On Reflexes and Revenge

My Dad has the dirty habit of sneaking up on me and giving me terrible frights – especially in the dark. Early yesterday morning I was standing in the Kitchen (it was real early so it was still dark) and he snuck up behind me and poked me in the ribs while yelling WHAAAAAAAA! Now I am certain if you think back carefully – regardless of where in the world you live – you will clearly remember hearing him. YEP – It was that loud.

Anyway, when he scared me I got these strange feelings. I couldn’t hear anything but a peculiar long beeping sound in my ears, the muscles in my arms contracted and I started shaking. So after me screaming and shouting something to the effect of “I WILL GET YOU BACK!” I decided to go look up what had actually happened to my body.

It turns out that this is a reflex known as “Fight or Flight”. I am sure that you will be familiar with sayings such as:

The reason is that these things actually can happen if you have a really big fright. In such a situation many things can take place in the body which can include:

  • Tunnel vision (loss of peripheral vision)
  • Your blood vessels dilate to enable greater muscle strength
  • Relaxation of the Bladder
  • Paling or flushing, or alternating between both
  • Shaking

The release of adrenalin is vital to the Fight or Flight reflex. It is the release of adrenalin into the body that causes the symptoms listed above. There are many more symptoms on Wikipedia. Among these them you will find auditory exclusion which explains the sudden loss of hearing I experienced. All of this happens in order to enable your body to either make a run for it or fight to protect yourself. Your body releasing waste products is really a way of “lightening the load” so that you can move faster.

Considering the fact that I am a South African Champion at kickboxing I recon my Dad better be glad I did not go into fight mode.

Now for the really important part. I am desperate for some ideas on revenge so please leave a comment with your evil plans on how I can get him back. Muahahahahaha!

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Xe'nedra is a pre-teen free thinker who can often be found with her nose in a book. She is an expert at rolling her eyes and making her parents sigh in exasperation. Skateboarding and golf is on her list of sporting activities and she would love to study Forensics or Medicine (which is better than being Gwen Stefani which was her aspiration at age 3). She also blogs as "The Sceptic Kid"


  1. May 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm —

    Ideas on revenge? That’s interesting!

    I guess the first thing to ask would be what degree of mischief you are willing to reach. Payback can be achieved with a light joke, or with full blown revenge (within reasonable limits, of course)

    So many examples and ideas to draw from… let’s arrange things by level. Starting with the most harmless ideas, and scaling up to less innocent levels.

    Level 1: Harmless Payback

    Something not as scary as what was done to you would be the lowest level of mischief. Something that scares someone back. I can think of a prank I have heard about. If your dad drinks red wine, get yourself some Neutral Red (a type of laboratory non toxic red dye) and dissolve it in the wine. It does not change the taste… but it is eliminated in urine with the same red color it had when it went into the body. People tend to get nervous when they think they see blood in their urine. Not very scary, but surely worrying.
    Oh… and don’t get me started on the trick of a thin spreading of several flavors (colors) of kool-aid in the bed. Specially now in the summer… Night sweating results in VERY colorful skin in the morning.

    Level 2: An Eye for an Eye

    Something that scares him as much as he scared you. We are going for shock value here, so it has to be sudden, loud and unexpected. Can we spell “boobytrap”? There are so many designs and possibilities for those that I’d have trouble listing just the ones I have designed myself. At this level we probably don’t want to use explosives, so I suggest something loud connected to an electric activation switch. Someone likes to pay night visits to the fridge? Activation mechanism in the fridge door. Someone is half asleep in the morning? Activation switch hooked to the shaver. I wish I could post schematics here. These traps are very easy to make, and surprisingly effective.

    If you don’t want to bother with the actual design and concept of the boobytrap, you can also find some magnetically activated loud alarm buzzers. They are sold as door alarms, activated when the magnet is pulled away from the buzzer, they are cheap, small, and very, very loud. One example here:

    Level 3: Revenge, Sweet Revenge

    We have gone through the normal payback, now to the high end. You can imagine this is going to be about returning more than you got… and it can get you in trouble, so I don’t recommend it. However,Iinclude it for the sake of completeness.
    No, I don’t suggest you scale the boobytrap concept up to somethign that would actually hurt. However, level 3 includes everyone’s favorite prank material… pyrotechnics.
    You want something sudden, loud and scary? One word: Fireworks.

    I think this video is legendary already, but just in case you have not seen it, my suggestion goes along these lines:
    The idea does not have to be so extreme, but the concept is simple. Wait till he is asleep… and light a string of the loudest fireworks you can get. Extra points for actually tying the string to the victim’s leg, so running away only makes the bangs chase him (warning: This may cause real injury and a few burns. Not something you should seriously attempt).

    I am not suggesting you do any of these things, and I decline any responsbility if the consequences are not the desired ones. I also decline any responsibility in any payback you get. Escalation may (and probably will) happen. It is up to you to decide how to prevent such an arms race from happening and turning life into a constant prank payback.

    Life amongst pranksters is not comfortable, and may lead to acute paranoia. I know it. Been there, done it, found ways to thwart pranksters and discourage them from choosing me as a target. Yes… The answer was “boobytrap”. No, it wasn’t always restricted to level 2.

    Good luck… and be careful.

  2. May 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm —

    Ignacio – thanks for these suggestions.

    My feedback:

    Level 1

    I just love the idea of the Neutral Red as it is harmless yet effective and to be honest my Dad loves his red wine 🙂
    The cool aid won’t work at the moment as it is mid winter in South Africa where I live (but I will keep it in mind for the summer he he he)

    Level 2

    Definitely love the loud noise idea!! Will try to find some local materials.

    Level 3

    Yeah, my Dad will kill me!

    Thanks again, I can even use some of these on my uncle!! You rock!

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