Note: The following stories are make-believe, they are not true but are based upon true stories. My attorneys have informed me that there is not yet a law forbidding the writing of make-believe stories, but just in case, they have advised me to pack a bag.
When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Biga Pizza Pie…
I don’t have any bad memories about eating a slice of pizza, don’t have any good ones either. Some things aren’t that memorable and eating pizza is one of them. Memory is for important things such as comments made by Ralph, the owner of ‘Remember Pizza’ in Indiana, to the local TV station regarding the catering of a gay wedding.
“Hey Mr. Pizza pie maker,” called out Walter, the TV man, to the owner of ‘Remember Pizza’ who was finishing his forth can of beer and about to spread a ladle full of tomato sauce onto the pizza dough. “I got a question for you. If two gay gays came in here and told you they were going to be married to each other next month and wanted ‘Remember Pizza’ to cater their wedding of 200 people, would you do it?”
“What the hell you talking about,” asked Ralph, “and why you got a TV camera in my store? You want to buy a slice of pizza? I’ll sell you a slice of pizza, if not, take a hike. And what do you mean two guys getting married. Since when do men marry men?
“The Supreme Court said girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys, it’s the law of the land,” said Walter, “and we are taking a survey to see if businesses will cater gay weddings.”
“Holy crap,” said Ralph in ashtonishment taking his gold crucifix hanging from his neck in his two floured fingers and kissing it, “and you want to know if I would make pizza pies for 200 people at some gay guys wedding.”
“Well would you?” Asked Walt.
“Hell no,” answered Ralph, “I wouldn’t serve these people ‘pigs in a blanket’ and besides, how would I keep all these pies hot and deliver them to some catering hall?”
“So your answer is no,” asked Walter, “you wouldn’t cater a gay wedding, is that what you are telling all of Indiana and the gay community?”
“That’s what I’m saying,” said Ralph, “but look, anybody can come to my pizza place and I’ll serve them a slice, just don’t tell me if you are gay or not, because I don’t care, just order a slice, eat and off you go. Why is it so damn important to let me know you have sex with where my pizza is going, and also, from where it will come out from a few days later. You know what I mean?”
It was Walter’s turn to be ashtonished.
Ralph said to himself he needs another beer and went to the fridge. He thought of all the money he could make selling 25 pies plus the delivery, and he turned to Walter and said, “You know, if these two homo guys wanted to bring their reception onto the sidewalk and line up in a nice way, then maybe I could make the pies and serve them each a nice hot slice or two.”
“So you would cater a gay wedding?” Asked Walter.
Ralph opened his beer and mumbled something while fingering his golden crucifix. “No. Forget what I said, I don’t want anything to do with this gay wedding stuff. I will not cater a gay wedding. It’s against my religion, and I wouldn’t feel right about supporting any gay stuff. It’s bad enough they are allowed to adopt kids, and look what the Catholic priests did. Once you legalize these people we’ll have a country full of Jerry Sanduskys. No never. You want a slice of pizza?”
Ralph went home that night and caught the ten o’clock news, and there was Walter outside his pizza shop telling all of Indiana and America that he was a homophobic, beer guzzling religious bigot who hated gays and called them pigs in bed under their blankets.
Soon after Walt’s report Ralph got some disturbing news from his daughter who was chirping on Twitter. People were chirping that they were going to burn down Ralph’s ‘Remember Pizza’ parlor, murder Ralph and his family, and never buy a slice of pizza from his establishment ever again, which wasn’t saying much if Ralph was dead and his pizza place burned to the ground.
Ralph got hold of his golden crucifix in his hand and said a few prayers. He went to his room, packed a small bag and grabbed a few beers and was out of the house. Halfway down the block he realized he should go back and get his daughter and the rest of the family. They all went into hiding and haven’t been seen since. Ralph loves his family, sometimes he forgets.
Walt reported this and said the loss of one family was a small price to pay for the civil right of every man and woman to love whomever they want, even in unusual ways. Walter closed the report with his famous TV saying; “And that’s the way it was.”
It was a lovely broadcast.
Let Them Eat Cake
It was a lovely morning. Baker Bob was preparing cupcakes in the shops kitchen, filling the trays with batter, baking and slopping on icing when they cooled. He’s been at it since 5am. Bob loved his work as a baker, the lovely smells from different cake and cookie batter, the fillings and toppings. Soon the sun would rise above the horizon, as it does every day, and its lovely rays will fill the front of his ‘Have Another Cookie’ pastry shop.
Baker Bob’s wife, Antoinette, came in about eight o’clock and she really looked like crap. Bob mistakenly pointed this out to Antoinette who exploded with a fusillade of French curse words completely shattering the mornings lovelyness. Baker Bob never learned French but knew when it was time to retreat back into the kitchen. He was making black and white cookies. There was a new law in the state legislature about to be passed that would prohibit these cookies until one third of the cookie was also in brown. Antoinette went to the bathroom to freshen up, comb her hair and apply some makeup to present a new and lovely face to the customers who would arrive at the 9am opening time.
Business was good. Life was good. And so were the pastries. But there were dark clouds just below the horizon. Around noon Bob and Antoinette were manning the front counter when in came Mrs. O’Really and her daughter Gomphrena to order a wedding cake. Baker Bob got his clipboard to write down pertinent information and asked Mrs. O’Really for the names of the bride and groom.
“Oh there is no groom,”said Mrs. O’Really, “it’s two lovely brides, my daughter here, Gomphrena, and her partner whose name is Lisianthus. It’s a lesbian wedding so we will need two bride figurines for the top of the cake.”
“Oh really,” said Baker Bob, “well I’m sorry but we don’t cater to same sex weddings, and we can’t make your wedding cake because of our Christian beliefs.” He put down his clipboard, clicked off his ball point pen and carefully placed it in his shirt pocket plastic pen and pencil holder.
What do you mean you can’t make a wedding cake for my daughter, said Mrs. O’Really. “For Christ’s sake this is the twenty-first century.”
Antoinette spoke-up. “We will not support anything from the LGBTABCD and E agenda. It’s all unnatural and against our God’s law.”
“You both have some pair,” said Mrs. O’Really.
“Not true,” said Antoinette, “Bob maybe, but not me, you really are confused aren’t you?”
Hearing this Gomphrena was devastated. She appeared as if she was about to collapse and had to be helped out of the shop by her stunned mother who glared back at Antoinette. Baker Bob quickly retreated into the kitchen to wash some pots and pans.
Gomphrena was crying and her nose was running as she told her mother. “We deserve equal accommodations, equal rights and the right to get married.”
“I know, I know, said Mrs. O’Really who knew the mantra by heart along with several other gay slogans from listening to her daughter and friends for several years. “Don’t worry sweetie,” consoling her daughter, “we’ll find another cake maker, here blow your nose.” All the while thinking about Entemans cakes.
Lisianthus was pacing back and forth across the kitchen floor sharpening her carving knife on the steel and fuming while listening to her future bride retell the horrid rejection story. The rare roast beef sat in a pool of blood on the serving platter waiting its fate.
Mrs. O’Really was on the phone speaking with a friend who worked for Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Nailem. Words and phrases like “burn them,” “homophobic Christian bastards,” “cut his little halls off,” and other wordy pleasantries echoed from the corner of the room where she stood facing the wall admiring a lovely portrait of a weaving Penelope waiting for her husband.
The lovely bridesmaids Parodia, Opuntia, Crassula and Frithia were picking through a pile of LGBTABCD and E protest posters looking for something appropriate to use at the ‘Have Another Cookie’ pastry shop. They came up dry. “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” wouldn’t do.
Lisianthus bellowed, “Dinner is ready.” The meat was carved and the baked potatoes were piping hot. Another half inch of lovely rich, red roast beef blood was added to the serving platter after carving. Lisianthus lined up seven shot glasses and spooned them full of blood adding a pinch of salt.
“Here’s to Baker Bob and Antoinette.” Toasted Lisianthus. “Let’s eat.”
After dinner Mrs. O’Really informed the girls what her friend at the Labor Department recommended doing to maximize the damages inflicted upon the lovely Gomphrena and Lisianthus. The Commissioner would need a list of physical, emotional and mental damages suffered by the two brides. Lisianthus handed out sticky pads to everyone and they began to write what they thought may have resulted from being refused a wedding cake by Baker Bob and his lovely wife Antoinette. Each little note was slapped down and stuck to the kitchen table. The best of the sufferings was arranged and typed up.
“An acute loss of confidence, doubt, excessive sleep, felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful, high blood pressure, impaired digestion, loss of appetite, migraine headaches, pale and sick at home after work, resumption of smoking habit, shock, stunned, surprise, uncertainty, weight gain, worry and global warming.”
Several days later Mrs. O’Really received a call from her inside man at the Oregon Labor Department. He gave high praise to the two brides and the bridesmaids for such diligent workmanship and told Mrs. O’Really that he relayed the woeful tale of Gomphrena and Lisianthus to Commissioner Nailem and delivered him the list of suffering. The Commisioner was ashtonished that this had happened in America, the land of the free and home of the brave, and after itemizing each of the perceived damages with a monetary value, he came up with the total sum of 135,000 dollars. A registered letter was sent to the ‘Have Another Cookie’ pastry shop where dark clouds were forming above. Pay this amount or else was the message, along with a gag order for Baker Bob and Antoinette to ‘cease and desist’ from talking about not wanting to bake a cake for same sex weddings based upon their religious beliefs.
America may be the land of the free, but Oregon State Commissioner of Labor, Brad Nailem, would determine who had freedom of religion and speech.
The marriage of Baker Bob and his wife Antoinette was becoming stronger. They stuck together and laughed at the Commissioner’s fine and his ‘cease and desist’ bullshit. As for the magnificent seven; Mrs. O’Really, Gomphrena, Lisianthus, Parodia, Opuntia, Crassula, and Frithia; Baker Bob baked and mailed to each of them a small six inch diameter chocolate cake with vanilla icing. On top was written “We Really Do Love You” in lovely rich, blood red raspberry filling.
Antoinette made lovely little pastry cookie cards signing each, “With Love From The ‘Have Another Cookie’ Pastry Shop, And May You All Eat Cake.”
Lisianthus sharpened her knife.
Peagoda has been running her ‘Flower House and Gift Shop’ for more than 30 years. She sold gifts and crafted lovely flower arrangements for all sorts of occasions from baby showers to funerals. Most of her flower arrangements had to do with ‘love,’ the falling in and the falling out, and the falling back in again kind of love.
Her good friend Gasterio was in love. She had known him for ten years. He often stopped by to talk about flowers, especially how to arrange them in lovely and meaningful ways. Sometimes he would stop in just to smell the flowers. Peagoda didn’t really approved of this nor did her customers who thought it strange seeing a grown man going from one flower to another smelling its fragrance. It took several hours to smell the whole shop. Peagoda asked Gasterio to please stop smelling the flowers individually and smell them all collectively. Gasterio wasn’t pleased with this but complied with Peagoda’s wishes. They were true and understanding friends. Now Gasterio would stand in the middle of the ‘Flower House’ shop with eyes closed, and a slight smile, slowly and deeply inhaling and slowly exhaling all the shops aromas. But it wasn’t the same.
One day Gasterio came to see Peagoda. He was extremely excited and happy and announced to her that he was going to get married. His life partner, Malphoro, proposed last night while they were watching an episode of “Will and Grace” on TV. Gasterio asked Peagoda if she would participate in his wedding and create a lovely gay themed flower arrangement for this special occasion. Peagoda’s Christian upbringing taught her that we should all love all people. She new that Gasterio was gay but it didn’t matter to her, until now.
“Gasterio, we have been friends for a long time,” said Peagoda, “and I would like to continue our friendship but my Christian belief does not allow me to condone or contribute to a same sex wedding. Please understand my position.”
“Well, I am very disappointed Peagoda, but I do understand.”
“I am glad to hear that,” said Peagoda, “and I can give you the names of several florists who would be happy to create a flower arrangement for you and Malphoro’s wedding.”
“Oh that’s okay,” said Gasterio, “we will find someone who truly believes in love and marriage for everyone.”
“So we are still friends,” asked Peagoda.
Gasterio reached out and gave Peagoda a big hug. “Of course we’re still friends, we will always be friends,” said Gasterio.
Gasterio turned and left the Flower House for the last time thinking to himself, “God, what a bitch, I’ll get even with her.” And he would. He would return one day in another form.
It must have been a little bird who informed Washington State Attorney General Larry Lynch about the horrid woman from the ‘Flower House and Gift Shop’ who sanctimoniously snubbed and refused Gasterio and Malphoro a lovely flower arrangement for their wedding, dashing and shattering their happiness. “By God this women will pay for her audacity, no one has the right to dash and shatter anyone’s happiness in the great state of Washington,” said Attorney General Lynch to his entire staff of assistant attorneys. He filed suit against Peagoda. She now faced personal liability for her religious beliefs, and Larry, who was to be Gasterio’s best man at the wedding, was also going to stop Peagoda from creating any more wedding flower arrangements.
Gasterio and Malphoro with ACLU attorneys also filed suit that would financially devastate Peagoda’s business and personal assets. Gasterio returned to the ‘Flower House’ in a sealed envelope that demanded a return receipt signature from Peagoda, acknowledging she received notice of what may be a bleak future, all in the name of love.
Peagoda thought to herself. “If only there were a land where one could express oneself in unfettered freedom. If only there were a land where we all had artistic freedom and the right to disagree without one side of a conversation being threatened by the government.”
The freedom to live and work according to one’s belief about marriage expired the day same sex marriage became law. Peagoda thought about this for awhile and decided to arrange some flowers for a funeral, it was the death of freedom. Maybe it would also be an appropriate arrangement for a same sex marriage.
At center was the Pitcher plant, surrounded by lovely hemlock…
I’m Getting Married in the Morning
Jimmy Jumpup and Vanilla Berries were on the road for quite a few hours, it was getting dark and they decided to stop in at a seedy roadside motel, due to a limited budget, and get some sleep. They wanted to be well rested before making their historical appearance at the Rowen County courthouse in Kentucky. They drove all the way from Columbus, Ohio to get their marriage license. One might think that the reason they were going to Kentucky was because Ohio ran out of applications, but no this was about love.
Actually they heard that some woman was refusing to issue marriage licenses to the GBLTABCD and E community members and they were upset with this woman’s belligerent attitude. Someone had to put her in her place and this was the mission of Jimmy Jumpup and Vanilla Berries. She will obey.
Delphinium wasn’t a very imposing woman, coming in at 4’6″ and 130 pounds, but her job position gave her plenty of wallop. She worked at the Rowen County courthouse for ten years performing the duties of County Clerk and was in charge of issuing all type of licenses. A license was needed for dogs and cats, horses and mules, street venders and cabs, hunting and building contractors and a host of other occupations and everyday living items. Delphinium had the muscle to legally grant or deny official authoritarian permission to do something.
Delphinium prayed twice a day, once in the morning when she got out of bed and once at night before she got back into bed. On occasion she said a prayer during the day, especially after avoiding a car accident or some other life threatening event. She was a good Christian woman, not as good as a Muslim woman, as some atheists would say, who prayed five times a day, but good enough. Then again some atheist would say that Delphinium was more good than a Muslim woman who ‘had’ to pray five times a day, or she would possibly get a good beating from her husband or get hit in the head with a rock, whereas Delphinium prayed because she believed in her God and ‘wanted’ to pray to him. Delphinium had a choice; Muslim women had better obey.
Jimmy and his future wife Vanilla sat in the car across from the courthouse. Jimmy was on the phone speaking with Perry Stalsis a BLTGABCD and E supporter from the local TV news station.
“Don’t move, stay in the car until we get there and set up our cameras,” said Perry. “We want to get a shot of you and your bride walking up the courthouse steps holding hands, and at the door before entering, turning to wave to the crowds who have come to witness history in the making.”
“Are you bringing the crowds, asked Jimmy, “because there are no people here.
“Just pretend there is a large gathering and smile and wave, said Perry, “and let me deal with it.”
Delphinium was sitting at her desk inking up her two rubber stamps on the inkpad, ‘Approved ‘ and ‘Disapproved.’ She declared to the local newspaper several weeks ago that she does not believe in same sex marriage and would have nothing to do with it. No ‘Approved’ same sex marriage license would come from her office. That’s why Jimmy Jumpup and Vanilla Berries were in Rowen County.
After waving to the imaginary cheering crowds Jimmy and Vanilla stepped inside and up to the service counter where Jimmy said to Delphinium, “Excuse me miss, where can I get me a marriage license around here.” He realized he sounded like John Kerry asking to get a hunting license way back when Big John was running for President. Jimmy stopped slouching and stood up straight with pride at the thought of his idol. Even Vanilla looked up at him with admiration. The cameras were rolling.
Delphinium kicked her milk crate over to the counter to stand on so she could see over and work at the counter. She asked the cameraman what was he doing in her courthouse and Jimmy told her, “Oh, he’s making a video of our wedding from beginning to… whenever.”
Delphinium asked Jimmy, “Where’s the bride?” She told him she had to be here to sign the papers for the license. Jimmy, with love in his eyes, turned to Vanilla and told Delphinium, “This is Vanilla Berries, my future bride and wife.”
Oh shit, thought Delphinium. She didn’t know what to say, and after looking over at Vanilla in his blue tank top and red Capri pants and pale white skin, she asked Jimmy if Vanilla was a woman. “No miss, not yet, Vanilla is a man like me but we have the right to get married and we want a marriage license. The Supreme Court said we can get married.”
“Well then,” said Delphinium, “you just take yourself and your future lady friend and go to Washington DC to their little courthouse to get your marriage license. We don’t recognize same sex marriage in Rowen County, Kentucky and we ain’t going to approve of any gay marriage license.”
Delphinium picked up her ‘Disapproved’ rubber stamp and went from inkpad to an open newspaper on the counter, stamping and stamping and stamping until an office worker came over and gently grabbed her hand. “Get a grip on yourself Delphinium,” said the office worker. The idea that that queer little man would come into her courthouse dressed as he was in tank top and Capri pants was outrageous. On the newspapers front page was a picture of Muslim women in all black burkas with ‘Disapproved ‘ stamped all over them. One extreme to another thought Delphinium. Christians dress modestly. But the atheist would say that Muslim women dressed more modestly than Christian women, therefore, are more virtuous. But then again, some Muslim women have been beaten to death for decorating their burka with some simple beads. May Allah help them if they go outside not properly dressed in their black tents. Virtue is not virtue if imposed by threat of a beating or being hit in the head with a rock. Delphinium smiled thinking about Vanilla Berries in his cute outfit marrying a Muslim, man or woman.
“Okay that’s a wrap,” said Perry Stalsis.
They all left the courthouse and were greeted outside by about five or six gay rights activists who just heard about history being made in Rowen County. They were waving their gay rainbow flag and cheering for Jimmy and Vanilla. Perry paid them each five dollars and the crowd dispersed. They were very disappointed with today’s history.
Two days later Delphinium was arrested, made to wear an orange jumpsuit, paraded before the news cameras and spent the next ten days in jail for not doing her job. A judge told the others working at the courthouse that if they didn’t issue same sex marriage licenses they would also be tossed into the clink. Something a Muslim man would never do to Delphinium.
Love and lunacy prevailed.