by: Joe Hanson – VT.com
We’ve all been treated unfairly by others and dreamed of getting revenge. You imagine the perfect comeback to splinter their soul and the perfect plot to punish them for mistreating you. Then they’ll be sorry! Then they’ll pay! They’ll all pay! Wa ha ha ha ha! But you don’t actually do any of it and move on with your life.
Well, one man in Westford, Vermont decided to retaliate against his enemies in the most hilarious way. Ten years ago, Ted Pelkey wanted to build a 8,000 square foot garage, so he could move his truck repair and monofilament recycling businesses to his own property, rather than working in the nearby town of Swanton. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? But unfortunately, the Westford Selectboard and Development Review Board blocked him from getting a permit. The battle continued for a decade, as town leaders kept saying no. Over and over and over.
It is not clear why authorities kept denying Pelkey’s request, but finally, he couldn’t take it anymore.the The disgruntled 54-year-old decided to show town officials exactly what he thought of them, by commissioning a giant statue of a middle finger. The monument was constructed out of a 700 pound block pine, sits atop a 16 foot pole, and cost $4,000. That’s a lot of money to flip someone the finger, but the gesture is priceless. Oh, and here’s the icing on the cake: Pelkey put up two floodlights, so the statue’s visible all day, and all night.
“I’ve been put through the wringer by these people, and it’s just not right,” Pelkey told Boston.com. “I haven’t been treated fairly at all. I was sitting at a bar and said to my wife, ‘Hey, I want to get a statue made of a middle finger, and I’m going to put it up on the lawn’.” Pelkey thought town officials would force him to take it down, but unfortunately they cannot. Westford banned billboards, but since the giant middle finger statue is not advertising a business, it falls under the category of public art, and is therefore protected by free speech. Pelkey’s reaction to that news? “Most wonderful thing I’ve ever been told in my life.”
However, the Westford native wants everyone to know the middle finger is directed at the people who crossed him, not the entire town. “It was critical to me to make sure that my neighbors and the people who live in this town understood that I didn’t put that up there for them,” explains Pelkey. “It is aimed directly at the people who sit in our town office. I’m not trying to cause hate and animosity to the people who live in that town, because there’s very good people in that town. All the people are very good people.”