Friday Fast Fiction: Tolerance


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            Bill entered the kitchen for the third time in the last minute.

            “Stop,” said his wife, “you’re driving me crazy.

            “Sorry, but this dinner is important for me…I mean, us.”

            “Have a shot—everything’s under control,” she said.

            Bill was hoping for a big promotion and, as Julie in personnel explained, it was “highly recommended” he have the owner, Mr. Jenkins, and his wife over for dinner.

            Bill poured a whiskey. With glass in hand he walked to the picture window. His heart pounded. An old car with writing on it was parked in front of their house. They lived in a development where residents didn’t park on the street. He put the drink down and went out to inspect this uninvited heap.

            The side of the car had the Lord’s Prayer and The Ten Commandments in neat white lettering with a rendering of da Vinci’s Last Supper between them.

            Bill muttered, “Religious freaks! Why did they have to park in front of my house?”

            “Would you like us to park somewhere else?”  

            “My God,” said Bill, turning around to face Jenkins and his wife.

            “No, our God, “countered Jenkins.

            Bill turned pale. He saw his raise go out the window. In fact, he might be fired. “I’m sorry,” he said.

           “Sorry for what?”

           “That I insulted you.”

           “You know I preach tolerance at work. This is the tolerance test.”

          “I guess I flunked.”

           “Or, you may have simply learned a valuable lesson. The answer is up to you.”

 

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