39 comments

Bedtime Western African American

"Hiiiii. Welcome to Hallmark Greetings & Gifts. May I help you find something today?"

"Well, uh, yes. I'm looking for a Valentine's Day card. For my niece."

"Perfect. Our Valentine's day selection is over here.”

“Are you sure?”

“Am I what?”

“Are you sure? I mean, these cards are assorted blues and yellows and greens.”

“And?”

“I was looking for Valentine’s Day cards. I was expecting a selection of cards in reds and pinks. Maybe some glitter.”

“Sir, we are an inclusive card store. I can assure you that blues and yellows and greens can express your festive wishes just as well as reds and pinks.”

“Fine, can you at least point me in the direction of cards for nieces?”

Nieces?”

“Yes, I need a card for my niece. You know, like my brother’s daughter.”

“Niece? Brother? Daughter? I’m not sure what you mean. We have a very nice selection of person cards. They can be found in any of the three aforementioned colors.”

“Listen, young man. If I didn’t care enough to send the very best, I would walk out right now.”

Young man? What are you? Some kind of neanderthal? It is completely inappropriate to force your traditional identifiers on us. Do I need to call my personager?”

“No, wait. I’m so sorry. I assumed you were a man. I mean, your septum ring’s engraving reads— It’s a man’s world.” 

“Sir, you’ll note my personal self-expression is intentionally ironic. I think both you and I completely understand it’s a human and huwoman’s world.” 

“Of course, of course. So, do you have any huwoman’s cards?”

“Please, sir. If you don’t stop with your offensive archaic patriarchal classifications, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“Beg your pardon?”

“Here at Hallmark, all of our cards are gender neutral and nonbinary.” 

“Wait, you’re trying to tell me that you don’t believe there are two sexes?”

“There you go again.”

There I go again. What did I do this time?”

“You used the word sexes.”

“Excuse me, genders.”

“And there it is again.”

“What?!”

“SEX-es. EX-cuse. Tell me you didn’t use words with x’s in them—just to make fun of me.”

“Why would I do that?”

“Oh, so now you’re using Y. Don’t think I know you aren’t gaslighting me with your references to x and y chromosomes.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me. I need to avoid using the letters x and y? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

Kidding? You really said kidding? We do not recognise age here. We at Hallmark are also non-numeric when it comes to age. Have you been living on a deserted island? Are you Gilligan or Mary Ann?”

“Actually, I prefer Ginger.”

“You prefer characters named after seasonings?! You do realize that seasonings are objects, thus you must support the objectification of persons who are neither seasonings nor objects.”

“I’m not objectifying anyone!”

“One? Anyone? Typical of someone who is not supportive of the community. You’ve  automatically assumed not only my gender, but also my number. I am not anyone. I am anytwo. And my pronouns are Alpha and Omega.”

“I understand and thank you for educating me. Now, could we please just start over?”

 “At Hallmark, we believe that everyone, everytwo, and everythree can start over. Would you like to see the Starting Over section of our greeting cards?”

“I would just like a Valentine’s Day card to send my niece—my person—”

“Do you own this person?”

“No, of course not.”

“You said ‘my person’ like you owned him or her or they or them or ze or hir or xe or sem or hy or hym . . .’

“You forgot thou, thee, thy, thine, and ye.”

“Ye has been canceled. Kanye West is officially over.”

“My God, who thought getting a card would be so difficult.”

“I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt because you are obviously retarded only in the exact clinical definition of the term. And we don’t want to use the term card.”

“You are shitting me.”

“I wouldn’t shit you as you are quickly becoming my favorite turd.”

“That’s not funny.”

“I know, but using the word card isn’t funny either.”

“Why the hell not? Because playing cards have kings and queens? And kings are always boys and queens are girls?”

“Hey, you’re right. I hadn’t thought to be offended at that, yet there is more. Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but there are no more girls. A spade is a pejorative name for melanin over abundant persons. Do I really have to explain all this?”

“I’d love a club right now so I could—”

“Could what? Are you threatening all my selves with violence? I assure you, anythree of my personas would gladly open up a can of whoopass on you. Now here. Take this and go.”

“What is this?”

“This is a folded up piece of cardstock with glitter and typography expressing heartfelt sentiments along with an envelope for $5.95.”

“This is a card.”

“If you insist on using that term, I suppose it is.”

“Let’s see what it says. To the offspring of my sibling. I am platonically fond of you and aware of your boundaries. Have the day of your choosing and seek the desires of whatever bodily organ you choose. This is horrible. Do you have any others?”

“Try this one.”

“This isn't a card! This is a Chinese takeout menu.”

“I don’t appreciate your cultural appropriation. Just open it up.”

I apologize for the paternal Greco-Roman-based hegemony and its underpinnings of modern society. I just want a Valentine’s Day card, not to atone for Western civilization!”

“Just doing my job, ma’amsirthem.”

“Fine. I’ll take the first one. I talked to my mailman, and he assured me if I got it in the mail today it would be there by Valentine’s day.”

“The mailman will get it in the mail? Have you not learned a thing? Were you even listening?”

“As little as I possibly could. What new rule did I break now?”

“You need to get it to your person-person so they can get in the person.”

“Whatever.”

“Whatever to you, too. Have a non-specific day and thank you for shopping at Hallmark.”

February 14, 2022 19:20

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39 comments

Mae Stroshane
13:50 Feb 23, 2022

This is great fun! I think even my trans friends - the ones with a sense of humor - would agree! Love all twists of language that keep getting more and more outrageous (forgive the use of the word "out" as not everyone is!)

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Mister X
17:57 Feb 24, 2022

Mae you get me and crack me up. How did I miss “out”? 😀

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Alize Henry
21:41 Feb 19, 2022

Satire, a dying art. Loved your story. It is funny.

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Mister X
21:45 Feb 19, 2022

Thanks for understanding. Not everyone does. :-)

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Taj Isly
20:50 Feb 19, 2022

Hilarious :) Ma'amsirthem could be the futur non-gender polite way to talk to people.

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Mister X
21:10 Feb 19, 2022

It rolls of the tongue. :-)

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Taj Isly
21:16 Feb 19, 2022

We might have also invented a new language by then :D

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Charlie Murphy
17:27 Feb 22, 2022

LOL! I love this! Reminds me of your story about the shrink!

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Thom Brodkin
18:48 Feb 22, 2022

It's so funny you said that. I just re-read that one the other day and thought the same thing. I must have been in the same head space. :-)

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Charlie Murphy
20:18 Feb 22, 2022

Haha! Can you read my new story, The Diaps?

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Sharon Hancock
03:09 Feb 22, 2022

😂😂😂😂love it! Satire is my fav.

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Thom Brodkin
18:49 Feb 22, 2022

If only all people were so inclined.

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Thom Brodkin
02:32 Feb 21, 2022

How is this not recommended. This should win. It’s hilarious. Don’t people like to laugh anymore?

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Paul Brown
00:00 Feb 20, 2022

Thanks for the comedy sketch, I'll never buy another CARD without thinking of your great story. A satirical portrayal of where madness overtakes common sense, and I know I'm going to get some stick for that last statement. Cheers for your inventive humour. :)

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Mister X
00:53 Feb 20, 2022

Fortune favors the bold. 😀

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Sparrow Rose
21:54 Feb 19, 2022

I was about to type a comment saying that this story could be offensive and then I just took a second and laughed out loud. Maybe I should take a few days off the internet.

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Mister X
00:55 Feb 20, 2022

Laughing is so much more fun than being angry. Glad to have you on board.

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Maggie Gibbs
12:20 Feb 19, 2022

This story was hilarious. I appreciate the comedy in it because it’s honestly so hard these days to talk to “any persons” because you don’t know who you may or may not offend just by asking a simple question. Thanks for that. I needed the laugh.

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Mister X
14:45 Feb 19, 2022

I’m glad you “got” it. Satire is dying a slow death. When it’s gone people may be less offended but they’ll laugh a whole lot less too. Welcome to Reedsy!!

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Maggie Gibbs
16:08 Feb 19, 2022

Everyone needs a good laugh! The ones who get it will be over here in the corner smiling at life while others get their undergarments in a twist over things described in your story. Thanks for the welcome! Looking forward to contributing!

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Francis Daisy
02:15 Feb 15, 2022

HILARIOUS! It was like having a conversation with my/the/some/any child/teen/tween/non-age specific warm-blooded two-legged creature today! Well written! Was this as fun to write as it was to read?

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Tommy Goround
02:59 Dec 04, 2022

Clapping

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Wally Schmidt
01:42 Dec 04, 2022

From California where this is a thing-I love the satire. The writing is witty and brilliant and so quick it reminds me of "who's on first". And I am sure in time, this one will be a classic as well. I am going to forward it to everyone I work with on Monday and that includes a lot of the people you mentioned in your piece. And whether people can see themselves in it or not, I am sure every single one will have a belly laugh. Great reminder to not take yourself or your beliefs too seriously. Can't wait to read more of your work. Thank you fo...

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Andrea Terracina
16:51 Apr 29, 2022

Love it!

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Palak Shah
15:40 Mar 20, 2022

Nice story, it was a great read and utterly hilarious. I loved it :)) Could you please read my story if possible? Thanks :))

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Paisley Pierce
20:26 Mar 18, 2022

LGBTQ+ community approves

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Andrea Magee
06:34 Mar 11, 2022

Bravo!! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

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Kendall Defoe
04:33 Feb 27, 2022

This is absolutely brilliant! And why do I have the feeling, despite the humour, that this is what shopping is going to turn into one day?

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Craig Westmore
20:54 Feb 22, 2022

Fun story. Reminds me of a modern day version of Abbott and Costello's sketch Who's on first, What's on second.

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14:06 Feb 21, 2022

Very witty. Wore me out...as does our current cultural way of thinking. Not sure how you think all this up. Good story.

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J.C. Lovero
00:32 Feb 21, 2022

Oh my goodness, I was laughing out loud throughout. Well done! This one was my favorite line: “One? Anyone? Typical of someone who is not supportive of the community. You’ve automatically assumed not only my gender, but also my number. I am not anyone. I am anytwo. And my pronouns are Alpha and Omega.”

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Thom Brodkin
18:50 Feb 22, 2022

It's a real thing!!!! :-)

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