I’m an avid people watcher. There really isn’t any other way to describe this, and I wish it didn’t sound so creepy. I’m a writer, okay? I like to watch people from afar, try and figure out their stories, and see what I might be able to come up with. (And, yes, I’ll justify this until the day I perish!) It isn’t that I’m stalking them, because, to be perfectly honest, if I were to find the things out about them that I sit there and try to guess it wouldn’t be as fun. The point is to make it up, to create a story around things that are really happening in front of you.
But, dear patient and sainted reader, there is actually a story that goes with this one! Whenever my best friend and I are together in a public place, she likes to take advantage of this people watching habit I have and prey on my weakness of speaking before thinking. And so what does this result in? Two young women who were in the theater together narrating people’s lives while sitting quite close. And I will tell you right now, it is simply the most hilarious thing ever.
Have you ever done this? Because I would highly recommend it. It does take quite extensive improvisation skills; you’d be surprised how much hand gestures have a part in the conversations you make up between people. And there was one day in particular when this act of narrating hit an all time level of hilarity.
We were with another friend of ours, sitting on a park bench and narrating for a couple sitting on the grass with their child not far away. The mother was on her mobile phone and the father was playing with their little girl. My best friend and I were having a glorious time, while our other friend was thoroughly engrossed in something which I can no longer recall. Here is the way our narration went:
“Jimmy! I’m on the phone, Jimmy!”
“Meryl, I’m walking away! I am taking our child and walking away!”
“Jimmy! Can’t you see that I’m on the phone?!”
And on and on it went, poor Jimmy took their daughter to the swings while Meryl gabbed with her friend Veronica about American Idol. Oh, reader, it was so tragically comical. And as we were laughing and narrating and thoroughly enjoying our own hilarity, our other friend suddenly looked up and exclaimed, “Oh! That’s my cousin and his wife!” Did this make it even funnier? Well, absolutely it did. And what made it even more spectacular is that their names actually do start with a J and an M.
It was to this I made what seemed to be an obvious conclusion: there must be a little bit of truth in every narration! And if this is the case, then there are countless couples in this world with very annoying voices, or college boys with bicycles who deliver sandwiches, or business partners in cafes who meet to talk about the stock market and end up comparing watches…