On first contact with an air traffic controller, a pilot gives basic information like her call sign and altitude then the controller gives the latest altimeter setting, and describes the location of any traffic that the pilot should watch for. If the airspace is not busy, the pilot and controller may not talk to one another again until it is time for the controller to pass the aircraft along to the next controller en route. Or sometimes the controller has information to give, or questions.
On a quiet frequency the other day, I received a radio call:
Him: X-Ray Yankee Zulu, a question.
Me: Go ahead for XYZ.
Him: What's the price of avgas these days?
Me: A dollar fifty-five last time I stopped.
Him: I wondered why there was nobody out there.
Not everyone was of the same mind. Later, another controller who was juggling a number of airplanes, helicopters and even a hot air balloon asked us with some frustration:"Why aren't all you people home watching the Canadian Open?"
That last one reminds me of controllers who would put the latest hockey scores on the ATIS, or report them to arriving aircraft, so we could pass the news onto the passengers, "We'll be landing in Sumspot in fifteen minutes, and the Flames are up 3-2 at the end of the second period."