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April 11, 2011


Susan Neace

just don't make your comments out loud. My 90 year old grandmother, who was hard of hearing, used to watch people in every restaurant we went to, and announce her observations in an especially carrying voice. My husband's 83 year old mother does the same thing, but thankfully not so loudly.


Exactly, Susan! Squirrel them away, race home, and commit them to fiction.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, so very true!

At the airport, I heard a woman say to her teen-aged daughter:
"Sally, don't lie to me!"
And Sally(or whatever her name was) said: "Mom, about what?"
Her mother replied: "Whatever it is you're lying about."

But for weirdest (so far)--The people were in the restaurant booth behind me...so I couldn't see them. But I heard one say: "And not just Quakers, Seminoles!"

It's haunted me for years. What on earth were they talking about?


Lots of fodder there, Hank! I bet the Quakers/Seminoles was... college football!


While waiting for a table at a restaurant with my mother and her friend I started to do the whole conversation thing. There was a woman who had a Scandanavian accent and I turned to my mother and said that she was once a Olympic skier but now she was working for the government. I went on with the tale for a bit adding in tidbits about reading in the NY Times that she was really a spy and that she was here in my little town to hide out from publicity. My mother who is used to me went along with it but her friend just sat and stared saying "wow really?" I had to explain that I was just kidding and that this is what I do to pass the time while I wait. I am not sure if she has forgiven me yet.


That's happened to me, Leslie, and it is awkward--it's just what we do!

I had a friend who told his girlfriend every night about what was going on in his characters' lives. She thought they were real people and was not pleased when she discovered he was just talking about what he'd written that day...

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Dana, that was exactly what I decided, too!

Elaine Viets

My favorite overheard conversation was at a sweet St. Louis restaurant called Miss Hullings, famous for its fried chicken and creamed spinach. I heard the guy in the booth behind me say to a woman, "I can't see you any more. My wife says since I got out of jail I have to spend more time with the children."


Yay, Hank! Great minds...

Elaine, I'm very sure the children were, er, thrilled to death. Yikes!

(Love creamed spinach!)

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