Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #408

Terry paused, fully aware of which bathroom was more self-identifying, but trying to remember what state this was and whether or not there were any insipid rules created by local politicians who couldn’t care less about some of their constituents.

Suddenly, Dolly Parton came trotting up, leaving a trail of sequins behind her. “Hey, girl. You look a little bit blue. Can I sing you a song to make you feel better? I’ve written a couple thousand of ‘em, so I’m sure I got one in my satchel that will help you find your smile.”

Terry: “Hey, Dolly. I’d love a personal concert, but right now I got a little bladder pressure going on and… well, I don’t know if there might be a ruckus based on which door I pick.”

Dolly: “Say no more. I know all about this mess, with some folks not understandin’ that other folks might not be comfortable with the cards they were dealt. Shoot, I don’t think there’s anything left on my body that I ain’t changed up a bit. Now you run on and go where you need to go and I’ll stay right here and make sure nobody messes with your business.”

Terry: “You are so kind, Dolly. And for the record, I think your version of ‘I Will Always Love You’ is much better than Whitney’s.”

Dolly: “Oh, I don’t care who sings my songs as long as I get the royalties. Now scoot!”

Terry entered one of the doors.

Suddenly, RuPaul came trotting up, leaving a trail of promotional flyers for the next season of “Drag Race” behind him. “Hey, Dolly. I hear you’ve been nominated for another 16 Country Music Awards this year.”

Dolly: “Hey, girl. Have I? I don’t really pay much attention to that. It’s nice and all, and I do appreciate it, but I’m not in this business for trophies. I’m in it because sometimes your words can reach the right person at the right time. Somebody told me the words I needed to hear back in the Great Smoky Mountains, and I’m just tryin’ to pay it back.”

RuPaul: “You are such a fountain of wisdom.”

Dolly: “Honey, that might just be a silicone rupture. This happens all the time. You probably oughta step back before your mascara gets ruined.”

RuPaul: “I’m not scared of makeup malfunctions. That’s what my TV show is all about. Now really, why are you here and not in the VIP room?”

Dolly: “I’m just lookin’ out for somebody that is misunderstood. Something that all decent people should do.”

RuPaul: “Say no more. I’m in.”

Suddenly, Ellen DeGeneres came trotting up, leaving a trail of Emmy Awards behind her. “Hey, girls! Did I miss an e-vite? Why are we all standing outside some bathrooms? I might be able to make this a segment on my show.”

Dolly: “I think we’re all here because the writer is desperate to make a point, but that doesn’t mean I’m not happy to see you. How’s Portia?”

Ellen: “She’s swell, as always. But what is the writer trying to prove?”

RuPaul: “I think the answer is heading our way, leaving a trail of bigotry and intolerance behind him.”

Terry, exiting the chosen facility: “Is that the governor of Texas over there?”

Ellen: “The one who called a special session of the state legislature just to pass another ridiculous Bathroom Bill?”

RuPaul: “The one and the same. Apparently, he didn’t learn a thing with what happened in North Carolina.”

Terry: “The bigots never learn.”

Dolly: “Oh, yes they can. Well, some of them can at least learn to keep their mouths shut when their foolishness runs against the will of the people. In the spirit of those long-ago words in the Great Smoky Mountains, we should all have the right to be who we wish to be. Let’s join arms, girls.”

And the writer left the room, leaving a trail of hope behind him.


Previously published in “Crusty Pie” in 2016 (short version) and “Bonnywood Manor” in 2017 (longer version). Said longer version was a response to Greg Abbott, Texas governor and Bigot Extraordinaire, forcing the state legislature to convene a special session just to shove through legislation requiring all Texans to use bathrooms based on their birth-certificate gender, aka a “bathroom bill”. The bill did not pass, partly because several major companies made it clear that they would pull out of Texas if it happened. It’s a bit sad that Republicans won’t vote based on decency but they WILL vote based on how an economic ding might affect their electability. But hey, whatever it takes.

Reposting this now (with tiny changes) because Trump has made it one of his missions to vilify the transgender community. (Want to be a patriot and fight for your country? Not on his watch, based on his executive order banning the recruitment of transgender patriots into the military.) The vile viciousness of the right-wing continues to appall me, even though by now I should never be surprised.

On a lighter note, Dolly and RuPaul and Ellen will now lead us in a rousing rendition of “We Shall Overcome”, accompanied by tambourines and designer couture, as we wrap up this session. And on your way out? Hug someone who is transgender. Hug your neighbor. Hell, hug a stranger. Because in the end, I Will Always Love You wins out over I Will Always Hate.

Dolly won’t mind the change to the lyrics.  She still owns the royalty rights. And she is perfectly happy to loan just the right sparkly outfit to someone who has accepted themselves and might be changing their bathroom destination.



16 replies »

  1. OMG! I didn’t hear about this before! I completely won’t watch or listen to Trump et al. and will change channels, turn off, whatever. He is a soupy gelatinous mass of corrosive acid and I can’t tolerate hearing him. So sorry to hear about this, Brian. Yes, it failed, but the fact that it was even attempted makes me feel sick. I hope you’re able to dump that pile by the side of the road in the next election because he is doing so, so much damage. If he could, he would make himself king and stick your country back in the 1850s. I hoping for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, Trump has a real problem with transgender folks. (One of his many problems, of course.) Still, he wouldn’t be in such a position of power without a significant portion of the American population encouraging his hatred. THAT’s the real issue. He might get dumped, but what do we do with the ignorant electorate?…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In a world where children die with empty bellies, and the homeless die on the street…
    where generals play chess with our youth, and we continue to pollute the earth,
    I am bewildered at the concept that legislators should decide where one pees or what
    gender one should be.I guess they think that takes the pressure off their lack of ability
    to solve any of the issues they were elected to solve. On a more positive note, you wove
    this parable with the skill of a virtuoso. Well thought and well writ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could not agree with you more. There are SO many more important things in this world to worry about, yet many of our elected officials are completely complicit in extending the needless suffering just so they can get a few extra bucks from their conservative donors…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oddly (and it is odd to me anyhow), that person (I’m not judging the plumbing either way ‘cos some are blessed to be able to blend in whatever the venue) looks strangely like “Miss Jane” from the old “Beverly Hillbillies” (c) implied ) show. And last night I was watching a series of mindless and mostly sub-par movies in an attempt to hurry the sun across the sky so it stopped searing the land and making me cranky. I could hear the dollars just flying out the window to pay for the A/C. Anyway. In one of the films some dim wit is in a bar and a Unisex visaged person (like the one in your picture) appeared to take the order of said dimwit. Dim wit stuttered and stared, and stared and then feebly asked if the person behind the bar was a man – “because damn, you’d be an UGLY woman”. The bar tender (who no doubt spit in and then put eye drops in just as a chaser in the dimwit’s drink) said “I AM a WOMAN.” Personally when I’m in doubt? I keep my trap shut. And I don’t care who uses the facilities when they need to go. I’m not looking at their plumbing anyway. So not my business. All God’s chilluns got rights and needs and one of those is the freedom to relieve themselves.

    I’m guilty of using the Men’s room when the Ladies is either full of someone who is apparently full of shit (literally) or when the damned line is so long that a bladder malfunction of exquisitely high embarrassment level will occur. Nobody blinked an eye. And the cry of folks who are overly concerned (in my opinion) with someone who has the ‘wrong’ plumbing for the situation is that those persons taking a whiz in the wrong room “But they’re PERVERTS and just want to see women (or men) doing their thing” is so incredibly stupid it makes me ashamed to be a member of the human race. I always wonder who the pervert in question really is…the wrongly plumbed or the allegedly righteous with the filthy mind. And I wonder (and I’ve asked too) how the filthy minded idiot KNOWS that the wrongly plumbed is using the wrong room anyway… are THEY looking to see? Because that’s the same thing they’re accusing the differently plumbed one of doing, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • As usual, I loved everything about your comment, but of course I have to zero in on one of your points: Who ARE these people that are so concerned with what others might be doing in the (relative) privacy of a public bathroom and how do they know that there’s an issue without some overtly investigative research? Wipe your ass and move on, because “All God’s chilluns got rights and needs and one of those is the freedom to relieve themselves”…


  4. I love this one, run it as many times as needed and Lordy, Brian, we need it.

    Not sure if you heard the recent news: the Evangelicals are finally upset with Trump. You wanna know why? He used the Lord’s name in vain! Okay, just so we’re clear, your candidate is accused of rape, he brags about grabbing women, he’s endorsed by the KKK, he tweets vile and hateful things, and those are all okay, but then he said “god damn” and NOW you’re mad?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is the head-spinning life that we live these days. How does one have an intelligent conversation with someone who is so woefully unprepared when it comes to intelligence? These are the times when I wonder, well damn, maybe we NEED to have an asteroid hit the planet and shake things up a bit. Okay, that’s a bit unfair and insipid. But really, what is it going to take?

      Liked by 1 person

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