...sadly, they're a fact of life. And, as the department stores are already reminding me, The Holidays are coming up. What this means is that, between the work parties, the gatherings with family, and encounters with random strangers, your awkward conversation quotient will soon be steadily rising. So I thought I'd lend everyone a hand and list a couple of classy, appropriate ways to end an awkward conversation gracefully. That didn't work out so well, so instead, I'm posting a list of crude, rude, ridiculous ways to end a conversation. Feel free to try these out, but only at your own risk.
--Talk about turtles (you can insert any noun you are sufficiently interested in here), make everything the other person says, no matter how non-turtle-related, about turtles. Refuse to acknowledge any subject changes.
--Mention your testicles. This is especially effective if you're a woman.
--When asked about your relatives, even those standing in the room with you, say they are dead. Alternatively, you could say they are in prison/witness protection/have robbed a bank.
--Say you've converted to a religion. Make it up as you go, but make sure it's as crazed as possible. You can only eat green-colored foods on days that have less than three syllables, or you now worship pet rocks. The more bizarre, the better.
--Walk around carrying a ball of yarn, and refer to it as a bunny. Ask people to pet the bunny at every opportunity.
--Whenever an opinion is expressed, either agree sycophantically, or disagree as though the matter were so important, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
--Make every reply into a question, especially in response to questions.
--Respond to every question as though it were an off-color joke or euphemism, and waggle your eyebrows knowingly. Alternatively, simply say, 'that's what he/she said!' every time someone says anything at all.
--Tell off-color jokes. Tell them poorly, and skip the euphemisms.
--Discuss the trials of personal hygiene, and mention that you've given up on it entirely.
--Constantly stare off into space over the other person's shoulder. Refuse to make eye contact, and try to look concerned. When asked what you are looking at, act as though the other person is crazy.
--Tell everyone that you're not normally like this, but the punch has gone to your head. This works only when you're having a soft drink (especially from a can), or the punch is non-alcoholic.
--Discuss the time you spent in prison, and how 'stalker' is such a mean, unfair word. Follow this up with a series of personal, inappropriate questions.
--Reminisce about the time you were kidnapped for four days by a band of roving ninjas, but singlehandedly fought them off, only to have to join forces with some pirate vampires to defeat a legion of aliens bent on destroying the world's supply of cheese.
--Any time you are asked a personal question, no matter what it's about, say 'well, I woke up one morning on a beach in Mexico hugging an inflatable sheep. It must have been the tequila, but I don't like to talk about it'.
--Ask a question, appear to listen intently, and then ask the same question again as soon as the person you're talking to has answered. See how many times you can get away with this.
--Have the person you are talking to come outside with you to check your vehicle for homing devices planted by the government. Say you had a local garage check, but that you think they're in on the conspiracy. (i swear, two different customers asked us to check their vehicles for illegal tracking devices).
And there you have it. When faced with awkwardness, the best solution is to add even more awkwardness!