Revenge is a dish
best eaten cold.

—lame old proverb

Joy and peace, Camper.

Revenge. Vengeance. Getting Even. Payback. Settling a score. To strike back at someone who has done you wrong is a primal instinct, and it is one Your Uncle Jerry recommends indulging as often as possible. But how often is that?

Uncle Jerry’s older sibling, Aunt Blue, was a pincher. And not just a pincher—a fingernail pincher. Aunt Blue lived mostly in the back seat of the family car on school days, from where she would often inflict, without ANY provocation, a most painful torture with two fingernails on the skin of Your Uncle Jerry’s thigh.

Did Uncle Jerry take revenge for this outrage? Dang right. He crushed her peanut butter sandwich.

This is deep biology talking. Don’t fight it. It is survival itself that drives us toward revenge. Why? Because revenge draws a line between us and the other person. It says “this is my side of the backseat; you stay over there, unless you like tread marks on your wonder bread.” It’s a beautiful thing, when you think about it. Even-ness is fundamentally democratic, and something we should all support.

Unbelievably, there is a certain class of persons who do not understand the fine symmetry of getting even. “Even” is not a concept they are interested in. "Above" is more what’s on their mind. "Over"—as in you.

Be careful of such persons; they have no sense of balance, and this makes them dangerous and unfunny. When tempted to settle a score with them, Camper, ask yourself two questions. 1) “Will I ever have to deal with this person again?” and 2) “Will I ever have to deal with this person again?” Uncle Jerry knows that’s the same question twice, but he doesn’t trust you to answer truthfully the first time. If the answer is Yes to either of these questions, your best revenge will be watching someone else take that person down.

There is another class of persons on whom you should never attempt revenge. This group includes those who look up to you, baristas, and honestly stupid people, especially those in elected office. Yes, yes, of course, they’re annoying. Yes, they deserve it. Yes, whatever. But listen, Camper. The only thing worse than NOT getting even with someone who is invincibly ignorant is GETTING even with them. Revenge is a dish eaten eye-to-eye. Which part of “even” don’t you understand? And you need the proper wine to serve with it. Duh.

Which brings us to: Uncle Jerry’s Six Persons Never to Pay Back.

  1. people who are truly evil
  2. people to whom you are important
  3. pets and politicians
  4. ex-spouses (see #1 and #3)
  5. writers
  6. people you might forget to watch carefully in the future

In our story, Molly sets out for revenge on Rhinehart. Let’s see how that goes.


  1. Invincibly ignorant is just the best phrase ever!

  2. can you let me know when you post new chapters? It' so long between chapters that i have to go back and re-read each time. oh wait, that's a dirty trick to ensure close readings! i love these characters...gann