I love Jeopardy but I could never be a contestant. I’m not exactly quick on the draw and I often think of the answer five minutes later. It’s the same thing with insults. I think of the most fabulously clever and brilliant retort to jerks who think it their personal obligation to let me know how much space I take up or how sexually unattractive I am to them — after the fact.
My one moment of reflexive shining glory came about two years ago. I needed to make a return at a home store so my shopping-weary husband opted to wait in the car. I was nearing the store entrance when I crossed two jock kind of guys in their young 20s. I haven’t had strangers issue weight-based insults in a long time, but I had a feeling these idiots would say something and sure enough, after I passed them they called out some kind of fat sexual innuendo. Without missing a beat, I replied “Right, and I’m sure you both have dicks the size of peanuts.” Victory! I can’t take credit for the retort; it’s a line said by Julia Roberts in Notting Hill (one of my absolute favorite movies). My husband says I’m the worst Buddhist ever, but while sometimes it’s better to rise above ignorant people and not stoop to their level, other times it feels oh-so-good and empowering to show them that you aren’t cowed by them and that their behavior is unacceptable.
I especially love this line: “Fat hate is one of the only forms of prejudice in which the people who are subjected to it feel they are getting exactly what they deserve.” (Meowser said nearly the same thing here, too. Great minds and all…)
Can you think of some other good replies to weight-based insults? Post your best ones here and maybe we can start a repository for us all to draw on so that we have just the right thing to say to those idiots in the future.