Whether you’re going out for some PBR/Old Kentucky Gentleman whiskey shot drink specials after work … or some cosmos, you can bet you’re going to run into some pretentious people you need to keep occupied that are attached to your boss, co-workers or your new significant other and need to be kept busy and impressed.
The following five topics will make you acceptable unto the self-proclaimed high-and-mighty set and will surely start a heated debate that will last well into the morning after hangover. (Most likely, this topic will be revisited in the future until an endless list is created.)
- “What are the empirical differences between The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre?” Note: Skinny jeans and Converse must be in the equation before broaching this topic. Also, be prepared with song titles, as this topic may erupt into a chronological list of each band’s entire catalogue.
- “Is it true that left-brained people, ie., artists, musicians and writers are incapable of holding down a job, doing their own finances, or being responsible, not unlike the mentally challenged?”
- “What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? And do you like [insert guilty pleasure here] because you actually, legitimately like it or because you ironically enjoy it?” Note: Don’t believe any answer. Most pretentious people are in such denial about irony and so confused about its true meaning that they have stopped being able to distinguish between what they actually like … and what they have just convinced themselves they like ironically or otherwise in order to have something interesting or mildly amusing to talk about in mixed company.
- “What’s your favorite
iPhoneapp?” I only say “ iPhone,” because those iPhone people tend to be much more apps-focused than Blackberry or other Smartphone users. This one will also give everyone an excuse to do the texting and status message updating they’ve been putting off doing for all of 10 minutes while getting acquainted. You get secret bonus points if you get someone to “meta” update their status message, meaning the person posts about posting a status message update or posts about an app while using the Facebook app, which was just declared to be the person’s favorite.
- “How long does fashion take to get to small Midwestern towns … like Chicago?” Note: Being from this “small, Midwestern town” they call Chicago, I was asked this question by a native New Yorker (who it turned out was not really a native New Yorker after all, actually hailing from Cape Cod and Tampa, FL in equal parts) that claimed to be rather worldly. This question is an excellent test to see just how deeply rooted someone is in his/her own bull, and how much the educational system failed the person, especially when it comes to lessons about geography. To use this conversation starter IN Chicago, eliminate “small Midwestern towns.” Everywhere else, adding a statement involving the phrase “nothing but cheese, corn, sausages and fat people” will really get things going and show you’re well aware there is no discernible difference between Chicago and any town in Wisconsin.
Warning: Check the nature of your company before starting any of the above conversations. For example, young Brooklyn hipsters are going to be less likely to believe that phrenology can prove that artists/musicians/writers are genetically lazier than MBA’s and lawyers. In fact, you might get hurt (at least emotionally) if you suggest it, or more likely set off a 3-day pot and “skiing” binge that will also cause an extraordinarily positive revenue shift at Union Pool/Don Pedro’s.