Language Lesson from Newt

Last night we drove over to Borders to say goodbye. It is the only large chain bookstore in my town and I will miss it. Sure, I prefer the local used bookstore. And nothing beats amazon for shopping in your pjs convenience.
Who am I kidding? I don’t even buy books anymore. At least not like I used to. In this economy I’m all about using the library.
Hey, wait a second…I’m starting to see why Borders is going out of business. It’s all my fault.
Anyway, we went over, not to buy anything, but just so I could, you know… smell it one more time. I love the smell of new books. I would wear it as a perfume.
Most of the books were only marked down 10% or 20%, but the store certainly had the desperate feel of a closeout. The shelves had so many missing books they looked like jack o’ lantern teeth. Newt wanted to see if they had a particular book, but didn’t know the author. We went to look it up, but the computers were already gone. No longer were the employees smiling and helpful; instead they were silent and bored looking. We saw just one employee who was making a real effort. He was on the phone with a customer. I could only hear his side of the conversation, but it went something like this:
Hmmm… ok, well, can’t you remember any more of the title than that?

And you don’t know the author either?

No, we are no longer able to search our database. We have to just look on the shelves.

They are alphabetical.

Is it fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction is like… um, make believe.

I couldn’t listen any more and wandered away to smell the look at the cookbooks.
Another One Bites the Dust began playing. I asked Walt, “Do you find this song ironic? Because if you did, you’d be wrong. It’s not irony; it’s coincidence.”
I’m easy to live with like that.
On the way home, we returned to the conversation when Newt asked me what ironic means. Do you ever have one of those moments where you have a crystal clear definition in your head, but as soon as you need it, it turns to mush? I said something brilliant like, “Irony is a literary device, but, um, it’s not only in literature, or just in books… but anyway, it’s when you think, um… it’s the opposite of what ever you think is going to happen.”
Walt said, “It’s when you say something is going to happen and then it happens.”
And I replied with, “Nuh-uh! That’s not irony, that’s coincidence! Irony is when it’s the opposite of what you think. Or something.” I may have also said something about him getting ironic confused with moronic.
He was so sure that he was right, that he pulled out his iphone and googled it. Here is the definition he found:

Irony: the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning (emphasis added, because I like to rub it in)

I said, “In your face!” and then “Ow! Stop!” and then “Tomatoes!” which is our safe word for when I really do not (I mean it!) want to be tickled. Especially when he is driving and I do not want us to die.
Newt came up with the best definition of the night. “So irony is when daddy is sure he is right and mommy is wrong. But he never is.”
That’s right, Newt. Obviously this whole homeschooling thing is working out really well.

PS: There’s a fun conversation going on Frantically Simple’s facebook page about who is better looking: Han Solo or Indiana Jones. What do you think? Give your opinion here.


  1. A Little Bit of a Fuss | Frantically Simple - [...] the irony. The movie: People enjoying the novelty of the internet while a big-box book store drives the [...]

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