Go to What I SHOULD Have Said... main page
Here is one story retold, albeit with a pithier ending:
What happened: I was eight, at girl scout camp. I was waiting to get into one of the bathroom stalls, when the girl who slept in the bunk above me came out and said, "You were trying to see me naked, weren't you? Pervert." I was mortified--eight-year-old girl scouts in Georgia don't do that sort of thing.
What I said: nothing--I punched her, and got in a LOT of trouble
What I SHOULD have said: "Right...maybe you just want to see ME naked."
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!