Social Justice Referee

“Yes, I’m willing to check my bag,” Midge said to the gate attendant.

The gate attendant smiled enthusiastically. “Thank you so much…ma’am?” she said with a polite smile.

“Sir,” Midge corrected. “And you’re welcome.”

“Pardon me,” the attendant said, nodding with a smile. “Name?”

“Mitch. Mitch Schwinghammer,” Midge replied.

The attendant spent a few seconds typing. “I see a Midge, but not a Mitch Schwinghammer. Could be a typo,” she said carefully.

“Oh, no, I know what it is,” Midge said. “I bought this ticket months ago before I began transitioning. I’m Mitch now.”

The gate attendant seemed unsure about how to handle the conversation, so she just smiled as she fastened the baggage claim tag to the handle of Midge’s roller and handed her the claim ticket.

“You’re all set,” she said to Midge. “Just pick up it up at baggage claim at your final destination.”

“Okay, thank you,” said Midge.

“Good luck with that,” someone behind Midge at the ticket counter said. She turned to see a slim woman in business attire. “Beg pardon?” Midge asked.

The business woman chuckled. “Oh, ha, I just said, you know, good luck because who knows where it’ll end up.”

“WHAT KIND OF BITCH SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT?” Midge screamed, her face inches from the business woman’s.

The business woman began shaking. “I…what?” she said in a trembling voice.

“Oh!” Midge exclaimed. “Oh my god. Oh my god. I’m so sorry. I’m transitioning.”

The petite woman began weeping openly as her eyebrows narrowed and she began clenching her fists. “That doesn’t give you a right to harass me for being a sex worker!” she yelled at Midge.

Hearing trouble, an effeminate baggage handler came running out of the jet bridge and placed himself between the two women just as the petite business woman threw her punch, her tiny fist lined with rings hitting the baggage handler directly on the nose, breaking it. The gathering crowd recoiled in horror upon hearing the unmistakable sound of snapping cartilage. A pudgy man wearing a Beto shirt vomited.

Midge leapt into action. She placed the business woman in a sleeper hold while simultaneously throwing a perfect roundhouse kick, her foot making contact with the shoulder of an air marshal who had been standing too close.

The quick-thinking gate attendant immediately grabbed her microphone. “Social justice referee to gate A seventeen. Social justice referee to gate A seventeen on a red ten, this is a code red ten, repeat, red ten.”

A slightly chubby person of indeterminate gender arrived sporting a faint moustache, short, spiked black hair with bright, fushcia tips, and a corduroy sport jacket with the sleeves pushed to the elbows revealing forearm tats, and loosely-laced Doc Martens.

“THAT’S ENOUGH!,” the referee yelled, taking charge immediately before gripping Midge’s upper arm with a giant hand that completely wrapped it with fingertips pressing into her tricep. The referee expertly placed Midge at arm’s length from the baggage handle while backing the business woman off.

“My name is Pat,” the referee announced. “I. AM. IN. CHARGE. HERE.”

Midge, the business woman, and the baggage handler silently watched Pat while trying to bring their labored breathing under control. The crowd of passengers waiting to board looked on in silence as well. Some were already uploading the video they’d captured with their phones to YouTube.

Once the chaos abated, the gate attendant walked out from behind her counter and approached Pat.

“What have we got, Willie?” Pat asked her.

“I’m not entirely sure,” the attendant replied. “But I think we have a trans man, some kind of prostitute, and Greg, who’s gay.”

“I was afraid of that,” Pat said grimly as several airport police officers jogged up. Pat intercepted them, “I’ve got this guys, thanks. If you could just hang bang and back me up. We could be here a while, and there could be further trouble.”

The officers nodded and looked on as two emergency medical personnel arrived carrying large black backpacks and helped the three perpetrators of the fight to seats by the wall. They opened their packs and began offering the three water, fruit juice, and organic snacks as Pat stepped up and faced the crowd of onlooking passengers awaiting their call to board the plane.

“This is what happens,” Pat began lecturing the crowd, “when hate is allowed by people like you to fester and spread. Every one of you is partially to blame for what happened here today…”

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