During my many travels around the world (by "the world" I mean from my apartment to the grocery store and back) I have successfully interacted with tens, if not elevens of people. After much observation and study I have compiled a list of the six most prevalent forms of conversation, or "talks," one would encounter during one’s day to day.

FYI "pillow talk" is not included. Despite what some of my peers may believe, pillows have never talked, and it would be silly to assume that they would develop the ability to do so anytime soon.

1. The Talk

Wherein a parent vaguely describes one of the most physically basic yet emotionally complex interactions humanity partakes in (sex), to a youth who probably has more sexual partners than years. It is usually during this "talk" wherein both parent and child realize the true depth of the generational gap separating one from the other.

Father-Son talk
"You’re really not getting me, are you son? And I appreciate that."

The patriarch looks into the youth’s eyes, full of vigor and valium, and sees the tragedies of unfulfilled promises, missed opportunities, and broken condoms beckoning over the horizon. "Turn back!" they shout internally. "Stay young forever! Wear a fucking condom you dumbass, that pull out shit is like 50-50 at best." That is what they wish to say.

What comes out, unfortunately, is much talk of birds, bees, and other animals who handle procreation with far more grace than we humans ever will. I mean, have you ever seen a horse fuck another horse? Majestic.

2. Office Talk

From a distance, nigh indistinguishable from a menagerie of birds loudly squawking and white bird shitting all over a water cooler. The two defining characteristics of this talk are a slight, disingenuous smile held throughout the entirety of the conversation, and an E! News correspondent-like laughter on timed intervals, rather than after something funny actually being said.

Shackled to their desks for 45+ hours a week by the bourgeoisie, dreams of a better life long since dead, and someone didn’t put ink in the printer again are you shitting me? Is it any wonder that the working class descends into sports scores and mindlessly vile gossip about other departments?

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3. Small Talk

Designating it as "small" should give one an idea of its place in the pantheon of talks. Purposefully devoid of purpose, all small talks can be accurately paraphrased as two faux friendly individuals affirming one another’s existence. Whereas Office Talk is, thankfully, confined to the land of snazzy ties and TPS reports, Small Talk is free to bore the hell out of you anywhere, anytime.

Its small stature is not necessarily derived from the subject matter usually entailed in such a discussion, though few talks are more asinine. ("You ever tried Charmin toilet paper? Because I got this coupon from my mother-in-law recently, bless her heart, and I was kind of iffy about it. I mean on one hand Cottonelle has always done right by my butt cheeks but the coupon is $1.50 off when you buy two and I’m like hello! Cha-ching! See, if I save $1.50 on the toilet paper then I can try out this new mouthwash that says it ‘deep cleans’ your mouth and then I can shoot myself in the fucking head.") Rather, the lack of urgency inherent to such conversations proves its downfall. As far as conversation is concerned, when nothing is said with sincerity then nothing is said.

4. Real Talk

Urban colloquialism (which has since been co-opted by hip young suburbanites and MTV 5) denoting speech overflowing with sincerity or realness, as it were. One equating one’s words as "real" is an efficiently succinct way of saying, "I’m really fucking annoying and you will not believe half the shit that comes out my mouth someone please punch this stupid Snapback off my head."

While definitely not lacking in sincerity, Real Talk is almost completely devoid of rational thought. A declaration of forthcoming words being "real" are just as likely to express one’s adulation for fish tacos as they are to express one’s desire for gays not to be allowed basic human rights. It is a buffer for stupidity, a shield; a man who carries a shield without a sword is a coward (Captain America notwithstanding).

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5. Crazy Talk

You seen the Moon Baby lately, baby? She followin’ me all over the damn place, can’t take a piss out my wallet for two seconds without BAM there go that Moon Baby again. Always askin’ me ’bout "Ya never returned my butterscotch, where my butterscotch," and I say her "Bitch! That was 20 damn years ago! Ain’t never been back to the coast and you know what’s what. WOO WOO!" But Moon Baby don’t care, thinkin’ she own the damn place what with her checks coming in every day since the war, y’know? Cot damn war that’s what did us in, yes sir I say you once that war hit? You ‘member? And we done had to ration off all the carpet for the Moon Baby? Yeah, that’s what it was, yup. Fuck that Moon Baby.

6. Good Talk

A title internalized before it is verbalized, this talk is the ultimate aspiration of conversationalists the world over. Good in the same way the Sun is good to the Earth, having completed such a talk, one is revitalized by the lack of pretension between two (or more, great conversation need not be monogamous) individuals, the total destruction of the defensive barriers we use to protect ourselves from ourselves, the unsaid yet unassailable feeling of congruence between emotion and verb.

Such talks are rare—so rare in fact that after a period of time one forgets what a Good Talk feels like entirely. Self-help books, life coaches, infomercials, Maury Povich, and a plethora of you-suck-and-have-no-one-to-turn-to-but-that’s-cool-we-can-make-you-feel-better-for-five-easy-payments-of-$19.95 type products would cease to exist if we were able to speak freely with our brothers and sisters.

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