Ian O'Doherty: Finally . . . it's over!
Now I have my weekends back.
I am referring, of course, to the fact that The X Factor has finally vanished from our screens.
I've had to suffer the last few months spending every Saturday and Sunday evening watching a seemingly endless parade of losers appearing on the telly and telling boring sob stories before bursting into tears and blubbing about how their pet hamster is feeling a bit poorly.
Think that's a harsh assessment?
Well, laydeez und jennelmen, I give you Christopher Maloney, a Scouser so stereotypical of the worst aspects of Liverpudlians -- mawkish sentimentality and a tedious obsession with "Me Nan."
So, having survived the excruciating awfulness of I'm A Celebrity . . . and now outlasting the ITV cringe fest, I can look forward to spending my weekends watching proper television.
What? What did you say?
Strictly Come Dancing is still on?
Ah for the love of Jaysus!
Charmed, I'm sure
As a consequence of the economic realities of life in Ireland at the moment, everyone is looking for a good bargain.
So, Mrs iSpy was rather intrigued when one of her friends started to wax lyrical about a new shop that she had found.
It's one of those vast European chains -- you know the ones I'm talking about -- and apparently there are plenty of good deals to be had.
So, off she tottered down to the place on Sunday morning to check it out.
While there, she was browsing through some of the clothes section when a rather, shall we say, 'rough' looking woman barged past her to get to the clothes, before pushing her trolley away.
The wife informed this charming woman that she would only be a minute.
Well, the woman just snarled: "F**k off you f***ing c**t."
Understandably taken aback she went to inform staff which was a rather pointless venture -- because it turns out she couldn't find a shop worker who could actually speak English.
So, we won't be going back there again in a hurry.
And the food was bloody awful as well.
What could possibly go wrong
No good can ever come from Facebook.
Just ask Sarah Hine from Essex.
The 14-year-old was desperate to be popular so she posted on an open invitation to her house party on the social media site.
You know where this is going to go, right?
Yup, you got it.
More than 200 louts turned up to the house and promptly wrecked the gaff, causing £30,000 worth of damage -- including throwing a piano out a window.
The police spent ages trying to disperse the crowd and the family's neighbours are said to be absolutely livid.
Interestingly, the mother says she won't even ground her daughter.
Now I think that's what you call the definition of a forgiving parent.
If I'd done that when I was her age, I'd still be locked in my room, eating cold toast.
The last of his kind ...
I don't know anyone who didn't have a massive soft spot for Patrick Moore, who died the other day.
I remember reading his sci-fi novels as a kid and being thoroughly engrossed by them.
But the tributes to the man have also included references to a darker side and hints of racism.
His beloved fiancée, Lorna, was killed during the Blitz and he never forgave the Germans, maintaining until the end that: "The only good Kraut is a dead kraut."
On the EU, he once remarked: "The Germans tried to beat us, the French did nothing and the Italians made good ice cream. Out of Europe!"
If he said those things today, he'd probably get done for incitement to hatred.
You heard it here first
Now, I know you all look to this column for advice and inspiration, so I'm going to give you an early heads up.
There's a rather promising young Argentinean player called Lionel Messi (above) who is on the fringes of the Barcelona first team.
And I think he's going to be huge.
Remember the name.
And where you heard it. (Have you completely lost your bloody mind? --ed.)