juicy-bonus.com

 

“nipping things

in the bud”

 

 

   
NOVICE [juicy-bonus.com]
TWEEN [1010playbook.com]
EXPERT [backtalktionary.com]
 

Artful Ways to Say NO!

[SERIOUS]  or  [MAGICAL]

 

GUEST ARTICLE by Richard Ames Hart. On the Application for Admission to Dartmouth College, back in 1963, were the instructions, “What is your philosophy of life, in twenty-five words or less?” so I wrote a seventeen-year-old's version of “I wish to use my heart and mind to educate myself and find connections with people in such a way we can change the world,” and they let me in. What I really wanted then, and all I wish for now, is a new car.

 

“knock-knock.”

—Who's there?

 

 

“thank you!”

—You're welcome.

 

Imagine a world in which each and every word had a simple response. Or maybe even a couple of responses from which you could choose.

That's the premise of the www.backtalktionary.com .

It takes verbal abuse down to the atomic level. You can find a suitable response for any possible combination of words, no matter how they're strung together by a verbal bully.

They say something troublesome, using words, and you say something right back by picking and choosing from the backtalktionary's assortment of potential responses.

 

“what's

—Back in no time. Not available.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

story,

—Funny that you're interested.

man?”

—Fantastic. I wouldn't know.

 

 

“keep

—An odd thing. Held back.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

in

—Is that so? Enough about me!

loop.”

—Penny-pinching! Best not to.

 

 

“give

—I don't need it. A high zone.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

call.”

—That sort of thing. Not again!

 

 

“liar!”

—Earlier. HEALTHIER.

 

1. If someone says, “Good!” you can find roots of this word in a dictionary, though you'll find few clues for how to keep the conversation alive. What if they'd said, “Good!” sarcastically? Roots of a tree spread far and wide underneath the soil, though shouldn't a conversation be allowed to grow skyward & bear fruit?

 

“good!”

—Well. I wouldn't doubt it.

 

 

2. An ordinary dictionary enumerates possible meanings (ignoring usage & sarcasm) on a word-by-word basis. A backtalktionary offers potential responses, on a word-by-word basis, in all kinds of settings: mean, friendly, hostile, phony, tricky, irrational, sarcastic, playful, irksome, you name it! Let common sense, setting limits, harmony & joy take root. Here comes the pollen!

 

“well,

—Hitch your wagon to a star.

good

—Well. I wouldn't doubt it.

for

Not over yet. Cloud cover cool.

you!

—Not much. Of that nature.

 

 

I

—Honestly. Go for it.

hope

Go slow. Be specific.

you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

right.

—No idea. Persistence pays.

 

 

is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

there

—Keep going! Something new!

some

—Wise up! Back away!

universal

Fantastic. I wouldn't know.

response?”

—It's uncanny. Many options.

 

 

3. In the great cathedral of the mind, testosterone amplifies a man's desire to hold onto status. Conversely, fear quickens a woman's drive to behave in compliant ways in aggressive settings. Can we turn things around without feeling put-upon? Go back, go back, go back! A baby knows how to defend itself. Then loyalty to authority figures changes everything.

 

“you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

blocking

—OUCH. Rough edges.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

crosswalk!”

—At first. Just to help out.

 

4. I don't own a car, though once I did. Many people are so blinded by their memories, and so emotionally invested in those memories, they can't even hear you, that you took the subway. Nor can they hear the voice of reason.

 

“did

—Through the star. Modestly.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

find

—A family business. Savvy.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

place

—Wild, huh? Laundry and all.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

park?”

—Cheap thrills. In the bozosphere.

 

5. Verbal violence is even more grievous than the aggrieved realize, and for someone to say, I just ignore them,” could only mean the person who says this has sheltered themselves in some sort of snow cone, peeping out with beady eyes & telling white lies. It's best to replace an unfortunate lie with beauty or truth, rather than allow the misconception to sink even farther into the snow and freeze. Somewhere down in there lives a beating heart.

 

 

6. A person might associate Knock-knock!” with “Who's there?” In the Backtalktionary a whole ton of new associations are introduced.

 

“you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

late!”

—Business. Everything's closed.

 

 

“you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

stupid.”

—I don't need it. A high zone.

 

 

“you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

ugly.”

—The opposite of a juicy target.

 

 

“you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

crazy!”

—Probably. With employees.

 

 

“you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

jerk!”

—It's against my principles.

 

7. These kinds of associations make it very easy to nip verbal violence in the bud.

 

“you,

—Not much. Of that nature.

you,

—Not much. Of that nature.

you,

—Not much. Of that nature.

stupid!”

—I don't need it. A high zone.

 

8. Verbal violence goes way beyond the school yard.

 

“then

Refreshing. Expensive!

how

—Just a ways. Balanced.

about ...

—Invisible horses fan out.

 

 

“fuck

Forget that. ROAD KILL!

you!”

Not much. Of that nature.

 

9. Since we live in a confrontational culture, with microaggressions, how about micro-defenses?

 

“have

—One more bet! In a cage.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

prayed

Unbound. That's a switch.

today?”

—NIGHT SKY! Circling.

 

 

“at

—How so? Most of us don't.

least

—I'm easy. Being followed.

give

—I don't need it. A high zone.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

finger.”

—Hardly. Quite unnecessary.

 

10. People often bury verbal violence because they have no idea what to say back.

 

“I'm

—Well, now. You shouldn't be.

ashamed

Wouldn't have expected it.

of

—I don't need it. A high zone.

you!”

—Not much. Of that nature.

 

11. When people have a habit of burying verbal violence, they begin lying about it.

 

“it's

—That's a lie. All backward.

nothing.

—Unsettled. Ask them.

I

—Honestly. Go for it.

just

—Might have been. It's gone.

ignore

—Here and now. That's all.

'em.”

—Stick around! One's enough.

 

12. Some people are unsuccessful at burying things.

 

“you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

total

—Being included. Intimate.

loser.

MANY TIMES! Hold the line.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

should

—Once we get that started.

commit

It's terrible. BUNK! I'm torn!

suicide.”

—Don't include me. After you!

 

13. These are the lucky ones. They have a heart. If a human being can defend their own heart, they can defend other people.

 

“your

—No big deal. No pressure.

mother!”

—Once we get that started.

 

14. Human beings can defend themselves silently. Without saying a word. Other people can see this.

 

“did

Through the star. Modestly.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

hear

—Might have been. It's gone.

what

—Unsettled. Ask them.

I

—Honestly. Go for it.

said?”

What on earth? Copy that.

 

15. Get them to repeat themselves. It fags out their energy.

 

“are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

gay?”

Too choosy. Just you?

 

16. Let's get back to the snow cone people. These are the ones who peep out from the top of their snow cones of power with beady eyes. For them everything they see has to do with your belt buckle or your shoes. They call that first impressions.

 

“am

—A penalty. Not the least.

I

—Honestly. Go for it.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

snow cone

—Why so big? All that stuff.

person?”

—Before what? The rapture!

 

17. They attack themselves. Their own mind attacks themselves. What a trick!

 

“my

Thanks for warning me.

singing

—Far from. Who needs it?

is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

horrible!”

—All fine. Please don't ask.

 

 

“I

—Honestly. Go for it.

don't

—Not sure that's so. Sparingly.

bury

I know, right? Another stage?

anything!”

—I'll live. I'm not an angel.

 

18. Don't argue with them about anything! Simply say, “I know, right?” and move on. Never argue with a snow cone!

 

“so,

—Not over yet. Cloud cover cool.

how

—Just a ways. Balanced.

are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

you?”

Not much. Of that nature.

 

19. This is where they pony up phony. It's useful to respond to phony questions with something that's slightly off-kilter. Down, down, down deep, it stirs their heart, though this might also make them angry. Now they're angry snow cones!

 

“I

—Honestly. Go for it.

said,

What on earth? Copy that.

how

Just a ways. Balanced.

are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

you?”

—Not much. Of that nature.

 

20. Today an angry young man, probably the snowflake offspring of perfect snow cone people, pushed a homeless man aside on his way into Walgreens. —Get out of my way!

 

“and

—Going up! So soon?

mind

—Certainly not. Liberty!

your

No big deal. No pressure.

own

—Necessity, right? Victory.

business!”

—Who knows? Some of it.

 

21. The snow cone people are really asking for it! Notice how you can turn them around, and they're all symmetrical.

22. I can go on and on about the snow cone people, and it just so happens, I will! If you do make the mistake of arguing with a snow cone person, they start spinning ... total lies.

 

“you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

right,

—No idea. Persistence pays.

I'm

—Well, now. You shouldn't be.

wrong.”

—Earlier. HEALTHIER.

 

23. And to think I was on the brink of plunging into the abyss. If a depressed snow cone person asks you a depressing question, come back from the edge!

 

“are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

happy?”

—I'll give you a song.

 

24. Sometimes when you're dealing with these dorky things, some actual thugs come along.

 

“while

—Likewise. Gathering nuts.

you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

at

—How so? Most of us don't.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

theater,

—Switched! The usual suspects.

I'll

—Spirit and connection.

be

—But why? Hiding out.

fucking

—So sad! I don't do that stuff.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

wife.”

—Very elusive. Anything at all.

 

25. They work in teams, go roaming around. If you can defend yourself a certain way, they'll leave you alone. It's just baiting.

 

“hot

—The strangest thing. It's murder!

enough

—And more! Well-grounded.

for

—Not over yet. Cloud cover cool.

you?

—Not much. Of that nature.

oooo!

—I decide what's for me.

hot

—The strangest thing. It's murder!

pussy!”

ANY TIPS? Get a dog!

 

 

26. The same holds true if you're a bunch of girls roaming around. Just pretend you have a gangster brother.

 

“muslim

—So sad! I don't do that stuff.

bitch!”

—I'm aware of that. Graduated.

 

 

27. I think you should be able to walk down the street without any assaults knocking you over.

 

“ain't

—Nowhere near. Many more!

gonna

—Booked up. Eat your heart out!

help

—Play tough. Make it happen.

a

Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

nigger

—I'm aware of that. Graduated.

out

—Once we get that started.

any

—Back-to-back. At midnight.

way.”

—Stand by. You're on the run.

 

28. You're walking by a construction site and someone's screaming at you. The endless anger, no?

 

“CAN'T

—Think so? You GOT me!

YOU

—Not much. Of that nature.

READ?”

Don't have to do anything.

 

29. You've just walked into a get-together of some kind. Someone who's a total boor clamps onto you, relying on your upbringing, kindness or civility not to be rude. Instead, rather than grapple with whatever they're laying on you, you merrily say, A cliffhanger! and walk off.

 

“what

—Unsettled. Ask them.

happened

A cliffhanger! My way!

to

—No rush. A whole team.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

today?

—NIGHT SKY! Circling.

I

Honestly. Go for it.

love

—The best ever. I hardly knew.

you!

—Not much. Of that nature.

pick

I must be going! Look it up!

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

poison.

—Why so big? All that stuff.

what's

Back in no time. Not available.

with

—Like crazy! Networking, eh?

you

Not much. Of that nature.

and

—Going up! So soon?

Jennifer?”

Put yourself in the light.

 

30. The host walks up and says, “You need me?” and you choose from any one of the six responses on the right, next to the host's exact words. Pick one and only one of the six multiple-choice responses:

 

“you

—Not much. Of that nature.

need

—Who doesn't? Have faith.

me?”

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

 

31. When you find a friend, notice how it's like walking through a mirror. You don't have to work too hard. You don't even have to say anything.

 

32. The party “dominant guy” walks up and tries to put his arm over your shoulder as if he's somehow “your pal.” He says, “What's happening, chum?” Again, pick and choose a response from below as you duck away.

 

“what's

—Back in no time. Not available.

happening,

—Wind it up! You wait for it.

chum?”

—Hands off! No supervision!

 

33. The “cool cat” in dark glasses approaches. Gaze directly at their right eye, which is their “aggressive” eye. “What's the haps? How's it going? Where ya' been?” That's easy enough. Three unrelated irrational questions steaming in front of you like merde. You haven't even had a chance to breathe & you're lucky, 'cause it stinks!

 

“what's

—Back in no time. Not available.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

haps?

—Before what? The rapture!

how's

—Effortless. Well, you too.

it

—It's perfect. Clear the smoke.

going?

—It's insane. Far and wide.

where

—Once again! Magical.

ya'

—Wind it up! You wait for it.

been?”

—So foolish. Underground.

 

 

34. If you ever hear yourself saying, “It's insane” to a snow cone person, it means they're trying to trick you into forgetting your aim. They're performing a minor form of hypnosis, having to do with distraction and misdirection. If they can get you to “the other side,” you'll find there's “never a place.” This means they've succeeded in getting you to forget what you were intending do. “It's insane! It's insane!”

 

“what's

—Back in no time. Not available.

going

—It's insane. Far and wide.

on?”

—Not a place for a child.

 

35. Snow cone people put an exaggerated spin on things, flipping them back onto you. (No wonder!) Why should you accept their distorted condemnations?

 

“you

—Not much. Of that nature.

like

—That's funny. Can't really say.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

snow?

Air & sunshine. Sometimes.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

can

—Booked up. Eat your heart out!

have

—One more bet! In a cage.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

snow!

—Air & sunshine. Sometimes.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

should

—Once we get that started.

go

—Not yet. My place is here.

live

—So foolish. Underground.

in

—Is that so? Enough about me!

Colorado.”

—Just normal. TAKE THAT!

 

36. You're at a café. A beggar interrupts you. You say, “Unsettled,” to your neighbors, then turn back to the beggar and point off to the people at the cash register, and say, “Ask them!”

 

“did

—Through the star. Modestly.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

get

—Indeed. There's no change.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

banana

—Unsettled. Ask them.

today?”

—NIGHT SKY! Circling.

 

37. Someone tries to grab your attention. They won't stop. You have no idea what they're saying or what they're talking about. You say, ACETYLENE!

 

“did

—Through the star. Modestly.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

mfffgd?”

ACETYLENE! Bushwa!

 

38. When you're around snow cone people, you don't want to be too suffering, even when you may never, ever, ever, ever, ever connect with them in a meaningful way. From a façade of emptiness, behind a garbage gate, they plant false memories.

 

“remember

—You look me no up?

in

—Is that so? Enough about me!

our

—I'll live. I'm not an angel.

childhood,

—Who knows? Some of it.

when

—Patience in a pool of joy.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

knew

Wide open. In those circles.

everybody

—Also terrible things.

in

—Is that so? Enough about me!

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

neighborhood?”

Without suffering.

 

 

39. The snow cone people apologize when they needn't, and don't apologize when they might. For a little toddler gaping at College Madness on TV?

 

“sorry

It's fate. You belong here?

to

—No rush. A whole team.

interrupt

—No rules. It's a free-for-all.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

dinner.”

NIGHT SKY! Circling.

 

40. The Peanut Gallery! Snow cone people love to pop up from the peanut gallery! They're complete strangers. It doesn't make any sense.

 

“you

Not much. Of that nature.

smell

—Don't include me. After you!

that?”

—You're on to something.

 

 

“are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

you

Not much. Of that nature.

being

—Very different. Just a bit.

helped?”

—Floating down. Don't panic!

 

 

“that's

—Life in the shade. Saved again!

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

good

—Well. I wouldn't doubt it.

thing

—Tell me about it! Mosquito.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

do.”

—You do? Better than I do.

 

41. To defend yourself from these attacks, you have to be purposefully misunderstood. It's an aggressive posture. Try to bend the universe. You can't! Realize on a very deep level, aren't they purposefully misunderstanding you?

 

“you

—Not much. Of that nature.

don't

—Not sure that's so. Sparingly.

like

That's funny. Can't really say.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

long

—Comprehensive. All at once!

ones?”

—Most of the teachers.

 

42. If anyone asks you about this website, it's as fruitless as having a conversation about training bras. Their unacknowledged veiled hatred leads them into “polite conversation” which is at best, tiresome, and at worst, treacherous & thoroughly unrewarding. They lie, they lie, they lie. “Killed any good animals lately?” always breaks the ice. “Any walruses or anything?” Anyway, they should be called “modesty bras.”

 

“can

—Booked up. Eat your heart out.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

give

—I don't need it. A high zone.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

simple

—A family business. Savvy.

example?”

Already am. It's dark.

 

43. The socially-exclusive snow cone people imagine they can measure one another's mettle. It's all outer things with an occasional glimpse into something ephemeral. Crystal meth and heroin are knocking off their kids.

 

“I

—Honestly. Go for it.

don't

—Not sure that's so. Sparingly.

know

—Not in with the in-crowd.

what

—Unsettled. Ask them.

it

—It's perfect. Clear the smoke.

is,

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

but

—I know, right? Another stage?

I

—Honestly. Go for it.

recognize

Out working! Oh, man!

it

—It's perfect. Clear the smoke.

when

—Patience in a pool of joy.

I

—Honestly. Go for it.

see

—What we have that you don't.

it.”

—It's perfect. Clear the smoke.

 

44. The working-class snow cone people have a more insidious way of being exclusive. It's the sly cats & dogs! Joy, joy, joy! “Taking a trip, man!” They hang out on sofas, giving you the appearance they're making out with your wife underneath the blanket. To keep company: “To do something relaxing that hasn't been decided.”

 

“I

—Honestly. Go for it.

just

—Might have been. It's gone.

want

—Sadly. I must be a mirror.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

hang out

—Keep going! Something new!

with

—Like crazy! Networking, eh?

them.”

—Shadow dog. SIDE PONY!

 

45. The Backtalktionary can be taken as a running commentary as to what's being thought or said. Its end result should be sleepless nights as people unlock repressed memories, and in the process, release huge amounts of buried energy. Good-bye, depression! Watch out, parents!

 

“what's

—Back in no time. Not available.

gotten

—If we had time. On your own.

into

—Don't include me. After you!

you?”

Not much. Of that nature.

 

46. My car was perfectly still as I waited for the last swirl of pedestrians to clear the crosswalk for my left-hand turn. From behind, a straggler traversed alongside me and whacked the hood of my car. I flew through the air and snapped her neck. Then I hoisted her lifeless quivering body into the air and broke her back across my knee. She was watching from the corner of her eye to see what I'd do as she continued, a little skittishly, across the street.

 

[pedestrian]

—Go ahead. GO HOME!

 

 

47. “What's up?” “Is it always like this?” “Is this happening already?” Irrational questions make logical people furious, though vague forms of speech often make perfect sense within an erotic framework. Logic infused with sex. Who could have possibly dived to those depths?

 

“what's

—Back in no time. Not available.

up?”

—Double up! Give it back 2u.

 

 

“is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

it

—It's perfect. Clear the smoke.

always

—Who knows? Some of it.

like

—That's funny. Can't really say.

this?”

It's huge. Leave me out of it!

 

 

“is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

this

—It's huge. Leave me out of it!

happening

—Wind it up! You wait for it.

already?”

Foreign operations. Elevated.

 

48. Phony people are motivated by powerful feelings which remain in the dark. Those feelings may be rooted in fear, anger, hatred, or surprise, all of which may be amplified by a wild imagination. Phony people misconceive the significance of things, or the meaning of things. They try to offload their feelings onto you, by making you feel frightened, angry, critical, or insignificant. They're the snow cone people, bigger than life! And you're nothing.

 

“are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

you

Not much. Of that nature.

following

—Before what? The rapture!

me?”

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

 

 

49. Office Politics is done with praise (providing key information) and shame (actually withholding resources). It's called Power Sharing. In the same way language can become infused with sexuality, the stirile nature of off-putting small talk, delivered in a low-key or offhand manner, can also be infused with acceptance or dismissal. All of which contribute to puncturing the innocent joy of reason, wonder, beauty and awe. What a waste.

 

“where

—Once again! Magical.

are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

in

—Is that so? Enough about me!

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

pecking

—I decide what's for me.

order,

—The sound of the fisherman.

midlevel?”

OUCH. Rough edges.

 

 

“there

Keep going! Something new!

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

go.”

—Not yet. My place is here.

 

 

“good

—Well. I wouldn't doubt it.

for

Not over yet. Cloud cover cool.

you.”

—Not much. Of that nature.

 

 

“now

Stick around! One's enough.

you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

talking.”

—Fantastic. I wouldn't know.

 

 

“see

What we have that you don't.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

later.”

—Oh, yeah? Says you!

 

 

50. At some rudimentary level, the uneducated, illiterate, illogical pronouncements of some people shouldn't shake your tree too much. If you are well versed in logic, and innocently say, “This is one of the most beautiful avenues I've ever seen,” and the other person says, You never been here? you should be proud you can learn to say something right back, as a means to experience simple humanity without violations of structures in logic getting in the way. The beauty of what you perceive in the outside physical world should be able to stand on its own. Shouldn't a person be able to tolerate a quantum leap?

 

“you

Not much. Of that nature.

never

—There's also a negative side.

been

—So foolish. Underground.

here?”

—Wide open. In those circles.

 

 

51. If you hold a question now, someday you will realize you have lived into the answer.

 

“remind

—Forgiveness. The real frontier.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

of

—I don't need it. A high zone.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

nutmeg.”

I can't do that very well.

 

 

52. When you're out and about, just remember a psycho is simply an angry psychic, and that underneath all that bluster, they're just a snow cone person with a rooftop antenna. It's best to avoid entanglements. At rock bottom, always come back to intimidation. They're trying to intimidate you. Same as a mosquito.

 

“is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

that

—You're on to something.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

fact?”

Who knows? Some of it.

 

 

53. When someone turns on you, to puncture your dreams, start an argument, or break up with you, learn how to switch sides in an instant. No matter what you think, feel or believe, nip things in the bud by saying, “Honestly. Go for it.” Then do less. Simply do less.

 

“I

Honestly. Go for it.

think

—Something intelligent.

you're

—Unbound. That's a switch.

full

—Not sure that's so. Sparingly.

of

—I don't need it. A high zone.

crap.”

—Small world. If we agreed.

 

 

“I

Honestly. Go for it.

hate

—So WHAT? My own life.

you!”

—Not much. Of that nature.

 

 

“I

Honestly. Go for it.

don't

—Not sure that's so. Sparingly.

even

—Go slow! Be specific.

like

—That's funny. Can't really say.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

anymore.”

—IT'S BROKEN! Do less.

 

 

54. Pumped-up snow cone people often pretend something's wrong with you when you tell them you once lived near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Try not to get pumped-up youself! Just lie low. Let them float off into outer space all by themselves, where they belong.

 

“that's

—Life in the shade. Saved again!

eccentric.”

Not quite. Don't count on it.

 

 

“what

—Unsettled. Ask them.

brought

Something intelligent.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

out

—Once we get that started.

here?”

—Wide open. In those circles.

 

 

55. How did I ever get this far without mentioning the friendly insult? You can make a lot of money, can't you? Even better, “Hitch your wagon to a star.”

 

“embarrass

With others. With no clue.

us

—A miracle. Let it be.

wherever

—Honestly. Go for it.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

go.”

Not yet. My place is here.

 

 

56. In olden days, if someone peeked into your heart, or into one of your memories, you'd imagine witchcraft. I don't think so! I just think it's my snow cone dentist, who can always see when I have a little too much more money than I know what to do with. There I was, laid out in his chair, all helpless, with him peering deep, deep into my brain! —Aha! He's got a windfall, and I'm taking it! I saw him thinking. “A-aaa-ah” is all I said.

 

“I

—Honestly. Go for it.

think

Something intelligent.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

should

—Once we get that started.

come

—By no means, sir! ICYFIRE!

back

—Foreign operations. Elevated.

in

—Is that so? Enough about me!

three

—That sort of thing. Not again!

weeks.”

—With others. With no clue.

 

 

57. What do puppies, kids, and friends have in common? Play with! That's Plan A. This does not mean anyone can instantly transform a bully or a snow cone person into a close friend, you may simply want to get away from them! That's Plan B. Then, for Plan C, always remember there's an entity inside you that's always inside you. It's the closest of friends. Look for this entity! Nourish it. Wait a week, continually attaching yourself to it best you can, and it will grow.

 

“can't

—Think so? You GOT me!

we

—So foolish. Underground.

be

—But why? Hiding out.

best

—How delicate. I'm not so sure.

friends?”

Let's go by intuition.

 

 

58. “Hate is the bride of Jealousy, and Sarcasm is Anger's ugly cousin.David Daniels

 

“it

—It's perfect. Clear the smoke.

had

—Not a place for a child.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

whopping

—Jet lag. Finely nuanced.

eighty-six

—Then what? It's calling you.

performances.”

—Very enriching.

 

 

“why

—Way back. A friend of mine.

are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

we

—So foolish. Underground.

having

ACETYLENE! Bushwa!

all

—Then again. What divides us?

these

It's terrible. BUNK! I'm torn!

people

—From nowhere. Might as well.

from

—Go ahead. GO HOME!

shithole

—I'll bet. Insultingly beautiful.

countries

—Royal blood. Imaginatively.

come

—By no means, sir! ICYFIRE!

here?”

—Wide open. In those circles.

 

 

59. A familiar beggar is blocking your way into the pizza restaurant. You're a somewhat courteous person. There are perfectly civil ways to be rude.

 

“here

—Wide open. In those circles.

he

—Wouldn't have expected it.

comes!

—Hold it! What's the password?

I

—Honestly. Go for it.

need

—Who doesn't? Have faith.

two

—Far from. Who needs it?

dollars.

—Sadly. I must be a mirror.

what's

—Back in no time. Not available.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

name?”

—That's odd. The game is over!

 

60. A random authority figure is approaching you in a parking lot. He's thirty years old and you're actually seven years old. Practice sticking up for yourself in the face of authority.

 

“there

—Keep going! Something new!

she

Ambush! Control yourself!

is!

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

honey,

—As if. Life is not a test.

it's

—That's a lie. All backward.

an

Hold it! What's the password?

emergency.

—By no means, sir! ICYFIRE!

what's

—Back in no time. Not available.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

name?”

—That's odd. The game is over!

 

61. The police officer reassures me he's not going to give me a ticket for standing my taxicab at Fisherman's Wharf to enjoy the air & sunshine, and strikes up a conversation, pretending to be a good old boy,” while doggedly asking how much money I make driving a cab. When it becomes clear I'm not going to discuss The Circle of Iron, he suddenly turns on me. For the good old boy,” getting into reality comes down to issuing threats, launching irrational questions, and telling lies.

 

“keep

—An odd thing. Held back.

it

—It's perfect. Clear the smoke.

moving

—Honestly. Go for it.

then

Refreshing. Expensive!

or

—What I do is different. No rides!

I'll

—Spirit and connection.

give

—I don't need it. A high zone.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

ticket.”

—All along. The Circle of Iron.

 

62. Snow cone people asking me how long I've done anything at all don't understand I'm talking about the realm of ideas, a higher realm of existence.

 

“how

—Just a ways. Balanced.

long

Comprehensive. All at once!

have

—One more bet! In a cage.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

been

—So foolish. Underground.

teaching

—Get a hold! Of these ideas.

this?”

—It's huge. Leave me out of it!

 

 

63. This website could be the Pesky Magnet of all time, sort of a lightning rod for disturbing questions. “What time did your shift start?” “How much money do you make?” “How have you been?” Simply give them a card for taxi1010.com and say, “OMG! The answer's all on this website!”

 

“aren't

—Crushing. It should be news.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

that

—You're on to something.

taxi driver

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

guy?”

—Changes everything.

 

 

“I'll

Spirit and connection.

visit

—Wouldn't have expected it.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

site!”

—Booked up. Eat your heart out!

 

 

64. P.S., Ever wonder how to interrupt someone? They've suddenly launched into an unending narrative of what they do during the day, with no intention of stopping. On some “unconscious” level they're trying to make you angry, and the proof is, they're making you angry! They won't stop! Simply cry out SHAZAM! right smack in the middle of their spiel.

 

[spiel]

SHAZAM! Nothing much.

 

 

65. Are you the captain of your soul and the master of your fate? Then for starters, where, inside the body, is the physical location of the soul? And navigating outward, if you're not using yourself, someone, or something else, is. Don't grapple with people. Nip things in the bud.

 

“you

—Not much. Of that nature.

should

Once we get that started.

listen

—I must be going! Look it up!

to

—No rush. A whole team.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

mother!”

—Once we get that started.

 

 

“Richard,

—Not recently. To shock you.

I'm

—Well, now. You shouldn't be.

not

—How do you like that?

your

No big deal. No pressure.

mother!”

—Once we get that started.

 

 

“get

—Indeed. There's no change.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

clue!”

Before what? The rapture!

 

 

66. To keep any secret whatsoever, act as if you came from a large, loving family, with instructions not to share that secret with anyone!

 

“how

—Just a ways. Balanced.

much

A family business. Savvy.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

get

—Indeed. There's no change.

driving

—Hold it! What's the password?

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

cab?”

—Crushing. It should be news.

 

 

67. A bully is someone who goes around installing crime scenes in people. The idea is to shine light on this crime scene with a sense of humor. The idea is also to guard the crime scene to prevent a crime wave while you begin to understand it. Try not to burn up the crime scene, to flood the crime scene, to contaminate the crime scene, to mischaracterize the crime scene, or to let your mother on the crime scene.

 

“no

Let's keep it this way. Open.

wonder

—All fine. Please don't ask.

they

—What we have that you don't.

say

—It's your bedtime. Isn't it?

things

—Back-to-back. At midnight.

about

—Invisible horses fan out.

you!”

—Not much. Of that nature.

 

 

68. It's 11:34 in the morning, Tuesday 23 January 2018. A woman has just parked her car to pick up a child at the school across the street. She's parked there before, you can tell. It should take her no longer than five minutes. The sign says, NO PARKING 12:30 PM 3:30 PM 1ST TUESDAY EACH MONTH STREET SWEEPING She gets out of the car and says something I don't quite understand. I ask her to repeat herself. “Is this the first Tuesday of the month?” she asks.

 

“is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

this

—It's huge. Leave me out of it!

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

first

—At least. Not a museum.

Tuesday

—That's a lie. All backward.

of

—I don't need it. A high zone.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

month?”

—That's a lie. All backward.

 

 

69. How does taxi1010.com relate to artificial intelligence?

 

“through

—Through the star. Modestly.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

set

—You look me no up?

of

—I don't need it. A high zone.

signals,

Stand up for beauty, not kings.

converge

—In the crosshairs. In case.

on

—Not a place for a child.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

meaning.”

—Here and now. That's all.

 

 

70. How does taxi1010.com relate to Smooth-Talking Bots? Hint: See the Cade Metz & Keith Collins story in The New York Times Business Page Thursday, February 22, 2018.

 

“my

—Thanks for warning me.

mother

—Once we get that started.

is

I've heard. Overlooked it.

coming

—Funny that you're interested.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

visit.”

—Wouldn't have expected it.

 

 

“would

—A miracle. Let it be.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

like

—That's funny. Can't really say.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

come

—By no means, sir! ICYFIRE!

over

—One more bet! In a cage.

for

—Not over yet. Cloud cover cool.

dinner?”

—NIGHT SKY! Circling.

 

 

“what

Unsettled. Ask them.

happens

—Spirit and connection.

if

—Far better! Don't laugh.

I

—Honestly. Go for it.

miss

—Here and now. That's all.

my

—Thanks for warning me.

flight?”

—That's funny. Can't really say.

 

 

“do

—You do? Better than I do.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

think

—Something intelligent.

they're

—No doubt. It lives forever.

going

—It's insane. Far and wide.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

fire

—Sadly. I must be a mirror.

me?”

Seriously? Infiltrate.

 

 

71. Don't let nosy & stupid people, acting all rosy & cupid, trick you into complaining or arguing! Instead, practice being slyly subversive. Pretend they're smart!

 

“is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

there

—Keep going! Something new!

something

—A cliffhanger! My way!

wrong?”

—Earlier. HEALTHIER.

 

 

“I'm

Well, now. You shouldn't be.

not

How do you like that?

going

—It's insane. Far and wide.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

hurt

Apparently not.

you.”

—Not much. Of that nature.

 

 

72. “Will this make me a nicer person?” The man from Sweden was holding onto one of my cards. If someone is interested in staying up on the sidewalk, rather than leaping into the gutter to grapple with another person, then they have an opportunity to inject elements of joy into the conversation. It's a nicer idea. Why let other people take you over? A spark of joy can turn everything upside down.

 

“will

—No idea. Persistence pays.

this

—It's huge. Leave me out of it!

make

—Why bother? Doesn't matter.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

nicer

—Tell me about it! Mosquito.

person?”

—Before what? The rapture!

 

 

73. “They tried to bury us, but they didn't know we were seeds.”
—Mexican proverb.

 

“I

—Honestly. Go for it.

am

—A penalty. Not the least.

so

—Not over yet. Cloud cover cool.

sorry!”

—It's fate. You belong here?

 

 

“shouldn't

Let's keep it this way. Open.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

be

—But why? Hiding out.

retiring?”

Double up! Give it back 2u.

 

 

74. The Backtalktionary does particularly well with trick questions.

 

“so

—Not over yet. Cloud cover cool.

it's

—That's a lie. All backward.

fine

—Go slow! Be specific.

with

—Like crazy! Networking, eh?

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

that

—You're on to something.

I'm

—Well, now. You shouldn't be.

not

—How do you like that?

smart?”

Don't wait too long.

 

 

75. You ever get the idea certain sales people (Snow Cone People!) are attacking you?

 

“what

—Unsettled. Ask them.

can

—Booked up. Eat your heart out!

we

—So foolish. Underground.

help

Play tough. Make it happen.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

with

—Like crazy! Networking, eh?

today?”

—NIGHT SKY! Circling.

 

 

76. You can see it coming. (Gulp!) The Small Talk Olympics. It's like being nibbled to death by ducks!

 

“haven't

—Go on! That's excessive.

seen

—I can't do that very well.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

in

—Is that so? Enough about me!

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

while!”

—Likewise. Gathering nuts.

 

 

“give

—I don't need it. A high zone.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

a

—Now I know. I'm not a snitch!

call.”

—That sort of thing. Not again!

 

 

“is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

everything

—Pretty hot. Hard to believe.

okay?”

—Just right. Pretty much.

 

 

77. The super secret of tormentors, bullies and villains in general is that they're sexually attracted to the ones they torment. Sex, sex, sex. They want to jump you! Have a getaway plan, even if it's walking a few blocks out of the way.

 

“give

—I don't need it. A high zone.

me

—Seriously? Infiltrate.

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

lunch

—It's your bedtime. Isn't it?

money!”

With others. With no clue.

 

 

78. On the flip side are Snow Cone People roaming around, trying to steal people's attention.

 

“have

—One more bet! In a cage.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

read

—Don't have to do anything.

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

Bible?”

I think it's easy to overstate.

 

 

79. What you really are is The Observer, even now. It's subtle & silent like a ghost. You can make contact with it, like a friend.

 

 

80. Two days ago I heard a clear voice in my head: “I lied to you.” A day later I heard a responding voice in my head, equally clear, “I told him the truth!” I silently witnessed this, because I AM THE OBSERVER. I simply observe these kinds of exchanges, inside my own mind. Neither of these two voices made much sense, so I simply wrote them down, as if these inner voices are partaking in a war of some kind, that has nothing to do with me. You do or say nothing, you just plan your day.

 

“I

—Honestly. Go for it.

lied

With others. With no clue.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

you.”

—Not much. Of that nature.

 

 

“I

—Honestly. Go for it.

told

—Heavy duty. SNAKE PIT!

him

—Around the corner. Before long!

the

—Not quite. Don't count on it.

truth!”

—Too choosy. Just you?

 

 

81. The Mexicans have a simple saying, “The devil isn't smart. He's just old.” On the other side, “Nature doesn't have a partner.” If you hear voices in your head, no matter how real or convincing, you have every right to tell those inner voices to SHUT UP! Be silent about this, to keep from scaring people.

 

“have

—One more bet! In a cage.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

lost

Far from. Who needs it?

your

—No big deal. No pressure.

mind?”

—Certainly not. Liberty!

 

 

82. If you were a tree observing two human beings who cannot resist grappling with each other, (“When are you going to have children?” “Why would you ask me that?”) you could be especially proud you learned to take yourself out of it.

 

“when

—Patience in a pool of joy.

are

—Not bottled. A hard life.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

going

—It's insane. Far and wide.

to

—No rush. A whole team.

have

—One more bet! In a cage.

children?”

—Being included. Intimate.

 

 

“why

—Way back. A friend of mine.

would

—A miracle. Let it be.

you

—Not much. Of that nature.

ask

—Indeed. There's no change.

me

Seriously? Infiltrate.

that?”

—You're on to something.

 

 

83. A stranger asking, Is this yours? is like merde searching for a home. It's a seriously hostile question. And even when it isn't hostile, it's still hostile. It's like an asteroid asking for the sun to explain itself.

 

“is

—I've heard. Overlooked it.

this

—It's huge. Leave me out of it!

yours?”

A penalty. Not the least.

 

 

84. I was alarmed when the man grabbed by right arm, earnestly saying, “I'm sorry!” Then I was shocked he wouldn't let go. I pulled back, then saw the light. He was close enough to murmur “Girl!” for my ears alone. It's a football trick, often used by bullies. I glanced in his direction as I extricated my arm with sort of a twist, then continued pulling way back as my instincts took over. My whole torso, right shoulder and arm kept going back like a quarterback's, then, with an earnest desire to kill the guy, my arm snapped forward as he ducked away. I walked over to my taxi lot locker and crouched down to fiddle with the combination in the early morning dark. From behind me I suddenly heard, “I was just saying, ‘I'm sorry!’ you fucking asshole!” He was screaming for the entire taxi lot to hear. He rushed over to where I was still puttering with the locker, with my back to him. “Don't you ever do that to me again!” Taxi drivers and managers were pouring out of buildings to see what the commotion was, and as I glanced at one of the managers who had seen everything, and who was now trying to duplicate what he had seen me do, a glint of sunshine shone in his eyes.

 

“girl!”

—Quite a struggle. There's more?

 

FURTHER READING :: The life-changing magic of tidying up : the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing / by Marie Kondo / Ten Speed Press / Copyright © 2014 Marie Kondo.