This is from my daughter when she was around 5. Grandad was at the kitchen sink doing dishes and he was in a rather grumpy mood.
“Grandad, what are you doing?”
Grandad replies gruffly, “I’m riding a bicycle!”
“Oh” she replies sweetly, “I have a pretend bicycle too!!”
He was so caught off-guard and ashamed at his sarcasm (totally lost on a child that age) he never uttered the phrase again…
My new husband and I spent a weekend with my parents. They had gone to bed arguing. In the middle of the night my mom in a loud voice said, “Jack, get off my arm; my hand’s gone to sleep”! He replied in an equally loud voice, “Do you think if I slept on your head, your mouth would go to sleep?” My husband laughed so hard he fell off the sofa bed on which we were sleeping. It proceeded to fold up on me and pin me against the wall. This is a famous story that has been passed down through the family for years.
I was listening to your talk about dealing with insults and it made me think of an incident I dealt with as a corrections officer. I was in the process of handing out the morning meal to the inmates in our sex-offender cell block when a particularly offensive rapist took his food tray from me and then proceeded to throw it on the floor, making a big mess. The inmate then simply turned and walked away from the door.
As he was walking away, I ignored the rule you mentioned of not showing you’re upset and I simply yelled “BITCH” in his direction. I then quickly calmed down, thinking I had just garnered a complaint from that moron, but my one-word insult got him very upset. He came running back to the door and yelled, “What did you call me?” At this point I was thinking clearly and took the opportunity to make him look stupid and I simply said, “I didn’t call you anything, I said ‘bitch’ and you answered.”
The entire cell block burst into laughter you could see the embarrassment on his face. He did not calm down however, and he threatened to track me down when he got out of prison. This was about twenty years ago and I haven’t heard back from him yet.
I have been called worse by better.
My friend and a co-worker simultaneously approached a doorway.
The co-worker wisecracked to my friend, an older woman, “Age before beauty.”
Without batting an eye as she passed, she gently retorted with this line from the New Testament, “Pearls before swine”.