"You are an incredibly insensitive individual with compassion the size of a very small gnat. And by the way, I don't care for that anatomically impossible suggestion, thank you very much."
No, I haven't completely lost it well, not entirely, anyway. Yet.
I am actually just issuing a delayed response to the impatient gentleman who was expelling every last decibel out of his car horn as he simultaneously spit every expletive he could conjure at me in traffic late last week. This he did in reaction to my halting of the morning commute on state Route 165 (a two-lane highway) after witnessing an oncoming car demolish a little doe.
Yes, I understand this happens every day, but some of us are a bit bothered by seeing Bambi obliterated right before our eyes. So, as I sat helplessly and watched another motorist hop out of his truck and drag her to the side of the road, I couldn't help but start to cry.
That's when Nasty McMeanface started blaring his car horn and his hot breath at me. Though I sheepishly just turned away when he passed me waving a single finger, it might have been smarter to lean out my open window and utter:
"Are you aware that one's use of profanity is directly correlative to his brain circumference? Guess I'll overlook your vulgarity as I understand these must be really big words for you."
BAM! And such would I say to him if only he'd waited about an hour. Rats!
Though comforted by my work pals and my friend and fellow deer lover Sherry Noble-Leasure of Bristolville, my lack of response to Hot-Headed Harry got me to wondering: Why is it that I? can never invoke an immediate rebuttal to an insult lobbed my way?
Guess I'm better with a keyboard in front of me. Hmpf.
You know, I like to think of myself as something of a words gal - a person who knows her way around a phrase. And yet, it never seems to fail that, at the height of a verbal confrontation, the normally Chatty Patty apparently gets swallowed by some mealy-mouthed little waif who is more quiet than a diamond thief in Tiffany's at midnight.
Yep, I clam up tighter than Kim Kardashian's Spanx bodysuit on Oscar night in response to hurtful words and always end up concocting a brilliant retort, like, 45 minutes later, then scream, "I should have said "
Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
Note, this rule does NOT apply when I am defending a loved one or friend. For some reason, I am only rendered powerless when the object of scorn is, you know, Patty. And so, in honor of so many of us out here who fall prey to heat of the moment muteness, here are a few long overdue comebacks.
To the inebriated fellow who insisted on showing us what was underneath his kilt on St. Patrick's Day 2004: "Blech. And, I hope you catch cold."
To the road rage maven who tried to mow me down as I directed traffic during a Hospice 5K last month: "Madam, I realize your destination is important, but so is the money we are raising to help terminally ill patients. Perhaps the four-second detour around the block might not be too much to ask?
"Oh, and by the way, my big brother here is about to drag you out of your car and stick you with his bib number safety pins for speaking to his baby sister that way." BTW, thanks for having my back, Dan.
Lastly, to the boy who dumped me in college for being a good Catholic girl: "Apparently, I am the kind of gal you can fall in love with - at least my husband of nearly two decades thinks so."
P.S. Don't make me send Dan to your dorm room.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and really, really slow retort-er. Click on this story at tribtoday.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and then wait about a week or so for a really witty reply!