I watched Perry Mason as a child with my grandmother. She was my mother’s mother. She lived with us, or perhaps we lived with her? At any rate, we all lived together.
My mother was a legal secretary and often to unwind at night, she’d go next door to play cards with the neighbors. That would leave me in the care of my grandmother who loved to watch Perry Mason. She let me sit on the couch with her watching it and patiently answered most of my questions. If I asked too many, she’d say perhaps this was an episode I shouldn’t be watching. I’d get quiet right away so I could stay.
I learned a lot from the show and one of the most entertaining things I learned was the phrase, “Incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial”. That phrase was often uttered when Mason or the prosecutor, Burger, would object to a question the other one had asked a witness.
One day my mother asked me something. I can’t remember her question, but I can remember the look on her face when I told her that question was “incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial”.