When Carl was little, he was learning to play the violin. He had been playing for quite some time and couldn't figure out why it always sounded so squeaky. He began learning a certain song, and his mom checked in on him while he was practicing. She noticed his fingers were not going down in quite the right place. Carl thought you're supposed to put your fingers down on the fingerboard BETWEEN the strings instead of ON the strings! After clearing up this misunderstanding, Carl's tone greatly improved.
Now, that's just a cute little story. What I think is funny about this story, which Carl left until the end to tell me, is that the name of the song he was learning was called "A Sad Song with a Happy Ending." How fitting.
I personally think the next story is much funnier than the first one. When Carl was younger, probably in junior high or something, he and his sister, Laura, and two of their cousins were riding in a van. The driver of the van was Carl's older cousin, a girl, who was in high school at the time. Carl and Laura lived at the end of a long country road with big irrigation ditches on either side. Can you guess where this story is going??
The driving cousin noticed a fly buzzing around and started swatting at it, at which point she lost control of the van and drove it nose-first into an irrigation ditch. You can imagine the activity that must have followed as water began rushing in through the broken windows. After some scrambling around, everyone got out okay. Carl and Laura split responsibilities. Laura walked the two younger cousins the rest of the way home and got help. Carl stayed with his hysterical cousin in hopes of calming her down.
Now, if you were the driver of this van, you might be thinking, "Holy Moly! We could have died! I can't BELIEVE we all made it out without any injuries!". Or perhaps, since you were a teenager, you might be thinking, "Oh geez! My parents will NEVER let me drive again! I will be riding the bus 'til my dying day". But Carl's cousin's thoughts were more noble than these, and turned toward the poor van, smashed, filling with water, never to be driven again. Even at this point, you might be thinking, "Dangit! We probably can't even salvage the parts, they're so smashed and wet." But no, in this moment of hysteria, do you know what came out of her mouth?? Over and over again, Carl said, his cousin repeated the phrase, "Hundreds of dollars in carpet damage! (sob, sob, sob)".
Carpet damage? Carpet damage?? Really? Now, I'm no mechanic, but it seems to me that there would be other parts of the van more deeply affected by the crash than the carpet, but what do I know? Sure, even if the axles were intact enough to pull the van out of the ditch with any ease at all, and even if the electrical system had any tiny glimmer of hope of surviving, even then, the carpet WOULD be damaged. So I guess I see her point.