Harry, the Guy who Took Being Ironic into an (Ironic) Art Form

by Finn, age 12
Harry, the Guy who Took Being Ironic into an (Ironic) Art Form Finn is 12 years old and lives in Bethesda, MD. He likes playing video games and writing comics or funny stories. Unlike Harry, he’s only ironic about a few things.

“Harry began to ironically reflect. He wondered if it was his constant irony that made others alienate and dislike him.”

 

Chapter 1: The Irony Begins

Harry sat in his room in Portland, ironically watching Shrek the Third and ironically listening to In the Aeroplane over the Sea. On his wall ironically hung posters depicting Nicolas Cage. In his wardrobe, ironically, were flannel shirts, tapered pants, and beanies. Harry was, ironically, a freelance writer. Harry flipped open his ironic Macbook and began to ironically type a rant on an Internet message board about how In the Aeroplane over the Sea was terrible. He was, ironically, typing in Comic Sans. Shrek the Third and In the Aeroplane over the Sea still ironically playing, he began to ironically read Homestuck on the Internet, his fingers ironically in the WASD position.

As In the Aeroplane over the Sea reached its close, Harry walked over to his ironic vinyl record player and, ironically, began to play his ironic bootleg of the John Cena theme song. Literally half of the limited space in his ironically minimalistic apartment was taken up by his ironic vinyl collection.
Sometimes, Harry ironically wished he was bald, so that even his name would be ironic. He ironically decided to shave his head. He walked into his cramped bathroom and opened up the medicine cabinet, removing his ironic straight razor and some shaving cream. I don’t know exactly how you shave because I’m only twelve years old, but anyway Harry shaved his head. Unfortunately, he ended up with a lot of cuts on his head. Rapidly losing blood, he ironically called for an UberX because he was an ironic freelance writer and couldn’t afford a car. He had passed out the second he got into the car, but not before making an ironic comment about how it was fifteen minutes late.

After stepping out of the Uber at the hospital, he was hit by an ambulance. He passed out again, but not before appreciating the irony of the situation.

He woke up in an ICU, after which the nurse revealed he had been in a coma for three weeks, during which they had performed extensive surgery. The nurse showed him what he now looked like in the mirror. Harry screamed, but not because of the permanent, brutal scarring on his head.

He had forgotten his ironic beanie.

He used his ironic made-up style of martial arts to ironically throw the nurse out of the window and escape the room. He was only on the ground floor, so the nurse climbed back through the window and chased after Harry. How ironic.

After escaping the building and wincing in pain from his recent surgery from which he had not yet recovered, he ironically stole a smart car and floored the gas pedal. He had to get to his ironic beanie before it was too late. He ironically looked down and noticed that he was wearing a hospital gown. He wasn’t even wearing his ironic flannel shirt! Now he really had to get to his apartment. At least his ironic lensless glasses and curly mustache were intact.

While ironically driving on a road that wound through a forest, a deer jumped in front of the ironic smart car. Regretting that he had to take a life, but ironically determined to reclaim his ironic clothing, he ironically kept driving.

Harry woke up on the side of the road in the burning debris of the smart car. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the deer run away unharmed. He ironically resolved to ironically hate poorly constructed smart cars for the rest of his life. Still determined to reach his apartment, he ironically ran down the road until the soles of his ironic bowling shoes wore out and he stepped on a rusty nail, contracting tetanus.

At least he had made it out of the forest. Now he was within about a mile of his shabby apartment, which was only maybe a half step up from his parents’ basement, in which he had ironically lived only the previous year. Ironically flagging down another UberX, he gave the driver the directions to his apartment.

After stumbling into his apartment, he immediately and ironically put on his beanie and flannel shirt. He almost felt the power surging through his body.

Which wasn’t actually power, but spasms resulting from his tetanus.

Ironically, Harry fell to the floor unconscious.

Waking up in the hospital for the second time in one day, he was immediately put back to sleep by the same nurse he had thrown out the window. Before falling back into unconsciousness, Harry had just enough time to be amused by the irony of the situation.

When he woke up again, Harry was alone in the room. He thought about how ironic it was that he had been knocked out five times and counting in the space of just three weeks. He noticed a small speaker with an iPod connected to it. Ironically, Harry began to play Death Cab for Cutie. As Harry ironically looked out the window, he noticed a speck in the sky. Squinting through his ironic lensless glasses, he noticed that the speck was getting steadily larger. Harry didn’t have the time to appreciate any irony to be found in the situation, because that speck was an atom bomb, ironically launched by the Russian government.

Chapter 2: The Electric Boogaloo (Too Ironic to Live, Too Ironic to Die)

When Harry woke up again, it was in a tangled pile of metal that used to be the hospital bed. Ironically gazing into the distance, he saw a slowly rising mushroom cloud against a red-orange sky. Heh, red sky and Russians. Ironic.

So, he ironically thought, I guess Fallout is real. If that truly was the case, he would need some bottle caps. His alcoholic neighbor Dave would surely have those in abundance. Ironically heading to his apartment, he met a few lucky survivors, alive but irradiated. They passed a rumor among themselves that what was left of the US government was initiating secret emergency plan W.E.E.A.B.O.O., which involved asking the Japanese government for help. How ironic, thought Harry ironically, while ironically wondering what “W.E.E.A.B.O.O.” stood for. Sounds like something out of a Marvel movie. Ironically piecing it together through snippets of conversation, he learned that “W.E.E.A.B.O.O.” stood for absolutely nothing but a few government strategists thought it would be funny. Now that’s ironic.

He kept walking through the ruins of Portland, seeing dead hipsters everywhere, ironically worrying that he would encounter some kind of mutated monster. After reaching the place his apartment building used to be, he ironically observed that it had been torn out of its foundation and had landed some four blocks away. Thankfully, the dumpsters were still where he ironically remembered them to be. He started ironically digging through the trash until he had what he ironically felt was a sufficient number of bottle caps, around five hundred. Boy, was Dave’s alcoholism a livesaver.

He ironically looked up just in time to notice another atom bomb. Quickly (and ironically) jumping through The Waffle Window, he miraculously and very ironically survived yet again, but not after being knocked unconscious for, what, like, the seventh time? If Harry was conscious enough, he would probably appreciate the irony.

After waking up yet again, this time in the wreckage of The Waffle Window. He ironically set off to find a group of survivors he could stay with. After finding a group of about ten people, he attempted to buy food with his bottle caps, but nobody wanted them because nobody had played Fallout and they all thought he was weird.

After walking through the ruins of Portland for another few hours, failing to find any more groups of survivors, Harry ironically realized that after being knocked out seven times, he had probably contracted some kind of brain damage by now, not to mention his tetanus and probable irradiation. To take his mind off of his impending doom, he ironically wondered if the US government was in any way still intact, and, if so, were they initiating operation W.E.E.A.B.O.O.?

All this and more on the next episode of Dragon Ball Z,” ironically thought Harry, with a slight and ironic grin.

The group eventually (and ironically, thanks to Harry) decided that they would need to find shelter. They decided to split up in a small area and call to the others if they found anything. Ironically, Harry began to walk around and look for suitable shelter, ironically looking up just in time to see a falling i-beam.

Ha, got you for a second there. Bet you thought Harry was gonna get knocked out again. Well, you’re wrong.

Ironically grateful that he had dodged the falling i-beam, he ironically noticed that it had fallen from a mostly intact two-floor rowhouse. The front door had been torn apart by the explosion, so he walked through to see if it could house the group. He walked upstairs to ironically check out the second floor, when, ironically, he walked onto a part of the floor made unstable by the blast and fell through into the ground floor, falling on his head and ironically knocking himself out for the eighth time in three weeks.

He woke up just in time to hear that one of the survivors was calling the rest of the group over. He ironically rushed over and learned that he had found shelter in the form of a mostly intact McDonald’s. Ironically disgusted to have to stay in someplace so mainstream, he wanted to refuse, but, ironically, realized there was no other choice. He walked in through the doors and decided to see if he could scavenge a McFlurry. No matter how mainstream it was, Harry could always enjoy a McFlurry. It was one of the few things he enjoyed unironically, besides the act of being ironic itself. Ah, irony.

His fellow survivors claimed there wasn’t enough room in the McDonald’s, so they made Harry sleep on the roof. Harry began to ironically reflect. He wondered if it was his constant irony that made others alienate and dislike him.

Nah, he ironically thought, that couldn’t possibly be it.

Careful not to cut yourself on your edginess there, Harry.

Ironically, it wasn’t his edginess that was hurting him, but really his brain damage, steadily worsening tetanus, and now almost definite irradiation. Now if he could just find a way to be ironic about that. Then it hit him. He could be really ironic…by not being ironic at all. By deviating from his old personality, even he himself could be ironic!

It was brilliant. Even more brilliant than his ironic experimental ambient noise band, Injected Marmalade and the Instant Pity. No, wait, thought Harry. I have to stop being ironic. As he slowly fell into an unironic sleep, he resolved to be unironic for the rest of his life.

And then immediately forgot about it in the morning.

Chapter 3: F  E  E  L    T  H  E    V  A  P  O  R

Harry woke to the sound of incredibly loud vaporwave music. Marveling at how ironic that was, he set out to find the source. Being half-asleep, however, he forgot he was on the roof and fell off, knocking himself out. Again. When he woke up, the music was still playing. He decided to find the source, assuming it was a group of survivors. He also elected to abandon his group in favor of whoever was playing the vaporwave, because, whoever they were, they were probably a lot more ironic.

Oddly, he managed to pin down the location of the music’s source within the space of about one block, but it took him an hour or so to find where it was precisely. He finally found it within a very ironic restaurant, which he recognized. It was one of those places with an incredibly tiny menu and no custom orders. Good sign. Whoever was camped out here was maybe even more ironic than he was. He turned a corner and saw someone hunched over an iPod, hooked up to an absurdly (and ironically) large speaker.

“Hello?” Harry asked the person, carefully and a little nervously. The person’s neck turned around so fast Harry could swear he heard it crack. He immediately realized the person looked exactly like him. This “fake” Harry let out a piercing scream and the room went dark.

Harry wanted to panic but couldn’t speak. Then, suddenly, a flash of color appeared around him, and he felt like he was flying. Weird faces he didn’t recognize appeared and disappeared all around him, and suddenly, he was in space, flying around and through planets, into and out of galaxies, until he reached the end of the universe. All of a sudden, the vaporwave music started playing again, and the infinite stars and planets of space slowly faded away.

He was in the hospital bed. The nurse, after knocking him out, had given him twice the normal dose of sedative drugs. He had only just woken up. It took him a few moments to process his surroundings. He looked out the window. No atom bomb, no post-apocalyptic wasteland. The vaporwave was coming from the small Bluetooth speaker next to his bed, subliminally affecting his dream.

It was then that he finally remembered what he was thinking on the roof of the McDonald’s in his dream. He had been ironic for so long that he was too predictable. By doing something extremely unpredictable, he could be the most ironic man in the world. And the only truly unpredictable thing he could do was to stop being ironic.

By being unironic, he could be even more ironic.

And in truth, he had already begun. Notice how I haven’t written the word “ironic” as much in the past few paragraphs. He just didn’t know it yet. Lying in the hospital bed there, he resolved to buy some normal clothes and burn his flannel shirts and tapered pants. He resolved to at least reduce the size of his vinyl collection. To stop pretending he enjoys professional wrestling. To stop typing in Comic Sans. To stop watching Shrek. To stop using obscure Internet message boards. To maybe even move out of Portland.

To become unironic.

And by doing that, he achieved his goal of becoming the most ironic person in the world.

EPILOGUE

And then Harry died of anemia because his blood wasn’t iron-y enough. *Ba dum tss*

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