News Ian O'Doherty

Thursday 20 October 2016

Ian O'Doherty: Honestly, you couldn't make it up

Published 16/10/2012 | 06:00

Well, this has been a rather odd football season so far, hasn't it?

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We had the Hillsborough report, then we had John Terry, then we had Ashley Cole then John Terry again and then . . . bloody Ashley Cole again.

Yup, it has been a rather weird one, for sure.

And it got weirder last Wednesday.

As any fan knows, Newcastle United is a club that lurches from self-inflicted crisis to the next and they're reliably entertaining -- for all the wrong reasons.

They have a chairman all the fans hate; they have just awarded their manager, the previously despised Alan Pardew, a criminally insane eight-year contract; and they have picked personal finance company 'Wonga' as their new sponsors.

Wonga, the most profitable and controversial legal loan-shark company in Britain, is widely despised by many people who reckon its interest rates should be illegal.

But now it looks like some of the Newcastle players also have a problem wearing a shirt with 'Wonga' emblazoned across it.

And why would such multi-millionaires have a problem?

Well, The 'Toon have a number of Muslim players and seeing as usury, or the use of interest in repaying a loan, is against Sharia law, some leading members of the Muslim Council of Britain have come out and said the likes of Demba Ba and the others should refuse to play.

What's next?

Jewish players refusing to play for a team sponsored by a pork company?

Alcoholics refusing to play for a team sponsored by a beer company?

And the award for the most patronising?

Wanna know something rather sad?

Myself and Mrs iSpy stayed up to watch the Veep debate on Thursday night.

Now, normally the idea of staying up till four in the morning to watch a televised debate between two guys wouldn't be the most appealing prospect in the world, but you have to admit that this election is bloody fascinating.

On the one hand you have an incumbent who is derailing in front of our eyes, and on the other you have a challenger who seems heroically dedicated to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

So how did it all pan out?

Well, I thought the youthful Paul Ryan got off to a cracking start, while Joe Biden came across as glib, patronising and condescending. He also made the criminal error of smirking while Ryan spoke about dead soldiers.

But, more importantly, how did the American media call it?

Well, on the liberal side, Biden walked all over Ryan, with Bill Maher boasting that: "It was like watching an old man beat a baby."

On the conservative, Republican side, they said that Ryan won the debate because... "Biden was like an old man."

Same analysis -- different reaction.

Which, when you think of it, just shows that while the debates are enjoyable from a purely entertainment spectacle, they don't actually change anyone's mind.

Still, roll on the next one...

Well, at least she's honest. I suppose

A mate of mine recently gave birth to a kid -- well, he didn't actually give birth himself because that would be weird and wrong and, I suspect, extremely painful.

No, it was his missus wot done it, your honour, and they are extremely happy and proud and will no doubt become incredibly boring as they spend their time showing people pictures of their new arrival to all and sundry.

Yup, when people begin to procreate a different part of their brain kicks in and they become weirdly obsessed with their progeny to the detriment of going to the pub with their mates. The selfish buggers.

But not all parents are like that, it would appear.

A couple has been arrested for child neglect in Lancashire after cops had to knock down their front door at three in the morning because of complaints from neighbours about three children crying.

It turns out that the mother and her boyfriend went to the pub earlier that day and simply didn't bother coming home.

Thankfully, the children are now being looked after by relatives but I was rather struck by the response of the mother when the police man asked her how she felt at what she had done.

And said response was? "I don't give a shit."

Somehow I think she might be waiting for quite some time before she is allowed to see those children again.

I know who my money is on

I've always liked boxer Amir Khan.

He seems like a nice bloke who is grounded and down to earth and you may have seen the story last week about how he and his brother -- also a boxer -- battered a gang of six who tried to steal Amir's car.

Now the gang has retaliated by putting a video up on Youtube warning young Khan that he is a dead man and they are going to teach him a lesson and all the usual macho posturing nonsense you get from wannabe gangstas.

Interestingly, the bloke in the video is wearing a balaclava -- probably because he knows if Khan recognises his face, then he'll just get another hiding.

They don't make gangstas like they used to, eh?

Really? Are you serious?

What was the most expensive phone bill you've ever received?

I'm lucky because for some reason I don't ever actually get a bill for my landline at home. The missus says that's because she pays it, but I think she's just trying to show off.

But a woman in France got a pretty hefty bill last week.

When Solen San Jose from Bordeaux opened her bill, she was shocked to see that she owed her local telecom company €11,721,000,000,000,000.

Now I tried to figure out just how much exactly that is, but I was always rubbish at maths and I got a headache and had to have a nap under my desk.

The company initially refused to back down, saying that their computers don't lie but eventually they relented.

However they still charged her the accurate bill of €117.

Would it have been too much for them to let it slide after they made such an error?

Irish Independent

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