If you think about it, some of the most interesting conversations you have had have probably occurred in the oddest of places.
For instance ladies, remember that hunky guy with the long hair you chatted to at that rock concert in 1975?
He may be sitting across the table from you right now.
Over time his hair may have disappeared inwards and now be trying to reach the outside world via his nostrils but this shouldn't detract from the fact that at some time you were all giggly talking to this God-like creature in the queue for the Portaloo.
Myself and others of a similar profession thrive on such occurrences. Possibly because our "journalistic instincts" (read: nosy) seem to direct us to such situations and possibly because we like a laugh and people are funny.
For example: Last week I walk into a local fast food outlet and join the group of people all staring at the menu high on the wall above the counter.
I'm sure you know what I mean. A million ankle-high aliens could be scampering around at our feet, stealing our shoelaces and we wouldn't see them. We are all staring up at the board.
This is an occasion where nobody knows anybody else so the conversation is emanating only from those behind the counter.
It is "kitchen speak" and comes in a variety of languages we don't understand and which basically reflect the rich diversity of our population.
It is entirely possible comment is being made about the dimensions of customer A or whether Chris and Rachel will get back together on Shorty. But we just assume they are talking about food preparation. I mean it must be. That's all we talk about in the kitchen, isn't it?
So I'm standing there with maybe four or five people. All looking up at the board when a number is called and a quiet, ordinary bloke comes forward. Takes his order, thanks the counter staff and heads off.
It was Cliff Curtis. Local boy turned Hollywood actor. In for a bit of takeout before the next blockbuster, I assume.
Obviously someone behind the counter knew who he was and the kitchen speak reached fever pitch as Cliff disappeared into the night. It took a while for the talk to reach the front counter and, when it did, the message delivered to the main man on the front counter was obviously not exactly how it had started out.
(Without wishing to appear unkind but anxious to create the right mood for this story, you need to imagine the accent of a Russian border guard for this bit.)
Looking somewhat surprised, Head Honcho looked straight at me and said: "Excuse me, please. You are famous movie star?"
Simple mistake, I thought. Obviously there are some strong similarities between me and Cliff Curtis. We are both ruggedly handsome (ahem). We both wear shoes ... the list would go on and on I'm sure. But I'm no actor. I did play a king once in my pre-school Nativity play but since then it would be fair to say my agent has not been very busy. So I had to come clean.
"Not me, mate," I said. "But that last guy was Cliff Curtis".
I could tell this revelation was completely lost on Head Honcho (sorry, Cliff) who at that point was engaged in conversation with his mate who was presumably explaining the error.
'Oh. What he in?" he asked, sounding disappointed a marketing opportunity may have just walked out the door.
That threw me. I mean I know Cliff's been busy doing all sort of stuff but I couldn't think of anything. I looked around for another patron to help.
Waste of time. All staring at the board. Nobody wanting to get involved. I think if I had asked, someone might have muttered in trance-like tones: "Scoop of chips and a sausage." So I had to press on by myself.
"Oh, heaps of things. You know ... he was Uncle Bully. Bad guy."
Silence. Complete confusion.
By this stage I judged Head Honcho was feeling a little embarrassed by the wrong information he had been fed and was going to make someone pay.
"So, he kill people?," he asked.
"Er, not sure," I said still floundering. "I suppose so."
"Well maybe he like to kill my brother," he said motioning towards his mate, before adding, "but maybe just in movie."
We all laughed. As you do. Mine was of the nervous variety. As I left with my order, I swear the kitchen speak went up a few notches and I heard knives being sharpened.