Sunday, 4 July 2010

How Perverse

Bugged Project: I tried but...

There’s something about us humans that makes us want to do things that we know we’re not allowed to do. It’s perverse. Have you ever had the urge to stand up and shout when you’re in a packed and silent hall with a serious speaker lecturing from the front? No? Bother! It’s just me then, huh? It’s illogical because if I was asked to do it I’d be horrified. I never have done it, I hasten to add. I just get the urge... occasionally.

And here’s another thing... If the waiter at our local Indian restaurant had said, ‘Please tap the edge of this burning hot iron plate with your finger,’ I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing any such thing but he didn’t say that. He said, ‘Please don’t touch this plate as it’s very hot.’ That’s what I mean about being perverse.

Some of my perversities are far more subtle. Take eavesdropping. I’m usually good at being a Nosy Adam. Haven’t I, in the ‘pages’ of this blog, said so here and here and possibly here too? Mr A says that I’m far too fond of listening in to other people’s conversations and he always knows when it’s happening. We might be in a cafe or a restaurant when, apparently, I glaze over as I home in on a discussion that promises to be more exciting than the one I’m in the middle of with Mr A. (He’s a very long-suffering husband!) It’s the next best thing to having a good gossip.

And yet last Thursday, when I had not only been given permission but had actively been encouraged to nosy my way around Leicester, I overheard hardly a thing apart from the following:
First woman: 'His eyes are huge.’
Second woman: ‘Yes.’
First woman: ‘But he'll grow round them.'
Second woman: ‘I suppose.’

I was expecting to collect a notebook full of snippets. Had I not been TOLD to do it I’m quite sure I WOULD have collected a notebook full. As I said, I’m just plain perverse. There was an added incentive for being a Nosy Adam too. Bugged are publishing an anthology of poems and stories gleaned and created from snippets of conversations overheard on 1st July. A real writing opportunity based on one of my favourite occupations and I’ve let the opportunity go... or maybe not. Let me think... huge eyes... aliens... owls... there has to be a story there somewhere.

Have you overheard anything hilarious recently? Or maybe something you’ve said has been overheard out of context. If so then please share it in the comments below. I do love a good gossip.


  1. He did, didn't he?
    No, he did, it wasn't her.
    But she knew, didn't she?

    Great post Ros, as usual!

  2. That's the kind of thing, Miriam. And, apart from the big eyes, not a single other exchange did I hear, not even a non-committal one like your example up there ;-)

  3. Love this! 'He'll grow round them' - hehe!

    I really enjoy eavesdropping on conversations. I haven't heard any good ones recently, though.

  4. Hi Talli. I suppose evesdropping is all about reminding ourselves to tune in on interesting ideas.

  5. My husband and I both love eavesdropping. Love. It. I remember recently we were out to dinner, when a couple on the obvious first date sat in the booth down from us. I don't recall any particulars...ooh, except for this: "When I fall, I fall hard. You need to know that."
    Like straight out of a chick flick! This guy was a serious piece of work. Spent half the dinner talking about his ex.

  6. Hi Eliza. Excellent that both you AND your husband have the same restaurant-eavesdropping habit. It's so unfair when there's only one of you doing it *blushes*.

    "When I fall, I fall hard," is a great line for a chick lit novel. Wonder if they ever had a second date!

  7. I haven't been out this week, so my conversation well is a little dry :) Good luck with the project, sounds like excellent fun!

  8. I had a girl burst into tears on a first date once. Not sure what that says about me! She was telling me how she lost her job. I thought she meant recently until she told me that it happened 2 years ago. Strangely, we did meet up again, but only as friends.

  9. Hope you're feeling better soon, Merrilee. It does start to affect the ideas pool if you're confined to the house.

    Hi KFC. What can I say?! Sounds like you had a lucky escape there ;-)