Does Someone Smell a Rat?

Does Someone Smell a Rat?

Random violence is not cool. Arbitrary destruction and aimless vandalism suck, and are sad comments on one’s inability to intelligently channel feelings of anger and aggression. I say this not because of some sort of Donnie and Marie family values seminar I recently attended, nor do I take the high moral ground of `wrong for wrong’s sake’. I’ve just been the recipient of enough of this junk to realize that breaking other people’s stuff isn’t anarchy or chaos, it’s petty bullshit that makes life tougher for other people, people you haven’t even taken the time to get to hate yet. Far from promoting a sense of anger against The Man, pointless destruction does little more than transform everyone around you into a grumpy asshole who thinks that there should be even more cops on the street.

This being said, cleverly targeted destruction is not something I’m all together opposed to. I can’t say I agree with sneak attacks on people. Bombs are boring, shootings are unoriginal, and hiding in the bushes, putting a pillowcase over someone’s head, and beating them with the claw-end of a hammer is downright cowardly. But if the creative individual can target the property and deal with the enemy on a psychological level, plenty of damage can still be done and no one has to go to the hospital. Prison time, which I highly recommend be avoided whenever possible, is also a lot less of a probability when you go after property. Some might call this revenge, I call it justice. I call it standing up for yourself as a human being. I also call it fun.

Now, when I say enemy, I don’t mean someone who just pisses you off. The enemy must have fucked you over pretty harshly, or else you’re just an unhappy person being petty and stupid. You don’t firebomb the guy with 25 items, using coupons for things he didn’t buy, paying with a credit card and getting money back in the cash only – 10 items or less line, even though he desperately deserves it.. You don’t hire a pack of thugs to dismember the person you had a one night stand with that suddenly won’t return your calls; that’s your own fault for hooking up with someone lame. You don’t destroy a person defending themselves against an attack you started, and you don’t send death threats to nice Internet writers whom you happen to disagree with from time to time. Words don’t hurt, so don’t let them. You must be innocently wronged in a serious way to embark down the path of revenge. Your enemy must be clear, your attack must be personal, your will strong, and your gaze unflinching. And you should make sure everyone else gets a good laugh out of it in the process.

Back during a summer of my high school years, I worked as a lifeguard at a city pool in New Orleans. Now, if you enjoy sitting under the burning sun in 100+ temperatures, blowing a rusty whistle at little kids to stop them from drowning each other and keeping the teenagers from drinking beer in the bathrooms while their parents give you alternating lectures on how you’re being too mean, too wimpy, and how you look like a slob, I would suggest taking up a career in lifeguarding. It combines the greatest elements of being a janitor, a chemical worker, a plumber, and a traffic cop. 11 hour days at 5 bucks per hour, it just can’t be beat. The only good thing that can possibly happen is a thunderstorm, in which case no one’s allowed to swim and you get to read until it blows over, but even then you have three dozen surly 10-year-olds nagging you to let them back in the water. Oh yeah, and if anyone drowns you can get sued. Great job.

Around this same time, a friend of mine named Pancho was having problems with a bonehead named Keva. Keva was about 6 foot 3, a son of rich parents, stupid as a board, and in love with Pancho’s girlfriend. Keva would show up drunk at her house at 3 in the morning and try to break in to see her. He followed her everywhere, and always tried to start shit when Pancho was around. Pancho was pretty stocky, but he was at least a foot shorter that his aggressor and had never been in a fight in his life, so he just put up with it and tried to avoid Keva whenever possible (not too easy when we’d all show up at the same punk shows). As the incidents escalated, Keva actually tried to punch Pancho through the open driver side window of a moving car. Things got out of hand once and for all when Keva ended up punching Pancho’s girlfriend in the stomach after she denied him another date. Pancho and I agreed, something must be done.

Not only was Keva was pretty big himself, he had tons of big friends who had nothing going for them other than the fact they were big, a condition that usually manifests itself in belligerence, nastiness, and physical violence to everyone else. A frontal attack was out of the question. We needed a weak link in the chain of power. Property. Something that was beloved by the enemy, almost an extension of the enemy himself. We put our heads together. A bit of reconnaissance yielded a target, and synchronized evil smiles spread across our faces: Keva’s pride and joy; his brand new BMW 850I. It sat in his parents driveway every night, begging for a little attention. It was up to us to provide that much needed affection. But with so many options, what to do?

Two days later, as I stumbled into another day work and opened the fence, I saw that the generous and all-giving Lord provided me with what I needed floating belly up in the pool: 3 and a half pounds of pure, drowned, Louisiana water rat. I fell to my knees and gave thanks, stood back up, got the skimming net, scooped and dumped the dead rodent into an empty airtight chlorine bucket. I sealed the bucket and put it in the back of the guard house to let it `ripen’. The guard house, more of a tar paper shack filled with pumps for the pool, always reached a good temperature of 140 degrees by noon, letting the rat slowly steep in it’s own juices. After a day, the guard house started stinking, so I put the pail in 3 plastic garbage bags. That lasted for another day before it started stinking. I put it in a bigger plastic airtight pail, and 4 more garbage bags. It still stunk up the guard house, so I hid the bucket in the woods behind the pool, and forgot about it for a week. When I saw Pancho again, he asked about our plan. “Pancho, Keva’s about to get another rat for a friend”.

We waited until about 2 in the morning, taking the bagged and bucketed rat to a shopping center near Keva’s house. Pancho’s girlfriend had conned this girl from the city to drive out and help us so no one would recognize the car. I took off the first bags and opened the largest pail. The smell made me gag, it was like rotten garbage boiled in bloody garlic and horseshit. I opened the second layer of bags. The smell got worse. I borrowed some perfume from one of the girls to spray on the collar of my shirt and pulled it up over my nose (to this day, whenever I smell `Paris’ I think -‘dead rat’). I finally got to the main pail. The smell was unbearable. I left the main pail shut and put it in the trunk of the girl’s car. Pancho and I ducked down in the back seat and we pulled out of the shopping center.

We pulled up across the street from Keva’s house, a white pillared mini-mansion in an upscale neighborhood. His dad was a big man at one of the gas companies, and his mom sat at home and had ugly babies in-between tirades against the minorities, the environmentalists, and the decline of American values (I suppose she was too busy preaching values to raise a son with them). Keva’s car was parked in the driveway with the, gasp, sun roof partially open. I said another quiet prayer of thanks, got out of the girl’s car, ran around to the trunk, and grabbed the bucket. Pancho ran into the street to serve as lookout.

I sprinted over to the car with the sloshing bucket in my hand. I pulled open the lid and looked inside. The rat was hairless and bloated, stewing in about 3 inches of rat water. I grabbed the bucket by the bottom and turned it upside down, dumping its entire contents through the sunroof onto the beige leather interior of the Beamer. As I pulled the pail back, some rat water ran down my arm. I started gagging and threw up all over the outside of the car, no small mess considering how many bean burritos I had choked down at Taco Bell previous to the mission. I grabbed the lid and put it back on the bucket as I ran back to the getaway car. The girls had smartly turned the vehicle around to speed our escape. Pancho was already back inside. I threw the bucket back in the trunk, jumped into the car, and we took off. Everything went without a hitch, the getaway was clean. I, unfortunately, wasn’t very clean, so we all drove to the pool and went skinny dipping to celebrate.

So what did this act of destruction solve? Not much. Keva freaked out. He and his friends started an inquisition to find out who did the deed, but never got more than a laugh from the people he tried to interrogate. The car was totally ruined. From what I heard, they sold it for cheap and got some insurance money. Keva eventually gave up on Pancho’s girlfriend and began stalking another girl who ended up ODing on speedballs while hiding out from him. I haven’t talked to him since, but my friends back home said that the girl’s death fucked with him enough to shock him out of whatever asshole coma he had been in for all those years. Although we were prime suspects for the rat incident, it was never proven. The four of us never told anyone what happened. That’s another thing about revenge, don’t brag about it, or if you do, at least until the statute of limitations runs out. Then put it up on the Internet for thousands to see. Give everyone a good laugh; that’s the best revenge of all.