The Jig is up

They called him Jiggs because he looked like the cartoon character from the newspaper funnies. Jiggs and Michael were interior decorators who had a successful business in Boston in the 1970's. Michael was the businessman and Jiggs was the designer.

For years, they ran the business and all the time they were at each others throats. Jiggs accused Michael of underpayment for work done, and Michael accused Jiggs of inappropriate business practices.

In short, Jiggs was a thief!

Each Spring, they stopped arguing long enough to open their Summer Stock theatre company. It was their hobby and a labor of love. The theatre was in a small New England town and the two owners were local celebrities and everyone knew the two for their infamous brawls in public.

"You thieving S.O.B. All for booze!"

And an ashtray would fly across the bar!

Jiggs did set design for each production and Michael was the businessman, advertising each show and doing the books. Jiggs also ran the box office taking in all the cash in those days.

Michael suspected Jiggs of shorting the till and he had a brilliant idea. His office was directly over the box office so when Jiggs was out, he went and got a hand drill with a one inch bit and drilled a hole in the floor directly over Jiggs and the till. When he was finished, he placed a carpet sample over the hole and when he wanted to spy, he would just remove it and put his eye to the floor.

After the shows at night, they would head over to the local theatre bars and party, but Jiggs became aware that Michael knew more about the box office than was usual. He felt something peculiar. He knew that Michael knew something that he did not, but he couldn't put his finger on it.

Michael left the office door open and the cat entered his office. Ol' puss use to love to climb the carpet. She would lay on her side and start pulling herself forward by digging her claws into the carpet fiber. When she was near Michael's desk, she pulled the carpet sample aside and then proceeded to put her paw into the hole and "meow."

Jiggs looked up and saw this paw grasping for air. He handed tickets to a customer, raised an eyebrow and thought to himself, two can play this game.'

It was mid-season and box office was going strong. Cabaret was running and South Pacific was in rehearsals. Monday would be the day they would strike the set for Cabaret and get the set up for South Pacific with an opening night of Tuesday.

On Monday morning Jiggs was wallpapering the box office with a tropical mural when Michael walked in.

"What the hell are you doing?" he asked.

Jiggs said, "Oh, I thought for South Pacific we should have a tropical atmosphere in here for the show. Box office is wonderful so far."

"I am sure it could be better," huffed Michael as he headed for his eye in the sky.

Box office opened early on Tuesdays. Many came to pick up their tickets or to buy tickets for the weekend performances and Michael knew this. He did the bank deposits so he knew what to expect. He got down on his knees and pulled the carpet sample aside and put his eye to the hole, but nothing. All he saw was a shade of blue.

He immediately ran downstairs to the box office where Jiggs was waiting on a line of about twenty customers. Jiggs sat there calmly taking care of business, dressed in a bathing suit, the box office looking like a beach resort. He sat under a very large beach umbrella shielding him and the cash box from the hole in the ceiling!


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