The Art of Conversation Hasn’t Died…

Crystals for conversation (from left to right) Blue Aventurine, Lapis Lazuli and Dumortierite… All help with honest and open communication and Lapis especially helps to teach the power of the spoken word…

I’m not a big talker. Never have been, although I will quite happily chat if I’m relaxed and in friendly company and I’m reasonable at making small talk. It’s not because I’m not interested, I am, I’m always interested in learning about other people and hearing what they have to say, it’s just that I’m also quite shy. There’s a Yorkshire saying that I love for its brevity and wit that sums up the canny sharpness and economy of the North… “See all, say nowt.”

Comm (4).jpgThe furry vocal throat of Princess Charlie… complaining that the focus was all wrong

In the spirit of that, I have passed many an entertaining bus journey catching snippets of overheard conversation and pondering the fate of the talker and the possible outcomes… For example, two girls on the journey home after – I hope – a rewarding afternoon’s shopping.

Girl 1: I bought a bag of those scented tea lights the other day. It said on the bag: “Guaranteed 30 hours burning time.” Well, I lit one and it went out after two hours! I felt cheated!

Girl 2: You do realise that it probably meant the whole bag of candles…

(Puzzled silence… then gales of laughter as the penny dropped!)

Returning home from my mother’s, with my son one evening, four lads, obviously on their way to the pub and having already had a few, were indulging in jovial witticisms:

Lad 1: Look! Look! That’s where John got his tattoo! (pointing at the local butcher’s)

Lad 2: What do you mean? The butcher’s?

Lad 1: Yeah, he nipped in for a pound of mince and came out with his crap tattoo!

(Laughter and embarrassed silence from Lad 3)

I was left wondering why was the tattoo crap? What WAS it? Was it really so bad it looked as if it had been done by the butcher, who I assure you is a perfectly respectable gentleman who has run his family business for years… unless, unless he has a secret career as a tattoo artist!

Item three – travelling on a crowded bus to the vet… an elderly gentleman got on to the bus, tutting and sighing to himself. As he sat down, he evidently couldn’t contain himself any longer and loudly announced:

90 pence for a good screw!”

Shocked silence from the rest of the passengers.

Yes, I remember when a packet of screws from the hardware shop cost 10 pence and now it’s 90 pence for one good screw!”

Relieved silence and a few stifled giggles from the rest of the passengers…

Comm (3)Blue Calcite and Celestite… the Calcite aids clear communication, Celestite enables spiritual communication

My favourite to date has to be two little girls. I was with my son, who is just as prone to giggling as I am, but has the actor’s trick of the trade of being able to return immediately to straight faced immobility… They were sat on the seats across the aisle from me and decided to practise a piece for their school performance. It was a rap. About Shakespeare. I think the playwright would have been charmed by it, but for some reason, it just struck me as unbearably funny…

Girl 1: No, no, let’s do the chorus again, you keep getting it wrong, its: “WILL-iam SHAKE-speare, WILL-iam SHAKE-speare, DOUBLE YOU! EYE! ELL TO THE POWER OF TWO!”

That was it. My shoulders were convulsing as I tried to choke back the giggles, but then I caught my son’s eye. He was laughing, silently, but laughing. I let out a loud, most unladylike snort and became aware that the two little girls had stopped singing and were looking at me disapprovingly.

Mummy! That woman’s LAUGHING at us!”

I tried to look apologetic, but couldn’t. We left the bus quite quickly as “Mummy” was bigger than me… 

Comm (5)“So, which way did you vote then?”

All photographs Copyright © 2016 Alex Marlowe

17 thoughts on “The Art of Conversation Hasn’t Died…

  1. ’90p for a good screw’ made me giggle 🙂 I have a collection of things my sister said, like: ‘it wasn’t me’ in a lift full of business people (all strangers) to indicate she wasn’t the source of the nasty smell…or: ‘I’m sure the dog’s going to be well taken care of-well, just look at you’ said to a (lovely) large lady who’d just adopted a dog. Or ‘do you have my knickers?’ said in the busy shop (we had been swimming and I had her stuff). Or informing my husband: ‘the mustard (he had just consumed) was out of date’ and asked ‘well, how long past the best before?’ saying, with a straight face: ‘about 6 years’ 🙂

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      1. I find everything funny, unfortunately…so much so I laughed at my Dad’s funeral 😦 and I really was daddy’s girl-still love and miss him. But my sister’s skirt fell down and my uncle was trying to cover her bum with his huge coat. He looked like a pervert. Then my granddad, sobbing (my Dad had been killed in a car crash, which made me extremely intolerant when it comes to drink drivers) was holding my Dad’s head, which made me imagine my granddad walking away with my Dad’s head under his arm…oh, well, I was 16 and on drugs (prescribed because of the trauma, not because I was a drug addict). I always laugh when I fall over, too. Some sort of sanity deficiency? Or autoimmune reaction-it might be dangerous to treat myself too seriously 🙂

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      2. Bet your Dad would have laughed…yes, I have no tolerance for drink drivers and I obviously share your sense of humour…I was on the bus one day(seem to spend half my life on the bus) and on the pavement closest to me, a large lady was riding along on a mobility scooter- one of the really large ones that look like little cars- as she hit the kerb…it fell over!! Shocked gasps from other passengers, screams of laughter from me, especially when she LEAPT to her feet, hauled this massive scooter upright and set off again! Oh dear..loses it in the telling but it was very visual humour!

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      3. I never realised just how possible it is to die from laughter until Alex-he’s a drama student- demonstrated his stock character for improvisation exercises…he is “Quentin”, a flamboyant Northern hairdresser…he did a demo…I hooted, howled, choked, tears were running down my face…of course we were at a bus stop..I couldn’t get on the bus! I thought I was going to die! He couldn’t see what was so funny so I was the recipient of annoyed texts all day asking me to justify my, in hid eyes, completely unnecessary laughter when he was demonstrating a perfectly reasonable acting technique…oh dear…!

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  2. So funny! Brought back memories of my sister and myself, when we were young, always having the giggles at the most inopportune time, and our father with his famous words, “I’m going to skin you two!” Thanks for the laughs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting…I don’t know if it’s better or worse to have someone with you when you get the giggles as you can set each other off again! I have had some funny looks though, walking down the street, laughing away to myself…


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