Alanis Morissette hasn’t got a clue about the meaning of the word “Ironic”. Which is ironic, seeing as she wrote a song about it.
An old man turned ninety-eight,
won the lottery and died the next day.
It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay,
It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late.
Isn’t it ironic … don’t you think?
No, actually. I don’t
think. There’s nothing ironic about any of those things. They’re simply shitty
“It’s like rain on your wedding day.” Really? Is it? I don’t get the irony. Will someone explain it to me? Alanis?
And it goes on…
- It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
- It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
- It’s a traffic jam when you’re already late
- It’s a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
- It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
- It’s meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife
Not a scrap of irony anywhere there. Even her pièce de résistance:
Mr. Play-It-Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought, ‘Well isn’t this nice…’
That’s not ironic – that’s just fucked!
(It’s also the Law of Attraction
: If you worry about something enough, you’ll bring it into your life.)
Here’s the piece of irony I remember the most fondly: I was in a TheatreSports audience one night (for those that don’t know, TheatreSports is improvised comedy on stage, in teams), and one of the teams was challenged to do a scene involving irony, with the setting being “A New York deli”. This is no small challenge. Pause for a moment and think about how you would respond to a challenge like that with no time to think about it! Ten seconds later the scene has begun, and the guy playing the deli shopkeeper says to himself (to the audience) in a perfect New York Jewish accent, “Isn’t it ironic how pastrami tastes so good on bagels…” He virtually got a standing ovation for that one line.