I can’t put any of this in my novel, because no one would believe it. But here are some snippets of real conversations I’ve had in my life.
As my daughter was playing at the park I noticed a man (older, not yet elderly) pulling a chicken on a skateboard around the sidewalks that lined the play area.
“Nice chicken,” I said.
“She’s a guinea hen,” he corrected me, and then pointed out her black feathers and white spots. “She’s great with kids.”
And then I just nodded. Because what else do you say to a man pulling a chicken (excuse me, guinea hen,) on a skateboard?
And then there is this conversation I had at work one day.
Childless Friend: “So is childbirth really that hard?”
Me: “Well, yeah, but breastfeeding is way harder. I had to hire a lactation consultant.”
Mr. X: “Pshhh, lactation consultant! I could be a lactation consultant”
Me: “Actually, Mr. X, I’m pretty sure you have to be able to lactate to be a lactation consultant.”
Mr. X: “Bah, it’s not that hard. You put the baby on the titty.”
Me: “Oh my god, you did not just say that.”
Mr. X: “What?!?!? The baby goes on the titty. It ain’t that hard.”
Here’s a mildly alarming conversation I had over the phone last year:
Bakersfield PD: “How can I help you?”
Me: “Well, this might sound a little weird.”
Bakersfield PD: (silence, as this is the police department and they have witnessed all levels of weirdness.)
Me: “When I pulled up to my house today, an elderly Armenian man in a Uhaul van pulled in behind me. He said he had deciphered the code on my license plate and was here for the meeting. I convinced him the meeting was canceled, but I’m a little concerned that he’s lost.”