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Don't Get Mad - Get Even!

Updated on October 12, 2008

There is Usually a Way to Get Back at Annoying People

Revenge is not a very healthy activity as it requires a person to hang on to their anger and direct their energies toward getting revenge on the person or group that harmed them. Worse still, by hanging on to their hurt, they become used to it and, when they are finally able to exact revenge it generally does nothing to relieve the hurt they have been clinging to.

However, this does not mean that you have to put up with annoying people without striking back. Instead of getting angry with their petty annoyances, just bide your time and, when the opportunity arises, let them have it!

My father used to tell the story about when he was in basic training in the Army in World War II. The men all slept in a common barracks with no privacy. One of the tricks some of the guys would play on others in the barracks was short sheeting. This involved removing the blanket from a person's cot when he was in the shower or outside, and folding the bottom of the top sheet under the bottom sheet so that the fold was about halfway down the cot. The result was that when the person got into bed their legs could not stretch more than half way down the bed. Of course, the person would get mad, jump out of the cot and have to remake it in order to stretch out and sleep. The guys who did this would have a good laugh. One night my father got into his cot and found that he had been short-sheeted. Rather than getting mad, he decided to get back at the pranksters by staying in bed. He curled into a fetal position and waited. He could hear the whispering and the muffled laughs waiting for him to jump out of bed. However, when nothing happened, the pranksters finally went to sleep, obviously disappointed that their trick had failed. Once they were asleep, my father managed to raise himself up enough to take most of his weight off the sheet and then began to slowly kick at the fold to push the bottoms of both sheets down toward the foot of the bed. He soon had them pushed down enough to stretch out and go to sleep. In the morning he remade the bed properly and never had the short sheeting trick pulled on him again.

One year, when I was in college, I was a floor supervisor in the dormitory and one of the freshman on the floor was a real nuisance. His name was Andy and his problem was that he lacked any type of social skills and was totally incapable of taking a hint. He would walk into any room that was open and begin a one sided conversation, staying until he was literally pushed out of the room. He also had a habit of pacing around the room as he talked and, while pacing would snoop through drawers and shelves and if he found any food he liked would help himself without asking.

The other floor supervisor, Tom, and I both worked together in the kitchen washing dishes for spending money. There were two dining areas and we usually worked on the window at the busy area and were usually at the front of the line receiving the trays of dirty dishes. It was our job to scrape off the food left on the plates and rinse the dishes. Huge quantities of food were left on the dishes including large amounts of butter. Butter was served in one inch squares, each on its own cardboard square with a piece of waxed paper on top. Many students would take one roll and about ten pats of butter, using one or two and leaving the remaining pats, untouched, on their plates. In addition to student help, we had some older ladies who worked full time in the kitchen. The chief industry in the area, other than the college, was mining and many of the mines at that time were shut down. With their husbands unemployed, these ladies were the sole support of their families and, to help keep food costs down, the ladies would each take a clean container and ask us to put the unused butter in it for them to take home. We, of course, thought this was gross and disgusting. One night Tom and I were assigned to the second dining area, where the traffic was light and only required the two of us to handle it. To amuse ourselves we got a container and began saving butter. By the end of the evening we had accumulated about half a pound of butter and were debating what to do with it. We had no use for it but it did seem like a waste to just throw it out. We were going to give it to one of the older ladies when Kathy, a woman a couple of years older than us who had just left a convent and was living with her parents and working in the college dining hall while she tried to figure out what to do with her life, came by. As a joke, we gave her the butter, expecting that she would laugh at us and either throw it out or give it to one of the ladies. Instead, she thanked us and took it home with her. The next night she brought each of us a plate of chocolate chip cookies which she had made with the butter.

After two hours of not only working with garbage but listening to Tom agonize over the cookies saying that they looked great but he couldn't help imagining hairs and other garbage mixed into the butter which was used to make them, neither of us had any appetite for them. Walking back to my room I had an idea which I implemented as soon as I entered my room. Deliberately leaving the door ajar and setting the cookies in plain site of the top of my dresser, I sat down at my desk and began to study while I waited. It didn't take long before the door was flung open and in walked Andy. Despite the fact that I continued studying and ignored him, Andy began his usual monologue as he wandered around the room looking into everything. Seeing the cookies he helped himself and continued to help himself until they were almost gone. With two left on the plate (there had originally been a dozen) he paused to ask me if I minded his eating some. I said no, so he ate the remaining two and left. Problem solved. I got rid of the cookies without having to eat them or throw them away and had the satisfaction with getting back at Andy for his snooping.

So, the next time someone makes your life miserable, do get mad or upset. Let it go and, when the opportunity arises, as it will, get even with them!


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    • Ramsa1 profile image

      Ramsa1 5 years ago from A citizen of the World

      Great hub and great advice. I am working on letting things go, and "getting even" seems to be a great way to do it. It also could be a heck of a lot of fun. Thanks, Chuck.

    • profile image

      gigi 6 years ago

      i'm tired of him ragging on me whenever he so chooses.

      henceforward, i'm getting even.

    • SweetMocha-Monroe profile image

      SweetMocha-Monroe 6 years ago

      Great hub and great advice.

    • baygirl33 profile image

      victoria 6 years ago from Hamilton On.

      Nice hub,and just in time for me to use it to calm my nerves and just go on living and bide my time .Thanks for reminding me.

    • Pintoman profile image

      Pintoman 6 years ago

      Another way to get back is to just be nice to them. Confuses the heck out of them and you usually end up friends.

    • CreateSquidoo profile image

      CreateSquidoo 6 years ago

      hehehe, very good hub chuck. This article makes me realize what revenge is all about. anyway, success is the best revenge to the enemy. =)

    • profile image

      Jay 6 years ago

      I agree with the first commentator, also the guy Andy sounds like he had aspergers from how you describe him. Try being a little less judgemental perhaps then you will find that there are less things that make you want to "get even."

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      I loved your srticle.

    • noenhulk profile image

      noenhulk 6 years ago

      Getting even doesn't mean you are not still mad of what happened. You are still thinking of getting back on the perfect time. Amusing anyway. As one said here, "patience is a virtue" I believe so, I'll have my time. lol

    • Painter Penfield profile image

      Painter Penfield 6 years ago from Tampa Bay area Florida

      I do think it's funny that someone who aggravated you got a plate full of cookies. It's almost like rewarding bad behavior. Check out this hub I found for a delightful story of getting even with a lesson to be learned at the end.

    • profile image

      the half-bearded goatboy 7 years ago

      i've never heard of anyone worse at getting even than you and your dad. seriously. he doesn't do anything, and you give out cookies? well done

    • profile image

      Wtf7 7 years ago

      So why didn't you just tell him outright to stop eating your stuff and to leave you alone if your door is closed?

    • profile image

      Dianemae 7 years ago

      Laughter is the best medicine! Good writing.

    • profile image

      Maynard462 7 years ago

      You got back at someone by giving them a dozen perfectly good cookies? With an enemy like you, who needs friends?

    • lyjo profile image

      lyjo 7 years ago

      Great stuff, patience truly is a virtue! Awesome, thanks for the laugh, take good care,

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      I enjoyed reading this Chuck. Thank you so much for sharing and I will be back in a bit to read some more of your work. Take care.

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 7 years ago

      The short sheeting part is really good. This is a cool example of not taking revenge, but getting even. As long as these bullies get the points across not to disturb others, I think mission's accomplished.:)

    • profile image

      Vipin 7 years ago

      Nice reading. Its THE moment that you need to control. Otherwise need to regret later on

    • dawnM profile image

      Dawn Michael 7 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      great hub, love the part about yur dad in the Army with the short sheeting , so true about what you said, he had no reaction so there was no point to trying it out on him agin!

    • SweetMocha-Monroe profile image

      SweetMocha-Monroe 7 years ago

      Great Hub! Very funny and constructive.

    • debugs profile image

      debugs 7 years ago from Odessey777, Umbris

      I loved this hub.I also am one for payback instead of stressing out!

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 8 years ago from Australia

      Your hub gave me a good giggle!

    • aisha1257 profile image

      aisha1257 8 years ago

      Haha well I loved your hub. A very interesting read. I'll keep the revenge tip in mind.

    • profile image

      Adam B 9 years ago

      That is an angry comment listed above...check out my hub on what makes me mad!

    • profile image

      Barbara 11 years ago

      What is wrong with butter that nobody touched? You spoiled brat. Start respecting food rather than throwing it out. Start respecting people who have no money to buy food. Don't make of it fun and revenge. May be you will be hungry one day or sick from eating abundant but poor american food? Watch out!