Join us!(Click on the word, "good.")

"Maybe it's no good." [This website]

"Out in the Weeds It's Hard to

Criticize a Spark of Light."

"Why Do We Need This?"

"It's for the Student --

to stay elemental!

See verbal dirty tricks

as puzzles with solutions,


not as mind-spinning interactions

between the powerful and the oppressed."

"Your Coarse Energy, Your Hatred, Builds Up."

"The idea is to clear it out in just a few words – You

don't want it backing up into your system."

"Ingredients & Recipes in a Working Farm

for the Cultivation of Happiness."

& also

"Your best defense is to have a good life. That's what your

job is – to make sure no one takes over your life."

"You Can't Keep Everything Underground."

"Just saying ... The Magic Words!"

"Turn aside meddlesome prying."

"Calm the Inner Turmoil."

"Mind Candles."




Non-escalating Verbal Self-Defense


NEW HERE?   wtf "clicking around?"   START HERE


Raw Anger     Or use the Zing-Ching-Tarot as a launch pad!


[31] Not yours!   [17] —As fast as that. Dark magic.   [32] —Exceptional.

Sparingly.   [30] —There's hope. More than one.   [60] —Out working!

[51] —The waterfront. Just a splash.   [10] —Don't worry. Squeeze play!

[03] —As if. You got the wrong guy!   [21] —Very mysterious. No idea.

[75] —Royal blood.   [17] —Why you need some help.   [38] —I'm under water.

[41] —Now or later? Claw hook!   [85] —I'll bet. Sophistication.

[74] —Forget that!   [27] —Hold it!  [42] —The mystery of it all.

[39] —Dude! A scandal.   [39] —Unrestrained, you know?


Recent Feedback

Instructions for The Fifth Spell


Older Home Page





Daily Splash!

insults - A

insults - B



Street Smarts

Key Words

Tarot Site Map



Kids' Pages

Wings (two-word responses!)



Mind Candy (online book)

Responses - A

Responses - B


"Things you wouldn't have
even known to say
when you were twelve."






"I don't know what you're talking about."











—Very mysterious. No idea.    —It's sharing the knowledge of how people nipped verbal violence in the bud back in the '40s and '50s, using things they'd learned from their fathers, and from their fathers. Tonic, they used to call it. It's an old-fashioned art. In this modern form, it's a Suggestion Machine, based on key words in an attack. Neither motivation nor character traits (such as dominance, indifference or susceptibility) provide on-the-spot clues for breaking down bullying. You need context, and words themselves are the context. David Brooks calls this "the Fundamental Attribution Error: Don't try to explain by character traits behavior that is better explained by context." (David Brooks, "Tools For Thinking," The New York Times, March 29, 2011) In short, you hear some wisecrack or smart-alecky remark, then respond to it like a little kid from a big family in New Jersey who's been practicing from a very early age.

"Since 1995 :: Verbal Self Defence :: With Wings"


Bullying occurs on many levels. Generalizing about school terror has limited value. Be specific. You can learn what to do. Understanding what's really going on inside yourself and inside other people is what helps. The toughest ages a person goes through are fifteen to thirty, because you don't know what's going to happen and there are things you have to learn. Be simple. Trust yourself. The best answer to a fool is silence "&" YOU CAN USE WORDS TO LET OFF STEAM! "&" You can replace (1.) raw fear, (2.) shame, (3.) mortification, (4.) guilt, (5.) self-recrimination, (6.) simmering hostility or (7.) vague unspoken feelings with words "&" Don't worry until something happens, right? When you are around truly dangerous people, policemen or at work, lay low! Learn how to psychologically leave home. When you can talk back to your parents, you're cured! Preparation is everything. If you "don't get it!" it's just patience, you know? These "wolf trap release mechanisms" are reaching the deepest parts of you. The idea is to free yourself from bullying altogether, not to engage with it head-on. There is subtle and real knowledge here for doing this.

Magic is already inside everyone, trapped at a preverbal level, and the sorcery at has to do with releasing those traps. When energy is released from buried memories, it comes up as "kief" (as the Arabs used to call it), or inner light.






Today's self help: Characterizing and stopping bullies



Houston Business Journal: There is no room for workplace bullies in the Best Places to Work



Susan Engel & Marlene Sandstrom: There's Only One Way to Stop a Bully



Lyrica Marquez & Gayle Lee: AWE-tizm: n., sounds like autism a/k/a awetism -- trailer






See life as bubble structures ... There's a land and everything in it is a bubble ... Bubbles bump ... And sooner or later it comes back to them one way or another ... Because the bubbles are transparent, nothing knew what it was ... Being nothing, you can describe things no one can see ... People can't connect to enough inside ... (To contact what needs knowledge, warmth, and nourishment) ... They seem to make a lot of money ... If you're hiding in a cave, they're two things you can do: Come out, or starve to death ... It's not that anything happens – It's an event ... Try to get rid of that event ... Try to be yourself now.



Notice people ... Each thinking they're their fathers, hating themselves ... Interesting ... I'm just saying, supposing ... Not all the time ... It's only all the time if you have a French girlfriend.



Understand the soul gets covered by a mask of pretense – See the difference between OUTER LIFE: "I am in charge of purchasing for HP," and BURIED TREASURE: a little bit distraught, slightly out of your element – Never be what someone else wants you to be – Be what you are.


Verbal Self Defense
For Men


You want to keep it short and sweet
so as to let your anger or aggression
shine through.


Devise response pairs
harvested from the WineCellar.


Memorize the first response;
hold the second response
in reserve.   For instance,


—Always surprising.
—Anything else? The towel?


—By no means, sir! By law.
—At first. This is the gold!


Why are you telling me this?
—Certainly not.


—Deliberate. Being followed.
—And? So? Then? More?


Finally, practice, practice, practice
like you grew up with moxie & "an attitude" in a
big, healthy family in Maplewood, New Jersey.


"Your mother!"
—Oh, definitely! You haven't.
—It's calling out to you!




Verbal Self Defense
For Children


People try to hit you in the imagination,
pretending they, or other people,
know more than you do.


They also give you vague,
unreliable advice, in an attempt
to make you unsure of yourself.


The main thing to notice is that
they're trying to take you over,
and it's your job not to let them!


"Don't let the bastards get you down!"
[They're being vague, not telling
you which bastards!]
—Sight unseen.
—So far. Symbolically.


"There are some dangerous people
over there – Get in my car!"

[They're trying to take you over!
Practice being really fresh to mean people
or to authoritative "good-old-guy" strangers!]
—By no means, sir! By law.
—Not recently. Seriously?


"I'm an undercover detective.
Come here! – Get in my car!"

[If you don't want to be fresh to an adult,
simply stall, stall, stall, stall, stall ...
until you get an opportunity!]
—Hold it!
—Just wait! A silver one.





Verbal Self Defense
For Women


It's the sly, clever, catty, almost irresistible
undercurrents of competition or rejection
to which women are most susceptible.


These kinds of attacks only work because
a person's own mind joins in with them,
imagining it's sink-or-swim in the "big waters!"


Instead, you can resist partaking in
the bathos simply by learning to think
like a happy-go-lucky dog in a litter!


"You didn't know that, honey?"
—Someone must.
Many options.


"You're putting on a little weight
there, aren't you, dearie?"

—Big family! What if you're not?
I killed!


"Hey, gorgeous! What's new?
How are you doing, sweetheart?"

—No rush. Let's go by intuition.
—Enough about me.


"I'll just let you stew in
your own bitch juices."

—No doubt.
—Very enriching.

   Jump Start

[32]  Directives

"Why don't ..."

—Do less. No strings.

[60]  Laments

"... I ..."

—Not alone. Who's responsible?




[51]  Interference

"... a minute?"

—Each day. After daybreak.

[49]  Put-downs

"... cute ... "

—It's riveting.




[41]  Clash

"... you ..."

—All right. I will.

[29]  Bedeviling

"... I'm ..."

—Come back to you.




[35]  Begging

"... change?"

—Not today.

[27]  Piggybacking

"& one more?"

—Just wait! A silver one.




[25]  Parents

"... you'd ..."

—That's excessive.

[39]  Dismissal

"... go ..."

—Dude! A scandal.




[54]  Containment

"... leaving?"

—It's calling out to you!

[26]  Confusion

"... available?"

—Any one. Before long!




[81]  Commonplaces

"... are ...?"

—No rush. Let's go by intuition.

[32]  Clichés

"... hiding?"

—Exceptional. Sparingly.




[43]  Unattributed

"... it's ..."

I can only imagine.

[03]  Aggression

[the finger]

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

Watch out! It's taking off!


==------/  ~        &-----

                    OO              OO     @ @ @


SAMPLE -- swimming


They say: "Have you ever peed in a swimming pool?"




Key word: swimming




Category: 18 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Can't see.. WHY?




You hold back: "Me, personally? ... Do people do that? ... You do that a lot? ... Ugly! It's a horrible thing ... Do you know what bomber pilots do? ... You're dropping bombs on people! ... In a nice neighborhood ... Is there anybody there? ... In April ... Here we go again ... I just took mine off ... Let's try again ... Liars! Liars! ... Look, I didn't realize! ... It's a mistake ... I'll never get home ... I did this last year ... We've created evil ... We have cleanup right here ... We're at the crossroads ... Posted by Blade ... Hopefully the same ... Does nothing! ... I've lived there. It's a super nice place ... Good looking ... Veri-Tuf -- It's built-in ... All we need is a scandal."


SAMPLE -- workers


They say: "Mr. President, why do you favor foreign workers over Americans?" [Interrupting the president's address on an executive policy directive to Homeland Security to limit deportations of young foreign workers] (–Neil Munro, The Daily Caller, June 15, 2012)




Key word: workers




Category: 31 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Get away! BACK OFF!




You hold back: "No one's going to work if they think they're worthless."


SAMPLE -- nickname


On the Internet they search for: «Verbal defense to use when called a bad nickname»




Key word: nickname




Category: 03 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Try not to be too happy.




You hold back: "Cold comfort ... Put the spotlight on yourself! ... You can't like yourself all the time ... Shut up and fuck you! ... Don't ever do what Zorba the Greek tells you to do ... The Other."


SAMPLE -- Fish-face


They say: "Fish-face." [From the 2012 documentary, Bully – See also stargate22, intimidation, lying]




Key word: Fish-face




Category: 03 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Try not to be too happy.




You hold back: "Very religious."



of the

School Bus Monitor *





"What size bra are you? Triple sag?"

Stick around!
—A person's as big as she takes care of things.





"Fat-ass! What's your address so I can friggin' piss all over your door?"

—Big family! What if you're not?
—The thing about victimhood, if people see you're hurt, they try to kill you.



"You're a fucking troll, babe."

Alla grandissima! A tribute.





"Oh, my God! You're so fat!"

—In front of the opera is up!





"Oh, my God! You're so fat! She probably misses her boxes of Twinkies."

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.



"You fuckin' fat-ass!"

—Always surprising.





"She probably eats deodorant because she can't afford real food."

—Come with me! If we had time.





"You touched her arm flap – It's all stinky and smelly."

—Not bad enough. Unless..



"Put your sunglasses back on – Looking like a fucking troll."

—You try. Whose fault is that?





"She's gonna pick out which kid she's gonna rape next."

—You think it's cheaper?





"If you come to my house, I'll fucking beat your ass."

—Or vice versa.



"I'm going to pull my knife out – Stick a knife in you – It'll probably go through you like butter."

—Pretty intense. Make a list!





"You're in trouble, you old troll."

—How's that? Isn't cheap.





"Fucking hearing aid – I'll egg your house."

—Says who?



"Maybe she's an elephant."

—Keep going! Missed the mark.





"I'll take a fucking crack at your mouth."

—High directions. I wouldn't.





"I'll fucking take a crap in your mouth."

—Cheap thrills.





"You don't have a family because they all fucking killed themselves."

—Shift change! One step away.



"I'll send you a doughnut, fucking fat-ass."

—Do less. No strings.





"She's going to fucking die of diabetes she's so fat."

—A hit man! With an idea.





"This book's infected now."

—It's deeper.



"You can see the fuckin' sweat dripping down her face."






"What's that water running down your face? You're crying!"

—Enough about me.





"You want this? Aw, too bad! You fat ass!"

—The one behind you.



"They all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you."

—Even before. Leisurely.





"Karen wants herpes."

—Not today.
—"Expect miracles. Live with integrity. Be Meticulously."
(–Karen Huff Klein)


* If you don't know what to say to four
seventh-grade kids on a school bus,
your mind moves with them,
so they just keep pouring it on.


SAMPLE -- do


They say: "Why do you let people do this to you?" [Bully you]




Key word: do




Category: 32 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Sunday School. Drop over.




You hold back: "WHAT'S WRONG WITH GETTING ANGRY? ... (1.) You could hurt someone's feelings; (2.) You could go too far; (3.)  You could say too much; (4.) They could retaliate, threaten, and punish; (5.) It's uncivilized or barbaric ... WHAT'S MY FAULT TODAY?"


SAMPLE -- do


They say: "What do you mean by that?"




Key word: do




Category: 32 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Exceptional. Sparingly.




You hold back: "To annoy my neighbors ... TO MAKE THEM PAY FOR THIS! ... It's not going to do you any good to be too civilized ... You have to pay a lot for dwarfs to take small steps – in Berkeley ... Frightened is a tool you have – It's like a thermometer of intelligence ... 'What good is learning about a problem if you can't learn about solving the damn thing, am I right?' (–Andres Vachss, Heart Transplant, Dark Horse Books, Milwaukie, Oregon, 2010)"


SAMPLE -- gang


They say: "You're not in our gang – This is a private club – You can't be a member." [To a four-year-old girl]




Key word: gang




Category: 64 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Probably.




You hold back: "One person could have changed your entire life."


SAMPLE -- member


They say: "You're not a member."




Key word: member




Category: 64 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Probably.




You hold back: "Stuck in my heart! ... N.I.N.J.A. – No Income, No Job or Assets."


Keyword Sampler




A lazy irreverence enables me to teach uses & possibilities, not necessity. Verbal attacks can swamp you with negative emotions. Maybe there's something far more efficient. A little spark. Hitch your wagon to a star.


[17]   How :: —As fast as that. Dark magic.


[32]   do :: —Sunday School. Drop over.


[41]   you :: —All right. I will.


[21]   know? :: —Very mysterious. No idea.


[32]   Where :: On a fence somewhere.


[10]   have :: —Anything else? The towel?


[41]   you :: —Can you loan me any money?


[52]   been? :: —Well, okay!


[42]   How's :: —Effortless. Unperturbed.


[88]   it :: —Got some room for a broken heart.


[57]   going? :: —AND WHY? Take a look.


SAMPLE -- witnesses


They say: "Passive witnesses to such behavior – other students, teachers or parents – who do nothing are coconspirators in the bullying behavior." (–Mark D. Smaller, Director, Analytic Service to Adolescents Program, Morton Alternative School, Chicago)




Key word: witnesses




Category: 04 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —That kind of jump. On & on.




You hold back: "What did the Chinese say? One order leads to ten thousand ... It's like making holes in the ocean ... You can just make gestures."


SAMPLE -- comeback


They text: «Defend friend bully rude comeback school»




Key word: comeback




Category: 04 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —That kind of jump. On & on.




You hold back: "Oh, don't let the pastor hear that!"


SAMPLE -- tips


They say: "He could pick up some tips from you then."




Key word: tips




Category: 04 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Sure, boss! The rest of the day.




You hold back: "What I don't understand is, why aren't they all multimillionaires?"


Four-and-a-half Lessons





"I don't know what you're talking about."

—Very mysterious. No idea.



"I don't know what you're talking about."

—Do less. No strings.
—Be specific.
Help me!



"Does 'I don't know what you're talking about' sound hostile or defensive?"

—With it! Stashed around.
—Maybe in a small town.



"I still don't know what you're talking about."

—That kind of jump. On & on.
—It's all the things I never read, and now I know why.



"What are you talking about?"

—Enough about me.
Learning things.


SAMPLE -- Coca-Cola


They say: "GIVE ME THAT COCA-COLA CAN! – ONE, TWO, THREE ..." [Overhearing an eleven-year-old boy threatening his eight-year-old sister]




Key word: Coca-Cola




Category: 04 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —That kind of jump. On & on.




You hold back: "Totally destroyed! ... Really punishing! ... What a slurp! What a cherry lifesaver she is! I haven't seen anything that nice in a long time ... WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THAT, NEIGHBOR HANS? HAST THE DEVIL GOT THY TOE? ... That's pretty heavy, isn't it? Pretty heavy duty ... Nobody smart does anything like that ... THAT'S NOT CRICLet ... It's different ... YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR WAYS ... You have to pay someone ... The Maharishi, 'The Little Man Who Lived With the Monkeys' ... In northern India ... Read The Wolf Man."


SAMPLE -- didn't


They say: "I didn't hurt you." [Telling his little sister to stop crying after throwing a rock at her]




Key word: didn't




Category: 75 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Many things!




You hold back: "Not entirely! ... Not endlessly!"


The Rosebed of a Broken Heart

[14]  Distraction

"... doing ...?"

—Nothing much.

[12]  Sour Grapes

"... good day!"

—Knock it off! Maybe my coffin.




[18]  Baiting

"... problem ...?"

Apparently not.

[42]  Shaming

"... sad ... ?"

—With it! Stashed around.




[53]  Crib Rattling

"... cooties ...!"

—Or worse!

[54]  Unrequited

[mum's the word]

—How's that? Isn't cheap.




[64]  Inquisition

"... crazy?"


[05]  Bashing

"... gay?"

—Just you? Volunteers?




[22]  Intimidation

"... always ..."

—Who knows? A pioneer.

[04]  Hairspring

"... me ..."

—Sure, boss! The rest of the day.




[88]  Sheer Terror

"... makes it ...?"

—Sounds serious!

[52]  Edgy & Hip


—Well, okay!




[19]  Rivalry

"... else ...?"


[11]  Heartbreak


—Let it go! Disconnect it.




[80]  Liquid Gold

"... precaution ..."

—I do. I don't trust anyone.

[76]  Elemental

"... and ..."

—Going up! So soon?

Very slowly, it's coming out ..





////  /





&@   \     /   @&

\\\\  \

&  @         \/         @  &


<<<            @            @                   

@     @




SAMPLE -- why


They say: "Why did you order that pie in the first place?"




Key word: why




Category: 78 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Trust me! I work nights.




You hold back: "I was walking on the ceiling and put my head in the refrigerator ... Proof of liking ... In the flesh ... It's hard to criticize a spark of light ... Small proofs of liking ... Poked me in the eye ... Provisions ... What good is a love affair if we can't see eye-to-eye?"


SAMPLE -- worked


They say: "I know a professor who worked there [your Alma Mater] – He said all the students were lazy and stupid."




Key word: worked




Category: 18 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: Apparently not.




You hold back: "You want someone who's nice to the kids ... (If nothing else, it'll keep 'em off the street!)"


A War of Words?

-- or --

Jalaludin Rumi




"Both reeds drank from the same water-source,
(but) this one is empty, that one (full of) sugar." *

(The Mathnawí of Jalálu'ddin Rúmí
Translated by Reynold A. Nicholson;
Book I, Paragraph 270, page 18;
E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Trust, 1926)





"I just can't figure out why you're not married yet."
—Me neither! But I know why I'm not divorced yet!

"I just can't figure out why you're not married yet."


"Are you a snob?"
—No, I'm a slob. That must have been a typo.

"Are you a snob?"
—Now or later? Claw hook!





"You don't know how to have fun."
—Sure I do. Tell me when it starts.

"You don't know how to have fun."
—Someone must.


"Thank you for that lesson."
—I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter.

"Thank you for that lesson."
—Anything else? The towel?
—Harvard men are best at this.


* "Two reeds drink from the same stream.
One grows to be hollow;
the other becomes a sugar cane."


SAMPLE -- shovel


They say: "Why did you get a shovel?"




Key word: shovel




Category: 45 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —The Fish Whisperer.




You hold back: "Hold the questions lightly – Another aimless day."


The  Slow Gold

C • O • N • T • e • s • T




Choose the same answer that I did (F.) and

win a free twenty-four hour trip around the planet,

a ton of oxygen, a smidgen of gravity (which you

can share with others), and a strong jolt of

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness --

(along with an occasional bright, starry night ....)





Someone trying to trick you into grappling with their constantly-spinning, unkind (to themselves!) and bitter act, which is mostly an unconscious imitation of their parents -- It's like you're dealing with a person and a behind-the-scenes enforcer (Inside of them!) at the same time (Their Superego).

Instead, you, along with a conscious alignment with a friend (Your Real Self, the part of you that silently observes everything, (filled with dreams, wonder and a sly sense of humor)), choose from an assortment of chocolates -- Really, from verbal tools of intelligence (knowledge) which can lead to inner nourishment, healing & growth.




(a.)  Trust me! I work nights.
(b.)  A gaping need. Jam-packed!
(c.)  Hang on! It's ludicrous.
(d.)  Barking up the wrong tree.






(e.)  Exceptional. Sparingly.
(f.)  On a fence somewhere.
(g.)  Do less. No strings.
(h.)  Sunday School. Drop over.




(i.)  All right. I will.
(j.)  Now or later? Claw hook!
(k.)  Can you loan me any money?
(l.)  You're wrong. It's mutual.






(m.)  That's it. Makes you cry.
(n.)  Dude! A scandal.
(o.)  For now. I'm an artist.**
(p.)  Unrestrained, you know?






(q.)  By no means, sir! By law.
(r.)  Not recently. Seriously?
(s.)  Hold it!
(t.)  Just wait! A silver one.




(u.)  What's next?
(v.)  Totally unexpected.
(w.)  The shortcut. YOU!
(x.)  ON FIRE! The moment.






(y.)  If you will. On short notice.
(z.)  Be wary! Can't get enough.
(A.)  Oh, yeah!
(B.)  Save money!




(C.)  Pretty intense. Make a list!
(D.)  That's excessive.
(E.)  Almost impossible.
(F.)  Loafing around!


SAMPLE -- moron


They say: "What are you, a moron?"




Key word: moron




Category: 77 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Next time! I am your teacher.




You hold back: "Protect yourself."


SAMPLE -- you


They say: "You didn't see or hear anything, did you?" [To an enlisted sailor having just witnessed a physical brawl between two officers on an aircraft carrier]




Key word: you




Category: 41 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —All right. I will.




You hold back: "It's hard for me to talk, too."



Twelve Devilish Directions

& Shortcuts Underneath

The Grandé Multiplex Mall




SE ::

["Go-to" spot for anything insufferably stupid :: "Was this building demolished?" || "What do you mean, you don't know?"]

—Very mysterious. No idea.


E ::

["Go-to" spot for violations of "what is expected" in the Land of the Phonies :: "You never struck me as the Bloody Mary type."]

—Crime scene. With diamonds.


NE ::

["Go-to" spot for neutralizing sarcasm :: "An uplifting experience." (Spoken sarcastically)]

It's a way.



["Go-to" spot for excessive "I'm sorry's" and "excuse me's"]

—I'm under water.




N ::

["Go-to" spot for violations of common sense :: "If you like it so much, you should move back there."]

—By moonlight. Tilt the table.




NW ::

["Go-to" spot for untamed spontaneity and delusions of grandeur :: "Well, good for you!"]

—Anything goofy. Healthy.


W ::

["Go-to" spot for a weasel popping out of nowhere trying to tell you what to do :: "Can I help you with something?" || "Is there something wrong with my truck?"]

I killed!



["Go-to" spot for manufactured belligerence :: "You touched my car – I don't like anyone touching my car."]

—It's official! The volunteers.


SW ::

["Go-to" spot for nipping an argument in the bud :: "I think a person should have responsibility."]

—A gaping need. Jam-packed!


S ::

["Go-to" spot for guarding your libido :: "What were you doing in there?" (A little boy and girl coming out of the bathroom, where they were learning things)]




["Go-to" spot for making an unexcused exit :: "Was it something we said?"]

Nothing urgent.



["Go-to" spot for steeling your heart :: "Hey, man, buy me a coffee."]

—Not today.



["Go-to" spot for placing your attention where you want to place your attention :: "Hey! Who the hell do you think you are?" || "I need you to help jump my truck."]

—Someone else.



["Go-to" spot for anything spoken to your back :: "Why don't you go fuck yourself?"]

—Trust me! I work nights.



["Go-to" spot for unwarranted criticism :: "You just want the salary; you don't want the responsibility."]




["Go-to" spot for anything left over :: "Stop whining." || "You lack confidence." || ""You blew it!"]

—The freezer!



["Go-to" spot for "Just one more!" :: "Can I have a big one?" (They peeked in your billfold when you gave them a dollar)]

—Just wait! A silver one.



["Go-to" spot for growing pains :: "Gibson Island is a wonderful place to grow up." || "He stays on the surface until he gets to know you."]

Man! Expensive!
—Don't do too much.


SAMPLE -- agenda


They say: "What's your agenda for this trip?"




Key word: agenda




Category: 83 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —That's you! Alongside of it!




You hold back: "You're not supposed to do something ... You're supposed to occupy a space .. If someone needs you, they'll find you, and if they don't, you're lucky!"


SAMPLE -- stab


They say: "I'M GOING TO FUCKING STAB YOU!" [From out of the blue, on a city street in Chicago]




Key word: stab




Category: 83 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Heavy duty.




You hold back: "Scheisse! ... Icy Fire! ... Icy Fire! ... Scheiße! ... Real Axe! ... Real Axe! ... REAL AXE! ... (What you've just done is say "Shit!" in German, "I see fire!" twice, in plain English, "Shit!" again, in proper German, followed by "Relax!" three times in English. Circle some random parked park until a taxi comes along, then calmly raise your left arm and flag the cab. Taxicabs won't stop if you're being emotional or acting crazy. Don't go back. They've probably vandalized the parked car, thinking it was yours. Stay away from there.)


Lady Gaga at Harvard





"Where did they come from?" [Rat colony underneath the landlord's house]

—Exceptional. Sparingly.
Tobacco Road.





"Well, sometimes you can't go around the troublemakers."

On a fence somewhere.
—The best thing to do is nothing, but you want to know what the possibilities are ... Tribes, it's all tribes ... It's good to have the options ... If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.





"That cynicism is exactly what we're trying to change." (–Lady Gaga, Born This Way Foundation)

—Do less. No strings.
—If you want to do something, just do it, and remember you're just as common as grass and dirt.



"Won't people be cynical about an agenda so simple and straightforward as kindling kindness?" (–Nicholas D. Kristof, "Born to Not Get Bullied," The New York Times, February 29, 2012)

—Sunday School. Drop over.
—Some people steal happiness from other people.


SAMPLE -- agenda


They say: "If you touch that agenda, I'll cut your hands off."




Key word: agenda




Category: 83 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Heavy duty.




You hold back: "And you know it."


SAMPLE -- he'd


They say: "I'd tell you, but then he'd have to kill you."




Key word: he'd




Category: 77 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Until something better.




You hold back: "Life is like money – You can't hold on too tight."


Patronizing & Vexing
S M A L L   T A L K
Calibrated to send you
flying away in all directions,
or away from simply saying,
"I feel bad!"



"What are you doing here?"   

—Nothing much.


"How are you doing?"   

—No rush. Let's go by intuition.





"Are you okay?"   

—For now. I'm an artist.**


"Is everything okay?"   

—Dude! A scandal.





"Is this free? This seat taken?"   

—Any one. Before long!


"Mind if I sit here?"   

—Certainly not.





"I'm sorry, am I in your way?"   

—Why you need some help.








"Are you serious?"   

—Very mysterious. No idea.


"So how are you?"   

—As fast as that. Dark magic.





"Is that right?"   

—It's perfect!


"Never mind! Forget it!"   

—Got some room for a broken heart.





"Have a good day." [Angrily]   

Save money!


[Anything from behind you]   

—There's not much to it.





"I haven't seen you in a while!"   

—Out working!


"Where have you been hiding?"   

—Exceptional. Sparingly.


So, I Feel Bad! ...

(... Everyone Does)


SAMPLE -- friends


They say: "Do you have any friends?"




Key word: friends




Category: 85 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —All over. A small circle.




You hold back: "They wear you out, don't they?"


SAMPLE -- scenic


They say: "Is this the scenic route?"




Key word: scenic




Category: 77 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Next time! I am your teacher.




You hold back: "Unless you're unlucky."


How Not to Ring the Doorbell

Of Some Nitwit or Screwball

Who Is Basically Unhinged *




(It's How Can I Avoid You at All Costs)



1. If their theory is "you," simply respond,

—What's next?



2. If their theory is "both of you" together, involves "channeling," or has anything whatsoever to do with the dead, say,

—Socially challenged!



3. If their theory is simply silly, simply say,

—No rush. Let's go by intuition.



4. If their theory is some harebrained or pompous formulation of how the world works, say,

—Try not to be too happy.



5. If their theory has an obvious alternative or is staked out as bait for an argument, say,

—A gaping need. Jam-packed!



6. If their theory involves a bizarre twist or vicious spin on things, say,

—Think ahead! Pretty far.



7. If their theory involves any further phony influence, say,

—Not entirely.


* If you're not a victim, people will
have nothing to do with you.


SAMPLE -- jerk


They say: "You're a jerk!"




Key word: jerk




Category: 01 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Insultingly beautiful.




You hold back: "Don't include me!"


SAMPLE -- liar


They say: "You're also a liar!"




Key word: liar




Category: 01 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Insultingly beautiful.




You hold back: "Maybe it's you."



Stays in the Dark *








—What's next?

—No rush. Let's go by intuition.

—Think ahead! Pretty far.


—Socially challenged!

—Try not to be too happy.

—Not entirely.


—A gaping need. Jam-packed!


* It has to do with an ability that
grows in you – Shut one thing down
and something else takes its place.
("I'm finished!")


SAMPLE -- violent


On the Internet they search for: «Violent verbal comebacks»




Key word: violent




Category: 86 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —After you!




You hold back: "I just came in at the end ... It's better than sitting at the poor farm in high black shoes, not farming ... Maybe I should have a party ... I think I should have a party – but I'm not ... Lots of business tonight ... It's just a little story ... It doesn't have any words in it ... I'm not making any money, but at least I'm not killing myself ... What they mean by "take care of" is no fun ... This is a big moment for me ... Proximity to a vibrating string ... Does it strike fear in your heart? ... It hurt me when I was little when people called me a liar ... Now I'm going to have fun ... You always made cookies for dad; you never made cookies for me ... Out of the darkness and into the light."


SAMPLE -- people


On the Internet they search for: «What to do when people tell you you are too defensive»




Key word: people




Category: 15 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Yes. It's true. MY mistake.




You hold back: "How can anybody tell anybody else what to do? ... Unless you think you're God or something."


SAMPLE -- Dick


They say: "Richard, do you go by Dick?"




Key word: Dick




Category: 85 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Many ways!




You hold back: "Maybe on a map ... Most people aren't ready for that."


Ways to be Honest





"Oh, have you got wet?" [You've just come out of a rain storm]

—All right. I will.
—Look off the starboard bow.



"You're back, are you?"

—Can you loan me any money?
—Is that you?





"What are you doing here?"

—Now or later? Claw hook!
—Slumming, my dear chap, just slumming ... Casing the joint ... Collecting local color.





"Hi, stupid!" [From the four-year-old boy next door]

—Until now!
—You have to know bad things!





"What's the matter? Are you ill?" [You're in a hospital bed]

—Enough about me.
—One flight up.





"Oh, that's too bad."

Night sky!
—Actually, I have something important to say up on a higher step, so stay right here ... Hi. I'm back .... Did you ever notice how you can never be sure where someone's coming from? ... In life you can only know what's presented to you, and I've come back with a gift ... Buried treasure!





"What have you been doing with yourself?"

—How 'bout that. Slumming.
—Are you the maintenance man?





"Where have you been hiding all these days?"

—Exceptional. Sparingly.
—The hills.





"Had your hair cut?"

—Knock it off! Maybe my coffin.
—Watch for falling coconuts!





["What beautiful chairs you have in the back yard!"]
"Oh, you saw them?"

—All right. I will.
—Sometimes you just pull in the sails.


SAMPLE -- replaced


They say: "You can be replaced."




Key word: replaced




Category: 64 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: Go on!




You hold back: "They train you to work, shut up, and do what you're supposed to do."


SAMPLE -- loser


They say: "You're a loser."




Key word: loser




Category: 01 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —MANY TIMES! Anything less?




You hold back: "Part of one big machine."


SAMPLE -- stuck


They say: "You're stuck."




Key word: stuck




Category: 01 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: Nothing urgent.




You hold back: "You don't have to be."


The 2012 Documentary





You can see there's an entity inside yourself that's like the most unpopular kid in the whole town, and that this totally isolated inner entity is inside everyone. You have to learn how to become friends with it. It's you! You can see the most popular kids in school are actually running away from their own real self, and will suffer terribly later in life. You're lucky to get your suffering over early. It's simply the human condition. Make friends with books. Make friends with rock collections. Make friends with learning the names of all the trees. Because if you can become friends with yourself, you can subtly become friends with anyone. A tiny seed can grow. Compassion: (1.) You're not the walking wounded; (2.) You're not a big shot; (3.) Avoid entanglements! (Bullies) (4.) Then choose your friends wisely!


[17]   How :: —As fast as that. Dark magic.


[32]   do :: —Sunday School. Drop over.


[41]   you :: —All right. I will.


[21]   know? :: —Very mysterious. No idea.


[32]   Where :: On a fence somewhere.


[10]   have :: —Anything else? The towel?


[41]   you :: —Can you loan me any money?


[52]   been? :: —Well, okay!


[42]   How's :: —Effortless. Unperturbed.


[88]   it :: —Got some room for a broken heart.


[57]   going? :: —AND WHY? Take a look.




They say: "Stupid people like to make comebacks because they aren't smart enough to make them up on the spot!"




Key word: because




Category: 78 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Trust me! I work nights.




You hold back: "If you're a secretary when you're three, you're a boss when you're thirty-three."


SAMPLE -- name


They say: "But you can't name the third one?" [Moderator (and unseen TV Producer) following up Governor Rick Perry's unscripted "Commerce, Education and the, uh, what's the third one there, let's see ..." in a CNBC presidential debate] (–John Harwood, "'Oops' Moment Takes On a Life of Its Own," The Caucus – The Politics and Government Blog of The Times, The New York Times, November 13, 2011)




Key word: name




Category: 11 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Let it go! Disconnect it.




You hold back: "It's like the most decrepit National Park on the earth."


SAMPLE -- does


They say: "What does that mean?"




Key word: does




Category: 74 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Forget that!




You hold back: "Stop worrying – Life is not a test."


Slowly Spinning to the Left

By Picking Pivotal

Trigger Words





"What's this?" [They're standing on the edge of a mine shaft with the intention of pushing you in]

—No rush. Let's go by intuition.





"What's going on?" [Your friend feels frightened – He's trying to make you feel frightened]

—You try. Whose fault is that?





"WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?" [Your stepfather's screaming at you – You're only eight years old]

—Enough about me.



"What's up, buddy?" [A stranger is listening to the tone of your voice to see if you're a mark or a threat]

—Enough about me.





"What's happening?" [A friend is panting like a dog]

—No rush. Let's go by intuition.





"You left the heat on again and if you don't turn it off when you leave, then I might have to raise your rent." [Your roommate has sent you an e-mail, attempting to clip your wings]

Man! Expensive!
—It's mutual.
I'm an American!
Do it yourself!





"What's your story?" [An interloper is trying to impress the girls near you with his flamboyant masculinity – In many ways it's a lost cause – Wait for another day]

—Enough about me.






—You try. Whose fault is that?


SAMPLE -- problem


They say: "I don't know what your problem is."




Key word: problem




Category: 18 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —From old country. Get it?




You hold back: "Alone & as is ... The Eskimo Rules."


SAMPLE -- lies


They say: "Everybody lies."




Key word: lies




Category: 77 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —Until something better.




You hold back: "Choose your friends wisely! ... A small circle of friends ... The glass key of friendship."


SAMPLE -- paranoid


They say: "Mathias said... This is nuts. Like the wit of the staircase filtered through paranoid schizophrenia. Almost better than Timecube."




Key word: paranoid




Category: 66 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —All kinds. Differentially.




You hold back: "Each way."


By hearing, seeing & sensing (Like a cat!)
"catch-all" phrases,
you learn how not to take ownership
of either the good or the bad.
Simply be a person.
Mathematics takes time, attention, and positive feedback.
Why shouldn't linguistics? ... beginning at a very early age.


(1.) First, they exclude you;
(2.) With stereotypical taunts;
(3.) & try to confound you;



["Can I sit here?"] "No, I'm
saving this for my friend."
[Two preschoolers]

—Always surprising.
Being exclusive ... You
keep growing, don't you?



"Hey! The orchestra's across
town! ... Sweet and sour
pork! ... His first loss! a
Chink in the Armor."

—I'm under water.
—Never quit ... "Don't let
people tell you what you
can't do." (–Jeremy Lin)





"What's 438 divided by 73?"

—Anything goofy. Healthy.


(4.) So they can build you up;
(5.) Just to tear you down!
(6.) & change the subject.



"You and me!
You're the best!"

—Even now.



"What's wrong?
You blew it!"

—Insultingly beautiful.



"Hey! Who's
this rising star?"

—Trust me! I work nights.



SAMPLE -- to


They say: "So you don't want to sit with me?"




Key word: to




Category: 51 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: —It's insane. Exactly, sir!




You hold back: "We're all animals ... Monogamy is not natural ... Maybe because your mother didn't die ... I wouldn't be surprised."


Street People,

Celebrity Interrogators & Beggar Children

Give you a Wonderful Opportunity to Notice How

The Trojan Horse

Of Aggression

Trots in Through the Gates of Pretense

(As a Parent, Teacher or Friend)

Scarcely Able to Conceal It's

A Horse of Another Color.




"How was your dinner?" [From a beggar outside the restaurant]

—Knock it off! Maybe my coffin.



"What did you have?"

—I'm waiting.





"Oh, boy, you're going to get some hot pussy tonight!" [Street person trailing you and your date after you've seen a play in a seedy theater district]

—Not bad enough. Unless..
Any tips? ... Didn't
he have a great



"HOW ARE YOU DOING, SIR? I AM YOUR HOST." [Busboy in a cafeteria, surprising you]

—As fast as that. Dark magic.
—Have mercy!



"Yo, baby, I want to drink your bath water!"

—By no means, sir! By law.
—Do they deliver?



"Do you have a pen
in your purse?"

—Hold it!
Something better!
Find a dog!



[Someone making bedroom eyes at your girlfriend]

—Just wait! A silver one.
—One day you can
have one of your own.



"Can you get one more?"

—Not recently. Seriously?
—Enough is enough.
Don't do too much.


SAMPLE -- nice


They say: "You're too nice." [Teenage girl to teenage boy]




Key word: nice




Category: 45 (out of eighty-eight categories)




You say: You noticed that, too?




You hold back: "So what are you going to do about it? ... Suffer! ... You're supposed to suffer for three days."


writer - Richard Ames Hart - San Francisco CA USA


painter - Amoret Phillips, and family - Boone NC USA


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