By I. Am. Verboten
Do you know someone who makes other people miserable on purpose? Want to do something about it, but you just don't know how?You're standing in a store chatting with a friend and the local jerk walks in and ruins everyone's day.
Maybe it's somebody important's kin. Police just seem to ignore it. Politicians in the pocket. Do you know a seemingly untouchable bully?
Woman can be as strong and as fierce as any man. Use the most dangerous weapon any person has, your mind, and compose a solution for your abuser. You don't have to use fists. Play to your strength. The more personalized the revenge the better.
Violence? Is it worth getting in a fight? What if it's your brother...your sister? Your wife... What you need is something any regular person can use on any other person; friend or foe. Something practical and low risk. You need a Harmless Revenge.
Who can think with that little voice whispering...
...it's too risky. They might get angry. I'll get fired. Someone'll get hurt. Maybe take a swing...have a knife... a gun. I've got a family. They could be a tweaker; high on meth, unpredictable. In a gang. Is that a tattoo? If they cared about getting hurt they wouldn't do meth. Why risk my own neck when it's easier to just let it go...
...live with it.
If you've ever felt this shame of helplessness...look no further. I'm going to teach you how to establish accountability in those who seem to be above it. It's an ancient system of mischief capable of inducing humility in the highest of the high. A method used all over the world from time immemorial especially during times like this. A philosophy for court jesters keeping the kings honest.
Ladies and gentlemen I present... Pranksterism.
A practical joke, or prank, is a mischievous trick played on someone, generally causing the victim to experience embarrassment, perplexity, confusion, or discomfort.
Here are some basic elements of the Harmless Revenge that distinguish it from other kinds of pranks starting with purpose and a just cause. Measure the problem, Funny execution, Incentive to accountability, and Will to see it through. Such is the price and responsibility of a well designed prank compared to the whimsical common fair driving clicks online.
You didn't start this and you're not obliged to consider feelings as though you're friends. You're not friends..for now, but there are limits. This is just a prank. Use good judgement.
There are no halfway solutions and once you've Measured your problem and determined its nature you will need to establish Incentives until it's over. Any solution must be practical, thematically relevant and preferably anonymous.
Even if they suspect you; never confirm it. Deny it until your bedside confession. The most important of the basic white lies in good pranking is deny everything.
The most effective Incentives are based on the Measure of the subject and designed to alter behaviour. Giving them opportunity to spend their time and attention voluntarily. Stuck ignoring and dismissing good options that keep showing up. Even just having to think about it has a cost. Making decisions has a cost. This is the well deserved Schadenfreude that makes the Harmless Revenge so sweet.
The Funny comes in the irony and flavour of the prank. When it's all over you ideally want those who have been irritated in the past to find the results funny. There is no need for physical threat; simply offer harmless voluntary opportunities to achieve a desired result safely. Try to be funnier each time and use your imagination.
Provide the opportunity and soon the problem will find a way to solve itself.
You'll know it's over when the behaviour improves or you feel compensated for the grievance. Like training wheels, your Incentives can disappear in time and the problem will not return. The key is to make it cheap to do the right thing yet they need to spend more while you spend less... until its over.
Entice them into paying with time and attention and pride. Their most valuable assets. The specific consequences are really up to the subject and how much they push back. Don't be afraid of push back. That's normal during a correction. If they escalate in some extraordinary way then you may have to go next level.
It's preferable a Harmless Revenge be conducted without anyone ever knowing who you are. Without ever being in the same room in fact. This is another important white lie required to protect the prank. Oh, you may want to fight them, your ego may want the credit, but it's distracting. Every second you spend imagining a fist fight adds risk.
Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. - Friedrich Nietzsche
You'll have to pretend like you don't care. Act without pride and trust your plan. If you accept the responsibility of mischief then you need to protect everyone involved adequately. The same mental laziness that creates the bully in the first place exists in all of us. Best not to feed it.
Additionally, by expecting no credit for the prank we throttle escalation. As a consequence...minimized danger. There's always a little danger when pulling a prank, but lets not exaggerate it. To those who take the risk go the rewards.
Build a creative solution to elevate our better angels.
A bully will only stop the abusive behaviour once they accept accountability and that only happens by adjusting the internal scales weighing risk and reward. The problem is the bully has been rewarded for high risk aggression. Getting away with it has encouraged a fearless expectation of return. Harvey Weinstein comes to mind.
Remember, we're not even necessarily talking about someone who's committed major crimes like rape or sexual assault. Just a jerk pushing scared people around cause he can. If they've committed major crimes in the past then obviously that increases the risk and you should plan accordingly.
Consider moving to a next level approach if you discover during Measurement a greater danger than you at first assumed. Whatever you do; DON'T GIVE UP just because they seem intimidating. Finish the Harmless Revenge before they hurt even more people. There's a good chance they'll come back around to you again eventually even if you do nothing.
A next level approach means real journalism. Collecting evidence for possible serious crimes convictions. Hiring private detectives, security, and making sure appropriate law enforcement are aware. Remain anonymous even with police unless you have an inside connection. Work as a unit. If you're a private investigator you'll have personal connections that everyday people might not. Work with a publisher and proper legal framework to protect your people while you nail some bad guys. Your a professional now. I'm impressed and your country is grateful.
Protect your sources including yourself. Never share with anyone else that you are involved in a Harmless Revenge. If someone asks deny everything. Not even your closest friends. Keep them safe. Don't take unnecessary risks.
This story is about inspiring others to help. This is what we mean by fabric of society. Don't let it become about ego. Police can handle anything dark you shake from its hole.
The prank must work within the principals of article 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which says
Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
Tweakers are the zombies of drug addicts. Sketchy, aggressive, idiot scavengers. Paranoid super consumers, but they "look" scary to a lot of regular folk.
Strategy: Try to encourage the subject to either get better or expose themselves voluntarily to self-escalating risk and expense.
Find out the name, address, and get a picture of the subject so you are absolutely certain you don't prank the wrong person. The more dangerous you suspect the person might be the more you should find out a few specific examples of why. What's the colourful backstory thats kept locals from handling this already? Get an accurate sense of what you're dealing with.
Identify a single stress point. Addiction is very common. A bad marriage; slave job. Lack of purpose and or conscience. Loneliness. The list goes on and on. It doesn't really matter as long as its conceivably related to the problem behaviour. Meth is an obvious one.
Deliver a brochure or pamphlet offering program assistance for the stress point. It's best to use legitimate material with official branding. For example; if you're dealing with a meth addict; any drug treatment program will happily send you the material you'll need for free. Or an Alcoholic, maybe? Gambling?
Your Incentives must offer genuine help. Leave it at the end of their driveway. DO NOT go on their property. EVER. Opening a path to treatment can only help.
Bonus: If they have a really shabby vehicle leave flyers for auto parts stores. Get creative these are just suggestions.
In many cases ketchup in the keyhole is perfectly acceptable, drawing the outline of a hand giving the middle finger on the mailbox is hilarious. NEVER DESTROY PROPERTY and never do anything that would scare your mother.
You might imagine they're like a potty trained toddler that poops himself to "punish" the mother; the mother looks at the toddler... shrugs and says
Fine. Sit then. Have a nice afternoon.
Do this as often as you see fit to ease your own stress or the behaviour changes. Feels good. Releases the anger. It's guilt free karma. Everybody's better off. This is your Harmless Revenge. Have fun. Be funny. Trace a picture of a car-wash on a dirty windshield. Choose a different day of the week each time.
Stay focused specifically on the initial stress point so you get a compound return. Don't do anything over-much and don't break anything.
Ideal: The lucky bastard gets help and soon realizes the value of respecting themselves and therefor others. They go onto more productive days. Start businesses and improve the country.
Middling: They drop in and out of treatment; kinda get a handle on whatever, they're still cranky but less of a concern for all involved. Further conditioning may be required at some point. Use community standard and play it by ear.
Fail: Doesn't work at all. If you're lucky they start looking for whoever did it. The more they look the more time and money they waste because the odds of finding you are near zero. Imagine them steaming for weeks not knowing who got the better of them... So tasty.
And if they do find you somehow it's a great opportunity to deny it and then settle things on your terms by going next level. Similar to Politics, mischief is messy. Avoid letting it get personal. You're not going to be friends at the end of this... that ship has sailed if your at this point.
If they ignore the prank wait until they commit another public expression of rudeness or intimidation. Just to be sure the behaviour isn't already corrected. They might mellow upon realizing it's publicly known that they have a stress point. Sometimes that's enough and no further prank is required.
So lets say they just keep on keepin' on. You hear of or experience yet another moment where he scares a friend or has an outburst near some old people. Nothing pisses me off like seeing a scared old person. I mean seriously who picks on old people?
Begin dropping anger management and depression leaflets into their mailbox or on the ground at the end of their driveway along with new pamphlets for the original stress point. At least 6 different brochures and leaflets. Some leaflets need to be a bright happy colour and small. The more different sizes the better. Don't deliver this stuff to post boxes in post offices.
Go to the source like a paperboy. You don't want them controlling the frequency of pick up.
Now it's slightly more expensive to deal with the Incentives. Several pieces of helpful items to pay attention to. Effort that is now irritating...just like our little bully...or Google ads. Oooohhhhhh.
At each step moving forward wait for a new occurrence from the subject. Reaching this point enters the rarefied "Over the Top" phase characteristic of carnival clowns. You are officially dealing with a stubborn mule.
Start bringing a cream pie along with the brochures. Don't leave a note even if they leave you one. Unless it's an apology just ignore it and stick to the plan. Make sure the cream pie isn't covered. We want leaves and wind debris in the cream so it's not edible, but should have been.
Also make sure that the brochures get some cream on them so when picked up it tends to get on the hands. Make sure the cream is made sticky and far too thick. A little rotten egg smell from a joke shop doesn't hurt, either. And they can use the business.
Congratulations! You've conducted a successful prank! 3 brochures, 1 for depression, 1 for anger management, 1 for original stress point, messy pies...cupcakes...moldy sandwiches. The sky is the limit really as long as it's safe. It feels so damn satisfying whether it solves the problem or not. They didn't get away with it scott free and you'll laugh about it for years.
And all you've done is produce a burden of great advice in their life mothering them toward better choices. Feel free to play with the frequency of pranks as needed to achieve the result your looking for. Sooner or later they'll either get the idea and work with the community to co-exist, move, or escalate it to the next level.
But...but...dangerous...they might do anything...
Sounds gruesome doesn't it. Can you hear the foot steps outside your window? This little treatise wouldn't be complete if I didn't address it.
Is that a voice in the back yard? There is true evil in this world...did I mess with the wrong...
Oh, please. You're not a vigilante. You're just a good citizen pushing back with a Harmless Revenge.
No guiltier than a teenager using chalk to spell out a dirty word on the side of a school after detention.
In fact, you offered help to someone who needs it. You think that's gonna come back on you with... what? Something worse than you've already put up with? At worst your no bigger a douche than he is; and your still the counter-puncher.
This isn't a movie...it's reality TV...
Lets say for the sake of argument they actually track you down. Hidden camera in the driveway.
Ideal: With a whimsical smile they shake your hand and apologize for being a dick. Explains that they're getting help. Turns over a new leaf. Thanks you for pushing in the right direction. No-one else cared.
Confrontation: The jerk gets in your face and yells. You deny it, apologize for the misunderstanding and continue with new pranks.
Combat Aggression: The asshole takes a swing. You can take the hits or fight back. Either way prepare for the next level. If they don't have a weapon you have a good chance of winning or at least enduring the fight.
This kind of person is pretty soft most of the time. Lazy, self indulgent. Twitchy. The escalation will allow the involvement of the police, and bystanders so they can do much of the work for you. Sometimes a fight just can't be avoided so have fun with it. They'll be sitting in lock up while you plan your civil suit.
Anything with serious weapons would be such an extreme and unlikely escalation that traditional self defense strategies would take over. Legal carry of appropriate fire arms is always a good idea if you're concerned about personal safety given what your dealing with. Taking extra courses in defending those around you is always recommended. In extreme situations private security is required especially at publicized events.
You might be in a position to save a life someday so why not be prepared.
Sometimes it's not an option to sit on the side lines hoping to avoid harm while others sacrifice every day. If you catch the opportunity to take a violent psychopath down in self defense shouldn't you at least try?
Bonus Prank: The Hoax
Sometimes there isn't one bully there's a cackling brood of catty nags each making your day miserable in turn. The responsibility is placed squarely on those who created the necessity for the prank. You've held your tongue and done your job. They're are so many of them...time for a Hoax.
As the name might imply a hoax prank involves creating the illusion of something that isn't necessarily real or true. Like a truthful lie one can appreciate the double edged nature. It's a great way to deal with groups of people working against you. Colleagues and competitors alike fall for classical red herrings.
All pranks require white lies... a denial, an omission, a subterfuge or a distraction. Maybe even the element of surprise. A good Hoax requires the ends justify the means.
Warning: Those who use hoax's for doxing or hurting individuals, deserve a not so Harmless Revenge. Publicly putting up pictures of specific people with embarrassing characterization is a crime; not a prank.
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[EDITORS NOTE: With apologies this description of a Hoax prank has been redacted. It's far too dangerous unless applied by an experienced prankster. Consider designing a Harmless Revenge instead.]
Final Thoughts: Punch up. With mischief there are no untouchable bullies. Hail, Loki!
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