News Ian O'Doherty

Friday 22 August 2014

Ian O'Doherty: Well, we've all been there

Published 18/10/2012 | 06:00

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So, 40%, eh? That's the number of us who have experienced road rage in the last week, according to a new survey.

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Apparently, as people are feeling the pinch with every passing day, tempers are rising and fuses are getting shorter.

And with so many people spending more time stuck in the metal cocoon that is their car, and with manners in general deteriorating in our society, more people than ever before are losing the rag behind the wheel.

I was discussing this with the wife last night and she told me a raft of horror stories about appalling behaviour she has witnessed from other drivers.

These transgressions include minor but irritating things such as drivers stopping in the yellow box and not moving; people driving too slowly and causing other motorists to get stuck at the lights; and then there are the more extreme examples of people shouting, swearing and even fighting.

As I listened to her tales of woe, I was shocked to see how many of them I could recognise.

And so, as I told her, I would definitely be one of the 40pc who lost their rag.

Sure, she replied -- the only difference is that you don't drive, don't have a car, and are just a grumpy bugger who sits in taxi and gives out.

Sadly, I fear she might have a point.

The greatest woman in the world?

Okay, that headline was taking the mickey.

I am referring, of course, to the truly odious 'model' Imogen Thomas, she of Ryan Giggs fame.

She has always been quick to play the victim card any time she is called on her bad behaviour and she landed in a world of pain last week with some comments she made about her pregnant body.

She described herself as feeling fat and ugly and claimed she felt like a whale and being pregnant was horrible.

This led to fury from women, many of whom are unable to conceive, who thought she just came across as a vain and selfish wannabe.

So, how is she coping with the trauma of looking and feeling like a whale?

Why, she hid herself away from prying eyes, didn't she?

Not quite.

She went on holidays this week and -- gasp! shock! quelle surprise! -- managed to get herself papped in the process.

The poor, shy, retiring girl.

I bet she's mortified.

Not.

The sisters are revolting

Honestly, you wait ages for one car-related story to come along and two arrive at the same time time. Typical.

I've always felt that women getting cheaper insurance was a bit of a bum rap for men.

But then again, on the other hand, I've nearly been absolutely creamed by so-called boy racers on numerous occasions, so I can see the argument from both sides.

But I must admit to having a grim little chuckle in my evil heart at the news that the previously cheaper insurance deals for women have been abolished by the EU under equality legislation.

This has prompted outrage from female motorists everywhere who had been used to paying hundreds of euro less than their male counterparts.

So, in the name of gender balance, the sisterhood are now facing a massive hike in their bills, all in the name of EU political correctness.

But one thing struck me -- if the EU (I still haven't stopped laughing since that appalling organisation was given the Nobel Peace Prize last week) was so concerned, could it not have recommended that the insurance companies lower the price of men's insurance to that of women?

Or even go 50/50 and meet halfway?

No, that would have been a fair solution, and they don't do 'fair' over there.

Is there anybody out there?

Do you believe in extra-terrestrial life?

Do you believe in little green space aliens from beyond the moon?

Do you believe that they would be all warm and fluffy and nice, or do you go for the theory about the 'Grey' aliens?

For those of you who don't know, the so-called 'Greys' are the guys who have travelled all the way across the universe. They do this so they can perform experiments on cows and interfere with people's bottoms -- particularly people from the Deep South for some reason.

Maybe the Greys just really like the Southern accent or something, but it seems like a lot of hassle for little return.

Frankly, I've little doubt that there is life of some description outside of this planet, purely because it would be absolutely absurd, not to mention illogical, to assume that we are sitting on the only rock in the universe hosting indigenous life.

But there are plenty of people in this country and all over the world who are convinced that we are not alone and that we've been visited by aliens for decades. Hell, some of these conspiracy theorists even think we're the product of some vast experiment.

Andrew Maxwell brought a bunch of these nutters, sorry, conspiracy theorists on a road trip for BBC3 the other night.

Called, erm, Alien Conspiracy Road Trip, the programme explored the world of the conspiracy theorists -- although they like to be called 'investigative researchers', which is a nice way to describe spending all day on the internet.

Along the way in this surprisingly diverting programme they got arrested at Area 51 and were exposed to some interesting propositions.

One of them came from a former CIA agent who says he has incontrovertible proof that . . . there are cities on the moon and more than a million people live there.

Which was interesting.

Honestly, for a programme that set out to find if there was intelligent life out there in space, they might have been better served searching for intelligent life amongst the people who appeared on this show.

Okay -- now that's an achievement

I like to live life on the edge.

Yup, I'm something of a daredevil, a rebel who will do anything for a thrill and a hit of adrenaline.

Why, only last Sunday I ate two really, really hot chillies.

Sure, I spent the next three hours crying over the sink, but it was an act of reckless heroism that, I must say, I'm quite proud of.

So I was equally proud of my kindred daredevil spirit Felix Baumgartner who recorded the world's highest ever sky dive when he jumped from a balloon 24 miles above the earth.

Basically, the Austrian was jumping from the edge of space and in an environment where his blood could have boiled if things had gone wrong.

The footage of him just before he jumped from the balloon is truly astonishing.

But not as astonishing as the nonchalance of his landing and the casual way he just walked off as if to say: "Me? I've just parachuted from space. A piece of cake, mate."

He said he has achieved his life time ambition and now he's going to lead a quiet life.

And his idea of a quiet life?

He's going to work as an emergency rescue helicopter pilot.

All well and good -- but could he eat two chillies in a row?

Now that would be the test . . .

Irish Independent

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