Contest: The Snappy Comeback to a Stupid Demand

Hey, finally something outrageous happened to someone I know. Let’s turn it into a contest!

Well, okay, I don’t really “know” the person except from reading her blog and exchanging a few e-mails, but still. Contest!

At the center of this is Sheri, the blogger at Spilling the Beans, and co-owner of the brick ‘n’ mortar stores and a web store called Magic Beans, based in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Sheri was breastfeeding on an Amtrak train this month when a distressed attendant handed her The Towel.  Sheri declined The Towel and the pushy attendant returned later to insist she cover her body. Sheri’s non-confrontational husband then threw a Bebe au Lait nursing cover on his wife.

Yeah, they had a cover the whole time, but that’s not the point. Read her account of the confrontation and her follow-up about Massachusetts’ doesn’t-exist-yet breastfeeding law.

The Contest:

Imagine you are in a public place and a person asks or demands that you, or your partner, cover the act of breastfeeding. It doesn’t have to occur on a train and the buttinsky doesn’t have to be a person of authority.

I’m looking for brevity… a 1 or 2 sentence stupid request or demand to cover up, and a 1 or 2 sentence snappy comeback.

Please post one demand and comeback per comment using the comment form below. Enter as often as you like.

Example #1:

Transportation Safety Administration inspector at the airport gate: “Ma’am, you’ll have to put that thing away. You’re not allowed to bring in outside food.”

Mother: “What are you going to do, confiscate it?”

Example #2:

Restaurant diner: “Can’t you do that in the bathroom?”

Mother: “Sure, if you’ll move our table and chairs to the restroom and alert the waitress of our new location.”

Example #3:

Restaurant diner: “Can’t you do that in the bathroom?”

Mother: “That makes about as much sense as crapping in the kitchen.”

The Prize:

Two photos of the Peanut Shell nursing cover.

One submitter will win… a Peanut Shell fashionably functional nursing cover!

Yes, I’m being serious, if a bit ironical. I own a new, unused Peanut Shell cover, but my wife would never use a cover, and I’d never review one.

Sheri says a cover is useful “when you’re returning from Vegas on an airplane, sitting in a middle seat between two leering, middle-aged men who have spent the weekend looking at showgirls.”

So, I concede plenty of mothers would enjoy this delightful pink and chocolate Peanut Shell if they can muster up enough nonsensical contempt to write a good snappy comeback to a situation they themselves would never allow themselves to get into in the first place.

I will pick the winner in concert with the wife. If the winner was just participating to have fun and declines the prize, it will go to the second best submission, and so on.

Anyone anywhere in the world may participate so long as I can ship the prize via the US Postal Service. If by some fluke the winner doesn’t receive the prize, sorry, this thing was a gift, I only have one, and that’s that.

Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, Friday, November 14th. Hopefully, that allows time for the winner to be artfully covered during her holiday travels.


Sheri from Spilling the Beans and the Peanut Shell folks are not official partners in this contest, mostly because I didn’t ask them. I’m a maverick.

Have fun!


20 Responses to “Contest: The Snappy Comeback to a Stupid Demand”

  1. Jen says:

    Restaurant Diner: Can’t you do that in the bathroom?

    Mother: Would you want to eat your dinner in the shitter?

    October 29th, 2008 at 11:58 am

  2. Pippin says:

    Amtrack Attendant: “Ma’am, here’s a towel, we don’t want to upset the other patrons with your ‘display’.”

    BFing Mom: “It only works if I do it in public and people stare.”

    October 29th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

  3. cj says:

    Stranger in a restaurant: I don’t want to have to see that while I eat.

    Mama: If seeing other people eat bothers you so much, maybe you shouldn’t visit public restaurants.

    October 29th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

  4. cj says:

    Stranger with kids: I don’t want my kids seeing that. Why can’t you cover up or bottle feed when you are in public?

    Mama: Because I don’t want to teach my baby that fake breasts are better than real ones…so please cover up that magazine you’re reading.

    October 29th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

  5. Allison (CodeCrafter) says:

    Rude stranger: Please could you not do that in front of me?

    Mama: Why? Is it making you hungry?

    October 30th, 2008 at 7:31 am

  6. Marketing Mommy says:

    Stranger at restaurant: Don’t you want to cover up?
    Mama: Why? You’ve got your sandwich hanging out for everyone to see!

    October 30th, 2008 at 11:23 am

  7. Jenni says:

    rude person: Can you please cover yourself while doing that?

    proud mama: Oh, I’m sorry. Would you also mind throwing a blanket over yourself while you eat that slab of meat on your plate?

    October 30th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

  8. Kae says:

    Terrible Flight Attendant: Here is a towel for you.

    Me: Stop licking your lips jack, my baby doesn’t share food.

    October 30th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

  9. rebecca says:

    Rude person (female) – Excuse me lady, cover it up, thats a private thing.

    BF lady – whats wrong with you – am I making you jealous with these big mams? – your husband doesn’t seem to mind.

    October 30th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

  10. Kelly says:

    Rude Comment: Please cover up when you are doing that, its making people uncomfortable.!

    Answer: I am so sorry!!! This is so silly of me! Trying to reduce my child’s risk of numerous diseases and illnesses, and oh yeah… dying, by breastfeeding instead of being polite and feeding him/her formula in a bottle… right, I’ll stop right now so you can be “comfortable”. *said with a good deal of sarcasm.

    October 30th, 2008 at 6:22 pm

  11. Lo says:

    Rude Comment: Please cover yourself when you do that.
    Comeback: Do you usually eat your lunch under a towel?

    October 30th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

  12. Kelly says:

    comment: ughhh… why can’t you just bottle feed?

    reply: “If breastfeeding in public makes people uneasy because the breasts are considered sexual then bottle-feeding must be the equivalent of whipping out a dildo! And I am not waving a dildo around in public!”

    *I did not come up with this, saw if floating on the web but never with a source*

    October 31st, 2008 at 3:05 pm

  13. Charity says:

    I’m loving everyone’s comebacks! How about this:

    “Just trying to save some money in these tough economic times”.

    Can you tell I’m in finance? ;) I know it’s a rather passive-aggressive answer. Perhaps a simple “No” would be the best response?

    November 1st, 2008 at 12:06 am

  14. Charity says:

    “Would you feel better if I stopped feeding the baby and just let him/her cry from hunger?”


    “I’m sorry that using my breasts for their intended purpose rather than as sexual objects makes you uncomfortable.”

    November 1st, 2008 at 12:19 am

  15. jessica says:

    Restaurant patron: Do you think you could cover your your child?

    Comback: Well, if that’s the case, why don’t you eat under a blanket and then this will all be settled!

    November 1st, 2008 at 11:29 am

  16. Sara says:

    Okay, my own modesty keeps me relatively covered when nursing in public, and if I were approached I would probably never say any of these snappy comebacks, and I DEFINITELY would not do my own response, but this is what I imagine would happen if my life were a Saturday Night Live skit…

    Comment: “Would you mind covering up while you do that? It makes me uncomfortable”

    Response: “I could make this even MORE uncomfortable!” then squirt commenter with breast milk, preferably in the face (depending on your range and accuracy)

    November 1st, 2008 at 12:56 pm

  17. Melissa says:

    “Could you possibly do that in a restroom?”

    “No, but if you don’t like it then you can always go into the restroom while my child finishes eating.”

    November 3rd, 2008 at 8:57 am

  18. sheri says:

    Rude man in the mall: “You woman make me sick doing this kind of thing in public”

    My answer: “You little baby, why don’t you put on a diaper and you can suck my other boob!”

    November 14th, 2008 at 10:47 am

  19. Magda says:

    “Would you mind feeding the baby elsewhere?”

    “If I had a hammer, I’d feed him in the morning, I’d feed him in the evening, all over this land, all over this land.”

    November 14th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

  20. lace says:

    “Could you do that somewhere else? Breastfeeding in public is gross.”

    “You shouldn’t allow your children to eat in public. At least my child doesn’t leave a mess behind that the waitress has to clean up.”

    November 14th, 2008 at 9:02 pm