Friday 28 November 2014

Ian O'Doherty: Step away from ... the pooper scooper

Published 26/11/2012 | 17:00

So here's the deal. You're out walking your dogs and enjoying the ambience.

But as enjoyable as such excursions are -- and they are the best part of my day, if I'm being honest -- they are invariably ruined.

And what could ruin such a nice, healthy, relaxing walk?

Dog poop.

Yup, I've said it before and I shall it again -- the biggest victims of dog poop are . . . dog walkers themselves.

That's because, as someone who brings my pair out for a walk three times a day, that means I am statistically more likely to find myself sticking my size 10s into a big load of poo that some selfish dog owner couldn't be bothered to clean up.

It's an obnoxious and thoroughly disgusting trait that some dog owners display and I would love to see people being prosecuted for not cleaning up after their pooches.

And, thankfully, it would appear I am not alone in this.

In fact, one local councillor from Cork, Kevin O'Keefe, says: "DNA testing could be used to finger pooping pooches who leave their mess on public footpaths.

"I have read of cases in Germany and the US where they've carried out DNA testing on dog fouling to trace the dogs responsible."

Now, apart from having a thoroughly juvenile snigger at the phrase "to finger pooping pooches" I have a slight problem with this suggestion.

It's a laudable sentiment, to be sure, but am I the only one who feels a bit reticent about following the German template of compiling DNA databases?

After all, the last time they started to use lists it didn't end happily . . .

OKAY -- THAT'S JUST WRONG. OR IS IT?

For some bizarre reason, every English person I know seems to have been to Dubai at some point.

Why some of these booze-addled, moral degenerates -- and I am talking about some of my closest friends here, so they won't be insulted by such a description -- choose to work or holiday in a conservative Muslim country is beyond me.

Yes, I know that so-called 'Western' decadence is tolerated as long as it is kept behind closed doors, but let's be realistic for a minute -- putting incredibly cheap booze for ex-Pats together with strict decency laws is always going to be ever-so slightly problematic.

And English woman Becky Blake and her Irish (former) boyfriend Conor McRedmond have found that out to their cost.

The pair were handed a three-month jail sentence last Thursday after they were found guilty of having sex in the back of a taxi.

This has led to a chorus of criticism from the English media who are decrying the sentence as draconian and far too harsh.

But ask yourself this -- if you go into someone's home, do you put your feet up on their table and insult your host?

No, of course you don't.

But what this pair have been convicted of is pretty much the same thing.

MAYBE NOT SUCH A GOOD IDEA?

My brother Dan is a bit of a gamer.

Well, I say 'a bit of a gamer' but frankly I think he has become a little obsessed with the latest FIFA game on Playstation.

In fact, he reckons he has become so good he could actually become professional.

But he has nothing on the rather unfortunately named Vugar Guloglan oglu Huseynzade.

The 21-year-old has just been appointed head coach of Baku FC, Azerbaijan's largest team.

And how did such a callow youth land such a prestigious gig?

Well, he showed club bosses how good he was by pointing to his record as a manager in the football computer simulator Football Manager.

He defends his appointment by saying: "I've been playing Football Manager since 2002."

Now, I've been playing games like Medal Of Honour and Call Of Duty for the same amount -- but I don't think that qualifies me to join the SAS.

CAN WE PRINT IT? YES WE CAN

As you are all aware, I was off last week. I know, I know it must have been tough to open your favourite paper and see nothing but responsible, mature journalism as opposed to the juvenile nonsense you get in this column, but even lazy sods like me deserve a few days off every now and then.

And one of the joys of coming back into the office is checking up on my post.

One particularly charming missive took me to task for my apparent fondness for Muslims -- not something I would normally be accused of, it has to be said.

But in the course of the carefully hand-written, four-page letter, one point particularly caught my eye.

It said: "You talk of Paul McGrath, an English-born son of an African who happens to be an alcoholic. I wouldn't want to be associated with the likes of him."

Now, for someone to talk about the man who every football fan in this country loves like a brother in such a way is reprehensible.

Interestingly, the guy who wrote the letter then pointed out that this was not for publication.

Well, the next time you send me a letter like this, I'll print your name Billy.

OKAY, AS LONG AS WE'RE BEING REASONABLE

Even by the demented standards of boy-band fandom, One Direction's fans are seriously mental.

And when news emerged last week that Taylor Swift might be dating one of them (which one? Who knows, they all look alike) the Twittermachine went into overdrive.

In fact, one person tweeted to her that: "I am going to kill you slowly and then play for hours in your blood."

There was a time when people used to just ask a star for their autograph.

I guess times sure have changed here on Walton's Mountain . . .

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