I read a note today by my friend Samantha Jagger, wherein she mentions her 'Word Of The Day' : Nonversation. Essentially its supposed to mean a conversation about nothing, having no substance whatsoever.
It intrigued me because I suddenly realised how many Nonversations I've had. Just today, for example, I had a 20 minute conversation on the side of the road which would be your classic case of Nonversation. I don't recall a thing the guy said to me,& even while he spoke I vaguely remember reruns of Seinfeld playing in my head. The last thing I recall as I pulled off was a blue light on his dashboard and a fine for speeding in my hand. What a Nonversation that was!
Then there was the time I was waiting in line to board my flight to Cape Town. She couldn't have been a day older than 18, and the fact that she carried a filofax under her arm indicated to me that she had brains too. That was until her mobile rang, & Hanah Montana belched out a screech as her ringtone. 5 minutes later,& prompted only by my question of whether she had anything beside Hanah as a ringtone, she went into a relentless monotribe about how important music was in her life, punctuated by the odd giggle. I bit my tongue and tolerated the nonversation until just before we stepped into the plane. I remember it being that exact moment because the engine on the wing stood just behind her,and it seemed like the perfect place to shove her ditzy blonde head into as she started playing Britney Spears.
I'm not too sure what happened next, but I don't recall seeing Table Mountain on that particular trip to Cape Town.
I've learnt a nifty trick though, for when you're caught in a Nonversation. I simply nod and smile. Don't respond, just nod and smile. Save your energy for twisting the cap off the juice bottle during lunch. It freaks them out even more when you keep nodding and smiling long after they've spoken! Try it sometime. It works even better if you combine silence, nodding & smiling, with fidgeting with both hands in your pocket! That's straight out of Psychology 101!
You ever get so lost in your own Nonversation you forget what your point was halfway through? Happened to me on the odd occassion, usualy in a club. You halfway through saying something, your head is like 'What? That doesn't even make sense to ME,& I'm the one processing all these words!'... Next your lips realise your brains killed the teleprompter,so now you got lips on auto-pilot and its pitch dark and stormy! So you start making up an ending as you go along, hoping she won't recognise what a complete imbecile you are. Almost like going in to collect a prize you won, only to realise it was a lotto ticket and suddenly your chances were 1 in 65 million!
Next thing you know, she's looking at you, nodding and smiling.
You know you're in a Nonversation when you say something completely bizarre, and the other person doesn't flinch or bat an eyelid. A party favourite realy, when you want to know if anyone listens or cares to what you're saying. My favourite line is 'I'm the King of my tribe back home in Africa,and I'm only here to find a sacrificial virgin. Nod and smile if you are one.'