Sometimes a person will ask a monumentally stupid or even offensive question, but for various reasons you don’t want to get into an argument or a debate on the merits, or you don’t want to disclose your real answer, and want to steer the conversation away. I have found that making a relatively benign joke can send the message, and the humor helps to cushion any possible bad feelings.
For instance, in this threadpeople have mentioned not wanting to have a debate about your religion. While I’m pretty out, sometimes I don’t want to get into it. I found this response helpful:
Them: “What religion are you?”
Me: “I’m a frisbeetarian.”
Me: “We believe that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and you can’t get it down.”
Now people will often ask you if your baby is a good baby. I find that question really offensive and saddening, given the cultural assumptions underlying it. But I realize they’re just trying to make conversation. So instead of getting on a soapbox about the inherent dignity of all human beings, regardless of age, I go like this:
Them: “Is she a good baby?”
Me: “Yes, she’s very good at being a baby.”
Them: look of surprise, realization that the question was stupid, laughter
(And yes, I confess I stole both responses.)
What have you got?