jose's paranoia virus has given me a bad episode
Sometimes I have to pass by the TV when a soap is in session and sometimes I accidentally overhear the latest updates on murderers and gorse fires. Even a sound bite is too much to take. All that exposure to misfortune can't be good.
It's not as if people don't have enough bother in their own lives.
The actors suffer even more. There's no point in being a crazed killer if you don't get yourself up for it. Get into character. Then there's the rush to be first.
The first lesbian kiss. The first chicken to fall in love with a steeplejack. Whatever it takes to raise ratings. But chickens can't fly. Well not very high anyway which is why so many get domesticated and eaten. So how did the chicken get to the top of the church? And does the steeplejill know?
Does all this sound a bit wacky? Like it was penned by a man seriously out of control?
We all know the soaps are just pretend. The actors are only acting.
Me, I'm going crazy. It's real where we work.
But there's a reason for the crack-up. Foreign correspondents, and I know one or two, are always getting shot at, but they get to wear flak jackets and are heroes. We're not taken seriously, but there's hardly a week goes by than some lunatic threatens one of us with physical harm.
On Sunday, as part of the job, I had to watch a man being clubbed and then when he fell to the ground he was kicked. Before that, in the same setting, another man fell when he too was struck by a blunt instrument. That was Kilkenny and Dublin in the National Hurling League final.
The day before an irate Leinster fan attacked me for saying I'd prefer to see a certain '10' join the McCarthy-Dundon gang rather than play with Leinster. I was joking you twit.
Episode Two. The steeplejack gets vertigo and the chicken has anorexia, which, come to think of it, is pretty smart if you're a chicken and want to avoid the roasting tin.
On Tuesday Jose Mourinho watched El Clasico in his hotel room. El Clasico isn't a flash motor or one of those gladiator movies where the men have bigger boobs than the women. It's any game between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Jose was banned for saying horrible things about a referee.
Jose is paid thousands more than me every week. He can get over the fallout with his wallet full of dosh. The day after the match The Special One went shopping. Spent millions on a Turkish playmaker.
We here in the sports department have to analyse Jose. Get inside a head full of paranoia, ego, anxiety and conspiracy.
Guess what that does to your own little sconce. It turns you into a friggin' Alexander The Great and makes you want to take back the Isle of Man.
I swear, I can hear that chicken going cock a doodle doo as I write.
Episode Three. The chicken is really a male. Chickens don't go cock a doodle doo, do they? It's more of a cluck cluck. Does the steeplejack know? Will he go back to his missus and climb the ladder in her stocking?
See what I mean. What sane rational person would ever even think up such stuff?
Danny Cipriani slept with a man not knowing she was a man who had a sex change and she went to the tabloids. That's probably where the chicken thing came from. Danny was stood down by Melbourne for getting himself thrown out of a night club. Northampton out-half Stephen Myler was punched by England star Delon Armitage, who was banned for four weeks having just come back from an eight-week ban for pushing and abusing a doping official.
Wasps Andy Powell, who gets into more wars than his cousin Colin, was left with serious head wounds in a pub in Shepherds Bush. This week Wasps and Andy agreed to end it all 'by mutual consent'. Last year Andy was done for drunk driving a golf buggy down the M4 after a big match. That led to a driving ban, and he was fired by Cardiff. Trouble knows no frontiers.
There's a racism schism in French football over an alleged quota being placed on African players. Heads will roll.
In the US, golfer Bubba Watson says Tiger Woods is "mental with his swing."
"I want to be the boss," Watson announced. "My dad taught me to be a leader not a follower." Yet, Tiger still hasn't found a better way to relax before a big tournament.
Episode Four. Kauto Star was pulled up by Ruby at Punchestown. It could be his last race. President Obama's helicopter might not be allowed land in the Moneygall GAA pitch because it's in Tipp even though the village itself is in Offaly. On Wednesday Madrid's Ronaldo accused Barcelona of getting "outside help."
"Next year we should just hand them the trophy," announced a sarcastic Ronaldo. It's all part of the second Spanish Civil War. Where were you General Eoin O'Duffy when Real were robbed by the commies in the Camp Nou?
Is paranoia contagious? Is Mourinho a carrier? Does anyone know the words of 'Faith of our Fathers'? Help.
Episode Five. Hack quits 'by mutual agreement'. Says he can't take it anymore.
He's turned chicken.