Irony Attack


A full-throttle example of irony begins with a drive to visit relatives south of Portland on a beautiful spring day.

We sit and chat inside, so it is odd indeed that by twilight I discover my arms and hands have turned pink: I courted a sunburn piloting the car.

Thanks to an antibiotic I’m taking to ward off the last ravages of winter pneumonia, my skin is more sensitive to the sun—as the pill bottle’s warning label proves.

So the next day I slather on sunblock lotion (lucky number 45) and cover my sleeves and neck with a light coat, glove my hands, and bike to work.

By mid-day a rash erupts on my arms, and I’m scratching like a cat while lecturing students on framing in the news.

I’m allergic to the sunblock lotion.

Peddling home in the evening I see the rash has added a highway of red to my already-shredded skin, soon to blister at will.

And—wouldn’t you know it—the solution to the leprous derma is another dose of antibiotics.

Listen to the 1960 song of irony, There’s a Hole in the Bucket, featuring Harry Belafonte with Odetta.




About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, science, science communication, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Irony Attack

  1. Russ L says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouch! I hope humor and time help.


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