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Old 07-16-2005, 06:24 PM   #1
Brynn
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Cool Creative Eavesdropping

Listen for as long as you dare, remember as much as you can, paraphrase or invent only as absolutely necessary to make it cohesive, but keep it rooted in the reality of the actual overheard conversation.

Link it to any post that comes before if it seems to fit into some kind of narrative, but feel free to introduce new overheard conversations all on their own. You may introduce new overheard characters or take old conversational fragments into new directions with newly eavesdropped material as you are inspired.
Provide original location, but feel free to change the location for a new "borrowed conversation" as you might require for your own purposes.

Ideally, the overall effect is a flowing, cinematic one of following one or more characters for a ways until it hits a wall and a new interesting one interacts and takes over, but don't hesitate to post overheard fragments in isolation to be used later. The real creativity will come from editing together at any point disparate posts into a narrative flow.

This may or may not work, but at the very least it's a way to warm up if you're experiencing writer's block.

I'll kick it off.

(overheard on the bus)
Woman: I would think that in a polyglot situation like that...
Man: Oooooh. "Polyglot." Someone's had her coffee this morning!
Woman: ...that it would be confusing for...
Man: You don't like me very much this morning, do you?
Woman: Here are the comics. Read them.
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Old 07-16-2005, 06:34 PM   #2
venusupnorth
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William Burroughs got his inspirations like that, it's very genius. I usually go off into nature with no source of communication to achieve this state of mind. After being alone for 4 days and doing paintings out in the lava fields my friends show up and inspire more.

I think Zero just posted a site a week ago that is inspired by this kind of thinking..........hold on where is the link?
http://languageisavirus.com/
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Old 07-16-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
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(overheard in a law office coffee break area)

Good-Looking Cocky Lawyer: She's hot.
Intern: Hmmm.
Good-Looking Cocky Lawyer: I was going to ask her out, but she blew off her bagel club obligation.
Intern: Her bagel club "obligation"??
GLCL: When you take a bagel on Fridays, you are obligated to join the bagel club and take a turn bringing in a dozen bagels the following month.
Intern: (laughing) I didn't know that.
GLCL: Then you're -
Intern: I never bring in a dozen bagels.
GLCL: - then you're an asshole.
Intern: I enjoy bagels. That doesn't make me an asshole. An asshole is someone who thinks someone's hot but they won't ask her out because she didn't fulfill her bagel club obligation.
GLCL: They've got to be good bagels too. Not Lender's frozen s**t bagels. Fresh ones.
Intern: Hot from the oven ones.
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Old 07-16-2005, 06:59 PM   #4
venusupnorth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
(overheard in a law office coffee break area)

Good-Looking Cocky Lawyer: She's hot.
Intern: Hmmm.
Good-Looking Cocky Lawyer: I was going to ask her out, but she blew off her bagel club obligation.
Intern: Her bagel club "obligation"??
GLCL: When you take a bagel on Fridays, you are obligated to join the bagel club and take a turn bringing in a dozen bagels the following month.
Intern: (laughing) I didn't know that.
GLCL: Then you're -
Intern: I never bring in a dozen bagels.
GLCL: - then you're an asshole.
Intern: I enjoy bagels. That doesn't make me an asshole. An asshole is someone who thinks someone's hot but they won't ask her out because she didn't fulfill her bagel club obligation.
GLCL: They've got to be good bagels too. Not Lender's frozen s**t bagels. Fresh ones.
Intern: Hot from the oven ones.
Did you just make that up? You're from NY then. I lived in Ny and only New Yorkers talk about bagels like that.

-Who's in left field?
-who's in right field?
-Who cares, do you want cream cheese with that?
-I told you he was cheating, just look at the way he sneaks into 3rd base!
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Old 07-16-2005, 06:59 PM   #5
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Scene: a law office coffee break area. Two Men and a Woman

Woman: I would think that in a polyglot situation like that...
Good-Looking Cocky Lawyer: Oooooh. "Polyglot." Someone's had her coffee this morning!
Woman: ...that it would be confusing for...
GLCL: You don't like me very much this morning, do you?
Woman: Here are the comics. Read them.
(she walks out)
Intern (Watches her go. Turns to GLCL) William Burroughs got his inspirations like that, it's very genius. I usually go off into nature with no source of communication to achieve this state of mind. After being alone for 4 days and doing paintings out in the lava fields my friends show up and inspire more.
Good-Looking Cocky Lawyer: She's hot.
Intern: Hmmm.
Good-Looking Cocky Lawyer: I was going to ask her out, but she blew off her bagel club obligation.
Intern: Her bagel club "obligation"??
GLCL: When you take a bagel on Fridays, you are obligated to join the bagel club and take a turn bringing in a dozen bagels the following month.
Intern: (laughing) I didn't know that.
GLCL: Then you're -
Intern: I never bring in a dozen bagels.
GLCL: - then you're an asshole.
Intern: I enjoy bagels. That doesn't make me an asshole. An asshole is someone who thinks someone's hot but they won't ask her out because she didn't fulfill her bagel club obligation.
GLCL: They've got to be good bagels too. Not Lender's frozen s**t bagels. Fresh ones.
Intern: Hot from the oven ones.
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Old 07-16-2005, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venusupnorth
Did you just make that up? You're from NY then. I lived in Ny and only New Yorkers talk about bagels like that.
I lived in Manhatten for a short time as an aspiring actress in my twenties, but I actually overheard this in a law office in Century City. There are a lot of NYC transplants in Los Angeles who are religious about their bagels, and you can find decent ones in L.A. because of that. Therefore, there are a lot of non-NYC bagel converts there who used to eat Lender's and now see the light. Here in Potland (sic), we have Noah's Bagels, which taste like the real thing.

Did I mention that any overheard conversation is fair game? That means that conversations on this board and even comments on this thread can also be gleaned for this thread's purposes. That may appeal to the incestuously minded amongst us .
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Old 07-16-2005, 07:17 PM   #7
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Yeah hot bagles from the oven with a smell of fresh onions!

The chick with the attitude walks back in the office and finds out that she missed out on a good catch, looks around and gets nervous. He knew some sh*t about her but?
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Old 07-20-2005, 06:27 AM   #8
Brynn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venusupnorth
William Burroughs got his inspirations like that, it's very genius. I usually go off into nature with no source of communication to achieve this state of mind. After being alone for 4 days and doing paintings out in the lava fields my friends show up and inspire more.

I think Zero just posted a site a week ago that is inspired by this kind of thinking..........hold on where is the link?
http://languageisavirus.com/
What a cool site!
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Old 07-30-2005, 02:54 PM   #9
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"I just don't want to be trapped, TRAPPED IN THERE." (jerks wheelchair away)
"Just be graceful, hon."
"Can we play bocce?"
"No, no, just sit and watch the fire, it's too dark, everyone settle down, I've got those Japanese golfers and half of them are sick."
"Where's your little dog?"
"She's inside, it's okay, she had a lot of exercise."
(annoyed shrug)
"I tell ya, I thought I was putting in an Olympic swimming pool when we opened up that septic field."
"Oh yeah, the septic field."
"I deal with this one company, called Monster?"
"I wear them in the parking lot, I wear them on the beach, I wear them in the water, I wear them in the car. People tell me there's rocks but I wouldn't know."
"Buddy, don't shine your flashlight in people's windows, 'k?"
"Everybody wants them. That's why I do so well."
"It sounds like you've been around a bit."
"If you could build it all over again, what would you change?"
"You go as if you're going to the United States."
"Now that my kids are older, they help out a bit."
"Yeah, well, I imagine mine could too."
"I tell you, putting in that septic field last summer, I know more than I ever wanted to know."
"It took me about three quarters of the first book to, you know, really get into it, and then I was hooked."
"She hasn't been back there for another sleepover."
"But I don't want to outgrow you!"
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:36 PM   #10
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"Hello. I'm William Shatner."

(New guy here. Hi to all. Great site and interesting posts!!)

I am in line for a flight to Los Angeles from San Francisco in the Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Eight. The man directly in front of me speaks to the airline personnel sotto voce:

"Would you mind seating me first? I'm William Shatner."

"Of course not sir." Shatner moves off. Then, to her partner: "Who's William Shatner?"

"Oh, he's an actor. Was that him? He's on Star Trek."

"Oh, that's why I don't know him then. Never watch it."

I am checked in and go off to find a seat. In the far corner of the airport lounge sits WS, his trenchcoat collar up, his hat pulled down and a newspaper up in front of his face. If people recognize him, which is near impossible by the camouflage he has erected, they don't show it. Realizing this, WS lowers the newspaper a bit, placing his lower face into view. . .a bold move. Still. Nothing. Zero recognition happening.

To a star, this is worse than being recognized. Not being recognized. I say "star." We have to remember that we are talking about William Shatner.

Eventually it is time to board our flight to LAX. Desperate now, WS is loaded into the plane first, just like he wanted. He takes the very first aisle seat and has removed all camouflaging items -- collar and newspaper down, hat brim up -- and he is shamelessly making eye contact with every single passenger that boards the plane.

No one recognizes him. And he looks like he's ready to chat now. In a few years, he'll be turning down Trekkie conventions. But for now, the show is over and he's afraid he's a forgotten man.

Still no recognition. No one even sits next to him. It will be 20 years before his career is revived by a dot.com commercial and he manages a neat second act as a sight gag.
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Old 08-04-2005, 06:36 AM   #11
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(wince) My husband reports that W.S. and a fawning producer type were very loud and rude to an entire restaurant in a tiny town in Baja.
Which reminds me of a Richard Dreyfus story concerning a pilfered chinese chicken salad (the last one) that he jumped line for and made off with just as someone else was reaching for it.

But I digress. Welcome Scoop!

Overheard in office:
"What are you doing?"
"I'm trying to see into his office."
"Why?"
"Because they didn't invite me into the meeting and I don't know why."

On bus:
"But is that infected? It's beginning to look like cellulitus!"
"Right. Sure. You're going to lose your hand because of a paper cut."
"It could happen. Under the right conditions."
"Did it happen at work? If it happened at work and your hand falls off, you can get worker's comp."
"Yesssss!"
"You could sue the paper company. 'But your honor, I had no idea that paper could cause a wound like that. There was no warning on it."
"Yeah. The ultimate Stupid Lawsuit."
" 'When we play rock paper scissors, we all know that you can get hurt by the rock, and the scissors of course can cut you, but what about the paper???' "
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Old 08-07-2005, 07:35 PM   #12
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Overheard on Wigmore Street

(TV interview on the street in London)
Interviewee: Yeah I really love my cat.
Interviewer: Really?
Interviewee: Yeah she's really beautiful. I really love her.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:04 PM   #13
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Speaking of non-sequitur...

I love spontaneous coinage. (I mean, if I have to call it something.)

Some years ago, I worked behind the counter at a donut shop. One morning I was topping off a cuppa joe while the customer, an affably cranky old woman with a cigarette balanced on her lower lip (the very image, I now realize, of that popular greeting card crone in the comics) droned on about something or other, when, near as I can make out, in one oddly panicky instant, her brain sent two competing phrases, "too full" and "too much", downstairs to her mouth. Over her abruptly outstretched hand, it came out: "TOO FUTCH!"

It was the perfect way of expressing that moment... a contraction of "too f**king much" into a flashpoint of pointless anxiety.

I poured the rest of the pot into her lap in my sheer mirth.


Kidding about that last,
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:02 PM   #14
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too futch, man, too futch!



Okay, let's see what possibilities we've got here....

It's dark. Two people huddle next to an illicit campfire besides a parking lot behind an office building in a seedy area of Hollywood. the tension between the two is high.

A: I just don't want to be trapped, TRAPPED IN THERE.
B: Oh yeah. The septic field.
A: She hasn't been back there for another 'sleepover.' Too full. Too much.
B: She's inside, it's okay.
A: The septic field???
B: Oh yeah, the septic field.
A: (looking shocked, panicked) Then you're - then you're an asshole.
B: Shhh - just be graceful hon.
A: You're - you're a --
B: It's called - Monster?
A: Who's in left field?
B: I've got those Japanese golfers and half of them are sick. An affably cranky old woman with a cigarette balanced on her lower lip. People tell me there's rocks but I wouldn't know.

(Pause - they both glower into the campfire)

A: (suddenly) Who's in right field?
B: (breaking down) I tell you, putting my cat in that septic field last summer, I know more than I ever wanted to know. (He bows his head and starts sobbing) I really love my cat.
A: (sarcastic) Really?
B: Yeah she's really beautiful. I really love her.
A: Where's your little dog?
B: She's inside. It's okay. She had a lot of exercise.
A: It sounds like you've been around a bit.
B: That's why I do so well. It took me about three quarters of the first field to, you know, really get into it, and then I was hooked.
A: Why???
B: William Shatner.
A: Who's William Shatner?
B: He's on Star Trek.
A: Never watch it. Why?
B: (exploding) Because he didn't invite me into "The Meeting" and I don't know why. At his request, I loaded a desperate William Shatner into the septic field first. (Amused) Now, in the far corner of the right septic field sits WS, his trenchcoat collar up, his hat pulled down and a newspaper up in front of his face. That way he won't be shamelessly making eye contact with everyone else lowered into the field! If people recognize him, which is near impossible - well, he looks like he's ready to chat now. In a few years, he'll be turning down Trekkie conventions. But for now, the show is over and he's afraid he's a forgotten man.

A
:You're a - monster.
B: It was the perfect way of expressing that moment. Now that my kids are older, they help out a bit.
A: Yeah, well, I imagine mine could too. I just don't want to be trapped, TRAPPED IN THERE.
B: A flashpoint of pointless anxiety. Actually, I'm just kidding about that last bit. No, no, just sit and watch the fire, it's too dark, settle down. It'll all be over in one oddly panicky instant...

(blackout)
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dddrum
Speaking of non-sequitur...

I love spontaneous coinage. (I mean, if I have to call it something.)

Some years ago, I worked behind the counter at a donut shop. One morning I was topping off a cuppa joe while the customer, an affably cranky old woman with a cigarette balanced on her lower lip (the very image, I now realize, of that popular greeting card crone in the comics) droned on about something or other, when, near as I can make out, in one oddly panicky instant, her brain sent two competing phrases, "too full" and "too much", downstairs to her mouth. Over her abruptly outstretched hand, it came out: "TOO FUTCH!"

It was the perfect way of expressing that moment... a contraction of "too f**king much" into a flashpoint of pointless anxiety.

I poured the rest of the pot into her lap in my sheer mirth.


Kidding about that last,
DDD
Love it love it LOVE IT!!
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