This conversation happened

Talk about the bizarre “Red Sox Nation” phenomenon (more Sox caps in Denver-Boulder than Rockies caps, even with the latter a playoff threat) begat talk about Boston pro sports in general, which begat chatter about Beantown anglophilia (read: an unlikely preponderance of white players) which begat chatter about growing up in D.C. as a Sixers fan in Bullets-land, which begat a discussion of the 1978-1979 NBA Finals involving the Bullets and the Supersonics, which begat musings about Dennis Johnson’s career.

Me: “That must have been really early in his career. He went to the Suns right after that, right?”

Ken: “No, the Warriors first. Then the Celtics.”

Me: “Hell, he’s been retired for a lot longer than I realized. So easy for the years to get away from me now.”

Ken. “Yeah. Now he’s not just retired and an ex-Celtic, he’s dead.”

Me: (Snicker)

Ken: “You laugh.”

Me: “Hey, beats Len Bias’s NBA career. Wait. He’s really dead?”

Ken. “He’s been dead for a couple years.”

Me. “You fucking serious?” (quick online search) “He’s been dead for over 3 1/2 years! Heart attack.”

Ken: (Snicker) “I’m aware of that. Wait, that long?”

Me: “How’d I miss that? I’ve missed whole weeks of news at a time thanks to being drunk, but the last athlete death I remember missing for that reason was Willie Stargell. Same with you, I bet.”

Ken: “You wish I was as drunk as you.”

Me: “What the fuck was I doing in February 2007? Wait, never mind.”

(Brief lapse in conversation)

Me: “I remember when Michael Crichton died. Well I remember hearing about it, weeks after the fact.”

Ken (looks up from his laptop for the first time in the exchange): “The writer? He’s dead? When did that happen?”

Me: “Year and a half ago, I think.”

Ken: “Damn. I’ve read that a bunch of that guy’s books.”

Me: “So where were you?”

Ken: “Drunk. Plus I like the NY Times, I just never read it.”

Me: “We suck at this celebrity death thing. Oh, you ever watch any of the ‘Drunk History’ videos on YouTube?”

Ken: (Loads YouTube)

Etc.

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