Here's a harmless project for you; I'm offering a stipend for any participants. Pay close attention to the next twenty conversations you're either involved in or conversations you overhear. (I'll resist saying eavesdrop because I know you'd never do that.)
Part 1: Do an informal tally and report back here how many of those twenty conversations make no mention of the following:
* food or drink
* the weather
Be sure to listen for variations because these three favorites often overlap, e.g. "You won't believe how much my brother-in-law can drink!" or "Why do people feel the need to buy a year's supply of cereal when an inch of snow is predicted?", etc. If more than 25% of the conversations you're involved with or overhear have none of these three, that stipend awaits.
Part 2: Try introducing into a conversation any of the taboo conversational subjects many of us were taught to avoid: Money, religion, sex. To those of you who would say politics belongs on that short list, I contend that in our overheated Sharpton vs. Limbaugh era, politics is no longer taboo. In any case, after introducing money, religion, or sex, note how long it takes for the conversation to either … a.) grind to a halt, or .. b.) get hot and I don't mean because of the sex. I posit one of those two things will happen within ten minutes. But again, report any contrary findings here to collect that stipend.
Note to conversational counter-revolutionaries: Please share here the topic of your last meaningful conversation as long as said conversation had no mention of family, food or drink, or the weather and didn't end abruptly or with a screaming match when money, religion, or sex were introduced. Sorry, sports lovers - Super Bowls and Hall of Fame inductees don't quite clear my meaningful bar. BTW, I encourage eavesdropping - aside from getting some juicy stuff, I think you'll get support for these reflections.