On the front page of the Brattleboro Reformer the other day, there was this picture of some guy demonstrating a local optical company's new improved 3D glasses.
I didn't need to read the caption, I knew right away who it was. With his wife, he used to own and run a handmade chocolates shoppe downtown.
Now about 16 years ago, I worked for a science toy store right next door to their shop. He seemed, in my opinion, to spend most of his time being a self-aggrandized pompous asshole (and I wish I could think of another descriptive word to use, as I feel like I'm devaluating the word 'asshole').
Once, while standing in more than a foot of snow, we got into a screaming match out on the sidewalk of Elliot Street. I was using a broom to move the snow, and he started yelling at me, hurling insults about my intelligence and so on and so forth (there was no shovel, so I was using the broom). He aggravated me enough that I let him have it. I then announced that I refused to play this game anymore and went inside the store. He followed me in, still screaming. That someone would stand up to his bullying must have sent him into a state of shock as he had stopped mid word with his face in an unbelieving contortion of venomous hatred. I remember it well. He hasn't forgotten, either. There were times when his was the only company hiring in town. I interviewed with Sally at least four or five times. She'd excuse herself after a bit and go to where Tom was sitting. He'd look over at me and scowl. Sally would suddenly remember that the job was already taken. Once, he wasn't there and after a long interview she said she wanted to interview one more person and that she would call. And she did. Same day. Asked me to come in for a second interview. This time Tom was there, saw me from a distance, and scowled and scowled some more. Oops! - he'd already given the job to someone else. Un-huh.
Last year, he and Sally sold the business. One day, about 6 months later, I saw him all dressed up in a bad cheap blue suit. He was having an interview at my place of work, a grocery store. And now here he is, front page of the paper, practically gritting his teeth, looking uncomfortable, like he'd rather be someplace else, and more than a little humiliated. He'd fallen so far. And you know what? When I saw the picture I involuntarily yelled HOORAY! It's been 16 years, and as far as I'm concerned, it serves the bastard right.