New Year’s Eve’s Mental Exercise: Derailing The Conversation

It’s that time of year again; the time when the year ends. Traditionally, New Year’s Eve centres around mentally preparing yourself for an earth-shatteringly brilliant extravaganza, finding the evening strangely anticlimactic before drinking too much white wine and having a good cry.

But before that, it’s considered appropriate among human beings to hold conversations with one another, if only to fill those awkward gaps between gulps of liquor. And you probably still harbour a vague ambition to someday be considered a functional human being, or at least appear that way to the strangers you might run into tonight. Especially the attractive ones with fascinating and/or bewitching posteriors.

Small talk is never sexy, though. Unless you’re lucky enough to meet that someone, the special one who also understands that you’re only talking to each other to pass the time until it’s considered acceptable by society for you to rip off each other’s party outfits with your teeth.

If life has cruelly denied you a spontaneous mutual animal attraction of the sort that can bring down an empire, however, try trivia.

Trivia’s great if you enjoy little factoids and lumps of information that offer no real application in your everyday life. Being a predominantly useless, silly sort of person, I have a wealth of fun facts collecting dust in the dingy corridors of my mind-brain.


Shakespearean sonnet – A type of sonnet consisting of 14 lines – 3 quatrains and a concluding couplet. Not actually invented by Shakespeare but named for him because he is/was arguably its most famous practitioner.

Dom Perignon was the name of the man who invented champagne. He was also a Benedictine monk.

(The other person) “Really? How superbly fascinating, fancy a quickie?”

Happy New Year.

8 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve’s Mental Exercise: Derailing The Conversation

  1. …maybe new years eve is spent too much looking forward…what if you had a good year and it would be hard to top twice in a row?…for those, I wish them Happy Old Year! …and have some bubbly to kiss it goodbye.

  2. So today I found myself explaining to a guy that the term bachelor’s degree stems from when bay laurel was used to crown men who had achieved academic distinction (the Latin term baccalaureus means laurel and berries). These scholars were not allowed to marry because being a husband (and later, a father) is too distracting, thus all unmarried men are called bachelors.

    I did not get the same response that you did. Sad.

    Happy New Year.

    1. That is some excellent trivia right there. I’m sorry you had to waste it on someone who couldn’t appreciate it. Some people only seem to want to learn things that are definitely useful bits of knowledge applicable to daily life.

      Some people are clearly nuts.

      1. I was only trying to be useful, if you have a bachelor’s degree you should at least know where the term comes from. I should have told him how to rewire a light switch. It’s a bit on the dry side, but infinitely more useful and impressive. Next time.

        If everyone was only interested in things applicable to daily life then the world would be a very boring place – more efficient, but boring.

      2. I’m with you. Maybe the answer is to offer trivia 2 at a time – let me hit you with some knowledge about bees and then after I’ll teach you how to change a plug.

      3. I have to go out tonight, so I’m going to give it a try. I’m very much looking forward to the look on a person’s face when I start talking about the disruption of the migratory patterns of pollinating bees due to pesticide use. So thanks for that.

      4. If that doesn’t work then maybe try a maths joke: at a party for functions, Ex is at the bar looking despondent. The bartender asks “why don’t you go an integrate?” Ex looks at him and says “it wouldn’t make any difference.”

        You’re welcome.

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