What is the funniest thing you overheard but were not supposed to hear and how and why did you come to hear it?
If the funniest thing you overheard was about you — then you get extra points for sharing!


  1. Elizabeth and I were at Gameworks, a video game arcade.
    There was a child, probably no older than three or four, who was playing skeeball with his father. He was, needless to say, not scoring huge points.
    After a few rounds, the father looked down at his son and said, “Son, you’re not making daddy proud…”
    It was like theater of the absurd. Was he serious? I hope not. Either way it was rip roaring funny.
    Tie between that and this woman that was talking while walking down 87th street one day while I was with my friend Joe. We stopped at an intersection and she went on having this most fascinating conversation about nothing in particular. The funny part came when she turned to us and said, “Just so you know, I’m not talking on a cell phone – I’m really talking to myself.”

  2. Gordon!
    High marks!
    Those are two great stories. Why do you think they stayed with you?
    The cell phone story is especially pleasing — she knows she’s wacky!

  3. One of my very close relative tried to involve me in an arranged marriage once;
    (those who are foreign to this concept of arranged marriage, I think this will help – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arranged_marriage)- I was 21/22 then. It goes without saying that I didn’t agree and that made her furious!
    I overheard her saying to some other of my relatives – “what a fool she is! She doesn’t understand how happy she is going to be!” 😀

  4. Katha!
    Yikes! Did you confront her after you overheard her spilling the loss of your happiness?
    Why did you turn down the offer?
    Was there any trouble with you turning down the arrangement or did your family generally accept it?
    Any other attempts to marry you off since?

  5. I guess it really all goes back to the Dane Cook joke about making history now by smashing an ice cream cone in a child’s face and yelling “remember this forever!”
    It’s the unexpected things that stick out. We don’t remember a woman talking on her mobile phone, we remember a woman that appears to be talking on a phone but is not.
    We wouldn’t remember a kid playing skeeball but when the father criticizes the performance of a three year old it stands out because most people don’t assume a three year old will be ace at skeeball.

  6. Hi David,
    I am always interested in a good debate, but a useless confrontation? No thank you. I don’t get into a conflict unless I am being pushed. That’s just a sheer waste of energy to me. My objective was to turn down the proposition – I did it, why bother? Let her be happy too! Who cares?
    I was never ready to spend my life with someone unknown – I am still not. A marriage requires certain amount of compromise; I need to be sure that this is the person for whom I will compromise with certain things in my life. Once, and for all.
    My family didn’t bother at that point because I was still studying; they wanted me to complete my studies first.
    The first attempt made to marry me off when I was 18. Numerous tries were made after that – right now I am too far away to reach!

  7. David,
    It’s quite natural in our society…the ideal age of a girl getting married in a middle class family is 23/24, sometimes even early in case the parents/relatives/family friends find a good match. Or, even the girl finds a good match for her.
    It is considered to be a parental duty to marry their kids off – so they try hard.
    Guys don’t get pressurized unless they start to earn.

  8. You mean dowry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry)? Though it’s illegal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry_law_in_India) now-a-days, but it still happens in different forms.
    Some people are against it, a very few of my friends were even against of accepting gifts from the guests invited in their wedding, let alone accepting something from their parents – but it is not even .01%.
    I haven’t seen any of my very close family circles to accept anything in their kid’s wedding.
    In a poor family, it is viewed as a contribution to the groom’s family if the girl doesn’t work; sometimes it is viewed as a security for the girl too.
    In a relatively well to do family, it is a show-off. Both the bride’s and the groom’s family take pride to exhibit their wealth – even both the bride and the groom earn well.

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