When you find yourself in the situation of having to engage a casual acquaintance in a conversation that goes beyond the usual How Are You script, it's good to have a fallback list of topics. Some of these topics include: Family, friends, work, vacation plans or current events.
Of course this may reveal just how little you know about the person in question, so in that case just smile and nod.
TRANSCRIPT: PICK A TOPIC
PANEL 1 Holly is getting ready to leave Jay’s and runs into Maria waiting in the entryway.
HOLLY: Maria! Hi, How are you?
MARIA: Good. And you?
Holly and Maria stare at each other, smiles frozen on their faces as the silence stretches awkwardly onward.