A long time ago (in college), while I was living in a city far, far away (Akron), I went to visit my pal Missy in New York City. I tried to go a couple times a year, actually, since airfare from Akron to LaGuardia was crazy cheap. She was going to college there, and she had (well, still has) this super great group of friends. Funny, interesting, New-Yorky people who always had funny, interesting, New-Yorky stories.
One night, we were sitting in a cafe, and her friend Nick was telling a story. I couldn't tell you what the story was about; for once, it wasn't a very memorable one. And about halfway through the story, he could tell we didn't think it was memorable. The next line of his story was:
"And then I punched him in the face."
We all were suddenly alert.
What? What was that? You punched who in the face? You punched someone in the face?!
"No," he said, "but I could tell the story wasn't interesting anymore. But punching someone in the face is."
So, if you're ever telling a story and the eyes of your audience begin to glaze over, simply utter the words, "And then I punched him in the face." It'll rouse them from their stupor. You can then share that you were joking and change the topic to something of greater interest.
Unless, of course, you weren't joking. Then we may need to have a different conversation altogether, mister.