'Dadbod' Des deserves his place in the stars
In the late 1980s, the Voyager I spacecraft had completed its tour of our solar system and was about to leave it forever for the vast emptiness of outer space. When it was about six billion kilometres from Earth, the Nasa team controlling it gave an order for it to take a photo of its home planet before it disappeared from sight.
The resulting image, taken on Valentine's Day 1990, became known as the 'Pale Blue Dot'. It inspired Carl Sagan - one of the team which gave the order to capture the iconic image - to write a message of hope under the same title, pointing out that in the great void of space, perhaps we should all learn to get along a little bit better on this pale blue dot, the only home we have ever known.
Our own opportunities for philosophical stargazing these days are limited by street lights, hoodies, Ireland's cloud onesie, and that 'digital heroin', our phones. So thank the stars for 'Dancing With The Stars', and - specifically - the celestial Des Cahill. In a panorama of twinkling little twinkle-toed stars, Des is like Jupiter - a solid physical presence that makes all others seem like gaseous clouds, or possibly heavily-tanned asteroids.
His reassuringly physical form sweeps into our skies once a week to delight and enthral us with his slightly elliptical and erratic orbit around Karen Byrne. Des's performances have scientifically proven, once and for all, that the dadbod is the most desirable (and apparently aerodynamic) physique for the modern man. But this isn't something that happens overnight - it takes decades of training.
Being a sports journalist, Des would have been at an early advantage, having attended many GAA supper dances in his career.
Like the rustic, horse-dealing half-brother of a dinner dance, the supper dance is ideal for laying the groundwork for the dadbod, featuring in its late stages a motion that may be mistaken for dancing, but more importantly, a healthy dose of fried chicken and chips served in a tinfoil box.
If a big occasion is being celebrated such as a Junior B final being won, then some Asian fusion may be added via the addition of a large ladleful of curry sauce, most of which will end up on the ground, to ensure a rigorous movement of the legs and thorough stretching of the groin muscles.
How else could Des have prepared for last Sunday's salsa, which saw him nail The Dessie Swim - a more relaxed version of The Worm - that saw him dragging his velour-clad posterior across the floor whilst being straddled by his dance partner. Apart from supper dances, a well-balanced diet is intrinsic to achieving the dadbod. Too far one way, you achieve the less-than desirable deadbod.
Too far the other and you end up plain old fit, which isn't what you want at all. The dadbod is more about comfort - like the mini-van, well-worn sofa, and cake. Ask yourself this; if attempting a 'Dirty Dancing'-style overhead lift with your dance partner, which would you prefer to fall on you - a human sideboard with rock hard abs, or a loveable bean bag? Exercise is another key element, and it is important that this is carried out in the most low-cost way possible. The dadbod is topped off by the dadbrain, a kind of supercomputer.
Twice a week the family husky - a breed that, unlike its owner, has evolved to cover vast distances - will be taken for a brisk 10-minute stroll around the estate, with the duo returning triumphant and breathless from their Jack London-esque adventure, ready to reward themselves with a dinner of steak (trim the crispy fat for the dog, he's earned it), mash, gravy and fried onions. If a game of fetch was enjoyed during the walk, a slice of gateaux can be added to the menu, because you read somewhere that Michael Phelps eats 50 pancakes for breakfast and look at him, he's like an eel.
As with any planetoid mass, the dadbod is all about the core. Sit-ups can be performed anywhere - while attempting to get off a sofa, bed, office chair, or almost any position other than a perfect vertical. Everything becomes a sort of ab crunch, complete with huffing and puffing, or possibly a whispered 'ah jaysis' at some point. And that's it - the training is complete, and the dadbod is ready to take on the world.
We can only hope if Voyager I ends up in an intergalactic fenderbender with some alien craft a billion light years away, when they come here looking for compo, they are confronted with the sight of Des, dressed as a bullfighter, flapping his cape like a man possessed, and they pause, and think "ah lads we can't blow this place up, look at yer man" - and they will leave us to continue our strange little lives, hopping around on this pale blue dot, the only home we have ever known.