petty villainy

by michael The III
bag
I am not an actual villain, despite what my ex-lovers say. Still, you never know…

Think of me, holding the door for one or two deserving people. Fourteen minutes later I am still there, transformed into a sort of voluntary concierge servicing a long line of opportunists who have travelled far and wide for this, having heard of my unreciprocated kindness and impressive, yet weakening grip. An hour or so later I decide to end my streak of magnanimity. Watch now as the heavy door slips out of my shivering hand. The glass rushes backward and smacks the incumbent passer-by in the face. A fight breaks out. The queue crowds round. A bleary child screams out: “He did it!” Suddenly… I’m the bad guy. I return the door handle to my possession and get back to business.

Villains are extremely petty, desiring first and foremost the attainment of a goal which is most often a reaction to some offence. Here are some issues that have faced the villains I know: I hate your father; I am your father; You aren’t my father; father got remarried and step-dad sucks; father won’t let me buy a hovercraft, father didn’t call me back; father called me ‘ugly’ even though I got it from him; father won’t make me king, and so on…

A true villain requires no reason to be upset. In fact, they shouldn’t have one. It’s even in the villain’s code of conduct—and yes, we have one: “real and serious issues deserve maturity, reason, and care”. Vengeance with “good” reason turns a villain into an anti-hero at best and outright heroic at worst. And that’s very much not the look. And in the spirit of villainy, I shall take flight. Fetch me my peeves, Jeeves. It’s time I plot my petty revenge!
Revenge to the Person I Saw Litter The Other Day

So you thought you could get away with littering, did you? In my city? At this time of human existence? With those kinds of plastics? If only you’d tossed a banana or an electricity bill, perhaps I’d leave you alone, but you’ve been observed by the wrong super villain.

No. This isn’t regular old vigilantism. A hero wouldn’t clean the city of your trash [stay with me] to mail each piece back to you in poorly sealed packages. A campion of honour wouldn’t use your trash to make a trail from your workplace to your home. A beacon of hope wouldn’t ascend the tallest building in town to toss over garbage carefully labelled with your name on it.

And when a turtle shows up uninvited to your birthday party and chokes on a plastic straw, ruining the night, just know it was I who blackmailed that turtle into doing so.

Revenge to The Person Who Cuts Me in Line

Why didn’t you see me? Is it because I’m checking my phone instead of moving forward? Is it that I ignored the several “are you in line?”s you’ve poked me with? Is it the invisibility cloak I’ve been wearing?

Maybe you didn’t know, but I’ve been here for at least half-a-minute. And you cut in front of me. So now, as you turn your head, I take the most important looking item from your basket and throw it down another aisle.

“Don’t worry,” I offer when you notice, “Go get another! I’ll save your spot…yes…honest.”
Revenge for the Person Who Always Replies to My Instagram Stories Asking “What Song Is This”

Because the featured snippet begins at the top of the chorus; because the two-word title is sung eight times in the aforementioned chorus; because even if you miss the title, the song’s unique lyrics would immediately identify it with one google search; because you still went and asked me “What song is this?”: the song is called “Guerk Bidge” by the artist named Brootnay Spurrs. I hope you find it well.

Revenge to the Secret Shopper With His Eye On Me

I walk through every aisle in this drugstore thrice. I take long steps that make you nearly sprint to keep up. When I am not visible, turning from one aisle to the other, fear overtakes you. “What if he steals the toothpicks?” You wonder. “What if he’s taking the vitamins!” You had not considered the magnitude of that. “No!” You shriek in secret, “Not the B12s mega-pack!”. Forty-five minutes later, you see my hands behind my back. I have something. “Finally,” you think. “Got him!” What is it? It’s so familiar. The most expensive batteries in the store? A newly released, deluxe edition of a celebrity perfume? A slab of solid gold? Then you see it. A sponge. I pay and I leave. And it is then that you realize: I’ve stolen the title of “secret shopper” from you.

Revenge for Singing Every Moment a Power Ballad at Karaoke as if it were the Climax

I cannot do much more than plug in a rival microphone and scream the second verse of “My Heart Will Go On” louder than you. Don’t like it? Didn’t think so.
Revenge to Someone Who Calls Anastasia Their Favourite Disney Princess

The only revenge appropriate for a foolish mistake is to leave the foolish mistake uncorrected. Take that! Muah-ha-ha!

Revenge for Throwing a Themed Party; and Revenge for Not Reprimanding Guests for Dressing Inaccurately

Due to the many times I have witnessed guests attend a Great Gatsby themed-event dressed something like Holly Golightly (1960s) in Victory Curls (1940s) rather than referencing any of the many 1920s references such as Clara Bow’s lips or Louise Brooks’ bob or Gloria Swanson’ fashion sense or Josephine Baker’s joie-de-vivre, I have grown hardened. I now look outside on a sunny day and see nothing but shade. And you—the adult who insists on throwing themed parties—are the object of my disdain.

What are you doing to prevent such inaccuracies? Nothing, it seems, despite it being the solemn duty of a host to inform guests of all particulars of the event, including but not limited to detailed, fact-checked and easy-to-follow descriptions of the required costuming. You seem to have neglected this and thus, vengeance shall be mine!

To get back at you I will forever attend your parties dressed purposefully wrong. Some will say I am ruining the fun by trying to fail. I will disagree and say, “What of those who don't try at all?”

So when you throw a Black-and-White event I’ll be in Grey. If you throw a Masquerade Ball I’ll come balls-naked. If you invite me to a “Denim & Diamonds” party I’ll outfit myself in Linen & Pearls. When I receive the invitation to your Pool Party I’ll tell everyone you meant ‘billiards’. At your Baby Shower I’ll take a Big Bath. And if you throw a Halloween Party I’ll come as Holly Golightly and when people ask if I’m Audrey Hepburn from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) I’ll say, “No, I am clearly the Great Gatsby” (1925).
Revenge to The Man For Asking Me How Many More Sets I Have Left At The Gym

Headphones on, I gesture wildly to signal I can’t understand what you are saying to me. I have no music on so every dastardly word can come in loud and clear, but you don't need to know that. You repeat. “How many sets?” I smile and nod. “How many?” You insist, the question posed as an accusation. “The weather is extremely wonderful, yes.” I reply good-humouredly, turning away as if the conversation is over. You tap me, fed up. “How … many… sets… left?”

You think I am ignoring you by scrolling through my phone but I am actually clearing my schedule. My last remaining set has coincidentally become 117.5 sets of 125 reps. And I will perform the movements with great care for form, posture and adequate resting time, for I do not want to overload my poor biceps because of you.

Revenge for Allowing Me To Hold the Doors For You When Clearly It Should Be My Turn

It might not be your fault. You might be a lemming in a continuous line of losers. You might once have been a door-opener yourself, determined now to never let such a situation happen again. Well, good thinking.

It’s raining now. It poured all afternoon and it continues on into the evening. And I have no umbrella here because the skies were clear when I arrived this morning. And it is election day, too. Pressing my voting card to my forehead, at least my eyebrows are dry.

And then villainy kicks in. I walk through the door. It slams and I don’t look back. No one has walked through in some time anyway, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t smack anyone this time round.

I am shuffled to a ballot box. I take the largest pencil and break it in half. I take another and I cast my vote. The chime signals. The polls are closed. It is done.

My vote? I crossed out the options and submitted a candidate more deserving than them all. His name is Michael the III. The villain. That guy. He, at least, puts himself first.
Words: Michael the III
Imagery: Michael the III