TPM offers a profile of Jonnie Williams, he of the magickal nicotine pills, who made The Regent discover new meanings for the term, “many happy returns“:
A few days before Christmas in 1980, Jonnie Williams shuttered his shop, Colonial Opticians, in Fredericksburg, Va., and skipped town. Williams was in his mid-20s, and he left behind him tens of thousands of dollars in debt (including the balance on a $45,000 Small Business Administration loan), hundreds of frames and lenses and other optical equipment, and a reputation as a flamboyant “super salesman” with a taste for the good life.
“Jonnie Williams could sell a snowball to an Eskimo,” a former employee of Williams’ told a newspaper reporter a few weeks later, in January 1981. “But when it came to backing up what he was selling, now that was another story. Let’s face it, he was a salesman through and through.”
Can ye sayeth, “Snake oil”?