Irony: It’s a word often misused and shoehorned into places it shouldn’t. Like “austerity” it has become a catch-all for many things that are just a pain in the hoop. There is an old truism that virtually nothing in Alanis Morrisettes’s song ‘Ironic’ was ironic. (Although writing a song called “Ironic” that isn’t ironic could itself be regarded as ironic, but I don’t think that was her intention)
For cosmic irony – which in essence means the Gods having a good old laugh at our expense – you wouldn’t have to look much further than this year’s Spring.
Latest data from the Met Eireann indicates that our weather at the moment is cold – and when the figures are seasonally adjusted it’s even colder.
The problem is Climate Change. Namely, that we’re getting the wrong kind. While the rest of the world will bastes in record heat, wouldn’t you know, the melting of the Arctic Ice Caps is apparently going to make our Springs even colder. Ireland will effectively be the floor around the defrosting freezer of the world. And someone has left the kitchen door open to that oul East Wind.
The irony is that cold weather means we need to burn more fossil fuels to keep warm which in turn is melting more ice-caps which means that… you get the picture. What’s more, we won’t even be able to use as much wind-energy because all our wind farms are in the West and the wind is coming from the East.
All of this is according to “They” – the group of experts who are responsible for the dissemination of most information for public consumption. “They” don’t always agree. Another group of theys suggest climate change is rubbish. But some of those theys are also the kind of people who voted for Sarah Palin so choose your side carefully.
But if They are right and we are looking at longer winters, then we’d better start getting used to it and amend our schedules accordingly.
All over the country, primary school children are pointing at barren Nature boards and pleading with their teachers. “When?” Teachers need to set expectations early and tell their charges that there’ll be no Spring until Summer. Snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils are “Winter flowers” whose sole purpose is to cheer us up and no other meaning should be read into their arrival.
The date for Saint Patrick’s Day needs to be changed . As it stands, the country could be indicted by the UN Court of Human Rights for cruelty to Majorettes. March 17th is traditionally associated with the date of St Patrick’s death in Downpatrick but other documents indicate he may have died in Glastonbury in late August. Therefore why not move it to the Summer where it will be just as wet but a little warmer and incorporate the festival theme. It could be like a cross between Glastonbury and the Eucharistic Congress.
Holy Communion and Confirmation expense could be slashed at a stroke as anoraks become part of the official uniform. Other fiscal aspects will have to be streamlined too in case April and May snows make the collection of money difficult so parents make sure your child’s preparation for the sacrament includes Paypal training.
The shorter growing season means that Junior Cert and Leaving Cert will have to be brought forward to March. Youngsters will be needed for drawing silage in the only week available in June and nothing should get in the way of that.
One shouldn’t completely despair. The Earth has not stopped turning and has not changed angle so we still have our stretch in the evenings. But instead of the population being outdoors ‘doing a few jobs around the place’, they’ll be sitting in by the fire. That’s not such a bad thing. Sitting by the fire in daylight is a rare enough pleasure – it’ll be like the ‘inbetween the ceremony and the dinner’ bit a Winter wedding all the time. This is the best part of any wedding, because you can choose who you sit next to.
You can still wear that nice Winter Coat you got in the sales and now that the days are longer you can wander around in it in full daylight being wistful and pretend you’re Sinead O’Connor in the video for Nothing Compares to You
Cold springs will also delay fruit-flies –the annoying ones that hide among the bananas and evade swatting because they are so light, they barely exist. The flies that become so annoying you end up chasing them illogically with a hammer, won’t rear their multi-eyed heads until well into the year.
Finally, as temperatures continue to rise and the rest of the world becomes a broiling angry mess of overpopulated deserts and occasional methane belches, Ireland could be one of the most naturally rich countries in the world. Because we’ll have what the other’s crave – Water. Think of the power that will give us. Troikas that used to humiliate us about promissory notes will now beg for just a goblet of precious liquid to wet their parched lips.
Of course this precious commodity could make us the target for the United States who will attempt ‘liberate’ us as part of a War on Terror and instead destroy us. Now wouldn’t that be ironic.

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