Composite partially from Koldunov/Getty Images plus
Not pictured: The Dear Hipster
When are you going to cover that mugshot of yours in the Reader with a mask? You could just draw one on that supposed likeness of you.
— Sam King, El Cajon
You watch, the moment I do that is the moment the official position on mask use by strikingly handsome caricatures changes from “all strikingly handsome hipster caricatures should wear masks except for when they are eating California burritos” to “no strikingly handsome hipster caricatures should wear masks unless it is a Tuesday when the moon is waning into its final quarter.” Since the Reader comes out between Tuesdays, I would be seen as uncharacteristically out of touch, and we can’t have that.
I’m diving back into the dating game these days, pandemic or no pandemic. One of the weirdest things we are dealing with lately is how hard it is to make smalltalk. Care to guess what absolutely dominates the casual conversation lately? Yeah. So, I am writing in on behalf of myself and all the other people on the dating scene to implore members of the local dating pool to stop talking about current events to the extent they concern public health in any way shape or form whatsoever. On that note, if you have any great suggested icebreakers or conversations starters that you might wish to share for those of us ready to talk about, you know, anything else, then I’m all ears.
I actually solved this entire system some time ago by coming up with the ultimate conversation starter. You just have to ask someone, “What’s your favorite Queen song?” This works only with Queen. Not Bach; not Cardi B. Only Queen. If you pick anything older than a Jonas Brother, you get blank stares from basically anyone under 40. If you pick something newer than, say, Phil Collins, 10/10 Boomers go off on an unsolicited rant about hip-hop instead of admitting they have no idea what you’re talking about. Even people who otherwise never listen to Middle Aged Dad Rock can usually pick a favorite Queen song. Heck, even people who are otherwise indifferent to Queen (like me) manage to have a favorite Queen song (“I Want to Break Free”).
I confess, I don’t know why this is so, but almost anyone can name a favorite Queen song. It is one of life’s little mysteries. More to the point, the answer tells you everything you need to know about the person. If someone gives you an obscure track from Queen II then you know you’re dealing with a hardcore hipster arena rock nerd, and if they say, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” then you know they’ve at least heard one Queen song before. If they pick any song from the Highlander soundtrack then you can all but guarantee they have, at some point, contemplated how cool it would be to own a sword.
Honestly, the hardest part of this conversation starter used to be finding a way to bring it up naturally in conversation, which made it more of a conversation “enhancer” than conversation “starter,” but now that there’s a recent Bryan Singer biopic streaming on HBO Max, it’s easy to turn “seen any good movies” lately into something much more interesting. Try it. It works. I don’t know why, but it works.