The New Yorker, May 26, 1973 P. 39
Some of Colby's friends had been threatening him for a long time because of his behavior and now that he had gone too far, his friends decided to hang him. Colby didn't think he should be hung even if he had gone too far (he didn't deny he had gone too far) but nobody listened to his arguments and instead they began to plan the big event. The first thing to decide was the kind of music. Colby asked for Ives. Howard, who is a conductor, said that was a delaying tactic because Ives was impossible to perform. He suggested Colby make another selection. Hugh was worried about the wording of the invitations. It was decided to refer to the hanging as "An Event Involving Mr. Colby Williams" so the authorities would not find out what the event was. Magnus said he'd have the invitations printed. Colby asked that drinks be served and that was agreed to. Tomas, who is an architect, began work on a few designs of gibbets, but in the end it was decided to hang Colby from a tree. Harry would provide limousine service for the guests. Paul decided if Colby stood on something, they wouldn't need a hangman. A large rubber ball was decided upon because a kitchen chair would be too tacky. Hank suggested they hang Colby with wire instead of rope. Colby began looking a little green at that, but the author argued agst. it & got the others to agree to rope. Everything went smoothly at the event & the author says what he remembers best is Colby's look of gratitude for the rope and the fact that nobody has ever gone too far again.
In “Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby,” by Donald Barthelme, there are several examples of Irony. Two of the many examples are the friends deciding to hang Colby just because he was going too far and secondly Hank being the quiet one he is speaking up about using wire instead of rope.
The Friends of Colby have been threatening him for a long time, because of the way he had been behaving, is Ironic because the story never really specifies what Colby actually done wrong to be in this position. His friends deciding to hang him, in their opinions, are a reasonable punishment. Not only do they intend to hang him, they would like his input on certain specifics of the hanging. The friends make the hanging appear to be some sort of show, a seemingly red carpet event, with music and invitations. Colby didn’t really know what was going on.
Another good example of Irony in this story is of “Hank”, was silent all this time, suddenly spoke up and said he wondered if it wouldn't be better if we used wire instead of rope , more efficient and in the end easier for Colby, that way he wouldn’t suffer. He suggested. Colby looking a little green started worrying because there is something extremely weird about being hung with wire instead of rope it gives you sort of revulsion, when you think about it. It was really quite unpleasant of Hank to be sitting there talking about wire, so one of the friends hastily says that wire was out of the question, because it would injure the tree, cut into the branch to which it was tied to when Colby's full weight hit it and that in these days of increased respect for the environment. Not only are Colby’s friends about to hang him and discussing it in front of him, now they are concerned with the environmental factors.
The friends deciding to hang Colby, because he was going too far and Hank being silent the whole time speaking out about using wire instead of rope is just two of the several examples of irony in the story,...