Sandra Fluke Mows The Lawn: A Play In One Act

sandra-fluke.jpgScene A suburban Washington DC street some sunny afternoon in July. Little Sandra and her friend Mark arrive at the house of Mr George. Little Sandra pushes a manual lawn mower, the kind where the blade spins by pushing the wheels, and Mark holds a broom.

Little Sandra Excuse me, sir. Would you like your grass mowed?

Mr George Well, hello there. Trying to drum up a little business, eh? But aren’t you two a trifle old for this?

Little Sandra Yes, sir, we are. Trying to earn money, I mean. We’re both college students and our stipend of fifty-five-thousand isn’t enough to make it through the whole year. So in the summers we cut grass to make something extra on the side.

Mr George Isn’t that nice. Makes my heart sing to see gumption like that. Reminds me when I was a boy cutting tobacco. I suppose the lawn could use a trim—

(On these words, Mark takes the mower from Little Sandra, hands her the broom, and begins cutting the lawn.)

Mr George (With a smile in his voice) Anxious, isn’t it!

Little Sandra He sure is, sir. And now, sir, the matter of payment?

Mr George (Pulling out his wallet) Of course, of course. This outta do it. (He hands her a ten)

Little Sandra Very funny, sir. But I’m sure you know there are laws that specify that employers must pay their employees a certain minimum wage?

Mr George Now just a minute, young lady—

Little Sandra The laws also stipulate a minimum number of contracted hours. This doesn’t include mandatory breaks and a lunch which must be a full hour.

Mr George Why would you need lunch? This lawn isn’t—

Little Sandra Yes, sir. Lunch. You’re not responsible for paying for our lunch, but you should be aware—here are the numbers (she hands over a sheet of paper)—those employers that received the highest Diversity rankings sponsored their employees’ meals.

(It is clear Mark is doing a half-assed job of the mowing.)

Mr George The whole job will only take you half an hour!

Little Sandra The law’s the law, sir. And I’m a law student and activist so I know what I’m talking about.

(Mr George fishes in his wallet and pulls out more cash)

Mr George Fine, okay. Here. Just get the job done and go.

Little Sandra This barely covers it, sir. But since this is your first offense, we won’t file charges. But now there is the matter of my morning after pill, sir?

Mr George Morning after?

Little Sandra My abortifacient. I’m not obligated to tell you this, but Mark and I last night, for a very special reason, were in a hurry and I worry something might have happened. So if you’ll just…

Mr George Young lady, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Little Sandra (Sighs) You already acknowledge you’re my employer? (She doesn’t wait for an answer) We’re already covered the wage laws, but you should know that under the new Obamacare laws, you have to pay for my abortions. You’ll also have to pay for my future birth control.

Mr George What! I will not pay for yours—or anybody’s–abortion! I am a Catholic and I believe abortion is murder.

Little Sandra Look, sir. I’ll make this easy. Your religious beliefs are irrelevant. And in any case, they are trumped by me being a woman. I want the abortion and you have to pay for it, and that is that.

Mr George This is insanity! Why should I give you money to murder your baby?

Little Sandra I’ll not answer the implied charge, sir. But you obviously have to pay because you’re my employer. When you became an employer, you took on the implied duties of being my bedroom monitor. You must fund the prevention of and the eventual abortion of any children I decide I do not want. Or if I decide I do want the child, you have to pay for that, too. And you must do this because you’re an employer.

Mr George Why should I pay because I’m an employer? Why should you allow me to have that level of intrusion into your life? You have your own money. Take responsibility for yourself! You pay for it!

Little Sandra Surely you realize this is an issue of women’s health, sir. Here are the relevant statistics. (She hands him another paper) You wouldn’t want me, a woman, to become sick because I had unprotected sex, would you? It will be cheaper for you to pay for my abortion than to pay for the birth of the child.

Mr George You’re out of your mind, young lady. I’m not paying for either. It’s your life. You pay. You damn your own soul. Don’t make me complicit. I only wanted you to do a specific task for me, a task for which I’m already paying more than enough.

Little Sandra Employers must pay because they are employers. Employers have a duty to pay for whatever might affect their employees’ bodies, wherever and whatever the employees do with those bodies. Employees have no monetary or personal responsibility at all. Employees have rights. If you don’t give me the money, I will run to Congress and tell on you, sir. Now if you would just fetch your checkbook?

Mr George And to think I’ve always been a loyal Democrat!

(Mr George exits off stage to fetch his checkbook.)

Little Sandra Mark? Ready? He’s going to get the money. That’s good enough.

(Mark leaves the lawn mower and doesn’t bother sweeping the clippings. Mr George returns)

Mr George This whole thing is surreal. I can’t believe what has become of my country.

(He begins to write a check)

Little Sandra Just one moment, sir. Don’t forget that we need funds to cover Mark’s gender reassignment surgery. Tomorrow, he will be Mary! (Whispers) That’s why we were in such a hurry last night. You know, one last time?

Mr George But…what?

Little Sandra You’re an employer, sir.

(Mr George knows he’s beaten, his shoulders slump and he writes a check and hands it over)

Little Sandra Thank you, sir. Nice doing business with you.

(Little Sandra and Mark/y drop the equipment and turn to leave, laughing as they go. After a few paces, Little Sandra’s cell phone rings)

Little Sandra Hello, Mr President!

(The end)


  1. DAV

    Technically, they aren’t employees. They are tradesmen (er, tradespersons). Point taken, though. Their fees will include paying for all those things.

  2. Will

    I got a good laugh out of that. It read like something you might get by mixing Phillip K Dick with George Orwell.

  3. Carmen D'oxide

    Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78

  4. David

    I usually like these little stories, but this one left me cold. The mowers were obviously not employees, making it hard to get into it. Still looking forward for your next story though!

  5. Big Mike

    @Will: and life in America today is something you might get by mixing drug-addled hippies with Marxist zealots and electing them.

  6. Awesome! Her reasoning, “because government says so,” is used so often by the progressives I interact with. I would not call them fascists, but fascists come to power with the complacent complicity of people like that. It’s scary…

  7. DAV is right “Their fees will include paying for all those things.”

    But it’s worse than that.
    Sandra and Ken will actually be able to use your money to help pay for *ANYTHING THEY WANT*! Will there be no end to those damned socialists eating away at our freedom to control the lives of others?

  8. Ken

    Technically they might not be “employees” NOW…but in the not-too-distant future, where this story appears to have occurred, they may formally qualify as “employees” entitled to certain benefits.

    I really don’t think we’ve got to worry about too much of this getting too much out of hand. Prospective “employers” will opt out of employing employees (actually, this is already happening). On lower levels such as the neighborhood, if/when a would be “employee” [extortionist] began to pose a real threat to someone’s livliehood, etc. some very hostile responses are certain to kick in, that’s if history is any guide.

  9. Ray

    I find Sandra Fluke revolting. She is receiving assistance to go to Georgetown law, a very expensive school, and she is whining and complaining that it’s not enough. She is begging congress for more of other people’s money. She evidently feels entitled to it. She apparently bought into the socialist fantasy that we can all live high on the hog at everybody else’s expense. They lived that fantasy in Greece for a long time, but they eventually ran out of other people’s money.

  10. Brilliant story, Mr Briggs! In it, Little Sandra is the one who demands to get to define the terms of the job, the meaning of the word “employer”, the theology of the Catholic Church, and the terms of the future responsibilities of the employer – all without regard to or consideration of Mr George.

    Which is exactly what is happening in real life. And the people reciting these demands don’t seem to recognize them as the bizarre fiction they are.

  11. Doug M

    When did health care become an employer responsibility? I know it started durring WWII when there were wage freezes and expanding benfits was a way to lure people to your firm. Somwhere this changed from a perq to an expectation, and now from an expectation to a requirement.

    When it comes from your employer isurance premia are paid with pre-tax dollars. If an individual buys insurance it is paid with after tax dollars. If I ran the circus, I would get rid of this inequality, and remove the employer tax break.

    It also seems odd to me that health insurance is so far away from actual insurance. Isurance should cover the catistrophic and the unexpected, and not cover the routine.

  12. Not the employer, because Chairman Obombo wisely switched the onus to the government mandated insurance companies, such as AIG, which also sell investment insurance, known as credit default swap derivative musical instruments, without which capitalism as we know it cannot function, not globally anyway, and which occasionally go sour, but they’re too big to fail because that would crumple the entire world economy, so all the Mr. Georges have to bail them out of their self-inflicted misery, if you can call it misery when the swappers are taking home obscene bonus checks, but all the Mr. Georges haven’t got that kind of money, so the government merely prints (a euphemism) more funny fiat paper, which causes runaway inflation, which places the burden on unborn generations, who are precautionarily aborted by abortifacients, so it all works out in the end don’t you see?

  13. Rich

    Good grief, you’re such a lot of whiners!

    I recall that a doctor in the UK had to face a disciplinary panel because he refused to do a cervical smear on a male patient. My daughter, a medical secretary, tells me that patients have the right to “self-determined ethnicity”.

    So redefine yourselves as female, gypsy Social Democrats and get on the gravy train with Sandra!

    As soon as I can find a source for tasteful lead-lined rosewood boxes to put my conscience in I’ll join you.

  14. Doug M

    Self-determined ethinicity! I wish I had thought of that. I should try out native American for a while.

  15. Richard Hill

    In Australia it is worse. Under current law here volunteers are classed as employees and get workplace benefits…. Sandra: “We are neighborhood tidiness volunteers, would you like us to fix your lawn.. free?” Householder:”yes thanks” Mark: “look I’ve stubbed my toe” Sandra “you or your insurance company will have to pay us workers compensation to cover Mark’s injuries, and also for my time as his care person while he recovers…”

  16. Mark

    Sounds like a good argument against employer-based healthcare insurance. But god forbid we let the government take care of it!

  17. Sam

    “Sounds like a good argument against employer-based healthcare insurance. But god forbid we let the government take care of it!”

    Or, make personal health insurance (rather than employer-paid) a tax deduction, so that people obtain, keep, and pay for whatever benefits they feel they require, without the need to bludgeon Catholics into submission to the will of the State.

  18. observer

    Rich at 12:47 p.m. said: “I recall that a doctor in the UK had to face a disciplinary panel because he refused to do a cervical smear on a male patient.”

    The doctors on the so-called disciplinary panel should lose their licenses to practice. They’re breaking the Hippocratic Oath by requiring a physician to perform a medical procedure that is physically impossible.

  19. Robert of Ottawa

    That puts the whole debate in a very clear perspective. Good work.

  20. Scott

    David says: “7 March 2012 at 10:21 am”
    I usually like these little stories, but this one left me cold. The mowers were obviously not employees, making it hard to get into it. Still looking forward for your next story though!”

    You’re forgetting, they’re pushing to have tradesman recognised as employees.
    It’s only a matter of time.

    Maybe then, you might warm a bit.

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