Here’s your diploma ‘cuz you’ve been SCHOOLED

Madame Weebles —  February 25, 2013 — 179 Comments

I considered making the title of this post “Ohhhhhh SNAP!” or “Awwwww DIP!!!” but this title felt a little more mature.

Some of you may recall this post, in which I talked about coming up with a great, pithy line but the troglodytes at my workplace didn’t get it.  It was less than satisfying.

Today’s discourse is on snotty comebacks.  Usually I think of them about 20 minutes after the fact and I kick myself for not coming up with them sooner.  Every once in a while, though, the gods smile upon me and I think of the right thing to say at just the right time.

For example, when I was in high school (yeah, I was snotty back then too), some friends and I were talking to this guy who was sort of obnoxious.  One of my friends wasn’t in the mood for his antics and she told him he was a jackass.  He turned to me and said, “What’s her problem?  You guys have never called me anything like that before.”  And I replied, “Not to your face, anyway.”  BURN!

Then there was the time I was having dinner in a nice restaurant with a friend.  A couple with a screaming child (he was maybe 2 years old) was two tables away.  The parents paid no attention and made no effort to comfort their little boy, and the wails became higher and more ear-splitting as the evening went on.  To be fair, it wasn’t the kid’s fault—he never should have been subjected to a 2+ hour meal at a place like that.  And it wasn’t his fault that his parents were inattentive fucks.  When the family finally left, they passed our table.  My friend loudly proclaimed, “Thank God they’re finally leaving.”  The mother, presumably thinking she would patronize us and shame us into submission, stopped and snipped, “Oh, I know, you’re really suffering.  Kids are such a pain, right??”  I smiled. “Not all kids.  Just yours.”  BURN!

Then there was the time I was at my local pet food shop.  It was a small space with little room to maneuver.  On this particular day, I was joined in the store by a shrieking harpy and her doormat boyfriend/husband.  She bitched nonstop about anything and everything, and stood around blocking the entire fucking store.  No matter where I was, she was in my way.  And she took umbrage at my efforts to get past her.  Mind you, I did say “Excuse me.”  If she hadn’t been so busy yattering away, perhaps she might have heard me.  Instead, she muttered “Bitch” just loud enough for me to hear.  I looked at her, rolled my eyes and calmly said, “You’re so boring.”  An unconventional response, but one that I suspected would drive her apeshit.  And it did.  BURN!!

Now I’d like to close with one of my all-time favorites, which wasn’t a burn but a great line nonetheless:

When I was in college, a bunch of us got into a stuffed animal fight, hurling teddy bears and other plush toys at each other (yeah, I know, but give me a break, we were freshmen).  One of my friends sustained a direct hit with a bunny.  She cried, “I’ve been killed by a Gund!!”

And I said, “Gunds don’t kill people.  People kill people.”

I’m still patting myself on the back for that one.

179 responses to Here’s your diploma ‘cuz you’ve been SCHOOLED

  1. 

    This just got me out of bed. My best friend has a Gund and her boyfriend hates it, so they have Gund fights all the time. I’ll have to share this.

  2. 
    The Unbearable Banishment February 25, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Best Mad Magazine feature from way back when: Al Jaffee’s Snappy Answers for Stupid Questions. That was my university. Where I honed my weapon. It developed into my ninja skill. Eventually, I had to register it with the Departments of Homeland Security and Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco.

    • 

      You and me both, Broseph. To this day I’m not allowed on airplanes without signing an agreement not to sass the flight crew. It’s all because of that one incident with that flight attendant who gave me attitude. How was I to know she’d break down sobbing and try to throw herself out of the plane?

  3. 

    I just wanna get burned by you now, it’s a privilege!

  4. 

    Hee hee… did you grow up in NYC too?

  5. 

    Ooh, you are MEAN! Loved that restaurant come back though ;)

  6. 

    Oh, see, I saw the title of this post, and I thought for sure you’d use some of my recent lines. Damn you, Weebs!

    But, yeah, I hear ya on the thinking of them 20 minutes after the fact (and then trying to figure out how you can turn back the clock to deliver that line). And these are great comebacks.

  7. 

    Great comebacks, Weebs. And all appropriate when provoked by jerks – except the Gund comment. Loved that!

  8. 

    Wow Weebles, remind me to provoke you into a personal burn as soon as possible.

    • 

      Go for it, bro. Let’s dance.

      • 

        I’m just not sure what to say… Should I talk about your mediocre averageness? Or should I make something up and talk about some remarkable and endearing quality of yours? Maybe I could strip naked and run the snow-crusted streets until I slipped on dog urine and landed anus down on the sharp point of a yield sign. The possibilities are endless.

  9. 

    Were these gund fights naked? Lurid details please.

    • 

      Alas, the details are very non-lurid. It was in the afternoon, on a weekday, and as I recall all of us were fully clothed. And we didn’t tickle each other or kiss or anything. It was almost criminally G rated.

  10. 

    And I’m still scratching my head, waiting for the appropriate response to come to me. Some of us are late bloomers, dear Madame. Well, at least I hope I can still bloom! xoxoM

    • 

      Oh, Margarita, I usually end up scratching my head as well—these examples here are just some of the rare instances where the planets line up and I manage to come up with something at the right time. Because it would be really dull if I wrote about the zillions of times I stood there sputtering.

  11. 

    Oh, Madame Weebles! You are truly the Queen of Comebacks! Those are priceless! I thought my daughter was quick-minded and had some great comebacks for annoying people that she runs into (and she really does) but you have the market all sewn up. I usually can think of something to say half an hour after the incident occurs, which does no earthly good. My brain doesn’t work that fast and I’m too easily intimidated. You are my new hero. And I love the Gund comment. Highly appropriate, as well.

  12. 
    whiteladyinthehood February 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I love a good burn! I can never ususally think of one quick enough! I did have a hammered-drunk guy follow me around in the grocery store..he was shit-faced, knocking things off the shelves!! He finally cornered me by the eggs and said, “Are you my sister?” I couldn’t think of a thing to say, so I just said, “Are you that drunk or are you just stupid?”

  13. 

    I’m a little bit like that…I often get the “did she just say that?” face in response.
    Excellent burns, Madame!

  14. 

    These are good, but my restaurant comeback to ““Oh, I know, you’re really suffering. Kids are such a pain, right??” would have been, “No, I love kids, it’s the parents I can’t stand.”

  15. 

    I always have an awesome comeback way after the fact, Weebs so at least you’ve had managed to get in a few exactly when they were needed. BTW, I love Gunds. So squishy and soft. Now I want one.

    • 

      Oh, B, that’s generally how it works for me too, a great comeback pops into my head much later. And aren’t Gunds the best? They’re the softest stuffed animals ever. I still have some.

  16. 

    I live and breathe the “YOU’RE a…” response.

    “YOU’RE a pain!!”

    “YOU’RE a jackass!!”

    “YOU’RE the one wearing a coat!!!”

    “YOU’RE the one who ate the dogshit!!!”

  17. 

    In French there’s an expression for thinking of a good comeback too late, l’esprit d’escalier, referencing how one usually has the perfect thing to say as one’s leaving the party and going down the stairs.

    I’ve been known to throw a witticism or two in my day but I still remember the first time I was severely burned. It was in fourth grade and I answered some difficult question in class, impressing my peers and followed up by saying, “Am I smart or what?” The boy I had a crush looked me right in the eye and said, “Or what.”

    Decades later, that still stings.

  18. 

    Excellent! Snotty comebacks are one the delights of life

  19. 

    I’m with Margarita—I still haven’t thought of many good snotty comebacks, even years later. ;) Where’s time travel when we need it? When these moments are gone, they’re gone.

    • 

      It’s sad, isn’t it? All those great ideas for zingers, lost. The time machine would be great for that, it would be so satisfying to finally get them out at the right time. Even though to the zingee, it would seem instantaneous.

  20. 

    Oooooh shit! Burn!
    Harpy is the word of the day.

  21. 

    Too weird. This is the second post today I’ve read on snappy comebacks!

    Well, I just loved the one about the screaming kid at the restaurant. But what was I gonna do? I was hungry. You didn’t have to be so mean about it.

  22. 

    “I don’t make monkeys. I only train them.” A classic.

  23. 

    I bow to your excellent comebacks! I always think of them waaaaaay to late, never at the right moment so my comebacks are wasted and hoarded in my brain. One day I will be able to say a comeback when it’s still relevant!

  24. 

    This, madame, is why I will never enter a battle of wits with you. I don’t like losing.

  25. 

    I love it when I deliver the perfect zinger. It’s so satisfactory. I am stealing the “boring” line, if you are okay with that. I loved it.

  26. 

    One of my better ones: I was helping my then-girlfriend at her hip clothing store. A woman came in and was making fun of all of the clothes, the decor, everything to the delight of her friends. She then tried on a pair of sparkly pants, got a laugh from her friends, then returned them to the counter with the comment, “They’re stretched out, by the way.”
    “Well, they are now,” I said. The woman stormed out. Ha.

    I so want to hang out with you, Weebs!

  27. 

    This is a Magnificent™ idea, Clown. I’m going to contact the Patent & Trade Office right now.

  28. 

    Those snotty comebacks tend to leak out of my ears. I’m sure they don’t come from my lips.

    Sometimes, like the one I said to TwinDaddy just up above, they come from my keyboard.

    I have no control.

  29. 

    Sadly, the great zingers are too often wasted on idiots.
    I remember one a friend perpetrated on me years ago. The timing was so perfect, I still laugh about it (and I’ve used it since then).
    I was driving somewhere with my friend, and we had the following exchange
    Me – “Well, my old girlfriend used to say-”
    Him – “Baaaaaa!”

  30. 

    The “you’re so boring” comment was so inspired and out there. Also, I suspect you have the timing of a seasoned stand-up comic, making such a remark all the more effective.

    Well done, Weebles. Well done.

    • 

      I don’t generally like to brag but I do think my timing is pretty darned good, to be honest. So that does help. The “boring” comment came out of nowhere but I’m particularly proud of it because it really hit the right nerve in her. Target acquired, target destroyed.

  31. 

    It feels so vindicating when you come up with a good retort, Madame Weebles!
    Favorite snap from history- went something like this- an aristocratic lady was talking to Winston Churchill and they were not fond of each other, apparently. She told him, If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea. He replied, Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it!

    • 

      Churchill had some epic retorts, didn’t he? That’s a great line of his, he had a few others that were equally pithy but I can’t recall them off the top of my head. He truly was a man with a knack for words.

  32. 

    I’d use a word starting with M but I see that’s trademarked; I fall back on “Superb!” One weeps, of course, to hear of another victim of the proliferation of Gund violence.

    • 

      I’ll take “Superb” as it’s a superb word. I share your sentiments about Gund violence though. In my case it was a 19-year-old woman, but when it’s kids it’s really tough.

  33. 

    You’re all cute when you get feisty. And you got like the first smile out of me in about a week, so that makes you even much more extra-specialer. :)

  34. 

    I’m not good at the comebacks, but then again, even if I thought of something clever, I probably wouldn’t say it because I’m such a conflict avoider. Unless someone hurled hurtful words at my husband or kids. Then the feathers would stir…

    • 

      Oh, I’m sure the gloves would be OFF if anyone took a potshot at your loved ones, Carrie. I don’t like conflict but I also won’t avoid it. It’s probably one of Mr. Weebles’s least favorite things about me.

  35. 

    Weebs, it would be nice to be in your company around certain people. I know you would know just the perfect thing to say. Oh, you’re so inspiring. And, I loved the “You’re so boring” comment. I’m sure that really threw her for a loop.

    • 

      It really did, Bumble! I hope I’d be able to provide suitable comebacks if you and I were hanging together, but now I’ve got all kinds of performance anxiety. Way to bring on the pressure, friend.

  36. 

    Love a good burn. Love ‘em even better when they’re not two days late. Good for you and your quick witted burns, very funny.

  37. 

    We should have combined your post here with my post on bad manners. We would have been the first two-blog team to be Freshly Pressed.

  38. 

    Love that last one Weebly. I could write a similar post but I have “craft” Can’t Remember A Fucking Thing”….

  39. 

    After about 5 minutes of stuttering, “Oh, yeah? Well… you are… you… oh yeah?’ I usually end up yelling, “I know you are but what am I?”! And then run away crying. Like a word-ninja.

    • 

      Ohhh, them’s fightin’ words, mister! Yeah, see, that’s what USUALLY happens to me—I sputter and fume and my cheeks get all red and it’s really uncool. And all I can think of is “Fuck you.” Which isn’t really creative, let’s face it.

  40. 

    I want your brain. Your comebacks moved me deeply, madame.

  41. 

    That was me in the pet shop. I still hurt.

  42. 

    You have quite a tart tongue gene, Weebs, and I suppose, when tested, I do, too. About 15 years ago when I was visiting my dad in San Francisco. He introduced me to an obnoxious geezer he knew. My dad said, “This is my other daughter. She lives in New York.” The geezer howled, “New York! How the hell did you get here from there?” I answered, “I walked.”

  43. 

    Hi Madame

    Gunds … very funny.

    I’ve got a lot of mileage from the retort “quick … but not funny.” Course I’ve got punched a few times, too!

    Cheers!

    • 

      Oooh, that’s a clever one too, “quick… but not funny.” That’s always a good one to take someone down a few pegs. Mind if I borrow that one? I’ll have to practice my ducking and bobbing so I don’t get punched, but it would be worth it.

  44. 

    Pet store zinger: 10 points for originality. Beautiful.

  45. 

    The reason the internet is so great is that you can blame the 20 minute delay in comebacks on the fact that you weren’t at your computer. Not that you were sitting staring at your computer for 20 minutes hoping something would come to you. But you Madame, well done as usual. The fact that you have had more than one instance in your life where words didn’t fail you is more accomplishment than I ever hope to achieve.

  46. 

    I’ve always found that the best snotty comebacks are accompanied by actual snot. works every damn time.

  47. 

    I can never think of a good comeback either. Although I did have one good comeback. I was standing in line at the post office. There was a lady behind me with a small boy running around her & getting into everything while she yakked very loudly on the phone in a foreign language. Several patrons besides me turned around & looked at her with frowns on their faces, but she didn’t get the message. Everyone in the line was complaining about her & her little boy. Finally I turned around & said to her, “Can you please lower your voice while you’re on the phone & look after your son?” She gave me a dirty look & continued to talk on the phone for a minute or 2 then she finally hung up. She said to me, “What business is it of yours to listen in on my phone call?” And I said to her, “YOU MADE IT MY BUSINESS WHEN YOU TALKED TOO LOUDLY IN A PUBLIC PLACE & DIDN’T LOOK AFTER YOUR CHILD!”

    • 

      AHHHHHHHH that must have felt goooooooooood to say that. I applaud you, benzeknees. In fact, I’m giving you a standing ovation right now. I hope the people around you at the post office gave you one as well because you deserved it.

      • 

        While we were standing in line at the post office, I don’t think it counted as a standing ovation. But I did get a few nods of approval. I have to say it did feel good!

  48. 

    The quick reply is something I have only rarely. But when it works, my goodness it feels good!

  49. 

    Oooh, BURN! Love the “Gunds don’t kill people…”

    For some reason, people don’t seem to get up in my face. Ever. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing. I’m sure if they did, I’d just stand there with my mouth hanging open. ‘Course, if they got too far up my nose, my comeback might be non-verbal…

    Yep, that’s me. Strong like ox; smart like turnip.

    • 

      “Strong like ox, smart like turnip.” You’re funny. Something tells me you cut an imposing figure, Diane. I don’t think many people would try to get up in your face. Or maybe it’s a Canadian thing. And of course, non-verbal responses really drive the point home too.

  50. 

    Reminds me when I was less tactful than I am now and I was talking about someone behind their back in a social club I used to go to fairly regularly, in my 20s. The guy heard me and came over, very annoyed. So I just continued and followed it with “better to say it to your front than your back, hey?” (But possibly unlike you, I was actually quite embarrassed!)

    You know you said ‘Freshmen’… how come that never got changed a la political correctness to ‘Freshwomen’?

    • 

      That’s a good one, Val, “Saying it to your front than your back.” I would probably have been embarrassed by getting busted talking about someone too, to be honest. It’s actually easier for me to just say it to someone’s face. You can’t get caught that way. And it’s funny that you mention the antiquated “freshmen”—my college actually switched the phrase to call them “first-year students” rather than make the distinction between freshmen and freshwomen. But I still say “freshmen” out of habit. But my BIGGEST pet peeve is when people (usually the media) insist on referring to female college students as “co-eds.” Women have been attending college in droves for over 40 years. When are they going to stop with that sexist term, for fuck’s sake??

  51. 

    Your brain has a shhhell on it..

    I wrote that waay before Tommy Boy said it. Buleeh-dat, Weebs.

  52. 

    Awesome – Gunds – love it!

  53. 

    I can NEVER think of a good comeback at the time. I always think of it in my shower hours later.

  54. 

    I think the boring line might be one of the best things I’ve ever read.

    • 

      Hi Katie! Welcome! I’m pretty proud of the boring line too. It’s not the typical burn, but one that really seems to hit a lot of hipsters at their core. Please feel free to use it, it really gets results.

      • 

        My crowning moment for insults was in 6th grade during hot lunch. Two especially annoying bitches were complaining about everything being “retarded.” …That was like the buzz word of the cool kids in 2001. So I was like, “Don’t you know any other words, like supercalifragilisticexpialadocious?” And I just kept eating my hot dog while they stared at me.

        Nyeh! Take that!

  55. 

    Fantastic burns one and all. I too mostly suffer from the “20 minutes later” syndrome. I’ve had a few great comebacks over the years; but, perhaps they weren’t all that great because I can’t remember any of them. I have found, however, that all the writing I’ve been doing recently helps in the comeback department because I’m keeping that creativity bit closer to the surface.

  56. 

    Bahahahaha. This is me at work! I need a storage of witty lines to use on these jackasses. Those were some damn fine BURNS!

  57. 

    I think these are the best one liners I’ve ever read. Kudos, Madame!

  58. 

    De-lurking to add my little story:

    Years ago, I gamely accepted a side job as a bartender to make extra bank. One particular shift;I had the dubious pleasure of dealing with a particularly arrogant, obnoxious, and clueless patron hell bent on trying to pick me up. After a period of good-naturedly deflecting his increasingly aggressive advances, while his buddies (along with my loyal following of regulars) observed slack-jawed like rubber-neckers at a fatal car wreck, I finally hit my absolute limit in taking his crap.

    Leaning slowly over the bar with my most seductive smile, and locking my smouldering eyes with his during a meaningful pause where a pin drop could be heard, I purred:

    “I *know* you’re trying your damndest here, darlin’… but I’m not your type – I’m not inflatable.”

    The bar erupted with such wild applause, hoots, hollers, and mocking; to where the hapless git rushed out the door- never to return. I’d never had so many people buying me congratulatory shots and drinks, and my tips for the night ended up being triple the norm. ;)

    • 

      Hello there, Alice, and welcome! I’m so glad you delurked, and I’m especially glad you shared this story. That’s EPIC. You know that people who heard you skewer that guy were regaling people with that story for a while afterwards: “…..and the bartender told him she wasn’t his type because she wasn’t inflatable!!!” That’s the gift that keeps on giving. Nicely done, ma’am. And please stay delurked, you fit right in around here.

      • 

        Madame Weebles:

        Thank you, so much, for your kind reply to my (inaugural – lovely invitation accepted!) comment. I’m warmed to know your thoughts about my story. That you personally respond to every comment on your blog was but one small reason I kept coming back – I have great respect for those who take such time to acknowledge their readers. Far too many do not. It’s also humbling to know I “fit right in around here”; as one of my foremost mottoes has always been “Let there be snark on Earth, and let it begin with me.” It’s kept me in good stead. ;)

        *Merry laugh* Yes, I reckon those people must have re-told that scene to others. If so, it never got back to me. However, my reputation for “having a tongue like a shredder” followed long thereafter. Heh.

        Finally, I want to sincerely thank you for one other thing as well:

        Reading your excellent blog, and having been reminded how nice it is to interact with the person behind it, has spurred me to totally revamp and revive my own abandoned blog here on WordPress. In my updated first post, I mentioned that getting the one year anniversary congratulations note from the site was the reason behind my decision. Privately, I want you to know, in no uncertain terms, the major part you personally played in re-inspiring me to write again. There isn’t thanks in the world enough for that. Your site is now forever listed on my Blogroll. I heartily invite you to feel free to visit my page anytime, but PLEASE don’t feel obligated to do so. Cheers, and deepest appreciation again! :)

  59. 

    Funny! I never think of those snotty comebacks until much later – then I have to make my husband listen to them!

    • 

      Ohh, I do the same thing, SweetSpot—whenever I come up with something good too late, I tell Mr. Weebles: “Hey, you know what I SHOULD HAVE SAID???” And then I bitch and moan to him about how I wish I had thought of it earlier. That’s what husbands are for, right?

  60. 

    Don’t hate me, what’s a Gund? A type of rabbit??

    And I Wish that I could think up retorts like that! Also wish I had the guts to say them, but that’s another problem :p

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