My Skipper was “Malibu Skipper.” She had a bronze tan and long, platinum blonde hair, presumably from all of her beach activities. I’m pretty sure she never used sunscreen, either. Not that it would have made much of a difference, but I digress.
Among the various pieces of clothing I had for Skipper was a frilly yellow sundress. One day, I had what I thought at the time was a brilliant idea. There was a table lamp on my bedroom dresser, and wouldn’t Skipper’s yellow dress look really beautiful with the lamp shining through from below?
As was true with so many of the stupid stunts I pulled as a child, my younger sister watched eagerly from the sidelines.
The base and shade of the lamp were made entirely of glass. You could look down from the top of the lamp shade and see the bulb through a hole in the middle of the shade. I placed Skipper’s feet through this hole, then spread her dress out over the top of the lamp shade and smoothed it out around her.
I turned on the lamp, and behold! Skipper’s yellow sundress lit up from below like a miniature golden sun, and she looked lovely! We were impressed.
Not long after, we detected a foul-smelling odor. It was coming from the lamp or, more precisely, it was coming from Skipper. I lifted the hem of her dress. We were horrified to see that her rubbery legs had melted to the hot lightbulb and were now burning and smoking.
Boy, was I in trouble now!
Neither I nor my sister remembers what happened afterwards other than the obvious fact that the lightbulb, with Skipper permanently melted to it, had to be thrown away and replaced. Knowing our mother, she probably gave me a stern talking-to about how I could have burned down the house. I probably lost some “privileges” for a while. I was always losing privileges for one thing or another.
Several years ago, my sister surprised me with a brand new Skipper doll and quickly added, “Try not to melt her legs off this time.”
Now, where did I put that little yellow sundress…