Whatever Works

Story Sent in by Cynthia:

I was at a diner on my first date with Greg. One of those little booth jukeboxes was there in the booth with us, and he flipped through the various albums it contained. There was, however, a small out of order sign attached to the device.

"These things are always out of order," Greg said, "It's so homosexual."

I have gay friends and I asked him, "What do you mean by that?"

He replied, "It just doesn't work the way it's supposed to. You know."

Oh boy. I remained silent, but he pressed on, "You know what I mean, right? An answer would be great."

"I have gay friends," I said, "And they work just fine."

He laughed and said, "Okay, like if I insert quarters into the jukebox and it plays music, that's like inserting sperm into a vagina and getting a baby. But if I insert sperm into a guy, I can do it as often as I want, but there won't be a baby. Like putting quarters into an out of order jukebox. See?"

"I do."

He breathed faster and his voice rose by a hair. There was some sort of chip on the shoulder going on, here. "Are you just saying that, or do you mean it?"

"I mean it. I—"

"I fuckin' hate out of order jukeboxes!" he roared, and slammed at the jukebox with his fist.

A big man with a big mustache, who I guessed was the manager, ambled over and said, "I need you to leave. Right now."

Greg blew air out of his cheeks, stood up, and said, "Whatever. This diner is homosexual."

I replied, with a glance at the manager, "I think it works just fine."

Greg left. I was hoping that the manager would let me remain there and finish my drink, which he did. He didn't say a word to me. Greg didn't wait for me outside or try to contact me again, and that also worked out fine.


  1. The Universe spoke by sending you an out of order jukebox to spare you from this d-bag. Just think of all the potentially compounded future craziness and bigotry you might have encountered had the jukebox worked as intended.

    Kinda makes you think, and stuff...

  2. Greg makes a compelling point: we need to have Congress legislate against this jukebox so that it begins to function in the way God intended! Also, the jukebox needs to be made aware of the consequences of its sinful lifestyle. The jukebox made a CHOICE not to play songs the way nature intended, and it will burn in a lake of fire in the jukebox afterlife if it does not sincerely atone and repent of its non-song-playing ways.

  3. Kinoko: you may be taking things too literally. She probably just worded things that way to be polite, rather than meaning that she wouldn't care if she didn't have any gays friends. Most people will refrain from saying things such as "I don't agree with your homophobic comment, jackass" to avoid conflict escalation, even if deep in their little hearts that's what they wish they would say.

  4. I love gay people...only when it's two hot ladies making out! Is that so wrong?

  5. One person "correcting" another person is as offensive to me as someone saying something bigoted.

    1. I'd agree with you if she corrected his grammar on the first date, but there's really no good goddamned reason to call a jukebox "homosexual" or "gay" or "fag" or whatever he may have actually said that Jared cleaned up just because it isn't working. As an ally, that's a correction that I make for people all the time. I'm glad she said something, and I wish more people would do the same without fear of being seen as obnoxious or snotty.

    2. This hasn't been an issue for the last two years or so, but all us tutors spent quite a bit of time on a campaign to get the kids to stop calling things "gay" derogatorily. Whether it worked to get them to stop using it everywhere, or just around us, I don't know, but we successfully made it clear that the tutoring center wasn't a space where that language was ok. After a while, it got to the point where I could just say "That's so what?" and the students would reframe their sentences. I think my proudest moment was when a student called something gay, and then immediately became embarrassed and asked me not to tell a specific other tutor. She'd used it as a thoughtless figure of speech and then actually thought about it!

  6. I should go on vacation more often! I thought a week's work of backlogged ABCotD stories would make coming back from the balmy Caribbean weather worthwhile, but I get not only that but THREADED COMMENT REPLIES as well! WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO! It's like Christmas all over again!

    1. Or did this happen much earlier, and I missed it because I usually read on my phone, and the mobile version doesn't have this?

    2. Definitely new. I was on I think two days ago and we didn't have this ability.

  7. A friend of mine stuck a quarter in my ass when we were kids and i only got two dimes back so......yeah it dosnt work.

  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-otAJrtY-w

  9. Love the "he didn't wait for me outside either" comment. Really? He should have?


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