Can revenge be sweet?

I once heard a story of a man waiting in line at an airport check-in counter who was horrified at the way the passenger ahead of him was speaking to the clerk. Abusive, loud, arrogant—utterly impossible. When the one observing this tirade reached the counter, he asked the clerk how she'd managed to remain so calm, poised, and efficient in the face of such an attack. She replied, "Oh, that wasn't so difficult. I got the last laugh. He's going to London, but I sent his bags to Tokyo!"

On hearing that story it's tempting to think: he had it coming to him; it served him right; clever practical joke; sweet revenge! And yet, as we think more deeply about it, can such an act really accomplish anything positive?

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November 10, 1997
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