Meeting people is quite similar to giving a complete stranger a gift from the clearance rack at Target.
The person isn’t at all expecting you, nor did they really want you, and there’s most certainly a 90% chance they won’t like you enough to return the favor. Let’s face it, if I gave you a magic towel and you didn’t know me, the trinket would be perched comfortably in a land fill by mid-Wednesday the following week.
However, much of the awkwardness of meeting people can be alleviated by utilizing something we call an “icebreaker.” An icebreaker is a question or statement that assumes an aura of comfort and familiarity, while imploring the stranger (or prospect) to reveal more about themselves than they would in a traditional meet-and-greet dialogue.
A buddy of mine developed what I shall now refer to as “the King of all icebreakers,” which he’s dropped to rave reviews at bars across Western New York. I’ll give this to you, my gentle snowflakes, for free:
“Let’s assume you’re packing for a final boat ride. Your ship will drop you off on a desert island with no hope of rescue. You’re absolutely certain you will wither away within weeks. And you must go, or you will be executed in the most painful manner possible, potentially by drowning, burning or being buried alive under six feet of snow. So, this is looking like your best option.
Thankfully, you will be allowed to bring three things with you on your voyage to make your demise somewhat more tolerable. They are:
1. Any recorded album by any artist you wish, so that you may listen to the music.
2. Any mind-altering substance of any kind. (Since this is a beer blog, let’s just say “any beer.” Though it is quite fun in public to catch people admitting to wanting to try certain hardcore drugs when they know their death is imminent.)
3. Any living celebrity/musician/actor/public figure, so that you may have company to wait out your end days.
Which do you pick for each, and why?
Let us know in the comments.
We’ll post our answers at the end of the day, since we know you’re waiting with baited breath.
– originally posted April 10, 2009 at The Love of Beer