Saturday, November 04, 2006

Colonel Sanders, Is That You?

Why is it fun when you're in a restaurant and you overhear someone's loud conversation at the table next to you? It just IS. Is this a universal feeling? Is this the bond that unites humanity? Why I believe it just might be.

You'd think, what with me working with the public every day, that hearing random conversations would lose it's appeal. And actually, when I am at the library, I don't really have much glee in overhearing Matilda tell Ronaldo that her ass boil will be lanced at home by her cousin. I guess it's the fact that I am in Professional Mode. I don't know why, but I honestly don't really take note of what I overhear. It's all part of the dull roar that passes by the reference desk each day.

But get me in a restaurant, and all of a sudden it's showtime. Today, Nordic Boy and I went to eat lunch at a local eatery (isn't that such a funny word? EATERY). In the car on the way over, we got into this philosophical discussion about the Nature of Things. As we got to the restaurant we kept talking. As we were seated, still talking. We ordered, and our food arrived, and still, yakkity yak. We were well on our way to understanding all there is to understand about the Nature of Things. As we paused to take bites out of our meal, we simultaneously heard this:

"...I was eating chicken and green beans last night, and they just tasted so good. The green beans were just a filler though. The main event was the chicken." To which his table mate replied: "HA HA HA HA!"

We both almost stopped chewing, and all thoughts on the Nature of Things went right out the window. We made eye contact across the table. The main event was the chicken? The main event? Ha ha ha, indeed.

We valiantly tried to re-start the conversation, but every time we paused to take a breath, we would hear something like this: "...and then this one time I had chicken with jalapeno sauce. Whoo-wee was that spicy. But it's still chicken, right? So how could I say no?" To which there was more of this: "HA HA HA HA!"

This went on for a good ten minutes. It was as if this person was listing every chicken meal he had ever had, and for some reason, this was infinitely funny to his table mate. And, believe me, the more it went on, the funnier it got to us too.

"...oh, but this other time, I had chicken with habenero peppers! I was wiping the back of my neck, I was so sweaty! But the chicken! Still good!" And then: "HA HA HA HA!"

I tell you, we were riveted by this speech. We ate in silence and giggled and listened to the Crazy Chicken Comedian and his audience of one.

There just must be something about eavesdropping in a restaurant that makes everything more entertaining. I think we should start offering higher education courses in this fashion. Put the professor at one table, and her students all around the restaurant. People would be geniuses by the end of the semester, I'm sure of it.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl


Darlene said...

Wow -this person was as facinated by chicken as Bubba was about shrimp in "Forrest Gump".
I love overhearing restaurant conversations - my biggest challenge is resisting the urge to laugh out loud. This usually only works if you don't make eye contact with the person you're sitting with.

Josh said...

Damnit! I clicked on the "comment" button ready to list chicken dishes in the fashion of Bubba ("There's barbecue chicken, chicken-kabobs, chicken soup, fried chicken..."), only to see that Darlene had beaten me to the reference.

Thanks, Darlene. Thanks a lot.

Katie Kiekhaefer said...

I love overhearing conversations... but sometimes it backfired on me once when I was in a restaurant with one of my friends and the couple sitting next to us was in the process of breaking up. And of course, you can't help but listen and feel guilty and uncomfortable the entire time. Eeek. Still though, chicken is a very versatile. Hah hah hah!

Anonymous said...

You know, sometimes it doesn't have to be a conversation you overhear. Sometimes it's just a phrase repeated over and over and OVER. Something like...I don't know...STICKY RICE!

Fringe Element Enthusiast said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fringe Element Enthusiast said...

Maybe this person enamoured with fowl feasting had a bit of weather reporter in them.

As with a weather event, so must be the Chicken Event.

An Event of Chicken! Wow, I sense some sort of National Holiday could be in order!