1. Shut the front door!
Make sure their ability to be an energetic communicator, with a passion for social and economic justice, is cut off. How do you do this? It’s easy and the pay is great. Actually there’s no pay. There’s absolutely no paycheck for the gentle tinkling of roommate vigilantism. This just fuels me to be all the more vigilant.
Consider my roommate, Carl. I make Carl’s life in the apartment unlivable. My revenge is ongoing. And it’s beautiful.
First, I superglued his office door shut and stuck pennies to it. This was a subtle warning that things will get much worse. He remarked that I had perfectly illustrated our commitment to countering hate with great art. DAMMIT. Then we had a thoughtful, two-hour conversation about Banksy, the England-based graffiti artist and political activist, which I’m still recovering from.
I know what you’re thinking, and, yes, I contemplated stealing my roommate’s life-saving vitamins. But I decided to raise the bar on roommate revenge by setting up a MySpace account in his name instead. I might blog again. I might even protest Obamacare by repeatedly stabbing myself!
Take that, liberal Carl.
2. Yes human programming.
The other day Carl yelled out: “I’m willing to protest for the next four years!!!” before writing the words “too small” and “hands” on his homemade cardboard sign. While I think it’s interesting how Carl is simultaneously toiling away at a postdoctoral and corralling many veterans, students, and grandmothers in the name of democracy, I don’t like the way he sorts the mail.
So, slowly but steadily I’m planting in my roommate’s brain the idea that the apartment is overpriced, the neighborhood and its vegetable gardens are unsafe, and the landlord wishes him dead.
Brainwashing takes time. A lot of time. I’ve been roomies with Carl for over 8 years. He refuses to hate me. Every day I make up stories about our murder-y neighborhood and all he wants to do is teach self-defense to women in the area.
3. Destroy their bandanas.
What’s a riot without a bandana? How can Comrade Carl incite a group of demonstrators over abolishing the Electoral College without a ZEBRA-PRINT BANDANA?!? How will his favorite all-girl band perform The Beatles’ “Come Together” alongside protesters without rave head gear? It’s impossible to look like a rebel without a desert dust mask.
To give Carl a real-life civics lesson for drinking my almond milk, I planned on giving his bandanas a long-overdue shrinking by using scalding hot water. He unexpectedly arrived home early one night from a vigil and caught me handwashing each of them because our washing machine was on the fritz. He was so appreciative of my genteel laundering that he paid my share of the rent that month, then whispered “Be the light…” in my general direction.
Fucking mutineer. (See also: Lanyards.)
4. Melt their pitchforks.
Look, in my defense, when Carl began organizing these protests on the fly, I assumed he’d be bringing along pointy pitchforks and eggs. You’d think his inner anarchist would want to burn a trash can or two. Turns out Carl and other activists aren’t trying to overthrow the government on the clogged streets of Thunderdome, but rather rally together to show the world that America is not racist, homophobic, xenophobic or misogynistic…that an assembly of ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things! That you never know what change can be accomplished until you try! That we have the right to peacefully protest political ideas, for it’s the lifeblood of the First Amendment!
I still ended up melting his tennis racquets. This, in many ways, made me feel electrified, but not enough to join Carl on his scumbag crusade.
5. I don’t know, let’s Google it.
Revenge takes dedication and courage. It also takes technology. I’ve threatened Carl’s front-line advocacy work by passing him in the hallway with Google searches filling up my entire laptop screen. Ones like: “the case for running over protesters.” And… “CAN you run over protesters?” And… “my archenemy, Carl, won’t live for very long.”
This sauntering-in-lengthy-hallways tactic is legendary, but proves a bit difficult in places like a tent. My roommate must believe he’s impenetrable because the sick bastard only ever smiles and winks at me. Fucking unfiltered free speech.
6. Replace their cellphones with rotary phone.
Carl discovered the joys of antiquing when I replaced his iPhone with a rotary one. I watched him try to mobilize a 20,000 protestor-deep mob with an old-school pinnacle of industrial design. Information was glacial; cord was curly.
Does that sound very effective? I don’t think so! No dice, social justice warrior. Boom.
Of course MY roommate loved the switcheroo. He loved the symbolism. Namely: How, in a world of smartphones, did we just elect two rotary phones to be President and Vice President of our country?
I can’t stress it enough, guys: Carl’s a villain. I'm not saying that these steps will permanently get rid of YOUR own live-in activist, but for the good of America, shouldn’t you at least try?