Friday, January 22, 2010

Revenge: Three Tales

While Revenge is not necessarily a topic I'd choose to write about, a number of stories that might be shoe-horned into it have leapt onto my browser in the last few days. I may be dense, but I recognize a trend when I see one, and so, here are three tales which might be described as having to do with...a dish best served cold.

Matt's Tale
D.C. Cops Nab Would-Be Extortionist in Farragut Square tells Matt DeLong's story of how he (and the DC police) recovered a laptop bag containing a MacBook and a new camera. Matt was too drunk to remember to grab the bag out of a cab or to remember any real details about the cab. While he was calling cab companies he got a call from a "Mr. Miller" who offered to return his gear for a $600 "reward".

Go read the rest. It's a wonderful story about how the system ought to work (but probably rarely does). The comments alone are worth the price of admission, because they range from (approximately) "DC Cops Rule!" through "They only helped because it was a media guy" to "You scum, you called the cops for that?".

Parker's Tale
Then I discovered Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale... and its sequel Humpty Dumpty is Back Together Again. These two blog entries detail Parker's experience with leaving a $4000 camera bag and contents at BWI (and, incidentally, his murse at the Hertz counter in Portland, ME).

Once again, phone contact is made between object-owner (and object-loser) and object-finder. Again, a request is made for a "reward" before one is offered. And again, police are contacted -- although the sequence is distinctly different from Matt's tale.

The end of the story is remarkably similar to Matt's tale, but with added uncertainty and spontaneity. Best quote: "You called the cops on me for THEFT?".

Alex's Tale
Finally, we have the anonymous (and to my ear, possibly invented) tale by Alex from Miami's Craigslist:
To the Thug Latino Guy With the Dumb Looking Mustache Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Miami night before last:

I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message.

I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings.

First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. ...

I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants... I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. ...

I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vagabond, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!
Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. ... I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target.
In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... But I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime.
Remember, next time you might not be so lucky.Have a good day!

Revenge? Or Justice? Or something else?