No doubt some will take offense to posting this story which treats the prompt with such irreverence, but, as Colette said, “Total absence of humor renders life impossible.” And of course, there is a very serious implication in this entry by Martin David, who sent me this along with his submission:
“This prompt/topic gave me problems from the first time you announced it. It is a topic I grew up with in my left-leaning family. I’ve been immersed in it….I’ve marched and picketed about it…..I’ve been in jail about it. I tried and could not get my pen to work on it. Finally, over breakfast at Truckee Bagel in my new home town of Reno, I was able to find a path.”
by Martin David
He was nervous. He had to go. His bladder and his bowels had been complaining to him all morning. He was one of the favored ones who had a permit to use the public facilities and that’s where he was headed. He could actually feel his blood pressure rise. He had never used the publics before and they were notoriously restrictive. The new segregation laws were enforced by powerful electro-beam projectors at the various labelled doors. The misty weather made his glasses keep fogging and he was terrified that he might miss one of the door signs. The first one was easy. He found the door marked, “Humans Only” and pushed his way through. Another row of doors stood before him. He chose “Male Identified Only” and entered. After that came “Caucasians Only”—easy choice. That was followed by “Mid-European Origin Only,” and “Both Parents Citizens Only.” His bodily needs were becoming more urgent and he tried to hurry. “Non-disabled Non-veterans Only” was next. That led to a narrow corridor with twelve doors. He correctly chose “Pisces Only” and went through. “Right-handed Only” or “Left-handed Only” was easy. He pushed a door with his dominant right hand and entered. The “Blue Eyes Only,” “Green Eyes Only,” “Brown Eyes Only” doors presented no problem. His eyes were brown and he picked that door. The height designation doors should be easy as well. He stood at five-feet, eight-and-three-quarter inches, but he always fancied himself a full five-foot-ten. The call of nature was reaching emergency level. If it was not answered soon, he would soil himself. He faced the door with the sign that read “5’10” to 6’ Only” and pushed. Somewhere a bell began ringing. There was a flash of light and the pain….the pain….the pain.
And again, Mark Twain: “Against the assault of humor, nothing can stand.”
Hope he’s right.
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