When it comes to listening in on other people’s conversations, why should the NSA have all the fun? This week, readers contribute some of their favorite overheard exchanges.
John Edgell of Washington:
[The scene: I’m in my Brooks Brothers uniform, standing outside the Longworth House Office Building, near a flock of elderly tourists.]
Tourist: “Excuse me, but are you a congressman?”
Me, somewhat amused: “A congressman? No, I’m sorry. I’m not.”
Tourist: “Oh, I’m glad I asked. I was about to rip you a new one.”
Barbara Zygiel of Alexandria at the Books-A-Million on Route 1 in Alexandria:
Customer: “My sister just had twins, a girl and a boy!”
Clerk: “Are they identical?”
Annamaria Haley of Fairfax Station overheard a woman on
the phone in a department store dressing room:
Man’s voice on the line: “Where are you?”
Woman: “I’m, uh, at CVS. [Pause.] Where are you?”
Man’s voice on the line: “I’m, uh, at work.”
Nikki Roy of Arlington at the zoo, next to the cheetah enclosure:
Volunteer, holding a gazelle skull: “One way to tell whether an animal is a predator or prey is to look at its eyes. If its eyes point straight ahead, the way you need to when you’re chasing something, it’s probably a predator — an animal that hunts other animals. If its eyes are on the sides of its head, like it’s looking out for danger, it’s probably prey — an animal that’s trying to keep from being hunted. What about gazelles, what do you think they do?”
Attentive little girl: “Prey!”
Ned Freeland of Gaithersburg:
I was walking up 14th Street. As I approached a black man with two children, maybe 4 and 5, he was just parting amicably from a white man with whom he had been talking. As I drew abreast, one of the children said to his father: “Daddy, why are you nice to white people?”
Dottie Cohen of North Bethesda:
Granddaughter (age 16) to grandmother: “I will go to Israel to find a nice Jewish boy to marry.”
Sister (10): “Why go to Israel? Just go on JDate.”
Izzy Verdery, 13, Arlington:
At Target on Route 50 while shopping for school supplies:
Kid: (Bored) “Dad, why are we here?”
Dad: “Economism or consumerism, take your pick. Where are the pencils?”
Marguerite Gaffney of Takoma Park:
In the library, a boy of about 7 shows his mother a picture of a man in a book.
“He’s Canadian,” the boy says.
“How do you know he’s Canadian?” Mom replies.
“He looks Canadian!”
After the boy has moved away, I lean over and smile and say to the mother, “I think he looks Canadian, too.”
She smiles back, turns her palms upward and says, “I don’t even know what a Canadian looks like.”
Overheard a conversation or observed a scene you’d like to share? E-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Overheard” in the subject line. Please include your name, age and city of residence.