Is there such a thing as a universal catch-all response to any question? Frank Key reckons that Elberry’s phrase “I know people in Finland” has a claim to that status.
Meanwhile, in the anti-poetry thread David gives us the apparently non sequiturial but in fact profound aphorism "Strategic management scholars are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."
Father Ted, I seem to recall, answered all questions of religion put to him by his parishioners with the phrase, "That would be an ecumenical matter."
And on the religious theme, who can ignore the claims to universal applicability of "I’m the Bishop of Southwark, it’s what I do"?
Personally I think it’s overambitious to expect just one phrase to cover every eventuality (as a youth I invested too much faith in Paul Newman’s insouciant line in, I think, Hud: “It don’t make no difference to me”, which got me into lukewarm water with a few authority figures). Under interrogation, one needs a small stock of responses with just enough plausibility and absurdity to put the questioner off his stride.
As ever, we can turn to Boswell’s Johnson:
He entered upon a curious discussion of the difference between intuition and sagacity ; one being immediate in its effect, the other requiring a circuitous process ; one, he observed, was the eye of the mind, the other the nose of the mind.
So the next time you make some perfectly reasonable claim, such as that poetry is rubbish or that hamsters are evil, and some oik pipes up rudely with “How would you know?”, you can reply: “I know it through the nose of my mind.”
If the oik is obnoxious enough to suggest that there is no such thing as the nose of the mind, you can politely suggest he avails himself of a copy of Boswell’s Life Of.
If he further claims that it doesn’t matter who came up the damn 'nose of the mind' because the expression isn’t in the public domain, you can beam serenely and exit with the line: "That, my friend, is the public’s fault, not mine.”