Mater was engrossed in a movie of some sort when I telephoned.
"I can't think of the name of what I'm watching, but you know the movie," she said to me. "It's got that McCain fella in it."
My reply was to say I didn't know which one she meant at all.
"Ah, come on," she kept at me. "Something like Internal Ferno. I mean Infernal Turno. No, I got that name wrong, didn't I?"
I suggested McQueen, Steve McQueen, instead of McCain. It was all I could think of, and Steve McQueen had indeed starred in what is commonly known as Towering Inferno.
No, she told me, and I could just see her flapping her hand at me in frustration; it wasn't him.
I was hopelessly baffled, but I know Mater, and I have adjusted to the nooks and crannies of her utterances over the years.
"You don't mean Bruce Willis, do you?"
"That's him," she said, thoroughly leaping at the answer. "Bruce Willis. Die Hard, that's the one."
It was an enormous leap from McCain to McClane, and from Internal Ferno or Infernal Turno to Die Hard, but we managed in the end, as we always do, to have the grasp of each other's conversation.