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The Best Comeback You've Ever Heard

Illustration for article titled The Best Comeback Youve Ever Heard
Image: Al Bello (Getty Images)

Putting the very-clever aside, it’s rare for the average person to find the perfect retort after being insulted. I can count on two fingers the number of times I’ve had the perfect comeback, clap back, etc., and as a person, I think I can represent us all, as people. The last one happened three years ago: I was leaving the airport when an Uber driver screamed at me, “Where do you think you’re going, bitch?” I responded, “All the way to the top, asshole!” I’ve never felt more victorious.

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And so, dear Jezebel reader, I want to hear about the best comeback you’ve ever heard—one that you’ve said (yes!) or one that you heard someone else say (also yes, just slightly less so, for your sake!) And if you have a good comeback you weren’t able to utter in the moment, feel free to toss that in the comments below, too. This is a pettiness safe space.

But now, let’s take a look at last week’s winners: these are your most ludicrous road trip stories.

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katie_keys, I would watch this indie:

When I graduated college, a friend (G) and I both got jobs as fishery observers in Alaska. We decided to drive both our cars from Maine (where we graduated) to Seattle (where training happened.) A third friend (H) decided to caravan with us since she got a job on the Oregon coast for the summer.

It was easy to start, we had planned to alternate camping and cheap hotels. In those days you could get coupon books for hotels at $60/ night everywhere. We had pork tenderloin sandwiches in Indiana and terrible bar food in Rochester Minnesota, but we also went to the SPAM museum. Some lack of camping landed us in SD badlands, basically nowhere, with only the food in our cars. (At least we had SPAM.)

The fifth day dawned and there was a lot in South Dakota we wanted to see, but suddenly neither of them wanted to visit, and both were impatient to get elsewhere. It was always planned the H would depart at some point (she had an earlier start date) but they both up and left me in South Dakota, the G telling me she would just see me in Seattle with no warning. I was kinda mad because we were splitting accommodations and at no point before was splitting up discussed with G.

Of course this is the day my homesickness hit, and I spent a day wandering between South Dakota attracts fucking sobbing whenever I was in the car. On the other hand, it was the last time I ever experienced homesickness.

The next two days I spent looping down through Yellowstone and ended up crossing into Idaho in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm in the dark, aka not a great time to drive mountains. It was pretty smooth sailing from there.

IDK where the fuck G went but we ended up arriving at our training accommodations within an hour of each other. I should have picked a different room from her - she spent the next 3.5 weeks fucking random guys on the bottom of our bunk bed. Once training was over we never spoke again.

Sean, this is both tedious and nightmarish—the worst combination:

This a tale of tragedy and woe than being ludicrous, but nevertheless...

1989, Perth Western Australia, I’m aged 22 and I’m engaged to be married. Both of us way too young for that sort of thing looking back now.

Anyway, we decided to go camping in the town of Albany. This is about a 6 hour drive south from Perth. We set off early-ish on a Saturday morning.

We hadn’t gone 20 minutes and I’m on the freeway heading south past the Royal Perth Golf course at about 100km/h when suddenly my windscreen dissolves into a craze of glass. Yep, you can guess that a golf ball had hit my windscreen. So I hang my head out the drivers window and pull over as quickly as possible to get off the freeway.

I totter down to a nearby service station and ask to use the phone to call for a windscreen replacement service. Now this is in the dark old days of 1989 when dinosaurs ruled the land and also when most business in Perth (which hadn’t really left the 1950’s at that time) closed up shop at 1.00pm and didn’t open again until Monday. By now it was about 11.00am....

Not many businesses either had my windscreen type of we’re willing to come out at that time as it would take a few hours for the glue to cure, so we had no luck getting one until the service station manager took pity of us and called on our behalf. Amazingly the same company that had just said no, was now happy to say yes!... assholes.

So they come out and fix the windscreen and we kill some time down at the local cafe while the glue cures. We discussed going home but since it was now 2.00pm we felt we could still make it to Albany but would find a hotel room instead of the tent as it’d be dark by the time we got there. So we headed off again...

Hours pass and we are well on the way to Albany and had just passed the town of Williams when I see my engine temp suddenly spike. I pull over and turn off the engine, pop the bonnet and have a look. Immediately I can see that the fan belt has broken and there’s steam from the radiator. I go to turn the car back on again and.. nothing... The engine had locked up.

Remember this is the age of dinosaurs so there are no mobile phones and we are now stranded literally in the middle of nowhere with about 50kms in any direction before you’d hit another sign of civilisation. So I knock up a “HELP!” sign on some paper I had in the car and wait for the next car to come along. This may take some time... but we were lucky and it only took 20 minutes or so.

These people tell us that they’ll call the RAC (roadside assistance service here) in Williams and head off. About an hour later the local RAC guy turns up. He’s just the local Williams mechanic and he’s none too happy because we’d disturbed him watching the pro football game on TV that afternoon. Things between myself and my fiancé are also now a bit chilly.

He puts some water in the car and says to follow him slowly back to town. Once there he puts the pressure gauge on the radiator, gives it a few pumps and water just gushes out of the engine head. (It’s not meant to do that...) I’d not just cracked the head, but ravined it.

The mechanic says he can fix it but it’ll take him 2-3 weeks. How was I going to leave my car there for that long in a Mickey Mouse little town (pop’s about 200) AND somehow get back home for work etc? By now it’s about 4.30pm

So we call my fiancé’s brother and ask him to hire a car trailer and drive down with it to collect us. There was a stunned moment of silence from the brother as he absorbed this bit of information.... but he said ok. It was going to be a 2 hour drive or so for him. Frost now starts to appear in the air between my fiancé and myself. It’s a 32c day btw.

Hours pass and the brother arrives. I go to put the car onto the trailer and as I do so the back wheels slip on the loose gravel and the front edge of the rear door catches on the trailer and folds back like tinfoil. Icebergs are now seen between my fiancé and myself.

The trip back to Perth took about 3 hours as the trailer weight meant we couldn’t go very fast. The Earth inside the brother’s car entered a new ice age.

We got home, drop off the car, I promise to pay the brother the $400 plus gas money tomorrow and we head to bed. Mammoths and Yeti’s follow us upstairs.

Two weeks later, the fiancé and I have officially broken up. I’m out $2900 when I only had $1200 in the bank so I’ve had to borrow that from the “Bank of Mum and Dad” and the car is getting fixed of all it’s problems.

I’ve never been to Albany....

goddessoftransitoryrisesagain, if this was “sweetest road trip stories,” you’d win!:

When I was six and my sister five, our family went on the mother of all road trips.

My dad had finished his internship and he and my mom bought a Winnebago camper and we traveled all over the country in it for six months. Family lingo refers to it as “The Six Month Trip.”

Since we were both so young, we thought it was fantastic fun! (A few years later things most probably would have ended in a bloody murder spree, but luck was on our side.) I don’t remember tons about it, given how long ago it was, but I do recall:

Stopping at a playground somewhere that had the World’s Tallest Slide. And it wasn’t just us being little kids—adults there also commented on it. In my mind it looms upward, an aluminum ladder to heaven. It must have been hellaciously dangerous but we both went down it several times!

This was in 1979, and a big news story was Skylab’s orbit decaying and it falling back to earth. As a six year old I heard all about this but somehow didn’t pick up on the fact that it was going to land in Australia, and spent a solid month fearfully gazing at the sky whenever I had to be outside, certain a firey scientific oopsy was headed for my tender skull.

My parents got the “bedroom” of the Winnebago, and my sister and I slept in these little bunk beds that were built into one side. We loved them. They had curtains to draw for privacy and we’d snuggle in there with our stuffed animals and books. We’d also routinely switch bunks and enjoy the novelty of being in the upper or lower one. They each had a window looking outside, too.

I still can remember being campgrounds at night, lying in my little cocoon, listening what must have been other campers talking, radios, playing guitar, and so on. But it was muffled, naturally, so I didn’t realize these mundane explanations. I was convinced it was angels, singing and talking, enjoying a quiet night, keeping watch over me.

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Revenge-accomplishers, comment below.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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greenpig
The Old Man from Scene 24

I was browsing through the sporting goods section of Target one afternoon, when I hear an someone yelling loudly. I turn around to see an irate woman gesticulating wildly and screaming “Hey, dumbass!” After a second, I realize she was trying to get MY attention.

I’m sure the look on my face was one of pure confusion, because I didn’t know this woman and had no idea why she would need to call me a dumbass. This infuriated her even further, and she started walking toward me at a fast clip, while continuing to hurl abuse at me.

When she got nearly toe-to-toe with me and began screaming in my face “I’ve been waiting 20 minutes for someone to open the display case (for the pocket knives) and you’re standing around with your thumb up your ass....”

She continues her tirade for what seemed like an eternity, with me trying to interrupt her but unable to get a word in edgewise. I was called fuck-nuts, ass hole and a few other colorful epithets. Meanwhile, a small crowd of about a half-dozen people had gathered to watch the show,

Finally, the woman asked “Well, are you going to open the display case?” to which I responded simply “No.” I paused for a second to let the shock of that statement sink in and then continued “I don’t work here.”

The small audience laughed, the woman turned nearly purple with rage and an bystander made the sad trombone sound - “Wah-Wah-Waaaaah.”

Pro tip - never shop at Target while wearing a red polo shirt.