There’s much you can overhear on a daily commute in London. It’s rare that you learn anything much, other than what someone is planning to have for supper, or how trashed they are planning to get at the pub tonight, or how much they hate their snooty colleague. Today, however, I learned something about how relationships develop. When you’re 11.
On the bus home this evening, I sat behind a bunch of primary school children, all dressed in their uniforms, and aged about 11. They sat and giggled at fellow commuters, exchanged insults with each other and kept a commentary running until they alighted at their stops. As much as I wanted to ignore what they were saying, I couldn’t help hearing and then I began to listen.
(Hello, everyone, my name is Sunshine and I’m an eavesdropper.)
The lone boy in the group said to one of his friends:
“So, bruv, did you see me kiss her, yeah?”
“Yeah, like I was so surprised, yeah? I thought, he’s doing it near a window and, like, everyone’s going to see, innit?”
“Yeah, but you know there’s like a trampoline next to the building, with a wall next to it, yeah? Well, like, that’s where I done it.”
“So, you know the longest it’s taken me to kiss a girl, bruv?”
“Yeah? How long?”
“Well, this girl who was, like, my first girlfriend, yeah? Well, you know how long it took me, right? Two years.”
“Whoa. That’s insane. I’m so bad because it takes me, like, two days, yeah?”
“Whoa. But that girl, yeah, I just hate her now. I hate her, bruv. You know I like kissed her and all, and then she’s like telling everyone, yeah, that I’m such a *****, innit.”
“Yeah, that happens sometimes.”
“So, you know what I normally do, right? I go, like, kiss kiss and then I, like, snog snog snog. Yeah?”
Doing a Beyoncé move of the neck from side to side, and waggling an index finger in his general direction, his friend said,
“Too. Much. Information. Yeah?”
And so ended the conversation. You’re probably thinking this post is too much information (TMI), yeah, but I thought you might, like, learn something from it. Innit? No, I didn’t either. Yeah?
Sunshine signing off for today!
45 thoughts on “TMI and the Art of Eavesdropping”
The “yeah?” after each line is so far superior to the American “yah know?” I love eavesdropping!
We can start a support group, Renee! I don’t know that “yeah?” is superior, yeah?
Makes me think of Jamie Oliver…he says “yeah” a lot…I watch him just to hear him talk!
Fun post, Sunshine!
Yes, he does! Thanks, Wendy.
wow–but, he’s 11 and kissing a girl! that is what freaked me out, bruv. yeah?
I know, yeah? I agree with you, jane!
Nicely conveyed conversation. Years ago when I was in Germany as a student, I could carry on conversations all right, but I wasn’t good enough to eavesdrop, and once I got home I realized I had missed it.
Earlier this year I got to listen in on 90 minutes of 11-year-old conversation that was so interesting, I had to write it up so I wouldn’t forget it. (If you ever find yourself with too much time on your hands, you can check it out on my blog – “Field Trip” in the “kids” category.)
Thanks, Patti! That’s why I wrote this – so I didn’t forget it! I’ll check out your post.
I have no words.
I know, right?
Eavesdropping on the subway is a writer’s best friend. I get some of my best material that way. LOL!
Thanks for the encouragement, jacquelin! 🙂
This is scaring me even more than my 4 year old and being married! I am positive that you are not suppossed to “snog” at 11! My first kiss was at 13. I was in std 6. It was such a mess. Obviously way too early! My little girl is going to be put in a cage.
Nice post! Xx
A cage is a good idea, bokkie!
I wonder if those school kids ever happen to read this blog , they will never utter a word while they commute! Lol!
At 11 kids have grown sickly matured than most of the adults !
Your Kids and Sex Education
Do you communicate well with your kids?
I did wonder about that, John! haha! The chances of them reading this are slim to nil. Thanks for coming by.
Thanks, Tilly – I’ll continue to keep my ears open!
Oh, the things we can learn when we eavesdrop — “little kids” bragging about their first kiss, lots of slang, and pointers on dialog. I guess all writers are unabashed eavesdroppers!
It’s so interesting, Debbie – since I started blogging, my eavesdropping has improved tremendously! hahaha!
Oh, the things we learn while eavesdropping! Only 11? Scarry!
I know, Darlene – I was amazed at what I was hearing, I must say.
Aren’t commuters in London’s steam engine trains supposed to be reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes short stories? When did this all change? Don’t you people have any respect for tradition any more? I would think so with that Queen Victoria still alive and kicking.
Haha, Carl – sadly, London too has run kicking and screaming into the world of today!
I think this is like priceless. Fascinating. Maybe you should start a series of eavesdropping posts.
Hugs from Haiti,
Thanks, Kathy, yeah!
All I can say is eleven has changed a lot since I was that age! Snogging was not even on the radar. Roger and I didn’t figure out we were interested in each other as more than friends until we were in high school and, when we finally got around to dating senior year, we mainly held hands, walked, then stood hugging and sometimes kissing. Once, we got more enthusiastic than usual and our teeth accidentally clicked and we both jumped back as though shot, LOL. Even for those days we were a pair of innocents. Still, at least your little group there were only eleven, perhaps some excuse for TMI. I’m still trying to get over the time a couple of years ago an adult passed me on the street, cell phone glued to ear, shouting, “What do you mean I don’t satisfy you?!” Talk about TMI!
Yes, I was much younger when I was 11, jevcat! Sounds like you were too! Eeuuw, I can’t believe the TMI you overheard, yeah.
A trampoline can help with a lot of things: your post proves this, Sunshine. I had never envisaged it for this purpose but I’ll add it to my list.
Sounds like something from the Staines Massive.
Yes, Kate, I didn’t realise either how useful trampolines could be. Staines Massive, yeah, bruv!
This made me giggle until I had a coughing fit. That’s what I get for reading your blog when I’m sick, yeah?
I’m glad I made you giggle but I’m sorry I made you have a coughing fit! Hope you feel better soon, innit?
Thanks so much for coming by, Bee – welcome to my, like, blog.
I’d like to say I never eavesdrop, but, sadly, that would be a big fat L-I-E…ha! Glad you eavesdrop too so you can share fun tales of young love with us. Love the part where the kid “like kissed her and all…” Hugs, Diane
We can start a support group, Diane! But from the sounds of things, we bloggers and writers all eavesdrop.
Eavesdropping is the best, though, innit? 😉
Oh absolutely, Maura! Such fun 🙂
Wow! Did u have your dictaphone with you? That’s just soooooooon funny, yeah. So like cool.
Thanks, jamie. I’m sure you could relate to the story, being a teacher of youngsters? I didn’t have a dictaphone with me, just wrote it quickly before I forgot all the details! hahaha!
Relationships at 11? Wow – they are starting young these days!
Love the cartoon!
I was pretty gob-smacked about how young they were, I must say. I’m guessing 11-ish – definitely no older than 12. Yikes!
Help out a non-Englishwoman and tell me the difference between kissing and snogging. I was under the impression that snogging was kissing. It’s a good thing you were eavesdropping or I wouldn’t know I didn’t know ;-).
The two words are interchangeable in my vocabulary too! But I would imagine the distinction in this context is that a “kiss” is a peck and a “snog” isn’t.