It’s Not What You Would Expect (Incongruity)

I am often delightfully surprised by synchrony in the blogosphere.

You could write a thesis about it if you were that way inclined. It could be titled ‘an analysis of subliminal, conscious and spontaneous influences on the development of literary and artistic themes within short time periods among bloggers on the internet’ or some such thing 😉

But who has the time or inclination for such folly.

Anyhoo, I was meditating recently on what I perceived as the current synchronous blog theme and it was:

                                                           incongruity

Yes incongruity. I love incongruity. I love it as a literary device. Hell, I love it (don’t we all) as a device for jokes and humour in general.

Apparently incongruity is king in the book of humour theory (and I suppose relief and superiority are the prince and princess of humour theory).

We like to laugh at things that seem surprising, out of place; the collision of two things that should not go together.

The following joke is an example of incongruity:

Two fish in a tank.
One turns to the other and says:

“Do you know how to drive this?”

But it’s not just about jokes is it? It’s about stories and life in general.

We love incongruity and more importantly we love incongruity followed by resolution. We are partial to the production of an Aha moment or what is known as the Eureka effect – the sudden understanding of what was previously a mystery; the coming together of little blobs of paint until the whole picture becomes apparent when standing at a distance.

So what was incongruous in the blogosphere these past few weeks.

Well first there was a haiku from Brisbane-based poetic guru Graham Nunn which you can find here.

Over at Square Sunshine Martin Hodges tells us stories about cursing and the incongruity that is a swear word from a teacher’s mouth.

Then there was a very intriguing combination of haiku and photography from NSW-based author Nigel Featherstone which can be found here.

Both haiku seemed like riddles to me; and what is a riddle if not rooted in incongruity.

But don’t get me started on riddles.

I will end this blog post with an incongruous incident which I often retell.

I attended primary school run by catholic nuns (yes, a convent) and one day a strange thing happened. The nun that was teaching us English suddenly lost the plot and threw a guitar across the classroom and started to yell and rant hysterically. The guitar hit the wall and she ran out the door.

Homework:         Please discuss the incongruity in this situation and provide examples of your own 😉

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32 thoughts on “It’s Not What You Would Expect (Incongruity)

    • The guitar was just sitting in the classroom (which was our main room – we only had the one room for each grade as it was primary school – so all our stuff was in that room). I vaguely remember a tv show with a nun and a guitar – haha – maybe it was The Flying Nun – you may not know that show Benedicte – totally weird now we think about it 😉

  1. Hi Gabe, interesting post and, yes, full of incongruity! And thanks for the shout-out to the latest word/images mash-up over at Under the Counter. (Just a small note: I actually live in NSW, not the ACT. It’s an easy mistake to make, because I did live in the ACT for 25 years and I was there when I started my blog, but I’m now back to being a New South Welshman. Funnily enough, Goulburn folk feel a closer affinity to Sydney, even though it’s two and a half hours away, whereas Canberra is only 50 minutes down the road. Might that be incongruous too??)

    • I do apologise Nigel – shows how ignorant I am of NSW geography – the only thing I know about Goulburn (apart from what you tell us on your blog) is that pears are involved somehow 😉 It is a bit incongruous that Goulburnians would feel an affinity for Sydney given the distance – but I suppose the ‘attractions’ of Sydney provide a strong gravitational pull.

  2. Pears? Now I’m lost! Then again, surely a post about incongruity is all about being lost…in the end. (PS Why do I get an alien flasher as a gravatar – if that’s the word – when I comment here!?!?!?!?)

    • I’m laughing so much I nearly fell off my chair Nigel 🙂 I even got that wrong – so you’re nowhere near Goulburn Valley (Pears) – hahaha – shit, that’s in Victoria – I’m skipping States and Territories like crazy! The alien flasher is even funnier – have no idea where that comes from – omg – thanks for pointing that out – I’ll get onto it! Something weird going on – don’t know why wordpress is asking me to moderate people that I already know as well. My apologies again Nigel (twice in one day – how embarrassment 😉 ) ps. trust you to notice the gravatar is a flasher – bwhahahaha

    • I’ve been chuckling all week over this Nigel – haha – which is very timely given the stress levels we are incurring from the coming move – so thank you 🙂 (loved your video interview by the way). Now I know where Goulburn is as well (like to get on top of my geography I do) – so double bonus points.

  3. Note: in regards to the nun – I think a part of the resolution may be in the fact that suddenly we realised that nuns are human and fallible too – Aha! They are all gone now – an empty convent – all dead or moved to Sydney (they had to bunch them altogether so they didn’t get too lonely – the numbers are so small – they were generally a very lovely, generous people who gave enormously to their community – this incident was definitely a one-off as far as I am aware).

  4. Oh, if I had a story that could top a guitar throwing nun — but I doubt there is — or ever could be such a story! Evidently she wasn’t much for music. Too bad for the guitar, ey ….

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