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Awkward silences are brilliant. We’ve all been there – the conversation dies and the silence becomes thick, so keen is the lack of noise that all you can hear is the pounding of blood pumping through your temples and the faint, high-pitched whistling noise in your ears that you had forgotten you suffer from. If you’re reading this description and wondering what on earth I’m talking about then you suffer from a common-place disease called ‘can’t shut my fat pie hole for more than a few seconds at a time’. For you, awkward silences are just an expression, never an experience, because you fill every millisecond gap with incessant talking. People who can’t shut up haven’t made the mental leap that there is a difference between talking and thinking. Whilst the average person could think about their day, decide what to eat that night, recall a funny conversation from earlier, and remember that there is a good show on TV tonight, in just a few seconds, an endless talker will take an hour to do this, and will require company to do so. However, you can create an awkward silence with these people by saying something like, ‘Did anyone ever tell you that you talk too much.’ … Don’t go too far and say something like ‘Don’t you ever stop talking? Can’t you just shut the fuck up for a second?’ though, or they’ll spoil the awkward silence with loud sobbing and blubbery, upset speech. I digress. Many people will try to fill an awkward silence as soon as it appears, common methods include staring at feet, fiddling with a mobile phone, rolling a cigarette, simply leaving, or saying something like ‘God it’s cold today’ or ‘Wow, you’ve got big feet’ (see common method 1). These people are all wrong. Awkward silences should be embraced like the friend you only get to see at the pub once every three months since he had a baby and he’s not allowed out any more – precious moments to be enjoyed. There’s nothing quite like the malicious pleasure of watching people squirm in horror as the seconds tick by in silence. It is said that the true measure of friendship is to be able to share an awkward silence that becomes a comfortable silence. Not possible with the garrulous types mentioned earlier, obviously. To recap then: Awkward silences are brilliant.