Your Weekend Irony
We have had a little bit of irony recently here at the Show-Me Institute. Randal O’Toole came into town to release a study arguing against high-speed rail, and when he traveled to Springfield, Ill., from St. Louis to do some work for another think tank, he rode … wait for it … Amtrak. So, perhaps there is a little irony there (I try to be careful about the use of that term, and not confuse it with “coincidence,” “strange occurence,” or even “deus ex machina.”
For the real recent irony here in Missouri, I give you this story in the Kansas City Star. A guy about to be sentenced to prison for embezzling money to pay for a lottery addiction … wait for it … wins the lottery! And just in time for the court to take his winnings to pay most of the restitution. He could pay all of it back if the government didn’t take its bite, which is funny because just a few months ago a friend and I decided that the absolute worst piece anyone at a think tank like ours could ever write would be one arguing that lottery winners should be exempt from income taxation.
Some of you may recall the most tragic example of irony in Missouri (that I can think of) back in 2002, when an international pedestrian safety expert who came to St. Louis for a conference on that issue died when she was run over by a bus. That was horrible irony, which is generally the worst type, as opposed to the “you lucky son-of-a-bitch” irony of the guy who won the lottery.
I recall an attempt last year to find irony on an issue by Show-Me Progress (which is not affiliated with us at all — much to the relief of both parties, I’m sure), but I think they were stretching in their use of the term. Not a lot, but a little.
Have a nice weekend. And I REALLY hope I don’t turn that last phrase into something ironic by going and dying this weekend and pulling a Pistol Pete Maravich on all of you. (Scroll down to the end of the story if you don’t already know the sort-of-ironic part.) (If Pistol Pete had died upon uttering those words after doing anything other than playing basketball, it would have been just a sad coincidence.) (So, I guess, to be truly ironic, I’d have to die of something related to blogging, like death from carpal tunnel syndrome — which is thankfully unlikely.)