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Revenge of the Eccentrics
It was yet another long day at the block breaker mill. A block breaker mill, you ask? Yes, indeed…a block breaker mill! Just what is a block breaker mill? It is where the workers do nothing but take to huge cement bricks of all sizes with a humongous sledge hammer all day, every day, and eight hours a day. When one block is smashed to pieces, another is put in its place and is likewise smashed to pieces. It is very tedious work to be sure, and rest assured that it is very, very tiring.
Sadly, in the town of Dillweedia (population: roughly 100,000), there are several block breaker mills left, right and centre…and there seems to be virtually nothing else besides that. Sure, there is a grocery market in most areas—necessary amenities are located everywhere; however, when it comes to variety, especially in the job market, the town of Dillweedia falls horribly short. In this neck of the woods, that’s all that future generations have to look forward to in this town…unless, of course, they want to move out of town, and in the process, face ridicule from most—if not all—of their peers. Some have and were glad they did in the long run.
Well, enter Harry Wallison, age 22. He was born and raised and grew up in Dillweedia, but just from getting to know him, you would never know that. Just don’t tell his peers. In grade school, he aced spelling bees and tests of various kinds. He maintained at least a B average, and he had an imagination to boot, which was more than can be said for the majority of his contemporaries. But he did not want to spend the rest of his life working at a block breaker mill, even though he had to work there at least for a while…until he could get some money together and move somewhere and do something more—for lack of a better term—spectacular with his life. At least, he had always dreamt of doing so. But everyone around him—family included—felt that he was expecting too much out of life and that he should just forget about ever broadening his horizons—something which the Dillweeds did not favour at all.
To all appearances, he lived like a Dillweed, but little did anyone know that deep down inside, he really wasn’t. It was as if he had a desire to free himself that he couldn’t contain…not for too much longer. But unbeknownst to him let alone anyone else, that was all about to change.
After work that day, Harry was heading homeward when it began to rain and pour—very heavily. He immediately started to run, but he slipped and fell, getting himself sopping wet in the process. It was at that moment when he was approached by a man by the name of Drake Bailey, who helped him up and offered to carry Harry’s backpack home.
Drake was a man whom most people, just by looking at him, would think wouldn’t have too much to offer as a person; that is, unless they actually get acquainted with him. Unlike most of the people in Dillweedia, he—and very few others—had ideas that were mainly unpopular but actually worked—if only a concerted effort was made. He often went against the grain (in other words, the prevailing mentality of the people in this town) by promoting variety as what it truly is: the spice of life. To that end, he had sought to organize festivals—such as writers’ festivals, art festivals, and so forth. On a local level, his efforts were often to no avail as they would be met with apathy. Thankfully, though, support from outside of Dillweedia would come in droves, and his efforts succeeded after all. Though most others had attempted to stop him, their efforts also came to naught.
As they approached the apartment building where Harry lived, Drake pulled out a business card and handed it to Harry, then told him to call if he was interested. Harry thanked him and proceeded to enter the apartment building.
Upon entering his apartment, Harry listened to voice mail messages. One, in particular came from his boss, Charles Huthbert, who said: “Hello, this message is for Harry Wallison. I forgot to mention this, but I need you to come in tomorrow. Jerry is going to the bar tonight, and I know he’s going to have a hangover tomorrow morning. Thanks!”
“Shoot! Darn!” said Harry as he plopped himself onto his couch. He then lamented: “How many Saturdays is that now—about six or seven?”
Well, that Saturday came and went. After work that day, Harry went home and examined the business card he received the other day. On a whim, he decided to dial the phone number on it. He was greeted with Drake’s voice uttering the following recorded message: “Thank you for calling. I’m very glad you called, because now, that’s just one step closer to your future—a future with financial freedom, time freedom, and so much more. You just took the first step. Now, take the next. At the tone, please leave your name and your phone number, and I will return your call to tell you about this exciting business opportunity. When I return your call, I will give you details about the next opportunity meeting, such as when and where it will be held. Again, thank you for calling and thus taking this important first step toward your future, and have a great day.”
Upon hearing the beep, Harry left his full name and phone number, and then he hung up. Thereafter, he turned on the television to watch the local 5:00 news.
The following Monday, it was back to work at the Brockview Block Breaker mill where Harry worked. When he arrived there, there were 10 huge cement blocks awaiting him, waiting to be smashed to smithereens. Leaning on one of them was a huge sledge hammer. Harry picked it up and began smashing the blocks beyond recognition. As soon as the 10 of them were smashed, 10 more were brought in, and the entire process was repeated for the next eight-and-a-half hours (minus breaks and lunch, of course). That, by the way, was a typical work day for Harry—but that would soon change.
About halfway through the day, his boss Charles passed by, and as he did so, he simply said: “Good work, son! Keep it up!”
You see, Charles Huthbert is a Sophisticate—that is, someone with material advantage over most—if not all—people in Dillweedia. To put it mildly, he falls between the upper-middle class and the upper class, and worse yet, anyone lower than upper-middle class who gains more than him is perceived as a threat—so much so that he is most likely to enlist the aid of, say, Harry’s co-workers to try and foil (better yet, sabotage) them any way possible. But Charles’ problem lies wherein he doesn’t know what Harry is up to in his spare time. To be sure, he definitely doesn’t know what Harry’s plans were for the evening.
That evening, Harry arrived at Drake’s house, which was a modest yet decent little home. Upon being welcomed in by Drake, Harry entered and went to the living room. There sat six other people. Harry sat beside one of them. His name was Dennis Ayler.
This man was about ten years older than Harry was, yet he had a wife and a baby on the way. He had been concerned about how he was going to support his family, but more than that, he didn’t want his child to end up working at any of the block breaker mills in town. Hence, that’s why he was there. He, like Harry and everyone else who was there, was eager to find out what the “opportunity meeting” was about. They were all about to find out as Drake took centre stage—which, in this case, was in the form of the front of the living room. He began the evening by saying: “Good evening, welcome, and thank you for, first of all, taking the second step toward financial freedom. Just imagine not only having the money to do things, but also having the time to enjoy them.
“Now, you’re probably thinking ‘this is another get-rich-quick scheme’. Well, whether or not you actually get rich quick is completely up to you. Like any other business, you could make more or you could make less. Of course, it all depends on how much you put into it. I’m about to show you a video with a series of testimonials. Their results are not typical, but the fact that they even achieved any results at all is typical of the fact that, like you, they wanted a change, but they knew it wouldn’t come about by just sticking with what everyone else is doing. They didn’t just wish for things, they did something about it. That is the message that I hope you all take home this evening. So, without any further ado, let’s go to the tape.” Drake then inserted a videotape into his VCR, and then he pressed “play”. Instantly, a video presentation began playing.
Later on in the evening, after the video presentation, everyone enjoyed some refreshments and conversation. Harry and Dennis wound up in conversation. Dennis asked: “So what got you interested in this?”
“Well,” Harry began to answer, “It was Mr. Bailey who gave me his business card, and I was intrigued by what it said on it. It said ‘Work from Home. Call me and let me show you how.’ So…yeah! What about you?”
“Well, I’ve spent ten years working at one of the block breaker mills,” Dennis replied, “and right now, I’m getting sick of it. I want my evenings and weekends free. I need them free. I want to get into filmmaking, but my current work schedule doesn’t allow for that. In fact, it’s a miracle I even got tonight off.”
“You know, I work at a block breaker mill,” Harry responded, “I work at Brockview Block Breaker Mill.”
At that, Dennis began to cringe. He then said: “I used to work there, but I got fired when I tried to go to night school. That put an end to going to night school. So I had to take a job at another block breaker mill. They don’t even leave you with enough time to go to school. I want to leave this town very badly.”
“Yeah, same here,” Harry responded.
The next day, back at work, Harry was right smack dab in the middle of smashing a huge cement block to smithereens when he was approached by Charles, who tapped him on the shoulder upon reaching him. Harry turned around, and then Charles took him aside to his office.
Once inside Charles’ office, they sat across from each other at his desk. Then, Charles said: “Harry, you know I trust you as an employee and that you’re a good worker and everything. I need you and Ross to do me a favour.”
“What is it?” Harry asked.
“Well, it was brought to my attention this morning that one of my friend’s employees got his own business licence,” Charles answered, “If we let him carry on his business activities, who knows what this will mean for Dillweedia. It will mean the end of Dillweedia’s identity as we know it. That’s why I need for you and Ross to find some way of destroying his business licence so that he can’t open a business account. My friend trusts you two to do this.”
After the meeting, Harry gave Charles a smile, but really—deep down inside—he thought to himself: “How dare he ask me to destroy an innocent person’s life.”
The same couldn’t be said for Ross. Ross was a Dillweed, and apparently, he was going to die a Dillweed, too. He would often jump at the chance to destroy anyone’s chance of success outside the block breaker mill system Dillweedia had going on. So when he was asked to do the same favour, he unresistingly jumped at the chance. He—like all other Dillweeds in this town—couldn’t stand to see anyone—whether from among them or not—advance further than them, nor could they stand to see any Dillweeds become Eccentrics—which, unbeknownst to himself, Harry had strong inklings towards. What Ross also didn’t know was that the person Harry wants them to sabotage was actually someone else that Harry had met the night before.
That man’s name was Timothy Aaronhart. He worked for another block breaker mill, but he longed for the day when he would no longer need to do so. He, like Harry, secretly had strong leanings toward becoming an Eccentric (that is, someone who shows, by both their actions and their speech, that they were seeking ways to broaden their horizons in any way, shape or form that they possibly can)—which may explain why he was also at that “opportunity meeting”. The problem was that no matter how hard Timothy tried to keep that a secret from his boss, it wouldn’t stay a secret for long. Somehow, his boss became aware of it—namely, through that boss’ son snooping around inconspicuously.
Harry really did not want to do that to Timothy. To the contrary, he had just befriended Timothy the previous evening, just as he had also befriended Dennis. In his mind, there was no way he was going to do that to either of them. In fact, he wouldn’t even dream of sabotaging anyone, even if they did deserve it.
Therefore, the problem for Harry to deal with at that stage of the game was how not to make that too obvious. He did not want to blow his cover while still at work for fear of the wrath of Charles.
And so, that evening, when Harry was at home, he composed a letter of resignation to give to Ross to—in turn—give to Charles. The fact that Charles had asked him and Ross to sabotage another individual had proved to be the final straw for him.
Finally, the evening for the so-called big event came. Harry and Ross both arrived at Timothy’s house—a nice-looking bungalow. But before they knocked, Timothy handed Ross the envelope containing the letter of resignation. Harry, however, told Ross: “Give this to Charles. It’s a thank you letter.”
Ross took it. Then, they knocked on the door. Timothy—a young man with a very friendly disposition—answered. “Harry,” he said, “how’s it going?”
“Not too bad,” Harry replied. He continued: “I just want you to know that you and I will do whatever it takes to become successful Eccentrics.” He then turned to Ross and said: “Ross, I hope you don’t mind, but I can’t go through with this. Make sure Charles gets that letter tomorrow. I won’t be in.” Thereafter, he went inside the house and closed the door, leaving Ross to stand on the front porch in utter disbelief.
Curious about what they letter said, Ross opened the envelope, took out the letter, and read it. As he read it, he balled his eyes in shock. After he had read the entire letter, Ross left Timothy’s house, arrived at an open playground, knelt down…and, crying profusely let out a big, loud: “NOOOOOOOOOO! This can’t be happening!” Just then, it began to rain—very heavily.
Meanwhile, back at Timothy’s house, Harry and Timothy were at the dining room table having coffee. Harry had explained the situation to Timothy, who—upon hearing all about it—breathed a huge sigh of relief that Harry didn’t go through with destroying his business licence.
The next day, Charles was at his desk eating breakfast when Ross, looking sad and dejected entered the office. Charles asked: “What’s wrong?”
Without saying a word, Ross handed Charles the letter. Charles took the letter, read it, and began fuming. Immediately, Ross exited the office. Then, when Ross was far away from the office door, Charles—at the height of his lungs—screamed a nice, big: “WHAAAAAATTTTT?” Then, he stormed out of his office, approached Ross, and said: “Harry quit?”
“Yes, he did, sir,” Ross sheepishly replied, “He said that he didn’t want to do anything bad to an innocent human being, especially one he just became friends with.”
“So Harry wants to be an Eccentric, huh?” Charles said with a snarl, “Well, we’ll show him how we deal with anyone who becomes an Eccentric!”
Meanwhile, Harry was at home putting together his marketing plan as he followed step-by-step instructions outlined in a brochure he had received a few evenings ago. Just then, there was a knock on his door. Harry answered it, and saw a very livid Charles standing before him. Harry said: “Yes? May I help you?”
“Help me?” Charles screamed in response, “You should’ve helped me last night! You let that man go on his way to becoming a business success when he should be slaving at my friend’s block breaker mill?”
“Well, see, that’s your problem,” Harry pointed out, “Boy, when you start trying to control people’s lives, you don’t miss a trick, do you?”
“Well, I’m here to make you pay for this,” Charles screamed.
Just then, a loud female voice yelled from afar: “Not while I’m alive, you’re not!” Immediately thereafter, a thirty-something woman named Hillary Hilston approached Charles. When she got there, Charles asked her: “And you are…?”
“One of the Scales,” Hillary replied, “Would you like to make something of it?”