Too many young people today miss out on the chance to cause havoc and dismay in a genteel way when they neglect the art of party conversation. If they restrict themselves to four-letter profanity or buzz phrases they may fit easily within their own social group, but the chance to strike out for real social success never comes to them – and they never know why. The truth is that you must make an effort in their communications if you are to become the sand in someone else’s festive salad.
And you can’t do this without some intellectual background – a store of knowledge that you can dip into whenever the conversation flags. As well, a basic knowledge of the English language and a grasp of grammar. And finally, a sense of timing. Too soon, too late, or too much spoil the mix. Oddly, too little often helps the effect.
Let me give an example. The party has just started – the keg has been broached and the cheese on a stick is starting to make the rounds. ( Note that at some parties the canapés do not change until the last one of the current round has been taken from the plate. Make a note of these parties and avoid them in future. Or have Domino’s deliver a pizza half-way through the night via the front door… ) At this early point in the proceedings people will note, remember, and judge. It is not to time to advocate politically incorrect policies. You must mouth platitudes while watching to see who drinks fastest, and listen for a hint of their prejudices.
At the middle part of the evening you use these hints to home in on the speaker. They will have several glasses inside them by then, and may fancy themselves as either up or coming. Find them a listener who opposes their point of view and then pose an innocent question. Note: bimetallism and Polish borders were innocent questions until 1900 and 1939…Grow quieter as the volume increases and step free of the zone of engagement. No-one wants to get glassed innocently.
As the stoush heats up and widens, you must ask the hostess to call for the police. Mention the fact that there is a rowdy element loose. And drugs – even if that proves to be Lomotil and Gaviscon it is still technically drugs. ” Gang Warfare” is a fun phrase, except where there is gang warfare.
In the final phase of the evening, as the hosts sit weeping, you should turn up the lights on the carnage and take a mobile-phone picture before leaving. It can always go onto Facebook with a merry quip and youcan be sure it will eventually make it onto the feed of the host’s employer. Nothing that good ever remains hidden for long.