11/23/2010 06:43 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tan, Rested, and Ready: Welcome Home, Irony!

After a nearly two year absence, Irony returned to the United States to supplant Hope. Its homecoming was greeted by throngs of quietly sneering onlookers who held handfuls of confetti that they bought, with no intention of ever throwing. "It's great to be back," Irony said to the crowds, in a tone that strongly implied it was not great to be back.

Immediately following the election of President Obama in 2008, Irony fled to Tristan da Cunha Island where it spent countless hours alternately climbing and then coolly scoffing at Queen Mary's Peak. "I, for one, think Irony had the time of its fucking life on a miserable island looking at a dead volcano," said Sarcasm, a close friend. "Could you maybe think of a stupider question to ask me?"

Most observers agree that our country's current state of dissatisfaction and malaise forced Hope to gracefully bow out. When Irony's decision to return was announced, Bemused Resignation reportedly stood by Hope's side and said, "It was inevitable," while gazing abstractedly at the sky.

"My time away was very important," Irony notes in the new book I Missed You, Too. Really, which it will travel the country to promote. "I got to take a closer look at myself and, frankly, I wasn't sure I liked what I saw," Irony said, in a manner sharply hinting that it neither took a closer look at itself nor was unsure about what it saw.

"With Irony back, our modes of emotional expression must change," says Randall Tayliff, President of the National Association for Useless Cultural Pigeonholing (NAUCP). According to Tayliff, the Age of Irony replaces the Age of Hope and, if all goes according to schedule, will later be replaced by the Age of Pique, the Age of Dysphoria, and, briefly, the Age of Belgian Waffles. Dates for readjusting to all new ages will be available on the NAUCP website.

Irony officially superseded Hope in a brief ceremony at the White House, as Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" was sung by Katy Perry. "I'm very optimistic about Irony and what it will contribute to our country," said the outgoing Hope, which will be taking an indefinite sabbatical. Irony, in turn, replied, "I'm sure you are." When asked if that meant whether it was agreeing with Hope's optimism or actually disagreeing, Irony commented, "Yes."