Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
We’ve all experienced it before. Somebody makes a particularly cutting remark and you are briefly presented with the perfect opportunity to burn them right back. That is, if you are able think quickly enough. Sadly though, the perfect burn usually doesn’t come to you until later, on your way home that night or walking down the stairs, when it is no longer useful. There is a name for this phenomenon of delayed cleverness, the French call it l’esprit d’escalier, or “staircase wit.”
What I SHOULD Have Said is a place for us to share these moments of belated genius, such as the following:
What happened: This was years ago in school. We weren’t allowed to wear jewelry. Everyone tried to sneak a little bit on -just the way kids want to appear clever etc.. Most of the teachers didn’t care, but some of them took it really seriously. Standing in line one day, a particular old bat jetted over, and shouted: “RING!”
What I said: Took it off mumbling, and handed it over.
What I SHOULD have said: “HELLO?!”
Sure, that might not seem like all that clever of a response, but it’s easy to see how in that situation it would have been the absolute perfect, satisfying thing to have come up with on the spot. It’s a perfect example of what makes What I SHOULD Have Said so great. It gives us all a place to say what we would have said, if we were only slightly more witty.
Like Overheard in New York, What I SOULD Have Said relies on visitors sharing their bizarre daily interactions to keep the site going. So, the next time you are presented with the opportunity to be witty and fail to deliver, make sure to remember your perfect comeback (when it finally arrives) so you can share it with the rest of us.