(or more commonly referred to as..)
" The Art of B ****** t ! "
This is an art practised in the many varied circles of society; from royalty to the work environment, from a dinner engagement to a nightclub on the pull.
Whatever the occasion the basic principles remain the same. The following is a brief summary in this art.
- Remain smiling and maintain eye contact throughout the conversation
- Nod head occasionally as if in acknowledgement and understanding of the persons point of view
- Lean back and 'guffaw' at appropriate times during the conversation. This is gauged by the person halting conversation and smiling with an expectant look in their eye. Practice this one frequently, as 'guffawing' at the wrong time can often result in a smack in the mouth.
- Try to attract the attention of someone who has 'enjoyed the pleasures' of alcohol. They are less likely to notice your lack of detailed input in any topic of discussion
- Imply an interest in the topic by comments such as " I think I saw a programme on BBC2 about that " (chances are there has been one and then the person will continue with the topic referring to the programme assuming you really do know what they are talking about) or " I saw them at a gig in Cardiff in the 80's " (Nobody played Cardiff in the 80's so the person, not knowing about this invented gig, will then think you know more on the subject than they do, so in order to prevent looking stupid in front of you, they are likely to change the topic quickly)
- Learn a few standard responses to questions, for example;
Q: What do you think about it?
A: Well I have to say I agree with the points you have raised. I don't think I could've put them quite so well myself (added flattery - always a winner).
Q: What is your favourite track of theirs?
A: Well it's hard to choose. They are all of such quality, and the one I chose reflects my mood at the time (this one has the added bonus of implying you have a sensitive side).
Q: I never realised you were interested in this?
A: Really? It was since I saw a programme on BBC2, it triggered my interest (good old BBC2 again).
- Be confident. If you say it convincingly enough, people will believe that the earth is flat.
- If you get in too deep, bail out. Phrases such as "Excuse me I have just seen an old school chum, I must catch up with him. GILES, HELLO..." (there is always a Giles at a posh do and you simply repeat the process with him) or " Another drink? It's my round, I will go to the bar" (and don't return)
Q: Books? If you like to read, why haven't I seen any at your house?
A: Well, I read so much I joined the library (joining a library is not considered 'nerdy' these days).
These are just a few ideas but I think you can see the principle behind it all.
The same principles can be applied to writing as well.
The best example is the fact that I have absolutely no knowledge on this subject, and yet I bet you believed that I did as you were reading it!