Never speak ill of the dead, they say.
A laudable enough sentiment, but there are times when one has to make an exception.
I heard yesterday that an old bête noire of mine had shuffled off his mortal coil. I didn’t exactly cheer but the day did somehow seem a good bit brighter.
You see, this chap was a cunt of the highest order. For years he has had it in for me, though he was never quite brave enough to talk to me face to face. His methods mainly consisted of trying to blacken my name and generally bad-mouth me at every opportunity. I am also more than a little suspicious that it was he who brought his rubbish and tipped it into my garden on a regular basis. And then there was that nice little incident where my front hedge was sprayed with weed killer [but my hedge is made of sterner stuff].
So what had I done to deserve such lavish attention? Well, nothing really. He hated my mother and used to terrorise her by posting nasty letters through her door. When she went the way of all elderly, he seemed to transfer all his affections to me. I don’t flatter myself though as I wasn’t the only recipient of his love. Anyone who crossed his path would be sure of some kind of retribution, be it shouting obscenities at them or just doing his damnedest to make their lives miserable.
I have also heard tales that he beat his wife to the point where she attempted suicide a few times and eventually moved out of the house. She then had to get a court order to keep him at bay. There wasn’t much love lost between him and his kids either.
My reaction to all of this was to ignore it. If I saw him around the village I would always greet him cheerfully by name, as if he were a long lost friend I hadn’t met in years. This really pissed him off, as I was supposed to cower in fear and at the very least not greet him on such familiar terms. He never knew quite how to react and usually grunted and scuttled off somewhere.
Apparently he died at home and it was a few days before anyone discovered the body. I suppose that’s what comes of having few friends and an alienated family?
Who says there’s no such thing as Karma?