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Ian O'Doherty: How very dare he

In these rather timid times, when the very act of even potentially causing offence is enough to have people running screaming to the police in a fit of righteous fury, people need to be careful about what they say to other people.

And, in a rare bout of political incorrectness, the normally reserved New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has really put his foot in it.

Bloomberg, as you know, is normally seen as a stuffy, multi-billionaire liberal who has brought in the hugely unpopular smoking ban, has changed regulations regarding what kind of food the notoriously grumpy and independent Noo Yoikers can eat in certain restaurants and he is, to be frank, a bit of a social engineer -- one of those guys who thinks that we should all live the exact same way as he does.

So, it's nice to see him dropping into the doo-doo by offending half the Irish population of New York.

Hizzoner was addressing an Irish-American group last weekend and he referred to the Saint Patrick's Day parade in New York by saying: "I'm used to seeing inebriated Irish people hanging out of windows waving at people."

And, with rather sad predictability, the local Plastic Paddies went completely kablooey, booed Bloomberg and he has now been forced into a grovelling apology.

And rightly so -- after all, who ever saw a drunken Irishman on Paddy's Day?

Shure the very notion of a drunken Irish person on our National Day is an insult to the men and women who fought and died for the cause of Irish freedom, so it is, begorrah to be sure, to be sure.

And they say footballers are thick?

Footballers have an undeserved reputation for being, well, how shall we say it, a bit thick.

Actually, scratch that, footballers have a rather well deserved reputation for being totally thick.

You only have to look back at how Graeme Le Saux was accused of being gay for the simple reason that he preferred to read The Guardian than The Sun to see that.

And while there are some honourable exceptions (Tony Galvin, you may recall, was able to understand the Russian tactical calls during that memorable night in Euro '88 because he had a degree in Russian), the average dressing room is not exactly a hotbed of furious intellectual discussion.

And, just to further add to the notion that the modern footballer has a lot more money than brains comes the story of John Carew.

Carew, like, it would, appear, most of the rest of the club has fallen out with Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier and he has been shipped out on loan to the scenic glory of Stoke City.

And, to celebrate his new-found freedom, he decided to get himself a fancy new tattoo.

He had the French phrase 'Ma Vie, Mes Regles' inscribed on the left side of his neck.

It was meant to mean 'My Life, My Rules' but because the tattoo artist wasn't well versed in French, he used a wrong accent in the last word.

So, now instead of it saying, 'My Life, My Rules', it instead proudly proclaims, 'My Life, My Period'.

Well, he's always been a grumpy bugger of a player who was prone to having an irrational strop, so maybe that is actually more apt.

We need it now more than ever

Now, more than ever, we need decent political satire.

Actually, you could make the argument that the current political landscape is so utterly barren that it's impossible to satirise. But the good folks of The Emergency, who have been off the air for the last year have now got themselves a new slot.

Dermot Carmody, Morgan Jones, Joe Taylor et al are back today on 4FM with their new show, with slots on the breakfast programme, followed by a longer stint at 4pm.

And they all owe me pints for the shameless plug.

Down with raspberry smugglers

Have you been to Amerikay lately?

Well, if you have, you'll know just what an absolutely incredible pain in the arse it is trying to get through customs and immigration.

The Transport Safety Authority, otherwise known by their appropriate title of 'Those Bastards', have become completely crazed with their new powers.

If you express any slight objection whatsoever to being manhandled and virtually strip-searched by some minimum-wage fool who finally feels he has a bit of power for the first time in his life, then you'll be branded a terrorist evil-doer and end up in Gitmo.

And that was the case for one Canadian woman who was stopped at the border and strip-searched by two male TSA guards.

She is, quite rightly, suing them on the grounds that what they did amounted to sexual assault and she has a good chance of both a) winning a couple of million dollars in the law suit and b) setting a legal precedent which will force the agency to change the way they operate.

And why, you may ask, did they take her out of her car and treat her to such degrading behaviour?

Well, it turns out that she forgot to declare she had some raspberries in the car. And when they searched the car they found them and pulled her out as a suspected smuggler.

That'll learn her ...

Well, that's one way around it ...

Obviously, Christians have some weird views on sex. In fact, all religions have some weird views on sex, but few are as weird as the rather strange case of a dentist in Britain who was in court last week.

Chris Howell was having an affair with a married woman who was a devout Christian.

And, being a devout Christian, she felt guilty about doing the naughty with a man who wasn't her husband.

So, how did she get around that guilt?

She used to get her dentist lover to drug her so she would be asleep during sex so she wouldn't remember it.

And, seeing as this is Valentine's Day, I though it never more appropriate to share that lovely, romantic story with you.

Don't hate me for it.

Irish Independent