A well-dressed man came into my office, one day. He carried a briefcase.
"Hi, may I help you?," I asked.
"Good afternoon. Are you Jennifer Mason, AKA Barefoot Jenny?"
"Yes, that's right."
"Hello. My name is Jason Freeman. I'm from the IRS." He gave me a business card.
"Am I in trouble?"
He smiled. "I just need to go over some things on your form. No, you're not in trouble—no yet, at least!"
I got up. "Let me get my tax stuff from last year."
I opened one of my cabinets and pulled out the file. Then I went back to my desk. "Oh, you can sit down."
"Thank you, Miss Mason." He sat. "I can see how you got your nickname!" (I was barefooted.)
I smiled. "I go barefoot as much as possible!"
He chuckled, then he opened his briefcase. Rummaging through it, he pulled out my tax form. He looked through it for a bit.
"It says here that you had a total of $142.65 in dry cleaning bills, and $345.45 in new clothes."
"That's rather. . . excessive."
"You won't believe some of the things I went through, last year!"
"Tell me about it."
"OK. . . Let's see. . . There was the time I mud wrestled with my clothes on (Jenny the Mud Jaguar)."
"You mud wrestled with your clothes on?"
"Yep!" I rummaged through my file and gave him a sales slip. "Here's the bill for the clothes I bought to replace those."
He looked it over and nodded. "OK, what else?"
"An artist named Ian Richards covered me in blue paint (The Blue Detective)"
"I came to him on a case, and he thought I was his model."
I opened my desk drawer and pulled out some 8x10 photos. They showed me covered in wet blue paint!
He smiled. "I see! And I assume those clothes were ruined?"
"Completely! He let me wear some clothes he had in his studio, but I ended up buying new clothes." I looked in my file and gave him that sales slip.
He looked at it and nodded. "OK, what else?"
"A guy had me lie in a mud pit he dug out in his yard. (Looking for Nancey-Boy)."
"And why would he do that?"
"A trade off for him giving me information on a case." I looked through my file. "Here's the dry cleaning bill."
He looked at it. "OK."
"Oh, and I got in a pie fight (Jenny Pie)"
He smiled. "With the Three Stooges!"
I laughed. "Not quite!"
I showed him that dry cleaning bill.
"And I ended up in a flooded elevator (The Flooded Elevator)."
"Now, how did that happen?"
"It was through the millionaire George Kornbluff."
"Oh, yes, I know about him!"
"He gave me some new clothes, but I had to get new shoes." I showed him that till. "Oh, and another time, I ended up in a tank of beer (Barefoot Jenny's Beer Bath)."
"Don't ask how it happened!" I showed him that dry cleaning bill.
"I've drank beer before, but never bathed in it!"
"It was a first for me!"
"And all of these things happened to you while you were on cases?"
"Yep! It seems to be an occupational hazard, with me!"
"Well, I'm convinced; all the charges you made are substantiated."
"Hold on a moment, please."
He took out a form and a pen. With the pen, he wrote something on the form, then gave it to me.
"Sign on the bottom, please."
"And if I don't?"
"Then I won't be able to give you this:"
He pulled out a slip of paper; it was my refund check!
I signed, and he gave it to me!
"Say, how would you like to work for the IRS? We need agents."
"Hmm. . . ."
"It pays well, it's steady work, and you'll stay dry!"
I smiled. "That does sound tempting! But I'll pass. You see, one reason I'm a private eye is I don't like bosses; I prefer to work for myself."
He nodded. "That does have its advantage."
"And really, I don't mind getting wet, or messy, on occasion. Sometimes, it's kinda fun."
"That's a good attitude to have."
"And besides, if I worked for the IRS, I couldn't do this:"
I propped my feet up on the desk!
He smiled. "I've done that before, actually-never barefoot, though. And I must say, your feet are nicer than my feet!"
I also smiled. "Why, thank you!"
We shook hands, and he left.