Go to What I SHOULD Have Said... main page
Here is one story retold, albeit with a pithier ending:
What happened: I was driving to Las Vegas from Texas and as I was crossing the desert I experienced car trouble. Not being a "car guy" I stopped at the nearest service station. I asked the mechanic to check out my car and give me an estimate. He said it would take a few minutes, so I walked across the street to a convience store where I bought an ice cream.After eating the ice cream I walked back across the street and asked the mechanic what was wrong with my car. He said "looks like you blew a seal.'
What I said: How much will it cost me to have it fixed?
What I SHOULD have said: It's just ice cream, I swear!
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!