Skepticism

AI: “So I says to the guy, ‘There is no way I’m getting into that pink cadillac with sparkles.'”

This may be further evidence of my ease of amusement, but one of my favorite things in the whole world is catching bits of conversation out of context. Sometimes I’m walking past a group of people, or at a party when the room suddenly goes quiet, except for one person shouting something over a din which is no longer there. The best ones are the kind that leave me mystified as to what could possibly have led to such a comment.

A recent example happened at Dragon*Con, as Tim3P0 and I were navigating the elevators in one of the hotels, trying to get from one place to another. This girl passed us, very agitated, asking her friend, “What is it with Hermione?! Everyone’s got a hard-on for Hermione?!”

Do you share this appreciation? What are some of the best out of context moments you’ve witnessed?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

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30 Comments

  1. The other day I was sitting in the lobby of one of my school’s dorms waiting for it to be time to head to a class and this girl walked by talking on a cell phone. The only part of the conversation that I heard was something along the lines of “it was really big and hard”.

  2. Overheard at Dartmouth College:

    We were walking up behind a group of about four or five people chatting amongst one another, when one of the guys shouts at one of the girls:

    Guy: I will destroy you in bed! I will *destroy* you in bed!!
    Girl: I know that already!!!

  3. Hee. My last apartment was on street level with a mildly busy sidewalk leading to the park right outside, so when I had my window open I would hear these from passersby all the time. Some of my favorites:

    YOUNG CHILD: “I think it would be better if we had three arms.
    ADULT: “Ha!”

    WOMAN: “See, then he says ‘That’s what she said,’ and it makes it sound dirty.”

    YOUNG CHILD: “Why can’t I just potty here?

  4. Once in a study group at a noisy cafe the room went silent just as I was trying to covertly tell my neighbor that her playing with her necklace and turned into her playing (rather intently) with her cleavage. This earned her the nickname “Cleavage Chick”.

  5. What about Hitchcock’s elevator story:

    “Well, it was a quite shocking, I must say — there was blood everywhere!” Alfred Hitchcock began suddenly from the rear of the elevator. We were in the New York St. Regis Hotel, heading down to the lobby. There was as light flush to his cheeks from the several frozen dauquiris he had just drunk in his suite. The elevator had just stopped and 3 people dressed for the evening had joined us, and immediately Mr. Hitchcock had started to speak, sounding as though he were in midsentence and projecting in that careful and familiar TV tone of his.

    He went on, “There was as stream of blood coming from his ear and another from his mouth.

    The people had recognized him immediately, but now they seemed purposely to avoid looking at him. He went right on, gazing beatifically ahead of him as the elevator stopped again and another well-dressed couple came aboard: “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.”

    No one on the elevator, it seemed, was breathing. “Blood all around! Well, I looked at the poor man and and I said, ‘Good God, What happened to you?'” At that point the elevator doors opened onto the lobby, and Hitchcock said, “Do you know what he told me?” and then paused. After a moment, and quite reluctantly, the other passengers moved out of the elevator and then looked back at the director as we walked away.

    After several foggy moments, I asked, “Well, what DID he say?” and Hitchcock smiled benevolently, taking my arm, and said, “Oh, nothing — that’s just my elevator story.”

    — Peter Bogdonavich, in April Harper’s Magazine

  6. I had a college roommate who was an avid hunter and he was down in the dining hall discussing hunting with some of his friends, I happened to walk past this conversation about the time some total stranger decided to take him to task for his hunting by asking if he’d allow for the hunting of humans. In an effort to throw the young woman off, he said he had no problem with that, to which she responded, “Well, what if some hunters killed your mom, what then?”
    His response was, “They can keep her, she’s a wily one.” She had no witty response to that.

    In high school, a friend discussing the existence of god with a christian was told by the christian that he had to believe in god to not believe, to which he responded, “If I claimed to believe in flying, pink dragons, would you have to believe in them to not believe in them?”

    Those are the only two I can think of at this time.

  7. Being around teenagers all day I’ve learned to relax and enjoy these moments. Some of the best I’ve heard:

    My mom says every time we pee we think of you.

    I’d never do drugs but I do like to walk around my neighborhood naked.

    My test smells like sex.

    She’s only gay on the weekends.

    Ah, teenagers. :-)

  8. I was in a mall department store last Christmas season and a mom and her young (maybe 6 yo) son walked by. The mom asked,”Don’t you want to be a good boy?” to which the boy matter-of-factly replied, “But I’m not a good boy, I’m a crybaby.”
    I nearly fell down the escalator laughing so hard.

  9. I get SO many half-conversations through the cube walls at work, I can’t even count the times I’ve almost spit out my drink -or thrown up in my mouth a little.

    One of the better overheards: “I don’t know. It’s Friday… feeling kind of crazy… I just might go for the Double Salami!” (hint: she was postulating about vending machine items…)

  10. Not the AI question, but I can totally understand the collective hard-on for Emma Watson.

    Some of the more disturbing ones I overheardwhile at a LARP event, where some people had just been playing monsters for a children’s scenario. One of them said:

    “Hey, did you see me frighten that little boy?”
    Other guy replies “Yeah dude, and I almost managed to lure that little girl into the woods and kidnap her”.

    One of my own quotes from an event like that was: “No man, I dragged her body into the woods, ripped her apart and ate her heart” (in reference to an adult girl BTW).

    So many gems when taken out of context, it’s scary …

  11. “Get out of my pants!” Mumbled a little too loudly by me while trying to get my car keys out of my pocket while carrying a large box.

    It was overheard by a couple getting into the car next to mine. They could only see my upper body from behind because I was leaning my back against my car. I didn’t see them until I had my keys out and turned around to open my door. They were just staring at me.

    Awwwwkwaaaard!

  12. Me and my mate have this private running joke for several years now where we occasionally throw out half sentences like that to baffle people. Usually when we pass someone in a doorway or someone enters a room.

    We say all kinds of things but mostly rather vulgar or incriminating. An example would be: … so i says to the police man, do any of those boys look younger than 18 to YOU?? Or: …so thats when you stabbed him? or: …i´ve told you before, you just don´t hit women, especially if they´re your mom.

    We sometimes reap some wide-eyed stares, but mostly we get the satisfaction of knowing we just made some poor strangers life a little more surreal that day.

  13. @trausti, is that like trying to get the most eyebrow-raising combination of shopping items onto the checkout counter?

    I remember someone here posting that their best effort yet was a box of birthcontrol pills and a single metal coathanger.

  14. exarch: I got a butchers knife, a bottle of whiskey, ace bandages, staples, duct tape and ice cream at a grocery store once. I got a couple of weird looks from the cashier and the lady behind me in line, but no one said anything.

    I looked for a needle and thread, but couldn’t find them (grocery store.. what are you going to do?) hence the staples and duct tape. If I could have found a book on anatomy, I would have added that to the pile. I got the ice cream because that’s what I came to the store for. It also made for a nice incongruous item to have with the others. It’s perversely ironic that the ice cream actually was what looked out of place… :)

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