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Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2005 - 12:09 p.m.

Before he turned twelve and found out what the word 'irony' meant, he already knew that his name was Irony Boy. Things around him seemed to always return, as a circle does, and defeat or laugh at his initial intentions.

When he was a sperm, he had deliberately turned left when the sea of his friends turned right. He was hoping to find a blind alley in the birth canal to hide in, as he was happy being a sperm and did not want to be born. But then he took another left and before him was the massive, spherical egg implanted on the uterine wall. He had to fulfill his evolutionary purpose and so with a sigh, he beat his little tail, swam towards the egg and poked his head into it.

Many years later, he found out that the pregnancy had been unplanned. His father had been too cheap and had insisted that the expired pack of condoms he kept in the drawer next to the bed was still usable. That was how he was born. Irony Boy was really angry at his father, and missed all the days of just being a sperm, relaxing with his friends deep in the seminiferous tubules of the testicles.

After the onset of puberty, he saw himself as an intellectual and thought a lot about girls, but mostly the intellectual ones. He had imagined his ideal mate, but the girl who ended up breaking his eighteen-year old heart was nothing like the one in his imaginings at all. In the belief that all intellectual females must be ugly and have small breasts, he sought these prized physical characteristics as his criteria, only to find that the girl's obvious intellect was unfairly contained within a pretty face and coupled to well-sized breasts. But she already had the perfect boyfriend, though she would accidentally run him over while reversing the car out of the driveway twenty years later. (She would break both his legs and he would survive).

He could not say he was completely unhappy about finding the girl, and regarding his loss, he understood the reach of his irony and knew that he would meet her again. He shook his head as she walked away, wondering how long the circle would take to turn back on itself and re-join this moment of departure.

He grew up, got a job, and accidentally became Prime Minister. He had hated the government all his life (some say it was the misdirected anger towards his father), and had joined the opposition to merely irritate the ruling party. But then his irony struck - the previous Prime Minister suddenly died of a heart attack and his ruling party collapsed on itself. The election tapped the electorate's long-repressed disenchantment, and Irony Boy had to form the new government. Who knew, that the unhappy heart of a Prime Minister which decided to stop one day, could lead to such sweeping political change?

Three years into his new Prime Minister-ship, still unmarried, but full of the people's love, Irony Boy walked across the road from Parliament House with his bodyguard. As was his usual custom, he was going to go for a walk on the Padang before the afternoon debate started. He was crossing the road when he met the girl again. Unfortunately, she was reversing out of the Supreme Court, where she was being sued by the perfect ex-boyfriend. He saw the irony and the return of the circle before he saw the rear bumper of her car. His last thoughts were - hello again, before the car ploughed into him.

Irony Boy was left comatose and in a complete vegetative state. He could breathe and his erection still worked, but that was about all that was left. Irony Boy was unaware of his surroundings, and his consciousness retreated to the only sentient part left in his body - he returned to being a sperm after forty years as a human.

One can only imagine the girl's distress, but at least this one wouldn't be suing her. She visited Irony Boy everyday, and his bodyguards left them alone after some time. The doctors could offer her no hope, and in her desperation, she watched the Pedro Almodovar film 'Talk To Her'. The plot told of a male nurse, who impregnated a comatose female patient, causing her to wake when the contractions started.

So one day, after the bodyguards left, she pulled Irony Boy's hospital pajamas down and removed her own underwear. She looked down at his penis, which seemed to be also sleeping. She took it in her hand, stirred it from its sleep and squatted astride him.

Irony Boy was chatting with two other sperm in the seminiferous tubules when everything started to shake. Other sperm swam past him, shouting, it's happening again boys! Irony Boy followed them to see what the commotion was all about, but he got pushed aside and floated on with the current.

It gets too crowded with thousands of sperm racing past him, and he takes a right this time into a small hidden alley; another two turnings and he comes face to face with the egg. He makes a cry of exasperation that can be heard throughout the womb, but no one else is here yet.

Then he looks at the egg, that perfect sphere, which contains every possible circle of the same radius, in all three dimensions. And then he recognizes the egg - it is the girl. She says to him, come here Irony Boy, the end of it all is the start of circle. We will exist together, as one of the points, and as every one of the infinite points on the circle that you spent your life drawing.

Irony Boy is happy and beats his little tail again, swims along, and fuses with the perfect, indestructible her.


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