Stop! Enough knickerbocker wisecracks!
August 25, 2003 12:55 PM   Subscribe

Everyone eavesdrops but few people catalog the fragments of conversation that they overhear. This guy travels on the London Underground regularly...and posts some of those one sided exchanges that make you wonder what the hell people are talking about. (its my first FPP - play nice...)
posted by mattr (45 comments total)
I am composed of thousands of tiny pixels.
So true, so true.
posted by riffola at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2003

OBLewis Black Quote:

"From behind me a young woman of 25 uttered the following. It was the DUMBEST thing i ever heard in my life until Dan Quayle was elected the vice president of the United States. She said: 'If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college.' I'm gonna repeat that, because it bears repeating. 'If it weren't for my horse'... as in giddy up, giddy up lets go....'I wouldn't have spent that year in college,' which is a degree granting institution. Don't.. DON'T think about that sentence for more than three minutes or BLOOD will shoot out your NOSE."

-- Lewis Black
posted by tittergrrl at 1:09 PM on August 25, 2003

> (its my first FPP - play nice...)
Put that as a comment inside.

Otherwise some of these are pretty funny, I tend to do this same thing with my roommates.
posted by woil at 1:10 PM on August 25, 2003

My weekend was directed by David Lynch.
Man, I've been there...

This is far too amusing. Thank [insert deity] that there's only two pages worth of it, otherwise I would be reading these all day.
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:10 PM on August 25, 2003

Great dialogues. Look. A canary. You don't see many of those on the tube.

Lots of other stuff to check out too. I like the animal factory too.
posted by ginz at 1:11 PM on August 25, 2003

I think I mean monologues.
posted by ginz at 1:12 PM on August 25, 2003

Please take the opportunity to peruse the entire site. Immediate gold, and hours of useless surfing. For example.
posted by joecacti at 1:13 PM on August 25, 2003

Reminds me - in that way that one's mind tends to wander when they see stuff like this - of an art exhibition I saw once. It was installation of speakers in a corridor at the National Gallery of Canada. The artist had recorded all of his telephone conversations for a year, and the speakers were each playing a looping tape of conversations. If you stood back, it was a cacophony of noise. As you got closer, individual snippets gradually came through the clatter and you got phrases and sentences, completely out of context. Then, if you got quite close to an individual speaker, you could hear whole conversations, meaning intact. It might be him breaking it off with a girlfriend or ordering pizza, depending on which speaker you were at, and at what time.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:17 PM on August 25, 2003

Stop! Enough knickerbocker wisecracks!

It is now my goal in life to be able to manipulate a conversation so I may utter that sentence in a fashion that seems natural to all involved.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:18 PM on August 25, 2003

Excellent tombstone material:

Once again, forsaken by divine forces.
posted by fletchmuy at 1:24 PM on August 25, 2003

I wish I'd thought of documenting this sort of thing. After 11 years of riding the TTC I have some doozies - i.e., "Your head will grow, but your body will stay the same size."

I'm so relieved there haven't been any MetaFilter tagline comments posted. I'm very proud of you all.
posted by orange swan at 1:25 PM on August 25, 2003

Reminds me of In Passing, which I love dearly.
posted by aclevername at 1:26 PM on August 25, 2003

my guess is, feverish imaginings of a mind desperate for content.

By the way, I got the blood test back. Positive

yeah right, people don't talk about that shit on the tube.
posted by carfilhiot at 1:26 PM on August 25, 2003

Worst overheard conversation EVER, on the DC Metro:

(Two women talking about their visit to the Holocaust museum. I swear this is true.)

"So, who killed all them people?"

"You know, Hitler."
posted by JoanArkham at 1:30 PM on August 25, 2003

Joan - Also overheard on the DC Metro over the weekend:
"Oh, after I graduate I plan to just get some dead-end job so I can smoke pot and, like, get drunk more, y'know."
posted by brownpau at 1:43 PM on August 25, 2003

The Whiteshoe Irregular (disclosure: I write for them now and again) has had a couple of pieces like this... I think that they used to be in a section called "overheard" or "scene and heard" before a bunch of sections got mooshed into "miscellanea": My university's unofficial student voice publication used to print things like this all the time, to my great amusement. Sometimes you can't make the best stuff up.
posted by weston at 1:45 PM on August 25, 2003

Madonna raps like Mr. Plow.
posted by creamed corn at 1:45 PM on August 25, 2003

my guess is, feverish imaginings of a mind desperate for content.

By the way, I got the blood test back. Positive

yeah right, people don't talk about that shit on the tube.

I dunno...the other day I was waiting in line at the grocery store and two girls that I would guess were in their late teens were talking about their boyfriends. One asked "how far you gone?" and the other proceeded to graphically describe a sexual encounter. People don't care who overhears what these days.
posted by bargle at 1:50 PM on August 25, 2003

My favorite, heard outside of the Uptown (movie theater in fairly ritzy part of DC):

"She shouldn't've given me methadone -- she KNEW I was a junkie"
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:58 PM on August 25, 2003

Sophie Dahl has very large eyes. It looks like someone has nailed boiled eggs to her face.

Having no idea who Sophie Dahl is, I still cracked up. Seeing her, it's even funnier.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:04 PM on August 25, 2003

"Well, it was a quite shocking, I must say -- there was blood everywhere. There was a stream of blood coming from his ear and another from his mouth. Of course, there was a huge pool of blood on the floor and his clothes were spattered with it -- Oh, it was a horrible mess. Blood all around! Well, I looked at the poor man and and I said, 'Good God, What happened to you?' Do you know what he told me?"
posted by ZachsMind at 2:05 PM on August 25, 2003

This is great stuff - thanks mattr.
posted by plep at 2:09 PM on August 25, 2003

Small but similar... new york overheard.
posted by DenOfSizer at 2:38 PM on August 25, 2003

...the road (which Freud interpreted as a symbol of travel) has been transformed into a Bust of Karl Marx, the famous comedian. I have no idea what this means.
Honest and entertaining.
posted by dg at 3:03 PM on August 25, 2003

aclevername, I second the In Passing recommendation. Some great stuff there.
posted by duckstab at 3:17 PM on August 25, 2003

I went to New York for the first time this weekend and overheard this convo:

"Hey man you got the weed?"

"Yeah man, you got the crack?"


"Cool, i'll see you later."
posted by untuckedshirts at 3:17 PM on August 25, 2003

Overheard PDX MAX lightrail cell phone conversation, wherein a man relates to his son in a foster home: his low t-cell count, his financial troubles(including issues with his sons biological mother), his new boyfriend and their escapades, his inquiries as to his son's sex life, oh and BTW his doctor gave him xanny-bars, does his son want any, for $7 a piece, or does he know anyone who does? Preceding that, a call to another friend, re: xanax. Broadcasting live from Pioneer square, to Lloyd center.
posted by mnology at 3:34 PM on August 25, 2003

My favourite bit of overheard conversation, on the Toronto subway: "Dude, I fucked up large on that grammar test".
posted by biscotti at 3:54 PM on August 25, 2003

Oh let's not forget Lance's glassdog.OVERHEARD. He's got some really funny stuff there.
posted by riffola at 3:56 PM on August 25, 2003

Metafilter: No gunk. No junk. Just juice.
posted by buzzv at 4:09 PM on August 25, 2003

There is a touch of vomit still on your lapels - Ah, memories.
Women scare me - Word.
posted by dg at 4:18 PM on August 25, 2003

"(its my first FPP - play nice...)"

Please post more often. [this is good]
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:37 PM on August 25, 2003

I was listening to some of the DOD news briefings (don't ask) and found several that had 10 minutes or so of audience banter and noise before Rumsfeld would come out and speak. If you turn the volume up and listen closely, you can hear some of the reporters talking to each other, obviously unaware that the microphones are on. A couple of choice pieces, paraphrased:

" I can't believe they still have my picture and bio on their website, I haven't worked there for years. They should pay me for that."

"Jesus, would you look at him (Donald Rumsfeld). He looks like he hasn't slept in a week!"
posted by lasm at 4:40 PM on August 25, 2003

This site must be a hoax: no-one speaks on the Tube. Apart from tourists and 'care in the community' cases.

Oh... well, it's probably dead accurate then.

Actually, you get the best overheard conversations on the above-ground lines (BR and Tube) and especially the buses. One big reason: mobile phones don't work underground. Cue silence. Once a signal appears, though, people seem so overjoyed that they don't mind sharing their sexual histories with everyone else.
posted by riviera at 4:59 PM on August 25, 2003

yeah right, people don't talk about that shit on the tube.

The tube must be very different from the NYC subway, then. People say everything on the subway.
posted by languagehat at 5:34 PM on August 25, 2003

I love this one:

July 10 - I would like to kill everyone. Except you. Obviously.

I have so had those days.
posted by dejah420 at 6:01 PM on August 25, 2003

My favorite:

I could spend all day looking at Olivia Williams. too...
posted by black8 at 6:12 PM on August 25, 2003

Overheard at a nieghborhood cafe:

Man: "So we have a relationahip based on mutually-assured blackmail?"

Woman: "Exactly."
posted by elwoodwiles at 7:00 PM on August 25, 2003

Overheard in a shopping mall

To girlfriend: "...And if you did, you nasty!"
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:24 PM on August 25, 2003

Reported by a college friend: "Weird. It's never made me throw up!"

Is there some rule that everybody's local weekly alternarag must run a column like this? Because mine does, as well. (Google link because their site doesn't keep archives around, and features navigation designed solely give Jeffrey Zeldman types psychologically scarring nightmares. [whispered]The Horror![/whispered])
posted by arto at 10:39 PM on August 25, 2003

Feel free to stick a "to" in there somewhere. Heck, stick any words you want in there--It's Inter-Active![tm]
posted by arto at 10:41 PM on August 25, 2003

Overheard BA flight crew: He likes to warm the oven before he puts the bread in.
posted by biffa at 3:11 AM on August 26, 2003

I have the joy of working for a large translation company that has an online translation portal. I also have access to the log so I can see what people are translating. It is fun. Here are some extracts...
Jill is so sexy, I want to sniff her panties! panties, underwear
Hairy arm pits
There is a big green cat in my pants
My island has a countless number of facilities. However, I will only name twenty.
fuck you
play some guitar for me bitch
but first i need all your things
Axel killed Zanacoon with the stick.
I am a foot and have a long tail.
Food is crap, Hitler is better.
My penis is shrunken and grey
My anus is shrunken and grey

posted by chill at 3:48 AM on August 26, 2003

Overheard at a party: "if I ever get pregnant, just tell me when it's too late to have an abortion"

chill, great stuff.
posted by Cool Alex at 6:33 AM on August 26, 2003

Axel killed Zanacoon with the stick

No way! That was me!
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:24 AM on August 26, 2003

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