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This is a question Overheard secrets

When I was a barman, I stood by polishing a glass as a couple had a hushed argument two feet away about what they were going to do now she was pregnant. The bloke promised to leave his wife, but subsequent hushed arguments revealed that he did not. What have you overheard?

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(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 13:36)
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Phone tap!
My brother and I used to share a fantastically shoddy ghetto-blaster – a big grey square thing with buttons like sharp piano keys and speakers the size of dinner plates. It was seemingly fuelled by tape, for which it had a voracious appetite, but it brought the delights of Ray Parker Jnr into our bedrooms, and for that we forgave it anything.

One bored evening, around 6pm, I was twiddling about with its radio tuner trying to find, I dunno, whatever 12 year olds try to find. Poptastic trilling by long-arsed permed women. As I switched between bands and spun the dial, a single captivating phrase popped out of the garbled static:
“zzswwfutuzuwutufwiiittzzzuzuoouououuoFUCKING BASTARDzzswwfutuzuwutufwiiittzzzuzuoouououuo”

I heard it. My brother heard it. We stared at each other. This was pre-watershed, and someone was saying ‘fucking bastard’ on the radio! I slowly moved the tuner back as precisely as I could until it came to rest on 800 medium wave. Twenty years later and I still remember it. This frequency changed my life.

In our house we had a now-common device that we youngsters at the time considered the height of communications technology – a cordless phone. And it turned out that the handset broadcast to the base station on 800 MW.

We listened to what we slowly realised was a conversation between my mum and her sister. “Why’s mum on the radio?” I gormlessly asked my brother. “She’s not you div, she’s on the phone! This is the phone!”
Silently, guiltily, we listened for ten minutes to their banal chatter. It was inoffensive except for a couple more ‘bloodys’ and a handful of ‘pillocks’. We switched it off, bored but tense. The knowledge was there now. My brother and I eyed one another suspiciously. Both of us were on the cusp of adolescence. He was starting to arrange dates with girls, hang out with people and smoke. I was … well, I wanted to do all that shit too. But the game had changed now, and we knew that we could never again safely use this phone.

There followed five wretched years of stolen moments to organise our burgeoning social lives, our love lives; moments when we knew the other wasn’t around. “Hi, yeah, fancy meeting up tonight, 8’o clock, brilliant, can’t talk, bye.” But the blunders … there were so many blunders. Most significantly, like the time my brother triumphantly steamed down the stairs waving a C-90 cassette tape in in the air, after I’d just hung up on the first ever girl I’d told I loved. He insisted on playing it repeatedly to me and my friends, roaring with laughter, and consolidating the widely-held view that I was a sappy smitten prick and very possibly a bummer.


“I … er … well … ummm …. y’know I er … i wrote you a poem about flowers growing in the, er, in the sun … it’s like a, er, a metaphor for *gulp* how much I love you. I love you by the way.”


(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 15:00, 13 replies)
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 15:44, closed)
Believe me, it wasn't at the time.

(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 15:49, closed)
1611kHz as well
...so I heard at the time
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 15:51, closed)
Was that like a universal thing?
Or was it specific to certain brands? Ours was a BT model if I remember rightly.
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 16:02, closed)

(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 16:17, closed)
Hahaha! Great.
Being a cunt like only a brother can.
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 16:32, closed)
I find it impossible to dislike him for these torments he inflicted on me though. Even at the time we never fell out.
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 16:47, closed)

Flowers, sun and love. You stud!
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 18:09, closed)
Truly amazing!
Clickedy click click :)
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 19:05, closed)
He had a point, though:
liking a girl is clear evidence of you being a massive gay.
(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 19:52, closed)

(, Thu 25 Aug 2011, 20:09, closed)
I suspect that this story is untrue.
There is no watershed on the radio.
(, Sat 27 Aug 2011, 17:11, closed)
The Chris Moyles Breakfast Show would benefit from a few guiltless curses
rather than the awkward 'Heeeeey, woah, eeeeeeee!' that follows a guest saying anything stronger than 'crap'. Incidentally, 9pm was the watershed for everything to me. It was when I slept, and adults fucked, swore, fought and shat.
(, Mon 29 Aug 2011, 17:39, closed)

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