Theory of

Taunts, Insults or Attacks

Codewords Inside Aggressive "Tricks"

"Wings" to Fly
Back to Yourself


Six Choices

Essays | Art

Street Smarts

Presskit | Publicity



Site Map

Kids' Pages


The Way Out





Patient refers to it as stargate-oh-three

A Bully.3





The Fallacy of Complex Question — A trick question contains an implied answer to a prior question which has not been resolved.





[bad nicknames & trick questions] - The only person you can't live without is yourself - When someone else starts attacking you, a part of you joins in - You have to destroy the part of you that joins in - They're trying to get you going by posing trick questions, or falsely complimenting you  - You're trying to control things you can't control - "I'm no fun!" - (You're no fun because you won't fight with them!) - Ask yourself, who is going to profit from this thought or feeling? - What are you going to get out of it? - Who is getting happy because you feel this way? - "You'll never know!" - They may be up to something, but they're just angry - Hormone storms - As long as you be yourself, you'll do fine.

The Age of Domination, ages 0-3




Exactly what someone said [or did]
... usually not very original.

The thoughts of a "bad child"
... to free your mind again.




["Hope to see you again soon!"] "Socially or professionally?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

The Shadow knows! ... I flew in that circle! ... Watch yourself at all times!

«Verbal defense to use when called a bad nickname»

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—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.

"Your pores are really huge! I've got some concealer that could take care of that problem – it's like Spackle."

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—What's in your scarpazoid?

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

—Try not to be too happy.

—Very religious.

"Shut up, spaz!"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Maybe I will ... What war?

"Squeeze your nose!" [Fresh crop of blackheads]

—Why bother? Too intense.

—It's like the mask.

"I dare you to give your husband."

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—I just don't have the will power.

"Become the man that women desire."

—Why bother? Too intense.

—They're experts at compassion.

"Call from ... Oxford Law." [Caller-ID announcement off your answering machine]

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

The Other.

"Did you leave a few bucks on the lid? – Just kidding!" [After using the men's room at a roadside gay bar]

—Try not to be too happy.

—It's really homey.

"So simply because I'm a woman, I'm not permitted to speak?" [To a police officer, at a traffic stop]

—Why bother? Too intense.

Try not to be too happy ... She's very strong ... She takes your cause as her cause ... She's got causes of her own.

«How to respond to verbal attacks and still get your point across»

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—I got caught on that one before ... Just once ... Patently false ... Utter nonsense ... Not true at all ... Let it lie in the sun to rot ... Very unfavorable ... Get it over with! ... It's too expensive ... You see, there's a difference ... That's the mockup ... This is a breakthrough ... Festivities, ceremonies, taboos: That's your culture: True, good and beautiful! ... The perils of wrestling with a pig: You get dirty; the pig likes it ... They're always trying to drag you back into the snake pit ... They never let you go.

"Are women's reality shows neo-vaudeville or might they suggest a useful anatomy of hatred? I wouldn't watch so many if I didn't believe both were true." (–Virginia Heffernan)

—Why bother? Too intense.

—Mean and deceitful.

"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." (–Michelle Obama)

—Try not to be too happy.

—It's really nice to see something real.

"Now that the shuttle has safely landed, the Navy is free to shoot down a disabled spy satellite."

—Try not to be too happy.

—Very believable.

"Can't handle a strong woman, can you?"

—Why bother? Too intense.

—Maybe you could ... It is not what I would call life's most worthwhile thing ... Nail it up in your garage ... A natural little dog crucifixion.

"All you have to do is say yes or no."

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—Take your pick.

"Are you getting any chance to write?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—Amazing things! Things you wouldn't believe ... You can fool around and change it.

"Hey! You're getting a spare? Or you're going home?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Give up!

"You must be the arithmetic man –You add trouble, subtract pleasure, divide attention, and multiply ignorance."

—Try not to be too happy.

—That's what the basketball players do.

"pfeh. that's garden level. I shoot for the penthouse, baby!: [you will not get the full flavor unless you attempt to navigate it, so click links] (and because he obsessively checks his referrers, there may be a Dumbrella link there shortly!)"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Life is simple; people are complicated.

"Whoa. Eventually I gave up seeking rhyme or reason while trapped on a page of insults, so I went to the site map. And found that the entire site map is organized into... a tarot deck. Very intuitive. I hear that Microsoft is implementing the Tarot-navigation system in their knowledge base, actually."

—Why bother? Too intense.

—You're better off going along with life.

"What are good ways, or comebacks, to get rude people off your back?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—Do you realize there's an audience here, and there's not much of an audience here?

"Stop caring what other people think – It doesn't matter."

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Love messages.

"You've got it made when you can fake sincerity."

—Why bother? Too intense.

—It's under water.

"Return to being a happier individual."

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—You know, I feel I can lean on you.

"You're brutal."

—Try not to be too happy.

—Had enough? Want to take a break?

"You ta-ta! You're not Sam!" [From a four-year-old playmate]

—Try not to be too happy.

—You wish!

"How are you doing, sweetie?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Too young!

"What's up, babe?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—I'm too young to be your babe!

"Come on, honey, don't treat me that way!"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—No, no! – The cord is cut.

"How much do you make every month, for nothing?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Do you need any?

"Okay, buster, let's see if you can make me laugh."

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—I negotiate with terrorists.

"Make me!"

—Why bother? Too intense.

—A child is a slave.

"He looks like a girl!"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—You keep a person thinking, huh?

"He tells the truth when he's around you."

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—If he can talk back or walk away, he's okay.

"He just does everything right."

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—Stage directions.

"Is he with you?"

—Try not to be too happy.

—The Trump of Death is his name.

"Dad, are you going out?" [He wants the house to himself]

—Why bother? Too intense.

—I wonder if it's tiredness or I have nothing to do?

"My dad can beat up your dad!"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—What about the cat?

"Question authority."

—Why bother? Too intense.

—Don't get other people to blame for your troubles.

"Here's where you earn your living as a political pundit."

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—It's always wrong for a person not to use their abilities.

"Open-toed sandals – I don't know about that."

—Try not to be too happy.

—That's why I'm lucky – I have my foot in some kind of door.

"Looks like you might be a star."

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—We all are one way or another.

"There's a code – It's in the regulations."

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Far from it.

"Shame on you!"

—Try not to be too happy.

—Very dramatic.

"She didn't have a chance."

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—If we don't remember the past, we're condemned to repeat it.

"I had a chance to fuck her, and I didn't."

—Why bother? Too intense.

—There you go – Onward and upward.

"Everyone hates the music, Todd, and everyone hates you!"

—Try not to be too happy.

—All night long.

"Do you smoke pot?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—These days? – I forget.

"Mom, have you ever smoked pot?"

—Why bother? Too intense.

—Well, I used to play cards once.

"It's the product of years and years of a mind ravaged by drugs." [Link from The Brandon Abell Experience]

—Try not to be too happy.

—If you take enough of a vacation from yourself, it won't have that power over you.

"Have you stopped taking drugs?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—It's probably what parents call laziness or noncooperation.

"Are you still on drugs?"

—Why bother? Too intense.

—Am I missing something?

"While you're here, wanna take a hit on some weed?"

—Why bother? Too intense.

—I don't know what the problem is ... Now why? ... Eat strawberries, listen to records, go hiking, learn a lot ... No bullshit.

"To Jim R. Have you considered medication?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—The party generation.

"Have you tried medication?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—You're much deeper than you think you are.

"I recommend lithium."

—Try not to be too happy.

—There's a new sensation.

"Anti-psychotics are really a must for you, man."

—Why bother? Too intense.

—Do it by moonlight.

"Drug abuse."

—Try not to be too happy.

—Very few people have guided self-awareness.

"I'm not joking, I'm worried for you :("

—Why bother? Too intense.

—That's plenty good, huh?

"When did you stop beating your wife?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—There's no need to.

"Are you still beating your children?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Let's not and say we did.

"When did you stop hating Black people?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—I didn't get a chance.

"Good try!" [Presuming you were up to no good]

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—If everything's wrong, what's right?

[Someone flipping you the bird]

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—That's your IQ! Tattoo that on your forehead!

[The finger from a passing car]

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—[Shoot energy up the right side of your spine, wag your index finger and scream, "AS IF!"]

[The finger]

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Quick reflexes! Stick it in your ear! Slit your throat!

[Finger wagging]

—Try not to be too happy.

—Just keep it in mind!

"I probably should wash them first."

—Why bother? Too intense.

—Very few people have.

"What are you, my father?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Honor your mother and father; love your neighbor.

"You're not my father or mother!"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—When you're not attacking innocent people, what are you doing?

"Bob, is she giving you shit, or what?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Are you sure it's good enough?

"Is that your statement, or a question?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—Give yourself time.

"You just coming in or just going out?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—Better late than never.

"Did you write all that, or is it research?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.


"Is it for fun, or do you generate any money from it?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—I like living the life in the shade.

"Is this something original, or did you learn it from someone?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—The land that time forgot.

"You go to work now or you go home?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—When you work, work hard, and when you play, don't work at all!

"Is modern Japanese culture based on the spirit of the Samurai or on shame?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—The surgeon believes that all that heals is cold blue steel.

"Is that good or bad?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—I'm glad you're not the Emperor.

"Do they sweat a lot or are they just incontinent?" [Your wet dogs]

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—They went swimming in Strawberry Creek!

"Is he a professional, or just somebody who likes coming to your door?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—I know someone you could ask.

"Are you smiling at me or with me?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—How much will you pay me to leave you alone?

"You should feel ashamed of yourself!"

—Try not to be too happy.

—I don't want to hear about it.

"Aren't you ashamed of yourself?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—I'm ashamed because I hate myself! – Don't you think that's ironic?

"What's wrong, are you a lesbian or something?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—They're just pretending they're hotshots.

"So you still haven't found a man who will marry you. What are you – a lesbian?"

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—I'm dangerous Dan McGrew.

"Are you trying to seduce me?"

—Immensely popular. I'm terrified.

—The better the artist, the nicer the person.

"Did the ewe come out and visit you?"

—Why bother? Too intense.

—The future can wait.

"I bet you can't swim across."

—Try not to be too happy.

—The best thing to do is nothing.

"I double dare you!"

—Why bother? Too intense.

—Why do you have to do what everyone else does? [Also see, Peer Pressure]

"A little bit of a chicken."

—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Is he in town yet?


—As if. You got the wrong guy!

—Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? – No guts.























29-MAY-1999. Recreational Drugs: Some people have more tension than they can handle. They want something or someone to be their mother. Drugs reduce tension by having you feel you don't have to have a mother. They're like a short-lived feeding schedule — satisfying extremely deep instinctual hunger — for people who can't be their own parents.








        — Thumbnail
User's Guide




Towards Truth In Human Communication — Certain ideas expressed in a few words put a stop to impudence, sarcasm, or hostility without making a scene. This website contains over 200 pages of research on verbal self defense, based on sixteen years of empirical research — Specific tools for letting cool heads prevail!




We teach decent, well-educated people how to be really fresh to mean people. Since mean people break all the rules, we replace the vicious law of the jungle, and the suffocating rules of the parlor, with the warmth, humor and kindness of understanding.




The website uses the metaphor of a Japanese Mental Hospital to treat the attacker as a "patient" (thereby reducing his or her importance) — You be the "doctor," and I'll be the taxi driver. It is my job to introduce you to the grounds of the hospital, and to treat you with honesty and respect.




At this hospital, we use a strategy of divide-and-conquer. All verbal abuse, without exception, is shuttled to one of eighty-eight hospital clinics (which the patient whimsically calls "stargates"). At the moment, we are actually inside clinic #3. You can see this if you scroll to the top of the page.




This website is child safe, because children, for the most part, can't actually read. It's too bad — There are many things here which would help a child, such as what to say to a solicitous stranger, what to say to a bully on the playground, what to say to a vicious teacher. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't want children to know these things.




My sister and I update almost daily. My name is Richard and her name is Amoret. It's her birthday today (October 29), and it's also the birthday of the Internet. Over here in Berkeley (sometimes called "the epicenter"), I'm in charge of layout and text. Over there in Wilmington, North Carolina (sometimes called "the eye of the hurricane"), she's in charge of art and graphics. We're so close, we can actually communicate telepathically, though we find it much easier to use the telephone.




Use the "Bradley Box." It has four cells which (from top to bottom, left to right) take you to (1.) Publicity, (2.) Kids' Pages, (3.) Periscope, and (4.) Street Smarts, which Amoret and I use for internal site development and testing. After reading an article in the New York Times on the value of limited choices (6-Jan-2001, p. D7), we added a navigation page for Experts that very same day.




It's a little late now. I'll just tell you something really fast. Next time you're on the freeway, and you have to change lanes, remember someone will hate you if you do change lanes, someone will hate you if you don't change lanes, so you might as well have fun. If they flip you the bird, scream out, "—As if!" (or just think it.) If they wag their finger or shake their head in disapproval, scream out, "—Try not to be too happy." Even from your car, your facial expression will convey your true state of mind.


"When someone attacks you with words, look for something inside yourself that sparkles."




Well, anyway, here's the Guided Tour: After life knocks you around, then you can read something. This is the mockup for a book you can carry around in your pocket. I'd mail you a copy, except I don't have a printer!





The symptoms of verbal abuse are speechless contrition (deeply buried self-attack), neurotic codependency, hostile confrontation (identification), time-consuming preoccupation, total capitulation, and angry resentment (reaction formation). The purpose of Non-escalating Verbal Self-Defense is to replace physical and psychological symptoms with words.



Ø  ¥


CODE WORDS: abuse, across, anatomy, anti-psychotics, arithmetic, ashamed, authority, babe, beating, [bird], brutal, bucks, buster, [caller-ID], caring, chance, chicken, concealer, dad, dare, desire, disabled, drugs, ewe, father, few, [finger], fish-face, handled, hates, hating, hatred, he, here's, honey, individual, joking, lesbian, lid, lifetime, lithium, make, medication, neo-vaudeville, [nickname], obsessively, open-toed, or, Oxford, pen, permitted, pot, professionally, regulations, seduce, shame, shows, simply, sincerity, spaz, squeeze, star, stopped, strong, sweetie, ta-ta, Tarot-navigation, try, visit, wash, weed, women's


"Bird of paradise"

—Try not to be too happy.