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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Wobbly Knobby -- Guest post

The weather was like any other bright, humid, and sticky Texas summer day. And, like every morning, dressed in jeans, white shirt, navy blue blazer, and red cowboy boots, Marcus walked down the cement paver lined path from his double wide to pick up his mail from the trailer park community’s mailbox. Rifling through the mail in hand, he headed over to the parking lot to his pickup truck. But unlike every other morning, as he opened his mail, which was littered with unwanted paper junk still legally polluting mailboxes all over the great U.S. of A, unlike electronic spam now illegal to send via e-mail, he took in the fact that he was now living in a new America. With a little extra bounce in his step, Marcus hopped into his truck before speeding off to work.

As a fifteen year veteran employee of Wobbly Knobby, America’s premier chain doors and knobs, pharmacy, and guns and ammo store, he knew that by virtue of waking up that day a red-blooded American male, he held more rights than those of his female counterparts. Well, at least the ones he worked with at Wobbly Knobby. Marcus reflected on how his future was transformed overnight. The day before, the Supreme Court of the United States, also known as SCOTUS, handed down a decision in The Department of Justice vs. Wobbly Knobby stating that any closely held company, whose ownership sincerely held a religious belief disavowing female contraception, could deny paying for its female employees’ birth control under its company provided medical insurance plan. The Wobbly Knobby Brown family was thrilled. A closely held company, Wobbly Knobby would no longer have to pay for a woman’s device of abortion, which they believed to be a weapon of the Devil.

A virile, single, semi-handsome, high school dropout, who’d become a gun loving and toting Texan by way the of the Ozarks, Marcus began his career working for the Evangelical Christian bible thumping Brown-family owned Wobbly Knobby empire when he was only fifteen years old, after his family died from eating tainted possum road kill. His vegetarianism had saved him from the fate that befell his parents and twelve brothers and sisters. Wobbly Knobby had accepted him with open arms as one of their own, herding the wayward sheep that he was into their flock. He started out first as a janitor, then stock boy, followed by cashier, finally moving his way up the ranks to manager of the company’s San Antonio flagship store.

Upon arriving at work, he bee-lined through the company’s signature gold gilded automatic doors to its pharmacy, where Earl, the pharmacist, was manning the counter.

“Mornin’ Earl.”

“Mornin’ Marcus. Great day to be an American, don’tchya think?”


Marcus was a man of few words due to his reserved demeanor, not because of his lack of a high school diploma.

“What can I do ya fer today? The usual?”

“Yup, but with a twist. Triple my order.”

“Okie Dokie. It’s only Wobbly Knobby’s money. Good thing you ain’t a woman.”


Earl disappeared into the back, as Marcus flipped through a Good Housekeeping magazine he found lying about lazily on the counter. Five minutes later, Earl returned with five bottles full of little blue pills.

“So, this is a six month supply. Will you be needin’ anythin’ else?”

“Nope. Just my Viagra.”

Marcus took his generic white bag containing his penis party pills. He marched into the employee lounge and punched in his time card. 7:52a.m. Eight minutes until his shift began. He walked over to his locker. After opening his locker, he dropped off his wallet, keys, and virility medicine. It’s gonna be one busy day, Marcus mused to himself.

“Hiya Marcus,” a young nineteen-year-old woman named Lucinda cried out. She was sitting on the employee lounge’s sofa flanked by two of her female coworkers: twenty-four year old Sally Mae, and thirty-two year old Jeanine. All three women were dressed in company issued blue polyester pants, white t-shirt, and red smock. All three women worked in shipping and receiving.

“Mornin’ ladies. How’s it goin’?”

“Fine,” Lucinda said in her deep southern drawl.

“No different than last night when we were chattin’ online,” Sally Mae replied.

“We still on for our 10:00a.m. ciggie break?” Jeanine inquired.

“Yup,” Marcus confirmed.

“And, lunch?” Sally Mae added.

“Yup,” Marcus advised.

“Don’t forget coffee at 4:30p.m.” Lucinda reminded him.

Marcus nodded his head.

“Just remember ladies, I punch out at 6:00p.m. sharp.”

The ladies nodded their heads in agreement. The 8:00a.m. whistle blew signaling a shift changeover.  The four parted ways. The women walked off to the shipping dock, and Marcus stalked off towards his office to relieve the night manager.  They were nothing if not hardworking, loyal Wobbly Knobby employees.

Marcus and the ladies met throughout the day as planned, and by 5:46p.m., he was clock-watching, antsy to leave for the night. When the 6:00 o’clock end of shift whistle blew, Marcus hightailed it back to his locker, picked up his wallet, keys, and pills, before he headed out to his noble steed. He drove over to the bar adjacent to his trailer park to drink beers, get shit-face drunk, and shoot pool until it was time to hit the hay so he’d be refreshed for work the following day. By the end of the night, Marcus was drunk as a skunk and ready for some shut-eye. His life had been on cruise control until that very day. His work and after work routine were set in stone. But, he knew that soon enough things would change. They had to. Lucinda, Sally Mae, and Jeanine made it clear that they were not going to take the Wobbly Knobby decision lying down.

Two months passed. Marcus’ life post-Wobbly Knobby decision was hummed along on rinse and repeat, until one early Monday morning when it came to an abrupt end. Walking into the employee lounge, his dream-like bubble was burst when Lucinda, Sally Mae, and Jeanine cornered him with very stern looks on their faces. Their expressions told Marcus that they meant business.

“Mornin’ ladies.”

“Mornin’ Daddy,” the women chimed in unison.

“S’cuse me?”

“You heard us. You gonna be a daddy times three,” Lucinda advised.

“You shittin’ me?” Marcus asked.

“Nope,” Jeanine stated.

“That’s whatchya get when you don’t have no money to buy no birth control,” Sally Mae stated.

“What’s that?” Marcus asked.

“Babies,” Sally Mae answered.

Marcus’ dumbfounded expression was quickly replaced with a Cheshire grin when the women waved three positive Wobbly Knobby home pregnancy test sticks in his face.

“Guess I ain’t gonna be needin’ them little blue pills here no more,” Marcus pondered aloud, digging his Viagra bottle out of his pocket.

The three women’s sexual appetite over the past few months had become voracious. No longer able to regulate their hormonal surges since they couldn’t afford to pay for birth control on their minimum wage salaries, their inner horn dogs emerged. Luckily for them, Marcus was a willing and able participant, whose company-paid for Viagra enabled him to satisfy their needs.

“Don’t be getting your hitch caught up in your giddyup, ladies. The Browns are gonna be so damn pleased with this miracle from Jesus. You’ll see,” Marcus offered. “Hallelujah, I’m gonna be a daddy!”

Marcus was right. News of the triple immoral conception that was anything but immaculate, spread far and wide, even farther than the ladies’ legs had spread to offer Marcus’ manly member warmth and shelter. Management heralded the news, sending it up the chain directly to Mr. President and C.E.O., Jep Brown, himself.  Upon getting word of the eventual birth his employees’ bundles of joy, Mr. Brown flew down to San Antonio from his polar bear hunting compound in Alaska to congratulate Marcus, Lucinda, Sally Mae, and Jeanine in person. Mr. Brown was self-congratulatory, for he knew that his hard fought and won Supreme Court victory had allowed him to do God’s work on Earth by compelling his female employees to play host to Marcus’ seed. To celebrate his fine, fertile employees, in a Canadian-like gesture, he offered each of the women and Marcus a full year’s paid maternity and paternity leave, respectively. Mr. Brown also promoted Marcus to regional manager, which came with a significant bump in salary, annual bonus, and lifetime job security, so that Marcus could provide for his growing family. Mr. Brown even bought Marcus a house, putting title in Marcus’ name, so that he, Lucinda, Sally Mae, Jeanine, and their brood could live in Wobbly Knobby-sanctioned sin. Marcus and his three Mary-like baby mamas were going to be poster children for his anti-female contraception crusade.

As news of Mr. Brown’s beneficence spread across the company, the number of male Wobbly Knobby employee Viagra prescriptions quadrupled, overshadowing the non-existent IUD sales to their female cohorts. Mr. Brown was happier than a pig in feces since Viagra was far cheaper than those damn devices of abortion. However, now an expectant father, Marcus was the only one on the Wobbly Knobby team not participating in the erection-enabling mechanism-buying bonanza. Instead, as if channeling the first American pioneers before him, he opted to go the route less traveled. He bought himself a company-paid for vasectomy. He’d made his baby bed and was ready to lie in it.

Mr. Brown didn’t give Marcus’ decision a second thought when he’d learned about it. He’d enjoyed his own company insurance provided vasectomy after having his sixth child with his fifth wife, and Mr. Brown was not one to be labeled a hypocrite. Even though his company invested its employees’ 401K plan in contraception manufacturers in China, Mr. Brown was still no charlatan. Rather, he was a shrewd businessman who knew how to make money for his hardworking staff—helping them to save for their retirement. To him, investing in the companies that produced female contraception that he denied his women staff was not double-dealing. It was justifiable God’s work, for it was an instrument of population control in a godless land. And, when those birth control tools were exported, finally making their way to the golden American shores, Mr. Brown turned a blind eye in good conscience because his pastor told him that it was ok to do so. And, anything his pastor told him was as good as scripture.

Mr. Brown didn’t even bat an eyelash when his company’s chief religious health “hall monitor” officer reported to him that Marcus’ health insurance account contained personal prescriptions for estrogen and progesterone.

“We have no business snooping into the health, bedroom, or personal lives of our employees,” Mr. Brown admonished. “I don’t abide by that kind of behavior. Your job is to just keep an eye on any attempts by employees, especially the women ones, to buy birth control. Since it ain’t birth control, we’ve got to pay for it. Anything else doesn’t jive with my sincerely held religious belief against paying for female contraception that was upheld by the highest court of this land. Got that?”

Mr. Brown’s birth control snitch nodded, acquiescing to his boss’ missive.

Six months passed. Lucinda, Sally Mae, and Jeanine ballooned in size as their babies grew. With the women nearly at full term, not having taken any time off in two years, Marcus booked a four-week vacation with Mr. Brown’s blessing. After all, he was set to become a father of three. Unfortunately, the women’s maternity leave would begin only once the babies were born. Having no vacation to use in order to rest up as their respective third trimesters drew to a close, Lucinda, Sally Mae, and Jeanine continued to work until their due dates, which all happened to be on the same day. Thanks to the constant sex and the fact that the woman weren’t on any birth control to regulate their cycles, they all ovulated and got pregnant at the same time. Seeing that fact as bearing the hand of God, Mr. Brown, a fervent disciple of Jesus, took it upon himself to ensure that the babies entered the world safely. With Marcus gone, Mr. Brown promised to be there for the women when they went into labor just in case their babies’ daddy didn’t make it back in time for the due date.

Without warning, and one week prematurely, all three women’s waters broke on the shipping and receiving floor. Mr. Brown, who lived in San Antonio, drove his new BMW to the store to take charge. He commandeered a company cargo van to drive the women to the hospital since he didn’t want to ruin his brand new car’s leather seats.  He instructed his staff to move hell and high water to track down Marcus, who’d failed to leave word of his whereabouts. Once at the hospital, Mr. Brown played Lamaze coach for each Mother Mary laboring conveniently in neighboring rooms. He only popped out to read a flurry of texts from his minions informing him that Marcus was nowhere to be found. Eighteen hours and three healthy baby boys born later, the boys shared a birthday, while the brothers’ different mothers shared a public four-person ward hospital room. The company insurance plan didn’t pay for semi-private or private rooms. Mr. Brown justified this policy in the circumstances given that all three women’s children shared a father. It didn’t matter that they also shared the room with a ninety-two year old palliative care patient who was suffering in pain from E.Coli infected and oozing bed sores.

“Praise be the Lord!” Mr. Brown preached to Lucinda, Sally Mae, and Jeanine. “Marcus is the man. Father of three strapping boys who will grow to become men, leaders of tomorrow, who’ll help lead this great nation of ours. I’m so grateful to those five learned judges who didn’t force me to pay for the lady abortion pills. Aren’t y’all just so happy to be mamas?”

Each woman was passed out. They’d experienced natural childbirth by default thanks to the company imposed birth plan that didn’t include paying for an epidural. Mr. Brown believed that if God intended for women to use an epidural, then Mary would’ve been offered one in the manger.

“I’m only sorry Marcus couldn’t be here to see this,” Mr. Brown said to no one in particular. Even the palliative care patient was in a morphine-induced coma and was paying him no heed. Without warning, a young, thirtyish-year old woman wheeled herself into the wardroom.

“Hello there young lady!” Mr. Brown exclaimed, jumping up from his lounge chair. “Did you hear about this great revelation and come to give these laboring mamas your best wishes?”

“No, sir. I came here to see my kin.”

“Oh, are you related to one of my employees? Are you the sister of one of these women?” Mr. Brown wagged his finger at each of Sally Mae, Lucinda, and Jeanine.


“Are you Marcus’ sister?”


“How are you related to them then?”

“These be my babies.” The woman pointed at the mewling infants swaddled in their bassinettes.

“Ma’am, with respect, I think you’re mistaken. You see those women sleeping over there? Those are these babies’ mamas.”

“Sir, it’s me, Marcus.” Marcus looked down at his body and realized that Mr. Brown didn’t recognize him anymore. “Shit, my apologies. I go by MacKayla now.”

Mr. Brown turned white as a ghost.

“What?” Mr. Brown asked.

“I had my man parts rearranged into womanly ones.”

“I, uh….I, er,” Mr. Brown stammered.

“It’s ok, sir. I see that you’re confused. Thanks to you, and your court case, I used my company health insurance to make my lifelong dream of becomin’ a woman come true.”

“I, um….ah, I…”

“I’ve always believed that I was born a girl trapped inside a boy’s body. I’d scrimped and saved fer years fer meetins with all the doctors: a vagina doctor, urologist—you know a pecker doctor, head shrinker, even a hormones doctor, to tell me what I had to do, so that I’d be all systems go when I had the money to pay to Bobbitt my little Marcus off. But, I never had enough to go through with it. When the Supreme Court said the only thing you could deny an employee under the company health insurance was birth control, I knew I could finally undergo the sex reassignment surgery I’d been dreamin’ ‘bout on your dime.”

Mr. Brown looked ready to pass out on the floor.

“Since none of these ladies could afford birth control no more, and never wanted to be mamas out of wedlock, we created a plan fer dem to have my babies, so I could be both their mama and their biological daddy. Company paid-fer Viagra helped me knock ‘em up fast and furious, and the company paid-fer vasectomy was the first step I took to become a lady. Wobbly Knobby’s health insurance covered all pregnancy-related costs, so Lucinda, Jeannine and Sally Mae didn’t have any out of pocket expenses to be my surrogates. Your generous accepted offer of paid maternity allowed these women to save more than enough money over the last nine months to buy IUDs out of their own pockets. Now, they’ll have time to recover from pregnancy, labor, and delivery in the house you gave me. I got to become a woman, getting rid of my own wobbly knobby in the process, and you have to continue to pay fer my lifetime supply of estrogen and progesterone since I have lifetime job security. As the biological daddy on the boys’ birth certificates, according to my ACLU lawyers, the law can’t be takin’ dem away from me. At least that’s what Misters Stein, Goldberg, Shenkowitz, and Chu told me. I’m so grateful to you and the Supreme Court fer all you’ve done fer me and my boys. And, to ease your troubled mind, you’ll never need to worry about my wantin’ you to pay fer my birth control, even though the law says you don’t be needin’ too, cuz medical science says I won’t been needin’ none.”

© 2014. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.


Naomi Elana Zener is the author of both Deathbed Dimes and satire fiction, which is posted on her blog Satirical Mama. Her vociferous blogging has been read and appreciated by industry bigwigs such as Giller Prize winner Dr. Vincent Lam and New York Times best-selling author and journalist Paula Froelich. Naomi blogs for Huffington Post and her articles have been published by KvellerAbsrd Comedy, and Erica Ehm’s Yummy Mummy Club. She’s currently working on her sophomore novel. You can connect with her on her website or on Twitter @satiricalmama.

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