Revenge Inc.


Oops! That’s a shame. How’d it happen?

Life can be frustrating, what with all the obstacles that it keeps throwing in our paths, but we have to remain philosophical… what choice do we have? I mean it’s frigging life we’re talking about here… it always wins in the end so we’re pretty much screwed. But when it is another person who is making things difficult for us, well, that’s a different story.

We could, I suppose, reason with the person causing us problems to achieve an equitable outcome but diplomacy tends to put us back into the position we were in before hostilities began and ignores compensation for any wrongs, real or perceived, done to us. This is where retaliation shows itself to be the better, more just, and more satisfying solution to many of life’s little problems.


This is my own personal side-view mirror. Nothing there to indicate a lack of maturity or level-headed judgement, is there?

For example, you have a neighbour who owns a Rottweiler and the two of them pass by your house several times a day whenever Brutus has to go out on his walkies. The trouble is, Brutus gets a whole bunch more fibre in his diet than he ought to and apparently his master isn’t getting his daily serving of carrots because he’s not seeing (and, therefore, not picking up) the Mount McKinley sized doots Brutus is leaving behind in your yard. So, what is one to do aside from wearing a rubber poncho and hipwaders every time one mows the lawn?

In an effort to remedy the situation, would you…

  1. … invite Brutus’ master over for tea to discuss the matter?
  2. … invite Brutus’ master over for a beer and when he arrives confront him with an intervention involving everyone on the block who has lawn frontage with Brutus’ taint on it?
  3. … invite Brutus’ master over for either of the two aforementioned reasons but spike his drink with the veterinary grade laxative given to you by your good buddy who is in charge of the elephants at the circus?¹

Any of these three tactics is capable of yielding the result you want, i.e. keeping the business end of Brutus pointing away from your Kentucky bluegrass, but only Number Three will give you the satisfaction of knowing that your point has truly struck a chord with Brutus’ owner. And maybe Brutus could benefit from the kind of treatment described in the very first paragraph of this recent post of mine, but that’s a discussion best saved for another day.


Here is a shack on a lift bridge on a canal where some very large lakers and ocean-going ships pass. In the old days a guy used to sit this shack and control the bridge going up and down so it wouldn’t get plowed into by the giant boats. Fun job and a nifty bridge but what does this have to do with getting even with people?

Finding ways to solve such problems in a way that won’t soon be forgotten is probably my only true talent and I have lots of experience in the retaliatory black arts. I remember back to grade two when I had my eye on Artsy Margot, the girl with the longest, straightest, and blondest hair I had ever seen. Margot was a true artiste — she was the only one in art class who had a smock to protect her all-black clothes from all the high-level art she was churning out. An eight year old blonde who wore all black? That’s truly artsy, even by today’s standards. I bet if I could find her today she’d be deeply involved in crystal power, the tantric yoghurt movement, be hobnobbing with the jet set, and getting commissioned to do murals in clothing designers’ homes.


Close-up of the shack in the previous picture. Nowadays the bridges over the canal are controlled from one central command centre so these shacks remain empty and unused. I was thinking I might put a bid in on a long term lease of the shack, fix it up inside, take interior shots and convince my older brother Hoai de Sade to move out of his apartment in the city and into this lovely “retirement home”. The vertical motion every time a ship passes will lull him into a deep sleep. Hopefully he’ll be so deeply asleep that the sirens that warn automobile traffic that the bridge is about to go up, the cement trucks passing underneath, and the ships’ smokestacks blowing diesel exhaust straight up onto the shed from just a few feet below won’t disturb dear brother’s slumber. In winter the canal is closed to ship traffic so the bridge doesn’t go up and down at all! Hope the shack’s insulated.

Anyways, I only worked up the courage to speak to Margot twice — once to compliment her on the cats she drew in art class and a second time to console her after the teacher said her two-curved-lines seagulls didn’t really look like seagulls. Anytime we’d have art after I told her that the teacher didn’t know squat about drawing gulls Margot would beckon me to work with her by throwing me “come hither” looks that only blondes wearing all black seem to be able to pull off.

Aside from being ashamed of my third-rate schlock art based on tracing coins and my own fingers, I simply choked and remained frozen in my seat. Timmy, whose hair was even blonder than Morgot’s (I always thought he must have been the victim of some sort of fluke peroxide accident during conception), started talking to her, the creep. So one day I hatched this elaborate scheme in which I got my best friend, The Pres, to put some dog poo into Timmy’s billy boots while I established an alibi by asking the teacher lots of questions, not leaving the class even to go to the bathroom, and making sure I was the center of attention the whole time.

The recess bell rang so we all went into the cloakroom and I watched Timmy’s expression change to horror as he put on his left boot. The Pres chuckled audibly while Timmy looked around the room seeking some sort of explanation for what he was feeling. I was sitting facing straight ahead but my eyes were looking sideways at Timmy. Our eyes met and he was rattled by “the dangerous look” — the one pop musicians make when they pose for album photos — I had on my face and the ever-so-slight nod I gave him meaning “Yes. I am responsible for that poo you feel gooshing through your wool socks and between your toes. How did I do that? I was in class before you arrived and never left your sight. I must be some sort of phantom or something. Do yourself and whoever washes your socks a favour… keep away from Margot.”

After that Timmy did stop hanging around with Margot and it was well worth the jawbreaker and the compass with the real radium glow-in-the-dark painted needle I gave to The Pres for his services in helping me give Timmy the dog poo hot foot. Over the summer Timmy’s family moved away and no one has ever seen him again, not even on Facebook. I’d like to think that my neighbour’s beagle and I had something to do with it.

It’s not written in stone that you have to use dog poo in your plot to get some pay-back, it’s just a coincidence that it figured prominently in the thing with Timmy and that I also mentioned it in my hypothetical Brutus situation. In high school me and some friends with really loud cars would go on “spite runs” in the middle of the night and tear up and down in front of the houses of teachers who had the gall to take exception to us not doing our homework and stuff. See? Not one speck of dog poo was involved in the spite runs even though we could have smeared it onto the underside of the teacher’s car’s door handle. Poo or no poo, whatever approach to conflict resolution you choose, get jiggy with it.

¹ If you do choose #3 I strongly advise that you have your chat outdoors or, at the very least, put down some drop cloths.


An Offer You Cannot Refuse

I recently helped Mark Petruska see that while his boss painted him into a corner by forcing him to give a long speech at some work function, that freshly-painted floor is entirely his boss’ doing. People who are stupid enough to make a habit of painting people into corners better learn to expect the occasional footprint in the paint job. I was happy to help Mark out of his jam.

I’d also be happy to help you out of a jam. Does your neighbour have a Rottweiler? Are you a teacher with dog poo on your car’s door handle? Do you happen to know Timmy’s new name and whether he’s talking to Margot again? Tell me all about it in the comments section below and I’ll see what I can do to find a creative solution to your little dilemma. It’s not often that the general public has access to a mind so dark, so devious, so, fiendish — unless you work at a hospital for the criminally insane you really should act now.

If enough problems are sent to me in the next couple of days I just might make a post (or posts) out of them. Who knows? We might even make this into a regular thing.

About HoaiPhai

I'm up late digging up the dirt. View all posts by HoaiPhai

24 responses to “Revenge Inc.

  • acuriousgal

    Oh my gosh, you are too funny!! I thoroughly enjoyed your devious antics!! How about this problem? My “brother” has a neighbor who will enter his house during the day without knocking. Will walk right in, hollar for him, if no response will mosey up the stairs to start searching out the bedrooms!!!! Have at it!

    • HoaiPhai

      Thanks for submitting a problem! Can you your brother possibly hold out a few days for the definitive solution? It instantly became clear to me what must be done but I was kind of hoping for a better response so that I could fashion a post out of my responses. Surely people have problems that need solutions… is it something about me personally? Do I have the blogospheric equivalent of bad breath or something? I’ll give the world a couple more days and if no one else bites, your problem will be the entire post!

    • List of X

      I know this sounds too radical, but has your “brother” tried locking the doors?

  • Opinionated Man

    OR get some robots with lasers that zap the dog whenever it steps in your yard? And provide pictures? 🙂

    • HoaiPhai

      Automated? Interesting idea and the price of green 1,000 mW lasers has come down in recent years. Maybe we can adapt the technology in the video below to lasers and dogs. I also remember seeing a video of a homemade fire control device that was able to track and pick off running humans with paintballs.

      If you wanted to go old school you could rig the lasers to several cameras’ shutter release buttons and have a bunch of friends over sitting on the porch shooting interlopers. Make a game out of it and the images recorded could be used for scoring and “hall of fame” purposes! Maybe I’ll run out to the zoo this afternoon and test if it’s workable.

  • vintagefrenchchic

    You are hilarious…and a tad bit scary. Poor Timmy.

    I think you could sell your brother on this “house with waterfront” dream. So what about the sirens? I slept through trains blowing by at all hours of the night when I lived in my scenic little apartment above a paint store back in the day. If I could do that, then most certainly your brother could adapt too.

    • HoaiPhai

      Hoai de Sade has been known to sock away the rye so sleeping through the sirens probably wouldn’t wake him but the up and down motions as the bridge moves out of the way of lakers passing underneath might make him feel a bit “urpy”.

      I wouldn’t worry about Timmy… he probably changed his name to Tommy (the kid had no imagination whatsoever) and is dying his hair chestnut/auburn with Just For Men.

      Do you have any problems I could help you with? Has an antiques dealer ever sold you a Louis XIV that turned out to be a Louis XVI?

  • Redneckprincess

    I have some dog poo on my boulevard from neighbours that have the same deficits that yours do…if you need more, for something…

    • HoaiPhai

      Thanks for the offer! As you can probably guess I don’t get many dogs depositing offerings (anymore). I do, however, get regular automatic deliveries of skunk, raccoon (no one I know), possum, cat, and groundhog doots which works almost as well, in a pinch, as does dog poo. As a matter of fact my best sandals-with-straps are presently outside in need of a thorough scraping. The frustrating thing about it is that my four-legged suppliers are all free-agent mammals with no human owner to call to the carpet. I also know a place that uses a small herdlette of sheep as carbon-based lawnmowers and they produce copious quantities of “exhaust” in case I have a project that requires a wholesale volume of teach-them-a-lesson stuff.

      On a side note, today someone posted a photo from kindergarten (or maybe just tagged me in it) on Facebook and there was a guy other than Timmy standing between me and Margot. Timmy, apparently, was absent on the day they took the class picture. He-he-he!

      By the way, do you have any problems I can help you solve?

  • List of X

    I would tell the Brutus’ owner that I’ve been having field mice problem on the yard, so I’d installed a bunch of mousetraps and sprinkled some poison on the grass too. That should keep both of them on the opposite side of the street.
    However, I wonder how would you solve the spite runs problem?

    • HoaiPhai

      Are you asking me what I would do if I was a teacher and the other side of the coin was on the other foot? Keep an eye out (figuratively speaking, of course) for my solution(s) in the follow-up post!

  • Mark Petruska

    Watches with glow-in-the-dark radium were all the rage at the beginning of the 20th century. Hard to believe, huh? The “Radium Girls” who painted those dials by hand didn’t fare so well health-wise in later years. Talk about a sad footnote in history.

    • HoaiPhai

      When I was a kid in the 60s I’m pretty sure radium was still used because I remember having some glow-in-the-dark stuff that had to be recharged and other stuff, like the compass in question, that maintained constant output. I’m still drawn to such things… I have two tritium-powered lights for my keychains.

  • Emily Gooch

    Here is a solution for the rude dog walker. You and the neighbors should send Brutus’s master, care packages of the lawn deposits they leave behind. I’m sure the his master would get the shitty message loud and clear. 😉

    • Emily Gooch

      Unless of course it’s illegal to mail poop… then you are shit out of luck. 🙂 Seriously though, revenge is never a solution even though it might feel good for the moment.

      • HoaiPhai

        Interesting… mailing it back to him. It might very well be illegal and we wouldn’t want to break the law so how about we just balance the box of Brutus’ calling cards atop his owner’s door so when they leave the house they both get showered in their own evil deeds?

  • Revenge Inc. Part II: The Settling of Accounts | HoaiPhai

    […] week in Revenge Inc. I made my readership an offer they couldn’t refuse. I don’t want to say that the vast […]

  • Ape No. 1

    Time to send a pic to NeoVegan showing her the new feral dog that has recently turned up in the neighbourhood. On second thoughts I would tell NeoVegan the owner is the feral.

    • HoaiPhai

      Both are great ideas. What I’d like to do is rig an already gelded kitty with a new pair attached using carbon fiber ligaments or something that looks natural but is 100% scalpel proof with an outer sheathing that would house some non-biological-looking fluid — maybe something safety orange or electric blue — and then call her delusional as she relates the tale of the castration-proof cat.

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