By Kevin O’Kendley (2013)
Darlene McTavish jumped in a cab: her twenty-two-year-old Harley was in the shop, she’d dropped it on an icy corner a week earlier, fortunately she hadn’t been injured but the bike had been pounded.
When the taxi glided to a stop in front of FitzGerald’s Grocery Emporium 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 for women was $6.00 and the ticket for guys, $4.62.
Darlene grumbled: "What the? Where in the Constitution does it"--
“Ahem. Pardon me? That’s just the way it’s always been,” inscrutable with hoodie eyes the cabbie explained briskly, “ask anyone, missy."
Missy? Darlene took a deep breath, a brilliant calming technique learned from her YWCA Lamaze lessons. Though mystified as to why it was cheaper for a man to ride in a cab than a woman Darlene still shelled out a fair tip: two bucks.
Inside Fitzy’s it was the same thing, the same inflammatory mystery lurked behind every price tag: 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 flipping insult, Tampons were $5.00 for women and $3.85 for men!
Despite being outraged -- her little clam shell ears were fire-engine red (a real warning sign) -- Darlene gently -- breathing in and out -- asked the mustachioed cashier with the pug-lumpy face, "What's going on? Y’know this is unfair -- un-American. It's flat out wrong."
The cashier shrugged, and said with no small kindness, "Sorry, ma'm, but on the average women make seventy-seven cents for every buck a man makes in this country -- you do the math." -end-
A carbuncle is a roiled mass of skin or a beautiful gem. The incredible gem is pictured in the logo below and at the bottom of the short story section...
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material -- cartoons, blogs, shorts, essays, articles -- 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, email@example.com.
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