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October 31, 2020


JR Walsh

Email came easily to him. Content, not so much. Simmons repeatedly clicked the send button on empty messages. The painful result: humiliation. He was regularly laughed at in email form, in person all around the office, and even in elevators. The lack of content was too much for his colleagues to bear. So, he quit in a huff. His resignation was given in person.


“Put it in writing,” the bosses all said. “Just send us an email.” Cachinnation clenched in their bowels.


“Nobody reads email anymore,” Simmons grumbled to himself.


Then he heard the universal sound of inspiration – that familiar guitar-picking rhythm that is the Tennessee Three, Johnny Cash’s backing band. A lightbulb tingled his brain.


To assist Simmons, an intern was promised twenty bucks and first crack at any incidental furniture, fixtures, and partially used office supplies. The intern said yes, since certain supplies were especially valued in the office barter market, and this particular intern happened to know about Simmons’ hoarding habits which included stacks of the good Post-its — the ones with colors like a Sweet Tarts rainbow.


All the intern had to do was capture an epic kiss-off photograph.


“Please wear these,” Simmons said.

He held a crumpled pair of blue nitrile gloves out for the intern.


“In case you’re allergic to latex.”

“No. Why why?”

“Oh. For the fingerprints. We’re using the office camera, but there must be no trail back to you.”


Simmons felt protective of this intern. He told himself that not learning the intern’s name was another protective precaution.


“Look here. For inspiration. Wanna hear the song?”


From the computer monitor, Johnny Cash stood on stage biting his lip, squishing his brow, extending a towering square middle finger that blurred with furious intent. Cash stared into the camera’s soul.


“Nah. I get the idea.”


Tasteful renderings from delicious angles, a panoply of lighting schemes, compelling shadow play – this intern was talented. Still, one shot stood as simple perfection.


The intern went home dreaming of Post-its, cramming his gloves into a storm drain.