By Eric Thomas 

Are you sick of talking about the Zimmerman trial? You’re not alone—but cable news, websites and blogs aren’t done making money off this tragedy, so everywhere you go and everything you see is talking about the verdict. Your uncle has sent 10 emails. Your cousin wants you to read the 3,000 word first draft of his blog in 10 minutes even though it has 10 grammar school level misspellings in the first paragraph and numerous references to freedom along with a nebulous, arbitrary “good old days” which never existed outside of television entertainment produced in the fifties. Two people you went to high school with are losing it on Facebook. Your mom bought a shirt.

It’s hard to avoid. We’re here to help. Here are five worthy subject changes when someone wants to bring up the Zimmerman trial.

  1. “So are you gonna get a PS4 or an XBox One?” Microsoft handed Sony their biggest opening in decades when they designed their new console to make developers happy and ignore the requests of actual customers. Sony trailed Xbox in users for decades but that’s about to change. The new Xbox has Kinect and Skype baked in, which no one asked for or cares about, and the new PS4 has free online and the ability to game swap—and $100 cheaper. When Microsoft did their presentation at E3 they were loudly booed. If you bring up this subject, and the person isn’t a gamer, they might just go away. Mission accomplished.
  2. “How about the All-Star Game?” – Just kidding! Stupid baseball couldn’t have picked a worse time. Don’t try to change the subject to the All-Star Game because there’s nothing to say. The person talking to you will just blink their indifference and start talking about Zimmerman again. That’s the worst part of this week. There aren’t even any decent sports to distract us. It doesn’t matter how many media outlets cover it, guys with oversized payrolls congratulating each other in New York isn’t sports. It’s like the Oscars. At least football has the decency to do their spectacle after the season. Can you even stomach hearing it again? “Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back-Back” I wish someone close to Chris Berman—presumably leather-clad—would put their palms on his cheeks and tell him with dead eyed directness that no one likes the “Back-Back” thing, and whomever is encouraging it is not a friend.
  3. “Did you hear about how Dave Matthews had to hitch a ride from a fan to his own concert?” Great story. Dave Matthews (of DMB, a band tragically hijacked by frat boys when they have talent) was scheduled to play a show in Hershey, Pennsylvania when his bike tire went flat and he forgot his cell phone. He was left with no choice but to thumb it to the venue. He was picked up by a woman with a bike rack who’d been a fan since she was nine years old (sidebar: I’m OLD) on her way to the concert. She drove him the rest of the way and he gave her dinner and front row tickets to the show. (CNN)
  4. “So how about Egypt descending into Civil War?” If the person you’re talking to is stubborn, pull out the stops. In case you haven’t heard, because the news sucks, Egypt has been embroiled in a social uprising which led to a military coup which now likely leads to a civil war. If this all sounds familiar and you’re asking, “Didn’t this happen two years ago and everyone was happy?” Yes, but the good tidings have drained from the Mouth of the Nile. The “Arab Spring” has morphed into “Kill Everybody Summer,” and the world can only sit and watch. Obama’s hands are tied, because they backed the democratically elected government before they started radicalizing and they can’t endorse a military coup. The White House can’t even call it a military coup, or else we can’t keep treating Egypt as an ally. It’s complicated, bloody and scary. If you want to play the self righteous card to get out of the Zimmerman discussion, this is your best play. “I don’t care about one person when thousands are dying in Egypt right now!” drop the mic.
  5. “Hey, training camp starts next week.” The start of the NFL season fills us all with mixed emotions. It means summer is half over (for the pessimists among you) but it’s FOOTBALL. No more tacitly watching games with sleepy eyes, feigning interest because there isn’t anything better on. Johnny Football can stop doing keg stands and the Patriots can stop getting arrested. Bring up anything, and baste in happiness that football is almost back.