Before we escaped -- about 20 minutes later -- I had found out his life's story. Occasionally, he got bogged down in detail, but happily, his life's partner, Mrs. Old Man, came along to help him remember.
Now, I don't want to imply that I don't care about his children, his grandchildren, his pets, his past jobs, the reasons why he moved to the suburbs, what his relationship has been to the family holding the party, and who his neighbors are. But, all of this requires a longer friendship than 20 minutes. You know, a listener needs time to savor the minutiae of someone else's life, to appreciate the trials and tribulations of escaping from black people, to learn to associate different kids with different geographic locales. That sort of thing.
Here is my main point. I have a request of my better friends. If I turn into a garrulous old man that people want to run from, you know the sort who imagines since he is old he knows everything and has advice on everything, then I want one of you to hack me death with a machete and put us all out of my misery.