With practically all your favourite sports cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus, we have prepared an essential list of conversation topics for you to employ the next time you see a friend, family member or acquaintance.
So, coronavirus has taken away your lifeblood, the reason you get up in a morning, the spark that keeps you going through this dreary existence we call life: sport. You have nothing to watch, you're not interested in fancy things like music or art, and, worst of all, you have to make conversation without the faithful buzz questions that you've come to rely on like "did you see that ludicrous display at the weekend" or "do you think [insert team] will win it this year"?
Fear not, because below we have five killer conversation topics for you to use so you can avoid those awkward silences like the plague, complete with useful icebreakers to get things going.
Here's an obvious one. Talk about the deadly virus that's swept the globe, selfishly ruined all your favourite sports and left you completely stuck for things to talk about. Maybe even throw in a joke where you cough and say "oh no, I think I've got coronavirus". It'll be hilarious.
If you have it or know someone that has it, even better. Your counterparts will be hanging on every word like you're a celebrity.
Conversation starter: "so, that coronavirus is causing some chaos..."
2. Past sporting events
Reminisce about the most memorable sporting moments during your lifetime. Remember when Man United won the treble? Or when Mike Tyson got knocked out by Buster Douglas? Crazy, right? How about the time when Tom Brady won his sixth Super Bowl? Good times.
Conversation starter: "Hey, remember that time [insert sporting event]?"
Be careful with this one. Best to talk politics with people who share the exact same views as you or else you could wind up telling them you hope their entire family gets coronavirus because they disagree with you on education spending. And keep it light; you don't want to start debating the merits of euthanising the homeless, particularly if you're talking to a raging conservative. They could go on for days about that one.
Conversation starter: "So, what do you think about [Donald Trump/recent political event you saw on the news]?"
Do you have kids? People love to hear about other people's kids, so be sure to talk about them, constantly, especially if the person you're talking to also has kids. You can trade crazy stories like last week when little Timmy fell off the swing and got some mud on his jeans that just wouldn't come out. Gripping stuff.
Maybe not a good idea to talk about kids if neither you nor the person you're talking to has kids. Might come across a bit strange...
Conversation starter: "[Kid 1] did the funniest thing the other day..."
We saved the best for last: work. A stalwart of conversation for anyone old enough to dedicate most of their adult life to making someone else money and/or have your mental health slowly sucked out of you like a milkshake over a period of 50 or so years.
You can both pretend your work is enjoyable and fulfilling and tell each other about all the interesting work you've been doing, all while looking into each other's eyes and seeing that familiar emotional circus of apathy, rage and desperation reflected back at you.
Share embarrassing stories about your colleagues. Go into really specific detail about what you do, explain what a typical work day looks like for you; people love hearing about that.
Conversation starter: "So, how's work?" Or if you're speaking to someone who isn't in gainful employment: "how's the job hunt going?" They'll really appreciate your concern and relish the chance to tell you about how many rejections they've had and how it's affecting them mentally.
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