March 05th, 2018
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-
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