pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: Boundaries and lines

17 July 2016

Boundaries and lines


A long time ago when we were in Europe, we were approached after a meal by a gentleman who apparently had overheard our conversation and was approving, intrigued and amused. He also thought our children were amazingly well-behaved. Somehow that event came up in conversation today while we were having dinner.

The son: "...but what were we even talking about? What was so interesting?"

Me: "We are the people who talk about prion diseases at dinner. Astronomy. The K-T boundary. The Visigoths. Not exactly normal conversation for a lot of people. And you guys were holding your own."

The son: "Prion diseases and the K-T boundary."

Me: "Prion diseases OF the K-T boundary."

The daughter: "What is the K-T boundary?"

There was a momentary silence.

Me, looking at the spouse: "Probably not the question the daughter of a geologist should be asking."

The daughter: "Well, K-T boundary, Maginot Line, you guys are always talking about something weird. How am I supposed to remember what boundary this is or line that is?"

Me, dissolving into laughter: "K-T boundary...Maginot Line..."

The daughter is sitting there incensed.

The spouse: "Dinosaurs...?"

The daughter: "Oh."

Me: "I think your family membership card just got revoked."

The son: "They're hanging out the washing on the Maginot Line."

The spouse and I in unison: "That was a popular song..."

Much later, of course, the conversation turned to Goethe and whether or not German is a poetic language.

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