Go to What I SHOULD Have Said... main page
Here is one story retold, albeit with a pithier ending:
a racist retort
What happened: I was in my rhetoric of war and peace class when the topic religion came up, and more specifically whether Islam is an inherently violent religion. My contention is that religion is just a tool, not inherently good or bad, and that people make it good or bad. Some good'ole boy from Alabama said that "well gosh darn, over there they kill christians but we dont kill muslims over here."
What I said: I didn't say anything because it was the beginning of the semester and a little early to be making enemies in my opinion.
What I SHOULD have said: "Well gosh darn, I guess thats cuz most muslims aren't black or gay."
The French call it l'esprit d'escalier, "the wit of the staircase," those biting ripostes that are thought of just seconds too late, on the way out of the room-or even, to tell the truth, days later. It's happened to you: you've suddenly thought of just what would put your foe in his or her place, but past the time when the arrow could sting its victim. You've stewed in your own juice ever since, and the chance for singeing repartee is gone forever.
Or is it?
Dorothy Parker or Oscar Wilde may have had the rapier wit to tweak their tormentors on the spot, but for the rest of us, we offer the Internet's only L'esprit d'escalier web site!