Okay, most of us were raised knowing that listening in on other’s conversations is rude and disrespectful. But let’s face it, that was before cell phones and blue teeth and Blueberries and razors and robots. Or whatever they’re called.
I’m a writer, so I listen and watch a lot. And, when in the grocery in the past few weeks, I’ve been privy to conversations that have been wonderful fodder for my characters. You know that saying, “Be careful what you say, it could end up my novel” – well, here are a few to stimulate YOUR imaginations.
Twenty-something, standing behind me. Ringtone: Hip Hop. “Hello?” Silence. “Oh yeah? Well, Jimmy, I’ve told you before, you’re just stupid. If you kill me, I’ll never talk to you again.”
You think? I deliberately didn’t look at her when I left because I was afraid I’d burst out laughing. Now that would have been rude!
Eighty-something. In the cleaning products aisle. Ringtone: Ring-ring like a traditional Bell phone. Sigh. “Yes, Mary, I’m still in the store. Silence. “No Mary, we don’t need cat food, Sweetheart. I’ll be home soon.” Silence. Another sigh. “Because the cat died a year ago, Mary. He doesn’t get hungry any more.”
Mother – youngish forty-something, my bet she was talking to a teenager. Ringtone: Theme from the Titanic. “Danny, you’ll do your homework when you get home. Silence. “I know, but your homework is more important than your girlfriend, believe me. If you don’t bring up your grades, you won’t see your girlfriend until you’re collecting Social Security.”
Now THAT was funny. I ducked around to the cereal aisle just before I started to laugh at that one. After all, I didn’t want to get caught eavesdropping, now did I?
Your assignment? Take any of those scenarios and write a short story that contains those conversations. Or, just enjoy them – and keep your eyes and ears open. The more real your conversations, the more three-dimensional your characters!!