Thursday, September 7, 2006

Dripping with Irony

Who does it suck to be right now? JonBenet Ramsey’s Mom. Why? Because she’s dead, of course. If I’m surprising anyone by breaking this news, you’re not alone. The news went by quietly. But the woman died of ovarian cancer on June 24. Just consider the irony. Go ahead, I’ll even give you a few lines.

The lady who killed her 6-year old daughter was killed by the organ that makes her babies. Let that stew around in the noodle for a moment. That’s some Grade A delicious irony, folks. Ironic deaths can be fun. Okay, not fun in that watching-an-old-lady-try-to-get-through-an-automatic-door-with-a-walker kind of way, but more like in that classic, less rewarding, enjoying life’s spitefulness sort of way. But fun nonetheless.

Imagine how many new ovaries that $100,000 could have bought you.

I bring up ironic deaths as we find ourselves in the aftermath of one of the most ironic deaths of our time, that of the most legendary animal molester we will ever know, Steve Irwin. That’s right, the man who became a household name by molesting crocodiles and not dying… died. Think about this for a second, though. The man’s job basically stipulated three things: 1) molest crocodiles constantly, 2) be Australian, and 3) don’t get viciously mauled to death. Just don’t die. That’s basically what his million-dollar contract said. So in a way, Irwin managed to fuck up one of the most airtight contracts ever.

But getting back on track here, the death of the self-proclaimed Crocodile Hunter, who molested literally thousands of crocodiles in his career, finally came in early September when he was STUNG TO DEATH BY A STING RAY. What? A sting ray? You’re sure it wasn’t a crocodile’s barb to the heart? I have to be honest, this one had me reeling. Anyone around me at the time I got the news had to have thought I was really rattled over the Hunter, when in actuality my mind was just trying to put together the pieces of this puzzle. I think the sting rays owe the crocodiles one on this.

I mean Steve Irwin being murdered by an animal as random and out of left field as a sting ray would be like Ryan Phillippe dying on the set of a movie, or O.J. Simpson dying at all (seriously, the Juice dying in any fashion would be fitting). I mean, are we even sure what a sting ray is? Aren’t they those flat pillowy fish that the aquarium staff smilingly encourage you to touch as they float by on the water surface? If we had accidentally tried to pet them with our hearts would we, too, have been murdered like Irwin? Was I the only one noticing these eerie occurrences and wondering things aloud in public? Was I going to be able to live in a world of ironic deaths that make you want to laugh more than they make you want to cry? Was someone keeping an eye on Dale Earnhardt Jr. to make sure he wouldn’t die in a plane crash?

Just when I had reached my breaking point and the question mark key stopped working on my computer, I found an answer. I picked up the newspaper the next morning, whose headline read in bold print “FOUR CHILDREN’S BODIES FOUND IN SMOLDERING BUS RUINS.” Suddenly, the world made sense again. Ironic deaths are just as random as the nonsensical ones. For every crocodile molester that dies from fish pillow stings, there’s an idiot with a hang glider that dies in a hang gliding accident.

Needless to say, I rested comfortably that night, smoldering kid bodies dancing in my dreams.