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Get Even: The complete book of dirty tricks

I’ve seen this book on so many shelves of radical bookstores that when it showed up at my librayr’s book sale I decided I had to take a look at it. Hayduke claims to be value-neutral with regards to his pranks, basically allowing the reader to determine which “marks” are deserving of such dirty tricks and which are not. This is a fairly interesting assumption since in many cases the tricks he offers could do serious harm to the victims. Truly harmful tricks that could easily kill a victim are noted, and of course there’s the “don’t try this at home” entreaty in the beginning, but this book is a set of recipes for causing trouble. That is not really what’s wrong with it, my problems lay more in its outdatedness (mess with a computer by punching new holes in the punchcards!) and its lack of a sense of humor. It’s all well and good to think about sending your enemy’s mail to some central Los Angeles factory, but for this book to actually be a good read, I’d like to think that I’m not just reading the words of a terminally angry man. We’ve all been wronged by people and we’ve all thought about ways to get even, but I would have enjoyed more creative and itenresting solutions, not just learn lots of different ways to slip laxatives or stink bombs into someone’s life.