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I’m not a very competitive person, except when it comes to getting the final word. I live to have the last word, and have been known to keep an arsenal at the ready, just in case… I’m always aware of how I end emails, texts, discussions, friendships, relationships, etc. and always obsess when I miss an opportunity for a good quip.

So how did it all start? According to my mom (aka Maria), I was a smart ass from the day I uttered my first word. But I think my quick-draw quipping really took off one summer day in 1993. My shining moment in perfect last word scenarios happened when I was about 15 and my friends and I had gone to the Hollywood Bowl for a New Order concert. We’d parked blocks away and had to walk forever to get to the Bowl. It was before the era of Hot Topic, and we were in full Goth garb – so I know we looked a little ridiculous. Anyway, a car full of pan blanco pulled up next to us at a corner and this girl leans out and says, “What is it, Halloween?” and threw her head back in a horsey laugh. My feet hurt, I was tired and cranky that we were still only halfway there, so I was in no mood. With perfect timing, I glanced over at her and replied, “By the look of your mask, I’d say it was.”

The gasp from my friends, the frozen smile that slowly collapsed on her face, the laughter that followed… my heart swelled and my face glowed like The Grinch’s. I was hooked! The high lasted the entire night, and we still laugh about it today (or at least I still do). It wasn’t just about coming up with the right words, it was knowing when and where to use them.

And just like that, the Verbal Switchblade was born…