7 Legendary Acts of Petty Revenge
Everyone gets pissed off sometimes. Occasionally, even the most even-headed among us will overreact in childish ways, such as locking your boyfriend out of the car or calling your girlfriend "the Devil." But there are some people who take petty revenge to dizzying levels of perfection.
Getting a Bunch of Scientists to Sign a Paper Saying You're Stupid
Being a scientist has to be tough. They spend their days staring down microscopes, knowing full well that when someone asks, "What do you do for a living?" any answer they give is going to elicit nothing but blank stares.
"Whatever. I'm just in it for the sweet ninja outfit."
When it comes to dealing with people who believe in creationism, it's got to be especially tough. Typically, scientists shrug it off as a fact of life, knowing that no matter how much evidence they collect, some people will simply never accept it.
Creationists tend to be less resigned, and often try to prove the legitimacy of their theory by compiling lists of scientists who doubt evolution. All in all, hundreds of these lists are circulated. When you take a close look at the list of supposedly well-respected members of the scientific community, you notice that they often include television writers and lawyers, and that the people listed as actual scientists either weren't actual scientists, completely disagreed with that statement they supposedly agreed with, or don't actually exist.
It was exactly as relevant as a Flogging Molly set list.
Deciding they'd had just about enough of this bullshit, The National Center for Science Education decided to compile a list of their own -- one with very, very strict guidelines. Each scientist who signed had to agree that creationism was, in fact, silly and that it should not be taught in schools. They had to be from an area of science where their expertise was actually pertinent and, finally, because this apparently needed to be stipulated, they had to be an actual scientist. Oh, and in order to sign, you had to be named Steve or a variant thereof. As it stands, over 1000 Steves are on the list, including Stephen Hawking.
Explaining the reasoning behind the stunt, the scientific community noted that they could have easily compiled a contradicting list of tens of thousands of signatures. But focusing on scientists not named Steve would have taken too much time, and they had things to do.
Like building this.
Putting a Bear on Your Property
Lord Byron is considered one of the greatest English poets ever. Normally, words such as "badass" don't belong in the same sentence as "poet" -- something Byron was keen to change. Despite having a club foot and a crippling eating disorder for virtually his entire life, the poet managed to earn a reputation as an extravagant, melancholic, courageous, unconventional, eccentric, flamboyant and controversial figure. Or to translate: He owned all of the sex.
All of it.
When not boning his way through the aristocracy, Byron was really into his pets in a way that was less like a cat lady and more like the Beastmaster. When he went to college, he tried to take his pet dog with him. Cambridge Trinity College was having none of it and stuck to their strict "no dogs allowed" policy, seemingly unaware that they were currently talking to Lord Fucking Byron. After being told no, Byron pleaded with the college to make an exception, but they wouldn't budge.
Seeing an opportunity to display the subtle dignity of the poetic soul, Byron went out and purchased a bear, then brought it to Cambridge.
That's right. Soak it in.
It didn't take long for college officials to notice the abnormally large portion of the student body running in the same direction while screaming , "AAAAAHHHHH BEAR!" When they confronted him about the fact that he was essentially wagging his dick at them in front of everyone, Byron simply asked them to show him where in the rules it said that he couldn't have a bear. Amazingly, there wasn't a specific rule against it. Even more amazingly, Cambridge apparently operated on sitcom logic at the time, and officials decided they had no choice but to allow the bear to stay. Presumably they knew that if they did manage to evict the bear, Byron would have simply arrived to campus the next day riding a sled pulled by tigers.
"Please don't make me buy a Minotaur."
Byron lived quite happily with his pet bear, but he wasn't done taking a piss on officials just yet, so he sent a sarcastic letter to the college suggesting that the bear should apply for a fellowship. Eventually, to everyone's relief, Byron left Cambridge -- presumably riding his bear into the sunset and no doubt leaving a big steaming pile of bear shit in the headmaster's office.
Insulting You With a Royal Band
The Queen's Royal Guards are a British institution charged with greeting and playing for foreign dignitaries from around the world. In America, they are mostly known for having made Leslie Nielson's eyes cross that one time in Naked Gun. Anytime a notable person of importance visits the country, it's a British tradition to have the Royal Band has to play for them, and anyone who saw the ridiculous hats on display at the royal wedding should know how they feel about letting traditions die. But sometimes the band doesn't want to play, because sometimes the person of notable importance is a douche bag.
The band faced just such a dilemma when Saudi King Abdullah came to Britain. Being sensitive artsy musician types, certain band members didn't agree with the king's tolerance of human rights abuses and his promotion of such delightful books as Women Who Deserve To Go To Hell. But it would be breaking hundreds of years of tradition to not play for him.
Hey, for all they know, this book is awesome.
The band finally agreed to go with tradition and play for the king, choosing a song that truly represented how they felt about him: "The Imperial March (aka Darth Vader's theme song).
Of course the Saudi King had no idea what was going on, but everyone else sure did. Imagine hearing the song associated with one of the scariest and most evil fictional men in history, then watching this guy stroll by, surrounded by bodyguards and booing protesters.
King Abdullah, without his mask or helmet.
King Abdullah hung out with the Queen for a while then left, completely oblivious that the band tasked with heralding his arrival just called him a dickhead while the entire nation was watching. We like to think that he kind of liked the way it made him seem all powerful and shit, and set up his palace so that it plays every time he enters a room.
Putting Your Extramarital Affair on a Billboard
YaVaughnie Wilkins's life was practically a modern-day fairy tale. For eight years, she was the girlfriend of business tycoon Charles Phillips, president of Oracle software and member of president Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
The problem was, Phillips was married, and had been the entire time that they were together. No one knows whether or not YaVaughnie was aware of her boyfriend's marital status.
What should have been clear to Phillips were the red flags that were waving as early as 2004, when YaVaughnie wrote an essay in which she urged men "to be cognizant of the devastating penalties for making the mistake of loving a woman and at some point changing his mind."
"In defense of men," she continued, "there should be a law that prevents them from marrying before taking a class and passing tests that they understand that 'till death do us part' and 'as long as we both shall live' is more often than not, a delusion."
The essay appeared in I'm Fucking Crazy magazine.
Six years later, YaVaughnie finally decided to call shenanigans on Phillips' two-timing ways ... which she did by plastering giant billboards across New York, Atlanta and San Francisco broadcasting their relationship to the world in script font right out of a romantic comedy. There was the photo of the two in blissful embrace, and a syrupy quote attributed to Charles: "You are my soulmate forever!"
And, as the spiteful little cherry atop this three-story-tall revenge sundae, the billboards also directed people to a website that YaVaughnie had filled with photographs documenting their eight-year relationship. Total amount spent on the billboards and website: $250,000.
For an extra thousand, she could've had her arm wave.
Although the billboards were removed after only a few days, Phillips was forced to admit to the relationship, issuing a public statement that said, merely, "I had an 8 and a half year serious relationship with YaVaughnie Wilkins. My divorce proceedings began in 2008. The relationship with Ms. Wilkins has since ended and we both wish each other well."
And by 'wish each other well,' I of course mean that I hope she gets eaten by sharks.
Banning You from the Country
Let's face it: Divorce is a pain in the ass. You have to deal with paperwork, fees, lawyers and judges.
What if you want to make a clean break from your spouse without the hassle? An immigration officer in the United Kingdom devised the perfect solution. While his wife was visiting her family back in Pakistan, he logged into the immigration department's database and put her name on the country's Terror Watch List.
When his wife tried to return to the United Kingdom with her perfectly valid passport, she was surprised to be denied entry and forced to return to Pakistan. She was baffled because she had never been involved in any sort of criminal -- let alone terrorist -- activity, so she called her husband. Since he was an immigration officer, she figured that he would be the perfect person to take care of the misunderstanding. He told her that he would look into it and subsequently implemented that plan by having "the time of his life," according to an immigration source.
"Honey, I can't just drop everything because of your problems. You know October is my busy time at work."
It wasn't until the man came up for a promotion three years later that his instant divorce formula was discovered. As he was being vetted for a promotion, his superiors noticed that his wife was a suspected terrorist, which tends to be the sort of thing that people notice when you work for the Immigration Department.
At that point, the immigration officer was left with somewhat of a dilemma: deny knowledge of the information and lose his job, or admit that he was responsible and ... lose his job. He admitted that he was indeed the one who put his wife's name on the list and was subsequently fired. According to unnamed officials, he has become a "bit of a legend in immigration circles" -- presumably for different reasons among women than men.
"Relax baby, players gotta play."
Making You a Sexual Deviant on Television
In 2005, CSI producer Sarah Goldfinger was looking to buy a house. Married real estate agents Scott and Melinda Tamkin represented the seller of a house that Goldfinger ended up making an offer on. The seller accepted the offer, but right before the close of escrow, Goldfinger pulled out of the deal when the building inspection revealed that extensive repairs were needed (thus there would be no place to put the moon laser we assume everyone named "Goldfinger" is required to own).
Five years later, the Tamkins were watching an episode of CSI when they noticed two characters named Scott and Melinda Tucker, a pair of shady real estate agents who were also into kinky sex. They also noticed that the name of the episode's producer, Sarah Goldfinger, sounded familiar. Remembering that they had been involved in a failed real estate deal with Goldfinger years earlier, Scott decided to get on the Internet and look up the episode.
That's when he noticed that several online descriptions of the episode actually listed the characters as Scott and Melinda Tamkin, not Tucker. He even came across the original casting call, which had these two character descriptions:
" Mid to late-30s, this slick, attractive, hard-drinking extensive bondage/porn-watching man who's been a mortgage broker since college and feels his world drop out from under him during the mortgage crisis. His clients have left him and his own house may be foreclosed on. He is a suspect in his wife Melinda's murder."
" Mid 30s, Scott's wife ... Melinda's death may have occurred during kinky sex in which she was handcuffed to the bed."
"Honey, why does the name 'Scott Tamkin' sound familiar to me?"
To add to his growing annoyance, Scott soon realized that an Internet search for his and his wife's names turned up several sites describing the "alternative" lifestyle of Scott and Melinda Tamkin. This couple was fictional, of course, but the Tamkins were furious. A good amount of their business came from Internet referrals, and they did not want to risk any possibility of mistaken association with murderous sexual deviants -- although there probably is a real estate market for that.
"You were right, son -- that house is fucking hot."
They filed a lawsuit, but Goldfinger denied the charges, claiming that she had used their real names only as a "placeholder" during the writing process and that the casting calls and script were accidentally leaked before she could change the names. Ultimately, the case was dismissed on the grounds that the fictional Tamkins could not be linked conclusively to the real-life Tamkins and, thus, Goldfinger was protected by her First Amendment rights.
Turning Your House into a Cemetery
As the Quartermaster General for the Continental Army during the Civil War, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs was responsible for transporting troops and maintaining supply lines for the entire army.
"Stand back, I'm quartermastering."
Meigs was also a hardcore Unionist. Even though he was originally from Georgia, he despised any officers who resigned from the U.S. Army to serve in the Confederate Army. One such officer was Colonel Robert E. Lee, who left behind a prestigious 35-year military career to fight for the South and (in case you slept your way through 12 years of grade school) eventually became the Commanding General of the entire Confederate Army.
And namesake of the most awesome car ever.
At the time of his defection, Lee and his wife lived in a mansion called Arlington House, located on a 1,100-acre estate in Virginia. Lee told his wife to flee, which was somewhat of a wise move, because the land was overrun by Union forces less than a month later. Citing failure to pay taxes, the government eventually seized the estate which we assume Lee had left filled with Home Alone-style boobie traps.
"Also, I pooped in every room."
By 1864, as casualties mounted to the hundreds of thousands, military cemeteries were quickly filling up. This is when Quartermaster General Meigs stepped in with the biggest "fuck you" of all to his former colleague -- he recommended that Arlington be established as the Army's newest cemetery. His proposal was accepted, and his first order of business was to bury the bodies of 26 Union soldiers in Mrs. Lee's prized rose garden. By the end of the war, more than 5,000 soldiers had been buried there, all for the purpose of preventing Lee from returning to his old home.
And the plan worked. Not wanting to stir up further animosity with the government -- and presumably hoping to avoid angry Union zombies -- Lee never challenged for the return of his land.
"That's OK. You guys can keep it."
It wasn't until 1870 that Lee's son, George Washington Curtis Lee, successfully sued for the return of the estate, immediately selling it back to the government for $150,000 (or around $3.5 million in today's dollars). The Arlington House has since been restored and is now considered a historic building. Meanwhile, the 300,000 gravestones dotting the grounds of what is now Arlington National Cemetery will forever represent the giant, corpse-filled middle finger of Quartermaster General Meigs.
Check out Dennis' musings on human behavior here. Or cringe and laugh at some bad metaphors here.
Check out what Karl gets up to on his blog, or read his Justin Bieber-themed zombie comic.
And for impressive retaliations, check out The 10 Best Comebacks of All-Time. Or learn how to put someone down in another language in The 9 Most Devastating Insults From Around the World.
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