Recently, I found myself retort challenged when someone offered an over the top, unsolicited opinion. I realized gawking back in incredulous amazement is no match for a know it all. I had depleted my list of snarky comebacks to those who make inappropriate statements, demands or ask questions I do not intend to answer. Thus began my quest for effective response to a tyrant.
The passive/aggressive southern “bless your heart” publicized to the extent that even the newest Yankee knows you are calling him/her a dumbass, is a weak response to over the top stupid. The phrase is trite and there is a drawback to its usage. Those for whom the phrase is entirely appropriate, can mistakenly believe you are sympathizing with them and blather on.
My research uncovered some new discoveries; for instance, “wow” is the new no fault response for rude comments while “okay” is reserved for stupid ones. “Okay” should be spoken “okaaaay” accompanied by a look of resolute nothingness.
It is brilliant. I can hardly wait to deliver my “wow” to a certain smart alec. The beauty of “wow” is it’s unexpected. An additional benefit is the surprise factor deprives a know-it-all of any opportunity to recover quickly. As they struggle to decode your response, you can escape.
“Wow” is a very effective stall tactic too, for instance when asked to accommodate a request you really aren’t keen on. Maybe the person asking will come up with his or her own solution and you’ll be off the hook.
The use of “okay” as a response for stupid comments is a bit tricky and requires some navigation. The obvious caveat for “okay” is to reserve its use for over the top stupid as a non-offensive means to halt idiotic comments. Should the cerebrally deficient appear to believe you agree with them smile, “bless their heart” and run. Ninety percent of the time, any response to a stupid comment is a no win.
Personally, I like “wow” as an all-purpose retort. It is quick, snappy and a subtle slap in the face to those who deserve it. With the approaching holidays, I have a feeling “wow” and extra pinot grigio will be useful.
© 2013, JoAnn Williams. All rights reserved.