A couple weeks ago, I met some friends (a husband and wife) for dinner and a movie at a local mall. As I was walking in from the parking lot, I saw the following scrap of paper lying on the sidewalk. Since it featured profanity, of course I picked it up.
It made me laugh, but the content was a bit mystifying. When I got inside, the wife was standing outside the restaurant, saying we had just a short wait and her husband had gone to buy the movie tickets. I pulled out the note to get her assessment, and she immediately commented that perhaps someone had stuck it on a car windshield as a rebuke for bad parking.
She then told me that she'd given her husband a hard time for a haphazard parking job that very evening.
I don't know which of us had the brainstorm, since it's hard to pinpoint the origin of evil schemes when this much serendipity is involved. Suffice it to say that, when we sat down to eat, I presented the note to her husband, telling him I had parked near them and found it on their car.
I don't regret it. What I do regret is not having my phone out to capture his reaction on video. He stared first at the note, then at me, then back at the note, then at his wife, mouth agape, completely and utterly flabbergasted.
I think his wife might have kept him going all night with tongue-in-cheek variations on "I told you so," but I burst out laughing and quickly confessed. I couldn't let the poor guy think that retribution was so impossibly swift, or quite so aligned with his wife's views. That would have made me the asshole.