In Brett's book he published some non profane insults from the likes of good ol' Teddy Roosevelt. I gave the book to my nephew so I can't quote them at the moment. What I would like to see in this thread is either new or quoted non profane zingers that attack character and behaviour without completely loosing decorum.
I'm French, so I always go for "your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries !", but maybe that's just me...
I fart in your general direction!
hahaha never gets old
I was JUST going to say "I fart in your general direction!"
I am always uncertain if the insult was worth it if they don't understand it.
I'm not sure how much insults are really meant for the target — it's for you (catharsis) and people around you (entertainment). I tend to see a proper burn as a spectator sport (your aim should be to say something that people will later quote at parties in awe) and you shouldn't be there to just say mean things to hurt their feelings. That's simply not a good use of your time. If you're going to insult someone do it as a joke and at least get a laugh from your audience: make it productive.
Along those lines I think if you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for insults (personal tragedies, recently dead family members, that sort of thing) it's not clear what the insult is worth even if they do understand it. You're not going to make yourself look good by going there so why even bother.