Overheard II

At the chemist, this lunchtime…

Tourist #1: I’m looking for some lozenges, or pastilles, called Diff…diff-something. For coughs.

Pharmacist: …

Tourist #1: Or do you have another type of cough lozenges?

Pharmacist: Oh yes, there are several types [starts shuffling on a shelf behind her]

Tourist #2: I know what you want! You want Difflam! [To pharmacist] Ma’am, he wants Difflam!

Pharmacist: Difflam? That only comes as a mixture, not in lozenges.

Tourist #1: Oh, really? In Sydney it comes in lozenges. Why can’t you get it in Lozenges here?

Tourist #2: Because the queen! She said so!

Tourist #1, wisely: Ah, I see.


Outside an Italian restaurant in Bloomsbury, a couple next to us; both indeterminately European. They are discussing his career prospects, and eventually he bursts out: “If I don’t get tenure next year, I’m just going to…blog about it.”


Snippets of two equally alarming conversations being had by people on mobile phones whom I passed on my way to a meeting earlier on:


“…do you get it?  It has to stop and it has to stop now…”


“…because that’s it, if I have to, I will use your children against you…”


Both of which made my most aggressive phone conversation today (“I don’t think you’re listening to me, I don’t want to transfer any funds anywhere”) seem positively playful  in comparison.


(My favourite ever overheard phonecall was on a bus on Oxford Street, when a guy answered his phone and said “Yep…no…no…NO!  NO!  That’s it: I’m closing the Bureau de Change!”)