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    IRONY

    English novelist William Golding tells with delight of the policewoman in a Wiltshire town near his home who gave him a parking ticket the day after he won the 1983 Nobel Prize in Literature. "Can't you read?" she demanded.

    R.W. Apple, Jr., in New York Times.


    A Universal executive dismissed both Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds at a meeting in 1959. To Burt Reynolds: "You have no talent." To Clint Eastwood: "You have a chip on your tooth, your Adam's apple sticks out too far, and you talk too slow."

    A United artists executive, dismissing the suggestion that Ronald Reagan be offered the starring role in the movie, The Best Man in 1964: "Reagan doesn't have the Presidential look."

    Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky, The Experts Speak, 1984.


    Title of a New York State legislative document: "Sixteenth Annual Report of the Temporary Commission of Investigation of the State of New York.

    The Washington Monthly.


    Announcement in the weekly journal Planning: "We are sorry that the Planning Directory has so far not appeared. This is because it is considerably bigger than originally anticipated and is taking longer to print."

    The Daily Telegraph, London.


    In 1984 300 postal workers received their paychecks three days late--because their original checks were lost in the mail.

    Associated Press.


    In a daring escape from a Sydney, Australia, jail, a prisoner climbed underneath the hood of a truck. At the trucks' next stop, he clambered out and found himself in the yard of another prison four miles from the first.

    United Press International.


    Alistair Cooke writes, "Adlai Stevenson once told me about a curious experience he had relative to Abraham Lincoln. It was 1952. Stevenson had just lost the election to Eisenhower, and had been asked by outgoing President Harry Truman to spend the night at the White House. He was put in the Lincoln Room. When he came to undress, he looked at the bed, shuffled around it, staring in awe. But he could not bring himself to lie in it. He bedded down on the sofa. I don't know if he was ever apprised of the irony: in Lincoln's day the bed wasn't there; the sofa was."

    Alistair Cooke, Six Men.