“I’ll tell you what chaps my ass,” said Charlie Overstreet. “Even through it all, we was making money. Scott’s was always turning a profit. Hell, that first year that the Modern Home collection came out was the best year we ever had. Damn Tommy Junior made more money off that crap then he knew what to do with.” “That’s a fact,” agreed Hank Stanley. That was all Jimmy Calhoun’s doing too. He’s the one that was behind that.” “Well, all I know is that we was making money. We didn’t have to shut down.” “Yeah, the thing was that we weren’t making enough to suit Tommy Junior.” “I’d like to know how damn much is enough? That’s what I want to know. Hell, he’s got that damn mansion down at the lake and all them antique cars. What the hell does he need?” “That’s why he’s moving manufacturing down to Peru. He just wants more.” “So he sacrifices everything.” “You mean us don’t you? We’re the ones getting sacrificed! He don’t have no sense of loyalty what so ever. Shit! We’ve done give the best part of our lives to Scott Furniture Company. I’ve been there for nearly twenty years for God’s sake.” “Dale’s been working there thirty!” “Since I was seventeen!” he said. “Give us another pitcher, Gillie.” The bartender drew another from the tap and set it down on the counter between the men. “Yes Sir, it ain’t nothing but greed. That’s the reason we’re out of work.” “Somebody ought to tell Tommy Junior off!”
James William Gardner
“Tell him off? They ought to beat his damn brains in!” “He don’t have the right to do what he done! We worked every day for him faithful.” “Hell, I ain’t missed work in three years, but Tommy don’t appreciate that a bit!” “He probably don’t even know.” “Old Barton Dooley done lost his right hand and half his arm on the damn band saw. Do you think Tommy Junior gives a shit? He don’t give a shit about nothing but the damn bottom line!” “He don’t just collect old cars. He collects damned old Jaguars. I’ll bet he’s got millions tied up in them cars of his. The more I think about it the madder I get!” “It ain’t only Tommy. It’s that wife of his. They say she goes through money like it was going out of style.” “She’s a good looking thing.” “She married him for the money. You know damn well she did. Do you think Tommy Junior could get him a wife like that if he didn’t have money? Shit no! There’s no way on earth.” “The more I think on it the damn madder I get!” “You know what we ought to do? We ought to get in the car and drive down to that lake house and give that little son-of-a-bitch a piece of our mind!” “Yes Sir! Of course it won’t make no difference, but it would do my heart good to tell him off!” “What are you boys going to do now?” asked Willis Gillie. “Don’t go running down there half-cocked! You’re libel to get yourselves it big trouble!” “We ain’t going to do nothing but tell the little greedy bastard a thing or two!” “Shit,” said Hank Stanley, we ain’t even going to do that. Pour me another beer.”
A native of Southwest Virginia, James William Gardner writes extensively about the contemporary American south. His work explores aspects of southern culture and society often overlooked: the downtrodden, the impoverished and those marginalized by society.
Summer 2014 Volume 2, Issue 2
A compilation of the Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, Volumes 1 and 2 (2013-2014)