I need some really good comebacks!

gardenerzone4February 27, 2011

As a proud mama of two cats (and one giant dog), I am always really annoyed whenever I hear supposedly educated, professional people say in meetings, "There's more than one way to skin this cat..."

What an idiotic, antiquated, and inane expression! People tell me it's "just a saying". Well, I say it's long past time to put this one away, for good. Having lived in a country in my past where cats were actually skinned alive and killed in torturous ways, this idiotic idiom conjures up horrific and insulting images. I can't believe that people actually get away with such insensitivity in the corporate office! What's worse, I usually look around and no one else seems perturbed! Is it just my fur that stands on end at the mention of such cruel (and illegal) acts against cats? PETA, ASPCA, and Humane Society--where are you when we need you?

Alright, until we can make the world feline worthy, help me by giving me good comebacks that I can use when people utter this offensive phrase in the future.

In the past, I've retorted with a saccharine smile of daggers, "We don't skin cats in this project." Or looked around with a confused and searching gaze, "Which cat, the calico or the tabby?"

But these aren't witty enough. They aren't edgy enough. They aren't smart enough to let the loser know in charming but poison-coated terms that such expressions are the height of indecency and that s/he should certainly be feeling gauche and embarrassed for uttering such a faux pas of stupidity. For a bouncy comeback, think subtle but public humiliation disguised as a polite joke...

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I like directness, so how about:

Please don't talk like that in front of me;
it makes me want to throw up.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 1:31PM
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Fori is not pleased

Isn't that expression about catfish? Those fish really are hard to skin.

If the expression really bothers you, tell them why.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 2:57PM
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Agree. Just tell them that as a pet owner you don't appreciate those kind of comments. No reason to beat around the bush - just tell them straight up.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:33PM
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That phrase is about catfish, not felines.

People who use the expression usually have no idea of what it really means.

Trying to outwit an idiot usually backfires.

After all, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 1:02AM
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Fori is not pleased

Handymac, as a lover of pigs (not to mention silkworms), I am horrified you'd use that expression! ;P

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:41AM
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I think it's a little "indecent" to want to embarrass or publicly humiliate someone for using an expression, especially if they don't mean anything by it. If you wanted to politely tell them that you don't appreciate it, that would be one thing, but you've made it clear you want them to suffer and be humiliated.

I have 3 cats and I love them to death but I don't see the point in embarrassing people, especially in a professional relationship. They aren't directly threatening you or your cats and in all likelihood are just saying it out of habit.

It just seems pretty hypocritical for someone who spouts off about people being insensitive, offensive and indecent wants to retaliate in exactly the same manner.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:51AM
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I think this would be a losing situation for you if you respond. Most of us don't even think about a deeper meaning for expressions we've commonly heard and used and you'll come off as prickly and as a fanatic. Since the guy isn't actually "skinning cats" or even referring to actual cats, is it worth it? I would resent someone policing my speech when it had no malicious intent and didn't hurt anyone.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:18AM
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