Category: Backhanded Compliments

Remaining Civil In Civics

| Adair County, OK, USA | Backhanded Compliments

(I am in my Civics class. I am working on an essay to be presented in class, in pairs, and I am paired up with Classmate #1, who has just gotten back from suspension. I am also a student that takes Speech and Drama as a class.)

Classmate #1: “We should just copy it straight out of the book, and use the way it’s worded.”

Me: “No, what we need to do is flesh it out. Technically we could just BS it, but it will look better if we use a more elaborate way of wording it. I can stretch the first sentence and use it for the entire introductory paragraph. Your way won’t work, just because of the fact that Coach [Teacher] would fail both of us and you would miss out of a track meet, and we would both get detention.”

Classmate #1: “Coach [Teacher]!”

Teacher: “Yes, [Classmate #1]?”

Classmate #1: “I think [My Name] just called me stupid in a really smart way.”

Teacher: “That’s called a backhanded compliment. At least she didn’t do what she did to [Classmate #2] for screwing up their Power-Point.”

Goofing Off Has Hit The Ceiling

| CO, USA | Backhanded Compliments

(It’s April Fool’s Day. I’m in first grade. The teacher is leading a short activity where the first to find five “goofs”, i.e. minor changes, around the classroom gets a prize. I’m not particularly paying attention, so I miss this next part.)

Teacher: “And don’t bother looking at the ceiling; there are no goofs there.”

(The others quickly find four of the goofs, but can’t find the last one. I, having missed the last part of the introduction, end up finding it quickly.)

Me: “[Teacher], I’m finished.”

Teacher: “Okay, [My Name], would you mind pointing out all the goofs?”

(I point them all out, including the one on the ceiling.)

Classmate: “Hey, that doesn’t count! [Teacher] said there’s no goofs on the ceiling!”

Teacher: “April Fool’s!”

Me: *under my breath* “Yay, short attention span!”

The Age Of Innocence

| MD, USD | Backhanded Compliments, Language & Words

(It is raining in so it is necessary to have all the students remain indoors for recess. I’m sitting with some of my third graders.)

Student #1: “Did you say any bad words when you were little?”

Me: *trying to hedge around the topic* “I didn’t know many bad words when I was little.”

Student #2: “Yeah. They hadn’t invented most bad words back then anyway!”

My Teacher The Crook

| TX, USA | Backhanded Compliments, Musical Mayhem

(Our orchestra is in class the day after a concert.)

Director: “Y’all did really good at your concert last night!”

Class: “Thanks!”

Director: “In fact, I have a gift for all of you!”

Class: “What is it?”

Director: *shows folder* “It’s your next chair tests!”

Classmate: “What? That’s cruel, Mrs. [Director].”

(The director laughs as she hands us the list of the excerpts we have to play for our next chair test. My classmate notices something odd about how the list was printed.)

Classmate: “Mrs. [Director], these chair tests are crooked, just like your sense of humor.”

(The director laughed even harder, and the rest of the class joined in.)

A Pale Imitation Of Oneself

| Round Lake, IL, USA | Backhanded Compliments, Bizarre/Silly

(This takes place after school when I am exhausted and my creativity is high as well, to the point of being mistaken for a lunatic. I’m currently speaking to a close guy friend when my close female friend comes out. Before walking over to us she gets distracted by another friend. It should be noted that my female friend is very short and very pale with dark hair, and that I’m a girl who’s a huge teaser and easily laughs at the simplest things.)

Me: *looks at female friend with an intense look*

(Cue to me turning to guy friend and very seriously saying to him as though I’m observing something astounding happening.)

Me: *to guy friend* “Hey… the longer you stare at [Female Friend], the paler she gets.”

Guy Friend: “Seriously?!” *laughs and turns to look at her* “Oh, my god, you’re right!”

(We both start to laugh in unison. My female friend notices us laughing while looking at her and walks over to us in a rush; knowing us she figures we’ve made something up about her again.)

Female Friend: *trying very hard, and failing miserably, at being serious* “Knock it off, guys! What are you saying about me this time?”

(I turn to her and in complete seriousness say.)

Me: “The longer I stare at you, the paler you get, to the point of blending in with the light and becoming impossible to see.” *while saying all this, my guy friend can’t stop laughing and my female friend’s face shifts to utter bewilderment*

Female Friend: “Seriously?!” *immediately looks in a dark mirror next to all three of us and stares at her reflection* “Oh, my god! You’re right! I can’t see my own reflection anymore!” *cue to me and my guy friend historically laughing while she continued to wonder at her own paleness*

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