Why is it that we always think of the clever retort to some comment the next day, or the next week, or the next year? Never at the right time.
One of my favorite examples is a short story by Roger Angell, in which a man with this problem thought of a clever thing to say about the English novelist Angela Thirkell. He kept it in mind, hoping the topic of Angela Thirkell would come up. The problem was, the topic of Angela Thirkell almost never comes up.
Until one day he thought he heard some people at a party discussing Angela Thirkell. He raced across the room, knocking people over in his haste to join them, and said, "Well, I've always thought Angela Thirkell was a thquare."
Unfortunately, it turned out they weren't discussing Angela Thirkell but Studs Turkel, and the man went mad. (Turtletaub and the Foul Distemper if you want to read more; it's a very funny story if you like terrible puns.)
So just in case you sometimes have the same problem coming up with good answers to the tedious questions that nondiabetics seem to ask us over and over again, I thought I'd suggest some canned responses that you can memorize and trot out when the need arises.
Q. Can you eat that?
A. Gosh, I don't know. Let me try it and see.
Q. No, I mean are you allowed to eat that?
A. Hang on a second. Waiter! This woman wants to know if we're allowed to eat this food or if it's only for show.
Q. You know, you should really lose some weight (from a total stranger).
A. You know, I understand they have medications now to help people who have a compulsion to stop total strangers on the street and give them medical advice without a license. I have the name of a good psychiatrist if you'd be interested.
Q. You know, you should really lose some weight (from an acquaintance).
A. You know, you should really [choose one, depending on the situation] (1) do something about those wrinkles; (2) do something about those unstylish clothes; (3) find a better boyfriend.
Q. Why don't you just take insulin pills?
A. I will when you can get me some.
Q. When will your son outgrow his diabetes?
A. Probably shortly after we have lasting peace throughout the world.
Q. I read in a magazine yesterday about an herb that will cure diabetes. Have you tried it?
A. No. Unfortunately, I spent all my money on a timeshare in the Brooklyn Bridge.
Q. You wouldn't have diabetes if you hadn't eaten so much sugar.
A. My doctor told me I wouldn't have diabetes if I hadn't shown such terrible judgment in my selection of parents.
Q. Eeeeuuuu. How do you give yourself shots?
A. Usually with a syringe.
Q. No, I mean how can you do something that hurts?
A. Do you pay taxes?
Q. I thought diabetes was cured by insulin.
A. Don't feel bad. I used to get things wrong too.
Q. One little taste won't kill you.
A. That's what they said to Socrates just before he took the poison hemlock.