Your RDA of Irony

The Eugene Report

As I was walking to my car yesterday afternoon, a bird rather rudely deposited on my suit.  If I had been wearing blue, I might not have noticed.  But the purple spots on the tan fabric drew my attention.  That turned out to be the highpoint of my day.  The bird might even have been warning me.  I really should heed omens.

Sullied but unbowed, I drove to the college.  I expected a diminished class.  My college has overlapping terms, and an accounting class has just begun, claim-jumping my schedule.  I imagine Thomas Aquinas had the same problem, the alchemy class meeting at the same time.  Several of my students had defected, at least in terms of attendence.  They now would be taking my class online.  

However, I found myself conducting a soliloquy.  A student–you may recall him as the Anti-Christ of punctuation–did drop by to announce that he and several students would be attending yet another class.  So, making a quick tally I could expect–at most–a total of three.  They eventually sauntered in.  They will be identified by the following descriptions:  the young Rabbi, the smug Prince and the sloth.  (Guess which one turns in his assignments a week late.)

Even with this meager audience, the show must go on.  I was hoping to discuss “Death of Salesman.”  The prince objected; he doesn’t like plays and wondered why the class assigned them.  I told him that the play was considered one of the masterpieces of American theater; I asked my trio if anyone had ever seen the play?  The prince announced that he had tried–on YouTube; he was horrified that the film was in black and white.  How good could it be?  I was told that Quentin Tarantino would have done a better job.  Well, I did agree that there would have been more deaths;  Willy Loman would have killed at least 200 ninjas before they got him.

I tried to navigate the class back to the play.  I spoke of the disillusionment of the American Dream.  That was an invitation for the Rabbi and the prince to attack Barack Obama.  (The sloth may add his criticism by next week.)  Yes, in 1949 Arthur Miller was prophesizing the Benghazi attack.  Then Hillary Clinton got incriminated in the discussion.  I had to ask, “So in ‘Death of a Salesman’ it was Hillary who killed him?”  Somehow we wandered into film reviews of westerns.  No, I can’t explain it.  However, if nothing else, my students learned about “The Magnificent Seven” and how it was adapted from “The Seven Samurai.” I may be vindictive enough to have that on the test.

There now were only five minutes left to the class, and one of my defectors returned.  Someone in the college administration had finally noticed the conflicting schedule, and the other class would be changed to another time.  My roster would be back to a brimming two-thirds!
I asked my prodigal student what was the topic of the other course.  He told me, “the history of Jerusalem.”  Damn, I admitted that I wanted to audit it.  Then I asked the class, “Would you even notice if I were missing?”

  1. Bob Kincaid says:

    Yes, Eugene, as you have had rather rudely presented to you, the avian diet does change with the seasons. Purple berries are in season at the moment. The fashion-forward nebbish takes this into account when choosing between navy and khaki.

  2. Leslie Jo says:

    Hi, Eugene!
    I love this one. It’s fun to read a story about you, even if you did get shat upon by a bird. I have been the recipient of bird poop several times, myself. Your insights into your students, The Rabbi, the smug Prince, and the sloth are hilarious. If only they’d listen to you. There’s nothing like a good teacher and there are so few of them.

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