This is an actual, real-life conversation that took place this evening on QQ between me and XuLei, my Chinese best friend. I translated it from Chinese, leaving only the characters that are important. There are only two – 骟 (shan, to neuter) and 骗 (pian, to fool or trick). This is a comedic misunderstanding worthy of Abbot and Costello . . .
Me: I want to show you my dog. He had surgery yesterday.
XuLei: What’s he wearing on his neck?
Maria: He’s wearing a cone. There are stitches where he got surgery . . .
XuLei: Oh, so it’s to protect where he had surgery?
Me: Yeah. You’re so clever!
[After a few minutes of looking for the word online] He was neutered [被骟] yesterday.
Me: Do you understand?
XuLei: Was the veterinarian not very good?
XuLei: Then why was he fooled [被骗]??
Me: If you don’t neuter dogs they can have puppies . . . and we don’t want puppies.
XuLei: If you don’t fool them they’ll have puppies?????? What does that even mean???
Me: If he and the mama dog haven’t been neutered they can have puppies
XuLei: How do you fool him? That’s so weird. My IQ must be too low, I just can’t understand. Fool your dogs and cats so they don’t get pregnant
Me: I don’t know . . . maybe I have the wrong word. It’s like . . . they cut off his penis . . .
XuLei: 骟 [shan]?? I kept reading 骗 [pian]. NOW I understand.
Me: So, do you understand me now? Neutered, not fooled! Aren’t you Chinese, can you read characters or not???
XuLei: I understand now! It just looks so similar that I never paid attention
Me: Yeah, I didn’t notice either that you kept typing 骗
XuLei: 骗 骟 Look closely, don’t they look similar?
Me: Of course they do! Now you understand my difficulties last year . . . 末未，Look closely, don’t they look similar? 士土，人入 . . . Characters are so complicated!
XuLei: Haha, I understand
Maria: We poor foreigners . . .