In general, I don’t think much of revenge. I believe it poisons the soul, slowly devouring whomever is possessed by it. It’s better to forgive and move on. I believe in legal (and to some degree societal) retribution–actions have their consequences, after all–but on an individual basis I think it’s much better to exclude the hated thing from your life altogether, rather than invest so much of yourself into opposing it.
Having said that, the following–necessarily vague–tale is of the other kind, of a vengeance so pure and sweet that it stands in stark relief to other examples, and a reminder that some rules, after all, are meant to be broken. Much, unfortunately, has been left out of the following tale. Were I to tell it all, it would be a study in redaction.
Many years ago, a group of friends was helpless to prevent the degradation and near ruin of a thing which they all held very dear, made far more humiliating by the capricious manner in which it was carried out. To the individuals who perpetrated this atrocity, it wasn’t anything more than a gag.
The friends were more than angry–they were devastated. Nor were they of one mind. Most of them, boiling with caustic, unspent hurt wanted to strike back right away, to smash and break and return the hurt that had been foisted on them. Others preferred to wait a while until after the haze of red emotion had cleared, and a more rational response could be crafted. No one, however, suggested that the matter be forgotten.
Cooler heads prevailed, and for a time it seemed as though the matter had been forgotten. The folks responsible for the ugliness certainly forgot. For a time, all was well in the land.
Here’s the thing about revenge, though. If you’re going to do it, for God’s sake–do it right. The object of revenge is not justice, the taking of an eye for an eye. Revenge is punishment and ruin, a disproportionate response to remind that sorry fucker that all you wanted was to be left alone and in doing wrong by you he made the single poorest decision in his wasted and joyless life. Revenge is kicking him in the nuts again and again and again.
So the friends waited two whole years to strike. They planned. They watched. They didn’t forget. And when the time came, they struck. Folks, I can’t tell you much more than that, but believe me when I tell you figuratively that somebody got fucked. Hard. And in the eye.
And for years afterward they rarely spoke about it privately, and never publicly until one of them went and blabbed about it on the internet. Which will probably earn him a serious talking-to. You think I’m kidding.
There’s the cliché, ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold.’ Maybe that’s true, but this memory keeps me warm at night.
ummm…not sure what all of this is about, but karma, it is a b*tch. Things have a way of coming back to a person — what is the expression? Success is the sweetest revenge.
Thanks for reading, Brigitte. As I said, I don’t think much of revenge in most cases. However, the story I describe isn’t something that happened two weeks ago–it is far, far in the past. I believe in karma to a limited sense, but I also believe that what we did was righteous and just. If karma was going to come back and bite me, I think it already would have. Perhaps it already did.
Carrie Rubin said:
I fell into the numerous holes in this tale, and I’m now desperate to learn the details. But alas, I’ll have to settle for your wise words so eloquently told. Personally, I’ve never sought revenge. Yes, I think revenge is dumb, but another reason I haven’t gone down that road is probably because if someone out there did me wrong, I was probably too lost in my own little world to notice. Bygones, I always say. Then again, revenge makes for a great motive in movies and books. Many plots would be naked without it.
I’m a mellow fellow, pretty passive. I’m slow to really anger, and in most cases, I’d rather forget about it than take action. This was an offense I could not tolerate, a hurt I could not ignore.
I’m not kidding when I say I take real pleasure from the memory. It was a beautiful thing.
Carrie Rubin said:
Well, now you’ve really left me dangling.
I find myself similarly baffled by the Lord God Almighty’s directives. Operation manuals notoriously hard to decipher have often seemed clearer. Are we to leave revenge to Him or as you chose to do let him work through us as His instrument?
To quote the Commander-in-Chief: “That question is above my pay grade.” Of course, if viewed through the WWJD? paradigm, this would be a non-starter, ’cause an elaborately planned revenge just doesn’t sound like His style.
El Guapo said:
Did those you avenged yourselves upon realize it was revenge?
Glad it all went well for you, and glad it sounds like everyone was able to walk away at the end.
That’s a great question, Guap, and unfortunately, the answer is no, they never knew for sure. It would have been very satisfying to announce it, but that would not only have gotten us in serious trouble, but it would have perpetuated a cycle of escalating acts of revenge. We weren’t playing a game–we gave this a lot of thought.
El Guapo said:
While a Count Of Monte Cristo style reveal at the end is always nice, I too also enjoy the satisfaction of a well perpetrated karmic turnaround, even if it’s source is unknown to the target.
Can’t say that I could exact revenge upon a wrong doer however; I do enjoy seeing the fall when it’s appropriate. In some cases I’ve had to wait a number of years (saw one recently) and yes, it is sweet. (Spoken from a truly distant viewpoint only.)
Madame Weebles said:
My Sicilian ancestry dictates that I seek vengeance. I can’t help it any more than I can help my need for food, water, and air. It doesn’t have to be immediate vengeance, though. In fact, a good time-released FUCK YOU is even sweeter than instant payback. So even though you’re teasing us with almost no details, I’m still basking in your afterglow.
So why don’t you really tell us what you did to get back at someone who wronged you?
I actually had a friend who texted me a few weeks ago about getting revenge on someone who got him detention 6 years ago. Sometimes you need to let things go. We already egged the guy’s house after it happened. Move on dude! Just move on.
There’s no statute of limits on detention. Your buddy’s in the right–that fucker needs to die!
The strangest thing is he got detention for giving himself detention. He wrote up a fake detention slip for himself to get out of class. The one guy tattled when confronted and he ended up with both a fake and a real detention. We didn’t so much like messing with authority as much as we loved mindfucking them. How do you punish a child who punishes himself?
(I was wondering what happened to you…..I don’t get your posts in my reader anymore…Wordpress sucks)
Sweet revenge….hhmmm…if its really, really, really worth it – it can be satisfying. I can be an eye for an eye person.
Thanks, Chica Blanca! I’ve been here the whole time. I had similar problems with a couple of blogs–have you gone into your reader to check your settings? You might be missing out on some other blogs as well. But primarily this one!
I have to have weekly doses of Smaktakula….I was recently told I had Smak-virus (I opted for amputation of the head but, I need my head for a hat rack…so your stuck with me!) I can never find anything wrong with the settings..I may have to follow/re-follow a few times to get you to stay (that’s what I had to do with Guapo)
Revenge is a dish best served with oregano.
Agree, I like mine cold, rare, and biting. But that’s for the really sick crimes. I might not look it, but I’m a really forgiving person. Sometimes I hate it about myself. No villain is ever forgiving in recorded history, is there?
A HS friend did something really nasty. A classic b*tchy act. She got her comeuppance years later. I rejoiced; Justice has been served, finally. Better late than never, as the cliche goes.
That can be rewarding, and in all seriousness can probably help the “victim” learn a lesson. On the other side of things, I have a friend I’ve known since who was really kind of a mean, passive-aggressive, treacherous, undermining guy. He pays his comeuppance ever day, I think. It’s rather sad. He’s refused to talk to me for about two years, angry as hell about something, and won’t tell anybody (me or our mutual friends who have inquired repeatedly) why. It breaks my heart, because I don’t see him living long enough to get old, and he won’t talk to me.