Humor, Stories, Monologues, Etc...

Short Fiction – Pronouns

Jake pulled his mail out from the box and looked over at the clerk who was helping an elderly man mail a package. “My Annie’s birthday is next week. Are you sure it’ll get there on time?” he asked. “Five days is plenty of time Mr. Rosenberg, don’t worry.” The clerk replied. The elderly man smiled and made his way out of the post office.

“Have a good day, ma’am!” the clerk called to him. Jake stopped in his tracks and turned to the clerk. “Ma’am? “

“Oh, I’m sorry miss, it’s just a habit.” Said the clerk.

Jake froze.

“You presume to know my gender, and you are wrong. I prefer people to use ‘him’ and ‘his’ for my pronouns. And I’m certainly not a ‘miss.””

The clerk gave Jake a long look. “I’m sorry about that. Have a good day, sir,” he said.

Jake nodded his head, held it high and walked out of the post office.

*

Jake walked into the post office and saw the clerk was helping a young woman who wanted stamps. He opened his box and gathered his mail, closed the box and tried to get out without the clerk seeing him.

“Have a good day, ma’am!” called the clerk. Jake turned and the clerk blanched. “Oh, I’m sorry sir, please, have a good day.”

“Using the proper pronouns shows respect. When you don’t use my pronouns, I feel invalidated.”  Said Jake as he looked at the clerk expectantly.

“I didn’t mean to make you feel invalidated, sir,” said the clerk, “please accept my apologies.”

 Jake nodded his head, held it high and walked out of the post office.

*

Jake walked into the post office. There were no other customers and the clerk was sorting mail. Jake got his mail and turned toward the counter. The clerk looked up, started to say something, noticed who it was, and made a different choice.

“Do you need anything else, sir?” asked the clerk.

“No, I’m fine, thank you,” said Jake.  Jake turned and walked out of the post office head high.

*

Jake walked into the post office. At the counter was an Army Soldier talking to the clerk. Jake got his mail and then turned to hear the clerk say.

“Yes, sir. I’ll make sure to take care of that today.”

The soldier left giving Jake a smile. Jake frowned and turned to the clerk.

“Did you see that? Did you see how he looked at me?”

“I’m sorry, sir, you know how those military guys are.”

“Well, they need to respect other people’s choices,” said Jake as he walked out of the post office.

*

Jake walked into the post office to find that a table had been set up with an Army banner. Behind the table was the Army soldier from before. Jake got his mail but when he turned to leave, the clerk waved him over.

“I noticed that you hadn’t signed up yet, so I took the liberty of doing it for you,” said the clerk.

Jake looked over at the Soldier who looked up.

“Jake Holden? Your number has been called,” said the soldier, handing Jake a draft notice, “Welcome to the United States Army.”

*

Jake sat in a chair, his hair falling around him as he was given a buzzcut.

“Who the hell let little Susie in?” joked a recruit.

Jake gave the recruit an ugly face. “You presume to know my gender! It’s disrespectful. My pronouns are…”

“I don’t care what your pronouns are, little girl.” Said the drill sergeant behind her, “somehow, you got into this unit. You want respect? Earn it.”

Jake looked out over a sea of male faces. A sea of male faces stared back and looked at a cute nineteen-year-old 105 lb. blond woman with a buzz cut. One of the faces stepped forward. “Don’t worry, if you’re truly one of us, you’ll earn it.”

“Or die trying,” laughed another face. A third face punched the second in the arm, “ooh rah!”

“That’s enough ladies,” said the drill sergeant, “fall in!”

79 men fell in and came to attention. A moment later, Jake joined them.

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