Every autism parent knows them. They may be strangers; they may be relatives, or anyone in between. They aren’t shy about offering their two cents’ worth on your child’s behavior, preferences, future (and you’d gladly give them a dollar to shut up). They don’t distinguish between opinionated and informed, and they can’t find their own mute button.

It can often seem like it’s simply asking too much to refrain from responding in kind. (“If I wanted to listen to an a***hole, I’d fart.”)  But taking the low road sends the wrong message to both our child and their unkind and/or ignorant detractor. (See Comeback . . . or Setback?, below).  Having an arsenal of dignified, even humorous comebacks helps deflect and minimize remarks that aren’t worthy of your time, attention or energy. Sometimes just making them up and trying them out in your head is satisfying enough to carry you through a rough moment.

So here you go. A comeback for each day of the month, in response to that tiresome declaration:

“There’s nothing wrong with that kid that a good slap wouldn’t cure.”

“Whoops! That sentence was six words too long!”

“I’ll tell her doctor you said so.”

“What a coincidence! He feels the same way about you.”

“Pssst . . . have you heard the news? It’s never too late to mind your own business.”

“Haha! I don’t know your kid very well either.”

“Cure? Well, she can be a ham at times.”

“Cure? Oh gosh, we never do nitrates.”

“Now there’s a Pleistocene thought!”

“You do look a little pale. How long have you had this problem?”

“Wow. Best oxymoron I’ve heard all day.”

“The ol’ show of brute force? Nah.”

“Now that’s pretty silly.”

“Well, bless your heart, you quirky thing.”

“Tick tick tick tick tick tick DING! Conversation over.”

“Shhhhh.” (Finger to lips, eye wide.) “You’re embarrassing yourself.”

“Skunk smells his own first.”

“Whoa, Skippy! Did you mean to be so rude?”

“Does your mother know what you’re doing?”

“Everyone is somebody else’s weirdo, according to the Prophecy.”

“‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.’ –Abraham Lincoln”

“So sorry. I don’t speak English.” (Or, if you must, “hyena.”)

“Enough about us, honey. What are you up to these days?”

“I understand your problem. It’s hard to pronounce, isn’t it?”

“Pssst . . . might wanna swap out that Chapstick for a glue stick?”

“So true, but it only works on days that don’t end in Y.”

Or . . . have fun with completely non-sequitur responses:

“Do you know a good substitute for mustard in barbeque sauce?”

“There’s a sale at Penney’s!” ( . . . yes, from the movie Airplane!)

“Is your dad still working on that novel?”

“Do you know anyone who gives accordion lessons?”

“Wanna buy a vowel?”


Further reading: Comeback . . . or Setback?


© 2016 Ellen Notbohm


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