If you’ve seen AMC’s The Walking Dead, you know that Rick Grime’s pack of survivors is perpetually slowed down by Rick’s wet blanket of a son, Carl. There’s a lot to dislike about Carl. He’s wimpy, he’s immature, he’s completely dependent on the people around him, and, oh dear god, he’s me! I’M CARL!
Every group of friends has a Carl. On The Walking Dead, the group’s Carl is - obviously - Carl Grimes.
On Friends, it’s Gunther.
The Simpson’s Carl is Milhouse.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Carl is appropriately named Carlton.
Dick Cheney had a Carl.
And so did The Beatles.
And, of course, my own friend group has a Carl. Me.
I’m surprised I didn’t see it sooner. The signs have always been there.
1) I’m always bumming a ride from people.
Total Carl move.
2) [SPOILER]. I didn’t mind Lori.
NOBODY LIKED LORI.
Remind you of anyone?
3) I can’t take my liquor.
I’d rather have a hard cider than a beer. So Carl.
4) Spicy foods. I can’t handle those either.
So Carl it hurts!
5) I’m scrawny.
6) I like Carl on the show.
NOBODY LIKES CARL.
7) I’m always whining.
I’m whining right now!
8) [SPOILER] I would have shot that kid.
Remember when Carl shot that kid at the end of season 3? I would have done the same thing. DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT THE PRISON WAS GETTING ATTACKED!
9) My number one emotional defense mechanism is to evoke pity from people.
This is getting too real. Anyway, sounds like Carl, right?
10) I’m short.
Carls can’t reach the top shelf.
11) I wasn’t crazy about my childhood.
There were no zombies, but middle school was rough. If you’re a Carl, you get it.
12) I love going on long hikes down abandoned railroad tracks with my dad.
Sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon to me.
The evidence is pretty damning. I’m a Carl. Simple as that.
Listen, I’m not delusional. I didn’t think I was the Daryl of my group or anything, but I figured I was at least the Glenn. I guess I should just be grateful I’m not the Andrea of my friend group. But no, I’m a Carl. That’s my burden to bear. My burden is to be a burden on everyone else, because that’s what it means to be a Carl.