Friday, September 12, 2014

Leopards and Hippos

Yesterday morning as I went to work, two boys sat down in the seat across the aisle from me on the bus. They looked about 12 years old, had proper British accents, and were clearly on their way to school. During the five minutes we rode together, they had the most hilariously wide-ranging conversation.

When they got on, they were talking about Nazis, and how some had fled to Argentina after World War II. They debated where Hitler was when he and Eva Braun killed themselves -- one said Berlin, the other argued for Poland. (Answer: Berlin.)

"I could never kill myself," one said.

They then proceeded to discuss the worst way to die. One decided the electric chair had to be pretty bad, and described in great detail the employment of the wet sponge that helps deliver the electric current to the chair's occupant. (This led to a digression into the plot of the movie "The Green Mile.") The other argued that being mauled by an animal would be worse. And of the big cats, being mauled by a leopard would be worse than a tiger or lion, he said.

"Tigers and lions go for the neck, but leopards go right for the brain. They have special teeth that can go right through your head," he said.

Then they debated whether or not it was possible to drown a hippo. One said yes, of course, but the other argued that hippos can hold their breath so long, it would be impossible to drown it before it killed you.

And then, much to my chagrin, I had to get off the bus.

(Photo: A sunny evening in Kilburn, last week.)


  1. I'll happily turn the keys of my car over to you, and then you can shepherd my boys around all day while listening to much the same sort of conversation. Honestly, it's awesome but also utterly mind-boggling, too.

  2. "And then, much to my chagrin, I had to get off the bus."
    I loved that post. Thanks.
    (Eavesdropping is one of my favorite things to do in the world.)

  3. 12 year old boys become 22 year old boys and not much changes!

  4. That was way more exciting than the conversation between two men that I overheard last night at dinner. It was all about politics and legal briefs and depositions. The only interesting thing I heard the one guy say was that his two daughters were both pregnant and that he and the woman he lives with are not married.


    Also, if you're forced to listen in on conversations (happens to me all the time on the Metro) at least it should be as interesting as this one!

  6. Oh man, young boys are the BEST! I remember driving the kids around , I never had to talk and was entertained thoroughly. LOVE this delightful post!! And YES " BOYHOOD" the movie will be seen agin this afternoon, I can not seem to get enough of it. LOVE!