While at the beach, I
overheard a woman ask the lifeguard what time it was. He glanced up at the sun for a
second and said, "It's two-twenty, ma'am." I could not resist checking my watch
and calling up to him, "That's pretty good; it's two-twenty-two." He glanced
again at the sun and said, "Yep, you're right."
The neighbourhood supermarket was undergoing reorganization. Products were being
rearranged on the shelves, and the place was a mess. I passed a woman who, like myself,
had been wandering the aisles, and I overheard her remark to a clerk, "Oh, dear,
you'll have to move that. I can find it."
A boy, age about ten, was overheard while grocery shopping with his well dressed,
advertising executive mother. Boy: "But I like that cereal. Why won't you buy
it?" Mother: "Because we lost the account, that's why!"
Overheard: "His whole family is known for their poor
judgment. One uncle was a safari leader whose last words were: 'It's okay -- that lion has
THE WORLD WAS STUNNED BY THE NEWS TODAY
OF THE DEATH OF THE ENERGIZER BUNNY.
He was six years old. Authorities believe that the
death occurred at approximately 8:42 PM last evening. Best known as the irritating
pink bunny that kept going, and going, and going. "Pinkie", as he was
known to his friends and relatives, was alone at the time of his death. An emergency
autopsy was performed early this morning. Chief Medical Examiner, Dura Cell,
concluded that the cause of death was acute cardiac arrest induced by sexual over
stimulation. Apparently, someone had put Mr. Bunny's batteries in backwards, and he
kept coming, and coming, and coming. . . . .
A cleaning woman was applying for a new position. When asked
why she left her last employment, she replied, "Yes, sir, they paid good wages, but
it was the most ridiculous place I ever worked.
They played a game called Bridge, and last night a lot of folks were
there. As I was about to bring in the refreshments, I heard a man say, "Lay
down and let's see what you've got." Another man said, "I've got strength
but no length." Another man says to the lady, "Take your hand off my
I pretty near dropped dead just then, when the lady answered,
"You jumped me twice when you didn't have the strength for one raise."
Another lady was talking about protecting her honor and two other ladies were talking and
one said, "Now it's time for me to play with your husband and you can play with
Well, I just got my hat and coat and as I was leaving, I hope to die
if one of them didn't say, "Well, I guess we'll go home now. This is the last
Neighbor 1: "Hi, there, new neighbor,
it sure is a mighty nice day to be moving"
New Neighbor: "Yes, it is and people around here seem extremely
Neighbor 1: "So what is it you do for a living?"
New Neighbor: "I am a professor at the University, I teach deductive
Neighbor 1: "Deductive reasoning, what is that?"
New Neighbor: "Let me give you and example. I see you have a dog
house out back. By that I deduce that you have a dog."
Neighbor 1: "That is right"
New Neighbor: "The fact that you have a dog, leads me to deduce that
you have a family"
Neighbor 1: "Right again"
New Neighbor: "Since you have a family I deduce that you have a
Neighbor 1: "Correct"
New Neighbor: "And since you have a wife, I can deduce that you are
Neighbor 1: "Yup"
New Neighbor: "That is deductive reasoning"
Neighbor 1: "Cool"
Later that same day. . .
Neighbor 1: "Hey, I was talking to that
new guy who moved in next door"
Neighbor 2: "Is he a nice guy?"
Neighbor 1: "Yes, and he has an interesting job"
Neighbor 2: "Oh, yeah what does he do?"
Neighbor 1: "He is a professor of deductive reasoning at the
Neighbor 2: "Deductive reasoning, what is that"
Neighbor 1: "Let me give you an example. Do you have a dog
Neighbor 2: "No"
Neighbor 1: "Fag."
First woman: "That's a lovely coat
Second woman: "Oh, thank you. My husband gave it to me for my
First woman: "Really? It certainly has worn well."
Overheard in the supermarket: "I don't like the looks of
"Lady, for looks you don't buy codfish you buy goldfish."
On weekend nights, New York City's Greenwich Village is
filled with people who, after spending a long evening in a bar, wander the streets talking
loudly. I live in a ground-floor corner apartment, so I'm privy to conversations on
two streets. One Sunday at 3 a.m., I was awakened by a man declaiming, "To be,
or not to be: That is the question! I'm the best Hamlet in this city. I should
have gotten the part!" Then another said, "You're right you should have
gotten it." Their discussion of the fellow's acting qualifications continued.
I was annoyed, but knew that to shout, "Be quiet!" would only lead to
more noise. "To be or not to be," the man yelled again. Then, from
one of the windows above me, I heard an irate voice call out, "To sleep!
Perchance to dream!" There was silence for a moment, then a giggle. I
heard soft footsteps fading away, and not another word.
Two ladies behind me in the checkout line were carrying on a
conversation. They switched from one subject to the next at rapid fire speed, and
eventually their discussion turned to the art of driving. "That reminds
me," said one lady, "I have to find someone who knows about cars and ask him to
take a look at my engine." Turning to me, she asked, "Excuse me, sir, do
you have the time?" "Certainly," I replied, "but I don't know
anything about cars."
I Overheard snatches of a one-sided conversation on a crowded
bus one morning between a mother and her son: "You know you have to study more if you
want to get into med. school. . . . I really hope these afternoon tutorials are helping .
. . . David, are you listening? . . . You won't go anywhere in life. . . . " There
was no response to the mother's words. As the bus emptied, I turned around to peek
at the people into whose lives I had been eavesdropping. Imagine my surprise when I
saw an elementary school-aged child sitting quietly beside his mother, oblivious to her
advice as he played with a G.I. Joe figure!
I WAS walking a little more slowly than usual, admiring the
skill of a guide dog ahead of me as it gently steered its blind mistress to the sloping
curb at the street corner. That was how I came to hear this bit of reassuring
Elderly man: "Mrs. King! How are
you? That's quite a wind, isn't it?"
Blind woman: "Yes, Mr. Stephens, it is gusty."
Elderly man: "But your hair still looks very nice."
One evening when a friend and I were out for a walk, we
overheard neighbors from India talking to one another in their native language. As
we passed by their kitchen window, we admired the colorful sari worn by the mother, and
wondered what exotic meal she was preparing. Then we heard her yell to someone in
the backyard, and our enchantment was shattered. "Hey, you guys!" she
called. "How do you want your hamburgers rare or well done?"
In a supermarket, I overheard two women talking in the next
aisle. "Horace and I have been together ten years now and he makes me very
happy" one said. "So I don't mind buying him what he likes even if it is
more expensive " "Well, with my Benny I have no choice," her friend
replied. "He's just plain fussy." I turned into their aisle.
Both women were loading their shopping carts with high-quality cat food.
Two weeks of not shaving had produced a respectable beard, I
thought, and I was confident the teasing of family and friends would finally cease. The
unkindest cut of all, however, was delivered in the local restaurant. I heard my
waitress instruct another to "Give the burger to the guy over there who didn't shave
I was browsing in a china shop when a clerk approached an
older gentleman standing near me. "Has someone been looking after you,
sir?" she inquired solicitously. Casting an affectionate look at an older
woman, obviously his wife, at the other side of the store, he replied, "For thirty
Eating lunch in a crowded restaurant, a friend and I
overheard a conversation between two women at the next table. "I don't know
what to do with her," one of them confided. "She comes and goes, and if I
tell her I like to know where she is, she says it's her life and she'll live it as she
pleases. She eats junk food and laughs when I point out the benefits of good
nutrition." "Sounds exactly like my daughter," my friend murmured.
"Why are teenagers so impossible?" "It's a phase they all go
through," I replied. Just then the woman's voice came through again.
"I never realized a seventy-year-old woman could be so impossible, " she
lamented. "I just don't know what I'm going to do with Mother!"
While waiting in line at a bank, I over heard a young man as
he was applying for a checking account. He had been patiently responding to question
after question, but when the teller asked for his mother's maiden name he seemed bemused.
Finally the young man answered the question, then added with mock sincerity,
"And my dog's name is Dusty."
My two-year-old son's curly hair frequently draws comments
from passersby. Once two nuns saw him and smiled. I overheard the younger one
say to her companion, "Such beautiful curly hair. It's a shame it doesn't
belong to a little girl." With laughter in her voice, the older nun replied,
"Someday it will."