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Last updated: August 22. 2013 1:20PM - 1704 Views
By Justin Brown, Weekender Correspondent



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When I was growing up and a friend would do something to hurt me, my mom would stress to never seek revenge.
“Life will come back on them,” she'd wisely advise. “It may not be today, or tomorrow, but one day their actions will catch up with them.”
Like most young idiots, I'd never listen to my mother.
When I was an arrogant 20-year-old frat boy, and one of my pledges told a brother that I borrowed his jeans from his closet, pissed in them while laughing too hard, sprayed Axe Body Spray on the crotch, and returned them to his closet without washing them, I taught him a lesson. Every time I'd seek revenge, however, I'd learn that life would come back to bite me in the ass for my behavior. So, I decided to finally take the advice passed down from my mother!
I was producing my own on-air segment for a local television talk show at the time.
It was an opportunity that I was eminently grateful for. Every Friday afternoon, I was allowed to spend five to seven minutes doing whatever I wanted to do. One week, I was interviewing celebrities like Adam Levine or Chelsea Handler, another week I was getting an exclusive tour inside MTV's “Jersey Shore” cast house, while the next I was suggesting different hangover remedies practiced around the world.
However, like every opportunity, it was disguised as hard work. I wasn't even getting paid, but the experience was well worth it. While I was building my résumé, the new start-up show had someone to help carry the burden of producing the hour-long program. As soon as my segment ended and the show went to commercial break, I would sprint to the parking garage, change into my work clothes, and rush to my one of two jobs waiting tables and bartending. It wasn't how I envisioned my life once I was on television, but I was young, ambitious, and willing to do whatever it took.
Six months into my segment, I successfully landed an interview with Donald Trump!
I was told by the co-host that I had to let the main host of the show interview Trump when I announced that I booked it. Since I wasn't getting paid to produce their show, I wasn't about to give away the awesome interview that I landed.
The main host of the show then sent me an absurdly aggressive email, cursing at me in ALL CAPS, telling me that if I didn't hand over the interview, I'd lose my segment. I stood my ground and lost the segment.
Not the answer the host expected, he told me that he would make sure I'd never work in local media again!
I took my mother's advice and left it at that.
A year later, his aggressive behavior made headlines for a PFA his ex-wife filed, claiming he pesters her with aggressive texts saying he wishes she would lose her battle with multiple sclerosis and die, while I sit here writing my 150th column in local media's No. 1 arts and entertainment weekly magazine!
Sorry for not taking your advice earlier, Mom! I'm sure glad I started.

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