Go to What I SHOULD Have Said... main page
Here is one story retold, albeit with a pithier ending:
What happened: I was in 9th grade during the election of 2oo4. In the beginning of the year, our history widely known Conservative teacher had told us that he was always up for a good debate. In a class one day, he started bashing John Kerry and saying that Bush actually wasn't that bad. He also stated that Bush just had bad publicity, but was a really good president. Taking what he said at the beginning of the year for truth, I stated that John Kerry also had bad publicity. After that he pulled a "Well, I'm the teacher so I'm right."
What I said: "Ok. Ok. Ok. Ok." End. My face turned briiight red and I sat with my teeth clenched to keep from arguing with him.
What I SHOULD have said: "Are you serious? You're 34 and you might be the Honors 9 History teacher, but that does not give you the right to step all over students and be hypocritical. You're entitled to your opinion on John Kerry and George Bush, just as I am. It doesn't make you any better or worse."
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!