The Short, Sharp Retort

I’ve never believed in astrology, but there’s one stereotype about my birth sign that applies to me:

Capricorns have fine, deliberate minds which in some cases may operate more slowly but with far deeper concentration than most.

Well, actually, there are a lot of stereotypes about my sign that apply to me: that’s how these things are designed. Sling enough vague pseudoscientific psychobabble leavened with a little flattery, and something’s bound to apply. But I digress. I do have a deliberate mind, and it does tend to operate more slowly than most. That serves well enough when it comes to spelunking a subject in-depth, but it’s murder for the short, sharp retort. Let’s not talk about the number of times I’ve started up from a deep sleep with the perfect witticism perched like a loaded flamethrower on my tongue – long after the target has left the building.


This being so, it’s good to pre-load oneself with a variety of short, sharp retorts suitable to a variety of common situations in which a snappy comeback is the must-have accessory of the season. For all of us with fine, deliberate minds, Capricorn or not, I bring you the first installment of the Short, Sharp Retort.

Retort to science makes people atheists: Oh, shit, we forgot to tell Ken Miller!

Alternates: Science doesn’t make people atheists, fundamentalists do.

And what’s wrong with that?

Retort to we must obey all of Christ’s teachings: So, I see your right eye has never offended you.

Alternates: Wonderful! You can start by shaking the dust from your sandals.

Which part of the Bible says you have to be an insufferable asshole?

There will be more Short, Sharp Retorts forthcoming as they occur to me. By all means, feel free to add your own.

The Short, Sharp Retort

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