Embrace the 'black hole'

It was supposed to be a peaceful lunch. A moment of respite in a cafe between meetings.

Only, the two guys at the table next to me weren’t making it easy for me to relax. As I took a sip of my coffee, I could feel the momentum of their conversation building. One of them (let’s call him Willy) had a brochure laid out on the table, and was enthusiastically pointing to different spots on it whilst talking at a breakneck speed. The other – let’s call him Biff – had his arms crossed and was frowning with a quizzical look.

When less is more

In the world of improvised theatre*, there's a classic game called 'reducing scene'. The performers start by improvising a one minute scene. Immediately after that, they repeat the same scene but in half the time – much to the delight of the audience. Just when you thought the fun had finished, the players perform the same scene in half the time again...