Friday, April 15, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Fantasy of Disablism

“Some days I just think giants are racist against dwarfs.”

“What? Some of my best friends are dwarfs.”

“That's what you always say.”

“But you're one of them. We hung out all weekend. I let you swim in my gin until you got drunk.”

“That was demeaning.”

“It was your idea! Are you reading that crazy blog again?”

“You won't even let us drink out of the same water fountains.”

“You are reading that shit again! Dude, you’re physically unable to drink from our fountains. I'm bigger than your house.”

“Perhaps I could afford a bigger house if I was paid the same wages. A giant dwarf house with plenty of water fountains.”

“The city commissioned ones that were height-appropriate.”

“A step-ladder! A simple step-ladder and I'd be able to use the ‘normal’ water fountain like the rest of the giants.”

“It'd take a staircase.”

“Do you know how many staircases in this city were built by dwarfs? We make up seventy percent of the engineering workforce and spend all our time on projects we’re never allowed to use.”

“That’s because your thing takes less time to build. It’s smaller.”

“Why do we have to have different things? Why can’t we drink from the same thing?”

“You'd fall in and drown.”

“Two dwarfs did drown in giant water fountains just last week. If we were valued as equal citizens, that wouldn't be possible.”

“Nobody thought dwarfs would be dumb enough to climb all the way up there.”

“So you do think we're of diminutive intelligence. Why don't you go ahead and call me less of a person?”

“Diminutive in height. In height! It's a technical term.”

“For the lesser race.”

“Stop talking like that. It makes me feel…”


“Stop that.”

“Admit it. You're biased against non-gigantic peoples.”

“I'm certainly heading in that direction now.”

“Have you ever tried drinking from our water fountains?”

“No, because I’m too large. And I have bad knees.”

“Don’t pretend you’re the oppressed one here.”

“You think I don’t want to drink from all the water fountains? The lines move quicker on yours. Giants take forever. You dwarfs look so much happier. Sometimes I wonder if it tastes different.”

“You’re shirking the issue!”

“I lie awake nights thinking if only I was non-gigantic enough to taste that water. To chatter with those chipper little girls. There’s no talking in the line for the giant water fountain.”

“You’re calling us a jolly wee folk? Why don’t you compliment our pointy hats next? You bigot.”

“Giants don’t get to wear hats. There isn’t enough material. You ever think about that? You ever been unable to wear a hat because that much cotton could outfit sails for three dwarf tall ships?”

“Hey, listen here…”

“No. I don’t want to hear it. I’m going to go get a drink.”


  1. I've got two words for you:

  2. Because I can "see" it I'm cracking up. John, you're too much.

  3. Once again you've got me laughing. Great job, John!

  4. A very valid point, John, and raised in your own inimitable style. Wonderful!

  5. I smiled all the way through this. Enjoyed it very much.

  6. A clever little (and big, don't want to exclude anyone here) satire on political correctness

  7. I loved the humour in this 'all dialogue' tale. The giant would make a good politician...

  8. Hilarious, as usual. I laughed out loud at this part -

    I lie awake nights thinking if only I was non-gigantic enough to taste that water.

  9. Great twist, John. Rational arguments will fail in this kind of context - always have, always will.

  10. Tim, wow. I have never heard that song. What a... weird thing.

    Mary, Helen and Chuck, glad I got you folks to laugh. Thanks for stopping by!

    Sam, I'm curious - what is the point you think I raised?

    Mr. Marc, you'd better not exclude anyone. You'll get in a wee bit of trouble for that.

    Alan, given that I was aiming for all-humor, I hope this means you enjoyed the whole thing. I don't think the giant would be handle politics well in the long term - the anxiety would take him down.

    Laurita, wouldn't it be nice if they all drank from the same water fountain? Maybe if he carried around a long enough straw.

    Tony, an upset person with an emotional social wedge can usually disrupt any conversation.

  11. It's a good thing the giant didn't ask the dwarf to go bowling! Pretty funny.

  12. Brilliant... I love the political fantasy dialogues.

  13. Yes, sometimes political correctness does go too far, and there is no pleasing some folk! It fascinates me how you can write a story using nothing but dialogue, and yet I can still "see" it in my head.

  14. Never thought I'd laugh while reading of racism.
    You've proved me wrong, and I'm so glad you have! ;) This flash is hilarious, love it!

  15. The scary thing is, I've had conversations like this. Well, not totally like this. It's impossible to come out on top in a conversation about being politically correct. Too many pit falls.
    For some reason (shoot me down) i'm seeing the 'Doozers' from "Fraggle Rock". i need help.

  16. Mr. FAR, why do giants make all their lanes so long that dwarfs can't play in them? It's shameful.

    Max, sometimes I get an idea for one. It's pure luck, honestly - glad you like them!

    Icy, did any passages seem particularly animated? I was tempted to insert context and narrative, but wanted to run with the all-dialogue restraint. I actually acted out the giant's mannerisms at the end as I wrote this. Was a fight not to write them.

    Estrella, I figure we must laugh at racism. Anything so serious that no one will laugh at it is most desperately in need of humor.

    Scribbler, I would hope you never have conversations exactly like this, but that if you do then you take those drugs responsibly. Political correctness has its sensibilities, but can go too far. More often, though, I think it's a particular group identity that gets unhinged.

  17. A nice use of fiction to address a social issue. And the ending is appropriate. Eventually, ranting loses the ears of its audience.

  18. If only all drama-vampire types lost the ears of their audiences to more constructive folks, Stephen, it'd be a better world.

  19. Funny and pushing against the political correctness that society has let get a litte out of control these days.

  20. I can't actually put my finger on it, which is annoying. It's just got a very passionate feel to it.

  21. Isn't that pretty much the long and the short of it? The grass is always greener on the other side.

    Funny John!

  22. Harry, "the long and the short of it." Oh. Well-punned, sir.

    Lara and Sonia, thanks for reading. Glad it amused you!

    Icy, just figured I'd ask. Thanks for checking back.

  23. This argument will never be resolved until they can see life from each others perspective.

    As usual, nice writing John.

  24. You have the most wonderfully slanted view of the world. And you make me laugh with the absurdity.

  25. Made me laugh as always! Great sketch John xx

  26. my god you are to funny i love reading your work great job

  27. I wanted to jump in and yell "Roll for initiative!" to settle the matter. Great banter, thanks for the story, John!

  28. Mwahahah! At6'5" I'm familiar with this line of conversation. I can tell you from experience that using fountains as an example was perfect. It's not short people who are the problem, though. It's all those damn folks who hover around the statistical mean that make life hell for both ends of the spectrum.

  29. This is brilliant. I am serious. It shows, through a simple dialogue, how silly some "political correctness" can be.

  30. Clever. Very clever. And I liked it.

  31. Holy shit, John, I was actually laughing out loud the entire time I read that. Although, to be fair, the liquor may have helped. #oppressedanddrunkendwarfface

  32. That is some very well written whining on the part of these two!

  33. In a society populated by giants and dwarves one can't blame the little guys for being a little antsy. Still, a cunningly well executed dialogue only piece, sir.

  34. Steve, it will actually be resolved the next payday when he lets the dwarf swim in his gin again. I promise.

    Raven, I appreciate you sharing this view with me, if only for a few hundred words. My absurdist slant is something I hope to always retain.

    Sam, Zelda, Judge and Cathy, thank you all for dropping by. I'm glad I made you grin at some political shenanigans.

    John Unknown, I can feel your exuberance there. Thanks so much for the kind words.

    Reginald, I should have seen some D&D jokes coming. Does it make me a bad nerd that they were actually far from my mind?

    Trevor, 6'5"? I have immediate height envy. A lot of immortal-sized people have trouble around my house. Visitors tend to walk into dangling light fixtures.

    Danni, I can abide drunken readings when they cast favorable light on my work. Thanks for stopping by during happy hour!

    Jason, people will find ways to be unhappy, or those ways will find them. One or the other, this I solemnly swear.

  35. Great dialogue and cutting remarks by both of them. I enjoyed the bit with swimming in the gin.

  36. This is so clever and witty Im inspiried. Great, no sorry, awsome piece John - brilliant work

  37. I love the use of dialogue without narrative to convey this point of view. I am at the other end of the spectrum at 4'10" and have wondered at the vaulted ceilings in my living room--I'm afraid of ladders so I just stare up at the dust. I know you won't like hearing this but you are one of the reasons I stopped writing. After your piece "I Hate Gay" I felt totally incompetent. You should have won an award for that one and this piece should definitely get recognition beyond your blog.

  38. Aidan, which remarks did you find particularly cutting? Curious for your experience.

    Brainhaze, thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, and further glad to see you making the rounds in #fridayflash.

    Susan, for my entire life I've had friends who were taller than me. Having enjoyed both pro-wrestling and Godzilla, height envy is natural. I'm saddened to read that I left you feeling so self-conscious as to not write or share your own work, though. Even though you put it as praise, I feel I should apologize.

  39. OMG, that was hilarious!

    And now I want to swim in a giant glass of gin. Now see what you've done?

  40. I love it! I'm just picking sides. ;-)

    Sorry if my too dry wit doesn't translate sometimes.

  41. Excellent portrayal of what racism can do to us John, and some great laughs while you're at it. You are the master at doing all dialogue yet still getting the point across.

    Sadly, this makes me think of conversations with my mother all too much.

  42. Ganymeder/Catherine, just go make the big bucks with your writing and you afford to drown in gin. I believe that's been a career goal of many writers. Oh dear - did I say "big" bucks?

    Lou, you're welcome to pick a side. I highly appreciate you coming back to clarify that the story hadn't ticked you off - I read the one-liner as unamused. Thanks!

    Deanna, are you suggesting racism makes us all small? You racist! Although seriously, I'm sorry you ever have any conversation along this theme with your loved ones.


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