Go to What I SHOULD Have Said... main page
Here is one story retold, albeit with a pithier ending:
What happened: Several years ago, I was dating a guy who had a problem with just about everything I did. (I was just too busy being "in love" to notice or do anything about it). One fine weekend, he and his two brothers were watching me make a pair of pants. I had the pieces of fabric laid out in front of me and had a few straight pins clasped between my lips as I worked. He said, "You really need to get those out of your mouth before you choke on them."
What I said: Being the pushover I was, I bit back my simple "No I won't" that I wanted to say and just removed the pins from my mouth.
What I SHOULD have said: I should have gagged, spit the pins out and said, "Oh, jeez, you're right. I'm just not used to having something so BIG in my mouth."
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!