August 24th, 2006

Yes, People Really Say Stuff Like That

I like to think of eavesdropping as a hobby that actually pertains to my work. Except when I like to think of it as work that I actually enjoy. Either way, I can’t stop myself from overhearing other people’s conversations—nor do I want to. And when you read the following quotes, maybe you’ll understand why.

Caveat: some of these remarks were not overheard as much as they were, well, spoken directly to me. But they’re just too brilliant not to include.

And now, in no particular order: Excellent comments I have heard or overheard recently.

“It’s never too late for a good toupee.” –I add this remark to this list reluctantly, simply because I had already slotted it on another of my running lists: Potential Titles for My First Novel. (Soon to be a semiregular feature in this blog. Only I have to figure out where I stashed the list first.) But it’s too good not to share—so here you go. Enjoy.

“The last periodical I read was the CosmoGIRL you gave me.” –Said with total seriousness by a father of two (neither of whom is the right age for CosmoGIRL, and one of whom is the wrong gender entirely). Yes, he’s a YA author, and yes, he needs to know his readers. (And yes, I did give him a couple of back issues of CosmoGIRL for just that reason.) But it’s still hilarious. Or maybe you had to be there.

“Get a job!” –This retro prize was roared from the window of a pickup circling the Plaza downtown last night. (Wednesdays are Antiwar Picketing Nights in downtown Orange.) It was a great moment for two reasons: 1. The responding roar that instantly rose from the picketers and 2. The fact that it was after 6 PM, and many of the picketers were still in their work clothes. I mean, if you’re going to criticize picketers, at least choose something valid to berate them about. Like, “You don’t need an apostrophe in ‘boys’ unless it’s a possessive, which it obviously isn’t on that sign!” Okay, it’s a little long and it lacks the punch of “Get a job,” but at least the critique is valid.

“I don’t want to kick her out. But I’d put her in jail if I could.” –Oh, how I wish I’d heard how this cell conversation started! But since I definitely plan to use this quote in a story one day, perhaps it’s best not to be pinned down by reality (not a position I’m very fond of, anyway).

“I like to blame it on the OCM: the Organization of Communist Munchkins.” –That’s it, people. From now on, if anyone or anything thing goes ape, goes missing, or just generally goes awry, we know that it’s those damned Commie munchkins at work.

“My head totally clears up when I stop drinking, dude.” –With gems like this scattered about my neighborhood, just waiting for me to appreciate them, is it any wonder I look forward to the arrival of the freshmen in my college town?

“Is it with a cowboy?” – This was in response to my bowing out of a commitment because of an interview I'd had to schedule. My reply: “Yes, it’s with a cowboy. In Irvine. I hope he brings his horse!”

“I don’t like anything with an exoskeleton.” –That pretty much sums it up for me, too.

Woman 1: “It's so good to see you! I don't have any mascara on.”

(Wait—it gets even better!)

Woman 2: “No, you look beautiful! All the mascara I have on is from three days ago.”

I don’t think this needs any comment at all. It’s just perfect as it stands. I’m sure you agree.

“The other day I asked my boyfriend what was the last show we went to see. He thought about it and said, ‘"Dora the Explorer." That counts, right? There was singing in it.’” –To which I say: Boys! Go figure. Or don’t. It will only make your head hurt.

And now an assignment. (Don’t worry—you’ll like it! I promise!) Go out into the world and eavesdrop. When you discover a fabulous quote, ship it over so I can enjoy it too.

What are you waiting for? Get out, already!