"Hey Bro, how have you been?" Conversations allow us to catch up and gather intel about someone whom you've haven't connected with for a while. And prying probes will certainly occur during every Lunar New Year gathering. Although intentions behind certain questions are harmless, they could be sensitive depending on the topic initiated.
Everyone has the right to not answer such dialogue, of course. But to avoid being impolite and dismissive while still engaging in the conversation requires careful manoeuvring.
To excel in the art of discourse, there's nobody else better to obtain tips from than local comedians Rishi Budhrani and Sharul Channa.
So, here's how you escape awkward or invasive convos; in a unique and witty comedian’s manner.
Fake a phone call
[Budhrani's] been a victim of this when girls wanted to reject back in the younger days. They would magically get a phone call from someone important and have to leave the date.
Answer a question with another question
Question: So, no kids yet? All ok with you and your wife, right? When are you planning to expand your family?
Answer: So, no promotion yet, huh? What’s your salary now, uncle? When are you planning to expand your financial capacity?
Tell people about your last vacation
People love travel stories. When asked about a private question: So, comedy can make money ah? What’s your take-home as a freelancer?
Show them images of yourself paragliding off the top of a hill; trekking in the wilderness; eating random stuff or just taking photos with strangers. It’s an excellent conversation re-setter, especially if you have genuinely interesting stories to share.
Ask a question and answer it yourself
Use statistics. And make it political. It’s an age-old Indian-uncle tactic, that deflects the issue from the conversation at hand, and starts a whole new discussion altogether.
Eg: Do you know how many Singaporean graduates are unemployed according to the Ministry of Manpower? I’ll tell you!
Hey, I’ve got diarrhoea, give me a moment
This risks disgust but almost guarantees the conversation doesn’t continue.
Tell them you can read the future
And if they don’t leave the venue within five minutes, they’re going to have five years of bad luck.
Require more gagging advice? Get tickets to The Rishi and Sharul Show 2, happening on 14 Feb 2020 at 8:30pm in Capitol Theatre. Prices start from SGD38 onwards.