Ellen Degeneris had a similar thought for her book: My Point, and I Do Have One…
“Les Miserables” is like this as well. The book is at least twice as long as it needs to be to tell the story.
My friend calls it “birdtracking,” because the talker’s words resemble the mixed-up pattern of bird tracks on sandy surfaces.
A woman at work, the most digressive talker I’ve ever met, calls it “branching.” I tried to get the whole story, but then she tangented off onto her niece’s husband’s neighbor-from-1976’s recipe for lemon cake . . .
Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. IMHO, “branching” is perfect.