The true meaning of irony

One day while teaching a lesson on irony to ninth graders, I told this story:

“OK so, this past weekend I threw a party at my house. The main bathroom has a faulty doorknob that no longer turns, so we secured it in the unlatched position. There’s a deadlock on the door too, so you can still lock the door. But just to make sure guests knew the deal, I wrote a note: Please use the deadbolt to lock the door since the doorknob is broken. You are not trapped – just give the door a firm push to get out.

“I stuck this on the bathroom door, confident I had solved the problem. But midway through the party some guy came up to me and was all like ‘I broke your bathroom door!’ and I was all like ‘No man it was already broken’ and he was all like ‘NO, I broke your door.’ So I went with him to look at the bathroom door, which was indeed freshly broken–the doorframe was busted off the wall. He had seen my note, pushed firmly–very firmly–and broke the door open. And none of it would have happened if I hadn’t written that note to prevent it from happening. THAT’S irony!”

I crested to the top of a pureĀ  wave of triumph. Damn, did I ever know how to teach a concept! “Any questions?” Hands shot up. “Ronaldo?”

“Ms. Gruner, was there alcohol at this party?”


*Personal definition of irony revised.*

How to harvest honey from a top-bar hive

  1. Shut the chickens in the coop. You know it’s a good idea. Those bitches will be all up in your ankle space if you don’t.
  2. Consider the husband’s advice re: wearing the goddamn beekeeping suit. Reject it. Reconsider after he points out that you missed a day and a half from work after getting stung on the nose. Settle for putting on just the goddamn headdress.
  3. Light the smoker. Wait for flames to die down. Re-light the smoker. Puff smoke around the hive entrance. Lose interest in the smoker. It’s not like it ever stopped you from getting stung.
  4. Open your hive. Examine the combs. Give heavy-ass slabs of honey-rich wax to the husband for processing.
  5. Coo at your bees. Look for the queen. You will not find the queen.
  6. Tell the chickens to shut up, it’s only a few more minutes.
  7. Take off the goddamn headdress and toss it on the woodpile. It’s cramping your style.
  8. Rearrange the top bars, interspersing empty bars with full to increase a feeling of spaciousness in the hive and encourage the building of fresh comb.
  9. Make kissy noises at your bees and close up the hive.
  10. Crush the combs in a sieve and strain the honey into jars. Spend twenty minutes licking your hands. Gloat.