Revenge comes in many colors


Thanks to an entertaining email from a friend this week, I was reminded of an incident long ago. So, let’s take a trip back in time, say about 35 years, to my college days at Morehead State University, when some revenge was exacted from a football player who ticked me off one time too many.

The whole episode started a week or two before the culminating event. It was one of those afternoons when three of us didn’t have any classes, so we decided to take a drive through the Kentucky countryside to see what we might see. It was something we did from time to time, because back in early 1980s if you drove deep enough into the country, you could come across some pretty interesting sights.

This particular day we had ventured a little deeper than usual when we came upon what appeared to be a long abandoned stone quarry. As we were surveying the scene we noticed a bunch of clay pigeons – you know, those round little things people shoot at – and the more we looked, the more of them we saw.

So we decided to collect a few. It was probably not a wise idea, and I’m not sure what we planned to do with them, but we gathered up a bunch of them anyway and took them back to our dorm room.

Mostly they were just conversation pieces, although they could be turned upside down and used for ash trays. But mostly we just had them sitting around in a couple stacks for whatever reason.

Until one night when the football player in question decided to pay us a visit. He lived just a couple doors down the dorm hall from us and was well-known for being a little on the wild side.

So there we were, doing whatever it is that college kids do in their rooms other than study, when the football player noticed our clay pigeons. We should have known trouble was brewing when his eyes lit up about the time he grabbed one. He looked at it, asked us about it, then out of the blue he cocked his arm, let out a sinister laugh, and launched one against one of our dorm room walls.

Now, I don’t know if you have much experience with clay pigeons, but if you don’t, just believe me when I tell you that they can make quite a mess when a big, ole football player blasts one against a wall. The first time it was almost funny. Then he did it again and it was not so funny. By the time he busted a dozen or so against the walls, door or whatever, it was way past being funny, although he seemed quite amused by the whole process.

We were not happy, and probably would have forced him out of our room after the first launch or two. But he was a good bit bigger than us – and more than a little crazy – and there wasn’t much we could do. Or so we thought at the time.

A couple nights later one of us walked by his room and noticed that his door was wide open. A little closer inspection revealed that he was inside, completely passed out on his bed, staring straight up at the ceiling. I do not remember the exact sequence of things for the next couple minutes, but I know we went back to our dorm room and soon noticed that we had a box of those big markers. And if I remember correctly, they were permanent markers.

So we grabbed a red one and tip-toed back to the football player’s room.

Our original plan was to draw a big red arrow down the bridge of his nose. And we did. But once we did that, it did not seem equal to the damage he had done to our room, and it was pretty obvious that the football player was not waking up anytime soon. So, we went and got a different colored marker. By the time we were done, we had used every color in the box and the football player’s face – from the top of his forehead to his chin, was completely covered in marker ink.

It was a sight to behold.

Early the next morning I heard a bunch of commotion in the bathroom, which was located across the hall from our room. Then I heard some more shouting and cursing, followed by some very loud thuds on our dorm room door.

It was spring then, close to the end of the semester. The football player did not stay in his dorm room much, and I’m not sure we saw him much after that. But I do not remember ever being of accused of being one of the artists. Shoot, if he did suspect it was us, he was probably too embarrassed to mention it.

I have always wondered what went through his mind when he got up that morning and looked in the mirror. Or how long he had to scrub his face. Or if he had to go to class with the evidence still there.

But it doesn’t really matter. Because thinking about it right now, even all these years later, has me grinning from ear to ear. We got our revenge. And it was sweet.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.

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