The French say l'esprit de l'escalier-- which translates as "the wit of the staircase" and refers to when you think of the perfect retort after the argument has ended, when you are on your way up the stairs-- and sometimes this is a good thing . . . that you don't think of the most pointed, cutting thing to say (e.g. George Costanza: Well, I had sex with your wife!) because the perfect retort, while satisfying, can also make some waves . . . so, when I was about to swim a few laps in the unoccupied heated outdoor pool up at the Cape, and the old coot and his octogenarian wife chastised me for unhooking the floating safety rope that divides the deep end from the shallow end because-- get this-- the pool inspector might walk in at any time and there were children around (none in the pool environs, but they did have a point, there were children in the vicinity, just not at the pool) I didn't say anything witty or even clever, I simply said, "sorry" and placed the line on the concrete and swam my laps (unimpeded) and tried to ignore the old bat's last line, delivered from her chaise lounge: "that's what they all say" and as I swam off my anger (while thinking of all kinds of perfect retorts about the sadness of their existence and how ironic it was that they were so cautious now that they had so little time left and how swimming laps might be a way to prolong their miserable lives) and by the time I surfaced for air, my dad had mollified them and we put the safety rope back in place and I left, saved from an altercation by "the wit of the lap lane."