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…

Voicing…for art’s sake

He Said, She Said – a piece of music for choreography

the unsaid word

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Emma Clarke

Emma is an award-winning voiceover, broadcaster and writer. Want to find out more about Emma?
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