08 July 2013

conversation tips from NPR

I heard this story on NPR about how we're always trying to figure out what our pets are thinking.

We talk for them and give them, usually, funny voices.

We ask each other, "Now, just what do you suppose she's thinking when she digs her face into the couch like that?" Whoever we asked may speculate on the dog's thoughts by using that funny voice. You'll both laugh.

It wasn't exactly breaking news, particularly for anyone who owns a pet, but that's what I love about NPR: sure, they do their share of newsy stuff, but when you don't have commercials taking up air time, you're left with quite a bit of what I like to call quirkiness possibility.

{At certain times of the year, they're also left with quite a bit of time for pledge drives, which, I'm sorry to report, by the second day reduces me to shouting at the radio: BUT I ALREADY SUPPORT YOU! Where's my secret bypass button on this radio so I don't have to listen to you beg?

By the sixth day, I'm tempted to coerce everyone I know into supporting, just so the pledge drive will be shorter.}

The quirkiness possibility is in those stories on things like, "We like to talk for our dogs." It's as if NPR wants to help you be a better, more informed conversationalist. Maybe they have a corporate goal of making all of us into Renaissance men and women, able to pull out information on nearly every topic.

If they do, I'm in support of that goal. We all need more things to talk about beyond what we did over the weekend, how the weekend was too short, the rain or lack of rain, how we hope it doesn't rain over the weekend, and what we had/will have for dinner.

Not that those aren't fine topics. Don't you find that the predictability of some conversations is reassuring? They are the equivalent of sitting by a fireplace on a winter's night; you know you'll be comfortable, and you might get a little sleepy.

But sometimes, you want to throw some lighter fluid on the fire, and that's where NPR comes in handy. Just pay attention to what's happening in your conversation and see where you can slip in your NPR tidbit about dogs, GMO corn, or how to make beef stock.

If all else fails, just say, "Yes, I had a good weekend, too. In fact, I heard the most interesting thing on NPR."

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails