I think I may have mentioned this (she says, and looks around furtively to be certain no one is rolling their eyes) already, but I'm about to move across the country.
In preparation for the big move, I flew out to the Raleigh area last week so I could see the apartment, sign the lease, arrange for utilities...that sort of thing. Ava Stone was kind enough to offer to let me stay with her for a few days while I was in town.
Any time the two of us get together, much gut-busting laughter is sure to ensue. This trip was no different.
You might also recall that Ava recently had a run-in with a couple of dead mice...and that she is not so fond of mice. The mice problem has been eradicated, but her fear/loathing/general disquietude about the possibility of rodents being in her house has not.
We were sitting in her living room one night, watching the Olympics with her son. The two of them were having a discussion full of laughter (shocking, I know!), and I got a notification on my phone that I'd had an email. The response required a bit more typing than I really wanted to do on a phone, so I pulled out my laptop and started to type...and briefly tuned out the rest of the world while I composed my email.
This isn't an uncommon occurrence for me. I have been known to be lost in my head more often than I'm aware of what is going on around me. As a writer, I consider this a skill. (Perhaps an annoying skill for those who are trying to have a conversation with me, but a skill, nonetheless.)
After I was almost finished with typing my email, I became a bit more aware of Ava's conversation with her son. Here's what I heard from her: "What is that? What is that???" *cue dramatic pause* "Oh my god."
At this point, I looked up at her to see what she was freaking out about. Ava had one hand covering her nose and mouth. She pointed the other straight at me and, with sheer and utter horror filling her eyes, said, "It's YOU!"
Now, color me silly, but my first impression was that she was smelling something nasty and trying to place the blame on me and not her fourteen-year-old son.
After a few minutes of utter confusion, followed by long minutes of such sincere, gut-busting hilarity that I had tears in my eyes, my stomach hurt, and I couldn't stop myself from halfway snorting through my laughter, we sorted out that poor Ava was not accusing me of breaking wind or desperately needing a shower to clear the air of B.O.
No, instead she'd apparently heard my fingers tapping away at my laptop keyboard, and as it was an unfamiliar sound (normally, the only fingers tapping away at a keyboard in her home belong to her, and so she knows to expect it) and one which could potentially sound eerily similar to mice feet on hard floors, she thought her itty-bitty rodent problem had returned.
We continued to laugh over this--both her thinking that there were mice in the house, and my impression that she thought I'd stunk up the joint--the rest of the night. At least this miscommunication was harmless, not to mention humorous. I've had plenty over the years which were not so well received.
What's the funniest thing you ever misunderstood? Or have you been on my end of things and interpreted someone's words and visual cues to mean something completely opposite of what they were intended to mean? Would you find a scene like this believable if you read it in a book? (Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction...)