Saturday, 31 January 2009

Fabian's mistake

My brother in law (D.) is not an evil person, but he is a vengeful man. He has in the past shown extraordinary ingenuity in his vindictiveness. This is a story which, every time I think of it, makes me laugh and marvel at his capacity for planning and executing mischief when he feels that retribution (usually out of all proportion to the offence incurred) is called for.

On a very hot summer’s day a few years ago, a friend - Fabian - called him on the phone and asked D., under some pretext, to go to his house. When he arrived at Fabian’s house he stood by the door and rang the bell. Fabian, from the balcony immediately above the entrance, did him the courtesy of showering him with the icy contents of a large bucket of water, leaving my brother in law surprised and dripping wet.

Normally this sort of stuff is ok, especially when you have nothing to do and it is a supremely hot day.

But Fabian then made a crucial mistake which sealed his fate.

Had he let D. into the house and offered him a beer and a towel the whole incident would have ended there, for my brother in law is not entirely devoid of a sense of humour. Instead Fabian refused to open the door and chose to point and laugh at D., who in turn momentarily accepted the prank in good humour and, I expect through gritted teeth, made light play of the situation. He then went home to formulate his revenge.

In characteristic fashion he let several days pass, continuing relations with Fabian as normal. The whole incident was forgotten, surely.


On another unbearably sweltering day not long after the original prank my brother in law learned that Fabian had some business in a nearby city about an hour’s drive away. He was going there with some clients. Time execute the plan.

As expected, a short while into Fabian’s business trip, D. received a distress call from an agitated Fabian.
“What is this smell? What have you done to my car?”

asked the panicking voice, by now half-way to his destination and carrying his complement of business men.

My brother in law just laughed and told him to ring back, after he had served his penance, in a few minutes time when he would reveal the origins of the vile smell.

A little while later an angry Fabian rang again,
“Have a look under the driver’s seat” said D.
To Fabian’s dismay, and I imagine eternal embarrassment, he found a dog-turd placed inside a plastic carrier bag underneath the driver’s seat. You see, my brother in law had at that time a few dogs that produced copious amounts of shit. He chose the pungent produce of his Yorkshire Terrier.

With the source of the stench identified, Fabian threw out the bag, apologised profusely to his guests and drove on.

This is, I'm sure, in most people’s books, a disproportionate response to a little prank. Personally I would have been quite angry at him for pulling this stunt in retaliation for a mere splashing of water.

I am sure that in Fabian's mind this was the end of the matter.

It turned out that this was in fact, only the prelude to the gag (for want of a better word) proper.

The smell persisted. Fabian rang again.

“The smell won’t go away” he growled.
Really?” feigning concern, D instructed: “Look, I’m sorry. Put the fan on, open all the vents and fully turn up the aircon. That ought to get rid of it in a few minutes.”

Partly out of desperation and partly for lack of a better plan Fabian turned the fans in the dashboard on maximum, as instructed.

And this is where the real revenge took place. Unbeknown to Fabian, D. had removed the vents on the dashboard and placed an additional large turd, this one produced by his Great Dane, inside the air ducts. Turning the fans on was the premeditated means for delivering the full blast of his particular brand of revenge.

My brother in law did not answer the subsequent, numerous, phone calls. Fabian didn't learn about the second turd until he got home later in the evening.

Revenge, it seems, is a dish best served through the vents of the air-conditioning system.


  1. greetings from Jakarta Indonesia :)
    have a gorgeous day to you :)

  2. Let it here be noted that men are either to be kindly treated, or utterly crushed, since they can revenge lighter injuries, but not graver. Thus the injury we do to a man should be of a sort that leaves no fear of reprisals.

    --Niccolo Machiavelli, _The Prince_ (III)