Inmates, running the asylum.
It was an epochal moment for the military and perhaps for all of society. Screwing up her courage, Air Force First Lieutenant Kara-Ann McBee walked into her commander’s office on the D-Ring of the Pentagon and announced that she was a giant squid.
Kara was slender and tomboyish, with an upturned nose, freckles, and an attractive brush-cut hairdo. She could have been Tom Sawyer’s sister. She did not appear to be a giant squid.
“But I am, sir,” she said, rigidly at attention and clearly nervous. “I’ve known it since I was a little girl. I…sir, I am a squid trapped in a woman’s body. I’m trans-phylum, sir.”
The commander, Colonel R. Boyd Gittim, was stunned. He was a compact, graying man in his mid-fifties, a combat flier who had slipped through the screening process to high position in what insiders called the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel. He was not well suited to the complex personnel issues of the modern military.
Colonel Gittim sighed. He knew of course about LGBT, which he thought of as Lettuce, Bacon, and Tomato, and he knew there existed crucial military questions about whether boys could use the girls room. Squids were too much.
It wasn’t his Air Force any longer, he thought grayly. Wars were fought by remotely-controlled drones now, and the best pilots were probably fifteen-year-old gamers with no social life. They could do it from home by internet. He decided to retire and drink himself to death.
Dacowits needed something to do. Things were slow in the trenches of discrimination. Most victories had been won. A woman commanded the SEALs, who had been disarmed to prevent violence. The new main battle tanks had changing tables, and urinals had been outlawed throughout the services or converted to flower pots to preclude uncomfortable spaces. The warriors of social justice needed a Cause.
Virtual squids were just the thing.
An unenlightened Marine general said “the whole business is crazier than three monkeys in a bag. What is this freak show coming to?” The Washington Post ran an editorial comparing him to Hitler and saying that his attitude would lead to a second Holocaust. Of course, the Post thought that everything would lead to a second Holocaust.
In his last days in office, President Obama ordered that all federal buildings be equipped with litter boxes, saying, “A country as great as America was–is–that all the world wants to be like, and wishes it was, cannot seem to penalize citizens who think they are animals, even if they aren’t–though of course they are. Who are we to decide what kind of animals other people are? Praise Allah.”
This clarion call to probity and fairness echoed around the world and was adjudged to embody the clarity and internal coherence characteristic of Obama’s speeches.
Which, actually, it does.