One cold winter morning a young man flies 1,377 miles on a plane to visit his friend and mentor. He knocks on the Banjomaster’s door. The Banjomaster answers with a long-necked banjo in his hand.
“I want to learn about the Banjo.”
“Very well then, come in out of the cold.”
They sit at the kitchen table eating soft-boiled eggs and blueberry sausages. The Banjomaster hands the young man an instrument and begins to talk about the fundamentals of firewood.
After a few minutes, the young man interrupts.
“Excuse me, I am here to learn about the banjo, not the fundamentals of firewood.”
The Banjomaster takes the instrument and tells the man to go to bed and come back downstairs in the morning.
The next morning, the young man returns to the kitchen table. The Banjomaster puts another instrument in the young man’s hand and continues the story.
The young man interrupts. Again the Banjomaster takes back the instrument.
A few hours pass and the young man also learns to speak Hindi, Mandarin, and Russian fluently and code in C++.
At one point, the young man observes –
“The instrument I hold is not a genuine banjo…it is a chainsaw.”
“Yes, they are both loud, noisy, and obnoxious,” the Banjomaster said. “And in that regard, they are hard to tell apart. However, I need firewood at the ranch for the winter, and for that the banjo is useless.”