Theory of

Taunts, Insults or Attacks

Codewords Inside Aggressive "Tricks"

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The Way Out





Patient refers to it as stargate-one-seven

A Curmudgeon.1






—As fast as that. Dark magic.

Going direct. Overnight. 

Why you need some help. 

—It's official! Secret finger.




Paper Tigers — Some people take note of what you like or dislike so they can make fun of you - They say, "Teach me how to be a wild artist ... and get a job at a bank." - What they're really doing is trying to scare you away from your libido, or wish to live - People only feel bad when they're not themselves.





[arrogance & patronization] - With appealing "wildness" and good-natured charm, (though persistently beating around the bush,) they seek out "buddies" whose youth, manners or innate sense of decency allow them to tolerate being sitting ducks for mean people - They just babble on - It's fairy-tale land - They think what they read in a book is what you ask someone - They don't want the truth - They don't want to face the truth - They think I am constant; I am solid - They act as if everyone's always cheated them - They act perplexed, and try to squelch your self-expression, or push people around by using indirection - No facts, no nothing; just how great it is - You're supposed to "take a hint." - In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is king - They don't want you to wish to be alive - They want you to obey their every whim - Like a thief that comes in the night - Hold your breath and sense your genitals - It's like a gear shift - Then respond with just a few words, maybe a verbal tool or phrase you've saved at the tip of your tongue - As fast as that. Dark magic. Going direct. Overnight. Why you need some help, or It's official! Secret finger.

The Age of Attention, ages 4-7




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

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




"Is your electricity out?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—You have batteries, right?

"The air was good." [You just turned off the air-conditioner and opened the window]

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—It's an indication.

"Is there a law against having the air-conditioning on in the city?"

—Going direct. Overnight.

—Are you sure you wanted to say that?

"Will you turn it back on then?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.


"Hi. How are things going?" [From an incessantly intrusive manager]

—Going direct. Overnight.

—There's more ... There's lots of things ... It's really good to be around people who see certain things ... All these things are happening because you're not dead.

"u dick."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—That's good enough for me.

"The unemployed need not apply." [For any work]

—It's official! Secret finger.

—That's a selling point ... Fugitives from justice ... That's the nice half of the family ... Conserve your strength ... That's right on top! ... The devil never sleeps ... (Without looking ... which you buy into) ... I don't make mistakes ... The mushroom style of management: Stay in the dark and pile on the shit.

"How have you been, sir? – So far, so good?"

—Why you need some help.

—People either get along or they don't – and it's really nice.

"Hey, man, how are you doing?"

—Why you need some help.

—Playing with danger.

"That's the right answer."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Just thoughtless.

"Richard! How're you doing, guy?"

—Why you need some help.

—Laughing at pain.

"That's scary the way you said that."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Everyone can use someone who's good! .. Pre-Code Hollywood ... We can always use more ... Why you need some help... That is a scream!

"How are you doing, Sir?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Not that they have to, but they do.

"That website [taxi1010] is frightening. i don't know what to make of it. at first it was funny, but then i realized (thought i realized) that they are dead, dead serious. and it creeps me out but i can't stop looking at me. please help."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Did you ever have a Slinky®?

"Are you having trouble hearing what I'm saying?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—They don't try really hard to kill anyone.

"Your American soccer is rubbish!"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—You don't mean that.

"What made him snap?"

—Why you need some help.

That's a loaded question!


—Why you need some help.

—You just don't know.

"How well do you really know someone?"

—Why you need some help.

—I will no longer use my pet's name as a password!

"Do you have someone?"

—Why you need some help.

—I don't really have to have one.

[Any incomprehensible or inexplicable question]

—Why you need some help.

—Search me? ... God is too big to fit inside one religion.

"Where are the most shops?"

—Why you need some help.

—Don't criticize things or expect anything.

"How was your day?"

—Why you need some help.

A nice life is what you allow into it ... Another terrible job is making violin strings.

"I haven't see you in a long time – Where've you been?"

—Why you need some help.

—One foot in heaven.

"How ya' doin'?" [Total stranger suddenly appearing in front of you]

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Wait, I want to hang onto my wallet!

"I asked you how you are."

—Why you need some help.

—You know, you never know ... Really intense.

"How much is it, if you don't mind my asking?"

—Why you need some help.

—One boring interlude after another.

"Starts at $3.10?"

—Why you need some help.

—For a long time.

"Has anyone famous ridden in your cab?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

Way up! ... Did you ever see the play, The Man Who Didn't Come to Dinner? ... Only the wealthy know ... The fifth world.

"There is always something more interesting on Twitter than whatever you happen to be working on." (–David Carr, "Why Twitter Will Endure," The New York Times, 3 January 2010)

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Endless focus groups.

"The world does not revolve around you."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Anything you can do?

"Mom, you're a goldfish!"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Eyes open! ... You do the best you can.

"Staying dry?" [You're wearing a poncho; you're far from home; it's really raining]

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Shows promise ... You see the magic of the packaging? ... Or smuggling!

"Getting wet?" [You're wearing a poncho; you're close to home; it's really raining]

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—I don't believe in change ... A painting of a vase within the flowers ... Really fantastic ... It's just fantastic ... Bad hair day ... Perhaps I was jesting!

"Are you headed for University Avenue?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Now look, don't be an opportunist! ... Plan! ... Don't just do what comes up ... Well, I'm sorry – My art comes first ... I have my own life ... You have to do what's best for you ... I'm trying to set up a life for myself ... Just because you do it, doesn't mean you have to ... No one can tell you what to do with your life ... Instead of worrying, save your money ... You like the web, but you don't like getting wrapped up in the strands.

"I'm not your private secretary, you know?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Peel off!

"Doesn't confirmed bachelor mean gay?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Is a rake "a long-handled implement to gather leaves," or "a libertine?"

"Did you catch Tickton?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—I'll never take YOU for a mystery ride.

"You're fat and ugly, and always will be."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—What good is running if you're on the wrong road?

"Which way are we going?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—The authentic way – We're trying to save trouble.

"Don't take the long way!"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—It's hardly worth it.

"I kind of like the way you did that."

—Going direct. Overnight.

—We're used to that.

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

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Have mercy!

"He just gets angry when someone else does it."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—What does that have to do with anything?

«How to stop feeling unloved from the inside»

—It's official! Secret finger.

—It's not that bad now – Okay, but don't hurt me!

"Hey! Airport moving?"

—Why you need some help.

—HEY, YOURSELF! ... WHO SAYS? ... Search me?

"Airport people are fun to work with."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Where is all the treasure buried?

"You didn't go to the airport?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Well, good, let me think about it.

"How was the airport?"

—Why you need some help.

—Go join the Moroccan Air Force!

"How do you keep your mind quiet?"

—Why you need some help.

—I hear a pitter-pat in my head unless I sleep with my mouth open.

"Right, Linda?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—You have to know what's inside you.

"May all your dreams come true."

—Going direct. Overnight.

—One thing leads to the other.

"How old is he?" [Your two-year-old boy, from a complete stranger]

—It's official! Secret finger.

—I don't think it matters anymore.

"Terrible two's, huh?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Why do you just have to be one thing?

["It's how to change the mood if someone is mean or difficult."] "How do you do that?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—It's not so easy to do.

"How can you explain this?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Meaningful effort is more important to me than commanding position.

"Right on time!"

—Going direct. Overnight.

—Just like clockwork, right?

"How are you doing, Richard?"

—Going direct. Overnight.

—Just fine.

"How are you doing, baby?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—You seem to be doing pretty good.

"Where've you been? Have you been on vacation?"

—Why you need some help.

—Haven't I seen you before?

"So how have you been?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—You're one in a million!

"How so?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—I don't know how to put it.

"So, how's it going?"

—Going direct. Overnight.

—Pretty good.

"How goes it?"

—Going direct. Overnight.

—Good enough.

"How are you? – you and the lads?"

—Going direct. Overnight.

—Still the same.
[Also, Haunted, We'll soon find out, Charmed, Thrilled, Delighted, Distracted, Engaged and Satisfied.]

"I'm going on vacation – I'm going to Montana."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—With a beautiful view, I bet.

"How are you?" [After you've been sitting there fifteen minutes]

—It's official! Secret finger.

—I really like this – It has a really deep effect on me.

"How are you today?" [F. Matthias Alexander said, "People do not know how they are; getting them to think about it is a wrong stimulus, very bad for them." (–The Resurrection of the Body)]

—It's official! Secret finger.

—No pain ... It's not so bad so far ... You get used to it.

"Oh, right! So this transfer is from this morning, and you're trying to get a free ride!" [A bus driver speaking Very Loudly, treating you like a thief in front of everyone, for accidentally picking the wrong transfer out of a fistful]

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—There's an awful lot of people doing it, huh?

"So how come you don't speak to me? Are you giving me the silent treatment now?"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Take two Aspirin and die in the morning.

"You imbecile!"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—What are you trying to prove? – that you passed fourth grade?

"Do you want to fight?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—It's up to you.


—Going direct. Overnight.

—You'll have to change your clothes!

"Aaaaa-CHOO! – Excuse me!"

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Leave it there! – That's the same thing inside everybody.

"You touched my car – I don't like anyone touching my car."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—They're going to make big cars again.

"You want to fight? – I can settle this in two seconds."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Some people like them.

"So you have a web page." [Implying, "So what?"]

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Do I know what I'm not doing?

[Hooligans trespassing at a girls' summer camp]

—It's official! Secret finger.

—You can bank on it ... Now's the time to go, too ... Or their children, right? ... It's a wonderful thing for a little girl ... Nothing fancy at all ... Don't need evidence ... It's tricky ... Mountaineers use it ... Certain people do ... That's really what does it ... That stops it at the gate ... It says, "Peel off!"

"That's not true."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—More than you think.

"I'm sure that's true."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Go by what you know, not by what you feel.

"Hey, buddy! Where's Spear Street?"

—Why you need some help.

—I'm not in the in-crowd; I don't know anything.

"There's a great movie on – It's really good."

—Going direct. Overnight.

—There you go, then.

"This is a great movie!"

—Going direct. Overnight.

—Go for it! Go for the gold.

"This is a great movie." [Not sharing with you what it is]

—Going direct. Overnight.

—I'll sell it to you.

"This is a bad movie."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—I'm adjusting.

"It's just a stupid movie."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—The artful dodger.

"I know just how you feel."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Danger is just around the corner – Let's move the furniture!

"Mr. Salinger's fixation on the difference between 'phoniness,' as Holden Caufield would put it, and authenticity now has a twilight, '50s feeling about it. It's no longer news, and probably never was. ¶ This is the theme, though, that comes increasingly to dominate the Glass chronicles: the unsolvable problem of ego and self-consciousness, of how to lead a spiritual life in a vulgar, material society." (–Charles McGrath, "Still Paging Mr. Salinger," The New York Times, December 31, 2008)

—It's official! Secret finger.

Don't put too much into the pot ... It's whatever you believe is true ... They believe whatever they say is true ... You are where your attention is.

"I want you to be calm. From today on, Islamic Shariah law will be the rule of this town. If anyone opposes the Shariah, appropriate steps will be taken." (–Sheik Muktar Robow, also known as Abu Monsur, Mogadishu, Somalia, as reported in The New York Times, 28 January 2009)

—It's official! Secret finger.

—That's a little scary ... He's very brutal in a lot of ways ... You can't argue with them ... These are interesting times if you have an imagination; these are not interesting times if you're old-fashioned.

"Hey, dude, that was really rude! If you ever come up to my door, then slam the door in my face, you're going to have a problem."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Not that you get a chance to express yourself – that you get a chance to understand it.

"You know, you hurt my hand, so don't ever talk to me or come up my stairs again, you little prick."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—They're like a newborn baby – They don't know what the fuck is going on – All the big hikers!

"Hey, what kind of coward are you?"

—It's official! Secret finger.

I don't want to drag it out, because I'm saving it for someone else – Try to understand who's saying these things, or who's saying it now – Because I have a feeling that some of these people don't know what they're doing.

"What kind of coward are you, chicken-shit!"

—It's official! Secret finger.

You can tell! – There's nothing wrong with letting off steam – With time, it should be replaced with, "I am afraid."

"Don't ever slam the door in my face again, you old fart."

—It's official! Secret finger.

We all have that in us – This might help: (1.) I have a mechanism in me that anyone can start by attacking me; (2.) When someone attacks, what they're really doing is inflaming their fear; (3.) Don't blame yourself; (4.) Realize there's something in you (a mechanism) that can be set off from outside; (5.) You can't tell people that, because they have all these mechanisms ("I didn't hear it!"); (6.) Their fears of their mother and father have taken them over; (7.) "Don't try to set me off, I'm afraid of you, mom!" (8.) Once you know you're afraid of them, you can dump them! (9.) You are your own mother and father, by default; (10.) Your fear is just a pile of fears based on one fear; (11.) You feel you're being whacked, and if someone around you is yelling at you, you can blame them; (12.) "I don't want this hot potato! Here! You hold it!" (13.) The way you defend it is to understand what's going on; (14.) You turn the fear on yourself, and then, very slowly, you think it's your parents.

"No, legally we can't do that." [Flight attendant refusing to help a woman (weak from a long illness) put her suitcase in an overhead rack]

—It's official! Secret finger.

—You don't wear rubber gloves?

"Dear Richard, sounds like a complete winner, although I must admit that I have used some of those tactics in responding to all the invective that has come my way ... ie ... 'What you say may well be true and I am sorry you feel that way.' All of which is a nice way of saying not much, I guess. Thanks so much for taking the time to write. David Carr"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—I didn't get here on a watermelon truck.

"After I remember not to slam the door."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—It's like a palace ... From room to room ... What a house! ... Accordion to what?

"So how are you?"

—Why you need some help.

—Old age ... Everyone knows reporters are paid liars ... You know, the child murderers? ... His bank statement is sent in a box of chocolates ... Search me? ... Are you sure it's not the same thing, over and over? ... Part of it is the people you meet, too ... They're screwballs ... That's deterrent number forty-eight.

"If you were a woman scientist and had two competing offers and you knew that the president of Harvard didn't think that women scientists were as good as men, which one would you take?" (–Mary C. Waters, chairman of Harvard's sociology department, after Harvard president Lawrence H. Summers suggested that innate sex differences may leave women less capable in tenacious pursuit of math and science)

—It's official! Secret finger.

—For anyone ... And the answer is?

"Thoughts can't be changed by nuclear bomb. Today is the day of thought and logic." (–Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Maybe it is, maybe it isn't ... We want an army in Iraq because it's just like Germany in the '30s ... They're just screwballs ... You just learn ... If you think the will of Allah is the will of your breath, that's one thing ....

"In my opinion, the only plausible reaction to such people – to chronic verbal abusers – is compassion." (–Suzette Haden Elgin)

—It's official! Secret finger.

What are the alternatives? ... Listen. This isn't 1942. We're not in Germany. I'm not in a Concentration Camp. And you're not Hitler ... Remember that.

"Regarding you, Bush, Dog of the West, we are giving you good news which will displease you. Your worst days are coming with the help of God. You and your soldiers will regret the day when your feet touched the land of Iraq and showered your bravery on shelters of Muslims." [With a lot of people nothing's enough because they were so poisoned in their childhood.]

—It's official! Secret finger.

—It's sad, isn't it? (They're using their pain to hold onto something ... That's what they had in their childhood ... pain.)

"Germany's talking about going to war again."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Everyone has something they go into a rage over – You're not the only one.

"You know, they kill cab drivers!"

—It's official! Secret finger.

—Let's kill all the gringos!

"Don't do me any favors."

—Going direct. Overnight.

—What am I supposed to do – feel sorry for rats?

"It's because the two Teutonic plagues, Hart and Juda, came together."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—You mean the woman in black who comes to your window?


—It's official! Secret finger.

—There's always hidden stories in the land of heartbreak.

"Yeah, that's right." [Sarcastically]

—Why you need some help.

—You're right, and I'm right.

"That's right – That's right, Leon."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—There's other things, too.

"Do the right thing."

—Why you need some help.

—Don't say anything; don't sign anything; just put it in the bank.

"Straighten up and fly right."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—I'll have to change my diet.

"Just right."

—It's official! Secret finger.

—See you on the Rialto, skylark!

"Am I in your way?"

—Why you need some help.

—That would be serious.

"I'm sorry, am I in your way?"

—Why you need some help.

—It's one of my designs.

"I know I'm in your way."

—Why you need some help.

—I hate to say it – She could be Napoleon's mother.

"I'll get out of your way."

—As fast as that. Dark magic.

—Thundering herds rounding corners.

"Sorry to block your way again."

—Why you need some help.

—Are you trying to make me feel like a heel?

"No WAY!"

—Why you need some help.

—Everyone knows you have to go slow.
























A Double-edged Sword

Sometimes you get the idea a person's criticisms go beyond simply attacking a third party — they're also talking about YOU! When you hear phrases such as, "an aggravating personality," or "not such a nice person," you remember particular times when YOU acted that way, that their words apply equally to you. Generally, it's the kind of double-edged sword wielded by a bitch or a bastard or a plain old angry person, and the transparent quality you notice in their words could apply to everyone in the entire world — even to their own parents! Of course a therapist would insist, especially to their parents!

"—And everything!"

When you notice a gleaming edge in someone's voice, or a particular transparency in the phrases they choose, or when they drop all pretenses and simply flip you the bird, simply wag your index finger and scream,

"—AS IF!"

Everyone feels a little put upon from time to time, and gets uncomfortably close to feeling angry at YOU.

"Do you know where trivia comes from?" Alex asked a group of us as we strolled through the dog park. "It's Latin for the place where three roads meet, where ancient Romans posted little messages."

"Where does tip come from?" Elizabeth asked a little later. Everyone walked in silence. Then I said, "It comes from 'Tip of the iceberg.'"

"—That's nothing!" David said,
the personification of poetry.

"What do you mean, 'That's nothing?'" I cried. Didn't an iceberg sink the Atlantis?"

"The Titanic!" David said. "It sank the Titanic!"

Everybody looked at me in the arms of delight.

"—It's official!" I said,
even happier.







As follows

CODE WORDS: [Aaaaa-CHOO!], air, air-conditioning, airport, although, authenticity, avenue, awesome, catch, chronic, compassion, confirmed, coward, creeps, [critical hints], drivers, dry, eighty-nine, electricity, emotional, factoid, fastest, favors, fight, frightening, Germany's, goldfish, hearing, how, how're, imbecile, inclusivity, [incomprehensible], [inexplicable], insufficient, Islamic, legally, movie, Muslims, nuclear, offers, opposes, page, phoniness, plagues, quickest, rad, regret, revolve, ridden, right, secretary, shops, sink, slam, snap, soccer, Socratic, someone, Spear, stairs, starts, state, steps, [swipes], Tickton, touched, transfer, treatment, [trespassing], true, twitter, two's, u, unemployed, unloved, unsolvable, vacation, way, Wednesday, west, wet, where've, whither, will



—As fast as that. Dark magic.