"I can't believe he did that! I'll get even for what happened."
Revenge. Hot blooded or cold and calculated. Everyone has had occasion
to seek revenge; to retaliate for some wrong, real or perceived. For
some, retaliation takes the ultimate and final form. Death. But for
most people, just knowing that something was done, no matter how small,
is enough to cool the desire to "get even." There are multitudes of
ways to redress wrongs; however, in this paper I will just be talking of
three ways satisfaction may be achieved.
Due to the advent of caller id and caller return, phoning someone
at all hours of the night is no longer an option. However, I knew that
if I asked, a local company that leases beepers would give me the three
digit prefixes for their little pagers. After I got the numbers, I
started to methodically call one number after another. Sometimes I
reached an inactive number, but for the most part, the number I dialed
reached an active beeper. When I did, I left my victims phone number.
At least a hundred people called him, wanting to know why he called
them. So many messages were left on his answering machine that he
didn't bother to listen to it any more when he came home from work.
Another way I gained revenge was more destructive and costly to
the person involved. The manager of the apartments my family and I lived
in were set back away from the main road. One day the manager decided
to put up a gate across the main entrance road. He used a simple chain
and lock to secure it and gave a key to all the tenets. He did this
without consulting anyone, or considering the consequences. After night
fell, the gate was locked and the tenets would have to get out of their
cars and unlock the gate by hand. If it were raining, tough. Cold? Too
bad! After asking repeatedly for the gate to be removed, I finally
decided on a course of action. Late one night I filled the key hole
with super glue. The stuff hardened and a key couldn't be put in. The
manager had to break the lock. But he just bought a new one, which I
filled up again. After five more locks were ruined, he finally gave up
on his idea of a locked gate.
The last type of revenge I'll talk about, was more of a joke that
went a little too far. When our daughter was in the hospital, our
friends brought her some gifts. Among them was an egg of Silly Putty.
Pretty harmless stuff really. But our little girl managed to get it
everywhere. On the nurses call button, her clothes, and the carpet at
home. No harm was intended, but I felt a little pay back was in order.
Waiting patiently for Christmas, I had bought for their three year old
hellion, the biggest and best Pla-Doh set I could find. A huge "yuck
factory." I even bought extra cups of neon colored Pla-Doh. After
fifteen minutes of, their daughter had managed to get that devilish
stuff on the kitchen table, the floor, walls, and even in her hair! For
all that, I did feel a little guilty. Also I'm a tad fearful of what
form our friends' revenge might take, for our daughter is about to have
The need for revenge seems to be tied to our basic need for
closure. When wronged by some clod, we feel the need to strike back.
In the end, nothing changed the hurt that was caused. Very little is
seldom accomplished except closure. But hot damn, didn't it feel good
to "fix his wagon!"
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