Written by Anne Edmonds


Eavesdropping: At the Airport

Anne Edmonds spends her time lurking in cafes, airports, libraries, public spas (bit weird) listening for that magical drop from the eave – a few overheard words that tell you everything. These are the stories of the people you pass everyday in the street. Honest

Illustration by Laura Swaddle

Sydney Airport, Sunday 18 August, 2.45pm

“Oh god, do I have to take the iPhone out of here? Do you know, David?” says a 60-something-year-old woman bent over her backpack in the airport security queue at Sydney Airport.

Her husband, wearing a sun hat, even though it’d been raining for days in Sydney, doesn’t respond.

“David! Are you listening to me?” she says standing back up so she can get right in his face. “I don’t know,” he replies, “just take it out, in case.”

“They want to get some signs up around here that tell you,” the woman says loudly so the security staff can hear.

They’re both wearing bush walking gear but there’s no evidence of bush or walking. That’s just how they dress these days. A sensible hiking shoe, ironed khaki pant and puffer vest with shirt underneath. It’s the same outfit they wear when they drive down to the park with the dogs.

Oh the dogs, she thinks. Can’t wait to see the dogs. They’ll be wanting me. “We just need our routine back,” she says to David who’s staring off into the distance again.

They’ve only been away for three days. They were visiting their daughter, Belinda and her new baby, but no one seemed to want them there.

Belinda’s husband Ryan was particularly hostile, disagreeing with everything they said until there was just silence and tension in the house.

Belinda kept saying: “Ryan’s transitioning into fatherhood” and asking them if they had any plans while they were in Sydney.

“Plans?” she replied, “We’re here to see our granddaughter”.

And then there was the incident. David had escaped on the Saturday, dredging up an old friend from university to spend the day drinking at the football.

Day turned to night and still he hadn’t returned, so they all went to bed. The following morning his pants were found by Belinda just inside the front door, dropped and then stepped out of, underpants still sitting inside the gusset, white crotch facing up.

David was then found in an armchair in the living room, passed out and pant-less. It was inexplicable. Belinda had started crying and Ryan had stormed out thankfully not returning before Belinda took them off to the airport, four hours before their flight was actually due to leave.

As she watched David take a dirty hanky out of his pocket and place it in a tray to send through the security scanner, she snapped. “David! For God’s sake, get that out of there. It doesn’t need it’s own tray. That’s revolting. No one wants to see that filthy thing. It’s absolutely revolting!”

  • googleplus
  • linkedin
  • rss
  • pinterest

Written by Anne Edmonds

Anne Edmonds is one of Australian's most exciting new stand up, character and banjo-playing comedians.