Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Thursday, June 02, 2005

Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions

The French manage to have an elegantly apposite term for just about everything, and that includes this one: l’esprit d’escalier, or the spirit of the stairway. The phrase refers to clever comebacks that occur to you when it’s a little too late, like when you’re trudging down the stairs in the aftermath of a doorway confrontation.

In my case, it’s less a case of things I wish I’d said, and more of things I wish I was actually mean-spirited enough to say in certain circumstances, such as:

when someone asks “Going up?” when the elevator panel clearly indicates that said elevator is going down (or vice versa):
“No. Actually, right now this elevator is headed for a twelve-day pilgrimage through the Holy Land. Are you coming?”

when someone says, after I’ve just told them something, “Really?/Talaga?/No kidding?”
“You got me; I am kidding. I just make these things up to test your mental acuity. Congratulations, you clearly have a triple-digit IQ!”

when someone whom I know can recognize my voice rings my cell phone and just has to ask, “Hi, is this Nikki?”
“No, this is her evil twin, Skippy. I’ve just sliced Nikki open and strangled her with her own intestines. Would you like to leave a message?”

when someone asks me (and they have, believe it or not), “Do you mind if I ask what size your boobs are?”
“Yes, I do mind; but since you’ve already asked, I’ll tell you: they’re bigger than your brain, and smaller than mine.”

when someone calls me on my landline at home and says, “So where are you?”
“Orbiting Jupiter. Luckily, the aliens that kidnapped me have altered my physiology in such a way that I can now transmit my thoughts as electrical currents. So how’re you?”

This last one, I’m proud to tell you, I actually did say, when a white man patronizingly said, “You know what? You speak really good English.”
“Thanks; so do you. Did you learn it from TV?”

Obviously, I can be a challenging person to converse with, although I rarely actually utter the snarkiness that so often occurs to me. Some people, however, deserve it.
Nikki bit in at 1:21 PM :: ::
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