|A parent's pride turned to pain|
Still, despite our sadness, and our almost unholy desire to expound on the obvious connotations surrounding the death of any rock star at the age of 27, we are moved to tell you about our own sighting of Miss Winehouse when we were visiting London last April. On our second evening in there, as we were walking through Camden Town (we're very fond of its cobblestone streets, dark alleyways, and19th century storefronts underscored by the ever-present scent of lamb curry) with our elder son, we spied a tiny figure with a black beehive and an excess of eye make-up being hoisted up into the air by an apparent member of the local Reggae music contingent (he wore dreadlocks and was standing outside of a club in which reggae music was playing at a wondrously loud volume).
|Amy's afslappede look|
|The artist's more serious side|
A few moments later, we were close enough to see that the woman with the black beehive being hoisted into the air was indeed Amy Winehouse, albeit in oddly conservative clothing, a fact which made me wonder aloud why she would spend what must be a great deal of time fixing her hair and applying copious amounts of make-up to her face only to walk around Camden Town in a polo shirt and jeans.
The next night, I asked the question of my London friend, Dawn, with whom my son and I were having a lovely Italian dinner (I'm sorry, but one simply does not go to London for the cuisine). She smiled at me over her wine.
|The iconic image|
|Tiger, tiger burning Brighton Beach|
|Barbara Feldon had 1960s sexiness in lockdown|
We knew this was impossible, of course, because, although we were fanciful, we were not stupid. And eventually, we were able to wean ourselves from the desire to be Barbara Feldon and focus our salivating attention on...wait for it...acquiring a pink poodle.
|A poodle in the pink|
Is he embarrassed around other dogs?
Through no fault of their own
|We would have gone with the white|
|A pink poodle's island paradise|
|A reward for hitting something|
No Shirt, No Shoes, No Fair
The progeny of extremely religious parents, we were not allowed to attend classic summer events such as fairs because, according to the man who yelled and screamed behind our church pulpit every Sunday, fairs were "worldly places" where bad people congregated in order to do terrible things to unsuspecting Christians. As a result, we spent many a summer night staring longingly out the car window as our father drove past the local fairgrounds en route to drop off our mother at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. The Ferris Wheel, the Carousel, and the Roller Coaster, the holy trinity of summer fairs and amusement parks, were nothing more than a swirl of lights in the distance, but the faces of the children leaving the fairgrounds were as bright and joyous as the sun. And the one that looked the happiest belonged to a child who lived on my street and who was clutching, of all things, a stuffed pink poodle.
We learned later that the child in question had won the poodle playing some game that involved throwing something at something else, and that it was one of several pastel-colored poodles available to winners of said game. Having already been told by our parents not to anticipate becoming the recipient of a flesh and blood pink poodle at any time in the near future, we developed an almost pathological desire to sneak into the fair the following night and attempt to win a stuffed pink poodle of our own. We hadn't the courage to do such a thing, though, and had all but reconciled ourselves to that fact when the boy who lived next door to us offered to win a stuffed poodle for us instead.
"All you have to do is hit three stupid pretend ducks with a ball," he explained. "A retard could do it. Or even you."
We begged to differ. He smirked like a nine-year-old Steve McQueen.
"Never mind. I'll get one for you," he said.
|A hero sandwich would have sufficed|
|Please tear out my eyeballs|
He handed us a Kewpie Doll, a six inch high horror of pudgy, pale naked skin, over-sized eyes and cutesy smile. Words eluded us.
"My sister won it playing ring toss," our hero said. "But she doesn't need it anymore."
When has anyone ever needed a Kewpie Doll? In Hell, perhaps, to frighten away the demons?
We thanked him and left with the doll in hand, disposing of it as soon as we reached home so that it could never horrify anyone else again.
But it was the final nail in the coffin of our pink poodle dreams. Never again would we believe so readily or so strongly in our right to have what we want simply because it's what we want. And never again would we picture a pink poodle in a rhinestone collar without the repugnant face of a Kewpie doll blocking a portion of our view.
|Epiphany Pink , one color fits all|