Brief character sketch of Carl.
| Carl was a misanthrope. In fact, he was probably one of the most thorough and dedicated misanthropes ever to live.
Carl could find something to hate about you without ever meeting you. Passing you on the highway, he hated you in the fleeting moment he saw the expression on your face through the windshield. Without seeing your face at all, he would hate you on the basis of the car you drove or the way you drove it, or he would hate the sticker on your bumper.
If you did meet Carl, he was likely to hate you by the time he finished shaking your hand, maybe because of your handshake itself or the manner in which you said "nice to meet you," or because you said it at all.
But people did say it. They said "nice to meet you" all the time, because it was, for most people, an exceptional pleasure to meet Carl, and even those who knew him for years — even those who loved him — would never suspect how harshly they were dispised by him.