Opinion - The chatter that doesn’t matter

Andy Edgeworth
Andy Edgeworth
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SMALL talk – useless and unnecessary conversation attempted to fill the silence in an awkward situation.

Commonly backfires into feelings of loneliness and social discomfort. Usually is initiated by comments regarding the current weather, weather pattern of the past/future few days or major weather disturbances in the recent past.

Or so says the Urban Dictionary.

I couldn’t agree more. I’m not good at small talk. Despite being a chatterbox I cannot hide my loathing for small talk.

Give me a good yarn or debate any time any place, but small talk for the sake of it pains me.

Trains, shop queues and now increasingly emails from public relations types are full of it.

I received an email the other week from a person I’ve never spoke or corresponded with that began: “Hi Andrew, I hope you aren’t too busy during Fashion Week?”

I work at the Wigan Observer and I’m currently sat with tea stains on my trousers. What reply did the geezer expect?

“Yep –manic Chad, manic - up to my eyeballs pal.”

And for the record – yes he was called Chad. This is the type of rubbish we face day in day out.

The other day I was filling up the car at Robin Park Asda when the pump wouldn’t read my card. It would have been fairly obvious I was frustrated.

The bloke at the pump opposite chips up: “Having problems?”

I just looked at him. What did he want me to say? No just messing around feller, just to waste a bit more time of the person waiting for me to shift.”

I mean, really, what use is saying that to me?

Unless he was a card machine technician with a tool bag I doubt there was anything he could have done to help. He got back in his car and smiled as he drove off leaving me to do battle with a chip and pin machine.

The point is – just stop. By all means have a conversation if you want to, just don’t involve those of us who clearly have no intention of reciprocating.

That said, the worst time for small talk to occur is surely on a date.

At university I went on a date with a Welsh girl and it soon became clear we had nothing in common.

I still shudder when I think of what I said at one point:

“So, what’s Bridgend like?”