6 Delicious Revenge Plots That Are Really Only Deliciously Pathetic
Here’s an easy way to get shares on the internet: Find some random clip of one person attacking someone else, and post it, claiming that it shows someone getting back at a bully. Or, if it’s clearly a romantic couple fighting, claim someone’s getting their ass kicked for cheating.
“If someone hurts you, punish them,” people believe. But what if the punishment does no good? What if it doesn’t really hurt the transgressor? Or what if it hurts them more than they deserve? Or what if it hurts someone else? Ask yourself these questions, and such stories stop feeling like awesome tales of karma. They instead just speak to the avenging angel’s desperation and insecurity — as well as the desperation and insecurity of anyone who cheers them on.
A Man Bought Out Two Theaters to Spite an Ex Who Dumped Him
In 2018, some guy named Wang on Chinese social media told a tale of once getting dumped because he couldn’t afford to go out to the movies. Now, seven years post-breakup, he said he’d decided to show that ex how wrong she’d been, by personally booking not just two seats but two entire IMAX theaters. Skeptics said his post was a bunch of B.S. So, he posted invoices and the booking contract, proving he really did reserve two theaters to screen the years-old movie Transformers 4, even if he couldn’t verify the breakup story.
The story’s supposed to leave us clapping for this guy and relishing how much the ex must regret her choice. But boy did Wang fail at proving any point other than how bitter he is. So, he can afford to buy out two whole theaters, seven years after that relationship. That doesn’t prove her wrong. He still couldn't afford movie tickets back then. She didn’t tell him she thought he was a bad long-term investment. She said he couldn’t afford to take her out. Not only is that an acceptable reason not to go out with someone; it’s almost inarguable — if you can’t afford to go out, you can’t go out. (Why didn’t she buy the movie tickets? Answer: Maybe she couldn’t afford them either.)
Again, the breakup story might not have been true at all — like so may social media stories, maybe Wang just wanted people reposting him. But this story was intended as the triumph of someone who’d struck it rich after a woman did him wrong, and it’s not that at all. Wang said it cost half his month’s salary to book those theaters. Rich people don’t spend half their money on tickets they then have to give away on the internet because they don’t have enough friends of their own.
Someone Mailed His Bullies Garbage and Dirty Underwear
Tokyo man Shigeta Miura got arrested in 2016, having admitted to mailing a bunch of garbage to four people. The garbage included dirt, rotten tea leaves and “old women’s underwear.” News reports did not clarify whether this meant women’s old underwear or underwear belonging to old women. Either way, it was unclear how he obtained said underwear.
Rather than mailing the trash directly, Miura had mailed 70 different packages, without postage, to random places, listing the four intended recipients as the return addresses. The post office “returned” them to the four targets for insufficient postage. This saved Miura from putting his name on the packages or having to buy stamps publicly, but police still tracked him down in the end.
Miura’s motive in all this, he claimed, was that these four men had bullied him when they were all in the Boy Scouts together. Sure, mailing garbage to a bully sounds like it makes sense — when you’re a child. But Shigeta Miura took this revenge 30 years after the supposed bullying. At a certain point (30 years later, for example), you kind of have to get over it.
Filling a Bank with Fish and Pee
At least when Shigeta Miura sent his stinky garbage out, he targeted the source of his grudge. That’s more than we can say about our next guy, Nevada man Byren Stuckey.
Bank of America froze Stuckey’s account, after seeing some kind of flag on it, and this messed up a trip he was taking to San Diego. Stuckey sought revenge by packing fish bait into a bag and leaving it his safe deposit box, so it would stink up the bank. In case that wasn’t personal enough, he also stuck in a few bottles of his own urine. The stuff quickly leaked out, forcing an evacuation of the bank and the surrounding mall.
Ha, ha! Wow, Byren, you sure showed them! “Them” being the employees of this one branch, who had nothing to do with the decision to freeze your account. You showed the janitorial staff in particular, as well as the banking customers who lost access to their branch that day.
Police confronted Stuckey, and it turns out he had broken a specific law: His town had an ordinance against using “any stink bomb or other nauseous or ill smelling preparation, designed or intended to annoy persons.”
And speaking of ground-up fish bits...
The Fate of Stingrays Following the Death of Steve Irwin
Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, died in 2006 from an encounter with a stingray. In the weeks that followed, a bunch of dead stingrays popped up on the beach, with the tails all having been deliberately cut off, by humans. And so, we got the story that people were getting their revenge on the beasts that had killed our hero.
These were not the same stingray that had stung Irwin. So, of course, this was not justice. However, even killing the same stingray wouldn’t be justice. A stingray does not have moral agency. There can be no retribution against it.
The nicest thing we can say about this stupid story is that fishermen cut stingray tails off all the time, even before Irwin’s death, just to stop them from stinging people, so people were probably just imagining a revenge narrative in something that had nothing of the kind.
A Barber Killed the Doctor Who Left Him Impotent
With some of these stories, we’re tempted to throw out an insult like, “This guy lashing out is clearly only angry because his dick doesn’t work.” That would just be a dumb joke. Except for in the following story, where it’s the exact truth.
Stanwood Elkus suffered from a narrow urethra. A doctor, Ronald Gilbert, recommended surgery, and the operation (which Gilbert didn’t even perform, by the way) went poorly. It left Elkus permanently impotent. And so, Elkus went to the doctor’s clinic and shot Gilbert 10 times. “I’m insane,” he told a nurse. “Call the police.” A jury disagreed about the crazy part, and they sent him to prison for life for first-degree murder.
So far, this sounds like a man who received some bad news and snapped. Here’s the part we left out, though: Elkus murdered Gilbert 20 years after the operation. He went under the knife in 1992, then he apparently went on to blame it for everything else that went wrong with his life for the next two decades. “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” we imagine him saying as he finally pulled the trigger. “As cold as my bloodless penis.”
A Women Got Even at Her Husband’s Next Wedding
In 2009, Nasra al-Enezi learned her husband was getting married again. Not her ex-husband, as initial reports suggested, but her current husband — he was taking a second wife. Clearly, she had to get revenge on him. With arson.
Fire, pop culture tells us, is the classic tool of the woman scorned. And 23-year-old Nasra, who lived in Kuwait, was going to point her fire at a most appropriate target: the wedding itself. Reports are not clear on whether Nasra was invited to this wedding, but she showed up and sprayed gasoline on the wedding tent. She initially confessed but later retracted this and said she’d merely sprayed the tent with “cursed water,” as part of a ritual, not that she’d committed arson.
The fire killed 57 people. Her husband was not one of these victims, as men and women sit in different parts of Kuwaiti weddings — she’d only killed women and children. Of course, if she’d killed him too, that would hardly have made it any better in the eyes of the law, and the mass murder easily earned Nasra a death sentence.
Kuwait also looked at the situation and realized that there was a larger systemic problem at hand here. Fortunately, they addressed this issue: They banned wedding tents.