Threats are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? The words chosen have to be exact, or things could get out of hand. I’ve been threatened and issued threats. I think it’s an art form that too many people are terrible at, but that if it’s done right you’ll be able to do one of a few things, including: 1. make someone laugh, 2. frighten the life of someone and 3. make yourself appear threatening. Which is kind of the idea.
One of the best threats that’s ever been issued towards me went something along the lines of You’re lucky you’re so good with words or I’d beat the shite out of you. This was proceeded by You! You little bastard! I have great friends, obviously. They do love to look out for me and make sure I don’t do silly things like talk about cigarettes and alcohol and Facebook. Those are out of bounds with some people. Or I’d be beaten. I don’t particularly want to be beaten. However, this means the threat worked on levels – it made me laugh, but I can’t help but laugh when someone says that, and it made him appear threatening.
I still did something similar the next day, though.
Out of the all the things I’ve said to threaten someone – which admittedly isn’t very much – my favourite was If you ever say anything to diss Jim Morrison again, I’ll shove your man bag so far up your own ego you won’t know what country you’re in. I still love that one. I’m quite pleased with myself for it. It didn’t make me appear threatening, though. And I don’t think the lad was frightened out of his life. But we both laughed, all thanks to my careful use of the English language.
Carefully observing the Facebook, I do notice a few things. And I say carefully observing, which translates roughly to creeping. But anyway, I carefully observed a threat issued to a drug dealer – I know, dodgy. Basically, the guy was threatened that if he ever offered someone drugs again, he’d be beaten. The lad was told to apologise to this drug dealer because he’s dangerous. He went back up and threatened to kill his whole family if he ever offered drugs to any of his friends.
The threats were effective, though. It made everyone who read it on Facebook laugh, it frightened the life out of the drug dealer and it made the lad appear threatening.
Threats are wonderful.
Other such things that I’ve seen have been along the lines of threatening people that if they ever caused trouble for someone, they’d – you guessed it – have the shite kicked out of them. It: 1. made me laugh, 2. frightened the asses that were threatened and 3. made the lad who threatened them appear threatening.
I am a firm believer that these threats have all been done in either 1. good humour or 2. good will. They were very particular threats, aimed at very particular people, for very particular reasons. Don’t mess about on Facebook, don’t poke fun at a rock legend, don’t deal drugs and don’t mess with people just because you think you can. The words were chosen well, I think. It was all very important that these things were said, because the messages sent out really did shut a few people up. Myself included. It’s hard to get me to shut up, I might add. I’m not very good at staying quiet once I get going. I tend to go on and on and on about things, unless I’m on the phone to someone who’s very good at telling stories. My love of talking is bested only by my love of stories.
Use threats carefully, though. I mean, you can’t go around issuing threats to people left, right and centre. You might get stabbed, or worse. I mean, I didn’t threaten someone who I thought would be offended. The other threats were issued to people who really couldn’t do very much about it. No matter how good your wording, if you in any way threaten the wrong person, you’re going to get in trouble. There’s the right use of words, and there’s common sense. Sometimes we lack in common sense, but for your own sake, don’t be a fool – if you think you might offend someone, make sure you can deal with the trouble that arises from it.
And, importantly, don’t issue empty threats. I once threatened to plot against someone. I him so. And I did plot against him. I plotted, and I told him what I’d plotted. Well, I was smart about what I said – I didn’t actually have to go through with the threat. If you threaten to kill yourself... well, I’m not going to say You bloody well better kill yourself. I’m actually going to advise against it entirely. No matter how hopeless things look, that shouldn’t be an option.
This has gotten all depressing... I think it’s time for a threat. Okay, you ever bring up the S word, and I’ll have to get someone to hit you. Hard. And it will only hurt, it won’t kill you. Sorry. But that’s how it’s going to be. I’m threatening you, right here and right now, to have you hit, hard and possibly with a hurl, if you ever threaten anything like that. (If I ever threaten anything like that, I give any friend reading this who has a hurl permission to use it.)
Let me see... oh, there are some horribly common threats. The worst one that was ever said to me was Give you that or I’ll stick something in your head. It was a badminton racket. I think my brother told him to Fuck off. He deserved it. Nobody threatens me and That Guy I Am like that and gets away with just being ignored. He was a fool an a strange one at that. He didn’t even ask for our phones. And he was on a bike that we could have pushed over.
This society is a bunch of idiots.
I especially dislike that threat because 1. it wasn’t funny, 2. it didn’t frighten me and 3. it didn’t make the guy seem threatening. It actually just made him seem like an idiot. He didn’t have anything to actually threaten me with, so it was just a vague conglomeration of words he uses in his day to day life that formed a hollow expression of fruitless aggression. What a fool he was!
So, there we go. Threats and the proper use of them, and the words that are used in them. And I didn’t make any of this up. I swear, people actually said these things, because they are 1. funny, 2. mad or 3. stupid.
Now I’d like you to rate this as being 1. something that made you laugh, 2. something that made you feel entertained and/or 3. something that made me seem like an entertaining individual.
Written as part of Challenge 5 of Literary Den's Summer of Writing 2010, Words.