Now I don’t want to brag about the kind of salary I make as a lifestyle blogger, but it’s definitely gotten me into some pretty swank company. Unfortunately, hanging out with rich people means you actually have to talk to them, and who wants to do that?
If you’re like me, you want an easy way to duck out of a conversation without seeming rude (and the old fallbacks, religion and politics, can get messy). Fortunately, I have a few full-proof conversation topics that will stop any potential small talk in its tracks.
1. Serial Killer Facts
Apropos of nothing, suddenly inquire, “Did you know that Austin, Texas had a serial killer that pre-dates Jack The Ripper?” Then gush over the fact that the Texan killer even has a better name: The Servant Girl Annihilator. You can then spin off to discuss how the killer was actually named by O. Henry. Yeah, the guy who wrote Gift Of The Magi!
It might also be worth exploring the conspiracy theory that The Servant Girl Annihilator and Jack The Ripper were the same guy. I mean, there is a significant enough gap in time between the killings to accommodate both a move to Europe and practicing more skilled methods of killing than the Annihilator’s preferred axe.
Top that off with a personal favorites list of either uncaptured serial killers or historical accounts of ritual murder. I guarantee Archibald Weatherspoon will drift off to another table to discuss his racket technique for squash. You aren’t special for utilizing corners, Archie! Get real.
2. Famous Prisoners’ Last Meals
This is a good topic, but could prove to be interesting enough to encourage conversation by even the most tepid of Remonbargingtons or Vanderscones. This is exactly the opposite of what you want, so you gotta chose someone real vial. Someone like, say, Saddam Hussein.
“Boiled chicken and rice, with several cups of warm water mixed with honey!” you might find yourself interjecting into yet another boring European ski trip tale. What a humble choice of meal, you might note, for someone so notorious and formerly powerful. It was apparently his favorite, so maybe this was one last chance to connect with his undignified childhood among shepherds.
If any Bunderhatch or Gravelgunt insists on sticking around, you can regale them with tales of Hussein’s junk food habits as President of Iraq. His absolute favorite was Doritos, and according to his American prison guards, he could finish a family-size bag in ten minutes! Those guards, surprisingly, found themselves so enamored with the former dictator that they cried during his execution. They would describe him as a gentle, grandfatherly figure they had grown fond of during lonely days in the desert jail.
If anyone is still around, ask them (with a straight face) how much of their wealth is in oil shares. Pretend to be interested—no reason to be rude. Just give them that dark unease in the back of their minds. You want to make being around you as psychologically uncomfortable as possible.
3. The Terrible Lives Of 19th-Century Writers
You may be tempted to go completely overboard on this one. Possibly bring up Mary Shelley snatching her dead husband’s heart out of his chest on his funeral pyre and keeping it with her the rest of her days. Wonder aloud what bisexual Lord Byron’s lovers must have felt about his deformed foot, because it certainly didn’t diminish his sex appeal. While going for the grotesque has initial shock value, you could find yourself talking to a Horkenhound about his poetry. Then you’re in an even worse place than when you started.
Go with something a little more subtle. Bring up Guy de Maupassant, the brilliant naturalist author and short-story master who developed into a horror author as syphilis literally ate his brain (just don’t let some Cockington trick you into talking about his novel). With a subtle hint of sadism, claim that the best way to read Maupassant is chronologically, because you can actually feel the syphilis robbing the former artisan of his sanity.
Then grin knowingly and silently until your conversation partner excuses themselves for another glass of champagne and never looks back.