Ian O'Doherty: A public safety announcement -- for blokes
When it comes to women, I am the first to admit that I haven't a freaking clue.
There's something actually quite liberating about accepting the fact that most men will never understand the murky machinations of the female mind. Well, maybe a few gay lads, but I reckon that's about it.
No, when it comes to this, like so many other matters, I am happy to accept that I'm just a dunce.
But I was given some good advice by my late father on the issue.
Perhaps the most important nugget of wisdom was this: "Son, always remember that compromise is when you both agree she's right," which I reckon is pretty handy.
I was reminded of this the other day when I was chilling out with a mate.
He was staring dolefully into his pint when, and in a moment of madness, I asked him what was wrong.
As someone with absolutely no interest in the personal lives, let alone the problems, of others, I knew instinctively that I had stepped into a three-pinter, ie how many beers it was going to take for this one to go away.
And the problem?
It was his girlfriend's birthday and he didn't get her a present.
Don't tell me you forgot her bloody birthday? I asked. But it was worse than that.
Because he replied: "She said not to bother getting her a present this year because we're skint."
Lads, take it from Uncle Ian -- even I know that when they say that they don't want a present, they're just reminding you that you better bloody get them one.
What are we going to do now?
You may remember a video that went viral.
Yes, yes, I know that a million videos a week go viral these days and, yes, I'm also equally aware that most of us are heartily sick of them -- memo to iPhone owners, when you meet your mates for a pint, they are going for a pint, not to look at something you've found on your gadget.
But I reckon you'll remember this one. It was of that truly weird bloke who is caught crying on camera at the treatment that was being meted out to Britney Spears at the time.
As he wailed "Leave Britney Alone" repeatedly into the camera it soon became clear that he wasn't joking, but was deadly, and tragically, serious.
That's honestly how I feel about the poor, put-upon Quinn family and their stout, sons of the soil, loyal supporters.
And now that Seán Quinn Jnr has finally been released from jail after a miscarriage of justice that is truly Biblical, maybe now the family will be able to put their persecution at the hands of an evil Dublin 4 meeja behind them and start to do what they really want to do -- recover the missing money for us poor taxpayers, who they love so much and are so concerned about.
But you know what I'm really going to miss the most about Seán's absence from jail?
Why silly, it's obvious -- I'm going to miss his wife Karen's (pictured) seemingly daily appearances either in court or in jail.
Looking more catwalk than perp walk in her finest clothes, it was always lovely to see that someone wasn't going to let the recession stop them looking glamorous.
Although I have a sneaking suspicion it won't be the last we've seen of that family . . .
DAMN, MY COVER'S BEEN BLOWN
There's an interesting thing in Ireland that means anyone who is even vaguely pro-Israeli is seen as either being Jewish or secretly working for them.
Sure, there is an undercurrent of genuine anti-Semitism in a lot of the abuse that comes in, but in fairness, the majority of it is just ill-informed ignorance rather than something more sinister.
But it gets worse.
A friend of my wife was looking for the original Israeli version of Homeland and couldn't find it. So he asked Mrs iSpy to ask me to in turn ask the Israeli embassy (oh, do keep up) for a copy because apparently: "Ian has a contract with them, doesn't he?"
Honestly, I've never been so insulted in my life.
Indeed, later that day as I was telling my Israeli handler the story during my debrief he was laughing so hard he nearly dropped the brown envelope with my wages (in shekels, natch) in it.
MOTORISTS OR CYCLISTS? TAKE YOUR PICK
As regular readers will know, I neither cycle nor drive, so therefore I feel I am uniquely qualified to loftily pontificate about these two issues.
Well, not pontificate so much as just give out.
Now, I know that they have brought in some changes about bad behaviour, but it would appear that the message still hasn't dawned on many people.
Not for the first time, the other day saw a cyclist career through the red lights at the traffic lights on Harold's Cross bridge.
Now this is an accident black spot but our hero with the immortality complex didn't care and he even took the time to turn around give the finger to the drivers he had just cut up.
Which was nice.
But it's not just two-wheel menaces.
Later that same day, I saw a driver texting.
Now, as I said at the start, I don't drive.
But I don't think you need a bloody driver's licence to figure out that staring at a phone and texting while the car is in motion ain't the smartest thing in the world?
COMPETITION TIME . . .
He might be a professional bogger, but don't hold that against him, he does have some redeeming features.
I'm not sure what they are exactly, but I am told that there are some.
I'm talking about my colleague Darragh McManus who has just published his second novel, Even Flow.
Meet the 3W gang, a bunch of hipsters in New York who like what all blokes our age like -- movies, beer, books and chilling out.
Oh, and did I mention that they are also homicidal vigilantes waging war on those who transgress society's rules?
I have five copies to give away. Just email in with which city the 3W gang is based.
And don't bother applying yourself, McManus.
I know your email address.