Mr. Ashley yelled at the kids earlier (I was going to re-phrase that so it sounded better, but to hell with it, sometimes we yell a little) because they barely looked up from their devices when I walked in the door and asked them about their day. He talked to them about listening generously and participating in a conversation instead of being so absorbed in your own activity that you can't even pretend to be polite.
Then he left to run errands.
Then I heard the entire history of the Nintendo franchise from Big Kid. A full forty minutes of character evolution, highs and lows in design and ideas that were either destined to fail or did because of bad timing or competition that should have never been considered competition at all if people could only appreciate true video game design craftsmanship.
God damn, this generous listening business is hard work.
Then we moved on to Weird Al Yankovich's latest comeback and some of the highlights of his career. I couldn't make it up if I tried.
I was appreciative of the attempt at first but I had a headache and, let's face it, even in tip top shape, this is just too much. Even for the best, most generous listener.
I finally told him I had a little bit of work to catch up on since I was out of town today but that it was really nice talking to him, and we happily went our separate ways.
I'm fine with that. It was a good start.