Go to What I SHOULD Have Said... main page
Here is one story retold, albeit with a pithier ending:
Target of gossip at Target
What happened: I was at Target getting a few little things. I was kind of in a hurry, so, I was walking a little faster than normal. On my way to check out, I got stuck behind a group of 4 girls that decided to walk right next to each other so I couldn't get around. I politely fell back a few steps, but one of the girls still noticed me and shot me a dirty look, and then turned to whisper something to her friends. Since I had been in a hurry I had thrown on the only clean shirt I had: A Sonic the Hedgehog shirt that I usually only sleep in. I checked out and ended up behind these girls again. They were taking their time so I walked past them to get to my car. As I walked by them they all fell silent, and I was barely past them when I heard them all titter, and one of the said to the other "Sonic, really?" and they all giggled.
What I said: Nothing. I just walked to my car.
What I SHOULD have said: I wanted to turn around and strike a pose and say "YOU'RE just jealous because I make this look GOOD!" and then do a really stuck-up hair flip and strut away.
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!