Niles Dansforth got the notice at lunch. As of tomorrow he was to join the millions of dedicated Americans on the Dole. He was being laid off. Permanently. His career at Dynamicolor Broadcasting Corporation was prematurely ejected. Two and a half years of ass kissing and being a “yes” man hadn’t panned out.

His boss, Miss Finicia Funglethorpe, hadn’t even tried to soften the blow. She had called him into her office just before lunch. Niles walked into her sanctum, thinking that his new-found bravado had finally broken through that shield of ice that was Finicia’s personality.

“No need to sit, Niles. After lunch you’ve packing to do. Your department here at Dynamicolor is being downsized. You’re being let go,” she said.

The smile on her face would have been a beautiful sight under different circumstances. Just now, though, it made her look predatory. At that moment all the soft feelings that Niles had for her evaporated, to be replaced with a cold bloodless feeling about the temples. Niles felt faint. He actually did swoon for a split second, catching himself on the back of the leather-upholstered chair that he had headed for when he entered.


On his way out of the building Niles noticed the window washer’s empty cradle. Some ideas are born of greatness and inspiration, others not so much. This was when an idea overcame his good sense and better judgement.

From his dark purple ’96 Cougar, which was parked in the rear of the Dynamicolor headquarters building, Niles fetched his trenchcoat and Detroit Tigers baseball cap. After a hurried trip to the men’s room, Niles reappeared wearing the new apparel and a twisted smile.

Hurrying to the window washer’s cradle, he began raising himself to the fifth floor window of Miss Finicia Funglethorpe.

He found her seated behind her desk, long shapely legs stretched out to the side as she was in the process of straightening her black nylons. When she sat back she noticed the window washer peering in, hands cupped to either side of his head.

As she turned to see what the hell was going on, she realized that it was Niles Dansforth. Just then Niles flung open his trench coat, to reveal the nakedest man that Finicia had seen all morning.

Apparently Niles had written a message, in what looked like magic marker, on his man o’ war. Creeping closer Finicia could make out the words: “Miss Finicia Funglethorpe and Dynamicolor Broadcasting Corporation can go to hell!”

Later that night Niles was finishing off his tenth rum and coke, when the phone rang. Niles threw his shoe at the phone just as the message machine picked up.

He fell out of his chair at the sound of Finicia’s voice as she said, “Niles, I hope that misunderstanding today at work can be worked out tonight. My address is…”

Tom Britz says: “I am a writer. It was basically a sorting out of private ambitions, having given up on my first career choice of Major League ballplayer and my second, an astronaut. Never got the hang of Indian Chief or even a Tinker. I have been a factory rat but never really cared for it. Too lazy to work and too nervous to steal. I am a writer.”

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Every Day Fiction