"Worked at a summer camp for a few years, I'm convinced kids don't realize you can hear them even when you're in the same room literally three feet away unless you're looking directly at them. Best conversation I ever heard was between two nine year olds. Kid 1: 'My brother is totally going through puberty and he's only eleven!' Kid 2: 'Lucky!' Kid 1: 'I know he even has armpit hair!' Kid 2: 'If I had armpit hair I'd shave it off and glue it on my face.' Kid 2: 'That's... that's... a great idea!' Me: ???" (Source).
"I woke up around midnight on Easter when I was about 6 to hopefully get a glimpse of the Easter Bunny. Only to hear my mom crying to my dad on the phone (divorced) to come get my brother and I because she has no money to get us any chocolate. She was hysterical. I went back to bed and pretended to be surprised when my dad was there is the morning to get us. He told us that the Easter Bunny got mixed up about what house we were going to be at" (Source).
"My brother and I sat on the back stairs and listened to my father holding a knife to my mother's throat. They had gotten into some kind of tiff at the dinner table. My mother threw her plate at my father; it bounced on the table in front of him and broke into shards, one of which cut him pretty badly on the arm and he was explaining to her, with a knife to her throat, that she was to never, ever disrespect him again. He then called all the kids downstairs and made her formerly apologize to us 'for being a terrible mother and wife.' I was about 13 when this happened. I'm 50 now. I live on the other side of the country from where I grew up. My father died not too long after that, maybe 8 years later. I went NC with my mother in 2000, shortly before I got married. She died in 2009. I did a LOT of work on myself after I got out of that house (left for college, never really returned except for 2 or 3 Christmases) -- lots of therapy. I bought a few therapists new cars, I'm sure. I made it out. I'm OK. My brother also sort of made it out. He's successful, and happily married. My sister... she's not doing well" (Source).
"First off, I wear hearing aids. When I was in elementary school, I had a mic that was on a necklace and my teacher would wear it. It transmits to my hearing aid! Anyways she was talking about her weekend out drinking and sleeping with strangers.. It was worst when she realized she left the mic on" (Source).
"I picked up the house phone to find a conversation already in progress. And that's how I learned my stepdad was having an affair with his brother's wife" (Source).
"While riding the train, I once listened to a guy talking on the phone who was embroiled in an elaborate revenge plot. I could only hear his side of the conversation, but he was clearly aggrieved by a former girlfriend and her family, who were collectively guilty of 'persecuting him' (this was as specific as he got). As the train plowed on, he revealed his plan to get revenge: Turns out he had a dirty video, which he planned to release on the internet. Then, to complete his revenge, he would move to California (it was unclear how this fit in; perhaps he feared retaliation). All he was waiting for was his next paycheck and the plan would be ready to execute. He kept circling back to the tape. After repeatedly describing the vile acts he'd performed on the poor girl, our hero abruptly requested the person on the phone make spaghetti and Texas toast for dinner and concluded the call with a cheery, 'Bye Mom!'" (Source).
"I was listening to two of my kindergarten students talk about Christmas the day before break. One asked, 'Do you believe in Santa?' The other replied, 'Yes, but he doesn't come to my house because I'm in foster care'" (Source).
"Once I got a ride in the casual commute lane with two women in a gold Mercedes. I sat in the back while they carried on with their conversation. They spent about ten minutes talking about a friend of theirs who was looking so great after she had lost a ton of weight. After a pause, one of them said, 'Too bad about the cancer' (Source).
"An old couple was arguing at the grocery store about whether or not they should buy X brand of cookies, even though Y brand was $0.50 cheaper. The man said if he had married 'Edith' instead of his wife, Edith would have let him get the nicer brand of cookies. His wife replied she could have married 'Xavier' and actually been wealthy and not living in a rat infested apartment." (Source).
"When I was 18, I went to a music festival called Warped Tour, which was punk music for kids who grew up in the suburbs. There were a bunch of tents with various vendors, and one of my friends decided it would be a good idea to buy a bowl (glass pipe for smoking pot). I didn't find out until later that when be bought it, he asked the guy working the tent if he had anything he could buy to go in it, and he got some weed from a total stranger. So anyway, he comes back to the group, we don't know the backstory of how he got this stuff, he just offers it to us and we all pass it around. I notice that it feels different, but I didn't smoke that often so I just kept my mouth shut. Then my friends said they wanted to see Flogging Molly on the main stage, but I wanted to see a Good Charlotte (this was 2001, and I'm not proud about it) that was playing at the same time, so I walked off by myself. About a minute later, as I'm walking, it starts to get weird. My ears start to ring, my vision goes white and what I am able to hear over the ringing starts skipping like a record in my head. After what feels like an hour but was probably 20 seconds, I realize I'm super messed up and there's no way I'm making it across the fairgrounds to the other stage, since basically I can't hear and I can't see. I start to freak out, and freeze in place for a few minutes, trying to figure out my next move. I knew that from where I'd started out about a minute ago, the EMT medical tent was right next to where we were, so I slowly, from memory, make my way back there, but being effectively blind and deaf upped the difficulty of this 100 foot journey. I eventually made it, and start yelling for their attention from the doorway of the tent (later I found out there wasn't anything blocking my path and I could have just walked in, and also my mouth was moving but no sound was coming out). They notice me, realize I'm messed up, take a bunch of vitals, and decide that I need to go to the hospital. My hearing starts to come back, and I try to tell them that I don't want to go, but the dude yells at me and says my blood pressure is so low that if I fall asleep I won't wake up, and I stop protesting. Plus my voice was still not working, so the protesting wasn't exactly very effective. They load me in the ambulance on a stretcher, and my hearing starts to fully return, but it's replaced by complete immobility, so I'm just laying there waiting to go to the hospital. It feels like I'm waiting in the back of this ambulance for a while, when finally an EMT walks by the open doors, and I hear him say to another EMT that they're waiting on a kid who just came from the pit, and HIS EYE WAS HANGING OUT OF ITS SOCKET. They both, medical professionals, start discussing how crazy of an injury it was, how he must have gotten hit in just the exact right way to cause the eye to pop out and then they start speculating about how that's even possible, and talking about how it's the craziest thing he's ever seen. He starts telling the other dude that the kid is literally holding his eye with his hand and the most important thing is to keep him calm and talking so he doesn't have time to process how bad this is. After a few more minutes, I hear them load the kid in next to me, and he and the EMT are just chatting. I want nothing more in the world than to turn my head and see this once in a lifetime thing of a kid whose eye is HANGING OUT OF HIS FACE, but I'm completely immobile at this point and can't turn my head. So I listen to their conversation, since there's nothing else I can do. After a few seconds, the kid notices that I'm just laying there, and he says 'Hey, what's wrong with her?' And the EMT replies 'We're not sure exactly what, but she took some bad drugs.' Then this kid, whose eye is literally dangling out of his face and he's holding it. IN HIS HAND, says 'Damn. She's messed up'" (Source).
"So this guy boards a bus in Mexico City and overhears a pregnant lady talking to a friend. Apparently the girl had a boyfriend named Roberto. She had cheated on him several times, and the baby was actually his brother's. The baby was conceived four months before a quinceanera party, and the brother had refused to recognize the baby as his own. Since they shared the same gene pool, the girl had decided to marry Roberto without telling him the truth. So the guy who was eavesdropping reaches his stop and leaves the bus. He then posted a Facebook status with the whole details and asking people to reach out to any Roberto who fit the story. The post became viral within hours even spawning a hashtag stating 'we all are Roberto.' After two days a guy comes out and claims to be Roberto and says he would not marry the pregnant girl and that he had punched his brother" (Source).
"'I've been bitten in the nuts by two separate Scottish terriers...' I've never wanted to chase someone down the street and ask to hear the rest of the story so bad in my life" (Source).
"Once overheard a few people talking about kidnapping at my work. They were talking about doing it. I work in a restaurant in Brazil and they were 4 guys talking about kidnapping someone. They were dead serious. I overheard them though a thin wall. Worst part? They were cops. They still come to eat here from time to time and are notoriously dirty. One of them has a half million dollar car while getting less than 2k a month. I never did anything about it. Who would I call? The other dirty cops?" (Source).
"Not the most messed up thing, but it gave me a chuckle while sitting in a mall bathroom. Brief summary of what I overhead two kids (late teens) saying in the men's room. 'Oh, trans like men being women and stuff. I thought you was talking about translucent people. Invisible man kind of thing.' 'Naw dude, men becoming women.' 'So... like dressing like them?' 'No, actually becoming a man or woman.' 'Chicks becoming dudes too? How does that happen? Not just wearing different clothes?' The second kid then explains, in the vulgar/innocent way only a kid can, the process. 'What? They can do that but they still can't hack the iPhone?' I gotta agree with kid #1 on that" (Source).
"There were three middle-aged guys sitting at a table beside me in a cafe. This was in Hong Kong, and these men were Asian but not local. Two of the men were trying to persuade the last into having getting with a call girl. The reason they had to persuade him was because he didn't want to cheat on his wife. So they kept saying, 'She wouldn't know... You're on a holiday! She wouldn't know, and we'll keep it a secret! Come on, we'll pay for one for you.' Those jerks. I don't even know what he was doing with those two knuckleheads" (Source).
"'I only had her so I didn't have to go to work.' -My mother about my younger sister. Turns out that as I got old enough to need less supervision, my mother realized that she'd suddenly be expected to actually make financial contributions like a normal person. That clearly wasn't for her, so 'accidentally' got pregnant again. Took me a long time to realize what I'd actually heard. And sadly, she wasn't a good mom. She was physically and mentally abusive to both my younger sister and I, and generally not a good example of a human being. This moment was when I realized she wasn't in it for the family but for herself. We no longer speak and a decade after making that decision I'm still glad of it" (Source).
"When the police showed up at my door to tell me that my upstairs neighbor was dead and I overheard the EMTs say, 'We're going to have to double bag him.' Then I heard my neighbor's double-bagged body being dragged down the narrow staircase because a stretcher wouldn't fit. (thump... thump... thump...)" (Source).
"I was photographer at a wedding and while the bride was getting ready I heard two bridesmaids (mid 20's) talking. One told the other about how she had recently found out that beans (as in the baked variety), were not bits of potato as she had always thought. They're beans!" (Source).
"About 11 years ago, at high school, one of my friend's found her father in the backyard - he had hung himself. They were a really nice family and he was a great guy too. But his wife had an affair with her personal trainer and (probably) he knew. And if I recall correctly, they had some financial issues as well. It was a shock for everyone. We were in the middle of a class when we discovered it. We gathered ourselves in at the school's coordinator's office and after some discussion, he let us leave early to support our friend. She was in shock, complete disbelief. Wasn't even crying. The funeral was arranged for the next day. His family flew from another state to say their last goodbye. It was scheduled at 3:00 PM and after the priest's speech, they started burying him. And the widow starts to cry really hard. Then I overheard one of his relatives (probably his sister): 'What the heck does she think she's doing? She killed him. Oh my God, I hate her so much'" (Source).
"I (m) was traveling with a friend (f) through Honduras, and in the hostel we were staying at we met this cool Aussie lesbian. One morning they were chatting right next to me as I woke up but didn't immediately get up and start talking. I realized they were talking about me. My friend (who I had known for a few years, and had a friends with benefits thing with in the past) was telling her that she thought I was transgender (I'm not). It was really strange to hear someone tell an almost complete stranger her opinions about my own personal gender identity" (Source).
"I was upstairs in the church organ loft looking through music on a quiet weekday. Downstairs I heard a conversation going on, so I peered over the loft railing and saw the pastor sitting in a pew, talking with a young female. She was telling him that she was strongly attracted to the church's Deacon (a single guy, early 30s) and wanted to know if he would introduce them. I could tell that the pastor got flustered because he had eyes on the Deacon to become a priest, not to date women. For her part, the girl told the priest that she wanted to save the deacon from a 'boring life of celibacy'" (Source).