NOT ON MY WATCH
By Savannah Mercer
Working in a wax museum is weird. Wax museums are weird. Macie, however, loved all things weird. She prided herself on being different and enjoying things that others thought were strange. In fact, if something she liked became mainstream, she quickly abandoned it. She would much rather be labeled a hipster than a sheep, although she hated labels.
Patrick was sitting at the front counter when she arrived. He had a bored look on his face as he listened to someone on the phone.
“Yes ma’am. I understand your concern. Well, we do have a prominent ‘Trigger Warning’ sign posted outside of our Chamber of Horrors exhibit,” Patrick spoke into the receiver and threw a quick glance towards Macie. That was her idea. She smiled smugly at Patrick, who had joked her for it.
Macie reached over and clocked in before doing her usual sweep around the museum. Technically she was supposed to check the garbage cans and make sure the pamphlets were orderly. However, when Macie learned that she could kick patrons out if they were behaving inappropriately with the wax figures, she started to consider herself museum police. Now she regularly patrolled the floor and made sure patrons weren’t being disrespectful. It was her way of keeping the museum clean.
After all, Macie believed it was supremely important that people be respectful and kind to one another. She was very woke, and a major part of being woke was being able to recognize and call out injustice even in the smallest forms. She would be damned if people got away it on her watch.
She headed to the celebrity section first. This was what people really came to see. Something about the obscurity of one’s own existence made the proximity to the famous, even an imitation of the famous, feel like a personal validation. Needless to say, the sheeple flocked here.
The large oval-shaped room had about thirty wax figures perched in various spots. Beside each figure was a small plaque that featured some trivia about the person. Macie walked around the perimeter of the room, listening in on conversations as she went.
She spotted a group of 3 college-aged boys next to Marylyn Monroe, in her famous street vent pose. Red flag. Macie closed in, trying to look inconspicuous as she eavesdropped. Their eyes were red and glassy and they were giggling at a joke one of them just made.
“Stoners,” Macie whispered under her breath in disgust. Her eyes narrowed.
“Bro,” one of the guys choked out in between laughs. “Bro, I dare you to look up her skirt, bro!” That was enough.
“Excuse me!” Macie barked at the boys. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave, right now. We do not tolerate that kind of behavior here.”
The stoners looked at each other and back at Macie.
“You serious?” One of them asked, incredulously. “It was just a joke.”
“Dead serious. Jokes are no laughing matter. I’ll escort you out, come on.” Macie deadpanned, resting her hand on her pepper spray holster as an unmistakable threat. The guys glanced at the pepper spray and grumbled some profanities, but ultimately followed her out, bewildered.
Macie forcefully closed the door behind them and brushed her hands off, feeling pride swell up in her chest. Not on my watch, she thought to herself as she made her way back through the museum.
The historical section was pretty empty, as usual. The former Presidents didn’t draw a big crowd, even on busy days. Macie stopped and observed a couple taking a selfie with President Obama.
“Okay, let’s do a silly one!” The girl exclaimed before sticking her tongue out and snapping another photo. Macie closed in.
“Absolutely not,” she barked at the girl.
Stunned, the girl just stared at Macie, her phone still raised in the air.
“Do you think the first black President of the United States would appreciate being treated that way? I won’t tolerate this disrespect. Get out.”
“Wh-“ The girl started, looking at her date who was equally perplexed. Macie gestured threateningly towards her pepper spray.
“Do I need to repeat myself?”
Macie once again slammed the door behind the perpetrators and brushed her hands off before continuing her patrol.
Two middle-aged women stood beside Hilary Clinton.
“Yeah she’s pretty amazing, so accomplished! But you know, some of her past actions have made me wonder if I can really trust her,” one of the women said. Macie closed in.
She pushed the women through the door and slammed it shut, maintaining eye contact as she dusted her hands off. She spun on her heel and walked back towards the museum floor. Patrick stared off, expressionless.
“Yep,” he whispered to no one.
Macie made her way to the Chamber of Horrors. Inside the dimly lit room were wax figures of horror movie villains, serial killers, and monsters. As it turns out, the patrons inside the exhibit were monsters, too. Macie escorted them out.
She dusted her hands off and continued on her patrol. What would this place do without her? She thought, as she personally escorted every last patron out of the museum for one infraction or another. Finally, the museum was empty, which meant Macie had done her job. She straightened some askew pamphlets and walked back to the front counter.
Patrick was sweeping the lobby, getting ready to close up. It was just the two of them in the building now. He looked up at Macie as she approached.
“Busy day?” Patrick asked as Macie leaned against the counter.
Macie rolled her eyes and scoffed, “I mean, you saw how many jerks I had to kick out of here.” She shook her head. “You know, I’m just trying to make the world a better place.”
“Well,” Patrick said, “I’m going to a city counsel open forum after work. If you really care about this stuff, you should come with.” His tone was a little too critical for her liking.
Macie closed in.