Here's my 'anything, except liverwurst' on small talk. Anything you say is fine as long as it is not complaining, rude, or unpleasant. If the first words out of your mouth are a complaint, BLAM, people label you a complainer. Why? Because that complaint is your new acquaintance's 100 per cent sampling of you so far. You could be the happiest Pollyanna ever, but how will they know? If your first comment is a complaint, you're a griper. If your first words are rude, you're a creep. If your first words are unpleasant, you're a stinker. Open and shut.