Since the statute of limitations is up on this one…
I was seven, I think. Third grade, or so. There was this one kid in the class, that I just couldn’t stand. He was a bully, and a jerk, and while I wasn’t his favorite target, I’d taken enough crap from him, and watched him dish out plenty more, to be sick of it all. He was one of those guys that drove you nuts, yet never got himself caught by anyone in authority. He was, in short, in need of being “taken down a peg or two.”
So, his seat, in the classroom, is right next to the big heater/airconditioning unit, under the windows. One morning, whilst in the classroom, but before class had actually started, we’re all milling about, yakkin’ it up, no one’s taken their respective seats just yet. The jerk (sad that I can’t even remember his name, now) is at the back of the room, up to some form of student terrorism or another.
It’s a cold December morning, and as the teacher hasn’t yet arrived (he was just out in the hallway, but preoccupied, yakkin’ himself with another teacher) the heater’s not on yet. So I stroll real casual-like over to the heater, and yank out the little alan-wrench looking gizmo that’s used to turn it on, or at least adjust the temperature. Into my pocket it goes.
Bell rings, seats are taken, and in strolls Mr B, directly to the heater. He looks down at the jerk, sitting practically on top of the thing. Asks him where the wrench is. Gets dumbfounded look in return. This answer is found inacceptable. The jerk is already under suspicion of theft by this teacher from some other incident (that he was, in fact guilty of, though no one in authority had ever been able to prove) only a month or so before. Something of the teacher’s he’d swiped off his desk, I think.
What followed was one of the high points of my elementary school memories, as the jerk is dressed down verbally for about ten or fifteen minutes, until the big, tough, bully looks like he’s ready to cry. Payback had finally arrived. A room full of his former targets (well, not full, but it did include most of us) smirked and grinned at each other, with only myself the wiser.
Every time I started to feel a bit guilty (or chilly, as it took a custodian nearly an hour to show up with a replacement doo-hickey) I remembered the verbal (and, of course, physical) abuse this schmuck had dished out, in the classroom, on the playground, and in the streets of the town itself. And the fact that this puke had never been caught in the act. And I smirked right along with everyone else, and kept my lips zipped.
I seriously considered trying to plant the thing on him at some later point in the day, but couldn’t work out just how to do it without getting busted myself. In the end, I…
Well, hell, what did I ever do with that thing? That’s escaped me as well, it seems.
[sub]Sadly, this only took the wind out of his sails for a month or so, but at least nobody else got beaten up on the playground until after the Xmas/New Year’s break ended.[/sub]