``I can't talk to you.''
``You do an outstanding impersonation of someone who can. My compliments. Can you still hear me?''
``There. Every time I talk to you I lose sanity.''
``That makes an excellent reason to talk to me.''
``Using `excellent' in its common sense of `catastrophic', then?''
``Are you supposing sanity's a good thing to have?''
``Sanity's applicable in so many places.''
``Then you should be glad talking to me.''
``So I can lose my sanity?''
``So you can gain it.''
``Hold on, I need to jump out a forth-floor window.''
``There's only three floors.''
``I was going to take the second floor twice.''
``You should. It's lovely in the basement.''
``There isn't any basement.''
``Yes, the second floor could stand some redecorating. Maybe a plant or a mine or something.''
``You're not looking to sell me a trampoline, are you?''
``No, it's coincidence if I do. I've been stockpiling my trampolines in anticipation of a rise in corn prices.''
``There we go with the sanity-losing stuff again.''
``You've ordinarily got your sanity, though?''
``Except in heavy traffic.''
``So getting away from me means you're getting back the sanity you lose by getting around me.''
``And therefore I'm your best prospect for gaining sanity. If it weren't for our little talks how could you expect the benefits of sanity?''
``I might just enjoy it without knowing what I could be missing.''
``If you didn't know that then how would you know it was sanity you were missing?''
``TI wasn't missing it before we got going.''
``Are we going already? I thought we were enjoying a tranquil moment before the rocket engines lift us off.''
``The only thing tranquil about this moment --- did you say rocket engines?''
``I'm sure I must have at some point. How far could you go in this day without ever mentioning rocket engines?''
``You'd probably stop short of low earth orbit without them. Somewhere on the way to the launch pad the subject's almost sure to come up.''
``Somewhere on the way away from the launch pad too.''
``Glad we have that straightened out.''
``And now you see the benefit of our chats. I bet twenty minutes ago you hadn't so clear a thought about the circumstances under which you would mention rocket engines, and now, you've pinned down at least two circumstances in which you couldn't avoid talking about them.''
``I also didn't need the point clarified. I'm certain if I needed to talk about rocket engines then I'd be able to tell that it's time to.''
``You figure on just knowing when it's time to talk about rocket engines?''
``Almost since I could talk about things that aren't rocket engines.''
``Do you suppose other people have this natural awareness of when it's time to talk about rocket engines?''
``I think most people do.''
``So how many times do you figure Pythagoras felt it was time to mention rocket engines?''
``There we go with the sanity again.''
``I don't figure Pythagoras ever talked about rocket engines. He was a couple thousand years early.''
``Ah, but if he had, then maybe the Greeks wouldn't have been conquered by Japan.''
``Greece was never conquered by Japan.''
``You admit the validity of my reasoning.''
``Was this rocket engine going to lift off anytime soon?''
``I'm not sure I like your verb tenses.''
``It's a shame; my verb tension always spoke highly of you.''
``If you put something `always' happening only in the past tense then you're teasing me with adjectives.''
``Yesterday's seems in the past tense every time I checked on it.''
``How often do you check on when yesterday occurred?''
``Not obsessively. Usually when I've missed an appointment or found it's unjustifiably Thursday.''
``Thursday has to justify existence?''
``It doesn't have to meet a high standard. Its bridging the gap between Tuesday and Friday satisfies my needs.''
``You're suggesting something disreputable about Wednesday.''
``Wednesday's problems are entirely of its own doing. I don't need to suggest anything for its reputation.''
``Now you sound eccentric. Are you sure you're not talking to me?''
``I'm sorry, I'm in a completely different conversation. I was with you yesterday.''
``I had waited.''
Trivia: There were 53 bank failures in the United States in 1903; there were 125 in 1904. Source: The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned From The Market's Perfect Storm, Robert F Bruner, Sean D Carr. Currently Reading: Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist, Thomas Levenson.