I have edited and read enough literature and critical thinking and language-conscious books to realize that I am no longer certain of whether I understand the concept of irony in its true sense. I did look it up in the dictionary and see that the idea of incongruity is part of it, but I am still not certain that the story I am about to tell should truly be labeled irony. I know that the term is frequently misused and that language aficionados shake their head in dismay at the decline of Western civilization when they hear these misuses. And I am a pretty literate and language-loving person, but still, I cannot quite wrap my mind around that definition of irony. But here comes the story.
I was out on a walk the other day, doing my usual, by which I mean picking up the detritus that others leave along the way. And there, beside the curb, was a can--one of those tall drinking cans that are so abundant these days: 24 ounces of something that I cannot imagine ever putting to my lips. I picked it up to discard in the recycling bin and discovered a brand I had never seen before. Peace Tea, it was called, with a big peace sign on it, and drawings of hippies, and a hand making the peace sign.
"Ironic," or at least incongruous or just plain depressing to find these lofty sayings on a discarded can that someone has left as litter in the gutter. Right?