November 05, 2014

How to Tell If You're Good at Small Talk


I've never been the best small-talker, and it isn't only because I'm a natural introvert with a very limited number of sh*ts to be given. No, I can be particularly bad at cocktail hour conversation because I just don't know a lot of small-talk worthy things.

You see, I'm the kind of person who only learned who Kendall Jenner was two weeks ago. (And I still haven't figured our why I care about her.) So yes, I've suspected for a while that I don't know as many "regular people know these things" things as the regular person.

It wasn't until yesterday though that I was able to known exactly how I stacked up against the average person.

Because yesterday, I somehow stumbled into the deep corner of the internet that is Google Trends, a page Google provides to let us know what's been trending lately on our interwebs. Specifically, it can tell you what was the most searched topic for each of the past 30 days.

The way I see it, this is a surefire way of judging how much I know compared to the average small talker. This, of course, is assuming that the "hottest search topic" on Google is searched by at least half of the American population. (Which could be a bold and unreasonable assumption, but that hasn't stopped me yet.)

Now, how I scored myself was pretty simple: for each of the 30 topics, I either said "Yes, I know what that is" or "WTF is that?" Easy enough, right? Right.

And this is how it went...


  1. Lunar Eclipse. Hello 4th grade Earth Science! I remember you. Yep.
  2. Lunar Eclipse again. Guess some people missed it. Still yep.
  3. American Horror Story. Well, my blog commenters told me about this one AND why I should never, ever watch it. Yes!
  4. Jan Hooks. I know a Jan Brady, but this is not the same Jan. No.
  5. Amanda Bynes. C'mon, I grew up in the 90's. Of course.
  6. NASCAR. Unfortunately, I know a lot more about this than I would prefer. Yes.
  7. Walking Dead. Netflix? Regular TV? I don't really know what this is. No.
  8. 49ers. Of course, I'm very familiar with the crazy Harbaugh. Yes.
  9. Out of the Woods. How could I not know about this display of lyrical genius? I only wish I knew where she got the song's title from. Yes. -_-
  10. Elizabeth Pena. She looks like someone I should know. But I don't.
  11. Patriots. The home of the man I most despise out of all the men I despise. Yes.
  12. Percy Harvin. Thanks to Mike and Mike every morning on the elliptical, yes, I know him.
  13. Notre Dame Football. Again, thanks Mike. And Mike. Yes.
  14. Peyton Manning. Yes, I live in America. Yes.
  15. Oscar de la Renta. De la who? No.
  16. Renee Zellweger. Yes, but I do not care.
  17. Ultron. Do these come in packs of three at gas stations? No.
  18. Denver Broncos. I guess I can thank the majority of my relevant knowledge to Mike and Mike on ESPN. Yes.
  19. World Series. Thanks, Mikes. Yes.
  20. Real Madrid. THIS IS AMERICA, PEOPLE. No. Well yes technically, but no out of principle.
  21. Oscar Teveras. Well, it looks like the Mikes let me down here. No.
  22. Jonas Salk. I make it a point to not know anything about a Jonas. No.
  23. World Series. Again? Why didn't we figure this out the first time? Still yes.
  24. Madison Bumgarner. YES YES YES YES. I actually Googled him too that day, after the words, "How can I become...." Yes.
  25. Halloween. I've heard of this practice. Yes.
  26. Chelsea Handler. Yes, of course I know Chelsea. Yep.
  27. Day of the Dead. Did I miss a holiday? Drats. No.
  28. Brittany Maynard. Yes.
  29. Where do I vote? Assuming you are me, then yes.
  30. Taylor Swift Spotify. WTF is this Taylor? I thought we were out of the woods. Yes.
In case that was too long for you to read (or the math was too complicated for a Wednesday), the results are very surprising: I knew what 21 out of the 30 hottest Google searches were! Meaning that if I was forced to small talk with 30 people at random, I could do it with 21 people without the need for a diversion.

And that's all I can really ask for.

Happy Hump Day!
Let me know your score. Do you know more than me?