Barista gal: “Oy vey!”

Checkout gal: “What’s that?”

Barista: “It’s, like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ or something similar. It’s Yiddish.”

Checkout: “Is that a real language?”

Want to take bets who’s going on to college?

“I don’t get hangovers, just sometimes I don’t feel good in the morning.” This from the same 20-something British gal who lamented, “I wish there were a way to know exactly how much you should drink. It changes all the time.”

“I was at Guantanamo before it was hip.” Spoken by some old guy in a bomber jacket outside the Blue Oyster Cult (aka Geezerpalooza) concert at Slim’s on Thursday night. Don’t ask me if he was serious or delusional; I decided it was best not to ask.

This wasn’t even eavesdropping, since he was talking loudly enough for the whole block to hear. I must admit, though, I sometimes tune into these weird conversations, but only when I don’t know the people. How can I help it? I’m curious, I’m constantly trying to come up with fictional backstories for the people around me, and I had a fiction teacher in college send us to the quad and the coffeehouse to listen to the world around us. I’d never realized before that just how quickly a snippet of conversation could be spun into a whole story. It makes bus rides and waiting in line much more interesting. Unfortunately, more often than not, people are talking about the inanities of life: how many calories they consumed, how their pet poodle is a genius, or worst of all, who might win American Idolatry. No thanks, I’ll tune into my own private conversation at that point.