God: the Supreme Ironist | HumorOutcasts

God: the Supreme Ironist

May 2, 2013

The detective-character in the mystery thriller I recently finished referred to God as the “supreme ironist.” My brain neurons began firing double time when I read that.

My first thought was, wow, that’s one smart, insightful character. Why is it that the Brits seem to be so much more intelligent than Americans?

This is not the first time I’ve wondered about the intellectual disparities between Brits and Yankees. Generally speaking, when I’ve tuned into anything from the BBC, I’ve been impressed. Compare that with Family Feud or Two and a Half Men. Englishmen win hands down.

Everyone from England sounds so much more cultivated. Even actors like Hugh Grant and Helen Mirren sound as if they graduated summa cum laude from Oxford. Is it that famous hoity-toity accent or is it more? Unfortunately I’m not smart enough, being born and bred in New Jersey, to answer that.

But back to Yorkshire and Detective Banks. Despite spending the bulk of the novel chasing down a serial murderer and wrestling with fallout from romantic and professional relationships, the good copper made it a point, from time to time, to wax philosophical about life and religion. I call that class! Most characters in American suspense stories are too busy chatting up bar maids or sleeping with their law enforcement buddies to devote a few pages–or even just a few paragraphs– to tony subjects such as the fate of the universe or the escalating problem of antibiotic resistance.

It’s not the fault of American writers, though, as I’ve heard from at least half a dozen NY Times Bestselling authors who admit they argued with their characters about dialogue and plot development but to no avail. The two-dimensional scene stealers they created  are stubborn to a fault with a predilection for the raunchy. They have a mind of their own and defy authorial interference. They’d rather drink themselves into an alcoholic stupor (and some have) while cracking a career-making case than elevate the consciousness of a few million readers with one or two well-placed insightful remarks.

That said, the  “across the pond” comparison I’ve detailed above surfaced for only a few seconds until my grey matter was eclipsed by another thought entirely: If God is into irony, he-or she, as the case may be–is really cool. And very trendy, as is warranted in the digital age. In short, God is a jokester with panache.

So here is what I conclude:  despite all the horrors Mr or Ms. Omnipotent has come up with in the past few decades–Vietnam, the Middle East, 9/11 and the Boston Marathon, to name only a few–Our Dear Lord must be working up to a very funny punch line.

I’m planning to wait until I get the last laugh.


Janice Arenofsky

I write humor, but also books and serious essays, features and profiles, usually for national venues. I'm a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists , Humor Writers of America, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. I live in Arizona, where it's hot, hot, hot (but very dry of course), and I have eight dogs and a cat. Oh yes, a husband, too. I blog at https://humorbyarenofsky.blogspot.com/ Come and visit me there or at my website or at Facebook, where I'm The Dysfunctional Family.

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2 Responses to God: the Supreme Ironist

  1. May 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Entertaining read! I’ve always heard that God is a comedian playing to an audience afraid to laugh!

    • May 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      I like that, Mike. Thanks for your comment. Always appreciate feedback!

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