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Try Catch Finally

Jem Matzan

2023 FAPA Award Winner

Try Catch Finally is a comedic non-violent thriller set in the industrial office complex of a contemporary IT mega-corporation. It is also an allegorical primer on systems theory, and a brutalist critique of everything that's wrong with 21st-century America.


Ten years ago, Halleck "sold out." The fear of poverty drove him to abandon entrepreneurship, and seek shelter in the vast grey cube farms of a "big old dinosaur" technology company. Fear suppressed Halleck's ambition for a decade, and if it weren't for the mass layoff known as Chainsaw Friday, it might have remained that way for the rest of his life. At the first hint that his employer might lay him off at the end of the quarter, Hal immediately started looking for new work, eventually landing a dream job at a tech startup. All he has to do is show up on Chainsaw Friday, get his layoff papers, and chill out until New Job Monday. But against all odds, his current employer doesn't lay him off, and the non-compete agreement he signed long ago prevents him from taking the startup job. Armed with an underused degree in systems theory and his Generation X Survival Skills, Hal has only a few hours to find and defeat the salaried supervillains who blocked his escape from Corporate Hell. But Chainsaw Friday is more than just a mass layoff at a dysfunctional megacorporation; it's Halleck's last chance to reclaim his humanity and commit to a real existence in a world dominated by fakeness and fear.


Halleck: An American Systems Analyst, not ‘white’
Ray: An IT Manager who wishes he’d been more racist
Hunter: A Millennial with wedding debt
Alix: Former field hockey player, current Pascal Developer, not lesbian
Alan: A meeting connoisseur / corporate socialite, not a ‘manager’
Grand Moff David: Heartless overlord of a fallen empire
The Black Baron: HR Specialist / Goethe enthusiast, not ‘black’
Rosen: Sharky corporate lawyer, not Jewish
Mola Ram: The world’s first Indian ‘Bond villain’
General Xerg: The worst person in this story, not Chinese
Sergio: Trade association president / constitutional scholar, not Mexican
Meera: Loves India, but glad she doesn’t live there anymore

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