Watch What You Say…

I suppose these days, what with people sitting around in restaurants and wandering through stores talking loudly on their cell phones about Aunt Geraldine’s latest visit to the gynecologist or Cousin Sam’s messy divorce, people probably just tune out everyone else when in a public place.  Except me, I have a hard time ignoring loud talk and find it quite rude to be exposing everyone within 50 feet of you to the intimate details of your life.

However, I too was caught up in a similar situation once.  It was long ago, I was collaborating with a woman named Ann on a murder mystery novel.  This one day it turned out to be more convenient for us to meet at a restaurant for lunch and discussion of our progress.

It was getting noisy, as the place filled up and we found ourselves having to talk louder to hear while we discussed various plot twists and character attributes.  One particularly tricky bit finally flashed into inspirational focus for Ann and in her excitement she fairly shouted, “…and we could have the gardener kill Mr. Murdle and throw the body down the old well!”

We noticed immediately that the place was unusually quiet.  Looking around, all eyes were glued to us in shocked amazement.  Some were thinking about calling the police: we could see it in their eyes.

“It’s OK; we’re writers,” I explained, “we’re working on a book.”

Most of them gave us an “Oooohhh, I see” sort of look and went back to their meals.  A few, however, kept casting sidelong glances at us and seemed to be trying to listen in.

That was the only time we met at a restaurant to discuss our work!

18 thoughts on “Watch What You Say…”

  1. Funny story. I’d be giving you two strange looks too, but then as a writer, I’d probably assume you wouldn’t be so barefaced as to be discussing a murder in public.

  2. lol Great story. My crit group regularly meets at a Starbucks inside a B&N. I’ve never paid much attention to those around us, but I will next meeting. 🙂

    1. I should think in that venue (inside a bookstore) people discussing books, characters and plots would be fairly common. Ann and I were in the equivalent of an Applebys in an age when novelists were far less common than they are today. Had we kept the discussion low key no one would have noticed, but Ann could get loud when excited, and her apparent glee over throwing a corpse down a well just added to the moment.

  3. That was really comical. =) I can imagine those people throwing suspicious look on both of you. But then I again, if I were Ann, with those bright ideas suddenly popping into my head, I would probably burst out with excitement just like what she did.

  4. That’s very funny experience Allan! Haven’t been in that situation. Though I have talked with someone in a noisy place, others could not really hear us because it’s too noisy. What happened in your case is that suddenly it became quiet 🙂

  5. I think I’d be as worried about the glee in her voice as the content if I’d overheard that! Funny tale. 🙂

    1. Yes, Val, she worried me that way too; she really enjoyed dreaming up creative ways to murder people.

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