No Small Talk, Episode 18, “The Meatbag Argument,”

 

The famed author, Chuck Klosterman, created intricate questions in an attempt to avoid “small talk.” Per his words: “Some people are extremely good at making small talk. These people are better known as ‘idiots’. “

Having all their conversations be nothing but small, Matthew Ryan and Stephanie Sottile thought it’d be fun to answer some of these questions:

Imagine the following three sensations:

  1. Chewing and swallowing the first mouthful of your favorite food after starving yourself for 48 straight hours. The food is prepared perfectly.
  2. Lying down on an especially cozy bed after 12 hours of nonstop physical labor on a cold day.
  3. The first moment of urinary release after having held a completely full bladder for more than 90 minutes.

For the rest of your life, you will feel one of these three ways, all the time. This is how you will always feel, 24 hours a day (you won’t be doing the specific activity, but you’ll always be experiencing the act’s accompanying euphoria). Which one will you select?

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No Small Talk, Episode 15: Rest in Peace Evel Knievel

The famed author, Chuck Klosterman, created intricate questions in an attempt to avoid “small talk.” Per his words: “Some people are extremely good at making small talk. These people are better known as ‘idiots’. “

Having all their conversations be nothing but small, Matthew Ryan and Stephanie Sottile thought it’d be fun to answer some of these questions:

    You are given a choice between two rewards. The first reward us to be twice as intelligent as you are right now-you’ll be able to read twice as fast and remember twice as much, the size of your vocabulary will double, and you’ll be able to solve intellectual problems with twice your current aptitude. The second reward is that you will never again feel sick (even when you are) and you can always be whatever weight you want, regardless of what you eat or how little you exercise-you can simply imagine the body you would like to have and that is the weight you will magically become.

Which reward do you choose?

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No Small Talk, Episode 14: PENGUINS CAN’T FLY

The famed author, Chuck Klosterman, created intricate questions in an attempt to avoid “small talk.” Per his words: “Some people are extremely good at making small talk. These people are better known as ‘idiots’. “

Having all their conversations be nothing but small, Matthew Ryan and Stephanie Sottile thought it’d be fun to answer some of these questions:

While traveling on business, your spouse (whom you love) is involved in a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. It is assumed that everyone on board has died. But then the unbelievable happened: It turns out that your spouse has survived. He/She manage to swim to a desert island, where he/she lived in relative comfort with one other survivor (they miraculously located most of the aircraft’s supplies on the beach, and the island itself was filled with ample food sources).

The two survivors return home via helicopter, greeted by the public as media sensations. During a press conference, you cannot help but notice the other survivor physically embodies the type of person to whom you mate is normally attracted. Moreover, the intensity of the event has clearly galvanized a relationship between the two crash victims. They spend most of the interview explaining how they could not have survived without the other person’s presence. They explain how they passed the time by telling anecdotes from their respective lives, and both admit to having virtually given up the possibility for rescue. At the end of the press conference, the two survivors share a tearful good-bye hug. It’s extremely emotional. After the press conference, you are finally reunited with your spouse. He/She embraces you warmly and kisses you deeply.

How long do you wait before asking if he/she was ever unfaithful to you on this island? Do you ever ask? And if your mate’s answer is “yes,” would that (under these specific circumstances) be acceptable?

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No Small Talk Episode 9, “Mr. Richard Bra”

 

The famed author, Chuck Klosterman, created intricate questions in an attempt to avoid “small talk.” Per his words: “Some people are extremely good at making small talk. These people are better known as ‘idiots’. “

Having all their conversations be nothing but small, Matthew Ryan and Stephanie Sottile thought it’d be fun to answer some of these questions:

  1. 1. Imagine you could go back to the age of five and relive the rest of your life, knowing everything that you know now. You will re-experience your entire adolescence with both the cognitive ability of an adult and the memories of everything you’ve learned from having lived your life previously.

Would you lose your virginity earlier or later than you did the first time around (and by how many years)?

 

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No Small Talk, Episode 8, “Pirate Baby Boxing Match”

The famed author, Chuck Klosterman, created intricate questions in an attempt to avoid “small talk.” Per his words: “Some people are extremely good at making small talk. These people are better known as ‘idiots’. “

Having all their conversations be nothing but small, Matthew Ryan and Stephanie Sottile thought it’d be fun to answer some of these questions:

  1. 1. You are placed in the unenviable position of having to compete for the right to stay alive. You will be matched against a person of your own gender in a series of five events: an 800-meter run, a game of Scrabble, a three-round boxing match, a debate over the legalization of late-term abortion (scored and officiated by reputable collegiate judges), and the math portion of the SAT.

In order to survive, you must win at least three of these events (your opponent will be playing for his or her life as well). However, you (kind of) get to pick your opponent: You can either (a) compete against a person selected at random, or (b) compete against someone who is exactly like you. If selected at random, the individual could be of any age or skill level- he/she might be an infant with Down Syndrome, but this person might also be an Academic All-American linebacker from Notre Dame. If you pick “the average human,” he/she will be precisely your age and will have an identical level of education. The person will be a perfect cross-section of your particular demographic- he/she will be of average height and of average weight, with a standard IQ and the most normative life experience imaginable.

So, whom do you select? Or- perhaps more accurately- do you feel that you are better than an average version of yourself?

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No Small Talk, Episode 2, “Eat Crab Cakes & Flourish”

The famed author, Chuck Klosterman, created intricate questions in an attempt to avoid “small talk.” Per his words:“Some people are extremely good at making small talk. These people are better known as ‘idiots’. “

Having all their conversations be nothing but small, Matthew Ryan and Stephanie Sottile thought it’d be fun to answer some of these questions:


1. You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years, someone will break both of your soul mate’s collarbones with a Crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear–for the rest of your life–sound as if it’s being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it’s being played by Alice in Chains. If you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it’s being covered by Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Layne Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you).

Would you swallow the pill?

2. Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a 15-minute speech to the assembly.

What do you talk about?

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