People watching and overheard conversations can often be like gold dust to a writer. I am now in the habit of writing things that I have heard and seen on my phone, for both future reference and writing material. Some are funny, some sad, some so ridiculous that I am forced to make a record of it for no other reason than to remind myself that it did actually happen and was not merely a figment of my somewhat overactive imagination.
Recently, I was visiting my parents in the UK. I was with them for five days, and on one of the days, my Mum and I went shopping at Sainsbury’s. My Mum has not been well (she had a stroke last year and has had numerous setbacks since then), and so after we’d done a little shopping, Mum needed to rest, so we decided to go to the supermarket café for a spot of lunch. I got Mum seated at a nearby table while I got in the queue to order our food. Behind me in the queue was a middle-aged couple, debating the merits of the “Mega Brunch”.
Him: What about the Mega Brunch?
Her: What’s that?
Him: Two eggs, two sausages, two rashers of bacon, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and chips.
Her: Oh yeah, that sounds good, but it’s too much. I can’t eat two eggs.
How I stopped myself laughing, I’ll never know.
A couple of days later and it was the day I was due to fly back home. Not knowing when I would get over to see Mum and Dad again, I suggested we go to a local restaurant for a meal before I had to leave for the airport. We got ourselves seated at a nice table and ordered some drinks. While waiting for the drinks to arrive, my writer’s ears focused themselves on a conversation behind held between four guys seated at a nearby table. Though I didn’t hear where it was one of them had ended up one particular unfortunate evening, it was apparent that he never wanted to go there again, even though his description did seem, to me at least, to be the epitome of exaggeration.
Guy: You should have seen where they dropped us off. It was a den of iniquity, I’m telling you. You know on Doctor Who when the TARDIS lands somewhere and they’re surrounded by monsters and they can’t escape? It was like that only with people.
Now, I’m a fan of Doctor Who, but no matter how hard I tried, I know in my heart of hearts that I could not come up with such hilarious an analogy.
Gold. Pure gold.