I’m Not Scenery, Dammit!

Working late at McDonald’s and someone had decided to spray the wall behind the soda machine with ketchup.


Cut me a break, these shoes are killing me!

To reach it I was given a sponge on a long handle. I leaned across the bar, scrubbing away at 11:45 on a Sunday night and cursing the idiot who didn’t understand that ketchup is one of the stickiest substances on Earth.

I stop to take a breath and glance over my shoulder to see the one person left in the place staring at me like I was the last 10 seconds of the football game he just had to tell me about on his way out.

I froze for a second, then dropped the squeegee and walked back over behind the counter to tell my supervisor about King Leer.

She threw her head back and laughed.

I tried to find other things to do in hopes he would leave when the dining room closed at midnight. That was also the end of my shift. I got tired of waiting and just climbed up on the damn counter. This creep was not going to keep me from going home.

Like every writer, I’m working on a novel. As I consider the tone of my tome I remember books and authors I have enjoyed. I feel the story has a thematic connection to the Beats, the Lost Generation of the 40s and 50s, so I tried to crack ‘On The Road’ again but I just don’t have the time to really sit and read.

Enter: audiobooks. Genius! I can read while I make dinner.

I have always sensed a kindred spirit in people who distill experience into a sharable item. I guess you’d call that Art. Kerouac talks about how he loves “the mad ones,” he tells how he finds himself following “the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing.”

Jeepers Peepers By Gil Elvgren

How long have you been standing there??

The whole thing sounds a bit manic to me but I feel what he’s saying. A theme of his is enthusiasm, how much he enjoys it in others and seeks to spark it in himself.

He’s making his frantic way Westward when, half an hour in, he mentions waiting a while at a bus station before leaving, having “watched a waitress for 30 minutes.”

The action moves on in Kerouac’s characteristically speedy way, this line a throwaway to give the (admittedly dull) passage some texture.

With him watching a woman’s body while she works.

This is the part where someone will say I am making something out of nothing. There is no harm in looking. Everyone has enjoyed the scenery now and then.

But I think we all know there’s a difference between appreciating someone rocking a tight pair of jeans and treating some working stiff as a private show.

And it took me right out of the damn book! I don’t give a shit that he described Dean’s wife as “a beautiful sharp little chick.” Getting upset over slang is silly. I don’t care about the hookup scenes or the casual examples of sexism (it was the 40s, what do you want?) It was more the fact that this was part of a description of time at a bus station along with what the pie tasted like.

Before too long the whole notion of him as some kind of starry-eyed witness to Life Itself started to wear on me. I love the idea of all-night talks but I would not have been invited to these.


Solitaire is a fun game too, I guess!

Where are the philosophical eddys of women writers who pioneered new frontiers of verbiage, aesthetics and drug use?

What have women been doing around kitchen tables for the last 5,000 years? Is it really nothing but homemaking and childcare?

Too often the voices saying interesting things are men’s voices. And then, with a flick of a wrist, he reminds me that I am not really invited to the party.

The weather was nice the other day, so I walked from the power company to the library. Literally next door. Waiting near the curb was a twenty-something guy with long black hair and a crutch.

He smiled. I smiled.

“I’m a sucker for a redhead!”

Good for you.

Want to see objectification in action? How about I’m not a fucking shrubbery? I was not placed here to beautify your view.

And as for Captain Creep, taking pleasure at someone else’s indignity is a violation of the social contract. No person has any dignity but what others give her.

How about I want to do my job without being scrutinized by perverts?

He hung around until I was done, making conversation on his way out the door like being nice to me made it okay. Typical self-rationalizing behavior.

I guess I will just have to create a pioneering community of intelligent women…. In between orders.


  1. How disgusting! That man exerted intimidation, and I'm sorry you had to go through that. Shame on your manager for laughing it off. Damn it, can't us ladies get some damn respect on the reg?

    • BrazenShe -

      Exactly! So many women don’t interrogate their reactions when dealing with men. For some reason, that guy has left me alone since then lol

  2. First, that's terrible that you were stared at while doing a task at work. It doesn't sound like inadvertent staring (aka, someone daydreaming and you happening to be in the line of sight). It does sound like leering, and that's creepy. Especially so late at night. Secondly, it did take me a couple of reads of this blog post to understand the relation of Jack Kerouac and Mickey Dees. That could be that I've had a couple glasses of moscato. Thirdly, I agree about not being placed in a place in time for someone else's view. It's terrible. And the voice you mention being a man's is all too prevalent. It's objectification that has been socially acceptable. I don't have an answer, but I feel like the most egregious thing was the customer who thought it appropriate to put the ketchup behind the soda machine. That seems more than deliberate driven my nothing but a foul soul. If it was an accident, then fine.One thing: The women in the cheesecake photos always seem to have abnormally curved feet/ankles. My ankles don't curve like that in heels. I wonder why this was depicted.

    • BrazenShe -

      Yeah I did draw from some pretty far-flung sources this time lolBut I’m trying to illustrate how it seems to be everywhere I turn. It’s a slow slog to change anything, I try to do my little part by bringing some attention to these things and starting discussions.For that old creeper, it’s probably too late. His mother should have taught him better.Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!

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