I wandered round town yesterday with my flatmate looking for Xmas presents for people. I got one, slightly rubbish present. I only really went shopping to make myself feel like I'd made an effort. Just getting my feet wet. Dipping my toe in. I'm entirely out of Xmas present ideas for people. The irony is that while I'm with my flatmate I see about five different gifts which would be ideal for him.
I saw a Homer Simpson top which my Dad might have enjoyed. It had a picture on it of Homer Simpson slouching on a couch with a beer half asleep. Excellent! I wait in line to ask the assitant if they have this top in an XL size as medium probably wouldn't fit my Dad. She goes and checks. No, they only have medium and small sizes of that design. I was a little annoyed by this, "that's a little ironic isn't it?" I ask.
"Yes love, don't iron directly on the design though as it may damage it slightly, turn it inside out to do the front" she replied, either mishearing me or misunderstanding me or screwing with my head on purpose. I like the idea of the latter but suspect the former. I wandered off a little annoyed. Doesn't that make the joke on the top less funny? If you're selling tops which laugh at Homer and his lazy fat ways but only sell sizes which fit people who are probably neither surely that's a bit, ironic? I imagined the conversation between the assistant and the person who orders those tops.
"I had someone in today asking for an XL of one of those Homer Simpson tops, you know the ones that mock his unhealthy lifestyle."
"Whatever would someone want one of those tops in XL for?"
"I don't know, he said it was ironic!"
"Ironic? Are you sure he wasn't talking about ironing? They're good to iron but it's best to turn them inside out first"
"No, no he meant there was a duality of meaning and inherent implication that you laugh along with Homer rather than at him."
"Surely you laugh at him rather than with him."
"I thought that too. Otherwise these tops would actually be encouraging sloth and greed."
"Perhaps he was getting it as a present to mock an XL sized person. He was using the veil of irony to obscure cruelty."
"I don't think we should encourage that sort of thing. Not here. Not now."
And so on. You might think that's a bit far fetched but I think it's odd that the top I was trying to buy could be sold in anything other than an XL size. And they do say the truth is stranger than fiction don't they? Yes they do say that. Quite often in fact. And fiction.