Voter Anger or Vota Anger?
by Dr. George H. Elder
Brian Vota did work for me assembling and painting models for about eight years. Actually, I helped to set him up in business within the small scale model ship community, with his primary emphasis being 1/1250 scale model planes. He also did work for me on larger scale models of all types, and was good at what he did. We maintained a cordial business relationship over the years, and I would speak to him at least once per week. Indeed, sometimes he’d call three times per week.
Now, Brian had always leaned toward the far right, as do many others. Yeah, he claimed to admire the Third Reich and was big into collecting guns, bayonets, and other lethal weapons. He saw Armageddon coming around every corner, and would go on long-winded racial, misogynistic, and social welfare rants. I didn’t agree with his philosophy, but we were on good business terms.
Then came the election, and Obama’s victory seemed to have unhinged Brian completely. The day after the election, I got a call from Brian which must have lasted less than a minute. He advised me that my models were being returned, some of which had been out on consignment for three years or more. I hardly got a word in edgewise, and only hoped that all my goods would indeed be returned.
Well, not everything was returned, and those items that were arrived in the condition you can see in the photographs below. Some models were simply tossed in a box and left lose, including several 1/1200 scale metal models and 1/700 scale WSW kits. Numerous parts of these items were scattered about, and there wasn’t a single model that escaped undamaged. Moreover, various pieces were missing, ensuring that no kit could be completed. On top of all this, Brian had been prepaid in goods and money, all of which is now lost.
There was a short note in the box calling me a “useless eater” and claiming that I had “stolen” from him. I suppose that was Brian’s feeble way of justifying taking payment for having done no work and destroying what wasn’t his. I consider his actions wanton and dishonorable, something akin to how a hysteria-prone debutant acts when someone doesn’t like her dress. In effect, he had a hissy fit–a temperamental outburst; a tantrum.
I was irked because I was out a very good chunk of change. Then Bill Gilpin cut through the angst by noting it was more a case of “Vota” anger than “Voter” anger. Another collector wrote me an e-mail indicating I suffered a case of “Vota fraud,” and so the puns went. One can’t be angry while laughing, but I owe you collectors a head’s up. The moral of the storey is be careful who you do business with. If the guy sounds extreme, odds are there will come a day you’ll regret prioritizing business over belief. I certainly wouldn’t advise anyone to do business with Mr. Vota unless he or she is of his persuasion–and then that person has my deepest sympathy!