Dean Al French was sweating. He was always sweating. Students called him the Wet Towel. But this was different. This was unhealthy, had to be. If he kept his job he was finally going to use that union insurance, go see a doctor about this sweating thing. Probably glandular or something. It was the dead of December, and his office was like a sauna, and it was getting hotter by the phone call.

He sighed, stared at the ceiling, then out the window. Somewhere out there the superintendent of schools waited, with his brown teeth and bolo tie and his blocky, ridiculous shoes (nothing like Al’s own peppery bow-tie-and-sweater-vest ensemble), and wondered why men like himself, men of vision and talent and – yes! God forbid! – humor, needed to answer to soulless gremlins like the superintendent.

Al’s eyes alighted on the black and white photograph at the edge of his desk. Handsome woman. Bow tie. Long skirt. A jolly smile.

“They’ll never understand, will they?” He asked it.

The photo didn’t answer. It never did.

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