He said: 'Eyjafjallajoekull', I said 'bless you'. Which was not the best way to prove to someone that you'd not been listening to a thing they had been saying but, instead, that you had been watching some students make a daisy chain collar for their dog.
'That volcano in Iceland' He sounded a little put out, so I feigned deafness and turned my full attention to the poor friend of a friend who had been telling us about the volcano in Iceland that had erupted.
That incident was last Wednesday, while about 5,000 of us Christians were at New Word Alive in Pwllheli, North Wales, enjoying uncharacteristically glorious weather and some fantastic, intriguing seminars and worship sessions, far far removed from the TV and from computers and from Twitter.
As events unfolded in the Nordic North, we eventually grasped the significance of this eruption: a giant cloud of ash mushrooming across to the northern shores of the UK, grounding all flights and causing chaos at airports. With many of our speakers - Wayne Grudem, Jerry Bridges and Rebecca Manley-Pippert among others - coming from the US, it was becoming a matter of prayer for them to be able to get their flights back home.
Still, so far, there has seemingly been more panic than particle formation in the atmosphere. According to the BBC the weather patterns are still potentially pushing this ashy formation towards this green and pleasant land; it does beg the question, however, whether some flights could have gone out already if they were heading on a southerly flight path.
Hence Gordoun Broon has flown to the rescue - bad choice of words, sorry - he motored to the rescue in his boats. The Great British Navy is about to be launched to rescue Europeans stranded in various countries. It's like Dunkirk, only without the jackboots and hundreds of ME 109s pummeling the beaches of Belgium.
Already one British destroyer is on its way, the not-so imaginatively named HMS Ocean, and one aircraft carrier, the more aptly-named HMS Ark Royal, are on their way across the Channel.
This put one friend on top investment humour form. 'Should we be investing in ships and shipping?' he asked me. Until I see the ash I'd not invest in anything else other than a good umbrella and a gas mask, I replied. Not that there is a dash of ash to be seen in the skies. I am to some extent disappointed.
Still, he has posed an interesting question. Should I have invested in Iceland on my EzXty investment market? This is a game that allows you to pretend to invest in the market and you can win prizes for moving up the leaderboard. Maybe I was too late - Iceland must be expensive now. Still, there is always the possibility that all my investments ahead of the game (s) this summer may pay out: not so much Ash but The Ashes. I've bought loads of shares in cricket clubs and in names of cricketers that I've never heard of or know anything about. Hopefully, either with the Volcano or with Middlesex County Cricket Club, I will get some points!