Minutes: Overheard

September 15, 2009

posted & written by Caroline Picard


As I walked down Honore last night there was a woman eating ice cream. She walked with two others, a woman and a man. They also ate ice cream. The first woman, while scooping some of the ice cream from the disposable cup and into her mouth remarked: “Human milk is just much sweeter than cowmilk.”

Minutes (Reno)

August 7, 2009

posted by caroline picard


  • There are tools from the fifth dimension. These tools, glass rods of various lengths, colors and sizes resemble small donuts, little larger than a Sakgewea. The more expensive tools resemble phalic prisms. These tools can be placed in various combinations on the chakras of the body. They are said to regulate the vibrations of the body into a fifth dimension frequency, thereby infusing the body with healing and consciousness. WHERE THE TOOLS CAME FROM: an alien who looked like a man from the fifth dimension entered a church outside of Reno. He was very tall and bald and he had very large hands. He wore a business suit. He had a five o’clock shadow. He carried a briefcase inside of which he carried his tools. The minister, a stout woman in a pastel pants’ suit (she was prone to seeing color fields), begged him to the side and at the end of the sermon. And after further inquiry it was decided that they would go into business together. They opened a factory. They hired illegal immigrants from the casino parking lot and showed the workers how to make the tools. They conducted sermons before and after work and at the end of church on Sundays, the alien/giant/joe shmoe offers demonstrations about the tools and how they work. MOST COMMON QUESTION: What happened to the fourth dimension?
  • There is another church outside of Reno. Here another stout woman in another pastel pants suit conducts her sermons. The church is carpeted inside with drop ceilings and the windows are covered in yellow, see-through sheets of plastic. Inside, people sit on plastic folding chairs. At the end of the service, after the final hymn, the pastor disappears with three young children (the palbearers) into a back room. If you sit in the back, you will notice that one by one, people disappear into that room where they stay for up to half an hour. If you were to go inside, they would have you lie on a massage table covered in terri cloth towel. You would see the moon-faced children, sollemn, gazing down at you. You would remark upon the underside of their chins. The one above your head would hold your shoulders. The pastor would run a nail along side different parts of your body while chanting in a language you do not recognize. You would catch sight of blood out of the corner of your eye, though you would feel no pain. This would go on for several minutes and sometimes the pastor would break her chanting and pull the second child aside, to show you the bowl the child carried. “Look, this is your kidney,” she would say, lifting up an organ. “It was diseased do I took it out.” Afterwards the children would wash your body in warm water with more terricloth towels. They would leave you alone to dress yourself, you would re-enter the church, leave a donation and drive home.

Minutes (San Francisco)

July 31, 2009


  • On the bus, a man gave a woman his business card. With a completely straight face, he told her that he is a professional: “I can be very professional. My hair has turned grey, and I keep the top button of my shirts buttoned. I sit upright and blame the world’s ills on Trotskyites and mules. I have one tooth that is solid gold. I keep a thumbtack in my shoe in case I need to show emotion on a moment’s notice. I keep a handkerchief in my pocket in case I have to cavort with rabble/rousers. I have disposed of all my pairs of dungarees, and only wear linen.”

Minutes (San Francisco)

July 24, 2009

• Two 9th Grade girls sat on the bus, reading St. Exupery, each with a large box of cereal in their open backpacks. One was distracted, looked outside, and called to the other, who was sitting a few seats away. “Look, there’s Jade Café! Have you ever been to Jade Café?” “I’ve been the one in New York.” “Oh this makes me so happy. We should take a picture. We should take a picture of me in front of the café.” “We’re on the bus.” “But we should take a picture in front of my café.” “Your café?” “Yes, I’m Jade and this is my café.” Pantomiming. A long pause. “Can I offer you a baked potato!”

Minutes (San Francisco)

July 23, 2009



  • A couple was sitting on a bench at Golden Gate Park, possibly on a date, most likely on their first, when a broad winged hawk took notice. It jumped off its branch flew down in front of the couple and grabbed a small squirrel. The man turned to the lady and remarked that he thinks that that was the first time he saw nature happen.

(More minutes to come.)

Minutes (San Francisco)

July 21, 2009


• On the bus, towards the back, a young man with a beard exploded with sudden excitement. He pulled out his notebook—college-lined—and searched for a pen. Not finding one, he turned to the people next to him and pleaded for a pen. With pen in hand, the bearded boy started to write, quickly filling up 3 pages of his notebook. Upon completion, he went back through the piece slowly, ready to make editorial changes. The piece was a story—fiction likely—written in rage, or at least an annoyed tone. The main character was a man on a powder blue Vespa with a matching hat, and he was summarily described as “the gayest guy ever.” He “whizzed about town” on a “scooter that would have gotten him pummeled years ago” all the while thinking that “I am going to get so laid tonight.” All the plot turns were not apparent from the seat behind the writer, but it was apparent that Vespa guy thinks he’s better than the rest of us. As the boy went through the story looking for things to change, he only made one change. He changed the sentence “I am going to get so laid tonight” to “I am going to so get laid tonight.”

Minutes (San Francisco)

July 16, 2009



For quite a few years there has been a scholastic debate in Chicago concerning why the homeless don’t eat pigeons. On the one hand, many argue that it is a good source of free food that is relatively healthy. On the other hand, the naysayers argue that there is a delicate balance in society concerning the homeless, and that that balance would be disrupted irreparably by the sight of a homeless man snapping a birds neck or the constant sight of homeless with blood on their hands. In San Francisco, it seems that the question has become moot, because the homeless have begun (or continue) to eat pigeons:

  • On a relatively busy portion of Hayes Avenue, two wings with the meaty body surgically removed lay on the sidewalk (see image above). There were splashes of blood leading up to a sleeping bag hotel where a homeless man slept. It seems that he had had a wild night.