Sound bites

Here are bits of conversations I overheard and things I saw while out dining and shopping; along with the things I wanted to say, but didn’t. 

at Chuy’s around 2:30 PM on 10/5/19: from a young woman sitting at the table behind me 

“I’m a Libra and I’m totally everything my sign says about me. It’s scary how accurate it is. Only I was born on the cusp, the 23rd. That means I share with another zodiac sign. Cancer. I don’t know anything about Cancer. I think I should read up on that.”

It took everything within my power not to turn around and correct the young woman who was part of a large group. Yes, I might have embarrassed her — but Libra is nestled between Virgo and Scorpio on the zodiac. So she does not have a birthday that’s on the cusp of Libra and Cancer. Cancer sits between Gemini and Leo. And yes, Libra Girl’s right. If she’s going to spout stuff as though it were fact, she should read and retain a little more first. Get your basic facts right, Libra Girl!


A woman making a commotion at a different table in the same crowded restaurant also got my attention.

I saw it as she pulled it out of her enchiladas and stared at it — a long strand of hair covered in chili. Gross. 

I winced. No, it wasn’t a string of melty cheese even though that’s what her waiter was hoping it was after she got his attention. He finally took the offensive plate of food away. The drama killed her appetite. Mine too; so I gave my second taco to David who was oblivious to what was happening. He was turned away from the action and was listening to his radio while eating, his earbud tucked discreetly in his right ear with the wire stretched all the way to his pants pocket where his handheld radio was hidden.

Except now I needed dessert — tres leches cake — which I ordered instead of a drink. I know…but we weren’t drinking during our late lunch because we had other errands to run afterward. So dessert was my only other choice, which I desperately needed after listening to Libra girl and watching hair-in-her-food woman. I wanted to say something snarky when ordering like “and hold the hair, please,” but I know better than to ever do anything that foolish. I’m glad the waiter was kind enough to bring dessert out hair free.


at Target around 4 PM on an aisle in the pharmacy section looking for Tagamet. 

“…and Ted Bundy kills women.”


That was the portion of conversation I overheard from the middle-aged woman talking on her phone as I passed by her on the aisle. Of course at that point, I wanted to stop and just listen. But that would have been rude and, obviously, it was none of my business; so I took my sweet time meandering close by and looking at stuff I didn’t need or want. Don’t ask me why, but I got the impression that this woman has a teddy bear named Ted Bundy. Wish I could verify this because serial killer Ted Bundy has been dead for over 30 years.

Of course, if I’d heard her say that Ted Bundy “killed,” I wouldn’t be so disturbed and mystified. Why’s she gotta use the present and plural tense of “kill” regarding Ted Bundy, though? WTF kind of teddy bear does this woman own? WTF kind of woman names her stuffed animal after a serial killer? Why does she even own a teddy bear? Also, how the hell does he kill women? So many questions and all of a sudden, I was too shy to ask any of them.

I passed by her again as I was leaving the pharmacy section, Tagamet in hand. She was in a deep, whispered conversation with a woman. They looked serious. I wanted to yell at this other woman, “Run! Run away before it’s too late! And for God’s sake, no matter what, don’t tell her she has an adorable teddy bear!”


It was an interesting day. I need to get out of the house more often. And a stiff drink when I get home.



PS ~ Music for Ted —

26 thoughts on “Sound bites”

  1. The hair in the food thing reminded me of the time my little sister came to visit from Colorado. A male friend of mine went with me to pick her up (because I don’t drive and Pup was working) and we went to IHOP for some late food, since it was basically the only thing open.

    We ordered our food and our drinks. My friend ordered hot chocolate. My little sister and I just got water. As my friend was drinking his hot chocolate, he got this strange look on his face. He set the cup down and then reached into his mouth and pulled out… something thin and floppy and vaguely circular. Too this day, we’re not quite sure what it was. It looked kind of like a big chunk off a slice of bologna.

    He sent it back. They offered to bring him a new hot chocolate, but he passed for obvious reasons. We never went back to that IHOP again and I have never ordered hot chocolate from ANY IHOP since.

    • Adie,
      Ew. That couldn’t have been pleasant. I love hot chocolate, too! Note to self — no hot chocolate from IHOP! Thanks, Adie! That was a very important PSA! Mona

    • Hey Suzanne,
      Thanks! Yep, there’s a lot of conversation/reaction going on in my head — all. the. time. ADHD brain. I’ve gone out a couple of more times since, and I’ve not heard or seen anything like I did that one day. I guess it was just one of those days when the fodder was abundant. Mona

  2. This stuff is found gold, lying all over the floor. Especially the zodiac sign lady, who is now going to read up on Cancer and form her entire self-perception around its precepts and how they affect Libra. I’ve been playing the original Sims (1999) for the sake of nostalgia, and you create their personalities based on their signs … it determines whether people are friends or not, whether they have happy marriages, even whether a mother likes her child. Taken a bit too seriously? LOL

  3. I was born on June 29th, which makes me a Gemini by trait, nestled between Aries and Sagittarius. Not really, I’m just a dichotomy who thinks rams and arrows are cool. The planets tried to make me crabby but it didn’t stick. 😉

    My puppies kill the ladies, too. Maybe that’s all she meant. 😁

    • Lille,
      We bought Ryan the Sims game a very long time ago, but it did nothing for him. Maybe our equipment was old. I dunno. I don’t remember the characters’ personalities being built around zodiac signs. Wow. I agree, Libra girl is going to have bright pink cheeks (all by her lonesome) when she discovers that she misinformed that group of people she was with. Ah well. Who hasn’t been there? ~ M

    • Tom,
      I think you’ve hit upon a truth. We are all born between Aries and Sagittarius. Or Sagittarius and Aries. Ha! Tom, your puppies may kill the ladies, but you slay me! Heeeheeehee! That’s such an old-fashioned turn of phrase.

      Did your Rams win this week? We had a by-week. ~ M

  4. Wow. Libra girl hasn’t even read the other horoscopes? She’s in for a surprise. Cancer is so going to be just like her, too!
    Actually I can’t make head or tail of horoscopes. They never fit me. I just googled “dumbest Zodiac sign” for fun, and came up with three very different, randomly ordered lists. I am proud that I am a Capricorn, which is a sea-goat, how awesome is that? Sea-goat!!! Haa. I like to imagine it swimming with its hooves, and its watery bleat.
    I don’t mind hairs, because I spend my whole life eating my own hair. I can’t really help it. Don gets very upset to find my hair in his food, and I tell him to deal. Hairs are fairly clean. Now, if I found a fingernail, or a foreskin, etc, that’s grounds for freaking out. I went to Bob Evans once and ordered a brisket sandwich, and found so many vascular TUBES in the meat, of such diameter, I wasn’t really able to eat it anymore. I’m not an anatomy expert but should brisket really have arteries?? I know it was silly because it’s all meat from a cow. But the sandwich was gross to begin with. The arteries were just the icing on the meat cake, so to speak.
    Perhaps that woman knows another man (or teddy bear) named Ted Bundy who kills women. Or maybe the conversation went something like, “Does a bear shit in the woods?” “And Ted Bundy kills women.” This is the only plausible conversational thread I can imagine.

    • Sarah,
      Foreskin? Fingernails? Vascular Tubes? Icing on the meat cake? Sarah, don’t eat that stuff! Also, hair? Just say no to all of it, my friend! You’re not iron deficient are you? So what was the dumbest zodiac sign? We should do one of those stories where everybody takes part on FB based on Ted Bundy the Teddy Bear, who is a Libra and finds a hair in his enchiladas at the restaurant and it makes him want to kill the woman whose hair is in his food. What do you think? ~ M

      • LOL! Why would he need to kill her? He already has her hair. But yes. I would partake in that story… sporadically… every four days when I have the mental fortitude to get on FB.
        Oh, I’d instantly forgotten. That’s the dumbness of my sign showing through! I looked it up again and found that Cancer is the second-dumbest, and Virgo is the dumbest. In another list, Virgo is in the middle and Cancer is the dumbest. I guess Cancer is the dumbest because, you know… it’s just a crab, you can’t expect too much.
        Apparently Cancer also commits the most crimes. I think people pick on Cancer too much. It’ll spread!
        I also found a scientific study of Nobel laureates by sign which determines that horoscopes have nothing to do with Nobel laureates. Thanks, science!

  5. As a fellow Libra, I can tell you this woman does not speak for all of us.
    Chili is best served with eyelashes… little known fact.
    And Ted Bundy kills women is likely referring to the Netflix series “Conversations with a Killer.” The rest of her sentiment was likely, “and, Ted Bundy kills women, confesses on tape, and doesn’t even look upset about it.”
    Anything else you would like me to solve?

    • Kristine,
      Well done! Just so you know, I have several family and friends who are Libras and know a good many more, and none of them reminded me of Libra Girl from the restaurant. I’ll have to remind myself to add in a liberal dose of eyelashes the next time we have chili pie at home. Lastly, I would agree with your Ted Bundy explanation, except the woman ended with “and Ted Bundy kills women.” I never heard the “confesses on tape” part and by then, trust me, I was listening. I’m still of the opinion that she was talking about her teddy bear. I could be wrong, though. I’ll let you know whenever I need something new solved, though. Thanks, Mona

  6. This reminds me of being at a restaurant with my mom as a kid. We constantly busted her for straining to hear nearby conversations. People are weird. The hair in the food happened to Coach at a mexican restaurant years ago. Totally grossed us all out.

  7. Ernie,
    The fact that people are weird is fascinating; which reminds me that as a writer and blogger, I reserve the right to use anything people say or do in my writing. Don’t you? 😉 Mona

    • Hey Bryan,
      Welcome to Wayward Sparkles! I agree 100 percent with you. If you didn’t live so far away, I’d suggest we get a nice group together and go out and people watch and then spend time writing about our observations both seen and heard. Can you hear an observation? I’m voting yes. 🙂 Mona

  8. I roll my eyes (surreptitiously) when my writing students say they “don’t know what to write about” or “have nothing interesting to write about.” Just eat out at a restaurant, shop at the pharmacy or large department store, stand in line at Starbucks or Dunkin Doughnuts. You’ll have enough to write about for a month.
    YOU, though, take the writing up to another level. Fun and funny (and hair in the food? G R O S S ).

    • Pamela,
      Awww! That’s mighty high praise! Thanks bunches. You have my permission to use any of my posts as an example in your classes if you wish — for what to do or for what not to do. You’ll probably find more of the what not to do variety. Congratulations on your interview, btw! I was watching it, but then I was called away. This evening, I’ll finish! Until next time, my friend ~ M 🙂

  9. You never know what you are going to hear when you walk among the zoo animals. Several years back, in our bar hoping days, my wife and I, and a friend of ours, would go to this one dive bar just to watch and listen to the characters go by. We would make up funny nicknames for them and create all kinds of stories. Don’t get me started on the adventures of Back Ho. It was hella fun!

    • Lee,
      To have been a fly on the wall…wait, would that have made me one of the zoo animals? I can only imagine the adventures of Back Ho. Sounds like y’all had loads of fun…as did Back Ho. 🙂 Mona

  10. What a fun post! You are like me in that I often notice what people are saying to each other or on the phone in public. People are fascinating aren’t they?

  11. Hey Rhonda,
    I see you survived Halloween! It’s weird because that particular afternoon, I was getting fodder left and right. Most of the time, I don’t hear or see much that’s worth writing about. So I thank the Almighty for that gift; especially the gift of the teddy bear situation. I wasn’t about to look Ted Bundy Teddy Bear in the mouth, though, by asking questions. You’re right, people truly are fascinating. 🙂 ~ M

    • QG,
      You’re probably right. As curious as I sometimes am, there wasn’t anyway I was going to ask. Shudder! 🙂 ~ M


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