Imagine the scene: In a spare hour you have tracked down the twat who almost caused you to crash your car earlier that week. You have gone to their home. You have charmed your way inside without them recognising you. And then you have pissed all over their new bathroom floor.
As small scale acts of retribution go, it is the kind of thing we’ve perhaps all dreamed of doing. (Er, haven’t we?) Revenge, as they don’t quite say, is a dish best served warm and steaming.
Which is to say, welcome to the world of Beef.
Despite recently running into controversy thanks to actor David Choe’s allegedly fabricated tale of sexually assaulting a massage therapist, Netflix’s drama – which premiered in April – remains an eviscerating, hands-over-eyes study in what would happen if you allowed your darkest, pettiest revenge fantasies out of your squalid little mind and turned them into day-lit reality.
Starring Emmy-nominated Ali Wong and critically acclaimed Steven Yeun, it sees two complete strangers become locked in an ever-escalating feud following a minor road rage incident in a Los Angeles car park.
What follows over its ten taught episodes is everything you could want in a good boxset – infidelity, psychological torment and masturbation with a semi-automatic pistol. And of course, that revenge bathroom piss.
And (yes, we’re going there) it all knocks season four of Succession into a cocked private jet.
Which is why, in homage to this piece of television genius, VICE took to the streets of Manchester’s Northern Quarter this weekend to ask drinkers there: What’s the pettiest thing you’ve ever done?
Their replies – indeed, the unashamed way in which they spilled their revelations – are perhaps proof that, sometimes, fact is even more deliciously unhinged than fiction.
‘My landlord was a knob so I took a shit in the bed when I moved out’
“I’d like to say I’m not proud of this; that it was the misguided actions of a young impulsive man; that I look back 13 years later and cringe at my actions. I’d like to say all that but it wouldn’t be true. I remain proud to this day that, on the morning I moved out of my student house, I left a steaming turd in my double bed for our knob of a landlord to find.
That bloke was the absolute pits. The house – an end terrace in Leeds – was freezing, mouldy and crumbling in places. If it could go wrong, it did, because he’d done everything cheap. He left us four weeks without heating that winter after the boiler bust. A burglar smashed a downstairs window once and it stayed boarded up for six weeks.
There were six of us living there and we knew he was the kind of twat who wouldn’t give our deposits back so we considered that lost anyway – a hole that appeared in the kitchen wall after a party probably wouldn’t have helped on that front. So, we came up with an idea that we’d all do a shit in our rooms when we left.
As it happened, we ended up moving out at different times so it didn’t work out like that. But I was the last person there, so I crafted one for the team.
Any regrets? Just one. I forgot to take toilet paper into the bedroom, so I had to crab squat to the bathroom to wipe my arse.” – Nick, 35
‘I chopped down my neighbour’s azaleas after a parking dispute’
“It’s a bit suburban, but my old neighbours kept parking right in front of my drive. When I asked them to stop, they said it shouldn’t bother me because I didn’t have a car of my own. They just kept on doing it – fucking boomers.
I handled it the mature way. Just before I moved – and after a pretty boozy night out – me and a mate snuck into their back garden and hacked down their three prized azaleas. I remember watching them more or less weep over them from my back window the next day. Unlucky.” – David, 29
‘I spent weeks chasing a £1 debt’
“It might sound daft, but it’s the principle of the thing – that’s my bloody money! A vending machine at a sports centre swiped my money (£1 for Magic Stars, the robbing bastards) and then said there was no stock inside. Um, what?!
The receptionist said they couldn’t help and we had to call some external company. Then, the person on that number said to send an email, and the reply directed us to another email address. The person on that email told us to fill out a form with our bank details.
Anyway, about six weeks later, they gave us not £1, but £2 back. Apparently the extra quid was a gesture of goodwill.” – Emma, 36
‘My boyfriend cheated on me so I fucked his brother in his own house’
“It’s like something from Shameless, isn’t it? I don’t know, I was pretty upset he’d been unfaithful but, to be honest, I was more fuming than anything. He was completely punching above his weight – if anyone should’ve been cheating, it was me.
I’d always thought his older brother was quite cute and I knew they had this weird sibling rivalry thing going on. I think they thought they were the Gallagher brothers or something, though everyone else thought they were more like The Likely Lads. But anyway, I got to thinking: Could I go there? Could I make this happen? Turns out I could – pretty easily.
It took literally one Instagram like before we got talking: We met up on a night out and ended up fucking very, very loudly in the room next to my ex.
What happened afterwards? There was a bit of drama between them apparently, and a week later I got a message from the ex giving me some shit. I just trolled him and asked for his dad’s number.” – Nicola, 24
‘My brother ate my chocolate orange so I left his porn mags where my mum would see them’
“This was when we were like 14 or 15 and my mum absolutely blew her top: “What’s this filth doing in my house?” My dad – intriguing now I think about it – was a bit more reserved about it. Funny. My brother never ate my chocolate again, though.” – Adelle, 35
‘My flatmate played guitar all the time so we snapped the strings’
“I mean, he did play it absolutely all the time – and ridiculously late, too. You expect some shit when you’re in a house share in London but, mate, we don’t want to hear ‘Smoke On The Water’ at 11PM again.
It became a joke among the rest of us: ‘What will he be playing tonight? Does he do requests?’ That sort of stuff. Someone started a flat WhatsApp group that didn’t include him and we’d message each other from our rooms. This was where someone said – as a joke – we should cut the strings. Except then we sort of decided, actually, we should cut the strings. We snuck into his room one night and snapped all six of them.
He never said anything about it afterwards but there was less guitar playing from then on. The funny thing is, now I think about it, no-one ever just asked if he could maybe not play late at night. He was a pretty amiable guy, I’m sure he’d have probably agreed.” – Carlos, 29