Live long and prosper

At a recent social event, I was seated next to the boyfriend of one of my daughter’s friends. We made a little small talk.

He mentioned that whenever he had friends visiting from the Midwest, he liked to take them out for sushi.

“I don’t mind that things are raw,” I said, “but I wouldn’t want them to be still alive. After all, I’m not a Klingon.”

His eyes widened and his jaw dropped. “You’re a Trekkie?” he said. I shook my head. “No, I just …”

I never got to finish. He was off. What did I think of the new movie? He thought nothing compared to "The Wrath of Khan.” Had I ever been to a convention? And so forth.

As I listened to him enthuse, I thought how the secret to good interviewing was to find the right button to push.

Sometimes you can say to a source, “Tell me about Project X?” and they’re off and running. Other times, you have to extract the information one word at a time.

I also thought about why I had added the Klingon comment in the first place. I often find, in interviewing as well as social occasions, that sometimes interesting things happen when you step a little outside of what is expected..

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