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Ironic - Alanis Morisette - narrative inspired from the song


John James stood at the bus-stop as the rain fell like stair rods from dreary Thursday skies. He was carrying a singular, cardboard box, which contained the belongings from his desk or ‘work station’ as the new boss liked to call it. Mr Jenkins and John had not seen eye-to-eye since the take-over, and he’d known it was only a matter of time before he was 'let go’. ‘Let go’ - almost like he’d been tethered to the company these last 20 years, but had now been graciously released. Except it didn’t feel like a release. Now, having had his company car removed along with most of his pride and dignity, the realisation struck that his lifestyle was about to change – radically. What would he tell his wife? How would they pay the mortgage? The children would have to leave St Wilfred's with immediate effect.

John gulped back the sickening, gripping feeling in his chest, and with a sigh, turned to the ‘Jobs’ section of the newspaper. May as well do something useful while he waited.


It was at this point that a small, cardboard oblong fell onto his lap. It was a bright red colour with silver squares on it – along the top read WIN £100, 000. Reaching into his coat pocket, Mr James took out his keys and began to scratch off the silver lining of the ‘magic’ squares. He had to reveal three treasure chests to win.


When the first was revealed, he smiled to himself knowingly. These things were made that way; of course everyone got at least one chest. Nonchalantly, he began to scratch off the remaining boxes.


His interest was piqued when a second golden chest was revealed.


He paused, the coin hovering over the third silver square. Interesting. Just one more chest, that's all it took. One chest. He was not a stupid man and knew the odds were against him, but then again somebody had to win or it would be fraudulent, so why couldn't it be him? He scoffed at himself for being so hopeful. Wouldn't that be just perfect timing? Too cliched. But then.....there wasa a chance, however small, and Chance was precisely what was making his heart race that little bit faster on that rainy afternoon at Longacre bus stop.


His fingers gripped tightly around the key and he began to slowly (almost not daring to look) move his key back and forth over the last square, tiny shards of silver film gathering as he did so.


And there it was! An identical golden treasure chest, just like the other two!!! A spark of joy leapt up from deep inside him. He surpressed it and rationally examined the tiny writing on the back for the rules of the game or some sort of 'clause' that would strip him of the prize. There wasn't one. He had just won one hundred thousand pounds!!! Excitement. Relief. Revenge. This was fate. Karma. He had been blessed by God, chosen or something. Now, he, John Anthony James had the upper hand, not stupid Jenkins. They could shove their job!


It was at this moment that a youth with headphones jostled Mr James as he sat down beside him and the cardboard oblong, so vital to his family’s security, somehow fell from his lap. It was now lying in the road, absorbing the rain, slipping away….


John quickly bent down to pick it up.


The horn of the Number 37 bus was the last thing he heard and the scratch card was never seen again.


Now isn’t that ironic? Don’t you think?


Kate McCallam ©


"Ironic" Alanis Morisette

An old man turned ninety-eight He won the lottery and died the next day It's a black fly in your Chardonnay It's a death row pardon two minutes too late And isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day It's a free ride when you've already paid It's the good advice that you just didn't take Who would've thought... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye He waited his whole damn life to take that flight And as the plane crashed down he thought "Well isn't this nice..." And isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day It's a free ride when you've already paid It's the good advice that you just didn't take Who would've thought... it figures

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you When you think everything's okay and everything's going right And life has a funny way of helping you out when You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up In your face

A traffic jam when you're already late A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife It's meeting the man of my dreams And then meeting his beautiful wife And isn't it ironic...don't you think A little too ironic...and, yeah, I really do think...

It's like rain on your wedding day It's a free ride when you've already paid It's the good advice that you just didn't take Who would've thought... it figures

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out Helping you out


Questions

What is the song about?

What point do you think the composer was trying to make when writing the song?

How does the song make you feel?

Which parts/lines in the song provide the greatest imagery and why?

What is the rhyme sequence of the song?

Where does the song have repetition and what is the effect of this?


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