A Bout of Carriage Wit
As I was reading over at Gallup how Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is 2009’s most admired woman, I thought about the first and only phone call I’ve received from the Gallup people. It was just the other evening. When I answered the phone, a man identified himself as being from Gallup. I thought, okay, I am willing to consider participating, depending on what he wants to know. Then, before he gave me time to agree that I would listen, said, “I will need to speak to a female over 18 years old.” I cannot describe the visceral repulsion and anger I had at his demand. He did not ask, “May I,” or “Could I possibly speak to a female over 18,” or even explain why he would need to speak to a female over 18, he simply demanded to speak to a female over 18. I hung up the phone. Then I thought about what I should have said. According to the Scarlet Pimpernel, that is how carriage wit works. At the ball, one is not clever enough to respond with wit and does not think of anything to say until riding home in his or her carriage. I wish at the time I would have at least cursed him out and said something like, “You fucking bastard, you don’t call my house making demands.”
Oh, and I am so willing to own that I was immature, irrational, and whatever. Because, whatever.