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» TMO Talk » Life » Whiteout! (Page 6)

 
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Author Topic: Whiteout!
ralph

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quote:
Originally posted by Thorn Davis:
Disregarding the US mega-snow that burns and freezes simultaneously and the Americans who laughingly romp in it naked and unscathed

I don't recall ever saying this about the US snowfall. Link or stfu.

But seriously Thorn...please try to explain something to me. The English are famous for thier ability to discuss the weather. What exactly is it they discuss? Crikey...that was some thick fog last night [Confused]

Sorry you almost got run over this morning. I'd miss you.

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Thorn Davis

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quote:
Originally posted by ralph:
The English are famous for thier ability to discuss the weather. What exactly is it they discuss? Crikey...that was some thick fog last night [Confused]

Yeah, pretty much that. What the weather was like, what it might be like later in the week. It's just a safe small talk subject. You know, say you're making a cup of coffee, and a colleague walks in who you don't really have a rapport with. You know that a studied silence is going to come off as aloof, so you just say "Cold last night, wasn't it?" and they can reply "Yes. I hear it's going to get worse next week, too." Nice and safe, and eases the tension. I'm sure Americans have similar topics that are equally banal. Or maybe not. Maybe when you're with someone you don't really know you just look them dead in the eye and say without inflection "I'm in therapy because my dad molested me" and then just keep holding their gaze as you stir your coffee.
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ralph

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quote:
Originally posted by Thorn Davis:
Yeah, pretty much that. What the weather was like, what it might be like later in the week. It's just a safe small talk subject. You know, say you're making a cup of coffee, and a colleague walks in who you don't really have a rapport with. You know that a studied silence is going to come off as aloof, so you just say "Cold last night, wasn't it?" and they can reply "Yes. I hear it's going to get worse next week, too." Nice and safe, and eases the tension. I'm sure Americans have similar topics that are equally banal. Or maybe not. Maybe when you're with someone you don't really know you just look them dead in the eye and say without inflection "I'm in therapy because my dad molested me" and then just keep holding their gaze as you stir your coffee.

But your weather isn't generally the slightest bit interesting. I mean the recent snow you received was the worst storm in 18 years?

I don't know about all Americans, but in my place of business we tend to discuss the economy a lot these days...as well as old standards such as how the local sports club did the previous evening or have you checked out the tits on the receptionist on the 8th floor sort of thing.

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Thorn Davis

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quote:
Originally posted by ralph:
But your weather isn't generally the slightest bit interesting.

Right, but the point isn't to discover new information or have an interesting conversation. It's just about putting both parties at ease. For example, if someone started talking to me about the local sports club, I'd be at a disadvantage because I don't follow sport. Weather is the all time safe ground because everyone has experience of it.

It's not all we talk about or anything, but I think it's just become a ubiquitous safety net if you're a bit uncertain about the person you're talking to.

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ralph

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quote:
Originally posted by Thorn Davis:
Right, but the point isn't to discover new information or have an interesting conversation. It's just about putting both parties at ease. For example, if someone started talking to me about the local sports club, I'd be at a disadvantage because I don't follow sport. Weather is the all time safe ground because everyone has experience of it.

It's not all we talk about or anything, but I think it's just become a ubiquitous safety net if you're a bit uncertain about the person you're talking to.

Your answer only leads to more questions. Why does everyone need to be put at ease? Why so uptight, dude? Is it something in the climate there? The diet perhaps?
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Black Mask

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ralph is such a fucking moron.

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sweet

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ralph

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[ 06.02.2009, 07:27: Message edited by: ralph ]

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Jimmy Big Nuts
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I never know how to respond when people try and make small talk. I always assume that they want some kind of interesting answer from me, so I either A) stumble around for a joke or penetrating insight, fail, and then respond with something entirely inappropriate or B) give up before I start, and just go 'yeah....' or 'no...' and then leave a too-long pause just hanging there, until the whole thing is brought to a painful conclusion with a 'hmmm'.

[ 06.02.2009, 07:37: Message edited by: Jimmy Big Nuts ]

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Jimmy Big Nuts
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This kind of thing tends to go down at the coffee machine. Recent example, I'm standing there watching my coffee being dispensed by the machine and a fairly senior partner walks up and stands next to me for a while. I can see him wondering if I'm going to dispense a few drinks or just the one. He says like 'will you be long' or something So I say "Only two more drinks, then I'm done for the day!", meaning that I'm getting a round in, so I won't need to get any more coffee myself for the rest of the day. Why else would I be getting four coffees? He takes this to mean I'm leaving work for the day, and this is about 10.30am, so he goes "done for the day...?" I fail to understand him for slightly too long, and then go "No, I mean, I won't have to get any more coffees, because I'm getting them for other people...and...they'll get me coffees...so..." and he's just looking at me like I'm a fucking idiot and the whole thing seems to leave him angry, and me just very awkward. All because I tried to boost my initial functional reply about if I'm going to be long at the coffee machine with a more personal piece of information. Terrible. And this is how every piece of small talk always seems to go.

[ 06.02.2009, 07:47: Message edited by: Jimmy Big Nuts ]

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Jimmy Big Nuts
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Man I should try and get a gig writing for curb your enthusiasm. I'm a fucking pro at crafting hilarious slice'o'life anecdotes. But that incredible scene actually took place, about three weeks ago.

[ 06.02.2009, 07:52: Message edited by: Jimmy Big Nuts ]

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Black Mask

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That senior partner sounds like the fucking idiot. You should've just screamed and screamed in his face, flecking him with spittle, screaming and screaming until you were purple and hoarse.

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sweet

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herbs

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Anyway ralph, our weather is quite interesting. Being both an island, and in the gulf stream, the weather changes all the time, from day to day and hour by hour. Sometimes weird shit happens like snow in April, or tornadoes in Dudley. It's not like the boring old USofA, where it's 27degC April to September, 0degC October to March, and you can what date it is by the depth of snow.
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Jimmy Big Nuts
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last night at the pub I went outside for a cigarette and I didn't have a light. There were two blind dudes are having a cigarette and chatting, and I asked if I could get a light. Dude gives me a light, and he says something about sleet and weather, and I tell him, yeah, this is like only the second time I've left my house since saturday! and these two blinds just stand there in silence, squinting and rolling their eyes, and I think, fuck maybe that sounds weird, so I say 'you know, in case I fall over', and then realise that I'm probably heading in an even worse direction, so I go silent too, and we're all standing there in the sleet or whatever, and nobody is saying anything, and I sort of sidle off, and they continue to stand there in silence for some time, as if they haven't realised that I've now left the conversation. Should I have said "okay I'm now walking over here, continue to talk between yourselves!"? Either way, another complete failure.

[ 06.02.2009, 08:12: Message edited by: Jimmy Big Nuts ]

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Jimmy Big Nuts
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oy! I'm such a putz.
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Jimmy Big Nuts
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okay I'll stop now. As you were.
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Suckmonster
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I think it's often a question of tone and body language rather than the actual content of what you say that's the problem.

Roy, I know you're all "ironic" (aka pretending to act like a twunt deliberately), but really you are such a typical parochial American, that it's quite dispiriting.

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Black Mask

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The worst is when you're lumbered with someone who doesn't understand the small talk rules. You say, "Hi, how're things?" and they go, "Well, I've got eye-cancer and the treatment is really painful. They have to stick a syringe in my YADDA-YADDA-YADDA..." and you're left thinking, "Eye-cancer's the least of your fucking troubles, you thoughtless wittering **** !"

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sweet

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Suckmonster
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In those situations it's entirely comme il faut to punch them in the throat.
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McDirts
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The worst bit of small talk I ever attempted was in a Youth Hostel in Austria. It ended with me leaving a group of Dutch students with the impression that I was sympathetic to the Nazi's cause and that they were a broadly misunderstood bunch of guys.
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Jimmy Big Nuts
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- hey man, hey, would you like to take some drag on this? It will will blow your testicles off, yes?!

- I like Hitler, you know. A lot.

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McDirts
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It was a bit more convuluted than that. I wouldn't just come out with it like that. On the plus side though it did make me realise in my own head that that I actually didn't respect the Nazis.
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Abby
Slave Girl of Gor
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I used to vaguely know this guy who had failed to master small talk to an amazing degree. He once walked up to me in a club and said ” Hello Abby, I am not having a very interesting time tonight, so I would like to have an interesting conversation with you. You may choose the topic…..(long pause as I am unable to form any words at all)… Hmm…ok that was not so interesting either. I will go over here now”
It was awesome.

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Jimmy Big Nuts
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- hey man, hey, would you like to take some drag on this? It will will blow your testicles off, yes?!

- Sure, thanks

- so are you visiting much of Europe, or just in Austria?

- I'm a big fan of fascism. I really like it.

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McDirts
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A bit closer.
I think it kicked off with some innocuous comment about the price the Austrian Hostel was charging for their beer, however we were all stoned, which didn't help my diatribe.

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Jimmy Big Nuts
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weed is good for that kind of thing isn't it. I especially like the part where, while sitting with some relative strangers, you suddenly realise that in fact it's true, you really are a fascist, you've always been one, everybody has always known that you are, that's why they look at you funny, but you never realised until just this second. Hoooo shit, son - your whole life has been a massive delusion. You've never been aware of who you really are. Only now have you broken through the veil of lies. You are utterly alone in the world. Everybody thinks you're a freak. You have to leave here now, now, but don't raise any suspicions. Act normal.

little bit of stoner humour for you there. Remember to tip your waitress.

[ 06.02.2009, 09:17: Message edited by: Jimmy Big Nuts ]

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Jimmy Big Nuts
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readers, did you know that 80s silver-haired comedian Steve Martin had a joint in the 70s that gave him a nervous breakdown? He was left with lingering paranoia and phobias for twenty years. Think about that next time you 'spark up' a 'spliffy'.
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froopyscot
nibbled to death by an okapi
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quote:
Originally posted by Black Mask:
That senior partner sounds like the fucking idiot. You should've just screamed and screamed in his face, flecking him with spittle, screaming and screaming until you were purple and hoarse.

Yes. This. Also, you might try throwing the coffees at him, though this may be a waste of perfectly good coffee.

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Give 'em .0139 fathoms and they'll take 80 chains.

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froopyscot
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I'm starting to understand why the senior people at the office tend to avoid me.

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Give 'em .0139 fathoms and they'll take 80 chains.

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Jimmy Big Nuts
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the coffee from the machine is pretty fucking far from perfectly good.
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Thorn Davis

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quote:
Originally posted by Abby:
I used to vaguely know this guy who had failed to master small talk to an amazing degree. He once walked up to me in a club and said ” Hello Abby, I am not having a very interesting time tonight, so I would like to have an interesting conversation with you. You may choose the topic…..(long pause as I am unable to form any words at all)… Hmm…ok that was not so interesting either. I will go over here now”
It was awesome.

I was going through a difficult time, ok?
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Thorn Davis

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quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy Big Nuts:
Dude gives me a light, and he says something about sleet and weather, and I tell him, yeah, this is like only the second time I've left my house since saturday! and these two blinds just stand there in silence, squinting and rolling their eyes,

Think about how awful that must have been for them though. How would you feel if you were on your way home from a pub, and then a disembodied voice floated out of the darkness and started talking you about how he never left the house and anyone who left the house, like you had, was risking a terrible accident, and the voice seemed to be coming from everywhere, and whereever you looked you couldn't see anyone, and you weren't even sure if your friend was still there. You must have terrified them.
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