PHRASES, PART ONE: Use words expressing Concern and Obvious Caring. Here are some samples: “I’m really concerned for Arlee.” “Have you seen Ray lately? I’m very worried for him.”
VOICE: Choose your style – use a voice hushed or louder and emphatic – but always be Grave and Entirely Serious. Solemnity will get you quite far.
VISUALS: Be creative. Wrinkle your brow or pull on your beard. You could run your hands through your hair, assuming you have some. (Gray hair is best in this case.) If you are in the Advanced Level, then you could let a teardrop fall Exactly on Cue.
PHRASES, PART TWO: Use words showing the Depth of the Bond that you and your victim have shared or the Recent EyeWitness Close Up View that you had. “You know, I just saw Antonia last week.” “I’m actually the Godmother of Child Number Four.”
PERSONA: This one is truly for the more advanced, and requires a significant investment of time. Cultivate, in your circle and beyond, a reputation for religiosity and ethical living. Make a point of letting people know You Spend Time with the Lord. Tell people about your habits of Daily Mass, Weekly Confession, Daily Attendance at the Tabernacle (on your way to the gym, of course, at the Crack of Dawn, of course), and so on and so forth. And while you’re at it, announce all the details of the sanctity of your family. Tell everyone that you do the rosary Every Single Night, As a Family. Make a point of announcing that you really enjoyed Devotional Speaker A B or C. Tell those you meet that you and your family pray together before leaving Mass, and that you raise and lower your heads Entirely on Cue (no distraction in your clan, of course and of course!) in a synchronized and unnatural fashion.
PHRASES, PART THREE: Approach your listener in secret and on the sly. Do not give your victim any indication that you will be speaking about him or about her. This is as easy as pie. A quick email or a phone call from your cell and you’ve arranged a Meeting. Ah yes, a Meeting to Discuss WHAT TO DO about the poor weak and confused Blogger.
TIMING: It can be quite useful to approach your listener when the listener isn’t expecting to hear from you. That element of surprise ensures that your listener won’t have any time to alert the victim that you’re on your way to Doing Your Deed. Phone the listener at work, or send a quick email. Hopefully that person’s email or voice mail aren’t entirely private, because that will kill two birds at once. Keep it zippy. Leave your defaming message on voice mail – perhaps the secretary will check it. At the very least, ensure it’s alarming. Do an email with a title like this: “Organ Failure.” The more indiscreet and tabloid-ish the better. A nosy secretary might get to it before they do it. It will get your listener’s attention, at any rate, and a listener off-balance is all the more likely to Do As You Say. Drop in at the listener’s home, but make it sudden: “I’m on my way – it’s entirely Urgent.”
PHRASES, PART FOUR: And speaking of off-balance, it can be quite useful to raise the spectre of Future Disaster. Talk about how things will go from Post 133 or whatever to Utter Disaster for everyone everywhere, especially anyone the listener or victim holds dear. Look into the crappy crystal ball that you got at that garage sale and show your listener that Gloom and Doom are Just Around the Corner. You are, after all, All-Knowing. You’ve seen it All Before. You’ve looked it up and Google Doth Say. Ah yes, better act fast. Run to the doctor; run to the authorities! That Blogger is dangerous! Just look at this poem!
Yeah, uh, why don’t you unsubscribe, buddy?
Or get back to what you were doing.
Go harass someone else.
Or go bowling.
You can use your crystal ball.
To knock over someone else in your life.
ACCOMPLICES: Obviously, the more accomplices that you have, the more credible you will look. Bring on board as many individuals as you can. They may have their own agenda, or maybe they will be entirely clueless – it doesn’t actually matter. The point is, the more the merrier. If you don’t have the person in real, then you can quote them or describe their actions; a little ‘elaboration’ is A-okay. Go ahead. You can say, “George is so Entirely Concerned about my Cancerous Condition that he comes over Daily, just to Give me a Hug.” In the case of accomplices, it is best for you to have people who have a history of being mute and silent; that way, when you spin your lies, they won’t speak up to correct any facts or (heaven forbid!) defend those who are being defamed. Silence will be interpreted as agreement, especially by those who never liked the victim in the first place.
PHRASES, PART FIVE: This is where you go for the jugular. I have seen this done quite effectively and quickly. You can really take your pick here. One time, a classmate defamed another like this: “Have you seen Joe R lately?” (I said that I hadn’t, so that meant he could proceed without too much worry.) “I’m really worried for him. He’s lost a LOT of weight. He looks almost deathly, poor guy. I barely recognized him.” It went something like that. Nevertheless, sometimes the bolder defamer will speak about people even though you saw the person at the same time. The script went like this: “Did you see Pauline?” I said that I had. “I was shocked! She looks so much older than before; she’s really aged.” I replied that I thought Pauline was looking largely unchanged (because that’s how it looked to me at the time.)
Those examples go for the outward appearance, and although they do defame, they aren’t entirely as damaging as those private little tidbits that you can use or invent if you know more of the history, or if you are in a close enough relationship with the victim that your listener will believe you’re in the know.
Oh! The things I have heard!
(But here, be at ease. I won’t disclose who told me what.)
I’ve seen people openly announce, about people in their own inner circle, things like this: “My, it’s just such a shame that my son began smoking marijuana in his early twenties. (Sigh) His personality was never quite the same.” “My son is addicted to pornography, and you know what that means.” (Sigh.) “My daughter and her husband are always in debt; I just can’t understand it.” (Sigh.) “My daughter has genital warts, such a shame.” (Sigh.) “My daughter-in-law, well, she prides herself on being so very skinny and she feeds MY grandson yogurt containing sucralose!” And so on and so forth. I remember a woman saying to me, “Oh, pray for my husband! He has Erectile Dysfunction!” It was a statement barely on topic and at a potluck so open.
I don’t know. Too much information? In that case, yes.
I call that defamation. It’s disguised as Concern and Caring, but it’s, well, not.
These things are a counterfeit of those times when a person, genuinely distressed, is hoping for some advice and support about a problem that he or she has, a current dilemma or difficulty that they’re working on addressing.
But to continue, those samples aren’t even the worst.
If you want to do worse damage to your intended victim, go for the gold. Question their sanity or their sanctity or both. Snuggle up to your audience and in very grave voice say something like this: “I’m just really worried. I think she needs Support. I think she needs Our Prayers and Our Help. I think we should Do Something. We can’t just leave things like this. Have you read her Blog? She said something about Blood. It makes me sick. (Since when is a grown Catholic man afraid of the word “blood”? This is my Body. This is my Blood.) I’m Worried for Her. Get her Assessed. Whisper whisper. Stop her, at once.”
Hopefully your victim won’t get together for supper
The very next day
With your audience.
Hopefully your victim won’t have pizza
(A circular pizza shouldn’t ever be cut into squares.)
In the old ‘hood
The following day
Canada Day 2016
with Julja and clan.
A table for nine.
Blood’s thicker than Water
As they say