Creative Revenge TechniquesExcerpted from Pawholes
Sure, there are the basic
little bits which make you feel all warm and cozy insidethrowing
your (newly) former boyfriend keys from the Panther Hollow Bridge
or bulk erasing a select number of your roommate's very favorite
pre-recorded cassettes and carefully replacing them after she's
used your turntable as an ashtray at yet another spontaneous
late night party in your apartment.
But somehow, my favorite type
of revenge has always had roots in the occult. Yes, friends,
I like to make voodoo dolls. I have no formal training in the
black arts (although certain former neighbors tend to quickly
cross the street when I call out to them). I simply use my own
intuition and common sense to construct these precious little
The first doll was lovingly
crafted in the image of Joey Vert, Liz's boyfriend. Here I would
like to point out the most basic rule of doll-making: Do not
wait too long before construction, or at least the gathering
of materials. Do not let the fact that you are presently blissfully
happy stop you from keeping a sweaty t-shirt or plucking a few
tiny hairs from your beloved's scalp.
Let's face it, how likely
is it that you will have these opportunities once you've ended
your intimate relationship? Better safe than sorry, I always
say, and I can't even begin to tell you how many times it took
me to learn this bit of advice (although those always embarrassing
breaking and entering convictions sure helped to drive it home).
But back to little Joey. Liz
had (wisely) made a fairly basic doll near the very beginning
of their relationship. Standard stuff, I believedirty socks,
pubic hair, toenail clippingsall wrapped up in a nice skin
of old bed sheet which had recently seen many passionate copulations.
Anyway, after a bit, the inevitable happened. Being fairly drunk,
Liz and I decided to douse the little man in 151 and set him
afire in the bathtub (note: a better idea here would have been
a garbage can or maybe a grilljust be sure that someone
keeps the shower curtain safely out of the way).
So after he had burned down
to ashes and resinous goo, Liz went to bed feeling better. The
next morning, Joey's roommate called to let Liz know that he
had fallen in the shower the previous night, broken a leg and
sustained a slight concussion. We were a bit disappointed that
he hadn't (seemingly) spontaneously combusted, but we had caused
real physical harm , and that was comforting.
That same year, our friend
Solveig was having some problems with a boyfriend. He wouldn't
leave her alone, and was always skulking around near her apartment.
After idly keeping his effigy upside down in a vase of water
for several weeks, Solveig answered the door to a tearful Mike,
telling her that he couldn't keep up with his work, he was failing
out of school and his parents were coming to take him home that
very day. Again, not exactly the injury inflicted upon the symbolic
doll, but still a very satisfactory outcome.
Still, my favorite doll is
Christopher. Years ago, when I still panted after jerks, I became
involved with a nasty, self-centered, egotistical, architecture
student. One New Year's Day I was waiting in a friend's apartment
in Baltimore for Christopher to confirm a scheduled date for
that evening. As the day wore on, it became clear that this was
not going to happen. So, with the help of two dear friends and
a bottle of hearty burgundy, I began to construct the ultimate
voodoo doll with the items from a special velvet bag where I
had been keeping little bits of my boyfriend for just such an
His body (made from a forgotten
pair of boxer shorts) was filled with hair, fingernails, half-eaten
pork rinds, a sketch he had made on a napkin, bits of his washcloth
and the bristles from a toothbrush he had been keeping at my
house. Best of all, though, was his soft-squishy head which was
formed with a semen-laden contraceptive sponge.
The simple act of making this
Christopher doll soothed me immeasurably. I now had power and
control, but unfortunately I no longer had any desire to harm
the man (just a moment of weaknessit doesn't happen often).
I half-heartedly stuck a large needle in his head, packed him
away and returned to Pittsburgh. We did break up (he said that
we had nothing to talk about and that he had only dated me because
he was new in town and he thought I had interesting friends and
might be able to help his social life), but I let the doll languish
in the bottom of my file cabinet.
He's married now and has at
least one child, and I probably will never want to hurt him,
but why take the chance? Also, I'm really not sure about how
to safely dispose of an old voodoo doll; I suppose I could dismantle
him, but the insides are most certainly quite rancid by now.
Anyway, he doesn't take up much space and who knows...you never
know when I might need him...
photograph by Mary Horner