The delayed snappy comeback effect.

You know, someone says something to you, you mumble something lame, and then five minutes later, you come up with the perfect retort.

I was sitting in class today, and we were talking about the role of nitric oxide in vascular tissues. This naturally segued into a discussion of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, and the discovery of sildenafil (Viagra.)

I, being a botanist, piped up and mentioned that sildenafil citrate has also been shown to have a stimulatory effect on the male reproductive vascular tissues of plants as well (fascinating evolutionary implications, etc.)

The professor, a jocular sort, shot back, “But plants don’t have penises!”

Much laughter ensued…including my own.

I retorted, “Well, when two plants love each other very, very much…” in a facile voice.

It was OK, I suppose, but as soon as I walked out of class, the perfect comeback occurred to me.

You ready?


“What, you’ve never heard of getting a woody?”

I blew it.


The French have a great phrase for the phenomenon L’esprit de l’escalier - stairway wit.

Heh. Made even better by the fact that I was, in fact walking downstairs when it struck me.


,in fact,


Oh yeah?

Oh yeah?

Well, um, so your face!

Oh yeah? Well, the Jerk Store called and it’s running out of you!


Your MOM!

Your mom’s face!

Your mom’s face wears army boots!


You mean like this, clearly.

Yer sister’s ass!

I thought your first comeback was better, frankly.

Geek one: Your mom’s pretty…

Geek two: pretty HOT!

Another phrase for it is Observing Ego. But before I even opened the thread, I knew how I would answer the OP. “Jerk Store.”


Oh, maaaaan!!! I wish I’d had this one yesterday when a caller to whom I was being very polite menacingly told me he’d be all “up in my face” if his fax number wasn’t taken off of our journalist distribution list. Asshat…