I frequently travel by bus and hardly ever wear headphones for the simple reason that overhearing snatches of everyday conversations are my secret pleasure.
I have started collecting strings of dialogue that intrigue, delight and sometimes disturb me.
“What about buying her a calendar?”
“Hmmm… I’m not sure she’ll get full use out of it.”
“Rome in August… Prague in September… Skiing in November… It all just seems a bit… excessive.”
‘The council were there… they said there’s no infestation. No rats. No mice. No flies. Well, he’s never opened a window to let a fly in.’
“It could take 3 or 4 weeks.”
‘I expect they’ll need gas masks.’
“I said ‘Go and see him in hospital.’
But she says she doesn’t like hospitals.
I said ”You don’t have to see anything or anyone… you buzz the door and they let you in and you go straight through to his room.” Mind Xxxx isn’t happy in there. He said to the doctor, “I’ve had enough of you incarcerating me in here.’
The doctor said “I’m sure you have Mr Xxxx, but it’s for your own good.’
And he has to wear a rubber band around his wrist.”
“Her?! She won’t have Blue Top milk in the house.”
‘How do these girls do it? They push their babies around all day. On the bus. Off the bus…I’d be tired before I even started. We stayed at home and we liked it.’
“I heard they’re turning it into a shop… it was a lovely pub you know, I used to enjoy going in there. Then years ago it was the old station. (Angry) They just won’t leave things alone, will They?”
“I picked up a bottle and I went to pay and the shop girl said -‘This is organic milk. Did you want to buy normal?’
– I mean the price difference is about 35p!
I said ‘No thank you. We’ll have normal.’
We don’t have anything fancy in our house.”
“She lies down on the floor and lets them all tickle her tummy!
She doesn’t care. She just lays there and lets them all jump on.”
Sort of hoping that this lady wasn’t talking about a dog.
“I had to leave work early yesterday because my skirt felt funny.”
“I was watching that Jeremy Kyle show…”
‘Ooh! Is that the show that’s on first thing in the morning? I never watch it. I’m never up first thing in the morning.’
Last night my husband said ‘You’ve got glitter in your hair.’
I said ‘No, I’m just going grey’.
He said ‘Well, it’s lovely.’
“We got off the bus outside that pub — you know, the one where Oliver Reed was always getting drunk.”
“Alex is at home in bed, poor thing. Thinks he’s dying. But he should be OK for next week.”
“She’s got over her fall off the ladder, obviously. But she didn’t go to see her dad on his birthday because she was looking after sick puppies.”
‘She’d been out of hospital less than a week. Now she’s broken both legs.’
‘I TOLD Derek, “My cat-flap is closed!”
Poor old Derek.
‘Of course, I make her sleep on the floor.’
I can’t imagine why?
‘He’s just like Roger, you know – that same, cold, dead, blank, face.’
‘He was so drunk he was sick. I said to him, “Roll him on his side or he’ll choke!”
“Oh what a waste! Nearly £4 a pint.”
Austerity measures: keep it all in.
‘He had so many bags in his hands, he tried to ring the bell with his nose.’
I love the idea of this resourceful bag man.
“I’m just going for my usual bananas.”
“Oh yes. You and your bananas.”
The unspoken sub-text of fruit choice.