When the weather was nice, sometimes the boys in the art department would eat their lunches on the roof of the building. It was pleasant to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine after being cooped up in the cubicles all morning. For a time, the roof was the place to be from twelve o’clock until one, especially after Shuffle discovered the hole in the skylight over the fourth-floor women’s powder room. Shuffle was a big, happy-go-lucky Jewish kid from New York. He never ran when he could walk and seldom walked when he could sit still. When he did move, it was very slowly.

The broken pane in the skylight was a closely guarded secret. The men didn’t want the women to know that they were spying on them, and they knew better than to share the information with management. They didn’t tell any of the salesmen, either, fearing that if that randy bunch got wind of it, the roof would collapse from the sheer weight of the bodies.

The few employees who were in on the fun took turns watching and issuing whispered reports as to the traffic and activity in the ladies’ room. The women primped and squatted in the stalls, oblivious to the giddy observers on the roof.

The eye in the sky went undetected for weeks, or so they thought. Over time the voyeurs gathered a great deal of interesting but useless information about the female employees of the company. They could tell you a woman’s favorite color of underwear and whether so-and-so wiped with the right or left hand.

Then, however, something occurred that made all of their previous observations and discoveries seem insignificant.

What happened was that one of the secretaries told Bill and Shorty one day that what she was going to do on her lunch hour was go up to the fourth-floor ladies’ room, where there was a cot, and lie down. It was a hot day, and the girl, a shapely young woman whom the boys called “Betty Boop,” had spent the morning in the first-floor lobby wearing a bunny suit as part of an Easter promotion. She was sweltering, she said. She told the two men that she was going to take off the rabbit suit and everything else she had on and relax.

Well, the art department was deserted that day during lunch hour. On the roof, the men squabbled over who would have the first turn at the chink in the opaque glass of the skylight. One by one, they held their breath and peered through the secret portal.

True to her word, Betty appeared shortly after noon. The observers waited with baited breath; the bystanders jostled each other and giggled at each other’s lewd jokes as they impatiently awaited their turns.

But curvaceous Betty, that little minx, didn’t follow the script. She didn’t take off her clothes. Far from it! She did lie down on the cot for a few minutes, but all she took off was the head of her bunny suit.

The fellows were bitter about the turn of events. She was a tease, Bill said. But Al wasn’t so sure. Somebody blabbed, he figured. She knew exactly what she was doing. He walked back to his drawing board muttering.

When a few days later they found that the pane in the broken skylight had been repaired, Al told Shuffle about his theory. The next day, when Al came to work, he saw that somebody had put up a poster on the door of the washroom at the back of their work area. It was a color reproduction of an old wartime poster. “Loose lips sink ships,” it said.

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