Recently, when someone offered an over the top, unsolicited opinion, I found myself retort challenged. Gawking back in incredulous amazement had no effect on this 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.
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 the 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, leaving you with no quick means of escape.
I began my quest for effective responses to tyrants, malcontents, and buffoons.
My research uncovered some new uses for “Wow” and “Okay”
For instance, “wow” is the new no-fault response to rude comments. Reserve “okay” for the stupid ones.
The beauty of “wow” is it’s unexpected.
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 an effective stall tactic when asked to accommodate a request you have no intention of granting. The person asking may come up with his or her own solution.
The use of “okay” as a response to stupid comments is a bit tricky and requires some navigation.
Speak “Okay” slowly—- “okaaaay” accompanied by a look of resolute nothingness.
The caveat for “okay” is to reserve its use as a non-offensive means to halt idiotic comments.
The downside of using this tactic is some may mistake “okay” as an indication you are in agreement, trapping you in the equivalent of verbal hell.
Should you find yourself in this situation, respond “Wow, okay, bless your heart”, and run.
Note: Originally published October 2013
Categories: Biased, Unbalanced and Politically Incorrect
I am a lifelong Southerner, short story author, and essayist. Home is Dallas, Texas.
My essays have appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Writing.