What was I talking about just now? asks the hymnologist.
Ffff, dunno, says his daughter.
Neither one of us is listening to me, he says.
I’m really tired, says his daughter.
Oh, right, slugs, he says.
Right, she says.
I feel better about killing them with beer traps than catching them and salting them on the sidewalk. Because one is murder, and the other one is their choice — hey look, beer! you know?
Right, she says. OTOH they end up dead either way. Although drowning in beer is maybe nicer?
But we’ll never know. Maybe they are paralysed and drown slowly and in great terror, he says.
It is a beautiful morning, with a variegated sky. They discuss meteorology. From there (spurred in part by their previous discussion of the ethics of killing slugs) they discuss human values, the nature of existence, the existence (or non-existence) of god, the relation between atheism and faith and agnosticism, astrophysics and the Big Bang, and economics.
At one point, the hymnologist avers that it makes no difference whether god exists or not because he does not intervene (since what would be the sense in that? If there is a god who creates the universe, it would only make sense if he did not intervene), and his daughter tells him he is an Epicurean.
We should like go to Colorado or Washington State and get high and talk about this stuff, says the hymnologist to his daughter. Once you’re over 21, of course.
They discuss the value of philosophy, and how impoverished a life without art and philosophy and other goofing around is.
Some days they sit in the car and don’t say a word to each other, but some days are like this.