In the gym today a man called across to someone going into the changing room: Trying to sneak past me, are you? They laughed. They were friends and greeted each other. I make this kind of remark too. Here he is! I say, as someone comes in the door, as though we had just been talking about the new arrival. Or talk of the devil! Even though we weren’t talking about him. Your lot got battered the other day.( Arsenal losing 1-0). All we are doing is creating colour, drama even, where there is probably none. We just want something to be going on while we’re standing around.
However, when there is really something going on, something difficult, something embarassing, something awkward, we suppress the drama, we don’t mention it. We say All right Jeff? (Jeff’s wife just left him) or Good morning Sammy (Sammy’s in trouble with the boss) or Hiya (Julie’s got cancer). We skirt the drama, if there is one.
It might be there is an optimum colour we want in our everyday conversation. There may be a mathematical formula for this. Nothing too vivid but with a dash of story, preferably fictional.