Arpangel wrote:This ability to slip and slide in conversation ... is apparently a sign of great creativity
Indeed.. in Toscana, in Italy, there's this funny story about the Greatest Man Ever Lived, who is of course Dante Alighieri from Firenze, of Divine Comedy fame.
One day Dante is traveling his way between Firenze and Pisa. It's a long trip, so comes late afternoon, he spots a inn on the road and decides to stop. After settling down, he sits at a table in the inn.
A peasant, a habitual customer, recognizes him from paintings he's seen and wants to see for himself if the Great Man is truly as great as they say. So he walks to Dante, and (imagine thick Tuscan accent if you can) abruptly asks: - Ye, are you the Alighiero from Florence, the famed poet?
Dante is a very serious man, and brief of words. He looks up slowly and replies: - Yes.
The peasant follows up: - And what is, if you please, your favorite food?
Dante doesn't even hesitate a second, and says: - Eggs.
The peasant thanks Dante, and goes away.
A year passes.
Dante is again traveling the same road, and he stops at the same inn and sits at a table.
Once again the peasant spots him and thinks: - Ah! Now we shall see!
Quickly, he goes up to Dante, and, without any word of introduction, asks: - With what?
Dante looks up slowly, doesn't even blink, and replies: - With salt.