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Steeped in Irony

image of tim horton's cup in treeWhen he first saw the advertisement, Horatio Butler thought it was funny.

In the commercial, a mother misinterprets her teenage son, who describes the Tim Horton’s tea he just brought her as “steeped”. Instead of replying, “of course, son, all tea is steeped,” she thinks it is some kind of new and hip word for great, and proceeds to use it this way, making a jackass of herself to her daughter, her neighbor, and so forth.

After a few viewings, Horatio found this ad quite touching as well. The mother is really trying to relate to her children in the language they use. It is only a misunderstanding, after all, and she has the best of intentions.

This turned to actual sadness after the second week the ad was running. It was really quite tragic, how the mother’s good intentions were turned against her.

Horatio had to either change the channel or leave the room when this commercial came on.

Then Horatio noticed the students in his grade 11 history class using the term, “steeped”, in conversation. Even in academic discussions.

“Yeah, Mr. Butler,” they might say, “that Napoleon dude was steeped.”

He could hear the suppressed giggles, and he realized that “steeped” was now a codeword for how dorky adults everywhere were. Napoleon was “steeped”. His namesake, Admiral Nelson was “steeped”.

Then the ad made him angry. How dare Tim Horton’s make his job more difficult by ridiculing well-meaning adults? He would stop buying their coffee altogether, but alas, he was addicted to the stuff.

He was steeped.

Credits: photo by Adge