Tag Archives: philosophy

Unseen Revenge

They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. To me, the temperature of the dish matters not, for the ingredients themselves are far more important. The main ingredients in my delicious revenge are undetectability and pettiness. Revenge should be a dish served masquerading as forgiveness and maturity, but filled with malice that can’t be tasted.

To be clear, I am not speaking of vengeance for terrible wrongs that have been endured or suffered through. That is a dark topic I dare not broach. I am talking purely of petty revenge in the wake of a slight offense, which is usually more comical than tragic.

This is a tale of such pettiness:

Growing up with a much older brother who outmatched me in both wit and strength, I could not wage wars of a physical or direct nature. My offenses had to be subtle, indirect… deniable.

After one particularly heated exchange during my eighth year where my brother had spit in my face, I bottled my fury and waited. I waited for inspiration. I waited for an idea that would dissipate my anger without provoking his in return.

The idea came.

After a bit of fuming, it came time for me to wash up for dinner. There by the sink sat a blue and white toothbrush. His toothbrush. Without thinking I quickly grabbed it and scrubbed the inside of the toilet bowl with great vigor—so quickly did it occur that I scarcely knew what I was doing. I then replaced the toothbrush in the holder. My heart thumped, blood pounded rhythmically inside my skull so hard that I became light-headed. Despite the closed door, I had an irrational fear that I’d been seen. 

Several minutes passed before I was breathing normally and was once again calm. And then I smiled. I felt relieved. Not just relieved of my fear because I wasn’t caught, but I was also relieved of my anger because I got back at my brother for spitting in my face. He never knew it had even happened (and still doesn’t to this day), but I knew.

This was a revelation to me: that revenge isn’t about hurting the other person, it’s about feeling better after they have hurt you. I knew I had gotten him back, and that’s all that mattered.

Perhaps, dear reader, if you are a better person than I, then maybe you have found a way to feel better after being wronged that doesn’t involve revenge. As for me and my house, quiet revenge has worked thus far.

An Analysis of Green Eggs and Ham

On the surface, Green Eggs and Ham is supposedly about a picky eater who refuses to eat a dish that he would end up enjoying simply because he thought it didn’t sound appetizing. Parents hold it up to their children as an example to try new things and keep an open mind about them.

That’s not what this analysis is about, however. It is about deeper-routed, and possibly sadder truths spoken by the book. The unnamed main character announces (prior to being offered anything) his dislike of Sam I Am. This seems reasonable to us as Sam I Am is shown to be riding past our unknown protagonist multiple times holding a sign that states his own name in giant letters—an objectively obnoxious thing to do.

Don’t believe me? Do this to literally anyone in your life. Right now… I’ll wait.

How did it go? Poorly, I bet.

Anyway, we have established a relationship between the two characters in the book where one dislikes and is reasonably annoyed by the second, named (or at least calls himself) Sam I Am. So, it would be fair to assume that the main character does not refuse the food solely based on being a picky eater, but rather that they are trying to avoid engaging with a person they don’t like and hoping for them to leave quickly (Spoiler: they don’t).

Another extrapolation that one could come to, and this is a sadder truth I referred to in the second paragraph, is that we as people often miss out on things we would enjoy simply because they were recommended to us by people we find in sufferable and whose opinion we distrust—usually for good reason (i.e. the person is annoying, intrusive, dumb, unbearable, or all of the above).

Here’s an example of what I mean: Imagine the guy in your office who constantly corners you to talk about his favorite Anime and seems pretty obsessed with Asian women for someone who’s not Asian and has never left the U.S., recommends that you watch Abbott Elementary. Having never heard of it, you would assume the show is awful because you are put-off by this guy who makes you uncomfortable. In reality though, you would probably love the show, and now won’t give it a shot because how good could a show recommended by that guy be?

I’m not saying we should be more open to suggestions from people we dislike—far from it. I’m saying irritating people should not be allowed to recommend good things. It throws off our judgment.

Long story short—the unnamed protagonist in Green Eggs and Ham is completely right to avoid the odd-looking dish presented by the loathsome Sam I Am. The odds of it turning out to be enjoyable were miniscule at best, and eating the meal would only prolong their interaction, which we have established, no one would want.