FURTHERMORE AND THE OXYMORONS
Furthermore, my Masonic raven friend, did one of his occasional disappearing acts recently. I thought, perhaps, he was just traveling. You should just see the look on the tyler’s face when he shows up with his current dues card, seeking admission!
Anyway, I wasn’t worried until things began falling apart in certain parts of the world again. You can dress ‘em up, but you just can’t let ‘em out, you know? In a moment of drunken conviviality, he once confided that he knew more about the Titanic disaster, the destruction of the Hindenburg, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Salem Witch Trials than he was letting on. I usually just let him ramble on. His version is suspect, anyway, because I don’t remember seeing him anywhere during the Salem Trials. Of course, he claims that just makes his point.
But I digress.
I was in the main cavern lab last night, working on some new surprises for the hydra, when Furthermore flapped in and settled atop the scorched wooden stake they gave us at Salem.
“Welcome back, bird,” I nodded. “Where have you been, what have you been doing and to whom?”
He cocked a suspicious eye at me. “Why? Was something looking for me?”
“Just the usual riffraff,” I responded. “Were you expecting something special?”
“Nope,” he grinned. “Besides, they don’t have a chance of tracing it to me. Not a prayer. Actually, I was just taking a little working vacation.” He paused. “I’m clearly misunderstood,” he moped.
“That’s two in a row,” I congratulated him. “Very nice.”
He grinned proudly. “You noticed! My, you must be terribly pleased!”
“That’s three,” I crowed. (I can do that, because I’m me. Furthermore can’t crow because he’s a raven and they are most definitely not the same thing.)
You’ve probably spotted it by now. We’re playing Oxymoron. Oxymorons, as you certainly know, are word combinations in which the words contradict themselves. Pretty ugly is a classic example. Terribly pleased. Working vacation. Clearly misunderstood.
Furthermore and I have found there are two basic types of oxymoron—those that are contradictions by true definition, such as “pretty ugly” or “jumbo shrimp,” and those that are contradictions because of your own warped personal politically incorrect point of view. These are clearly the more fun. They include combinations like safe sex, airline food, government organization, military intelligence, and the like. Other favorites include athletic scholarship, student athlete, computer security, software documentation, British fashion, business ethics, greater Phoenix and uptown Omaha.
Anyway, the bird and I have been collecting these priceless gems and creating our own for, oh, simply years now. Here are a few more that you’ll probably recognize from your own conversations: act naturally, found missing, resident alien, advanced BASIC, genuine imitation, same difference, almost exactly, sanitary landfill, legally drunk, living dead, small crowd, soft rock, butt head, California culture, childproof, synthetic natural gas, passive aggression, taped live, peace force, temporary tax increase, plastic glasses, political science, tight slacks, definite maybe, twelve-ounce pound cake, diet ice cream, rap music, and religious intolerance.
One of Furthermore’s personal favorites is Microsoft Works. That does have a certain charm to it, I’ll admit.
Anyway, we were enjoying ourselves, trying to top each other, when he switched on the big screen television and the evening news came on. You can imagine. One disaster after another. Things going wrong all over the world. Furthermore began to whistle aimlessly and innocently, eyes rolling toward the vaulted ceiling.
“I’m innocent!” he croaked.
“No fair,” I shot back. “There’s no way I can beat that oxymoron.”
The bird just grinned and headed for the bar. I quit. I mean, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Then beat ‘em!