Best (Un-used) Comeback Lines – Contest

My rapier wit
Skewers the weak, the dim wits,
10 minutes too late…

I have a tremendous fantasy life. No, not the kind that involves D batteries and someone named Carlos… the kind where I use my superior intelligence to take apart those weaker than me with my quick wit and vast vocabulary. The problem is I am generally a nice person, and I find attacking people unpleasant, or, more often than not, the great line comes to me too late to be of any use.

So, today, let’s all post the “best lines we never used” as a way to build each others repertoire of great comebacks for future use.

I’ll get us started…

Look, let’s just assume I have a penis and that is it waaay smaller than yours. Can we move on then?  (To a difficult male colleague who believes I’m in competition with him)

Do you have any idea how little I care about your opinion? (To many, many people who have told me their opinion despite my obvious lack of interest in theirs.)

Yes, your father does love you more than I do.  (this one occurs to me in “real-time” – so tempting… and if you have kids and are appalled, then you have zero sense of humor)

Yeah, well, I’m really good in bed and you clearly aren’t. (a general line when I’ve clearly lost the argument but won’t admit it.)

I don’t have any more information on the topic than I did 5 minutes ago when you asked me the same question. (I actually used this once in a meeting; got a big laugh from the room, a small chuckle from the target… but I felt bad afterwards. This line, by the way, is borrowed from Sports Night – one of the best shows ever on TV.)

That’s all I have can think of; now it’s your turn. What are your best un-used comeback lines? Please share! I certainly need the help.

Camping Out… What Was I Thinking?

There’s no place like home:
A warm Aga, my house smell,
Bedding that missed me.


I could have stopped at the title, right? You all know what this piece is going to contain: tales of insects the size of your palm; the stickiness of sweat that never evaporates; sentient rocks that migrate to the perfect position under your sleeping bag at the exact moment you finally drop off; a forgotten item that sends a child into fits of despair.

But wait… there’s more. We camped out at the zoo, which happens to be located more or less in the city.

Do you know what animals do at night? Well, it seems very few of them sleep. I didn’t realize that the peacock was nocturnal, but he sure as hell felt compelled to announce his presence several times during the night. Asshole.

And there is an insect, native to the zoo apparently, that makes the most peculiar noise. To replicate it, do the following. Go find a kids balloon, un-inflated. Put it in your mouth (warning: do this when the kids are asleep). Now chew with your mouth closed and your fingers plugging your ears. That eek-a-eek-a-eek-a noise? That is exactly what they sound like. But they do it, thankfully (?) at a slow, waltz-like pace… eeeek-a….. eeeeek-a….. over and effing over again. I kept praying the damn peacock would eat them. No such luck.

When the animals weren’t doing that they do in the middle of the night at a zoo, then the city filled in with its own orchestrations. The Cincinnati Zoo is right next to several hospitals. It was Saturday night. What happens on Saturday nights at hospitals? Ambulances like to visit. A lot. The occasional helicopter flew over, at times seeming indecisive about which roof top to land on, instead rather content to just hover for many looooong minutes. I know there were ill people aboard, so I didn’t curse them – I was grateful I was on the ground and not in the air. Rather, I cursed myself.

What the hell was I thinking? I was the one who found this event. I paid for it. I talked my hubby into it. I shared it gleefully with the kids, as I wanted to get them to quit asking “to camp out”. I figured the zoo camp out was an easy way to tick that box until next summer.

[Note: except for the sleeping (or more accurately the not sleeping), this was an exceptional event. Small group. Nighttime walk around the zoo. Animal visits. Behind the scenes tour. Really, a not-to-be-missed opportunity that I recommend to anyone near Cincinnati.]

It is simply that my body is soft. It has no clue how to deal with sleeping on the ground. As it is, I’ve reached the age where I can hurt myself when I sleep in a normal bed. Imagine my body’s reaction to a sleeping bag on summer-dry dirt. My god. The next day I felt like someone had beat me with a stick. In really strange places. With a sense of just the right angle to maximize joint pain and hamper mobility. It took me 40 minutes to make sandwiches for the kids. Later on, for some reason, I decided to bake, and try as I could, I just couldn’t get all the ingredients assembled in less than 30 minutes. My body was screaming; my brain a garbled mess from the total lack of good sleep. It took a strong cup of coffee at 2pm to finally shake me out of my stupor and get me somewhat productive the rest of the day, although I was in a coma (in my nice, comfy water-bed thankyouverymuch) by 9:15pm.

Here is the funny part. Did I say funny? I meant masochistic part. I would do it again. The kids loved it. It was relatively easy. There were toilets near by. We didn’t have to drive far. But next time, I won’t talk my husband out of the blow up mattresses (“they’ll be a hassle” I insanely told him hours earlier); and I’ll pack an adult beverage or two to ease the transition to dreams. Perhaps with some assistance, those nighttime animal calls will morph into some bizarre dream that will be worth it for the retelling.

[I must thank The Embiggens Project/Face like a frying pan for this post. It tickled me tremendously earlier in the day, and at one point during a sleepless interlude, I started thinking about it… and I started to giggle… which turned into silent body earthquakes as I tried not to wake anyone else. Tears were streaming down my face into my ears… I couldn’t stop. And since I couldn’t make any noise, it made the whole thing that much funnier. It was a welcome respite during the otherwise tortured audio events of the evening.]

Sing to me Choir Joseph (yes, another crush…)

In song we know joy,
Worship half-notes, middle C;
Praise the crescendo.

I’m worried my dearest will think me on the prowl. First there was Bathrobe Man; then it was Running Boy. And now… Choir Joseph has captured my heart.

Alas, I know we have no future. I discovered him in Salt Lake City… some 1600 miles away. He is Mormon and I’m, well, not. But that didn’t keep me from watching him, imagining him, enjoying him, from a distance.

Where to begin…

First, let me start with this place: The Conference Center in Salt Lake City, part of the Mormon Church facilities.

The Conference Center in Salt Lake – side view

This building looks lovely and pristine on the outside, and leads one to believe it is an above average facility for public use or convention center action. Step inside, however, and you are greeted by the following…

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

It was breathtaking to walk into this building and see this. No matter what religion (or not), it was impressive and just a little overwhelming, in that good way. The organ stretching long and tall, the precision of the choir, the sheer size of a place that allows 21,000 to sit comfortably in a semi-circle.

And then the program began. It is a live broadcast – longest continuous live broadcast ever (this one was the last concert in their 84th season). No clapping, no cameras, just you and the music (and at times a silence I longed to break with a hearty woo hoo!).

It became me and Choir Joseph, just the two of us, shortly thereafter.

there he is… *sigh*

It’s a terrible picture, I know. My hands were shaking, my heart was racing. Let me explain why.

First and foremost, he is a renegade. Please note the immaculate lines in the choir. Ramrod straight is how I describe postures and arrangement. Except CJ. He’s on the end, leaning out a bit. He isn’t afraid to stand out among the picture perfect.

Notice how his hands are clasped firmly in front of his body. Look at the rest of the choir – arms at their sides. Rebel.  Purrrrrrr.

But what I loved most about Choir Joseph was how he sang. Unlike his predictable companions, who moved almost nothing but their mouths, CJ sang with his whole body. He swayed. He threw his head back in song. He didn’t need to look at the song book in his hands; he looked instead up, toward the back of the hall (perhaps towards me?), his voice climbing above the rest in praise.

Frankly, he looked a little like Stevie Wonder. Without the glasses. And he’s white. And his hair is shorter… but other than all that, an exact match. Moving to his own beat, bobbing his head, at one with the music and not afraid to let it all hang out.

Once again I find myself smitten by a man who dares to approach the world his own way.   I’m guessing his choir-mates voted him to an aisle seat because he kept bumping into them with his movement – perhaps he isn’t liked much because he dares to stand out.  Me? I love it. In a world of conformity, straight lines and perfect smiles, give me the oddball every time. Choir Joseph set my heart a flutter with short arms clasped across an ample waist; expressive body pouring out impressive song.

Do you think he is really-really Mormon, or just a little Mormon, given his penchant for the original? I wonder if I have a chance…

You could have at least said good morning…

Starting slowly the
fog of sleepiness descends,
then boom! I’m socked in.

I was just the tiniest bit awake… only barely aware that my dream world had merged gently with the real world. It was a nice place, and I was vaguely aware that at any moment, I would drop back into full slumber.

And then you called. I pulled back from sleep and realized it was only an hour before the alarm was to go off – 5:44am. I picked up the phone… “Helllloooo?” I asked with my most inquiring, throaty, half asleep, whiney voice. If you were bold enough to wake me up, then I was going to use all my powers of guilt to make sure you knew it.

You said nothing. Nada.  ничего. You just paused ever so briefly, your already awake brain likely quickly processing the fact that you just woke up a complete stranger at an ungodly hour, someone clearly who was not meant to wake up yet, who was not your intended target.

You could have at least said something. Perhaps an “I’m so sorry. It really sucks that I woke you up. I feel bad. Get some rest. I won’t do it again.”  Or maybe just “I’m a complete dork. I should have been more careful. Sorry ma’am.” (A ma’am at this moment would have been welcome.) But no, you said nothing and hung up. Perhaps you thought about saying something, but your cowardice won out? Perhaps you were trying to call the cops and couldn’t manage an apology because the bad guy was closing in. Could be any number of scenarios.

I don’t care. I just want you to know one thing. This is important. I want you to think really hard about what I’m about to say.

I have your phone number, Mr or Ms 513-687-xxxx. It’s called caller ID. And it means I know how to reach you. One night, and you’ll never know which one it will be, I’ll wander around until I find a payphone and call you. At 4:07am. On a Saturday. I might say something to you like “hey, remember a few weeks back when you woke up a complete stranger at 5:44am and didn’t even apologize? Well that’s me. Have a nice day.” Or I might lightly gasp and hang up. Perhaps I’ll redial, pretending that I had just fat fingered the number the first time.  Maybe I’ll laugh maniacally or sing the Brady Bunch Theme. Or maybe I will set a great example and say “I’m a complete dork. I should have been more careful. Sorry ma’am. Go back to sleep”.  Who knows. I need to give it some more thought.

In any event, you likely won’t appreciate it or see the humor in it. I’m ok with that.

Sleep well.

Dear DMA, Now I’m Pissed!

Blissful denial
Wraps its arms around me, but
Can’t … reach … all … the …. way…

Dear Direct Marketing Association,

Now I’m pissed. Many moons ago you thought it was funny to send me a catalog I described in this post: Depressing Mail. It was targeted to old people; people waaaay older and far less mobile than I am. Today, however, you went too far.

I present the following as evidence:  Brylane Home presents: plus+sized living.

Are you effing kidding me? An entire catalog filled with extra wide chairs, each annotated with how much weight they will handle: “24 inches wide!” (with a helpful arrow showing the distance between arm rests in a recliner);  “350 lbs. capacity!” Plus all the home accessories the targeted market might want: scales that project your weight onto the wall since you are clearly too rotund to see the number between your toes or scales that analyze your body water, since when you weigh 350 lbs knowing that 5 pounds of it is water weight is such a relief; bed rails to drag your fat ass out of bed; and always a fan favorite – the comfort wipe — which you can use with your new toilet seat that holds 1200 lbs. (I am not making this up.)

The Comfort Wipe. Photo courtesy of

Surprising to find are the following gems: Extra large comforters (interestingly, I’ve been searching for larger coverlets, not because I’m such a beached whale in bed that I steal covers from my husband upon turning, but because I like my bedspread to go mostly to the floor, which is surprisingly hard to find);  extra deep storage wardrobes (I had no clue that normal wardrobes wouldn’t fit my clothes); the Back Seat organizer, which is pictured holding 2 cans of soda pop, french fries and a wrap sandwich; and cookware and appliances, because when you are fat, you might as well give in and cook with the finest tools possible (and sit at kitchenettes customized to your expansive girth).

You know, when you send me the catalog of cool clothes modeled by lithe African-American models, I don’t mind so much. It’s kind of fun to fantasize about wearing glamorous dresses and Ascot-worthy hats to some unknown function that I would clearly be mistakenly invited to. But this POS? No thank you. Regardless of the fact that yes, I am indeed in your target market of plus sized, I come nowhere near challenging your weight limits on office chairs, shower stools and assistance devices.  Ok, so I like the bedspread on page 22 (in chocolate please, heh heh heh), but I refuse to acknowledge the potential usefulness of anything else in this rag.

Please remove me from this mailing list.

Regards (but still pissed),


(PS – to those offended by this post, who do indeed benefit from such items, my sincere and deepest apologies. I hope these items bring ease and comfort to your life. Especially the comfort wipe, because if you need that, I want you to have that. Like right now. Pronto.)

I-75 Observations (last of my vacation reflections)

Awash with trucks, porn, DQs
and fast lane nimrods.

Ahhh… a week in the sun and sand has ended.  However, we still had the blasted commute back home.  Hours, and I mean hours, before we departed at the beginning, my beloved purchased a 2008 Chevy Tahoe, so we were able to travel in style and comfort and confidence… my Honda lacks comfort on long drives, his very old Tahoe lacks confidence; net this was a welcome upgrade. But although the commute was relatively easy, it was full of interesting observations…

1. Tennessee drivers are governed by a law, much like the law of gravity, that I call the law of the blind and stupid.   Like the law of gravity, there is no getting around it. This law compels them to drive in the fast lane no matter what their speed. This wouldn’t really be bothersome if their speed was, let’s say, more than 70 mph. But it isn’t. They drive, and I do intend to imply this is true for all drivers in the state, below the speed limit in the high-speed lane. I spent most of the trip inhaling sharply between my teeth as Frank would run up on one of them, trying to use the massive breadth of the new Tahoe to scare them into one of the other lanes… it didn’t work.  Like most laws in physics, there are other accompanying laws. In this case, the law of assholes often is found at work when the law of the blind and stupid is in play. Tennessee drivers make assholes out of the best of us.

2. The good, God-fearing folk of southern Georgia have a porn problem.  I have been driving the top half of the state for over 25 years and outside of Hot-lanta, you don’t get a lot of billboards coaxing drivers to stop off at road side girlie shows. This time, I ventured south of Macon for the first time in many years, and was astonished at the number of billboards and resulting establishments for all things “adult”.  My favorite? “Strippers. Need we say more?”  I thought that was a brilliant, easy to follow marketing campaign in a market prone to clutter with loads of unnecessary information (books! movies! shows! naked! truckers welcome! now with attached Subway!). Now I know that the people in peanut and cotton country down there will say that it is all those northern born truckers bringing their sin to town… but I don’t buy it. Between Cincinnati and Macon (560 miles) there are roughly two, maybe 3, adult establishments right on the interstate (that commute is really boring, okay? you notice these things). Between Macon and the Albany exit — a grand total of 60 miles, I saw no fewer than 4. Wow.

3. Our new Tahoe has a built-in DVD player. Typically on long drives each kid has a device of some sort which requires recharging and never seems to have, amongst the 25 preloaded movies, what they want to watch. But this time they watched the same movies, displayed over head, and loved it. Nothing ran out of batteries; no one got bored; everyone shared. It was like our family entered some parallel universe where the kids are happy and grateful all the time.  I have a saying that on the 8th day, god created macaroni and cheese. Well, on the 9th day, he created in-car DVD systems.

4. I spent the bulk of vacation wearing either a swimsuit or pajamas. Really couldn’t be bothered with any clothing that would fall “between” these two ends of the spectrum. So when it was time to drive home (and since by this time I was also in the middle of a fairly uncomfortable upper respiratory infection), I really, really wanted to just keep those PJ’s on for the drive. No one would know me. What were the chances I would run into someone I recognized?  But then I realized something. What if all those videos of people at Wal-Mart in their PJ’s weren’t just lazy hicks, but were simply people like me coming off vacation, still clinging to the last vestiges of that holiday feeling? I didn’t want my PJ-and-croc wearing self showing up on some video for Bob’s Truck Stop/DQ/Dirt Museum. So I was ruefully sensible and wore normal clothes.

5. You know you have been on vacation too long when you crave salads. By the time we returned to Cincinnati, the thought of food that came from any place other than nature made me sick to my stomach. I think part of the reason was (warning… keep reading at your own risk) I began suffering from what I call vacation-bola. This is where instead of bleeding-out, you poop-out… all the shit you have eaten for the last week (you know the menu, no need to repeat it here) decides it must exit your system as soon as possible, in pretty much the same form as it entered – “shit”. It is actually a blessing to get hit with vacation-bola — a great way to reset your system after the various over indulgences without requiring medical/pharmaceutical intervention. However, on this trip, it required no fewer than 3 stops on our already-over-long commute home.  I must rethink my vacation menus…

That’s it. I return to the real world on Monday, slightly less white than I was 2 weeks ago, and much better rested. Happy end of summer to everyone!

Nothing like passing on your fears (more tales from the beach )

The warmth of the sun,
The ocean’s rhythmic wooshing…
My soul is happy.

I love the ocean. See the picture below from our hotel room for this Florida vacation.


I can hear the ocean rise and fall from our balcony. If you sit at the table in the kitchenette and look outside, you can only see the water, no sand –it is like you are on a cruise. (Cruise = heaven on earth for me)

I have rented two loungers and an umbrella for the week. They are about 30 feet from the water. Glorious view over the top of my book, past my sandy toes, toward the pretty blue hues.

Here’s the problem. I am perfectly happy to stay 30 feet from the water. I don’t mind walking around in the foamy bits, wading out a foot or so and letting my feet get sucked into the sand. That’s fun too. But I’m really totally fine going no further into the water.

Call me a victim of the 70’s and the movie Jaws. I know the chances of me getting eaten by a shark are more remote than my chances of winning the lottery (I didn’t look that up, I’m just hoping this is true; if you tell me otherwise, I’ll delete your comment). But I don’t care. I can’t see through it and there are no boundaries… that’s enough for me to stay at the edge.

My far-braver husband has no such worries. He takes both kids out 40 feet from shore (it is still quite shallow) and paddles around. All the time I’m completely panicked, watching from my umbrella shaded oasis. I motion them back closer to shore out of simple fear, always scanning the water for tell-tale bad omens. I am such a wimp.

Nevertheless I felt a little bad yesterday when my daughter got spooked. While way out with Frank, she saw a jelly fish. It wasn’t so close as to sting her, but enough to make her swim a hasty retreat back to the shore, where she remained for the rest of our beach time. Why did I feel bad? Because I was so happy. Happy that she was close in and happy to let my irrational fears take a nap for a while since she was not out to sea.  Let’s be clear – I don’t  scare my kids with death-tales-of-the-deep; but my actions (staying close to shore; asking them to not swim out so far) likely speak for themselves.

Today she once again didn’t want to venture out far… my happiness was tainted with a little regret that her innocent naiveté about the ocean has been burst, but not so much that I encouraged her to go out. Instead, I set up the sand toys and the pop up tent right next to me, a safe 30 feet away from the sharks, jelly fish and vicious rip tides.

Mother of the year – clearly lost it again.

I am soooo white (tales from the beach)

Take one part white girl;
Add equal parts sun, surf, sand.
Remove when crispy.
I am melanin challenged. So is my husband. When we hooked up and then decided to breed, we clearly violated Darwin’s survival of the fittest as we did not choose a mate that would amplify our good bits and relegate our bad bits to recessive-status. We seemed to have picked each other specifically for our recessive-trait similarities.

One specific example, our said lack of color.

And now we have two children to whom we have passed on our extreme white-ness. Poor things. It takes us 20 minutes of slathering before they can get to the beach. Given they are small and medium, their patience is less than stellar, and the wait about kills them (and nearly drives me to murderous acts too).

So it was no surprise that after one part of a day in the sun on our beach vacation, our first day in fact, I get sunburned. You see, not only am I cadaver white, I have short arms (the visual image I’m painting of myself only gets better…). This lack of arm length, coupled with what can only be sunscreen –induced spasms, means I missed getting sunscreen to some of the most bizarre, random places.  I did have assistance on my back, but between my back and my front (the shoulders to some of us) I now have these misshapen, oddly located lobster-red parts. It is the damnedest thing.

Know what the best news is? I am not alone. I am not vacationing at a ritzy place… this beach is crawling with normal people. That means there are men with hairy chests, shoulders and backs, over weight women wearing bikinis, some obnoxious kids and loads of super-Caucasian people sporting sunburns just like me  – such a breath of fresh air relative to the media overdose of beautiful people with beautifully colored bodies. So I don’t mind showing that I’m more like everyone else (minus the bikini , thank you very much …). Please join me; just bring your sunglasses – the glare is out of this world.

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