The Things People Say!
An introduction first before tomorrow’s game …
What is ‘The Things That People Say!” as a game?
Well in order to understand it as a prompt game, let’s look at where it began for me …… as a thing first shall we?
“Chewing Them Like Tobacco Plugs!”
When l was 14/15 years of age,  – [well over forty years ago now] l sadly and most dreadfully had a wart on my nose! Not like a witches warty nose as in on top …. like below! No, not like that … mine was worse – well for me anyway! [I wrote a story about it too – and it’s here … If Anyone Knows, Warty Nose! 1978
Mine was attached to my nostril on the right upper inner and outer flare side and was towards the end of its life on my nose about the size of a five pence piece … the size below to be precise!
YES!! That’s right! Hanging off my nose!!
It was an alien growth all of it’s own – in fact l wouldn’t be surprised if – YES IF, someone at the hospital had suggested my wart as an idea to Ridely Scott for this scene!
OK, it wasn’t that bad – BUT even though these days l don’t get embarassed, all those years ago, l wasn’t embarassed BUT l was very conscious of certain things. My parents made me hyper conscious to things as well. I would try and ignore the wart on my nose – l was receiving treatment [wasn’t lazer then] and l was trying to remain focused – but my family – father, mother and sister all thought it highly amusing to call me the Wicked Warty Witch of Surrey … which really didn’t help matters and so l developed a complex regarding my nose.
So much so, that l started to not look at people when l spoke to them … this was already bad enough, because when younger and completely oblivious to my Asperger’s – something that would not be recognised until 2008 – l was already NOT looking people in the eye but looking over their shoulders, or at their chin or the top of their heads! But now l wasn’t looking at them, and if l did look at someone , l tried to look at them only with the left side of my face!
I started to feel like Joseph Merrick of the Elephant Man – l wanted to wear a pillowcase over my head and it was my family that started that problem for me …. now, however to The Things That People Say….
I started to listen to conversations with my head bowed down, people thought l was eavesdropping and at first l wasn’t, l was just painfully shy and conscious that l had a growth the size of London hanging out of my nose! But as time progressed, and l got older and long after the wart had been painfully removed via burning – l when zoning out of boring conversations – would zone in – incidentally – to other conversations around me and when you do this — you hear some absolutely cracking corkers!
My wart which l have no idea how l came to contract it – after several painful months and remember this was the later 70’s – was burned off using a combination of something like a soldering iron and acid – very nasty and it took me a further year to start talking to people normally again…well normal for me anyway!
But by this time, l had started a brand new hobby and this hobby has been with me for well over forty years – l became a spermologer which l have always found absolutely fascinating if somewhat kinky as a word – next to horologist and to a person who adores eclecticism – which is another lovely word by itself again – as it just rolls off the tongue – it is just wonderful! But l have hundreds of collected eavesdrops on conversation…. bits of trivia is what l collect!
So l figured why not put them into a fiction writing prompt?
Let’s see as a pilot how you might fare with a small teaser .. and in fact the original conversation on the 23rd May 1978 – 8 days after my 15th Birthday – Google tells me it was a Tuesday and that is correct because l had appointments on a Tuesday at Woking hospital with the nurse whose responsibility it was to solder off my nose! I had to go to the hospital for early evening appointments – of which these were over a course of three months – so by September 1978 l was wart free!!
The following lines came from a conversation … l heard from two older girls sat behind me in the age bracket of 17 maybe 18 years of age and completely oblivious to my presence in front of them!
Girl 1: “So did Tom take you out last night then?”
Girl 2: “Yeah, we went to the cinema, saw that film he wanted to see, boooooooring, but hey it was a night out and he took me to the Wimpy afterwards for a burger and chips so all good!”
Girl 1: “Oh right, so still fancy him then do ya, done it with him yet?”
Girl 2: “Yeah and yeah, nothing special ya know … but he’s alright, got a nice car, l like his car.”
Girl 1: “Mm, lucky you .. Pete’s a bit slow in that area, three months and not even a serious snog let alone anything really naughty – although – he touched my boobs last night! Thought he was going to die there and then, he said it was an accident and when l said .. l don’t mind, he just looked at me like l was from a different planet??!”
Girl 2: “Blimey, Tom? He is always all over me, grope, grope and l tell you something else – last night l told him to stop chewing them like tobacco plugs! That they bruise, you know – he just laughed, he has a nice car though, you know … oooooha it’s my stop – seeya, l give ya a call later!”
Girl 2 left the bus, whilst Girl 1 started reading a magazine and l sat there thinking …
“Chewing Them Like Tobacco Plugs!”
So, over the years l have collected snippets like this – and the game is that once a week l shall award you one of my prized ‘conversation snippets’ and your job is to flash fictionalise it into a story of no more than 300 words!
So for the first one – our teaser – what would you do with that line above – if you didn’t know the story?