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The Solid Gold Zarf


A man is devastated when his years of loyalty toward his company are rewarded with an unexplained termination. When his wife must take on a job to make ends meet, his morale takes a further beating.



Air Dates

  • First Run - October 5, 1981
  • Repeat - December 16, 1981





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10 Responses to Episode 1248

Compelling episode - and is it just me or does Frances sound like Betty White here?


The definition of the word "zarf". Larry Haines, who so frequently sounded like an ordinary working-class guy from Brooklyn who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown (some of ya'll have reviewed an RMT play called "The Bullet" where he turned in a moving performance) plays James Madison Wilson, a worker at a large company which makes a huge variety of products. One day he receives notice that he's been terminated. It devastates him as he's given his life in faithful, honest service to his company. He embarks on a quest to go to the highest levels in his company to find out precisely why he was fired. In the meantime, his wife, who's been a stay at home Mom, finds work at what's either a bar or "gentlemen's club" of some sort and is promoted to management. (This hurts Mr. Wilson even more.) He's haunted by (apparently not supernatural) dreams of those he's tried to ask about his termination status within the company, but he won't stop until he can talk to the CEO...

Jennifer Saure

A long standing and devoted employee of a company is unexpectedly fired from his position. He is baffled and seeks answers, most specifically: why, why was I fired? He climbs the ladder of authority but can find no one who knows why he was released, and the cogs in this industrial wheel turn inexorably slowly and unwaveringly. But as persistent as those wheels, so is the desire of this man to find out who fired him, and why.

Ms. Seiter

I Like the writing of this one by Sam Dan. Made me laugh on several occasions.. Larry Haines is also good in another well written episode by Elspeth Eric - The Black Room

Alan Ramon

Good episode. I was on the edge of my seating waiting for their explanation as to why he was fired: being a male chauvinist, bad attitude, coming in late, stealing, etc. Not knowing until the end was torture on me too.


The pathos in Larry Haines voice is so real that it equates to the totality of the despair from the human condition under nation corporate capitalism. zarf (from the Arabic word ظرف ẓarf, meaning "container, envelope") How soon we forget the Arab Muslims contribution to astrology, language, and mathematics. All we are feed on the news is extremism, not the common human.

Scooter D

Terrific episode with some hugely entertaining supporting performances and comical twists.

Melanie C

Good story that kept me on the edge wondering why he got fired. Added an eerie premonition if how computers are taking over people lives today, not because they're forced, but willingly. I did think our protagonist was quite the whiny cry baby though. I think he needed a good luck in the pants so he could get his head out if it. He should've went straight to the top at the beginning, but then we wouldn't have had this great story!

Jim K.

This episode is a very Kafkaesque kind of commentary on twentieth-century bureaucracy. Larry Haines puts in a very believable and sympathetic performance.


Larry Haines plays an accountant named Mr. Wilson in "Laundry Money" as well, and I kept expecting to hear his secretary from that episode, Miss Alzarez, to pipe up, "Mr. Wilson, now are you going to fire me?"


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