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Surefire Stress Cure: Call “Enough Is Enough″

November 7, 1988

NEWTON, Mass. (AP) _ Nan Berman has a suggestion for all spurned lovers, tyrannized employees and anyone who’s had an especially bad day: don’t get mad, get even. And she’d be glad to help.

Her month-old business ″Enough is Enough,″ billed as ″creative revenge for today’s world,″ has already mailed a three-foot dead bluefish to a philandering husband in California and delivered a burned and messy suit to a lawyer who implied his girlfriend was ″unsuitable″ for him.

More common requests among those wronged, however, are the 13 dead roses, sent in a beribboned black box ($25), or 13 black balloons tied together by a single dead red rose ($30).

Other ″insults to suit the occasion″ include a real stuffed shirt ($25) for pompous bosses and drinking glasses with cigarette butts on the bottom for obnoxious smokers.

″Twenty years ago, people didn’t speak up the way they do now,″ said Berman. ″But since the ’60s, people have expressed themselves. And with me, you really have a way to vent things out.″

Berman, 43, was inspired to start ″Enough is Enough″ after a year spent driving a florist delivery truck for a boss she said was the ″grumpiest, most unpleasant person ever born.″

″She never smiled, she was just miserable,″ said Berman. ″ I hung in there for a year but I was so sick of it. I thought - I can get this same atmosphere by making a business out of it.″

Berman financed her venture with $30,000, some of it from her husband, a businessman. She prowled bargain-basement department stores and gift shows for ideas. She brought back artifacts such as a cloth witch on a stick (for ″those witchy people on brooms″), porcelain pigs (″for people on a diet″) and real kites (to send those for whom you want to tell ″go fly a kite″).

She buys her dead roses for $5 for several dozens at the Boston Flower Exchange and purchases other items in bulk. Her material is a combination of specialty store items from joke shops and objects she finds herself.

Berman is happiest fielding phone calls in her small office behind a florist, surrounded by boxes of wilting roses, black balloons, and buttons reading ″First of All - We Kill All the Lawyers.″

She jumps up enthusiastically to point out another gag, like the cactus she recently bought. She plans to deliver it to an insufferable boor with the words ″sit on it,″ she said, laughing uproariously.

″Maybe after a while it won’t seem so funny but now I can’t help laughing all the time,″ she said.

Since she opened her business, Berman has received more than 100 calls and 30 people have paid for her services. She promises her customers that she won’t reveal their names.

″I want to stress that we’ll do anything, as long as it’s legal,″ she said.

Berman is most eager to coordinate more elaborate schemes. For people who want to play a prank on a boss, she has a plan in the works to move the boss’s office furniture and to another part of the building.

″But we’ll move it back during the day,″ she said. ″Most people we get are doing this stuff for a joke. They’re not malicious.″

Berman’s part-time staff consists of her 23-year-old son, her cousin and a friend. Her days driving a flower truck are a distant memory.

″We just sit around and laugh all day,″ Berman said.

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