What's your best comeback?
We all know the feeling - we get into a bit of heat with someone or they throw an insult your way for no apparent reason and at that moment instead of firing up and showing it’s worth, your brain shrinks like a frightened turtle and you end up spluttering out some half-baked retort that would embarrass the fuzz off a bee. Then as soon as the initial adrenalin drop of tongue-tied-ness wears off, you suddenly come up with the most amazing, clever and funny come back ever. One that you'll never have the chance to share with the world now, let alone the object of your scorn, and instead you’re left cursing your brain’s late arrival to the party. It’s a damn shame right?
But every now and then your brain comes through for you. It rises to the challenge and shines in the spotlight of quick-wittedness! It connects with your mouth and delivers the response of your dreams. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
I often think back to the times in my life where I have had the chance to bear witness to this magnificent happening. Not as many as I would have liked, but then again I grew up with an English father, so you know, confrontation was never my forte. Keep calm and ignore it. Carry on. That sort of thing. Yet there have been some gems. More often than not I fully admit they have been rude and inappropriate, but sometimes a diamond of comeback goodness is compressed out of the carbon-like bollocks of life.
I remember fondly one such moment. It was made on a cold winter’s night, as I made my way to the Arthouse to catch some local punk bands. To set the scene my hair was set in a fantastic purple Mohawk, around my eyes was a ton of pitch-black eyeliner, and I was wearing ripped fishnet stockings, and from memory I was dressed in something I had cobbled together myself from Op-Shop finds (see me below for reference) because back then you couldn’t just kit yourself out in threads from Hot Topic or Dangerfield. You had to make that shit! Anyway. As we walked towards the door, some straights walked past us and full of beans yelled out: ‘Do you wash?’ to which I replied quick as a whippet: ‘Do I look like a launderette?’
I’ve never been so happy with a callout like that for a few reasons. Number one – it was a Young Ones reference, secondly Laundrette is a great word to yell at passer’s by, next I was pretty sure those guys wouldn’t get what I was saying or get the Young Ones reference anyway, and lastly they had no come back for me! It was a wonderful coming together of mind and mouth. Since then I have possibly, well assuredly, made more witty retorts, but this is still my favourite.