By: Barry Basore

It was abnormally hard for Harold Longarms to groom this morning. The long red orangutan hair stuck in his comb. He had known this day would come for his Department of Idea Tailoring in the basement of the publishing firm, Telling Orthography. Everyone in the department simply said DITTO. The head of Telling Orthography, retired General Goodall, a gorilla hired to keep a tight rein on the finances of the firm would inspect them today. ''Every Word Makes Cents” was the motto of the company. Harold looked in the mirror and saw a long day ahead of him.

Harold dressed in his normal suit. He had no intention of dressing differently than usual. The company guidelines set strict standards for middle management and dress codes, and his brown suit looked in line with all the other middle managers. The employees would be soothed by his keeping to routine.

His breakfast of nuts and fruits showed steadiness in the face of scheduled stress. The three week heads up helped Harold get his department ready. Fifteen apes in the department thought up ideas to be fleshed out by the writers in the upper floors. Typewriters in the back of the room annoyed the apes in the front using laptops and tablets to record their ideas. The newer workers got tired of hearing the jokes about Shakespeare.

Harold walked into his office at DITTO at precisely 7:30 am. A handful of apes were coming in for the 8:30 am start. Jake, the chimpanzee, always came in after Harold to show the others his importance. It was his idea that led to the short story, “It's our show.” The short story was rewritten into a novella, “Apes Rule.” The novella caught the attention of screen writers in Cage Rattle productions. It was purchased by Cage Rattle and turned into a screen play, “Apes.” The movie was released to lukewarm response. The movie was pulled, reedited , scenes added, and re-released as “To Fling Or Not To Fling: A Comedy.” The movie was a runaway hit. Jake had the movie poster over his desk. It happened 25 years ago, but a laurel is a laurel.

Jake greeted Harold hoping to see that tired look that would lead to Harold's retirement. Jake was holding on to be middle management.

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About the Author

Barry has written for himself for 40 years and reads widely. It took the influence of his dear wife Sarah Basore—better known as Sara Saint John,—to make him want to write for others. Henry Kuttner, Robert Burton and Joss Whedon are his role models.

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