What not many people might have in mind when using this phrase is also when the event happened before it was meant to happen. When it was early. Prematurely early.
Yes, it is good to be early (tell that to guests to a typical wedding in Malaysia). But not when you're a train.
What happened, you (may) ask?
So the irony of it is when you're in Malaysia where people and transport are infamously tardy, and the train you hoped to catch leaves 1 minute before its scheduled departure.
Tell me, is that irony or what?
It happened today as I was running down the stairs to catch the 18:09 train, and though I reached at 18:08:56, I was (needless to say) peeved to see the train already moving away from the platform.
I guess my complaint now is for the train to follow the schedule.
And yes, to not be early.
It's hard to hit the target ain't it? Sigh. Now I have to wait another 20 minutes for the next train, by golly! :(