By David Peel
The story is told of a very wealthy man. This particular rich fellow was not a stingy man like some, but instead, was quite generous with his funds. As a matter of fact, he would routinely give extravagant presents to those who had served him well or for whom he had affection.
It would not be unusual for him to provide quarters for someone who had done him a relatively small favor. It was not unusual for him to leave enormous tips. Charities all over the area often were graced with his donations both personally and sometimes anonymously.
He had a large extended family and one by one over time, he would usually purchase land and have his handpicked crew build them a home to their particular liking. For the outdoorsy cousin, a beautiful hand-hewn log cabin would be built on the shores of the local lake. For his sister, a beautiful Victorian mansion complete with imported stain glass was created to her exact specifications. For his nephew, he had his crew erect some stainless steel and glass Art Deco building that suited the style of this egalitarian young man.
The members of his construction crews would change from time to time and from project to project. Such is the way of life with the tradesmen.
However, his superintendent was incredibly loyal. Larry had been with the wealthy benefactor since early in his building endeavors. As a matter of fact, Larry had a hand in just about everything that had been built on the massive estate along with all the other homes around the area that the magnate had ordered built.
Oddly, Larry never really had time to work on his own small home on the property. While he appreciated being given a home to live in, he really wasn’t home much because of how many projects were constantly under his supervision. By his last count, he built 28 homes, seven tree houses, nine pergolas or gazebos, four waterfalls, and three elaborate barns.
However, his own house leaked and he just did not have the energy to take care of it. Larry’s wife would often react differently to the announcing of yet another project for yet another shirttail relative of the wealthy man.
“Why can’t he let you work on the house here? Your own family is living in a place with mold and rotting floors while you’re building mansions for relatives this man hardly knows. The whole thing seems so unfair and unjust and if you were a real man you’d stand up to him over this injustice.”
Over time, the nagging of his wife began to wear down Larry’s patience with his job. Instead of being excited by the creativity and control he was granted by his master over projects, he began to dread them and resent them. The last two projects were for relatives that for all Larry knew, this man did not even know personally but yet he was building them a nice home!
And when Larry did not think you could take anymore, the rich man asked that he go to three homes he’d already built and install upgraded Italian marble countertops and custom light fixtures even though there was nothing wrong with what was already there.
This helped push his wife over the edge. She demanded that he do something about this abuse or she would. She certainly wasn’t going to stay here and stand for it another year. Having a hard day at work and only to come home to being nagged,which felt like being nibbled to death by a duck, Larry couldn’t take anymore. He stopped into the rich man’s office and said, “ I need to talk to you about something.” The rich man did not miss a beat and provided him plans for yet another house on the property.
This house he said he would spare no expense. Only the finest materials would be used and she’ll be greater and grander than any other house on this property. The wealthy planner was obviously excited about this project in a way that Larry had seldom seen before. He was animated and excited to get started right away.
Larry, on the other hand, had a very long and dark walk to his shabby little home. There he showed the plans to his wife, who left without a word.
During the night it occurred to Larry how to get even with a man who had done so much for everyone else but had never lifted a finger to bless him.
Larry would handpick his crew and would purposely do things that would sabotage this home. It would look wonderful but behind the walls everything would be 1 inch away from crumbling. There are so many ways that he found in his mind that he could sabotage this house in ways that would be impossible to find and too costly to even fix. This glorious mansion would look wonderful but within weeks of moving in someone would know things were wrong. To correct it the house would have to be bulldozed to the ground and started over. That was it. When his wife finally returned, she thought the plan was brilliant. “This will be our revenge,” she said.
As if the plans he’d been shown weren’t grand enough a new set awaited him at the construction site. The spot on the land was probably the prettiest of all of them and even more desirable than the master’s own house site. Indeed as he reviewed the house plans, this plan would be much larger than the master’s own house. And the materials would be literally almost one-of-a-kind. Larry couldn’t help but be impressed by the taste selections of the master who had obviously put months of planning into this enormous project.
But Larry spent months secretly sabotaging everything. Pipes would let water run but they were going to leak at almost every joint over time. Electrical would work but it would overheat when anything was plugged into it. Even the very frames of the walls would not be able to support the weight of the roof in the first significant storm.
But once all those flaws were covered up with sheet rock and fresh paint and beautiful fixtures, the house looked gorgeous. In a way, Larry was torn because the house looked better than any he’d ever built and was certainly a higher quality and value than any of which he built for the master before. But he knew it was really worth nothing because he knew what was in the inside.
And his plan was to go and give the keys of the house to the master in front of all his crew and tell him that he quit and that he hoped the whole house fell in on whatever shirttail relative got this one.
When the master came to receive the keys he praised the servant and said, “Larry you have been with me and toiled for other people all your adult life. It has not escaped my notice that your house has been neglected and that you have come home from building projects to a very humble home for your wife and family. I have been planning for a long time to reward you for your loyalty. So my friend I’m handing you back the keys because this, the finest house I’ve ever had built anywhere, is your new home.”
You see hate is like an acid that burns through any container in which it is placed. It doesn’t hurt the hated it hurts the holder of the hate.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to email@example.com.