We’ve all been there: you’re paying for a bag of chips and want to get the most out of your 20 seconds of interaction with the cashier. Maybe you’re interviewing for a job and need to demonstrate your interpersonal skills. You might be looking to connect with a significant other on a deeper level. Well, 100 percent of the person whom I surveyed said that when they need to pump up a conversation they simply turn to a comment on the weather to break the ice.
From the inquisitive “How about this rain?” to the opinionated “This breeze sure is nice,” weather-related comments are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. Talking about the weather is comforting because you don’t need to think about it at all, ever. Here are five times throughout history when a meaningless conversation about the weather was just what we needed.
The beginning of the universe and creation of all that has ever been and all that ever will be
Mass radiated into the universe from the Big Bang. Clouds of atomic dust forged the cosmos. Things were a little awkward. “So,” God said to the void, “how about this hydrogen?”
The void smiled politely. God looked down and twiddled his thumbs, accidentally creating the concept of temporality. “You should get a hobby,” the void suggested.
The dawn of the ice age and the impending advance of continental ice and snow more than a mile in depth
The hunt was running a little long. Nog and Crog were both miffed about working late. Crog shuffled his feet and glanced up. White flakes fell from the heavens, as they had for days. “How about this snow-stuff?” he asked in a series of guttural, unintelligible grunts. Nog sighed through chattering teeth. The flakes accumulated, swallowing the world they once knew. “Yeah,” he said, fiddling with his spearhead. “It’s really coming down.”
The Industrial Revolution and the ensuing emission of enough pollutants to disrupt the atmosphere
Henry Ford sipped his coffee and looked over at his friend (probably Andrew Carnegie). Behind him, a smokestack obscured the window. “Sure is a lot of smoke out there,” Ford mused. Thick black billows swallowed the sky. “Mm,” mumbled Carnegie from behind his newspaper. John D. Rockefeller walked in. “All the workers are coughing out there,” he said. “Should we do something about that?” Ford stood up and stretched. “Eh,” he said, closing the blinds. “Maybe.”
A far-off dystopian World in which unpredictable weather events caused by climate change have irrevocably begun
“I’m loving this weather,” said a college student as he reveled in 70 degree heat in February. “Yep, me too,” said his friend. All of a sudden, a maelstrom of wind, rain, and hail descended upon the pair, whipping them with biting ice. Water surged around them, causing flash floods across the area. They saw nothing but a wall of grey.
The downpour ended and the sun returned. “Huh. That was weird,” said the student. “Wait a minute,” he gasped, looking to his companion. “What year is it?”
His friend turned. “Why, it’s 2017, of course,” she said, looking right at the camera.
The end of days, a time in which all joy evaporated along with the last reserves of water, leaving only a barren physical and emotional wasteland
A young boy watched as the last crop withered in his hands. “How did this happen?” he asked. “How did nobody notice this coming?”
“Easy now, Jimbo,” his great grandfather consoled. “It’s just the weather.” He stretched out on their little patch of scorched earth. Silence fell between them. He searched for an accessible, low-commitment way to fill it. “You see that flaming hurricane-ado yesterday?”
“Yep,” the boy replied, tossing the plant into the dust. “How about that?”