Darlene McTavish jumped in a cab, her twenty-two-year-old Harley was in the shop. When she got to the grocery store the taxi pulled to the curb. The cabbie said, "Six smackeroos." To Darlene's surprise the meter was double-jointed or two-faced showing separate prices for males and females. The fare was $6.00 for ladies and $4.62 for the guys:
"What the?" Darlene grumbled.
All the cabbie would say was, "That's just the way it's always been. Ask anyone."
Mystified as to why it was cheaper for a man to ride a cab than a woman Darlene still shelled out a fair tip: two bucks.
Inside the store it was the same thing, the same mystery: milk was $4.00 for women and $3.08 for men, coffee $7.00 for women and $5.39 for men, and then the kicker, the final insult, tampons were $5.00 for women and $3.85 for men. Tampons?
Even though she was outraged -- her little clamshell ears were red (a real warning sign for her) -- Darlene gently asked the mustachioed cashier, "What's going on? This is unfair -- un-American. It's wrong."
The cashier shrugged, and said, "Sorry, ma'm, but on the average in this country women make $0.77 for every $ 1.00 a man makes -- you do the math."
Please donate to the Winterport Heating Fund: Winterport Town Office, 20 School Street, Winterport, Maine, 04496, 207-223-5055
Father Time is the mother of all action figures. Becoming a house husband can be a close second but not if you don't let it. New to the job? Let it be known that if invited to a Tupperware Party you'll be wearing a hardhat and a kilt. Real Scotsmen don't wear underwear under their kilts. If a real tough mother does invite you she won't let you sit down anywhere or at least not on a white or light colored couch. I've been waiting for fourteen years for a Tupperware Party invitation. Guess what? You're right. I never got one. So, once you got that out of the way you can call yourself anything you want: this is America. One of the things I call myself is: writer.
Here's some other job descriptions you can use. If you're changing diapers: Waste Disposal Engineer. Ever write a check? Property Manager. Brush the dog. Dog Groomer. Make toast. Electronics Engineer. Change the oil in your ten-year-old car. Auto mechanic. A week late on your taxes. A tax resister. See where I'm going with this. You are not a househusband you're Captain of the Bridge: the fate of all civilization is in your hands. Really. You are helping to raise a child or children that may never start a war, that might cure cancer, or become president, or someone that will be happy and live a full life. So, when you're in your Soccer Dad Car and you see some woman speed by on a Harley you might forget about your plethora of job titles, now and again (you're only human), but never forget that a father by any other name is still a father by any other name.
Happy Father's Day.
Welcome to the Twenty-first Century: the future is in the rearview mirror and gaining on us...
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material on the website (there has been a very limited editorial input in some of my work). Quoted sources are noted. I am responsible for all posts.
Kevin O'Kendley: P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496, and 200 P Street, A-32, Sacramento, California, 95814, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technical help is provided by an evolving computer genius, my son, Conor O'Kendley. A good kid with a great heart who can be reached at P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496.
Photography provided by a visual artist, my daughter, Caitlin O'Kendley, a young woman with a beautiful soul.
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