There’s no point denying it: the commute into London is one of our least favourite things about working in the city. It’s all stifling hot trains, manspreaders, unnecessary delays, contact with the sweaty armpits of strangers, being judged for eating a sandwich (in public – the ultimate waking nightmare, apparently), and loaded ‘tuts’ whenever we dare to apply our make-up/answer our phone/breathe.
There is, however, one huge plus to all of this: it puts us in a prime position to eavesdrop on the weird, wonderful and positively outrageous conversations of our fellow Londoners.
And now, at long last, some genius has dedicated an entire Instagram account to them all.
Overheard London is a digital archive of random conversational snippets heard across the city – all of which are every bit as salacious, strange and snigger-worthy as you’d hope.
It’s every bit as good as eavesdropping in real life, with one added bonus: you don’t have to fight down your giggles, and it’s even easier to share the tidbits with others.
You can expect jokes about moving north of the river…
Plenty of dating mishaps…
Awkward attempts at small talk…
Train driver banter…
Casual mockery of tourists (particularly American ones):
And, y’know, just a lot of conversation snippets that perfectly sum up the uniqueness of the bona-fide Londoner…
The account is the brainchild of Angelenos Jesse Margolis, who started up sister account Overheard LA after he encountered two women in a health food store “having this long, rambling conversation that led from egg freezing to put bills.”
“I wrote it down and posted it,” he told the New York Times. “Instead of the usual 12 likes, it got 30, and a screenwriter friend of mine said, ‘You have to do a page!’”
Overheard LA now has 281,000 followers and an East Coast spin-off, @overheardNewYork – and it seems as if Overheard London is going to be every bit as popular, with 68,000 followers to date and counting.
And, in case you’re wondering, Margolis and his team do everything within their power to weed out fake submissions.
“I will always ask someone once or twice, ‘Is this real? Is this a friend or a stranger?’” he said. “I’m sure there are people who are drunk or goofing around and just want to get on there to get a laugh from their friends, and we certainly try to vet that out.”
However, admitting that there are more important things than honesty, Margolis added: “But, if it’s a genuine piece of gold that represents something funny about the city, I think that is more important than trying to be overly serious or journalistic.
“It’s an Instagram account, not a news source.”
And what an Instagram account it is *follows immediately*.