Being a natural-born pedant, I’ve always had a bit of an issue with Alanis Morisette’s song, Ironic.
Why? Well, most of the examples of so-called irony cited in it aren’t ironic at all.
They can mostly be attributed to misfortune or bad forward planning. Rain on your wedding day, for example, is a statistical likelihood if you’re British.
The one that really annoys me, though, concerns having 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.
That’s just unfathomably bad kitchen utensil management. And that, my friends, is a convoluted segue into an admission of my own shortcomings in this regard.
It’s only since we moved house that I’ve realised we own a disproportionate number of mugs. Seriously, we have scores of the bloody things.
There are at least 10 that, legally, I have to classify as ‘previously gifted’ to keep the Advertising Standards Authority happy. If you’re short on mugs, start a blog and they will come.
We also have some nice sets my parents recently bought us, mistakenly believing we didn’t have many as we always give them drinks in the same two – our best ones, obviously.
I have a Tottenham Hotspur one – yes, the only cup with our name on it this year – and another mug that once had a list of everything my team has ever won. But, much like the squad over the last year, it has completely faded.
Then there are the largely impractical novelty ones that serve simply to keep small sections of shelves free of dust.
I even still have a mug or two that are older than some of my colleagues. How on earth have these borderline antique vessels avoided breakage for so long?
They’ve survived three children, the same number of kitchen refits and at least four moves.
Not to mention our bastard cat who loves nothing more than knocking things off surfaces.
Of course, to keep consistent with the aforementioned song, I ought to mention something I actually need but don’t have.
Now, I’m being a little previous here but we are running low on tea bags and our grocery delivery this week had more than one everyday item unavailable with no substitute forthcoming. Coronavirus-induced panic buying is clearly not just limited to bog roll.
So, although it’s unlikely that the UK will run out of caffeine-based beverages, we could conceivably end up with an embarrassment of mugs and no tea to drink out of them.
And that actually would be ironic.