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Ian O'Doherty: Oh, very clever lads. Well done

Let's face it, no matter how much we all love football, you can't exactly claim that it's a bastion of political correctness and modern thinking.

You can have all the worthy schemes and initiatives in the world, but you will always have fans making offensive chants (what would you make of: "There's only two Andy Gorams" after the Scottish keeper was diagnosed with schizophrenia?).

You will always have touches of homophobia, racism and sexism. It's just a question of controlling it and having fans enforcing their own justice on the idiots responsible.

And one of the most irritating elements of the sexism that exists in football is the notion that women are biologically incapable of understanding the game.

It's an absurd argument and one that simply doesn't stand up -- most of my female friends (yes, I actually have one or two, surprise surprise) know more about the bloody game than half my male mates.

So it was interesting to see the response of Richard Keys and Andy Gray when they were talking off air about Sian Massey, the female lineswoman officiating at Sky's Sunday match: "Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don't know the offside rule. The game's gone mad. Did you hear charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Do me a favour, love."

Sure, they were talking off air and, sure, the current climate is so prissy that they are going to be hauled over the coals but lads, here's a piece of advice -- when discussing sexism, it's probably best not to use the word 'love'.

That really drives the little ladies mad, you see.

Although there is one woman who certainly fulfills the stereotype of the daft female football fan -- I remember one woman ringing up a radio talk show and saying: "I didn't buy a ticket to see Manchester United lose."

Well, they're hardliners

Really, there are times when we all have to realise just how different our perspectives can be from other people.

And a good example came yesterday from Ramallah when dozens of Palestinians stormed the offices of Al Jazeera TV.

Now, Al Jazeera is an interesting station -- it has a certain, shall we say, bias, but then so does Fox, MSNBC and CNN. That's just the way of international networks. And as anyone who has watched the Iranian-funded Press TV will tell you, Al Jazeera is a bastion of balance.

But when they announced yesterday that some leaks had confirmed the Palestinian Authority had offered to make some land concessions to the Israelis, the local lads went mental and stormed the building, chanting that Al Jazeera was 'Zionist'.

Now, say what you like about Al Jazeera but I imagine that's the first time they've ever been accused of being Zionist.

Interestingly, one of the protesters said they were storming the building because they were sick of Al Jazeera bringing them bad news.

Really? It's just as well we don't have that attitude in Ireland. After the last few weeks we would have had rioting mobs outside RTE after each news bulletin demanding the head of Bryan Dobson.

Okay, I could deal with that

Here we go again -- another bloody dentist story in ISpy. But bear with me because this has a large feelgood factor to it.

A German dentist (oh God, putting the words 'German' and 'dentist' together is really quite terrifying) has realised that many blokes are still scared of going under the dentist's drill.

So she has come up with a rather spiffing idea -- getting her assets out for patients.

Dr Marie Catherine Klarkowski, whose practice is in Munich, came up with the idea after watching the way male visitors to the local Oktoberfest enjoyed looking at the low-cut dresses of the girls there and she says: "The most important thing for us is to take away the patients' fear. The sight of cleavages gets patients narcotised and distracted from the pain rather quickly. Some of them have their mouths open from the time they come in."

I'm not sure how much consolation the sight of a pair of boobs would be if you're going in for root canal treatment, but all the same Dr Klarkowski, kudos for thinking outside the box.

No, no way -- just forget about it

Some people will do anything just to get something for free.

Indeed, you only have to look at those eejits who queue for three days outside shops just before the Christmas sales just so they can buy a fridge for a tenner. It's all rather unseemly.

But those people are heroes of taste and decorum in comparison to one German man (there's a strangely Teutonic theme today, sorry about that) who has just won himself a €25,000 Mini Cooper in a radio station competition.

Andreas Muller was asked just how far he would go to bag himself the motor and he stumped everyone -- by agreeing to have the word 'Mini' tattooed on his Old Chap.

According to reports: "Listeners heard him screaming in pain as the tattoo was inked on to his penis."

Honestly -- who in their right mind would do something like that for a bloody car? Your very own aircraft carrier or nuclear submarine, maybe.

Actually, scratch that -- I wouldn't do that even if they were offering me my own space shuttle.

Now that's got to hurt

Really, there's no woman in Britain more deserving of our sympathy than 25-year-old Sarah Green.

Sarah's husband, Kevin, has left her, which is sad. But she says that he has left her for Kerry Katona, which is utterly incomprehensible.

According to the jilted wife: "Before my husband met Kerry Katona we were happy and we were a family. Now my children are going to grow up without their father living with us and I am facing the prospect of divorce at the age of 25. I begged Kerry to leave my family alone."

Ah well, love, you can at least console yourself with the fact that any man who would leave his wife for that hideous little hobgoblin has obviously gone completely mad, so you really are better off without him.

Book worm

A lot of his fans, me included, thought we would never forgive Andrew Vachss for killing off his long running 'Burke' series of novels, but since then he has released two enthralling novels, Haiku and, more recently, The Weight.

Tim 'Sugar' Caine knows he is innocent when he is accused of rape -- because he was doing a heist at the time. But what can he tell the police and is he being set up all along?

Rippling with the whip-smart dialogue we have come to expect from Vachss, this is yet another classic from the master.

Sample quote: "I'm a thief, and I do clean work. I don't hurt people for money, I don't set fires, I don't do any of those sicko sex things. Stuff like that, it gets spread all over: the papers, radio, TV. Gets everybody paying attention. Specially when there's big reward money out there."

Irish Independent