Have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation you weren’t supposed to? Tell us about a time when it was impossible not to overhear a conversation between people who didn’t know you were there. What was the conversation about? How did it make you feel?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us ACCIDENT.
Was it an accident that the smoke was billowing out of this chimney, or was it normal? Perhaps the owner of the house was firing up the furnace to rid himself of an unwanted corpse problem. I will let your imagination run wild.
First of all as I am usually sleeping I do not really know the content of the conversations I am having. Mr. Swiss tells me I have had quite lively discussions with myself and as far as he can remember they were in English, so it seems I remain a Brit when I am sleeping. He also mentioned this has not happened for some time, probably since I am no longer a member of the working population.
I do not really eavesdrop as I am usually too wrapped up in my own intellectual thoughts. The only chance I have to listen to other’s conversations is in the supermarket. Mr. Swiss sometimes talks to himself, and so do I, but we have both given up on listening to our monologues as they are not really interesting.
So let us return to the supermarket. During the day it is mostly populated with golden oldies like myself or young mothers with their offspring. Two grey haired ladies might meet and then the excitement begins. The discussion is generally revolves around the digestive system and its problems. I am not really listening, but when they are waiting behind you at the meat counter, you pick up all sorts of things.
“No, I will not be buying bacon, Fred (the husband?) has problems with it, and he only likes it with sauerkraut.”
“Oh I know what you mean, I had a terrible attack of the diarrhea myself, but I think it was the boiled egg I had for tea. As you get older the body no longer works as well as it should.”
“Tell me about it, but I find a good cup of strong tea in the morning, no milk or sugar, does the trick.”
“Really, I must try that myself. How is Fred now? Didn’t he have to go for a check-up at the hospital? “
“Oh, he is OK. We all feel our twinges these days at our age.”
Now that was a very interesting conversation. Being a golden oldie myself I realise that we are left alone with our complaints and twinges and it is so much better when we can share them with a soul mate.
I continued my shopping trip.
“Joey, what are you doing with that packet of biscuits?”
“Can I have some mum, they’re my favourites.”
“No, you can’t, you only pick the chocolate off the top.”
“But I want them” and Joey’s face is gradually turning to a deep shade of red. Joey takes a deep breath and yes, he stamps his feet and begins to cry. His mother is between either being an example of child cruelty and giving him the punishment he deserves, or taking the softer course. As Joey’s mother is now the centre of attention in the supermarket, the golden oldies all looking in her direction and making comments about how spoilt children today are, Joey’s mother decides to use child psychology. Unfortunately this does not work and telling Joey to stop crying and be a big boy, has no effect. Joey has now grabbed the packet of chocolate covered biscuits and tears it open.
Eventually Joey stops crying as his mother puts the torn packet of biscuits in the shopping trolley because she now has to buy it. Joey managed to remove a biscuit from the torn package before it arrived in the trolley and is happily picking the chocolate off the top and smearing it all over his mouth whilst his mother is paying for the shopping at the till.
“Enjoying your biscuit” says the lady at the till to Joey and Joey nods and Joey’s mother says nothing. Joey and his mother leave the supermarket, Joey’s mother dragging her sweet little boy to the parking lot. I would have loved to have overheard the conversation between mother and child afterwards, but I had just met a neighbour, so we were busy talking about another neighbour whose son throws his cigarette ends over the balcony into our garden.
Oh, the joys of communication!
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