"From what I understand, that’s also the smell of one Davy Jones. Are you sure it’s not him?"
"I’m sure. We haven’t found him. You need to keep looking." "You’re hiding him, aren’t
you, Violet? You have a date with him tonight, don’t you? Fess up. I know you too well."
"You’re losing your mind, girl. If he’s not wearing hundred-dollar cologne or better, then he’s
not sleeping with Violet. I do draw the line in a few places. You need to get a life."
Mandy, with her head down and her shoulders slouched, sank to the floor. "Now I’m totally
bummed out. I‘ve got to find this bastard before we go completely bankrupt. I’m desperate.
Please help me! He’s got to be here somewhere."
"He’ll turn up sooner or later. Just don’t forget the Lysol." "Somehow I don’t think Lysol is
going to do it. It certainly isn’t helping us with the sewage smell today, is it?"
"A little hundred-dollar cologne ought to fix us up in a hurry, don’t you think?" Violet
winked and left Mandy in an exhausted heap on the floor.
After a short, frustrated cry, Mandy dragged herself back to her office. She couldn’t get
herself together enough to even think about calling the next customer on the list. "Oh crap, my
pen’s out of ink." She threw it down on the desk and rummaged through the drawer for another.
"Why don’t I have another pen?" In all the time she’d worked there, she had never needed to ask
for supplies. They’d just magically appear whenever she ran out of something.
"This place is driving me crazy! What happened to the good old days?"
"Hey, who knows where we keep supplies around here? My pen ran out of ink and I need
another notepad."
"Juliette keeps the key. It’s a closet way back in the far corner. Grey door, next to the freight
elevator. You’ll find it."
Juliette gave Mandy the key and pointed her in the right direction. She wandered around,
past more cubes toward the back of the building. She tried the key at the first grey door she
came to. It was the janitor’s closet.
"But the key works. That’s odd," she thought. She wound around and came to the freight
elevator. "Must be getting close. There it is." She spotted the door. When she tried the key, the
door opened, but just barely. The tiny room was filled with boxes stacked to the ceiling. She had
to squeeze herself through the small opening to get inside.
"We really need to learn to put things away around here."
She started trying to move the boxes out of the way so that she could move around. She
tripped over a large pallet of items wrapped in shrink-wrap. The label read "Air Freshener."
"What do we need all this air freshener for? Who’s doing the ordering? This place is filled
with junk we’ll never use."
On clicked the light bulb in her head. She started sniffing, pointing her nose in every
direction. Nothing. She moved some more stuff out of the way and went further into the room.
She sniffed some more. She thought it was starting to smell different, but couldn’t be sure. A
light was on back in the corner. Mandy headed in that direction. As she approached the light,
the odor suddenly overwhelmed her. She covered her nose and mouth and wished she had
brought a can of that air f reshener with her. Even spray-can floral would smell better than this.
A pudgy red-headed man covered in freckles fell backwards out of his chair at the sound of
Mandy’s voice.
"I found you, Davy Jones! Did you think you could hide back here smelling like that
Stunned, he didn’t move. He could only stare at this stranger who was yelling at him while
holding her hand over her face. He tried to get off the floor, but several boxes had landed on him
during his fall. He couldn’t move.
"Are you Davy Jones?" "Yes. Who are you?"
"Let’s just say there have been several organizational changes at Big Top recently, and you
now report to me. And guess what—you’re fired!"
"Oh, I don’t think so!" His voice was firm and adamant. "You are mistaken. I report to Mr.
Larry Adams. You can’t tell me I’m fired. I only accept instructions from him."
"Let’s get you up to speed, why don’t we? Bozo is dead. Louis Everly and Larry Adams
were sent packing a few weeks ago. They had their sorry fat asses kicked right out of here.
Biglar Topler has regained control of this company. Larry and his girlfriend Gertrude have gone
to parts unknown without a penny to their names. So guess what—you’re fired."
"Do you happen to have his phone number? I’d like to verify that with him."
Davy tried to get up but couldn’t. Mandy had to help him out from underneath the boxes.
Just as she had been told, he was wearing a blue shirt and blue pants. She made a mental note
not to touch anything with the hand that had touched Davy Jones. She was going to have to go
home after this and decontaminate.
He started gathering papers from the desk.
"Put everything down and leave. You cannot take any paperwork out of this building. If I
find anything personal when I clean out and disinfect the desk, I’ll have it delivered by courier to
your home."
"I was looking for a pen. I trust that you brought some paperwork for me to sign."
"I think "you’re fired" ought to do it. No paperwork is necessary."
"I’d think again if I were you. Last time I was fired I received quite a handsome silver
parachute. I expect the same this time."
"Silver parachute?" What was this guy talking about?
"I’ve heard of a golden parachute, but never a silver one. Would you care to fill me in?"
"Yes—a silver parachute. I was paid to cover my living expenses for a very generous period
of time. I want that again."
Mandy couldn’t help but chuckle. Where did people come up with this garbage? "Listen up,
Mr. Davy Jones. You were not paid any ‘silver parachute.’ You were fired for pissing in the
coffee pot. See, I wasn’t born yesterday. I did my research. Now get off your high horse and get
out of here—now."
"Well I don’t listen to a woman. You get off your own high horse and leave me alone."
Mandy was clearly steaming mad and had turned as red as a lobster. That she even uttered
the word "piss" showed that she was mad. She’d been swearing quite a bit lately. The stress was
getting to her. "I’m going to say it one more time. Get out—right now—before I throw you out
myself, you bastard!"
He seemed to get the message and started making his way out of the room. He passed within
an inch of Mandy, right under her nose.
"You really do stink."
"Thanks for the compliment. Bitch."
Mandy followed as he made his way out of the building. She wasn’t going to take any
chances with this creep. As they passed by the collectors, she heard someone say, "PU!—what’s
that smell?" Heads began to pop up, and as they spotted Mandy storming after the blue shirt and
pants, they began to applaud.
"She found him!"
"It’s Davy Jones! He’s been found!" "Yeah! Mandy found him! Way to go!"
"Cassie, go back to the supply room. There’s plenty of air freshener there. We’re going to
need it," she said as she raced to make sure he got into the elevator.
The ride in the elevator was the longest of her life. The stench was overwhelming and there
was no way to escape it. She escorted Davy out the front door and into the parking lot. She
watched him get into a Bentley.
"Hey, Davy! When was the last time you got a check from Larry Adams?"
"What’s it to you, cunt?"