312. Clever Things To Say

The thing about work is that it never stops coming.

(now, if only we could say that about your wife. Zing!)


I really think that you can learn all there is to learn from a university degree program in 1 year; or, if you’re exceptionally dedicated, half that time. In terms of raw information, there just isn’t much to shout about. Sit me down for lunch and get me to talk about what I have learned from university, and I will be all out of things to talk about before the food arrives. Then again, that’s me. But I’m willing to bet that no one will be able to talk through the afternoon, no matter how studious.

It’s a theory of mine that most of the 40 subjects American colleges force you through are just there, you know, as filler. Only 5 of those courses really matter, like they actually contribute substantially to the career and future that you will have. The rest of the time, it’s just to make you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth, especially after paying the price of a good car for it. I mean, really: do you need 14 weeks to learn “Effective Listening” or “Principles of News Reporting”? If you ask me, those weeks could be better spent on more entertaining, if not worthwhile, subjects. Things that will actually prove to be useful in real life.

So I propose that we take out the abominable course that is “Social Anthropology” and replace it with “Clever Retorts”.

(course code: STFU235)

Some Truths are truer than other truths. Here’s how it works:

truth: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

Truth: if you can’t say something nice, say something clever but devastating.

And it’s this bigger Truth that we shall live by. The people out there in the world will not hesitate to cut you down with their words. If anything, learning Clever Retorts is verbal self-defense, so that when we’re wounded by lexical weapons, we’re at least prepared to launch a lingual counterattack.

(there’s a clever remark to be made here about comebacks, but that’s too vulgar even by my standards)

This course will cover a wide variety of snappy quips, referencing Shakespearean Text and Governmental Papers to study the evolution of clever retorts throughout the ages, and how one might apply these principles in their everyday life. Study and understand the mechanics behind the time-tried “Your Mom” wisecrack, as well as the versatile, age-old “Insult To Rocks” method of hurling injuries back into your opponent’s face. Discover the importance of stress, tone, rhythm, and timing to dish out maximum impact in minimal words, and learn about the scenarios in which actions do speak louder than words: where a punch to the face or a defiant flipped bird would encapsulate more meaning than words ever will.

And as a value-added bonus, take home this little tip on how to respond to people asking when will you be getting married:

“When your wife/husband gets a divorce.”

Happy learning!

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