I am not the most technologically advanced person in the world. On my block, even. I still have a record collection. I refuse to inquire into the nature of the Bluetooth. Computer code gives me hives. There is, however, one item of modern technology that I embrace wholeheartedly.
I love my iPod. It keeps me out of jail. When I can no longer listen to discussions of my co-workers' bowel movements, I can pop those little tiny speakers into my ears and return to my previous happy thoughts. This is not an exaggeration. I have had to do this on many occasions.
Of course, there are other ways to avoid being drawn into a revolting conversation. My personal favorite is knitting.
I may be giving the game away here, but how many of you have managed to avoid interchanges with whichever individual just completely blows your mind by the simple expedient of counting stitches?
Resident weirdo: "Hey, wanna see my appendix incision? It's my favorite shade of green!"
Horrified knitter: "NINE, TEN, ELEVEN..."
See how that works? A few words of caution. Avoid nodding your head. This may be construed as agreement and/or invitation, leading to further interaction with the resident weirdo. Also, keep your voice fairly flat when counting aloud. Do not give in to the temptation to yell out numbers mingled with swears. This usually goes over like a lead baloon.
You might also consider skipping this technique when the questioner is your spouse or child, as the question you are trying to avoid may be important.
"How many beers can I have?"
"How late can I stay out tonight?"
"How many pounds does the catbox hold?"
When going for the ignore, always consider the source. The mind you save may be your own.