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.