I sometimes run interviews in this blog. I often quote people direct. That is because (with their knowledge) I record their conversations on my iPhone. But I always ‘clean up’ what is said. I take out the ums and errs and ahs and sometimes re-order subjects so people speak in something approaching sentences and so the conversation progresses logically.
After school, I was offered a place to study Philosophy at Bristol University but instead, a year later, I did Communication Studies at what was then the Regent Street Polytechnic in London. The radio, TV and journalism course included psychology and sociology.
When I was there, one exercise we had to do was go into a room with two other people and record a conversation we had – any conversation – then transcribe it onto paper word-for-word with no changes. This was to show us the erratic and non-linear way people actually talk as opposed to the logical, linear way we think people speak in conversations.
What follows is a fairly random piece of conversation I recorded recently (with the people’s knowledge) while getting something for my blog. I have not edited what was said. There were three people involved, but I have not identified which person is saying what.
– That’s a big one!
– A large alien spacecraft just came out of my arse. Fucking hell!
– Ducks have to learn how to lay eggs?
– I’m not saying that! You could use that against me.
– Laying an egg is surely the most natural thing in the world.
– But not… But only if they’re living in an environment which is natural for them. If they’re living around humans… It’s like the same as like…
– It’s like saying A woman doesn’t know how to have a baby. It just pops out.
– But, if a woman grows up around lions, she’s not going to know how to have a baby, because she’s going to be brought up in a different… I think her body was just sorting itself out, because sometimes she would lay really weird, wonky eggs and sometimes eggs with no shell.
– Well, it’s only then… The way you have to remember it is it’s only then – unless I got all my female physiognomy mixed up – It would only be them going through a monthly cycle. So they create the egg, don’t they…
– But, if she’s just starting her monthly cycle, it’s going to be a bit touch-and-go, isn’t it… Her body just…
– It’s a beautiful image, your duck walking along the road and Ooh, I got a bit of a sore tummy. Oh, I got a bit of a sore tummy. Oh oooh! Oooooh! Blimey, I’ve just… a big alien spacecraft,’s coming out of my arse! What the hell is that, man!
– How big was the garden?
– It was an acre. It was a big garden.
– I want to get back to laying eggs. It just comes out, surely.
– No. When they learn to sit down…
– What do you mean No? It does.
– No it doesn’t. Has to be fertilised…
– They lay unfertilised eggs all the time, don’t they?
– Well, precisely, yes. That’s what you’re saying, you know.
– Well, she can’t decide I’m going to have a fertilised egg.
– No, I’m not suggesting that. I’m…
– It’s the same with anything. You just go from being to being an adult to doing all the things on your own. Babies have to be looked after until they learn to do things on their own.
– I’m going mad. An elephant’s got feathers on the back.
– One of those fake moustaches.
– What happens when they don’t know how to lay the egg properly? What do they do?
– They come out wonky, they come out…
– In what way?
– They come out with no shell, they come out with half a shell…
– What’s wonky? An egg is an egg.
– Like wonky.
– In what way? An egg is an egg.
– Like a kidney bean. Large…
– How do you know they’re not laying kidney beans? An egg is an egg.
– You’re taking it all too literally.
– Yeah. It’s a woman’s monthly cycle. They’re going to do it whatever.
– Right, are we going to go feed that cat?