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What is Irony?

Ironic Iron

A lot of people use the words irony and ironic when they actually mean sarcasm and sarcastic. Here's a short and possibly oversimplified explanation of the difference. Irony is what one experiences when the opposite of an expected situation or idea occurs. People don't need to go out of their way to experience an ironical situation or idea. Irony can occur naturally. Sarcasm can make use of irony to make an observation or remark about an idea, person or situation. Sarcasm is usually intended to express ridicule. Because of this, sarcasm tends to find more broad usage than irony. Ironically, irony has nothing to do with iron, as best as I can figure out.

That said, I must admit that I have a sarcastic bent that I have to keep in check. I love irony, though, and I love the humor of incongruities that don't belittle anyone. Today's post is a number of pictures of ironic situations, most of which seem to be unstaged.

House pets can be the source of much irony in our lives. Here are a couple for your dog lovers.

Antichewing Spray
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Easy Tests


Most students and teachers are now on summer vacation here in the USA. I don't want any of them to lose their edge, so today's post is two short tests. Don't panic - they're easy tests. The first test has eleven questions. The answers are further down in the post. No fair peeking!

The Test

1. Johnny's mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child's name?

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

8. What was the president's name in 1975?

9. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

10. Which is correct to say, "The yolk of eggs are white" or "The yolk of eggs is white"?

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?
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Bear with Us

My wife recounted to me a recent news story she had seen about a man in Daytona Beach, FL, who looked out the window and spotted a black bear in the hammock swing in the back yard! Here's a picture of the bear:

Bear in Hammock

That news story and another one the other day about Smokey the Bear turning 70 this year made me think I ought to do a blog post about bears. First, there's a fun, short YouTube video about his birthday, and then I've posted two jokes that have bears in them.

Those of you reading this post in e-mail or in a blog reader might have to go to this blog post itself to see the video.
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Little Humor


When you tell people, "I'm not happy," do they ask which dwarf you are instead? On St. Patrick's Day do people ask you where your pot of gold is? Do you hate to gain even one pound because it instantly shows everywhere? Do you constantly have to ask random strangers to help you get something off higher shelves in stores? Do people use you as an armrest without asking? When people drop things, do they ask you to pick it up since you're closer to the ground? Do you always end up in the front row in pictures and choirs?

If you have never faced any of those situations, you're probably one of those disgustingly tall or otherwise normal people. :-) For a long time I have referred to myself as "short and dumpy." Whenever I say that, I hear everything from hearty laughs to nervous chuckles .... like, is it ok to laugh at what I just said about myself? I come from a family of short people — my French grandma was 4'9", her daughter (my aunt) 4'10", and my dad (Grandma's son) was 5'5". At 5'8" I felt like Gulliver with much of my family in France. My mom's side of the family added little height to the mix — Mom was 5'1" tall (in her younger years).

In my annual physical recently, I learned that I am now 3/4 of an inch shorter than I already was for my whole adult life! Losing some height that I could ill afford to lose and my wife's recently reading the funny thing I've used as my signature line at the end of this post made me decide to do a post about being short. This will give you a glimpse of how we experience life from the altitude at which we fly.

Things you get to / have to hear as a short person:

You're like really short ... to which you reply, "Thanks, I had no idea."

You work at a bank?! Is it a piggy bank?

Well, at least you don't have to worry about door frames and ceiling fans.

Have you ever thought about playing baseball? You'd be perfect for playing shortstop.

Do you have enough money or are you a little short?

Do you also have good short term memory?

Are you a member of the Lolly Pop League?
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What We Can Learn from TV and Movies, take 2

picture of educational TV

Do you ever turn on your television mainly to learn things? ETV has all sorts of great, educational programming, but in our home we try to be careful as we sift through the information and misinformation available there. I would contend that we actually are constantly learning as we watch TV and movies. We are exposed to values and attitudes that, if we thought about them carefully, we would not otherwise give our time to or allow ourselves to be manipulated to embrace.

First as a parent and now as a grandparent watching Bugs Bunny with my grandkids, I have been amazed at how much of the humor in the cartoons I loved as a child went right over my head. But even in those seemingly innocent cartoons, as I have later watched them more critically at times, I have found lessons like dishonesty is all right, unkindness is normal and appropriate, etc. We need to be discerning about what we allow to shape our thinking.

On the lighter side of that, though, today I'm posting some humorous and at times bizarre lessons that we learn from what's portrayed on TV and in movies. I did a post with some other lessons about 3 years ago. If you like the ones in today's post, you can click on the link at the end of the post to see the post from 3 years ago.

What We Can Learn from TV and Movies

A cup of black coffee or a splash of cold water in face is enough to render the most inebriated person stone cold sober in a split second.

A hacker can easily get into the most sensitive computer in the world and guess the secret password in two tries.

All computer hackers are either handicapped or under 18 years old.

All computers are connected. You can access the information on the villain's desktop computer, even if it's turned off.

All dogs understand everything a human being is saying but simply cannot impart information as easily, especially in a time of a crisis.

All men are basically perplexed until a wiser female assists in resolving the dilemma with her intuition and natural insights into human nature.

All monitors display 2 inch high letters.

All single women have a cat.

All technology is plug and play — every computer can have any piece of technology attached to it with no problem.

All 20-year-old women are attracted to men three times their age.

Car engines cease functioning upon entering or exiting residential driveways.

During all police investigations, it will be necessary to visit a night club at least once.

Everyone has a guest room, two bathrooms, and a garage.
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