It's so easy for a conversation to go off the rails.
For instance, consider this exchange from Tuesday evening. Dave's mom was seated in the dining room, Dave was standing in the kitchen and I was at the counter. By a trick of architecture, I was the only person who could see and properly hear both Dave and his mom; the line-of-sight between the two of them was obscured by a wall.
Dave is an irascible musician with grand ideas. Dave's mom is a sweet, 83-year-old lady with a compassionate worldview and a fervent devotion to the Utah Jazz. I'm a neurotic writer with a blind spot toward certain aspects of pop culture (such as reality programming), an obsession about others (such as Star Trek) and a tendency to overthink everything.
I was reading a newspaper.
Me: According to this article, some people got married in a haunted house yesterday.
Dave's Mom: I heard that Kardashian girl got divorced.
Me: You know, I've never been able to figure out how the Kardashians became celebrities in the first place.
Dave's Mom: I think they're famous just for being famous.
Dave: They're pirates, aren't they?
Dave's Mom: Also, they have a line of clothing.
Dave: What did she say?
Me: She says they design clothes.
Dave: Oh. I always thought they were just after making money.
Me: Me, too. But, boy, it's sure a good thing those Prop. 8 supporters decided to "protect the sanctity of marriage," am I right?
Dave's Mom: Her ex-husband plays in the NBA.
Dave: I mean, Lt. Commander Worf never got married, did he?
Me: Wait, what?
Dave's Mom: They were married for only 72 days.
Me: ... ?
Dave: And those big ears they have!
Me: Are you talking about the Cardassians from Star Trek?
Dave: Yeah, those greedy dwarves with the big ears.
Dave's Mom: ... ?
Me: No, those are the Ferengi.
Dave: Oh, yeah, the Ferengi! Creepy bastards.
Dave's Mom: ... ???
Me: The Cardassians were the mean lizard people with names like "Gul Fankur" or whatever.
Dave's Mom: ... ???!!!
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