Q. What is the difference between ironic and ironical?
A. The letters A-L, which is AL.
Q. Wouldn’t that be “who” is AL, since AL is a person, not a thing and therefore deserving of a personal pronoun?
A. You’d have to ask AL.
Q. Yes, but Al who? Or should I say Al whom?
A. It’s Al Bangalore. Who invented the Bangalore torpedo.
Q. I don’t know who invented the Bangalore torpedo. That’s why I asked. And by the way, I believe it should be whom.
A. Whom? Who?
Q. Mr. Bangalore.
A. Oh, AL. Yeah, he invented the Bangalore torpedo.
Q. Yes, so I have heard. Buy why would he want to invent a torpedo? Was he in the military?
A. Whom, AL? No, he had bone spurs which kept him out of the military. And also the American Legion.
Q. Why would owning a pair of spurs made from bone disqualify one from the military?
A. You’d have to ask AL. All I know is how he explained it in his autobiography.
Q. He was a writer as well as an inventor? What did he say?
A. He said he was sitting home alone, waiting for someone to respond to his bone-spur listing on Craig’s list, when he got hungry.
Q. Hmm. Is that ironic or ironical?
A. So, he got half a loaf of French bread, dripped on some olive oil, a little bit of garlic, then larded in ham, turkey, genoa salami and mozzarella cheese. And he ate it. Later on, he called it a torpedo.
Q. Because it would more or less torpedo the gastrointestinal tract?
A. No, because it was shaped like a torpedo. Sort of. If you squint your eyes. From about ten feet away.
Q. It sounds like he was something of a torpedomande.
A. Getting harder to make the case he deserves a personal pronoun.
Q. Remind me. Is Genoa the hard salami or the soft salami?
A. You’d have to ask AL.
Q. Is he still alive?
A. Whom, AL?
Q. Who, AL
A. He’s not still alive. In fact, he was dead the last time I spoke to him.
Q. Is he still dead?
A. Well, that’s a fair question. But I can’t speak for him. You’d have to ask AL himself. Of course, if he is still dead – which, between you and me I think he is – that would be a second strike against his qualification for personal pronoun hood. Right?
A. By the way, did I mention he called it a Bangalore torpedo because his last name was Bangalore? If he had been Anthony Scaramucci it would have been a Scaramucci torpedo. If he’d been Arnold Portocarrero, it would have been a Portocarrero torpedo. Of course, if he was Jimmy Eat World it would have been a Jimmy Eat World torpedo. Because, no one knows if that’s Jimmy’s first name or last name.
Q. But what about submarine sandwiches? Aren’t they also shaped like a torpedo? In fact, aren’t they made of the same ingredients?
A. Well the way I look at it, a torpedo comes out of a submarine and not vicey- versey. At that point they are two completely different animals. So to speak. It’s like you go to your church and I’ll go to mine, although mine is now a real estate office and there’s no parking at all.
Q. What if I sell a sandwich that I call a torpedo, but in my heart I know it to be a submarine?
A. If you know it in your heart, you should chew a couple of Maalox and stick with torpedos.
Q. Weren’t we talking about the difference between ironic and ironical?
A. Look, it doesn’t really matter. As my Mom used to say “Life is nothing but a giant basket of ironing.”
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2019, all rights reserved.