Tuesday, August 1, 2006

At OverheardAtTheBeach.com, eavesdropping gets its day in the sun.

The Web site is a summer special from the Overheard series, which began with OverheardInNewYork.com. That site caught snippets of the gabbing of passers-by on the streets of the Big Apple and was followed by OverheardInTheOffice, an offshoot that brought water-cooler chitchat into the conversation.

Each of the three sites takes submitted quotes from anyone who cares to make the effort. If your quote passes muster — and as long as you weren’t part of the conversation in question — it will pop up soon on the Web site.

Recently overheard on a Long Island beach was a woman who yelled to her husband, “Murray, Cover up. Your business is hanging out of your bathing suit.”

The husband replied, nonplused, “That business closed down years ago.”

Another interaction, overheard on Georgia’s Tybee Island, began with a father asking his little girl: “What grows in the marsh, baby?”

Little girl: “Marshmallows?”

Father, turning to mother: “You want her to go to what college?”

OverheardAtTheBeach and its brethren are in this way a compendium of the absurdities of conversation — snapshots of reality comedy, sometimes perceived only by an outsider.

So, next time you’re sunning on the beach, that guy with a metal detector might be fishing for more than coins.

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