Man Spent $4,000 On Giant Statue To Give His Town The Middle Finger

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We all get into conflicts in life, and often we either have to accept defeat or reign in our victory. However there is one person that you don’t want to get into an argument with and his name is Ted Pelkey and he is very well-known for a certain statue that adorns his lawn, a statue of a very particular middle finger. The level of pettiness has to be admired as it all started off with something so simple, then escalated massively from there. So, if you’re looking to get revenge on your town follow Ted’s step by step guide in pissing absolutely everyone there off.

It all started with a garage

Pelkey admits that his decision to built the 16 foot statue of a middle finger started when he wanted to build a garage on his property.

He just wanted a place to work

Pelkey owns and runs two of his own businesses – a filament company and a repair shop.

And was tired of paying rent

For years, Pelkey’s businesses have been located in the neighbouring town of Swanton. Meaning that he had to pay rent for the property he was using.

The journey to Swanton also didn’t help

Pelkey also admitted that the journey to Swanton – which is about 25 miles away from his home – had also begun to take a toll on him.

So he decided a garage would be ideal

So Pelkey decided that he wanted to build a garage on his property.

Where he could work from home

A place where he could re-locate his businesses without having to worry about paying rent or having to drive anywhere.

He had everything planned

The garage would be about 8000 square-foot and would have been an ideal location for his businesses.

So he asked for a permit

So Pelkey went to the DRB with his application

But they turned him down

However, they were not to please with his application form.

But even he admits it wasn’t great

Pelkey now admits that his first application wasn’t that detailed, prompting him to hire both a lawyer and an engineer to help with his second attempt.

However this wasn’t enough

Unfortunately, Pelkey’s hard work did not pay off, as his application has been dismissed numerous times, such as in last fall where it was again denied by the DRB.

Pelkey cites a previous rivalry as the cause

According to Pelkey, he and DRB chair Matt Wamsganz have a fraught personal history, although he didn’t elaborate on the subject.

Instead he said

‘I’ve been put through the ringer by these people, and it’s just not right.’

But Pelkey’s reputation hasn’t always been kind

When discussing the statue, Chair of the Westford Selectboard, Allison Hope, said that Pelkey has been known to deal with people by implementing ‘animosity and threatening language.’

Hope went on to say that…

‘From my own personal perspective and what I’ve seen/heard/read, the town staff and boards have been professional and appropriate toward the Pelkeys, almost to a fault. That behaviour is not always reciprocated, but we continue to make decisions in a professional and equitable manner nonetheless.’

Pelkey, of course, did not see it this way

Instead he decided that he wanted to build a giant middle finger out of wood and erect it on his front lawn – as a message to the town officials.

Pelkey even spoke about his eureka moment

‘I was sitting at a bar and said to my wife, “Hey, I want to get a statue made of a middle finger, and I’m going to put it up on the lawn.”‘ Sure, because that’s what you do.

Not a cheap price

The sculpture and other additional elements cost around $4000 to commission and create. The display even includes two powerful flood lights, so that it can be seen even at night.

However, Pelkey does not see it as a symbol of hate

‘I’m not trying to cause hate and animosity to the people who live in that town, because there’s very good people in that town.’ We can assume that this statement does not apply to the members of the DRB.

Who can’t do anything about it

That’s right, there is nothing anyone can legally do about the sculpture.

Even Pelkey was surprised by this news.

After first revealing the statue, Pelkey assumed that it would immediately be taken down by the authorities, but what he has done is completely legal.

Not a billboard, not a problem

Vermont is one of few states to have a law against the use and creation of billboards, so you would assume that the statue would be breaking some kind of rule.

But it’s not, because its considered art

However, the sculpture does not fall into the category of sign or billboard and instead falls under the category of public art.

And that’s not all

Also, if you can believe it, the middle-finger gesture also falls under the category of free speech and therefore is also not considered rude or profane.

The sculpture has made Pelkey a minor celebrity in the town

Pelkey admits that before the sculpture, no one in town knew about his struggles with the DRB, but now they definitely do.

Passers by have also shared their opinions on the sculpture

Truck drivers and so on have commented on the statue with amusement, although some did question its negative symbolism.

Pelkey went on again to state that

“It was critical to me to make sure that my neighbours and the people who live in this town understood that I didn’t put that up there for them. It is aimed directly at the people who sit in our town office.”

He then went on to state

‘The Selectboard, the DRB, the zoning administrator, town planner — they deserve it. I’m hoping that maybe some good comes out of it. Maybe.’

Well we can be sure of one thing

They aren’t going to forget about Pelkey or his sculpture any time soon.

To be or not to be

Although some may raise questions behind Pelkey’s decision to create such a piece of angry art, we can all agree that the story is at least entertaining.