Man Spends $4,000 On Obscene Statue To Tell His Town What He Thinks Of Them


There's being mad and then there's being mad.

Most of the time when I'm having an argument with someone, I don't really get a word in edgewise. I'll think about it later, rehashing the fight while I'm doing dishes or when I'm in the shower. Oh boy do I have good one liners then! Hours later, I'll be able to think about the perfect comeback to really show someone how I feel.

Ted Pelkey from Westford, VT had 10 years to think about his perfect comeback and he did not disappoint.

It all started around 2008 when Pelkey applied for a permit to build an 8,000 square foot garage. He ran a truck repair and monofilament recycling business which required a lot of space. He said the new garage would help him relocate his business from nearby Swanton, to his property in Westford.

Officials from the town, however, said the application didn't meet their standards and Pelkey was refused. That launched an "up-hill" battle for the business owner which ultimately ended in one of the most ostentatiously petty things you'll ever see.

After his most recent application was refused Pelkey decided to do something else with the space he had set aside for the garage.

"I was sitting at a bar an said to my wife, 'Hey, I want to get a statue made of a middle finger,'" he told That was exactly what he did.

He commissioned a giant, 4,000-pound, wooden sculpture with an upraised middle finger. He then mounted it on a 16-foot pole and pointed it towards the town. Motorists on Vermont road Route 128 which runs through Westford can see it as they drive.

It even lights up at night. How thoughtful!

Posted by Ted Pelkey's Middle Finger Sculpture in Westford, Vermont on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

In the often confusing world of regulations and bylaws, the man that couldn't get a garage built has a legally protected giant middle finger.

The state government weighed in and said it wasn't their jurisdiction, and the town examined their laws and couldn't find one to apply to the statue. In fact, the statue is considered "public art" and the middle finger is a constitutionally protected form of free speech.

"He apparently can do what he's done," said Allison Hope, chair of the Westford Selectboard.

Pelkey admits his first application was less than detailed, but since then there's been a number of appeals. He's since gotten help from engineers to properly submit an application. His most recent one is being appealed and will be reviewed some time next year.

I've been writing for Shared for 6 years. Along with my cat Lydia, I search for interesting things to share with you!