So there I was, training it on my daily commute to work when what do I notice sat across the aisle? No, not a tub of Greek hummus. A bunch of suits talking cars and money. I was secretly amused. Smug even. I mean, how typical, right? Corporate types talking mileage and financing deals. And just then, before my face had a chance to become smug-free, one of the suits leaned over:
“Excuse me, miss. The price tag’s still on your jacket.”
What followed was a combination of inner death and the best attempt at stoic, but grateful embarrassment the world has ever seen on the 8.02am service to Bath. Not because the tag was still on my jacket. But because I bought it at Gap’s knock-down sale for £15. Uh-huh, that’s no typo. 15 bloody quid. I know, right?
Cut back to Mortified Mary. A £15 jacket is only cool when someone compliments you on it (which they have, I assure you) and you get to say, brimming with enthusiasm, “It was only £15!” It is not cool when you’ve been walking around for the last two days oblivious to the fact you look like a cheapo or an idiot. Or a cheapo idiot.
This all struck me as ironic while I nursed a big smug-dented ego. But was it really ironic? I’ll confess, I was probably distracting myself from the fact that the freakin’ tag wouldn’t come off and the general failure of train companies to make scissors readily available. But you know what? It worked. So I whipped out my Cleverphone and checked out irony – and guess what came top of Google? Alanis Morissette, the self-professed malapropism queen, and her dumb-ass song Ironic. Which isn’t ironic. But apparently the fact that the lyrics aren’t ironic makes the song ironic. Go figure.
“And what’s this got to do with hummus?”, you ask.
Pipe down, you. I’m getting to that. What Alanis said about her non-ironic irony, got me thinking about hummus. ‘Cause I’ve got mad lateral thinking skills and whatnot:
For me the sweetest moment came in New York when a woman came up to me in a record store and said, ‘So all those things in ‘Ironic’ aren’t ironic.’ And then she said, ‘And that’s the irony.’ I said, ‘Yup.’
Nice one, Alanis. You nearly pulled it back. But not quite.
“So how’d this get you thinking about hummus?”, you ask.
Persistent, aren’t we? Well, it’s elementary. All over, things that aren’t what they claim to be end up becoming the very thing they’re not. Like……. Greek hummus! It was only the other day a fellow foodie blogger, the wonderful Kalofagas, sent me this disconcerting image…
Disturbingly Greek hummus
Do you want to know what the irony of it is? The brand is called ‘alithino‘ – which in Greek means real/authentic. And if you squint a bit under the little tree-man, you’ll see it says “natural Greek products”. Greek products! And you don’t need to read Greek to deduce that XOUMOUS, is hummus. Alas, dear readers, this is a Greek company based in Thessaloniki, Greece. That’s got to be ironic*, don’t you think?
“And the verdict?”, you ask.
Good question. Well, I can’t blow a fuse over culinary osmosis, now can I? But that don’t change the fact that hummus ain’t Greek!
*I am still wrestling with the real meaning of irony. Situational irony? Socratic irony? Pah! But this has to be closer to it than a fly in your Chardonnay. Why would that be even vaguely ironic? And what kind of freak has 10,000 spoons?