i·ro·ny (r-n, r-)n. pl. i·ro·nies
a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.
a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: "Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated" (Richard Kain).
b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.
3. Dramatic irony.
4. Socratic irony.
Someone once sent me this sweet little interpretation of how God allocates children. It is called:
"The Special Mother"
by Erma Bombeck
by Erma Bombeck
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure and a couple by habit. Many become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these children are chosen?
Somehow I visualise, God, hovering over the earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, He instructs His Angels to takes notes in a giant ledger:
"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint, Matthew"
Brown Marjorie, daughter, patron saint, Cecelia
Rutledge, Carrie, twin boys, patron saint...give her Gerard
He's used to profanity"
Finally, He passes a name to an Angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped child". The Angel is curious, "why this one God, she is so happy." "Exactly. Could I give this child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."
"But does she have patience?" asks the Angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience, or else she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off she will handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I am going to give her has his own world, she has to make him live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."
"But Lord, I don't think she believes in you."
God smiles, "No matter I can fix that. This one is so perfect. She has just enough selfishness."
The angel gasps, "Selfishness is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she cannot separate herself from her child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child that is less than perfect. She doesn't realise it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says "Mummy" for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and see will see it as few people ever see my creations. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see - cruelty, ignorance, prejudice - and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be by her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here my by side."
"And what about the Patron Saint?" asks the Angel.
God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."
Altogether now: awwwwwwww. Can someone please bring me a bucket? Come on. You have to be kidding, right? Last time I looked in the mirror it almost cracked under the strain!
I have decided that my God has a seriously twisted sense of humour.
And to that end I have *ahem* reworked the piece above. It is aptly named:
"The Mad Mother"Most women become mothers by design, some after a contraception stuff up, a few when their biological clocks start screaming at them, and a couple because, well, they really shouldn't have had the last few drinks at the pub.
In my more delusional moments, I swear I envision God stroking his long white beard, mumbling and cursing over the earth selecting his latest breeders with great glee and snickering. (Sometimes I even see him as an Aussie God, Akubra perched on the long, gray hair, Bond's singlet stained with sweat as he mutters "Bloody Hell" as his calloused fingers run down the breeding ledger. Picking his stock with an eye on winning best in show.) But back to this ditty, as he plays God He instructs His Personal Angel (PA) to post His plotting success rate on His giant public blog.
The God Blog:
"Armstrong, Beth, toss her a boy, patron saint, Bluey, he likes a blonde.
Brown, Marjorie, she'll have a pink one, patron saint, Harriet, she can handle the nervy ones.
Thompson, Karen, twin boys to join the other two sets. Jeez, IVF is a wonderful thing, patron saint...give her Johnno. He's used to profanity and that sheila swears like a trooper. Can't really blame her, I'd be cursing too with that lot. Six under four, I think she's after her own reality show."
Finally, He passes a name to the P Angel and throws his head back with a loud laugh, "Give her this child, a different type of kid." The Angel thinks to himself "Well, He's finally lost it this time" but keeps it under his hat and instead diplomatically asks,
"Exactly. Teach her a lesson to have a kid who hates being in crowds. 'Bout time she settled down a bit! All this running around partying hard. "
"But does she have patience?" asks the Angel.
"Not a bit. Wants it all, that one. Well, she'll get it all, just not in the way she thinks. No more cranked up music playing day and night, this kid'll freak out at any loud noises. And just to serve her right for pumping out the Midnight Oil to that poor babe in her belly, I'll give her one that dances like Peter Garrett. Hell, she probably won't even notice cause she herself dances like Garrett after a few too many vinos. With this little one's sensory issues it'll be the closest she gets enjoying that roaring rock for quite a while, but all those years her mother told her she would lose her hearing have helped to train her for the endless hours of screaming meltdowns."
"Oh Lord, don't you think you are being a bit tough on the poor broad."
God gives His PA a wolfish smile, "Nuh, all the times she blasphemed and blamed me for her inadequacies, this one'll teach her. Put her anger to good use, fighting the system to try and get help. Might teach her to appreciate me a bit more, hell she may even start going to church! And because she has always been an ornery one who prides herself on her brutal honesty, I'm gonna give her a kid who is more self-focused and black and white in opinion than she could ever be. She'll learn the value of compromise and choosing her battles the hard way now."
The angel gasps, "Does she have anything going for her?"
God ponders a bit, stroking that long beard dripping with yesterdays luncheon soup. "Stubbornness. She will fight for him to the death, never take no for an answer, be loathe to accept any doctor's dire declarations. And grit. She'll be able to survive not having a moment to herself, not even to shower, she will never be allowed a minute alone. For someone who loved to sit and read a good book in solitude this will really suck. It'll piss her off, but she'll get through it."
"What poor sucker then for her Patron Saint?" asks the Angel.
God smirks. "She doesn't need one. When her feet hit the floor of a morning even Satan trembles and says "Oh hell, she's awake!"
For all the Mums of the *different* kids: