My mother, God rest her soul, had the most annoying habit.

You’d have conversations with her, assume that the conversation had run its course, and then be done. But invariably as you did you darndest to leave the room you would hear “Oh, and…”

She always had an addendum. It might be an addition to a list of what to pick up at the store or a piece of gossip about a neighbor. “Is that your new shirt?” It could be anything. She seemed constitutionally unable to allow you to leave without a call back.

I teased her. I started calling her Columbo in reference to the TV (television) detective whose habit was to feign leaving a conversation and then assault the unsuspecting subject of his suspicion with one more question. Mom didn’t like that, but I didn’t like that I couldn’t cross a threshold without a recall.

That wasn’t “the Columbo game.” That was just me being annoyed by a revered matriarch. But it was the kernel. The game is very, very stupid.

Friends and I meet for lunch at the same place several times per week. When one leaves, we try to get them to come back in from outside. “You forgot your keys” or your phone or whatever. If they come back in, you got them. Columbo’d.

It’s just one more thing…

A pound or so of beef, fatty. Half a yellow onion minced real good. Some garlic too. Stewed tomatoes, torn. Some cumin, chili powder, a bit of oregano. You’re going to need kidney beans. Salt and pepper. Did I say salt and pepper already? If I did I’m sorry. I forget myself sometimes. I like a jalapeno in there, but that’s just me. The important thing is the crackers.