In my observations of human behaviour (which generally involves watching friends through the comforting haze of beer and then extrapolating the conclusions to cover the whole of humanity - yep, it's a science), people derive almost sexual pleasure from knowing they have friends in common. There's gasping, impassioned name-calling, heavy breathing and such other excited noises.
I used to understand this peculiar behaviour once. Who doesn't like a good co-incidence to break the drudgery of the day? Noone likes to turn down a 'What?! Really?!' moment. But once, thanks to Facebook, BMM, a suffocatingly small media industry and overzealous Contact Whores, knowing people in common becomes the rule rather than the exception, I'd expect the thrill would wear thin. Not so.
As for me, I've come to dread this particular strain of conversation. EVERYBODY knows EVERYBODY. It used to be that you could just hang with another group to escape hearing the same anecdotes, the same names, the same thoughts. Now you must physically saddle up and ride out of town to find people who haven't heard of you or 'know your second cousin from your Mama's side, what a slut she is!'
I remember my Junior college self and how I longed to be on backslapping terms with everyone. It's funny how you can hate the things you think you want most. Now I just want to stop people when I sense they're about to know someone I know.
'No you don't!'
'No I don't what?'
'No you don't. Want to order the um, platter?'
Life's a clown.