Write about a situation in which the stakes are very high, but don’t let the characters speak of it. Have them act as normally or even blandly as possible, given that something is happening all around them. They’ll want to find some kind of normalcy in the chaos. You as the narrator can write about what is really happening, but the characters are participating in conscious or unconscious avoidance.
Words to incorporate: snide, toothless, teaser, inhospitable, hood