Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Surefire Conversation Starters at Parties!

Are you lonely? Standing in the middle of a room in a crowded party with a decimated paper plate in one hand and a well-nursed drink in the other, smiling and trying to establish eye contact with the people who mill quickly around and past you? You're just stuck for an opener! All you need is the right sequence of words, to magically twist and jiggle the trembling tumblers into place and presto! The combination lock vault of conversation snicks open, and the door swings wide to disclose all its chatty treasures: gem-like repartee, fat stacks of crisp, green anecdotes, and a bounty of pure bull bullion in genial tall tales. And you're ready to go with plenty of those, plus jokes away and riddles plus! But you can't seem to get that angle in. What you're missing, what you need - all you need is the right opener, to get the show going.

Say no more, mon frere! I got the hookup. Try these sweet conversation-starters, every one of them field-tested, party-approved:

(note: you want to just sort of stand in the middle of the room and say these loud, to anybody interested. Don't waste a good opener flailing around trying to snag an individual passerby. Don't put all your eggs in one basket! Just toss 'em out to the whole room, and see who takes the bait. If the music is loud, belt out your opener just that little bit louder so it can be heard. Project and enunciate. Soon enough, a roiling, room-wide conversation will be a-boiling - with you at its epicenter!)

Try these on for size:

"Anybody else like tacos? I like tacos, fried chicken and hot dogs."

This is a classic. Be prepared for everyone in the room to just start chiming in with their favorite foods! But be sensitive to the venue. Depending on whether there is a large preponderance of a given ethnicity present, you may want to change which of those proven 3 is your lead-off food item. I used the above at a mixed football-game-themed gathering where tacos, fried chicken and hot dogs were being served. FIELD GOAL!

"I just don't know how to feel about abortion."

This is more for your upscale cocktail parties with a lot of hip politicos dressed to the tens, dishing clipped opinions about issues they pretend to disdain. You'll score points for sincerity, admitting to your confusion on a complex issue, and that refreshing candor will set the tone for everyone to wade in outlining the various aspects, with tact and respect for each others' opinions and stances. As the conversation sighs to a lull, follow it up with the taco line - you'll be viewed as a well-rounded individual with feet planted firmly in both worlds: the earthy realm of proletarian gusto, and the rarified etherium of the intellectual elite.

"My favorite animal is a tree. What's yours?"

At a New Age party, sometimes you just want to throw out something that sounds like a koan. Note: do not follow it up with anything about chicken or hot dogs. This is not the crowd.


Eva Gallant said...

"pure bull bullion in tall tales" your imagery is creative, your message hilarious!

Mermaid said...

Hahahah yeah I'd say those are conversation starters. You never fail to bring the random amusements.

dogimo said...

Everybody's so nice to me! :-D

You'd be surprised how sweet I can pull these off at parties. I'm just trying to share my unique expertise.

Anonymous said...

Ha! A tree!

JMH said...

OMG! Tone-perfect.

Mel said...

Great tips Joe! cheers!. Much more effective than using “hey, the Doc says it’s not contagious!”

Client at work once called and said “Good news! my baby’s not my brother’s!”

Dead-set conversation killer.

Or another I had … “I need help, I’ve literally been murdered”

Sarah P said...

This is just beautiful. Hilarious!
I think I just woke up my kids with my laughter.