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.
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.
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.