Other people’s conversations
I’ll admit it, I’m nosey. As a child, my mother was always telling me not to stare at strangers. Now I’m all grown up, the staring has graduated into ‘people watching’ and I’ve perfected my technique to such a degree that I’ve only been threatened twice in the past year.
I love eavesdropping too. I was in a National Trust tea room on Saturday and heard the following, spoken by a well-dressed middle-aged lady with bifocals and a perm. She was chatting to a friend over a pot of tea and a flapjack.
“He was my decorator. I’d had HRT. Nature took its course,” she said. And in three simple phrases she’d given me characters, plot, subtext and a wonderful euphemism for a paste-splattered collision.
I could picture the decorator, all dungareed and paint-smudged descending his ladder with a brush in his pocket. And the woman, released from the tyranny of hot-flushes and arid genitals suddenly grasping undercoat in a whole new way.
It wasn’t quite in the same league as Hemingway’s brilliant ‘flash fiction’ six word short story (“For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”) but it comes close.
Reader, I nearly laughed out loud.
Which reminds me, I had a conversation with a woman a couple of weeks ago who used LOL as as actual word.
“Oh, that’s funny,“ she trilled. “LOL!!”
“I’m sorry?” I said.
“LOL,“ she said. “I’m indicating that I’m laughing out loud.”
“Oh,“ I said. “But I’m standing right in front of you. I can see you’re laughing and, Lord help us, everyone within half a mile knows you’re doing it loudly.”
I waited for her to introduce LMFAO or RAFL into the conversation but sadly, I was left wanting…