More eavesdropping

Last week, I asked you about a time you eavesdropped and what you overheard. Here are some of my readers' responses:


On a flight from London to Minneapolis, I sat directly in front of a couple in their sixties. Everything the woman said she would yell to her husband because she had earbuds in.


The husband just sat there.

Later, she commented on the flight attendants and how they were really nice. “I THINK I REMEMBER SOME OF THEM FROM THE EARLIER FLIGHT.”

Still no words from the husband.

I had a broken seat, so every time I sat up, the seat would move up. And when I sat back, the seat would lean back.

Halfway through the flight, the woman yelled to her husband. “THIS GUY’S DRIVING ME CRAZY WITH HIS SEAT.”

I didn’t tell her she was driving me crazy with her voice.


Scott, Minneapolis, Minnesota


A spook haiku or spaiku (haiku for and by Intel people, a term invented by Lee Bishop of the Defense Language Institute.)

long slow night of noise
voices from the other side of good
messages i must hear


Joe, St. Paul, Minnesota


The fence around our back yard is perfect for eavesdropping. Walkers deep in conversation rarely see me gardening on the other side of the fence. Our neighbor, almost 8 years old walked along the fence. He turned to his 11-year old sister after July 4th boomers were heard in our neighborhood.

“That was shotguns,” he said matter-of-factly.

His sister corrected him. It was fireworks.

The two walked on, flip flops softening their steps.

Those children volunteer in the community garden.  I thank them and hand out popsicles for their work.

Our neighborhood is prone to gunshots. I work to stop it, knowing that we don’t have to live with gun violence.

In the meantime, those young children are living the experience. Gunshots are normal in their everyday lives. They don’t run at the sound of it. They saunter.

That’s a scary thought.


Monica, North Minneapolis, Minnesota


Not my experience, but my husband and our daughter who were eating at a fairly nice restaurant in Bismarck.  They told me their story of a couple on a date, and the gentleman asked for an item no longer on the menu, and of how the chef could prepare it.  Turns out the main chef was not working that night, but could be called, the dish explained to today's chef, and if that would be acceptable.  It was.  After this intense amount of work, phone calls, and manager's help.  Then, the waiter turned to the lady and asked what she would like to dine on.

"That's for her,” the man replied.  “Nothing for me, I've already eaten."


Jen, Grand Forks, North Dakota


Board an airplane. Get stuck in the aisle as a middle aged lady struggles to wedge her oversized carryon into a small overhead bin. It has no chance of fitting.

She starts complaining that, "It fit in the last plane." Over and over. She finally yells to the flight attendant, "Why won't my bag fit?!"

Without thinking I decided to stop eavesdropping and accidentally mentioned that she "shouldn't have packed so much crap in it".

Judging by the laughter, turned out everyone else sitting around there was eavesdropping also.


Trevor, Hudson, Wisconsin

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*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.