All ears

As the biggest contributors to Heard on the Street, these TOC staffers either have supersonic hearing or crazy-person magnetism. Or both. To test their skills, we gave them one weekend to see who could catch the most ridiculous quotes. Photographs by Taylor Castle.


Andy Katzman
vice president/human resources and operations

Secret weapon I have an ability to pick crazy people out of a crowd. I also attract crazy people—it’s a gift both my mom and I have. I can get people to tell me anything.
Best HOTS spots I have great luck at the Green City Market. I’m there most Saturdays and just stroll from stand to stand. I don’t know what it is about that place, but it is a gold mine for HOTS and other quotes and anecdotes that I have adopted for my everyday life.
People I target No one is immune from my eavesdropping.
Favorite HOTS Ah, this isn’t a fair question. I send so many to Jake every week. One of the best I have heard in a long time was a recent one I submitted: “My nipples are like catfish antennae. It’s how I get around.”

Overheard by Andy, Saturday, August 28, at the Green City Market(1790 N Clark St, 773-880-1266)
That man had a nice British accent, the Julie Andrews kind. 8:22am
It could be fajita week. 8:26am
I do want to be a fabulous farmer! 8:31am
Gary froze the cider and now it’s useless. 8:42am
Hmmm…foreign. 8:43am
This music makes me feel like I’m about to get a colonic. 8:56am
The downside of wheat germ is it tastes like poo. 8:59am
A high baby is a happy baby. 9:20am
Ha, they left their day planner. They won’t know where they’re going. 9:32am
I wish your birthday was around the corner. I’d get you Jewel tequila. 9:36am
She shit her pants because she was late for a beauty party? 9:44am
I want to tell Nate Berkus I want to redecorate his asshole. 10:04am

Martha Williams
associate photo editor

Secret weapon My unassuming presence. People just say the darndest things around me.
Best HOTS spots People smoking outside of a bar, people leaving a bar at the end of the night, a raucous party…also noncompetitive sporting events with lots of trash-talking.
People I target People who have been drinking, specifically large groups because there is maximum potential for many people to say funny things (and they don’t notice you listening in).
Favorite HOTS “The best-looking girl I saw in Milwaukee was that gay guy.”

Overheard by Martha, Friday, August 27 at Rainbo (1150 N Damen Ave, 773-489-5999)
Not dumb, like yum. 12:34am
Let me get with those two girls and see what they’re doing. 12:35am
You drive an autobus? [in a German accent] 12:37am
I got catcalled in Spanish. 12:38am
Hey, you know three words: Welcome. To. Reality. 12:39am
It’s just all balls. 12:48am
I was there when what’s-her-face ripped it out of Haley’s hands. 12:49am
You see my faux-hawk, right? 12:50am
She’s a little fucking troll. 12:55am
It’s this old lady teaching us how to use computers. 12:56am
I don’t know what it is with me and the 20-year-olds. 12:59am

Jason A. Heidemann
Comedy and Gay & Lesbian editor

Secret weapon Hooch. You want to hear bizarre non sequiturs? Go where the liquor flows freely.
Best HOTS spots The corner of Clark Street and Belmont Avenue during the wee weekend hours. You won’t believe the shit people say.
People I target Homos and hobos. Marginalized groups have little to lose, so they’ll say anything!
Favorite HOTS “There is no I in gang bang.”

Overheard by Jason, Friday, August 27, in line at Paciugo (3241 N Broadway, 773-248-8433)
The last time I had gelato up my ass… 9:45pm
You’re like one of those Chilean miners that can’t have a waist that’s larger than 35 inches. 9:48pm

At a party at Buckingham and Halsted Streets
This guy is kind of a straight Bruce Vilanch sans the Sally Jessy glasses. 10:48pm
I fucking sharted on this margarita. 10:50pm
Jalapeño scares me. I’m very white that way. 11:10pm
Subway always smells like bleach and underarms. 11:12pm
So an uncut Jew is really on the fringes of Jew society? 11:30pm
It’s embarrassing to ride a pedicab on Michigan Avenue. I wave to everybody like an asshole. 11:52pm

At Sidetrack (3349 N Halsted St, 773-477-9189)
Damn lesbians! Always making money off us gay men! 12:30am

At Scarlet Bar (3320 N Halsted St, 773-348-1053)
When I go to gay bars, they generally think I’m beautiful; they just don’t want to fuck me. 1:50am

Kevin Aeh
Shopping & Style editor

Secret weapon My friends. I have at least three friends who send me good ones every few weeks.
Best HOTS spots Every spot has potential. Crazy people say crazy things everywhere. But especially on public transportation (I’m looking at you, Red Line and 22 Clark bus).
People I target People in their early twenties seem to talk a little louder than everyone else, so it’s easier to hear them. Maybe iPods are making us all deaf and we don’t realize we’re talking so loudly?
Favorite HOTS “Can you take me to the gay bar that Grandma used to go to all the time?”

Overheard by Kevin, Saturday, August 28, near the outdoor tables at Hugo’s Frog Bar(1024 N Rush St, 312-640-0999)
I haven’t seen a horror movie since Scream in 1996. And that scared the crap out of me! 7pm
What you need is a boyfriend who’ll pay for things. Who is rich. 7:07pm

The triangular park near Whispers Coffee & Tea (1031 N State St, 312-255-0788)
Does anyone still use AOL? 7:45pm
My funnest thing on a Friday is just to sit outside a bar. 7:51pm
I’m telling you, vinyl is coming back. 8pm
You just got back from Hawaii and want to go to Trader Vic’s? 8:07pm
Oh, hey. I unsubscribed to one of your newsletters today. 8:15pm

Outdoor tables at Gibsons Steakhouse (1028 N Rush St, 312-266-8999)
This is a great steak, and you’re a great date. 8:20pm

Tavern on Rush (1031 N Rush St, 312-664-9600)
I wish I could work out with a hangover, but I always throw up, so I don’t even try. 8:43pmThe worst is peeing your pants and throwing up in someone’s basement. 8:45pm

Luxbar(18 E Bellevue Pl, 312-642-3400)
When my phone rings, that just means somebody wants something. Or money. 9:21pm
Anita uses the word interesting too much. And that’s a conversation stopper right there. 9:34pm
When something blows up, it’s time to take a step back. 9:50pm