Step Three: Being depressed by statistics

The best way to ensure that you always have something to say around your new friends is to make sure you are getting information from sources they trust. To determine if a news source is acceptable, simply look to see if it is sold at the checkout stand at Whole Foods. If this is the case, study the content for conversation points. Before you know it, you will be conversing fluently about tidal power, offshore drilling and gas taxes.

Although television is broadly recognized as unacceptable, documentaries are seen as an important source of statistics and anecdotes. It is essential that you understand how important it is to be able to recite statistics on demand: percentage of Arctic ice melted, average global temperature, days of drought, number of species endangered, and acres of rainforest destroyed hourly. Fortunately, these numbers change every day, so do not be concerned with accuracy.

Continue reading the guide:

Part 1: Bringing numerous talking points to dinner
Part 2: Brainwashing children

Part 3: Being depressed by statistics

Part 4: Knowing which ingredients in your shampoo will kill you

Part 5: Never throwing stuff away

Story by Christian Lander. This article originally appeared in "Plenty" in November 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008