After a discussion in a newsgroup with a guy who seems fairly bright, but who missed what I was trying to tell him big-time, even after I explained it a couple more tries, I am reminded that communication is, at best, an iffy busiess.
This event also brought up the memory of a funny story that illustrates this, and I want to share it with you:
A few years ago, the New Yorker sent a writer to cover the big biker rally held each year in Sturgis, North Dakota. The writer, being a nice, Jewish boy, was stepping very lightly -- New York writers not being big on the outlaw biker circuit, and there being thousands of serious bikers roaming about.
One morning, he came down for the brunch line, and a large, long-haired, bearded biker in his colors got to the line at about the same time. Not wanting to offend, the writer smiled, waved at the line, and said, "Go ahead."
Whereupon the big biker turned and fixed him with a cold-eyed stare and said, "Goat head? Who you callin' goat head ... ?"
No matter how hard you try, sometimes you just can't get it right ...