Friday 29 June 2012

The irony of irony: I don't get sarcasm sometimes

Yesterday, I received an e-mail regarding my 'Ah Lian versus Predator... I mean Priority Seat Aunty' column in The New Paper and I'm a bit perplexed by it.

Hi Mr SM Ong,

I am the most excited Singaporean today. Know why?

Cos finally I got to know the name of the kind-hearted damsel who got bullied by a ruthless Aunty in the MRT last week.

I take my hats off to this young girl (called Huina) who kept her cool despite being provoked and abused in public by the Ungrateful and Senseless Aunty.

Somehow, I felt very sorry for this girl who was treated harshly by the MRT bully despite being gracious, thoughtful and polite.

Indeed the beautiful Huina is the epitome of kindness.

She is a very caring, down-to-earth, friendly and unassuming girl. Traits of a typical Singaporean.

I am really proud of her.

And she certainly deserves to be crowned Miss TNP.

Lest you’re wondering, the alphabets TNP stand for Tolerant N Patient.

Appreciate if you could kindly forward this email to Miss Huina so that I can present her a bouquet of roses. Ha ha…

Many thanks Mr Ong.

I think the writer is being sarcastic, although I'm not 100 per cent sure what he or she is being sarcastic about.

My guess it's about how The New Paper is fawning over Huina like she's a hot Mother Teresa, which is a fair point, though not very clearly made.

But then why address the e-mail to me and not the paper itself? Was I fawning over her in my column too?

I suppose this is my own fault for often trying too hard to be ironic in my columns at the expense of making my point as clearly as I can. So I get e-mails in the same vein.

Payback's a bitch.