Yesterday, while getting ready for my trip home to visit my family for a long weekend, I heard a feature on NPR about the 1963 original prototype for G.I. Joe being auctioned, with an expectation that he might fetch as much as $600,000. Later news articles report that bids for the 40-year-old didn’t even reach the $250,000 reserve price, so poor Joe remains alone. I know just how he feels.
I was also reminded of the G.I. Joe I’d owned as a kid, and his own identity crisis. Already a burgeoning liberal–and with my gay genes clearly already activated–I had decided that Joe was a pacifist, and I removed all his military drag and threw it away. I then took some of my sister’s Ken doll’s pants, cutting them down into short shorts–for which I later blamed our younger cousin–that the shirtless Joe adopted as his ubiquitous costume.
The AWOL Joe and his new buddy Ken also spent many hours tooling around our basement in Barbie’s dream car, which the apparently bi-curious Ken borrowed without permission–along with some Bob Mackie gowns–from his anorexic girlfriend.