small talk


Yes. Small talk is horrible. Especially in DC, where small talk always begins with “What do you do?” Which translates either to: “Let me make sure I am superior to you” or “How can you help me to become superior to you?” It’s far less entertaining than the Southern standby, “What church do you go to?”And let’s be honest:

And let’s be honest: What percent of the time do we actually care what a near-stranger does? But then we’re stuck saying things like, “Oh, how did you get into that line of work?” Which 96.7 percent of the time translates to: “Wow, that sounds incredibly boring.” Or perhaps, “Huh. So you’re one of those assholes.”

Let’s cut the small talk. Instead, here are 10 questions I would enjoy discussing with a brand new acquaintance. The ‘why’ is implied in all questions:

  1. If you could punch any public figure in the face, who would it be?
  2. When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What’s your dream vacation?
  4. If you could go back to any period in history, when and where would you go?
  5. What is your greatest source of personal shame?
  6. What crime would you be most likely to get arrested for (and don’t say something self-serving like civil disobedience)?
  7. So… what’s really pissing you off today?
  8. What are your three favorite things to do?
  9. What do you wish you had the ability to create?
  10. If you had to pick a different name for yourself, what name would you choose?



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