travel, enjoy ourselves."

"Well, I can do that! Heck, I've done that for years!"

"Now you're talking. That's the idea!"

"I'll party in Malibu! I'll fly to exotic places. Maybe I'll even buy myself a new convertible -- in pink!"

"That's the ticket! That's my girl!"

"Sure. I can have fun. I can shop for clothes and accessories and all that."

"Believe me, Babs, it's the best thing you can do. Just be yourself and you'll be as accepted and as popular as ever."

"This is so cool, Joe. I want to stay popular so much! I am so into this. I can't wait to do my bit for the war effort."

"Well, I'd better go, hon. I've got my work cut out for me ...and you do, too. I've got to get out there and fight the forces of evil. You've got to get out there and try on new outfits. I'll be thinking of you, Barbie. Take care, doll. And have fun.

"I'll be thinking of you, too, Joe. Good luck, Joe -- my G.I. Joe.

Joe leaves and Barbie turns away from the door and walks into the empty room. She stops, her thoughts a million miles away. Then the phone rings.

"Hello? Oh, hi, Ken! Let's party!"

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby