Even if I am not eavesdropping, at least not intentionally, sometimes I overhear bits of other people’s conversations, and remember them because they are just odd or somehow funny. Such a conversation took place on the 22 bus today: two gentlemen of a certain class, age, stature, and girth boarded the bus somewhere in Chelsea and alighted at Green Park.
The gentlemen in question had a series of long conversations, and two bits I couldn’t rid from my head.
The first was about plastic cups. They were talking either about caterers or a cafe.
Gentleman no. 1: Do you know, these people, they serve tea in plastic cups. Would you believe it?
Gentleman no. 2: [A gasp almost audible] How ghastly!
The use of the word ghastly for some reason really made a huge impression.
Then the gentlemen were talking about their mutual acquaintances and professional connections.
G2: Erm ... Yes [a woman’s name], you know her, don’t you?
G1: Yes, I do, indeed. In actual fact, she used to work for us in the 1980s, until she turned lesbian.
I have to wonder, if that was the end of their cordial acquaintance. Social mores perhaps were different then: the tone and way it was phrased both seemed somewhat discomforting and incongruous, for taking place on a bus.