It was only after the conversation ended did the inspiring witty reply find its way to my tongue. Once again I lost the battle of wits and lay bleeding, secretly embarrassed and kicking myself for being too slow on the draw. I hear those words about having a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent rattle in my brain.
It’s not that I’m unarmed, it’s just that it’s getting harder to be considered witty. The comebacks need to be sharper and have a bite that stings the other in the name of humor. And if by a miracle I do have the perfect jab, those who hear it laugh at the wounded and say “touche” as if I have scored points. It’s a hollow victory that doesn’t satisfy like I thought it would. I have seen the flicker of pain that a perfectly timed witty remark causes, only to have the victim try to laugh it off and think of some comeback in time to save face. If what we see in current comedy tv shows is wit, then the definition has changed. It’s not enough to be funny and clever, to be amusing there needs to be a jab like the ‘yo mamma’ battles of youth. It seems like the comebacks need to be more snarky than witty.
I remember watching the TV show Roseanne and realized that the wit being served on a plater was harsh and sharp. It cut in the name of humor. On one side I found myself laughing and on the other appalled by it, yet secretly admiring the quick wit that always had the perfect comeback.
I forget that a team of writers spend hours getting the words just right and the timing is directed for the perfect gesture and attitude. It’s worse when the team of writers put adult wit into the mouths of children. The next generation thinks it’s funny to see a 3 yr old in a movie rattle off some snarky remark that shows a lack of respect for the parental role. I see it in my daycare kids all the time. A talk to the hand attitude that some parents are proud of as being assertive won’t look so cute when their little princess is 13.
I guess I’m just old fashion.