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… and how it took 500 years to get to The Ultimate Punch Line in The Ultimate Irony.

First let me say that I am a big fan of irony. It is the stuff that lots of my blog entries here are made of … the stuff of which … oh … whatever.

Grammar police aside, being able to see the ironies of life is something that makes me laugh.

And I love to laugh.

But first … a definition.



The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

So what are some examples of irony that make me laugh?

Like when people will go to McDonald’s and order a giant Big Mac, extra-large order of fries, and a Diet Coke.

Like a knife to help you get into stubborn plastic packages … wrapped in a stubborn plastic package.

Like a tiny car with a license plate that says “Huge”.

Like a sign at a BP Station that says “You are responsible for spills.”

Like Weight Watchers next to an Ice Cream and Candy Store (here) … or Planned Parenthood next to a Bar.

Here is an example of irony from recent history

At a ceremony celebrating the rehabilitation of seals after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, at an average cost of $80,000 per seal, two seals were released back into the wild only to be eaten within a minute by a killer whale.

I found this quote in the same article … and it is something I have done more than a few times in life.

Another way in which Socratic irony is used is when a person pretends to be completely ignorant about a topic in an argument just to get an upper hand in the argument.

Who knew it was irony? Like when I let people think I am less capable than I am. My comment afterward is usually “I love it when people underestimate me.”

You get the idea.

But the one that jumped out at me today was one pulled from the headlines today. Perhaps you saw it.

About Richard III … the King of England … from  1483 to 1485. He was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

He was not a nice man.

He was not actually the one next in line to be King when it looked like they would be needing a new King. His older brother had two sons … nephews of Richard III … who were ahead of him in line.

So he killed them.

His nephews.

Or got a sleazy lawyer to declare them illegitimate.

Or both.

And so the story goes. He became King … until his untimely death at war … after which his remains were lost. More or less.

Not that many people cared.

Shakespeare even wrote a play about how slimy he was.

Flash forward 500 years.

At a parking lot … not far from where the King died. Bones are found.

Someone notices some things about the bones which make them wonder if this could be the skeleton of the nephew-killing King … and due a proper burial and recognition. 

Or maybe it was not and they should just put the bones in a box somewhere.

How to check?  Burial or Box? Burial or Box?

Mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones was matched to Michael Ibsen, a Canadian cabinetmaker and direct descendant of Richard III’s sister, Anne of York, and a second distant relative, who wishes to remain anonymous.

So it was determined through DNA testing that this really was Richard III.

Through DNA testing …

Courtesy of …

His Nephews.

The Ultimate Irony.

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