The Woman with No Hashtag

She came out of the dusty distance like someone walking out of the dusty distance. Main Street was deserted in the hot noonday sun, which as Main Street was the only street in this one-unicycle town struck her as a bit odd.

Then, she remembered, it was football season. That explained it. To confirm her suspicions a low groan rumbled out of the saloon, as the over-excited jabbering of a match commentator dribbled inanities through the open windows.

If she had a horse, she would have hitched it to the hitching rail outside the saloon. But as this was not the Wild West there was no hitching rail, just a bike rack containing a single dilapidated unicycle.

‘Bloody hipsters.’ She spat into the dust and hitched up her non-artisan jeans before striding towards the saloon doors.

She braced herself. If this really were a hipster town, she would have to be ironic. She hated that.

The beards were the first thing that struck her, literally so in the case of the two men chatting about post-Hegelian cheeseboards as they waited to ionically watch the free kick that could move their team from its traditional spot at the bottom of the league.

She could see the uncertainty on their faces, if they were ironically following a team that began to do well it would immediately cause them problems in their social media standing. Success was the death of irony, at least in football support.

‘Excuse me, gents,’ she said trying to ease her way around their beards without spilling the jam jars of craft Vimto they were clutching.

‘What?’ one of the men said, his hand reaching for his phone holster. ‘Did you just assume our gender?’

The Woman with No Hashtag glanced around the bar, now silent except for the regurgitation of trivial statistics about the home side’s crowd numbers since 1932 from the giant TV screen.

‘Sorry, look, I don’t want any trouble.’ She only had 23% power on her phone. She couldn’t afford a Tweet out against these odds. She looked around at all the bearded faces around her. ‘I didn’t mean to assume, but the beards-’

‘Sexist!’ a voice called from across the bar. ‘Are you denying those of us who self-identify as female the right to grow beards?’

‘No, of course not.’ She backed away towards the door.

The patrons of the bar crowded together, as close as they could get to each other without getting their beards entangled. They moved towards her as one.

‘No platform her!’ The crowd stopped moving and half-turned towards the lone voice. ‘I mean no platform they…. It… zer.’ The crowd shuffled, mumbled and moved closer. They reached for their mobile phones.

She turned and ran for the door. Any second now, she would be trending on Twitter if she didn’t make it to the door in time.

She pulled her own phone free, turning to face the crowd. She could manage a short video, if she was quick. Maybe no-one would retweet it, but she still had some Facebook friends with an itchy Like finger. She would go down posting.

‘Penalty!’ someone called from the bar.

As one the crowd grabbed their phones and surged back towards the big screen, ready to ironically retweet their team’s big moment.

The Woman with No Hashtag sighed and turned away, leaving the saloon she kicked the tyre on the unicycle as she turned to run back out of town.

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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