Just Me and Cheese, Tidbits from the Grocery Store

Writers are often advised to sit in malls or other public places and eavesdrop--you know, get a feel for what real people say, maybe even write some of it down.

Here's what I overheard at the grocery store:

Man: Just me and cheese, that is my desire. Me and cheese.

* * * * *

Man: C'mere! Look at all this yogurt! They have cherry, strawberry, banana--you can have any flavor you want.

Kid: I want this one.

Woman: No! You'll just waste money.

* * * * *

Kid: Mo-om! He scratched me.

Woman: What is the rule? What is the rule?

* * * * *

Woman: Horseradish and mayo . . . horseradish and mayo. [Okay, this one was me. I tend to recite my list out loud once I've relinquished my mind to the grocery store zone.]

* * * * *

Kid: Hey, Mommy--

Woman: I'm not buying that.

* * * * *

Man: We spent Thanksgiving at my mom's. She did the cookin' and I did the peelin' the potatoes.

* * * * *

Man: Paper or plastic?


Catherine J Gardner / Phoenix Rendell said...

I'll have to keep my ears open when I next go shopping...

Charles Gramlich said...

I've done this before. It's like a dozen story ideas in an hour. Harlan Ellison once wrote a story based on an overheard conversation on a plane. He thought he heard a women say: "oh, Jeffy is five. Jeffy is always five."

Edna said...

Very fun, Danette. I love the "just me and the cheese" comment. Hmm, makes me wonder if I've ever been eavesdropped on b/c I've been known to talk to myself... sometimes ;-)

Danette Haworth said...

Yes, so funny, especially the running theme by the mothers: NO!

You're right! Because I was making a deliberate attempt to capture soundbites, I was sort of in a haze, drifting from one story to another (and covertly, I hope, writing them down)

I know! "Me and cheese!" Ha!

Ello said...

Hey were you following me around? I'm not buying that is my favorite line at the store with my kids. And I like to ask them about the rules in public also. Sheesh, someone is stealing all my lines!

Gotta say I love eavesdropping on people's conversations. There are websites dedicated to this - have you checkd out overheard in new york and overheard at the office? Such a riot!

And love the Santa hat!

Danette Haworth said...

Thanks for the tip--I'll check out those webites. Glad you like my hat!

Danette Haworth said...

Ha! Your new avatar!

Mary Witzl said...

I like the hat too.

And I've got "You put that right back this instant" on instant play the minute I step into the supermarket with our kids. They love going shopping with their father, who tends to do "Yeah, okay" a lot more.

courtney said...

omg, this entry is awesome and the 'just me and the cheese' one is so perfect. It should be on a t-shirt!! I'd wear it. Or one that said WHAT IS THE RULE?

Church Lady said...


Thanks for the laugh!
I'm going to check out those websites Eato suggested.

Church Lady said...

You are so good and generous.

Church Lady said...

But no one else can get a hat.

No one.

(evil laughter)

WordWrangler said...

And if you'd been with me at the store today, you'd have heard:

Stop that!
Put your hands behind your back!
Don't touch it.
Where are your hands? They aren't supposed to be touching that!
Stop that!
Remember the rule?
NO touching the merchandise we aren't buying!!! ARRRGGHH!!!


p.s. thanks for checking out my blog, too!

plaidearthworm said...

Eavesdropping can be such fun, done strictly in the professional line of duty, of course.
Trouble is, if I don't write it down immediately, I forget. I overheard one side of a pretty juicy conversation one day while strolling through the store garden section; seems the lady was talking to her no-good, cheatin' boyfriend on the cell phone. All I can remember now is 'Well, why don't you go stay with her? Or is she old enough to have a place?'
BTW, will your next book be "Me and the Cheese"? Sounds like a great title!

Church Lady said...

Hi Danette,
I made Ted this week's Agent Hottie, if you'd like to stop by.


he's too cute.

Danette Haworth said...

Hi Church Lady,

You made an wise choice! Ted is a smart and caring agent.