"The Car is Broken."
Yes. That's what we first heard from my teenage daughter when we answered the cell phone.
The car is broken.
That certainly conveys a specific impression, doesn't it? The car, through some fault OF ITS OWN, is failing to operate the way it should. It's BROKEN.
That's pretty bad luck.
Knowing the people involved, however, allows you some further insights into the situation. My wife, perceptive woman that she is, asked the following question:
"Are the headlights on?"
Pretty much cuts right to the chase, doesn't it? That's my honey. She doesn't mess around. And here's the telling response:
"Well, not NOW."
There we go.
The car wasn't actually "broken", then, was it? More accurately, SOMEONE LEFT THE HEADLIGHTS ON WHEN SHE WENT TO THE MOVIES. And THEN, surprise of surprises, the car wouldn't start. Duh.
You know, I'm not even irritated. Even though this is about the TENTH time she's left the lights on and drained the battery since getting her license. It just kind of makes me smile. You know, the admirable attempt to avoid any personal culpability vis-a-vis the current non-operational status of the car.
"The car is broken."
Yup. Just replace the word "car" with "explanation", and "broken" with "pretty sketchy", and that's more or less accurate.
If you squint your eyes the right way.