A global militant separatist group calling itself ReAction Ennui has claimed credit for the wave of what they are calling “Discourse Disruptions”, but little is known about the group beyond its three line manifesto.
Fears have been raised that a wave of blackouts at dinner parties, gallery openings and children’s football games might be caused by an “allergy” to social conventions.
Witnesses claim the listless layabouts collapse in reaction to regular small talk as if under a spell, and culprits are piling up across A&E departments with symptoms similar to “locked-In Syndrome”. And it seems somnambulant citizens are talking themselves into this condition.
Those afflicted are uncommunicative for up to 3 days, during which they soil themselves and do not take on food or water. Afterwards they appear up cheerful and apparently refreshed but claim to have no memory of what happened.
A recruitment consultant from Harrow in the UK that asked not to be named told us “I’d been discussing catchment areas with this fellow when he interrupted and asked me what time B&Q closed on Sunday. Well at this point he seemed to have a mild seizure. He then shook his head, passed me his drink and lay down on the floor. It was like he’d totally given up.”
From the Archives
Small Talk scripts
As taught to the Youth
Have fun with Proust the Platypus (voiced by Timothy Spall) as he teaches you the art of small talk!
Proust the Platypus: Hey, kids, how are you?
(A silence follows.)
Proust the Platypus: Aaaaaaah! You just broke the first two rules! Always acknowledge the other person and never leave a question unanswered ! Let’s try that again – hey, kids, how are you?
Bootleg copy of a recent radio broadcast by the infamous underground (and very illegal) radio station ‘FMFM’: No one knows who runs FMFM. No one knows the voices behind it. They hide behind aliases. All we know is that on the airwaves of FMFM, there is talk and it sure ain’t small…
We speak to the People
On the streets of Australia people are not happy…
“She wouldn’t ask me about my day. She refused. She would sit there in silence rather than pass the time of day with me.”
“It’s the kids that are the worst. They just can’t be polite. It’s not nice. It costs nothing to be polite.”
“He would not answer my questions. I would ask again and again. Still nothing. I would find myself asking the same question until he at least acknowledged it. It was humiliating. But even then he wouldn’t answer me.”
Prescribed Small Talk and Western Communication Methodologies
A previous study into religion and social media led researchers from Southampton University to launch their own series of tests. This research has led to a number of conclusions about social awkwardness, small talk and new communication problems in 21st century western life.
For full study – *click here to buy*
Previous study and references:
Jones, Felicity Kelman (2009). The Religious Beliefs Of Social Media Users. PhD thesis The Open University
The Rebels amass