Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Saga of Billy the Butcher

When they were young, Billy's paternal grandparents came to the United States from Northern Europe to start a new life.  They brought with them a special skill:  they knew meat.  They knew how to cut it, smoke it, and how to prepare it for maximum taste and nutrition.  After struggling for while like most immigrants do, they managed to scrape enough money together to purchase a small corner property; the downstairs was their butcher shop and the upstairs their living quarters.  Their shop was a success.  Soon they were blessed with their one and only child who one day would become Billy's father.

Billy's dad loved the business he grew up in.  Under his guidance, that small corner butcher shop grew into three supermarkets.  During this productive and busy time, Billy's dad married his mother and they had two boys; Billy and his older brother.  Sadly, tragedy struck and Billy's older brother died in a freak accident.  Being the younger brother, Billy was spoiled from day one.  But after his brother's death, Billy got whatever he wanted from parents and grandparents.  And Billy wanted many things but one thing he did not want was the family business; he hated it.

He used women for his momentary pleasures but otherwise considered the female sex to be a burden. Billy treated the family business's employees like dirt and referred to them as bloodsuckers.  He never gave a thought that the employees where a part of the family's success.  For as much as he despised the family business, it did provided him with a college education, but only after he was booted from his first two schools for his outlandish behavior.  After graduation, the business that he so hated provided him with a no-work luxury lifestyle, at a steep cost to his parents.  But things have a way of just happening.  Billy's parents died in a fiery car crash on their way to see him.  Like it or not, Billy now was the head of the family business that he so despised.

One of the first things he did as the boss, was to fire all the full time employees with the exception of a manager and an assistant manager per store, of his choice.  Billy filled in the job ranks with part-time employees at minimum wage and worked them no more than 25 hours a week.  He thought that he improved the bottom line but cutting the "obvious" fat, like employee benefits and higher wages. He put many good people out of work to save a few bucks.  He also started selling cheaper cuts of meat and passed them off as the more expensive variety. Billy thought that the general public, his customers, were stupid.  Unfortunately, along with these crooked moves and without the old management and the skilled full time employees, the business lost customers.  But he refused to see it that way.

When Billy was living the high life after college, he developed some bad habits; gambling, prostitution, and drugs.  After he assumed the mantle of the family business, he felt the pressures and stresses that his father handled very well, but of which he had no clue.  His gambling became his distraction while prostitution and drugs his addiction.  As his debt grew, so did his addictions.

Gradually Billy had to sell off one supermarket at a time to pay his debt to men you never want to owe anything to.  Finally, he was at the end.  Broke and destitute, Billy could not meet his debt payments.  He paid with this life.

As a disembodied soul, Billy stood in line with others of his stripe to face the final judgement of the Gods.  Always impatient, Billy jumped the line; his action did not go unnoticed - he was called next. Wodan and Tiwas were more than happy to show Billy a review, in living color, of his rotten life.

He was born with so many privileges, Wodan said, but pissed it all away.  He had many chances to turn his life around, added Tiwas, but chose to continue on a path of ruin.  Billy was sentenced to the coldest, darkest part of Nifelheim, where he would have plenty of time discover the errors of his ways.  So ends the Saga of Billy the Butcher, a man who disgraced his ancestors.    

                                                Copyright @2015 Terry Unger

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