Arm yourself with these comebacks from three funny men based in Singapore – so you don’t turn into a spluttering mess the next time someone is rude to you.

SimplyHer Sept 2012, Singapore women's magazineThe comedians
HOSSAN LEONG The comedian is a staple in Singapore theatre, drama, variety, radio… and just about everything!

VERNETTA LOPEZ Ever-upbeat Vernetta is a familiar voice on Singapore radio. Her autobiography, Memoirs of a DJ – Life in Progress is available at major bookstores in Singapore, for S$19.90.

NEIL HUMPHREYS British humorist Neil is the best-selling author of the Singapore trilogy: Notes From an Even Smaller Island, Scribbles from the Same Island, Final Notes from a Great Island. His latest book, Return to a Sexy Island is available at major bookstores in Singapore, for S$19.90.


When you ask for a bigger size for an item of clothing and the sales assistant says condescendingly: “We don’t have it in your size.”
Vernetta: “And what size would that be, Ms I’m-about-to-lose-my-job?”


You ask someone to give up their seat for the elderly, and they tell you to “mind your own business”.
Vernetta: “I am helping to mind the business of someone who needs help. Now, could you please give up your seat?”


When you and a friend ask to share a table for four with two strangers whose bags are on the other two chairs, and they ask: “What about our bags?”
Hossan: (Talk to the bag) “Hi, do you mind sitting in her lap?” (To the person) “Silence means consent.”


When someone cuts into the parking lot you’re waiting for, even after you tell them you were there first.
Vernetta: “Seeing as you won’t listen to reason, I could let the golf club in my car boot do the talking.”

Neil: “Hey, don’t mind me. I’m just practising being Mr. Invisible!”


When you see your relatives at Chinese New Year, and they say insensitively: “You’re so old already – still don’t want to get married?”
Hossan: “I’m trying to perfect all my sex moves before committing to one person.”

Vernetta: “I’ve already frozen my eggs.”


When you tell someone with a full basket at the fast checkout lane for six items, to use the normal queue and they retort: “Are you that free to check everyone’s basket?”
Hossan: “Are you so busy that you can’t read signs?”


When you’re waiting for the cleaners to clear your table at the food centre, and someone puts their dirty plates down as if you aren’t there.
Hossan: “Does it say ‘Dirty Dish Collection Area’ here?” (When they take their items away) “And while you’re at it, could you clear the rest of the dirty plates, too?”


When you get promoted and your colleague says: “Did you buy the boss a big Christmas present, or what?”
Neil: “No, but for Chinese New Year, I might give him a taped recording of you bitching about him while you were drunk at the office party.”


This article is an excerpt of “Don’t Get Mad – Get Witty”, an article originally published in SimplyHer November 2012.