“Witty Smitty”

When I was in 5th grade my teacher called on me to present my book report. My anxious response was “I’m absent.”

While, I intended that response to be a joke, I was surprised by how well it was received by the class. My teacher, smiled as she explained the meaning of the world witty, and added “Scott is a witty young man.”

A few nanoseconds later my short-lived nickname became “Witty Smitty” which was chanted for a few recesses when it was my turn at the plate during our daily kickball game.

Throughout my life, people have occasionally labeled me as quick-witted. Often their conclusion is based on a mere two or three data points after I’ve made some jokes in their presence that landed (with them, anyway).

They tend to ignore the weakass-joke attempts that went over like a lead balloon (not to be confused with a Led Zeppelin).

Also, they are most likely unaware how long I’ve been mulling over some of these witticisms.

I have a confession to make, many of my “quick” responses have been days, months, sometimes years in the making. As Rod Stewart once sang many of my “ad-libbed lines were well-rehearsed.”

Here is an example.

When I was about 8, a joke in a Laurel and Hardy movie made an impression on me.

Over the years, I imagined how I might drop that punchline in real life. Though without the proper setup, it seemed pointless.

Eventually, I got the chance.

When I was 24, I came to a stop at a red light, the driver behind me plowed into the back of my car.

I went to use the payphone at a nearby convenience store and a man who glanced at my crumbled Toyota said “Have an accident?”

“No, thanks, I just had one,” was the only appropriate response. 

The man chuckled, and said, “Wow, that was a quick comeback.”

I felt obligated to explain that I’d been waiting 16 years to drop that punchline, and that it was was from a 50-year-old movie. However, I was just in a car wreck and a bit shaken, and needed to cal the police, so I just left it at “Thanks.”

While I couldn’t find the “Have an accident?” clip here is another short sip of Laurel and Hardy:

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