I ended up going to see Dad in the hospital, and we've had a lot of quantity time together. He tends to ramble a bit, but I've enjoyed it. The topics I've most enjoyed are:
1. Why Marijuana will never give you cancer (and you should maybe eat less bananas). The gist: Marijuana is not radioactive. Cigarettes are radioactive. They cause cancer. Marijuana does not. I said, "Bananas are radioactive. I eat lots of bananas," and Dad said, "Maybe you shouldn't. Bananas are radioactive. Maybe you should rethink that." [Full disclosure: Dad was in the hospital for cancer treatment, but I don't think he ever smokes or even has ever smoked much marijuana. Or cigarettes. Or bananas. So, basically, he hasn't tested this theory on himself.]
2. A scientific explanation for Extra-Sensory Perception [ESP]. It isn't paranormal! It can be scientifically explained, but it's too complicated for me to explain it, here. Dad was good at explaining it. Einstein's daughter (who is actually nonexistant) probably couldn't explain the Theory of Relativity, either, so cut me some slack.*
3. The Voludyne 5000. ["You wouldn't think, with a name like Voludyne 5000, that it would be this plastic piece of shit."] It's a contraption that basically gives you goals to make you breathe better and keep you from getting pneumonia after surgery. He's supposed to exercise his lungs every hour. So, every hour for the first few days, he would say , "Hand me my Voludyne 5000. You wouldn't think, with a name like Voludyne 5000..." This is what the Voludyne 5000 looks like:
You wouldn't think, with a name like Voludyne 5000, that it would look like such a plastic piece of shit, would you?
* Why would Dad feel the need to explain ESP? He has the gift of ESP, and he wants to explain how it works. The biggest thing that happened was that one day, Dad was getting into his car, and he suddenly had a terrible pain in his back. Really awful. He fell over. It was absolutely bizarre. An intense, completely inexplicable pain. It lasted, in a milder form, for days. We happened to call Grandma on Sunday, as was our tradition at that time. His mom, a.k.a. Grandma, said that she had fallen down some steps and severely hurt her back at the exact same moment that he got the terrible pain in his back for no apparent reason and fell down in the driveway from the pain. And, and, and- this is the spookiest part- the pain was in the exact same spot as Grandma's back injury. He felt his mother's pain from 3000 miles away. OMG, right? And this is why he felt the need to come up with the scientific explanation for such things. Maybe he'll write a book about it.