Final score: 507-276, this writer.
The year before, Hamish McGillicuddy thought opening an international grocery in an American small town would be a smart career move. Instead of sharing space in a crowded big city with a dozen other established competitors, he’d told himself, why not break ground in some promising hamlet that might one day experience a population explosion? As citizens moved outward from the big cities and sought new territories with identical conveniences, it had stood to reason in his mind that a locale with a preexisting selection of cosmopolitan edibles might attract attention from interesting, well-to-do parties. He’d hented that notion tightly and spent months trying to discern which Kansas town might be the next Topeka, or at least the next Hutchinson. After a solid year of economic disappointment that had yet to hint at the merest uptick in the offing, he would’ve settled for the next Smallville.