Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Return of... How To's Day

How to Obtain a Restraining Order Without Hurting Your Stalker's Feelings

Okay, it was cute at first. The roses showing up on your desk at work. The daily letters professing undying devotion. The phrase "I am always watching" scrolled across your mirror in lipstick accompanied by a montage of photographs of you asleep in your bed.

All innocent fun, but enough is enough. The next car bomb you find, attached to your ignition after a date with another man, might actually be functional. It's finally time to obtain a restraining order.

But herein lies the dilemma. On the one hand you know that your life is in very real danger. The obsessive and destructive attentions of someone who is so obviously mentally unstable and quite probably psychopathic make legal intervention practically unavoidable. But on the other hand, you know that a restraining order will just crush your stalker emotionally.

So how can you protect both your own life, and the feelings of he who is threatening it? Below are three possible methods. Some adaptation may be required, based on your individual stalker's temperament and your state's laws, so be prepared for a bit of improvisation.

Method 1: Make it Look Like and Accident

This is the simplest method, but it can be a bit transparent. When considering this option, judge your stalker's intelligence. If it is decidedly lacking, this is the method for you.

First, you'll need to arrange a document swap at your local courthouse. To do this, text - DO NOT CALL - a casual friend. Stalkers usually have bugs in your home, so all of your planning should be done via text message. Also, stalkers tend to keep an eye on the close friends of their victims, so a casual friend is best to contact for help.

Ask your casual friend to go to the courthouse and obtain an application for a restraining order. Tell her to take the application to the marriage license line and place it at the bottom of the stack of blank marriage license applications.

Next, call a close friend (Yes, a CLOSE friend. You want this conversation overheard.), and explain to her that you are tired of fighting your heart. Tell her you've decided to marry your stalker. She will likely freak out and start screaming at you, but you mustn't break character.

Now, put on your best love-struck face and drive to the courthouse. If your stalker is at all worthy of the title, he will be following. Once at the courthouse, march directly to the marriage license line and, as subtly as you can, retrieve the restraining order application from the bottom of the pile of marriage license applications. Fill in the application as fast as you can without leaving the counter, and hand it to the waiting clerk.

The clerk will probably look at the form and want to tell you that you're in the wrong line. You must stop his objection before he has a chance to say anything. Just hold up your hand, looking as desperate as you can and say, "Please. This has to happen today!" (Your stalker will be over the moon at this.) The clerk will infer that you are in immediate danger and rush the form to the appropriate office.

Finally, find a chair in the waiting area and take a seat. Your stalker, amazed that he has finally won you, will emerge after a short time and sit by your side. Just make googly eyes at him until the officers arrive to escort him away from your immediate proximity. When they do, act as surprised as he, and look back confusedly at the marriage license line.

Keep in mind that this method depends upon your stalker never returning to the courthouse to compare the marriage application with the restraining order application. There are marked differences between the two, and he may suspect a ruse if he juxtaposes them. Again, only opt for this method if your stalker is really stupid.

Method 2: Make Him Think it Was His Idea

This method is ideal for the stalker who has demonstrated self-destructive behavior while attempting to prove his devotion. For example, if he has ever walked through a pile of broken glass in order to write your name in blood with his bare feet in the snow-covered park adjacent to your apartment building, this method is probably your best bet.

First, you'll need a diary. If you already have one, great! If not, get one and make daily entries for a couple of weeks before proceeding to the next step. Nothing is more enticing to a stalker than a diary. Make sure you leave your diary in a place your stalker will be sure to find it, such as your night stand or underwear drawer.

Next, enroll in a law class at your local college. In order to really sell this, you'll need to start confiding in your friends that it has been a long-time dream of yours to pursue a career in law.

In your diary, start mentioning your new class. Note how fascinated you are with the intricacies of the law, and how excited you are that you are finally "doing it". Explain that your life, up to now, has been but a sorry attempt to fit into the expectations of others. That you are finally becoming the "you" you always knew you were but were afraid be.

Then, after several weeks in the class, muster as much heart-broken angst as you can, and make the following diary entry (in your own words):

Dear Diary, I fear all is lost. The knowledge I have gained these past weeks in my law class has been as water to dehydrated flesh. I have drunk it in with the zeal of one left for days in the driest of deserts, but now I find there was a pebble in my canteen. A stone which catches in my throat and prohibits the remaining water from reaching my needful stomach.

My professor introduced the concept of restraining orders today, and ,though he spoke in length about the principles governing them, my feeble mind could not grasp his words. I listened, confused, to his entire lecture. Afterward, I explained my lack of understanding to my study group. They too spent much time trying to explain to me the concept. Still, nothing clicked. They insisted that restraining orders are quite simple things, but to me they may as well be ancient and undecipherable glyphs carved in the tombs of kings.

If only there were some way for me to gain actual, real-world experience with restraining orders. To participate in the process from beginning to end. Then, I think I might finally grasp the principles governing the things. But alas, no. I have no reason to file one. No enemies. No persons from whom I wish always to be separated by a minimum of 600 yards.

And so I must awake from the dream that has been these past few weeks. I pray that it fades with the years as the fanciful dreams of night do with the dawn. That I may forget the hope and joy I have so naively, and unworthily held for this brief while.

After making this entry, lay down on your bed face down and cry into your pillow until you fall asleep. If you can't make yourself cry, laugh. It's hard to tell the difference when your face is in a pillow.

When you awake, the message scrolled in lipstick on your mirror will most assuredly be an offer from your stalker to have you file a restraining order against him. Call him immediately and protest vehemently. To solidify his resolve, you should make him insist at least three times before reluctantly accepting his selfless offer.

Method 3: The Reversal

If your stalker is neither stupid nor self-destructive, you may be forced to use The Reversal. This method is a bit tricky, and involves breaking some federal laws but, like the crane kick from The Karate Kid, when executed correctly, there is no defense against it.

See, an interesting thing about restraining orders is that they work both ways. If you obtain a restraining order against your stalker, it not only prohibits him from coming near you, but also you from going near him. So, regardless of who filed it, you both need to keep away from each other.

To start The Reversal, you'll need to become a master of trans-gender disguise. This may sound daunting, but don't worry, there's plenty of reference material out there. Whenever you're out with friends and it's your turn to pick a movie, choose Tootsie, or Yentl, or Big Mamma's House, or Boys Don't Cry, or Mrs. Doubtfire, or Just One of the Guys or... well, there are a lot of choices.

Once you have the technique down, you'll need to disguise yourself as your stalker. You'll obviously need to do this in a place that is not under surveillance by your stalker. Try to lose him in a busy mall, and then slip into a utility closet.

Now you'll need some legal documents that identify you as your stalker. You may be tempted to try to steal your stalker's wallet, but don't. Too risky. Instead, visit your local counterfeit artist and commission a set of legal documents. The cost is usually around $300 for a full set, but you may be able to get a discount if you ask only for a driver's license. If you don't know who your local counterfeit artist is, go downtown and ask for a guy named Slick. If you find somebody named Slick, he will almost assuredly either be a counterfeiter himself, or know where to find one.

With identification in hand, visit your courthouse and file a restraining order against yourself (your actual self) in the name of your stalker. Cite all sorts of disturbing behavior, but nothing strictly illegal - you don't want to get yourself arrested.

After completing the restraining order, find a discreet place in the courthouse to change back into your normal clothes, then call the police. In your best man voice say, "Hi, I just got a restraining order against my psycho ex-girlfriend and I think she's on her way over here. I'm afraid she's going to do something crazy." Then, hop in your car and head to your stalker's house.

The police should be waiting for you outside his home. Try to go in anyway. When they forcibly remove you from the premises, scream as loud as you can, "WHAT!! YOU GOT A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST ME??!! I'M GOING TO BOIL YOUR HAMSTER!!!"

He'll be left confused, and unable to approach you, but his feelings will not be hurt. Also, a surprising number of stalkers are schizophrenic, so he may just blame himself.