As I sat at my parents the other day, I realized one thing:
My Dad is Grandpa Simpson.
(For your information, I do not look like Homer.)
My Father looks nothing like Abraham Simpson, in fact they are as opposite as can be when it comes to appearance. Where they are alike is how they tell a story.
This realization hit me while my Dad and I were talking about cars. Dad was telling me about his first car (a '34 Plymouth) and the story, which realistically should have taken less than 2 minutes, sprawled on for almost 20.
It starts with where he bought the car - instead of just stating the location, Dad went on about why he moved there and where he was working at the time. He then went on to how he met the friend of the friend of the guy who sold him the car, where he went for lunch when he took it on the first test drive, and so on. After a while the blur of names, places and people were a jumble in my mind. (And he says I never listen.)
When he was talking about the car, I asked what color it was and pulled up a picture on my phone. He looked at the photo, looked at me, and asked how I got that picture on my phone. I told him I looked it up while he was speaking and he just couldn't get it - he thought I'd seen one and taken a picture - he gets the camera phone part, but the Internet on the phone is a foreign to him as hugging a Nazi would have been to Abe Simpson.
I try to keep him from wandering off topic as much I can - guiding him back to the origin of the conversation with pointed questions or observations, but most of the time I'd have more luck trying to bathe a dozen cats at once. If he's on a roll or its about the government, good luck keeping it contained.
I dig my Dad, and any chance to spend time with him is wonderful. I just have to remember that when he starts to talk about the "Good 'ol days" I should just shut up, pour a coffee and get a comfortable chair - it's going to be a while.