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.