Dummies Break Silence

Filed in Archive, Blog by on July 20, 2013 0 Comments

DummiesFINAL

“I am so OVER the sex toy jokes!” says Kevin (not his real name). “If one more person winks and nudges and asks me what I’m doing after work, I will just scream.”

Kevin and his colleagues work at a respected Victorian university. They are highly specialised medical aides. But students and staff subject them to a constant stream of crude and demeaning  barbs.

“I do NOT have a blow-up valve, for god’s sake!” The intensity of Kevin’s feelings are plain, despite his rather distinctive monotone.

And although there is a supportive chorus of other montones from Kevin’s colleagues who are strapped into their seats around him, one adds, “Yeah, but I do have a cousin who works in the glamour side of the industry – he was blown up twice on the set of the Mythbusters.”

Kevin shoots him a look.

We’re quickly distracted by another aide who drones in a manner uncannily similar to Stephen Hawking, “Thank f— we didn’t get shipped to Sweden and those fanatics at Volvo –their crash-test dummies are chewed and spewed like they got no feelings.”

I can’t help noticing these aides are all white Caucasians. Yet the university campus itself is a vibrant multicultural mix of students and staff. Is this ever a problem?

“Sure, we’ve been accused of being white supremacists and even working undercover for the KKK, but that’s not true, we’re just forced to share the same DNA.”

A fair point.

I switch tack. Have any staff members ever taken one of them home for the evening?

There is hesitation before one aide (who did not want to be named), concedes, “Well, it’s true a few staff have taken us home overnight, but this is usually just to prop us in the passenger seat so they can drive the express lanes on freeways.” The others glare at him so he quickly adds, “But they’re mostly respectful and don’t force us.”

I ask if “mostly” means some aides have had unsavoury experiences.

“We don’t want to go there,” says Kevin. “A reporter like you needs to know where to draw the line with his questions.”

I have to remind Kevin my first duty is to my readers. The sacred code of journalism demands I report without fear or favour. And the question my readers will all ultimately want answered is simple: “Do you have genitals down there or just a plastic hump?”

(Kevin’s jaw flops open and the interview is abruptly terminated.)

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