Most of us learn at a young age that real life sucks. There are no guardian angels; no one cares if bad things happen to you, and the biggest jerks are usually the ones who become the biggest successes. In short, nature laughs in the face of justice . . . most of the time. Yet no matter how cold and unfriendly the world usually seems, just every once in a while the fates smile down on us and teach some stuck-up fool a lesson they’ll never forget.
10The BBC Trolls The Troll
Darren Burton is kind of a turd. A 41-year-old committed grief troll, he dedicated a good part of his life to leaving messages like “Rot in Piss” on the Facebook pages of murdered children, justifying his actions by claiming Facebook is “an open forum,” because he doesn’t know what the word “justification” means. For most of us, the obvious response is to ignore such an annoyance and get on with our lives—but the BBC decided a change of tactics was in order. Weirdly, brilliantly, amazingly, one of the most respected news organizations in the world decided to troll the troll.
The ordeal started when journalists “doorstepped” Burton for an unscheduled interview. This resulted in him being unmasked in front of his wife and child in broad daylight. Then, when Burton gave a grudging, unrepentant interview, the BBC broadcast it with his name and location included. What happened next was nothing short of sweet, sweet justice. Burton’s Facebook page was deluged with the exact same sort of abuse he’d been handing out to dead kids, ultimately causing him to delete his account and run away like a scared child. Because the “it’s an open forum” defense only counts when you’re doing the abusing, apparently.
9The Misogynists Forced To Play “Dress Up”
In the eyes of certain jerks, having ovaries immediately disqualifies you from being human. Jason Householder and his nitwit pal John Stockum were two such jerks. After getting drunk in their tiny Ohio town one day, the pair decided to show their affection toward a nearby woman by hurling beer bottles and abuse at her car. Unfortunately for them, and very fortunately for the rest of us, the local jail was overcrowded when cops brought them in for sentencing. So a local judge came up with a much more fitting punishment.
Householder and Stockum were both forced to put on dresses, wigs, and makeup and parade down Main Street for an hour, in full view of a crowd who taunted them, wolf-whistled, and even chucked a soda bottle. In other words, the two jerks got to experience exactly what they put their victim through—in stereo.
8Guy Turns Tables On Cold Callers
If you’re still stuck in the 20th-century world of landlines, you’ll know what a pain cold calling can be. Lee Beaumont shares that pain. In 2011, he was getting an average of 30 calls a month from idiots trying to sell him double glazing and whatnot. Then one day, Beaumont decided to turn the tables on his anonymous harassers—and to do it in the simplest, most polite way possible.
Starting in late November 2011, Beaumont changed his home phone into a premium line number. From that point on, any company that rang him was charged 10p (about 16 cents) per minute to conduct its business. And you better believe Beaumont let them talk away. By July this year, Beaumont had made £300 ($470) from nothing more than sitting on his butt—paid for by call centers across the country. Since his story first broke, the amount has gotten even bigger. According to The Guardian, Beaumont is now also raking it in from eager journalists desperate to talk to him about his scheme. Beaumont: 1, Life: 0.
7 Young Bullies Discover Justice Hurts
As anyone who has ever been in the same room as one can testify, kids are awful. Take the case of 13-year-old Kaytlen. Last year, she and an 11-year-old friend lured a three-year-old girl from a Utah McDonald’s and chopped all her hair off with blunt scissors. Now, obviously this isn’t the worst thing that could happen to a three-year-old lured from McDonald’s (for example, she could’ve eaten some of the food), but it’s a pretty rotten thing to do. And you’ll be pleased to hear the punishment fit the crime.
When Kaytlen and her friend wound up in juvenile court, Judge Johansen decided to strike right where it would most hurt a self-conscious adolescent and ordered Kaytlen’s father to cut off her hair.
Yep, nearly all of it. Right there in court, Kaytlen and her friend got to experience the same impromptu hairdressing session as their victim, with the added bonus that it was in front of dozens of people. Oh, and in case you’re thinking this is a little harsh on poor Kaytlen, bear in mind that she had previously spent eight months terrorizing another kid with anonymous telephone calls threatening to rape and mutilate her. So yeah, she basically got everything she deserved.
6 Immature Guy Gets Legally Owned
One of the hardest things about being a parent must be discovering that you’ve accidentally raised a jerkwad. In 2011, an unidentified Spanish couple had this forcibly rammed home when their unemployed, live-at-home son sued them to get his allowance increased. Just to be clear, the son was 25 years old and the parents only stopped his allowance because he refused to find a job. In other words, he was probably the most punchable man in the whole of Spain—and fortunately, the country’s legal system recognized this.
When it came to trial, the judge not only threw the case out, he issued a court order giving the guy 30 days to get his act together and get out his parents’ house. Even better, he was legally required to find a job and (presumably) stop being such a crying baby.
5Homophobes Pick The Wrong Battle
In October 2009, two Welsh thugs—Dean Gardener and Jason Fender—were out on the streets of Swansea, looking for trouble. Tanked up on 10 pints of cider, the two thought they’d found their ideal victims when they spotted a pair of transvestites walking down the street in full, garish drag. Thanks to a combination of being drunk and being awful human beings, Gardener and Fender proceeded to launch a verbal and physical assault on the pair. And that’s when things got real.
The two transvestites just happened to be cage fighters on a fancy-dress night out. When Gardener and Fender came at them, they sidestepped the first punches, before handing out a brutal smackdown. What followed was a deeply gratifying beating that saw the thugs reduced to—well, exactly the sort of sobbing, unconscious mess you’d expect from someone who just took on a trained cage fighter. When the dust had settled, the two transvestites simply shouldered their bags and strutted off into the Welsh night, leaving Gardener and Fender to be booked by some highly amused policemen.
4Putting Adultery On eBay
In 2008, an unnamed Australian woman came home to find her husband looking awkward in his underwear, the back door hanging slightly open and—most incriminating of all—a pair of lacy knickers stuffed under the pillow. Whereas most of us would probably either chuck our cheating spouse out or simply break down and cry at this point, the Aussie woman did something far more awesome. She set up an eBay account and began flogging off the evidence of her husband’s affair.
First up were the knickers, listed as “Tart’s Knickers” and coming with a description that noted they were big enough to use as a Halloween shawl. Second was the condom wrapper: “size small.” Third, and most-hilariously, was the husband’s Harley Davidson motorcycle—sold for 99 cents with no reserve. In no time at all, the scorned woman showed her unnamed husband who was the undisputed boss of bitter, hilarious revenge; and she did it without ever once stooping so low as to publicly name and shame her rival. Now that’s classy.
3Gym Bully Gets Owned By Internet
If you’re a flabby weakling, going to the gym can be a dispiriting experience (trust me on this one). Aside from being forced to accept you’ll probably never lift anything heavier than your laptop, you’ve also got to deal with meatheads making comments about your less-than-impressive physique—or even taking mocking pictures. Unless, that is, Reddit happen to gets involved.
Last month, some Australian jock made the mistake of photographing other gym users and uploading the pictures to Facebook with insulting commentary. Somehow, both Reddit and 4chan’s “fit” board got wind of it and decided to harness their collective nerd rage to teach this punk a lesson.
First, they got his personal information. Then they used it to call his mother and explain to her what a doofus her son was. Then they tracked down the guy’s gym and explained the same thing to the manager. Finally, they sat back and watched as the bully saw his life crumble around him. In quick succession, his mother cut him off financially, his friends all decided he wasn’t much of a friend, and the gym owner banned him from the entire chain of gyms. What was that about revenge being a dish best served cold?
2Acid Thrower Feels Victim’s Pain
In 2004, Iranian jerkmuncher Majid Movahedi showed the world what a terrible person he was by throwing acid over Ameneh Bahrami as she walked home from work, blinding her. Bahrami had previously turned down his offer of marriage, and in Movahedi’s disturbed little mind, that slight apparently demanded a face full of acid. But here’s where things get interesting. Iran operates under strict sharia law, and sharia law allows “eye for an eye” style punishments. In Bahrami’s case, she took this literally. When Movahedi came to trial, she asked the court for a special favor. She wanted Movahedi blinded by acid.
And the court said yes.
For the next three years, Movahedi lived knowing he was going to feel the exact same pain and fear that his victim had. In 2011, he was taken into Tehran hospital and sedated, knowing he’d be blind when he woke up. Before you think I’ve gone totally mad and started advocating cruel and unusual punishment, I should add that Bahrami called off the procedure at the last second, saying she’d never intended to actually go through with it and would rather forgive her attacker. Movahedi got to keep his sight, but crucially he got to understand exactly the sort of fear and misery his victim must have felt all those years before. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.
1The Premature Bomber
In winter 2010, a terrorist cell in Russia was preparing to commit one heck of an atrocity. With the year coming to an end, the three unnamed women were planning to strap on suicide belts, wander into the partying crowds of Moscow and detonate. The result would have been carnage on an unprecedented scale—a slaughter comparable to the 7/7 attacks in London. Only something went wrong. Hilariously wrong.
See, Russian suicide bombers are often sent out with a cell phone wired to their belts. If someone texts the number, the bomb detonates—meaning their recruiters can remotely explode them if the bombers fail to carry out an attack. It’s a darkly impressive system, but one that can backfire if used by particularly stupid people—the kind of people who turn the phones on before they leave the safe house, say. (In an era when companies are sending out spam texts by the thousands, no less.)
An hour or so before the attack was supposed to be carried out, one of the women received an automated text wishing her a happy New Year. Her belt instantly detonated, killing her and wiping out the safe house, causing the other would-be terrorists to flee into the night, unarmed and harmless. Not a single civilian was hurt in the explosion, and the blast alerted Russian authorities to a possible attack. In other words, it was divine intervention at its absolute, hilarious best—and saved countless lives in the process. Now that’s justice.