Go to What I SHOULD Have Said... main page
Here is one story retold, albeit with a pithier ending:
The Venician Deaf
What happened: I work at the Symphony in the box office and field all manner of innane questions. A woman called one afternoon for information and asked, "Do you have transcripts for the deaf?"
What I said: (as I wanted to keep my job) No, ma'am... I'm sorry we don't.
What I SHOULD have said: Yes, it's called sheet music.
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!