When you’re on a date with someone and there’s a lull in the conversation, sometimes that lull grows into a black hole of silence that there is no returning from. And the more you realize it’s growing, the more you panic, the deeper you sink into the quicksand of quiet. So before it gets to the eerie point of a borderline monastic silence, you should enlist the Art of So.
The Art of So is centered on the theory that people love to talk about themselves. This is usually the case, unless you’re out with a shy little hamster who can barely offer two words from their churning hamster-wheel brain. If this is your situation, entirely disregard the Art of So because you will be carrying this conversation like Jesus with the cross. It’s your burden. My advice to you is to just filibuster your way right through to dessert.
For the rest of us, though, the Art of So offers a supportive structure through a very simply formula which can elicit long-winded, passionate responses and good conversation feelies. It works like this:
To begin one must mutter “So . . .” the ellipses is a crucial element because it allows for time for composure. It’s unimportant to know exactly what you will say before you say it because, not unlike life, the Art of So is a journey. Once you have begun there are an endless number of possible outcomes.
From there, you simply insert a WH question word: Who, What, When, Where, Why. You can also get funky with a little How, If, or Would You Rather.
The most exhilarating, on-the-edge living of language spontaneity. Step Three is simply Word Vomit. Just throw it up, all over that conversation. Begin speaking and don’t stop until your intonation rises like a well-planned boner.
After the completion of Step Three, you should end up with a gem kind of like these:
If you could give a potato any superpower, what would it be?
Why are trees so nice to us?
When in history did farting become a secretive, nonpublic activity?
Where is the most embarrassing place on earth?
How often do flamingos think about body image?
Who is THE worst asshole in the world?
What percentage of people do you think consider yellow to be their power color?
Would you rather eat Cheetos for every meal for the rest of your life or have to sing an entire Spice Girls album after every time you have sex?