Professor (after several failed attempts): Well, looks like the overhead projector is officially not working.
Student: Do you want me to check with the auditorium next door and see if we can borrow theirs?
Professor: No, because they were just here a while ago, wanting to borrow this one.
Student, maliciously: …Do you want me to go tell them that they can have this one, then?
– Faculty of Humanities, Copenhagen University
Five-year-old boy pointing to drawing of dog, excitedly: …And this is Schubert!!
– Charlottenlund Fort Restaurant, Charlottenlund
Dad to misbehaving four-year-old son: Loke*, you just stop it now, all right!?
– Flea market, Vig
/overheard by anna
*Loke was the god of mischief in the Norse Mythology.
I love working at the University Radio, and not just because the work is rewarding. What makes it so great is just as well the incredible editorial staff that are my co-workers, and the good times we spend together. Because they are delightful people and their presence, being students of Danish Literature or Comparative Literature like me, allows for such wonderfully nerdy and humourous conversations and exchanges, the likes of which I have yet to find anywhere.
Someone really ought to overhear these conversations and post them online, overheardinnewyork-style, but since most of our hanging-out takes place at our regular pub, and since our regular pub is this very classy place, the majority of our conversation is lost upon drunkenly deaf ears, amidst loud jazz music, thick cigar smoke, and shout-outs at bartenders to bring down more beer.
Therefore, I have taken it upon my shoulders to write down and share with you a couple of my favourite exchanges, all derived from rendez-vous with my fellow editorial staff-members. Enjoy! I have resisted to share the names of my co-workers’ name out of respect for their privacy.
Me: Well, my surname is rather uncommon, and it wouldn’t go well with another uncommon surname, I think.
Editorial Staff Guy #1: Right. So you’d better find yourself a husband with a really common surname then, huh? Man, that would be a cool criteria for choosing a life-parther…
Me: Yeah. Like romantic dada-ism.
Editorial Staff Guy #1: Totally.
Me: Where does your girlfriend live?
Editorial Staff Guy #2: Oh, she lives near Svanemøllen, you know that cosy Musician’s Quarter? She lives right next to that quarter. Where it’s really un-cosy.
Me: Yeah. Where everyone is always miserable. And no one is allowed to play any music there.
Editorial Staff Guy #2: Right! What they do there, is that they count things. It’s the Counting Quarter. Like: “…780, 781, 782” “What are you counting?” “…Dammit!!! …1, 2, 3, 4…”
Me: …and there she finds Bluebeard’s ex-wives hanging, all dead, and there’s blood all over the floor.
Editorial Staff Girl: God, that is so creepy! But what were there in the other six rooms then?
Me: I don’t know, actually.
Editorial Staff Girl: I bet there was cake in one of them. A whole room. With nothing but cake.
Editorial Staff Girl: And then there was one with nothing but faux velvet.
Me: Ugh! *winces*
Editorial Staff Girl: Yes. That was when she should have known not to go any further.
And now, because I really don’t care as much about the privacy of my co-workers as I let on, here’s the most recent picture of the editorial staff, (that’s me with the fringe in the front row, looking selfconscious and oddly greasy-skinned). We’ve got that cosy, messy, camp-school look to us, I think, which seems very appropriate somehow.
Girl #1: Yeah, I agree, names with the letter A in them are really pretty. Like ‘Amanda’.
Girl #2: Yeah, and you know, I’m so lucky, ’cause I’ve got three A’s in my name. Ka-tha-ri-na!
Girl #1: Wow, that’s strange – I always thought you spelled your name ‘Ka-the-rina’.
Girl #2: …Oh my God, you’re right!
– Holte, North of Copenhagen
“And over here you see a fresco showing Christ at this one time when He was standing around naked with a naked woman and a snake in a garden.”
High School teacher: And here you see the crucifixion of Christ.
Student: Um… Actually, I think that would be St. Peter. ‘Cause he’s hanging head down? That’s how St. Peter got crucified according to legends. Plus, his hair is gray. Christ only lived to be 30.
High school teacher: …no, I think this is Christ. I think this is just a painting showing Christ on the cross right before they turned Him around.
– Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence
/marie (who, remembering this, really doesn’t miss being in high school…)
Adjunct professor teaching a class: The young knights-in-training were called juvenis miles, and they were infamous for their reckless behaviour. Because of their being in training, they were caught in a kind of frustrating limbo where they were unable to make any real fortune for themselves, and they weren’t allowed to marry either, and thus there were many cases of rape and plundering on their part. I like to compare them to adjuncts, actually, who aspire to become professors. Except we adjunct professors don’t rape and plunder. Well, not much anyway.
– University of Copenhagen
Journalist in front of a greengrocer’s shop in Nørrebro, Copenhagen during one of the recent demonstrations:
“Why haven’t you taken your wares into the shop to protect them from the rioters like all your neighbours?”
Middle Eastern immigrant greengrocer:
“Well, where I come from they throw bombs not cobblestones, so I figure it’s not that bad.
And a demonstrator threw one of my apples at the police and I said “Hey – don’t you steal my apples”, and then he paid me…”
Overheard on the News
5-year-old boy: Mommy, I want those chocolates!
7-year-old older brother: Uh-oh, Oliver. You cursed!
5-year-old boy: Did not!
7-year-old older brother: Did too! You said “I want!”
– Netto Supermarket, Nordre Frihanvs Gade, Copenhagen
4-year-old girl looking enraptured at terrible Barbie magazine: “This is my completely [sic!] favourite magazine!”
Mother, laconically: “Really..?”
*Then pays at the counter*
Overheard in the supermarket by