Author is a retired attorney having practiced for 35 years in Illinois who now lives in Texas and started writing stories about a year and a half ago.
Dreaming of Diversity
Justin and Dustin were identical twins. They were not diverse. The were a couple of cards. Not aces, but some of the other students at the university called them something like that beginning with the letter ‘a’. Actually they were a pair of jokers. The attended Feinstein University a school named after some feminist of the early 1900’s. But the twins couldn’t care less who it was named after, for they, in the fashion of the typical male college student there, referred fondly to their school as F.U. They thought that was funny.
Now the twins and the other students sat in the main auditorium. Every so often they were forced to attend some goofy lecture or program of some kind or another and today was one of those days. So the two of them sat there absentmindedly as the speaker of the day droned on and on.
True to traditions of the school and in keeping in tune with the old and the new, some ultra extremist feminist student at the university had come up with a brilliant idea, endorsed enthusiastically by the university of course, that she wished to present to the student body. So she informed her fellow students that she had conceived of a project combining diversity and the women’s movement, since this was women’s history month, and that it was in the best interests of everyone, both male or female, to participate. For they all needed to be exposed to both, diversity and women’s history that is, for their own spiritual health and well being she told them. Besides that, she hinted that this was going to be a cool thing to do. Cool always worked with students or they wouldn’t buy it.
“Diversity is what brings us all together and that’s what this country is all about,” she proudly proclaimed from high on her soap box on center stage.
Justin and Dustin picked up bits and pieces as she droned on. They had been having trouble staying awake. Finally somehow they put it all together and it registered in their still developing young male minds, for men’s brains and maturity develop slower than women's and that’s why women have an advantage over men, that there might be a chance for playful mischief to be had here. They stifled their guffawing and snickering best they could for a while and then one of them suddenly burst out, “Oh that’s what this country is all about is it? Not anything else huh? What about football, basketball, sports? Isn’t this country about that too?”
Then the other one quickly chipped in, “and beer.”
“Typical men,” the speaker shouted back trying to blow them off best she could. But she was hardly heard over the ongoing laughter mainly from the disrespectful, as to be expected, male students.
When things quieted down somewhat she continued, “Ms Monica Manley our head librarian has so graciously allowed us to conduct this project in her library this being Women’s History Month.”
“When’s men's history month?” shouted one of the twins.
The speaker again glared in the direction from which the taunt came unable to determine who said it. She couldn’t control herself and rose to the bait. “You dumb men are history as far as us women are concerned.”
The twins each had their own comebacks ready but decided the wiser thing to do would be to keep quiet as a couple of school officials on the stage rose from their chairs and started scanning the audience for the culprits. The twins were men but they weren’t Neanderthal men.
Ms Manley, short of stature, stepped forward and stood up on the soapbox. She was wearing her grey pant suits uniform that she always wore. It matched her gray bobbed gray hair. She looked down at the student body through her rimless granny glasses. That she was a homely woman goes without saying. And with that said, she began.
“What we are going to do students is this. We are going to have you students take naps in the library and when you wake up you are going to write down the dreams that you just had about diversity and/or women. You will then post your dreams on the bulletin board for all of us to read so that we all can see the different diverse ways we look at diversity and/or women while in a subconscious state and so that we all can have adult intelligent conversations and discussions concerning the same. Signing your name to your dream is optional. To encourage diversity and appreciation of diversity and of women’s rights, we have displayed posters concerning both all over the library to help stimulate you in your dreaming. Pleasant dreams and thank you.” With that said Ms.Manley sat down to a weak round of applause.
“This will be a hoot Bro,” said Justin to Dustin. Or was it Dustin to Justin?
“Ya I can’t wait to dream about women.”
“Ya that’s all you do. Just dream about them.”
“Ya dream about getting it on with different, oh excuse me diverse, women. That’s want I want to dream about, diversifying women if you get my meaning. I’m getting stimulated just thinking about it.”
“I’m going to ‘read’ Playboy before I go to sleep to self ‘stimulate’ myself,” said the other one whoever he was.
”They don’t have Playboy in the library. It’s banned Bro. Guess you’ll just have to settle for National Geographic and look at pictures of emaciated bare breasted women from third world countries instead.”
So the boys decided to participate in this ‘experiment’ or ‘project’ or whatever it was. They couldn’t pass up this chance for them to be their own creative snarky selves. They prided themselves on that. They couldn’t let this opportunity go to waste. So one sat down in a chair and pretended to sleep and the other put his head down on a library table and faked sleep.
“Pssst,” said one to the other. “You dreaming?”
“Ya I’m dreaming, daydreaming, daydreaming about all the diverse women I’m going to be doing. What about you?”
“I been thinking about what we should write after we’re done napping. I think instead of posting two manly dreams we should post one manly one and one not so manly as in keeping with the theme of diversity you know.”
“You mean like we write about one dream from a manly point of view and one like from a womanly point of view.”
“Exactamundo and we both sign the manly one and say since we’re identical twins we have the same brain wave lengths and dream the same things. Ms Manley and those women libber chicks will probably buy all that since they think all us men think alike anyway.”
“ And the other dream?”
“The other we write from a gay womanly point of view praising the virtues of diverse gay women. And we sign that one Monica,”
“Monica like in Monica Lewdinsky?”
“No Monica in like Monica Manley. Ms Manley’s first name is Monica. Didn’t you hear that when the speaker introduced her?”
“I must have been sleeping then.”
So the boys report of their joint mutual manly dream was as follows: “Dreamt about women, white ones, black ones, brown ones, red ones, and yellow ones and how we made a connection with each, if you get our drift, and how we enriched our mental and physical, with the emphasis on the physical, well beings and souls. Diverse women are kind of like the spice of life you know. Like the old nursery rhyme says: Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. We enjoyed this project and hope to repeat it often. Thank you for letting us share our dreams.” Signed Dustin and Justin.
“There that ought to roil up their hormones but good,” said one to the other as he pinned it to the bulletin board.
“Whose? The men’s or the women’s?”
“Now here’s what the one by Ms Monica will say, said the other twin. “I dreamt I was flying on a big goose across the heavens. Flying all over the world meeting, greeting and conversing with and sharing the goals of our sisters in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. Touching their hearts and minds, melding with their souls, and all of us expressing ourselves as true universal women. A dream that I hope to see come true some day. Maybe not in my lifetime because there is still much left to do in the fight for equality but someday we will all come together and have closure.”
“What the hell does all that mean anyway? And what’s with the goose?”
“How the hell do I know what it means. It just sounds good and uses lots of things people say nowadays when talking about stuff like this. As for the goose, duh look at the poster on the wall behind you dude. The Adventures of Nils Holgersson. See him riding a goose. It’s by some Swedish feminist dead gay woman who wrote children’s books years ago. This is women's history month you know so who else would Ms Monica dream about but one of her heroes, excuse me, heroines.”
One of the twins, whoever it was, wrote it up as such and signed it Monica. He had a copy of her handwriting before him and he did a fair job as a forger.
The results of their dreams were posted and though many of the others posted were just as gross and ridiculous in their own way as Dustin’s and Justin’s, theirs was immediately denounced as male chauvinistic swine nonsense and taken down and shredded, burning violated fire code, by the feminist library control assistants as the twins called them.
But as to the one signed by ‘Monica,’ it was highly praised and the students fawningly congratulated Ms Manley, as if one can congratulate one for a dream, for her enlightening dream.
Ms Manley never told them that the dream was not hers because she could not let all this academic enthusiasm go to waste. Even though she suspected who wrote it, she would not ruin the moment for the students and divulge the truth. And she emphasized to the students, mainly female but some metro male students as well, that the power of suggestion of the poster was important here because it caused people to subconsciously think a certain way and therefore more women’s movement posters should be placed around the campus.
As to Dustin and Justin, well they weren’t there when all this was going on. They were at a kegger each looking for a woman, any woman. They had only one criteria, and it wasn’t diversity, when it came to looking for women. For they were desperate men.
Author’s note: A similar experiment like this was recently conducted at Southern Illinois University and obviously was the inspiration for this story. As to the Swedish woman writer of the popular children’s fairy tales The Adventures of Nils Holgersson she was Selma Lagerlof. I had some clients named Holgersson and they told me all about their famous relative. Even gave me some Swedish money with her picture on it. (See images of this on the internet.) Ms Lagerlof received the Nobel Prize for literature. And rightfully so I might add. Those stories of hers are just darling.