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Kelly Flinn was a flaming tomboy. She drove spiders around in her Tonka truck and wore shorts under her first communion dress. To set her straight, her parents bought her a Barbie. Luckily, they bought Pilot Barbie. Flinn grew up, joined the Air Force, and became the first woman to fly a B-52 bomber. You know the rest: Girl meets sleazy boy who happens to be married, girl lies about the affair, girl is forced to resign amid humiliating media frenzy. Of course, girl might not have gotten the flood of sympathy and the Random House book deal (Proud to Be), had girl not looked a lot like Barbie herself. And Flinn apparently has about as much self-esteem: She ends a book documenting the military’s blazing hypocrisy with a desperate plea to one day be allowed to return. “Leaving the Air Force is the worst punishment I can imagine,” she says. Flinn tells her story at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919. (Amanda Ripley)