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Wyn Drabble: online pop-up an irritating irony

Writer and musician Wyn Drabble is amused by a full-screen ad he “just can’t get rid of”. Photo/NZME

Our life is full of ironies. One of them irritates me a lot and appears every time I turn on or wake up my PC. It’s a full screen ad that I just can’t get rid of.

Often when I try to remove it, a smaller one (for the same product, but $100 off “today”) appears superimposed on it. And this one wiggles to get my attention. I think it works on the principle of color and movement often used to attract children.

So what makes it ironic? Well, I think I’ll discuss a few of the other ironies of life first and save the reveal until the end. It will certainly make a great conclusion.

How’s that for openers? Can we safely assume that Bible readers live by a respectable moral code? Well, here’s some news: it seems that the most stolen book in the United States is the Bible.

I’m sure even the youngest will be able to recognize Charlie Chaplin (star of my memorable first film). Many will also recognize his distinctive gait. Well, just for fun, Charlie himself once entered a walking contest like Charlie Chaplin. He failed to make it to the podium. In fact, he was ranked twentieth.

According to the researchers, duct tape should never be used to seal ducts.
Even pencils can be ironic. After 35 years working at Crayola, retired CEO Emerson Moser has revealed he is colorblind.

Alexander Graham Bell may have invented the telephone, but he refused to keep one in his office because he feared it would distract him from his work. What would he think of the current addiction to telephones?

And did you know that the first man to survive crossing Niagara Falls in a barrel later died slipping on an orange peel, or that Sweden’s famous ice hotel has a smoke detector ?

William Eno, often known as the “father of road safety”, invented the stop sign, the crosswalk, the roundabout, the one-way street and the taxi stand. He could not enjoy the benefits of these creations because he never learned to drive.

Cane toads were introduced to Australia to prevent reed beetle overpopulation. Instead of solving the problem, they became an even worse problem than the beetle and became a danger to native animals and plants.

Death is key in many instances, so stealth is advised for subsequent ones.

On the site where Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BCE, now stands a homeless animal shelter for homeless cats. And gunpowder was invented by Chinese alchemists in the 9th century; they discovered it while trying to find an “elixir of immortality”.

Just before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Texas governor’s wife allegedly said to him, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you. He reportedly replied: “It’s very obvious”.

Before I reveal the product in my irritating pop-up ad, let me comment on the irony of Alanis Morissette’s hit song “Ironic.” None of the examples in the song’s lyrics are ironic. Interesting or a little strange, yes, but ironic, no. Isn’t that ironic?

So, finally, to my irritating announcement. Among other things, it offers me “ultra-fast page loading and a money-back guarantee”. It even updates me on how many people took advantage of their introductory discount offer the same day they cut me off again (as I type, it’s 3,594).

I can even be assured that it was “less than a minute” since someone else last purchased this service.

You probably guessed it; the ad that’s currently pissing me off but also promises to let me “stream in peace” is for an online ad blocking service!