Look, nobody likes a bitter jackass, although all of us have had run-ins with mean people at one point or other. Some experiences stick with a person, however, and even if one’s outlook is generally positive, well, a little rumination on justice is probably okay. In this spirit I take up the idea of zombifying my history’s greatest offenders. I invite others to do the same!
Robert B., former landlord during my second year of graduate school: Robert’s main problem was that he was a slumlord who just couldn’t admit it. He owned a dozen or so dilapidated, once-proud brick apartment buildings in Syracuse, New York and despite not wanting to ever maintain the structures, thought that tenants should pay current luxury apartment rates for the honor of residing there. When I pointed out that my living room ceiling was starting to bow, he asked me not to stand under there any more. And when a 6-foot section of that ceiling, no longer able to hold onto the rotten joist, collapsed seconds after I ran out of the room, he sued me, saying I’d done the damage myself. So yes, I would bite this guy on his dominant hand so he could watch himself turn putrid before he became a blathering zombie.
Wendy B., former college roommate: Wendy was a great friend that I met during my brief stint in the Campus Crusade for Christ. Although she claimed she didn’t believe in anything they were preaching, she also wasn’t cool with it when I started to come out of the closet. I came home from class one day to find my elderly cat locked in a kitchen cabinet, traumatized and covered in his own excrement. She refused to admit she’d done this to him, but that’s the problem with living with only one other person. Two weeks later, she moved out, calling me all manner of homophobic names, and four weeks later, I learned she was in a relationship with another woman. So Wendy, I have a zombie bite with your name on it.
Road Rage Guy in Alexandria, Virginia: All I did was stop at an amber light, and this creep followed me for ten more blocks, ranting at me from the wheel of his Jeep. When I got out of my car in a parking lot (I was headed for a haircut), he parked one row over and then screamed that I was a freak of nature. Geez, I know I needed a haircut, quit it already! His roundhouse punch may have been obvious and easy to stop, but this guy seems better off as a rambling undead than free to roam the suburbs of Washington, DC.
Mitt Romney, current candidate for President: No, he hasn’t injured me personally, but honestly, I see this more as a public service to improve his communication skills, because yes, Mitt has all of the panache of a wet bag of dog poop. At least eking out “braiiiiiins” would keep him away from his gaffes about $10,000 bets and how little he pays in taxes.
Actually, four people in 41 years is a pretty non-bitter list, all things considered. That said, I’d love to see other folks’ nominees for this little ignoble award. Feel free to add in the comments section!