Overheard

2 Nov

I recently found myself waiting in a hotel lobby.  I was on a business trip and was sitting down to kill some time before a meeting when my ears happened upon a conversational situation I couldn’t ignore.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  How rude of this guy to eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation.  Maybe it is a bit rude, but at times, when two complete strangers and gabbing away and I’m more or less forced into being their sole audience, I do my best to make the best of it.  One of my favorite writing exercises is to tune in and tune out of one on these often overbearing, hard to ignore conversations and capture pieces of the dialog, write them down and make up my own story about what they were discussing.

On this particular day, I was witness to what could only be described as an armchair preacher as he laid his wisdom out on an unfortunate woman who happened to be sitting next to him.  Striking up a conversation by asking “is everything alright,” he then proceeded to offer advice on a number of topics although the woman’s consent remained in question.  She looked uncomfortable.  He looked incredibly relaxed.  I was excited.

In the order they were spoken, here are a few gems I pulled for their incredibly one-sided “conversation” paired with my immediate reactions.  

“Why do you depend on God?”  (Matt, grab a pen and paper NOW!)

“My mom is from the backwoods of Ohio.” (I couldn’t hold that against him.)

“When I make a meal, I feel obligated to make a great presentation.” (Huh? How did food enter this conversation?)

“I smoke” (Note to self: don’t stand around looking for casual conversation on my next smoke break.)

“Four years ago I started looking for something I can never find.” (W-e-i-r-d-o)

“Jesus wrote something in the sand once during an argument.  I always wondered what he wrote.”  (Maybe I should get ready to run?  This nut might crack.)

“If I had a million dollars in my bank account but didn’t go get it, I couldn’t take advantage of my wealth.” (If you had a million dollars, would you really be annoying people in a hotel lobby?  Oh wait………yes, you probably would.)

“Well, I’ll let you get back to your problems.” (Best closing line EVER!)

There’s some fodder for ya.  Piece that conversation together and win a prize.

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One Response to “Overheard”

  1. Gill November 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    “Why do you depend on God?”
    “God was there for me when everyone else had left, including my family. They were hillbillies, you see, born and bred in the backwoods of Ohio. They returned home to continue our family tradition of growing tobacco and brewing moonshine.”
    “My mom is from the backwoods of Ohio.”
    “We may be distant relatives. Only God really knows, and to Him, we are all his people. The topic of relatives reminds me of the last family dinner I had with my folks before they took off. I made a beautiful stuffed turkey with all the fixins. Then the dog jumped on the table and the whole presentation was ruined.”
    “When I make a meal, I feel obligated to make a great presentation.”
    “I do too, but this presentation was clearly stolen by the dog’s antics. Nobody bothered to help me clean that mess up, and they all went outside for a smoke….and I never saw them again.”
    “I smoke”
    “I did up until that night…now the rich tobacco flavour reminds me of my roots and I can’t bear to do it anymore. It tastes like abandonment. I wish I could find another satisfaction like cigarettes gave me, but alas, I’ve been searching and can’t find anything close.”
    “Four years ago I started looking for something I can never find.”
    “I wonder if heroin may be what you’re looking for. That, or moonshine. Those are the last two trials on my list to replace that empty feeling of loss, left by my deserting family and bitter cigarettes…if only Jesus would help me fill that void. Maybe if he communicated via writing…since I haven’t seemed to get any of his other messages…if he’s been trying to send them, that is…”
    “Jesus wrote something in the sand once during an argument. I always wondered what he wrote.”
    “My mother used to tell me a story about Jesus and the sand thing. She said that was where the poem ‘Footprints in the Sand’ originated. She said the guy who stole that poem from Jesus got a big payout for it. Like a million dollars type of payout. And then he was hit by a falling asteroid and died before he got to spend any of that money.”
    “If I had a million dollars in my bank account but didn’t go get it, I couldn’t take advantage of my wealth.”
    “This is true. Betcha that guy who stole that poem thought the same thing. Now my biggest problem is trying to figure out how I can hack into his bank account…”
    “Well, I’ll let you get back to your problems.”

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