Admit it: you love eavesdropping. And can you really even call it that if people are carrying on conversations in public about their hyperbolically active sex lives and you just happen to be in the same highly trafficked space that also happened to be designed with good acoustics? It’s not like you’re putting your ear to a keyhole; you’re just milling around one of the following locales when boom, suddenly you know why Girl With Artistically Ripped Tights is going to dump Boy With Ironic Trucker Hat tomorrow (and oh man, does he deserve it).
- Lower Dempsey and environs. The most obvious place for tuning in is the dining room itself, as it often strikes a good balance between empty-enough-to-hear but crowded-enough-to-provide-good-material. There are only so many times you can stomach being subjected to Scarily Similar-Looking Blond Couple’s arguments about the role of the government in population control, though. If you’re lucky, the brown couch behind yours will be taken by a pair of friends rehashing last night’s debauchery and only just now discovering that they accidentally made out with each other. For your sneakier auditory pleasure, try skulking around the hallway leading to the Pub—that ramp is like a whispering gallery! (…only without being elliptical. Shush, physics majors.)
- Olin atrium. Three words: cell phone convos. Everyone steps out here to chat long-distance; no one remembers that this wide open space is not, in fact, a wide open space.
- Outside the market. All those young’uns loitering on the bench, waiting for their 21-year-old connections to bring out the PBR, are full of good stories. And by “good” I mean “one-upmanship.” (And yes, the residents of Farr, whose open windows are just one story above you, can hear every word you say as you devour your fry pie right out of the door. Tell that all-nighter story again next time, okay? We liked the bit about falling asleep in Gund and dreaming about promising your axe to Frodo’s quest for justice.)
- The Mather and McBride breezeways. You’re just passing through on your way from Bexleys to Olin, but the die-hard picnic-tablers have been there for hours, chewing over life, the universe and everything. Linger long enough and you might just overhear the real story of the Caples ghost.
- The V.I. patio. An intermingling of students, professors and townies you may or may not have seen before, whose inhibitions have all been loosened by the bartenders. Epic road trip plans are made here; one-night-stand opportunities die here. (Are poli sci exam answers revealed here? Only a finely-tuned ear will tell.)