Revenge is Sweet

When the temperature falls to -21 degrees with the wind chill, and the sky dumps 15 centimetres of snow on the ground, that’s when a young man’s fancy turns to…


Some months ago, Chris’ and my collective birthday to be exact, our friend Teak decided that he would give us each a small token of … well, sugar. Specifically, a lunchbox full of it. When I opened my little gift, candy spilled all over my desk. How he managed to get the candy in there and the lid shut is beyond me…

Needless to say, when word of Teak’s birthday came roaming around, Chris and I started thinking. Initially, it wasn’t anything mean or nasty, but then Chris joked about getting even with Teak for the months of sugar. (I still have some of mine.) It wasn’t too long before the joke turned serious, and it was time to execute.

Step 1: The plan.

This was perhaps the easiest part. The basic principle was sound: Get one of Teak’s desk-side cabinets (they’re a little over two feet tall, about one and a half feet deep, and a foot and a quarter wide — I don’t have a ruler, so these are estimates). Empty it. Then refill it. With candy. The trick, of course, was to do it when Teak wasn’t around (he’s been in the office late a lot, so working around that was a bit tricky).

Step 2: The supplies.

Sugar. And lots of it. In short, a trip to Costco, about the only place we can get such huge quantities of glucose goodness without completely breaking the bank. There’s a lot to consider when buying for a stunt such as this. You don’t want full-sized chocolate bars — they’re too big. Halloween ones would have been perfect, but those haven’t been in the stores for almost a month. You also have to be careful not to get too much of one thing. For example, too many M&Ms, although perfect for something like this, means you need more of them. Also, you want variety.

This meant we had to carefully choose our ammunition. I wish I’d remembered to bring the list of things we bought, but it’s along the lines of:

There’s probably more, but we were having too much fun shopping for this stuff.

Step 3: The prank.

I was in the office again this weekend, partly because I had some work to do, partly because I’m overhauling my personal website (coming soon to a URL near you), and on Sunday, because I had to know when Teak wasn’t here anymore.

Around 6:30pm, I took a short trip upstairs. First good news: Teak wasn’t there. Second good news: Neither was anyone else. Best good news: The poor fool had left his cabinet unlocked. A little after 7:00, Chris called to say he was ready to have fun. I whipped over to the apartment, picked up my roommate and brother in mischief, and returned to the office.

The security guard was puzzled to say the least when we walked in with two huge boxes overflowing with packages of candy. We went upstairs to the Creative Services floor, and found that the lights were still off. (I’d turned them off when I’d inspected the floor earlier.)

The first thing we had to do was clean out his cabinet — the lower part, anyway. Teak had a lot of files, which would of course get in the way when trying to empty the various tubs, boxes, and bags. Fortunately, there are other cabinets which weren’t in use. A simple transfer, and we were on our way.

Almost … first, we had to line the lower bin with waxed paper. We didn’t want to make a total mess.

Then came the fun part — filling the drawers. Taking several containers, we started pouring. Mind you, this isn’t some random thing — you have to do it carefully. You don’t want to make a parfait of candy — you want a nice, even dispersion. We had to mix a few times to get the right distribution. But the end effect looks … nasty, actually, and the smell’s quite powerful.

Filling the lower drawer, we proceeded to the upper drawer (filling it with mostly small stuff, including M&Ms, and finally the top bin (which sits under the seat), also nice and full. The surprising part was that we’d had leftovers. We’d originally thought we didn’t have enough, and worried that the joke would only be partially realized. But ’tis better to have too much and do the job right than not have enough and do a half-assed job.

Filling a desk with candy, 25 November 2001

The final touch was on Teak’s computer. Like most of our Designers, he has two monitors (one is usually for seeing the artwork, the second for all the tools). Chris made up two images that were placed on the backgrounds of each of the monitors. One read “Sugar is sweet.”, the other “Revenge is sweeter.”

I couldn’t stop giggling the entire time. I so wanted to put up a camera and videotape Teak’s arrival this morning. I so wish I could have seen the look on his face.

Ah well, all’s well that ends well. At least until Teak tries to up the ante. If he’s smart, he won’t — starting an arms race with us is … foolish.

All I can say is: There’s always room for…