I recently discovered a new word: ‘L’esprit de l’escalier’. It’s French for that irritating experience of thinking up a witty comeback way too late. Cool words like these are one of the many reasons I envy the French, along with their superior bone structure, significantly warmer climate and delectable wines and cheeses.
One thing that always gives me a severe case of l’esprit de l’escalier is when idiots shout at you in the street or make gross comments – also known as street harassment (which I blogged about recently). I normally just feel extremely embarassed and walk along super-quickly, staring at the floor, only to think half an hour later: ‘Damn! Why didn’t I think of saying THAT to them?!’
Well, I now have some help with this. After a serious amount of street harassment discussion on Twitter (largely sparked by this study), the frankly rather awesome (and approprately named) blog, Awesome Women of Twitter, decided to ask its followers for their cleverest harassment comebacks, which they’ve collated here.
Feast your eyes on it, and never be haunted by the ghost of l’esprit de l’escalier ever again – there are some absolute corkers in there. My favourite has to be: “Touch my bum again and I’ll fart on your hand.” Bwahahaha!