A Dish Best Served Cold

Madam Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and most welcome guests, no doubt you have heard, and possible agree with, the adage “revenge is a dish best served cold”, but how long do you suppose it takes such a dish to reach optimum serving temperature?

I’ve been simmering over a tasty menu of revenge for some time now. I’ve already served the first course; and now I’m serving the second. As for dessert, well, I’ll be asking you whether or not I should serve dessert.

So, on with the main course...

Some time last year, I became aware that my husband was fooling around – he began taking his mobile calls in the garden, which was evidence enough for me – so when he unexpectedly picked me up from work one Monday evening and told me he had something to tell me, what he had to tell me wasn’t exactly news.

As he struggled to articulate the hastily-constructed speech he had no doubt been rehearsing all afternoon, I listened carefully, silently forming constructive criticism in the time-honoured commend/recommend/commend format that we Toastmasters know so well.

He’d been having an affair. He regretted it and it was over. He loves me and he is sorry. He wouldn’t be telling me at all, but the man he had cuckolded had insisted that I know.

It seems that the cuckold, being of both a suspicious and devious nature, had, over the weekend, read through the messages on wifey’s mobile phone, and then he had confronted her. Then they had both gone to church and beat their breast to the vicar. The vicar must have done a sterling job at defusing the situation, because, on Monday morning, the cuckold presented himself at wifey’s workplace – with a concerned member of the church in tow! The cuckold demanded an audience with the head teacher. The head teacher, instead of telling them that it had nothing to do with him, summoned my husband to give an account of himself, while he and the pious twit from the church indulged themselves in a large, juicy portion of schadenfreude – much as you are doing, except that they invited themselves to the feast.

I couldn’t believe my ears. “Why didn’t you just tell them all to, well, do to themselves what you had been doing to his wife? What odious people.

"As for the cuckold, his marriage is in trouble, and it’s not his fault at all? And good Christian that he is, he wants to share his pain and humiliation with me? A tad old testament. What happened to turning the other cheek?

"And her, another good Christian. Not only does she “accidentally” fail to delete the damning text messages from her telephone, but she doesn’t let her lover know that their secret love is no secret any more. Does she teach RE?"

No. Music. Oh this is too much. Sleeping with my husband is one thing, but this is going too far. A few months earlier, I had created a small piece of artwork for the music department – as a favour. Well, it hadn’t taken long to do, and it was for a colleague of my husband.

If A=1 and Z=26, then the number on the invoice that I posted the next day said everything I needed to say to her.

A few days later, I received the requested cheque for £250, which I donated to the Imps (my favourite charity). £250 from the school budget. A fair price to pay for your cheap thrill, headmaster.

So, now we come to dessert. As some of you know, I publish my speeches on my website. On your comment slips, would you please let me know whether or not this dish is cool enough to serve to a wider audience?


I thoroughly enjoyed giving this speech, not least for the audience reaction, ha ha. The objectives for this speech were "to draw entertaining material from sources other than your own personal experience and to adapt your material to suit your topic, your own personality, and the audience", though the audience didn't know this when I gave the speech. About a third of  the audience believed the story to be true, a third were not sure, while the rest thought it to be untrue. After I'd given the speech and it had been evaluated, I did let the audience know that the elements in the tale had happened to someone I love. After all, to tell such a tale when it had no basis in truth would be nasty indeed. On the other hand, if this is truly my tale, what a wonderful vehicle for revenge.

Again, I've managed to lose the comment slips, so I can't publish them. I'll be more careful next time.