“Meanwhile,” I told him, “A child is dying.”
It didn’t have any impact on what he was saying; I’d simply used the nonsequitor to shake things up, bored as I was with the conversation.
It helped that I didn’t like him.
It helped more that it happened to be true. With seven billion people on earth a child was inevitably dying somewhere.
I basically said it to shut him up.
It not only worked, he never spoke to me again.
So, if you’re ever stuck in a really boring conversation with somebody you hate, I suggest you do the same….