Long ago, a friend of mine was in the home of a married couple having a loud fight behind a closed door.
The wife was listing the husband's numerous failings when she got to one that mystified my unavoidably eavesdropping friend.
"And you brought VD into the home!"
That's serious. Nothing funny about that.
But my friend misheard her heart-wrenching complaint. He thought the wife was making a reference to a co-worker of ours, a jovial photographer named Joe Vitti (pronounced Vee-tee).
And for the life of him, my friend could not understand what was so terrible about "Bringing Vitti into the home."
I mean, at least when stacked up against some of the other accusations being hurled.
But misunderstandings happen.
For instance, I once told a friend about a teenage escapade involving fooling around in a minor way with a girl who was babysitting at the time. But my friend thought I was saying I had been the kid being babysat and that I also had been the one fooling around with the babysitter.
Understandably, my friend found this mildly disturbing. Until, that is. the confusion got cleared up.
So the lesson here?
It pays to listen carefully.