Thursday, September 05, 2013

What Is the Best Answer?

During a brief verbal spat between myself and young woman, she proudly blurted out "I'm a socialist" as if that were proof of her moral superiority and greater intellect. Several retorts crossed my brain at once. I really did not take advantage of the moment to turn the incident more to the light side with a witticism.

So I've been playing with various quips that could be used for a whole slew of instances where some fool blurts "I'm a [blank]." Here are a few I like.

  • What have your personal problems got to do with this?
  •  I'm sorry. What's your Doctor's prognosis?
  • Is that a play for sympathy?
  • Oh, you're the one.

The one that crossed my mind, but I feared might be misconstrued given how ill-informed most young lefties are, was "Given that so many good socialists died in Stalin's Gulag, you should know that such an honest declaration won't save you from your own comrades."

Perhaps some of you can think of a few quips that are not too biting. Please add them to the comment stream.


  1. Biting is all she would have understood. She was safe in her ignorance and assumed superiority.

    In her mind you had two strikes before you even spoke. You are older and you are a man. If you are white, you have three strikes.

    The problem with preplanned witty is it never comes off. To be truly effective you need to be able to riff with the flow. Takes practice and a mind set. I don't have the mind set.

    I did like you last quip though, that or you are the one. Short works.

  2. " Takes practice and a mind set."

    Yep. It's something that often eludes me in a timely manner. But when i practice, it becomes easier. This is why I am asking readers to think up a variety of retorts to "I am a _____." It serves as practice in thinking in the mindset. It's also an asset found in leaders, and I wish my readers to be or to help create new leaders.

    My problem in this instance was not being able to make a decision to not go with my preferred response. And as you suggest, it may be too long. But with the right pacing and phrasing, even a long quip can work. I've seen it done. The audience (the surrounding listeners being the real customers of the quip) can hang on every word when they know something is coming. Satifaction.

  3. My standard answer to any and all declarative comments, which strike me as deserving a response is ; "I'm sorry!"

  4. All good responses.
    I might ask if it's a prayer request.
    Frankly I often stop and ask God for a response.
    It once saved me a beating and made me a friend.

  5. You know Ed, what I said may have been. It won me the moment, but it embarrassed her (in that I was not speaking to her, her on her rude interruption was doubly bad). Rude socialist has a cracked bell ring to it. I would have preferred the quip. Her interruption took me by surprise. But given where I was, I should never be surprised. Paul's advise for us who find ourselves in hostile or mixed venues is correct. Practice.


View My Stats