Private parts in public areas: when over-sharing becomes entertaining

Despite my glamorous position as chief copy editor of The Oakland Post, I’m pretty much like the rest of you. I wake up every morning, put on relatively clean-ish clothes and try very hard to keep my eyes open during classes.

Like so many people who have become involved in campus life, I’ve taken to eating meals on campus. These meals are often accompanied by my favorite kind of entertainment: eavesdropping.

It’s not as if I set out to spy on my fellow Grizzlies. It’s just so many of you can’t seem to monitor the levels of your voices. Apparently some of you labor under the delusion that invisible walls surround every table and booth in the common areas.

Well, they don’t. But take solace, friends. You are far more entertaining than any television program.

A half-hour in any common area contains more entertainment, drama, suspense, intrigue and suspicion than a full week of network programming. You, my schoolmates, are my favorite network.

Just the other week I marveled at a confession of infidelity followed by an awkward shushing when the unaware significant other drew near. Would the guilty party be found out? Would there be a screaming match?

When that show ended in disappointment, I just changed the channel. On the other side of me were two students discussing the merits of their favorite pornographic websites. Just as I was about to start scribbling down URLs for scientific research, the discussion quickly took a left turn into “My Little Pony” territory. My interest simultaneously waned in the conversation and my sandwich.

But sometimes the best mystery is one where you don’t have all the answers. Sometimes you just want to absorb things in small doses. Here are some of the greatest hits I’ve received in passing, with absolutely no context:

“His girlfriend goes to a different college, so it’s not like she’ll find out.”

“You can’t catch it from doing that, can you?”

“All we need to do is find somebody with a lot of trunk space.”

“I think I accidentally said ‘happy birthday’ to the wrong girl.”

“Is there a way to delete something from Moodle before a professor sees it?”

“I’m pretty sure that tubby guy can hear us.”

By now many of you are most likely seething with paranoia. It’s all right. I have a solution: Just speak with a lower register in public areas, or wait until you’re in a private area to discuss private matters.

But as long as people continue to loudly and publicly discuss their personal business, there’s no need for expensive headphones. The best entertainment is always free.