Three Astonishing Women: A Short Short Story

I leave my newspaper on the table outside as I dart inside the coffee shop to get more sugar. When I return, three seconds later, a middle-aged woman is walking briskly across the street, holding my newspaper in her hand.

Hey, I shout fairly amicably, I was not finished with my paper.

She turns around and throws the paper on the table near me.

I don’t want your stupid paper, she says. What would I do with it? I am legally blind.

Fact is that she is wearing unusually thick glasses. Point well taken. What do I know?

I drive into an unevenly paved parking lot behind a woman in a big van. When she makes a right-hand turn, I spot a blue handicapped sticker on her windshield. Just as she is about to place her van in the reserved handicapped space, her engine stops. After several useless attempts to re-start it, she steps out of the vehicle and starts pushing.

I am a real sweetheart and also an old-fashioned nice manly man so, my first reflex is to get out and to give her a hand. I abstain because I soon judge her efforts to be fruitless. She is pushing that heavy van up a significant bump. I think there is no way the two of us can vanquish gravity and place the van in its spot.

Then, the woman braces herself; the back of her dress rises and her big calves become like hard river stones; she harrumphs once and the van ends up perfectly parked in the handicapped spot. I learned another lesson: Don’t judge a book by its cover, or even by its title.

Speaking of parking makes me think of the last time I went to the DMV. I only wanted a copy of a trailer permit for which I had duly paid. As is normal, I am in a bad mood much before I reach there. Less logically, my irritation grows as I advance up the line. The employee to whose window I am directed is a plump young Latina with a fairly pleasant face

I explain my request. She goes tick, tick, tick on her computer and, quickly enough, she hands me the copy I want.

It’s $16.75, she says.

I explode. That’s ridiculous, I say. That fee for a simple copy is an abuse of power. I changed my mind; I don’t want it anymore. Keep it.

Well, I will just have to give it to you, says the DMV employee with a big sweet smile.

I practically fall on my butt in the midst of dozens of pissed-off customers.

I guess I don’t know everything about women, as I often think I do, just most things.


About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Three Astonishing Women: A Short Short Story

  1. Thomas H. says:


    Despite the obvious refinements of your writing to illustrate the antics of these females, they do seem indeed like enjoyable people given the circumstances, and this again in spite of any situational comedy or callousness.

  2. Pingback: Three Astonishing Women: A Short Short Story « Notes On Liberty

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