The 4 Most Passive-Aggressive Ways to Get Revenge
Revenge is a dish best served cold, according to The Godfather, and I trust The Godfather because the mob built Vegas and the one and only time I went to Vegas I literally can't remember. I remember the airport. I lost $5 in a slot machine there. Four days later I woke up at home. So the mob has eerie powers, and vengeance is one of them.
In our modern world, there's not a lot of room for vengeance. It's generally either childish or illegal. You should be mature, people will say. Turn the other cheek. Or, God forbid, grow up. Well, I've been this size for years, so I figure I'm about as grown as I can get. Given that, I decided to try out a few classic revenge pranks on others and see not only which were most effective, but which filled me with the greatest sense of justice and well-being afterward.
The bottom of the passive-aggressive vengeance barrel -- signing someone up for unwanted magazine subscriptions -- is a pretty timid method of putting them in their place. Still, it's better than a kick in the doodle.
Stock photo parents only embarrass you by wearing sweater vests.
My parents have a lifetime of torment to make up for, so don't judge me for wanting to take vengeance upon them. Now, I wasn't beaten or anything like that, but there's more than one family photo featuring all of us in the same outfit, and I recall more than once being forced to try on pants at Kmart when I was a child while my mother held the door open and watched to make sure everything was fitting correctly. Later I'll set their house on fire, but this magazine thing is to test the waters.
Turns out most magazine publishers are well aware of the hilarious prank of people randomly requesting subscriptions, so most of them expect payment in advance these days. Most. But not all. In fact, many trade magazines are more than happy to start sending copies to your place of business and will just bill you after the fact, as will vacuous entertainment magazines.
My parents got their first issue of OK! Magazine, and no mention of it was made to me. In fact, they were three months into their subscription to OK! and also receiving WWE Magazine, New England Runner, All You, Practical Horseman, and 45 other periodicals before I got a phone call asking if I knew anything about it. I was hoping that they would be receiving a magazine per day before they clued in that something was up.
Naturally I disavowed all knowledge and proposed a computer glitch. Anything that goes wrong in the modern world is probably the result of a computer glitch. I suggested they save all their magazines as evidence should anyone come to investigate, and I would do my best to alert Homeland Security that something was afoot. I was called an idiot and hung up on.
Just before I submitted this article to Cracked for editing, my parents had about 250 magazines in their house that they never asked for. It was at once the most childish and most wonderful thing I had done in years. I feel the way I imagine Nicolas Cage does when someone pays him to be in a movie. Like it's not right, but somehow it still is.
A tried and true method of sticking it to someone you don't like but are on good enough terms with to use their bathroom. It's when you poop into the tank on the back of their toilet. You classy son of a bitch, you.
When I was 12 years old and my brother was 17, my parents paid him to baby-sit me and he sat on my head and farted right into my eye. That sounds bad, but it's worth noting that he took his pants off to do it, so his asshole was literally right in my eye. For a second before it all went black, it was like being consumed by the Kraken, only to have it burp shit stink into your eye socket. And he got paid for it.
I visited my brother over the holidays, because holidays are for uncomfortable moments with family when you're all "Hey, remember how we share genetics? Welp, here's a box of chocolates with a map so you can tell which ones suck before you eat them!" We had dinner and sat around in that awkward way you do when you let the old people have all the good seats and even though you're an adult you still get a shitty folding chair from the basement that feels like maybe it's possessed by the spirit of hell's masseuse. Then, when all was ready, I excused myself to go to the bathroom.
This is where the magic happens.
The fundamentals of an upper decker are a little more complex than just shitting into the tank on the back of the toilet. For instance, you can't really just shit into the tank on the back of a toilet. I imagine some of you can, some limber shitters amongst you who can depants and balance precariously, your ass skirting the wall as you gracefully pull your cheeks apart and let your feces just swan dive into the tank. I would have broken my neck. Instead I created a net of toilet paper above the water, secured by the seat, and set about my foul task. Some few grunts later, my net had collapsed into the water, but, due to my foresight, I had left long TP arms hanging out the sides of the toilet and was able to deftly retrieve my turd and plunk it into the back of the tank.
Thrilled with my accomplishment, I washed up and attempted to look suave and cool as I rejoined the family. It is currently early January, and I have still heard nothing about it.
Given that my brother has not discovered the upper decker, I don't know how to feel. I'm starting to wonder what's going on in his bathroom normally when family isn't around that an errant turd can survive for so long without being noticed.
This is taking revenge to a more extreme place that my previous attempts. There's real malice in this one. You're taking shellfish and hiding it in someone's home, with the knowledge that when it starts to go off, the stench will be pretty close to unbearable.
The guy who had sex with my ex before she was my ex.
I don't want to come off sounding like a mentally fractured Maury guest. It's not that I despised this guy for having sex with my girlfriend. I didn't like him for it much either, though. And since I couldn't get revenge on her, because she currently lives in Korea and is pretending to be a decent human, I figured this guy would work, because he keeps inviting me to parties and I can walk to his house from here. You ever walk to Korea? It's ridiculous far.
Just before Christmas is a magical time for vengeance, because people willingly invite you into their homes and shrimp is usually on sale, sometimes even with tangy sauce included. I bought a shrimp ring that had no sauce, because I'm cheap. No one even questions you bringing the shrimp ring into the party because you're just a guy who brought a lame-ass gift.
"Mmm, your breath smells like low tide and anus. This party is great."
The hardest part of this whole thing is patience. You can try to hide the shrimp right away, but you really should resist the urge. With a house full of people, it's not going to be easy to find good spots. Sure, you can drop them behind the couch or in drawers, but that shit is lame. You want to put the shrimp inside curtain rods, behind air vents, and inside framed pictures. Whenever possible, the best place to hide it is a place that requires a tool to access, because when you're looking for a new stink in your home, you're going to assume that it came from something that fell on your floor and look in places like under the couch and behind chairs. No one ever looks in framed photos of family for shellfish. That's insane.
To address the elephant in the room, yes, I hid shrimp in framed photos. I had to wait until about 5 a.m. to get enough time alone to do it, but I did. Also in a bottle of shampoo, the exhaust fans in both the kitchen and the bathroom, inside a clock, and, for kicks, I took the plate off of a light switch and tossed some into the wall.
Since we're not super close, I was not consulted about the aftermath; however, based on a string of posts on Facebook, I was able to discern that the house smells like a corpse and he doesn't seem to enjoy it. Ha.
The Homoerotic Workday
Homosexuality, even today, makes a lot of heterosexuals uncomfortable. It's been a part of our culture for so long that "gay" means "insulting" or "weird," and it carries a certain weight. And while you can be totally comfortable with gay people around you, the insinuation that you may be gay can take some people by surprise. So if you fill someone's computer with gay porn, well then that's just really surprising.
Gary, the guy who sucks at my job.
I don't spend all day on a computer writing comedy. I have to go to work and get on a computer there and just slowly give my soul away, too. And at the office where this occurs is a fellow named Gary, who is such an asshole. It's not his real name, so I can say that about him without fear of reprisal. Gary is your typical workplace brown-noser who has the atypical habit of stealing work and/or credit for work whenever he can get away with it. All the girls hate him. Me, too.
I decided that Gary would probably appreciate gay porn on his computer, but then I thought that that was unfair to gay people. Gay people don't deserve Gary anyway. Plus I think that may be illegal. However, a series of increasingly homoerotic images to suggest not that Gary spends all his time at work looking at men humping so much as Gary just really longs to be hugged by shirtless firefighters seemed like a good idea. Maybe Gary's email signature should include a homoerotic gif. Maybe lots of guys in locker rooms should be his wallpaper. Maybe his computer should be queued to play "It's Raining Men."
Being the kind of guy Gary is, I was confident that this would make him uncomfortable, and also let him know that his terrible password "starwars123" has been on a Post-it in his top drawer for like a year, so his computer is less secure than his sexuality.
Gary caught me after about five minutes. My explanation that I confusedly thought it was my computer and I was just looking for wrestling photos for my own amusement fell on deaf ears.
Since I hadn't actually managed to sabotage Gary's computer, I got away with an official reprimand from my boss and some glances that suggested HR would not approve of any follow-up questions for fear of a civil rights incident.
My hasty plan B included emailing Gary numerous photos of men in various states of undress asking him if he, as a man, felt that I could develop a workout regimen that would help me attain the same physical results, and if so, what might I need to do to maintain my physique. The gifs were all sent with questions about where he suspected they came from. It was a hollow victory, but he did block my email.