Norm Macdonald's revenge-o-matic

NORMIn his new movie, "Dirty Work," Norm opens a revenge-for-hire business. In Maxim, he gives you wonderfully malicious strategies for taking matters into your own hands.

Somewhere in the Bible, Our Lord spaketh these three words: Vengeance is mine. And you know what? One way or another, He usually does get the job done. Only trouble is, He can take His sweet time getting around to it. So while God may eventually give your loudmouthed neighbor a bad case of scabies, why wait for divine retribution when you can simply shave the guy's dog, slather it with Vaseline, toss a few blank videotapes in his yard, and tell the cops he's making amateur bestiality films? Come on, pal, The Almighty has enough on his mind without having to settle your petty scores. Which is why I've developed this do-it-yourself guide to revenge. No matter the situation, no matter the villain, here's how to make the bastard feel your wrath.

Bad Customer Service

You've finally talked her into going away with you for the weekend. Your big chance. But when you arrive at the deluxe hotel, the bitchy "reservationist" is talking on the telephone to his friend. You ask for his assistance and he just sneers. "I can't seem to find your reservation," he lies. "The best I can do is Room 224." Room 224 overlooks three large dumpsters. Room 224 has two single beds.

Close your eyes, take three deep breaths, and make peace with the fact that you're not going to get laid tonight. In my opinion, it's far better to focus your mental and physical energy on something you actually can screw, like the hotel.

Now, your luxury hotel may not know it, but it's about to throw a very big, very loud, very expensive party. Plant your girl by the swimming pool with one of those $12 daiquiris and head directly to the nearest Kinko's. Get a few hundred fliers printed up that say BIG FABULOUS BLOWOUT PARTY!! BOOZE! BABES! FREE! FREE! FREE! Below, list the hotel's name and address. You'll want to specify Room 224.

The real fun starts with the guest list. I'd save myself a little time and only hand the fliers to homeless people, drug addicts, and hookers. Next, call up every escort service in the phone book and order as many whores as you can without giving them your credit card number; tell them you'll pay cash. Specifically request transvestite hookers and gay hookers. And be sure to tell them that you're not particular about age. Or weight. Have everyone show up exactly at midnight.

Check out of the hotel at about 11:30 P.M., and be very polite at the front desk. Then use a lobby phone to report your credit card stolen. You have, of course, left the room unlocked, the mini-bar open, and little signs everywhere that say HELP YOURSELF! Chuckle all the way home.

Inattentive Landlord

Your landlord is a grade A scumbucket. The toilet overflows, the ceiling is crumbling, the fridge doesn't work, you get electric shocks when you turn on the light, and the only time he comes around is when the rent is due.

Realistically, with a guy like this, I'd say you're pretty hosed. You could take him to court, and who knows, you might walk away with a few hundred bucks. But then he'd find new ways to make your life miserable. So call him up and cordially give a month's notice. When the landlord asks whether you'd mind if he shows your apartment to prospective tenants before you move out, graciously accommodate him. Tell him you know how busy he is, and if he wants to simply send the tenants over, you'll be more than happy to show them around. Next, go shopping: Buy a gallon of red paint, 15 feet of rope, a few large jars, 30 packs of Jell-O, and a bottle of chocolate syrup. Finally, stop by your friendly neighborhood butcher shop and pick up generous portions of liver and brain, as well as a large shank bone and a few hoofs.

It's time to redecorate, and you're about to become the Martha Stewart of the satanic set. Mix the chocolate syrup with the red paint, stirring vigorously until it congeals to a bloodlike consistency. Paint the walls with messages like "SATAN is mY Christ" and "This iS WHERE I MurDered Mary." Use any remaining paint to create a large pentagram on the floor. Urinate in the jars, place the liver, brain, and hoofs inside, and display them on a windowsill where they'll catch the light. Fashion the rope into a noose, position the shank bone inside the knot, and hang the whole thing ceremoniously in the center of the kitchen. Lit candles and Gregorian chants will only add to the ambiance when you take the would-be tenants on a tour.

And the Jell-O? Nothing to do with devil worship. Just dump it in the toilet tank and let it harden.

Horrible Waiter

For weeks you've eaten nothing but peanut-butter sandwiches, saving enough money to take your girlfriend to the hot new restaurant Chateau le Snobbe. Your steak is served nearly raw, and when you send it back, you see the waiter jam his finger in his nose and rub it on your meat. When you order the cheesecake, he says, "Oh, you must not have seen our fat-free choices."

In the course of studying the field of revenge, interviewing various experts and surveying the literature, I've come to the conclusion that it is very, very easy to stick it to a restaurant. One of my favorites, is asking everybody you know to make reservations for a Saturday night a few months away and then simply not show up. You, however, arrive at the appointed time and have the entire place to yourself. As soon as you're seated, start ordering the waiters around: "I'd like three forks." "I'd like two glasses of water, each half filled." "I"d like my napkin folded into a quadrangle."

For something with a more personal touch, you can call the owner of the restaurant and tell him that the waiter insulted you. Explain exactly what happened: After you ordered your sirloin steak, the waiter looked you in the eye and said, "I'll bet you want it well- done. Most homos prefer their steak well-done." Tell the owner how deeply you were offended, that now you can't concentrate at work, and that this is becoming really expensive for you. Mention that your lawyer suggested you file a formal complaint with the city, the Better Business Bureau, and the Homosexual Action League, a group that has nothing better to do with its time than to march in front of restaurants and sing protest songs. Explain that you don't really want an apology -- what's done is done -- but that you'd like to be able to go to the restaurant and, you know, not see that waiter there.

Jerk Spills Your Secret

You confided in your buddy at work, who swore, swore, swore he wouldn't mention it to anyone, ever. Now everyone at work not only knows that you slept with her but also what size dog dish she drinks from.

There are no two ways about it: If your friend broke your confidence, he should be made to suffer. What you have to do is get this same girl to spread a rumor that your pal has a tiny cock. It doesn't matter if it's not true, because if a girl says it, there is no damage control. There's nothing he can do. Well, there is one thing, but that would require him to drop his pants in front of the entire staff.

Asshole Neighbors

Ah, your neighbors. He practices the electric guitar all night (and he sucks). Their dog won't stop yapping. And when you politely knock and ask them to "keep it down just a little bit, because it's 3:15 in the morning and I've got a big presentation tomorrow at seven," they chuckle and, in unison, say, "Whaddaya gonna do about it, fat boy?"

When it comes to revenge, I've found that the telephone is often your best friend. In this case, the quickest, cleanest course of action is to call up a local restaurant -- a pizza place does the trick because there's usually a lot of big Italian guys working there -- and, with your neighbor's address ready, simply follow this handy script:

You: Hi. Where are the 10 cheese pizzas I ordered?

Pizza guy: Ten pizzas? Sorry, man, but I don't know what you're talking about.

You: You piece of shit. I live at 345 Main Street, and I ordered 10 cheese pizzas an hour ago. So put the phone down and bring me my goddamn pizzas.

Pizza guy: Who the hell is this?

You: Did you hear me? I said bring my pizzas now, slave! What do they pay you $2.75 an hour for? It's 345 Main Street. It's a big red house. One more thing, assbreath: If you're not here in five minutes I'll personally kick the shit out of you.

Keep up the cursing and yelling for a few minutes. Threaten to throw a brick through the window of the pizza place. And if they're Italians, you should also call them gay, because Italians hate to be called gay.

Colleague Steals Your Idea

A bottom-feeding colleague rifles through your desk, rips off your Big Idea, and presents it to the boss as his own. He's handsomely rewarded -- the corner office! -- while you're sent back to your dingy cubicle to toil in dark obscurity.

Since you won't be able to live with yourself until your ex-colleague's dead, you're morally obligated to put a high-powered nuclear explosive under the seat of his car.

On the off chance that you don't want to commit an actual murder, you could scale your revenge back: While he's parking, fire a middling chemical weapon through his car window. That should leave him alive but hideously disfigured.

Although I heartily recommend physical harm, you can also get him fired or demoted. Start by having one of your friends call his boss. Your friend will tell the boss that he's the personnel assistant at a competitor's company and that Mr. Bottom Feeder recently applied for a job. Tell him the resume looks good, and you're just calling to check references. Wait a week, then have about 20 of your friends call and do the same thing from 20 different companies. As part of a coordinated effort, steal his resume from personnel and leave it by the copier with 50 copies. This will make it look as if he's spending his entire day trying to land another job. Generally speaking, bosses have an itty- bitty problem with that.

For the coup de grace, put a little something in the men's bathroom that will undermine his position at the office. Take a porno magazine -- something with a family-friendly title like Elephant Hole -- print up a small label with his name and address on it, stick the label on the magazine, and leave it on the floor of a stall.

Punk Owes You Money

He was a friend of a friend, and you fronted him 400 bucks to buy your whole gang tickets to the game. The game was sold out and he came up empty on the tix. But the punk never paid up. You called him a couple of times to ask about the money; the last time, he called you a sucker and hung up.

It is time for you to put an ad in the newspaper. Your mother never told you this, so I will: Classified ad sections were invented to facilitate retaliation. Nothing that goes in an ad is checked for accuracy. Nor is ID required. Best of all, the paper will run the ad and bill you (or someone whose address you've given them) later.

To punish the punk, I'd find a popular band whose concert has been sold out for months. Your best bet is a heavy-metal group whose fans have a reputation for violence, hard drugs, and devil worship. You can also select an important playoff game; boxing and hockey tend to draw fans more disposed to aggravated assault. Call the classifieds and place an ad. Say that you have two tickets and that you're selling them for face value because you'll be out of town on business. List the punk's name and phone number. To twist the knife, I'd add: "Work swing shift. Call only between 10 P.M. and 6 A.M. Am hard of hearing, so let it ring. Be persistent."

© 1998 Maxim. All rights reserved.

Thank you Carolyn Parker for transcribing this article!