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My muddle about whether to beat him up some more about his blind passion or just let him stew in his own juices has been resolved.

He'd heard me saying I was [am] a "dairy nazi" and couldn't stand the suspense of wondering what went into my use of that term, grilled me on it for probably an hour. I told him I'd had to switch from ordering milk with my meals at restaurants to lemonade because if I had to hear another waitperson ask me if I wanted regular or unleaded milk, I would have to go screaming naked off a cliff.

NO! Milk! Actual milk. Make it half and half. Give me a glass of cream. Stop it. Stop it! STOP IT. Some of them even offered SKIM! Disgusting. I was violent about it. Even when I spoke like a decent and respectable member of society, they could all feel my wrath. You put me in charge, you goddam are NOT going to be a nitwit about dairy products.

Anyway, that was only surface level explaining and I had to get way down into his weeds to make him see the connection between that term and fundamental reality. It had to do with knowing something without double blind studies, with faith in tastebuds and matters even more ethereal. He was fascinated, but STILL not able to follow. Couldn't do the math.

That was many years ago, and maybe I should have written to say I-told-you-so, but I let him stew in his own juices on that one too, but now it seems he may be feeling contrite enough about all that drilling down into the essence of language... all that fervor to create an atom bomb.

pipe up any time....