Revenge Tastes Like Tatertots and Ham
It was our junior year of college. A classmate and I had moved into the second floor of an off-campus apartment house. Not the luxury loft of my fantasies, but it was fine for a rather thin student budget. Directly above us resided Dante and Raymond. Dante was a dapper man with a warm, dimply smile. He was never at a loss for a kind greeting or lively conversation. We liked Dante.
We could never comprehend what he saw in Raymond, a shabby, pale, greasy, unfashionable, trash-mouthed, drunkard of a man who was the owner of the house. Raymond enjoyed delivering stinging verbal slaps to Dante that would bleed through their apartment walls.
One Saturday afternoon we heard a commotion upstairs. As I opened the door, we saw Dante running down in tears. He hopped into his car and drove away to a better existence.
The days and months following, Raymond continued his inebriated custom of standing at the top of the stairs and bellowing insults at a now invisible Dante. And, like always, he would retreat into his apartment, accidentally leaving the door cracked open, just before passing out cold.
One day, with an impish smile and a tube of ruby red lipstick, my roommate said, â€œLetâ€™s go.â€ I stood at the bottom of the stairs while she disappeared into Raymondâ€™s apartment. â€œHey, catch!â€ she whispered loudly, as a bottle of ketchup came hurtling towards my face. It didnâ€™t stop thereâ€¦a jar of mayo, bag of tater-tots, onions rings, can of coffee, smelly cheese, Ramen Noodles, and a ten-pound frozen ham. At last, she comes downstairs with a jug of cheap wine.
The next day I answered the pounding on our door, the aroma of crispy baked tater tots wafting through the air and me, with a hearty, smelly cheese and ham sandwich in one hand. It was Raymond, looking greasier than usual, but with an unflattering ruby tone to his lips. â€œYou got the rent or what?â€ he asked with all the charm of a glob of spit.
â€œOh, yes.â€ I said and quickly grabbed the check for him. I lifted my arm to fully display the tasty concoction in my hand. â€œWould you like a ham sandwich?â€ I asked with wide innocent eyes and a grin.
Raymond seemed baffled by my kindness. â€œWhaâ€™? Naw.â€
As he turned away, I said â€œOkay, your loss.â€ Indeed it was.