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I had this appointment.

H’m. It occurs to me that many of my ‘stories’ start with that line or one just like it — probably too many. I guess I just seem to encounter absurdities and incongruities when I have appointments. I don’t think it’s anything I do.

At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Be that as it may, I did have this appointment. I even decided that I wasn’t going to be late. (After all, they have free wi-fi and comfy chairs in the waiting room — perfect for working on rambling, incoherent and overwrought stories.) The appointment was with a very nice young lady who wears red shoes (not orange, thankfully) and, despite the fact that she sometimes wears a white coat, it’s the wrong right kind so she’s decidedly non-scary. (Well any more than is usual — girls are, after all, intrinsically scary.)

The appointment wasn’t that far from home and since I’m not totally pathetic and since the city has, um, ‘restricted’ parking in that area I decided to walk. (It was also the first day of spring. That may have been a factor too.) I went to the corner, turned down the street named after a dead mathematician and there it was — a parked car.


(I’ve mentioned before that our neighbourhood is a popular parking Destination so it’s not really horrific. I exaggerate shamelessly.)

It had, unsurprisingly, a license plate. A standard, government-issued, four-letters-three-numbers generic, you take what you get license plate.

The four letters were BDSM.

I was surprised.

I wasn’t shocked or appalled or anything. Just surprised.

I mean, the Ministry of Transport has a faceless drone (please tell me there’s not a whole office of them) who probably wears grey suits who probably toils somewhere in a grey little office (probably dusty — it has to be dusty) inside a grey little building and his (her?) job is to veto ‘inappropriate’ license plates. ‘TRYMYBED?’¬† Vetoed. ‘GNGSHW?’ Vetoed. ‘CARRNAGE?’ Vetoed. Back in ’07 he (?) wouldn’t let a minister named Joanne have the plate ‘REV JO.’ While he (?) ‘mostly’ deals with vanity plates, his (?) job also extends to ‘conventional’ plates — certain letter combinations just aren’t allowed, all in the name of protecting the delicate sensibilities of the Ontario public. And we appreciate it.

I guess.

The thing that surprised me is that the Grey Little Man (or Woman) approved BDSM. And not just once but 999 times. Odd, even in the current Post-Jian era.

My first thought was that maybe this meant that it’s possible for bureaucracies of faceless drones to have a sense of humour. Maybe guardians of public decency have redeeming features.


But then I looked a little deeper and found that he/she/they recently vetoed the vanity plate ‘BONDAGE’ (the ‘B’ in ‘BDSM,’ remember). So bondage is bad but BDSM is good — a thousand times good, even. (Or maybe words are bad and acronyms are good — bureaucracies love acronyms, after all.) I think what it means, though, is that he/she/they doesn’t have a sense of humour — he’s just erratic, inconsistent and capricious.

Oh well, at least I don’t have to revise my opinion of guardians of
public decency. I guess that’s good; change is, after all, hard.


The Author

Rose Glace is the pseudonym of nobody important.

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