. . . a neighbour of mine in Brighton who works in a shop where everything costs a pound – a job he does with considerable dignity, I have to say. One morning, as he was opening the shop, he had a very imperious customer who first ticked him off about opening three minutes late, then demanded personal service, and finally complained about the lack of range in the bathroom cleaners. My friend was not rude to this man. He said merely, “I think you’re labouring under a misapprehension, sir.” And then, when the man said, “What misapprehension?” he said, “That this is Harrods, and that you’re the effing Duke of Westminster.”
That retort is, in my opinion, right up there with
Lady Astor (infuriated): Mister Churchill, if I were your wife, I’d put poison in your tea.
Churchill: Madam, were I your husband, I would surely drink it.
I love the precise use of language.