I just read the article that OWO linked. Quite insightful as the nature of small talk being an opening to deeper conversations or the necessary evil to eventually have "meaningful" conversations with people. She's also right about the parking in downtown Mill Valley.
"Go out, you'll never meet anybody sitting at home!" a quote from the article's mother.
Being honest, I think I shy away from small talk for the very reason that I will get to know people on a deeper level and what I fear is that they will discover that I really am a boring person.
And yes Femme, I am taking my newspaper into the loo... to read. Wise ass.