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Ian O'Doherty: Okay, enough with the fan mail

One of the main problems with writing a column that's adored by so many people is having to wade through the fan mail that arrives to the Indo.

But sometimes this extra effort is worth it when a piece of fan mail comes in from someone who has been genuinely moved by the profound pearls of wisdom to be found in ISpy.

And one superfan, Eoin Fitzpatrick, was gushing in what he wrote: "Could you PLEASE stop writing for the Independent? I like the newspaper but every day I've to look at your grumpy fat head in your stupid column that no one likes. And aren't you a little old to be wearing Converse sneakers?

"Have you ever YouTube'd yourself and seen how much of an arsehole you made out of yourself trying to prove a case for legalising drugs?

"Why do you think people want to listen to you? Why would anyone take your advice on what books to read or music to listen to? Just do us all a favour and give up."

Honestly, Eoin, you're just being too kind. We'll get a big head if you keep it up.

Although it should be pointed out that 'YouTube-ing' oneself is anatomically impossible.

Well, at least they're consistent

Saudi Arabia gets a hard time in the West.

But they don't mess around -- you have to give them at least that much.

And they have just issued a judgment which will gladden the hearts of sensible people everywhere.

As we all know, mobile phones have been sent by the Devil to test us.

They mean that you can never get out for a sneaky pint without the missus insisting you send her a camera pic of where you are; their use has become ubiquitous in places where we once expected peace and quiet, and let's not forget Crazy Frog.

And one Saudi judge certainly hates them because he has just sentenced a 13-year-old girl to 90 lashes and two months in jail in Jeddah for the crime of bringing her mobile phone to school.

Some people have said this is a bit harsh, but in a statement issued in ISpy's head yesterday, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation wrote: "About bloody time. Good enough for her -- are you listening, Batt O'Keeffe?"

Too little, too late

As the Catholic Church spins its wheels desperately trying to get the rest of the country to stop hating them, some interesting tactics have emerged.

We've seen the mealy-mouthed, grudging apologies, we've seen the forced resignations and the Pope has finally decided to stop worrying about gay people and the environment and summoned the bishops for a good bashing in Rome -- and given the fact that gay people can't reproduce and contribute to over-population, you'd think Benny would be all for them -- and now comes the latest stunt.

Apparently, in an effort to show contrition for the myriad wrongs they have visited upon society, Irish priests have volunteered to bend down and wash the feet of the few people left who still bother going to Mass.

Cynics have pointed out that this is exactly the kind of pointless, meaningless stunt that means nothing when the church is still rather backwards in coming forwards with assistance for abuse victims, but these people are missing the big picture.

After all, with half the bloody country still without water, now is the perfect time to take a towel and a bar of soap down to your nearest church and get your hoofs washed for free.

Altogether now: "Make sure you scrub in between my toes while you're down there, father."

Irish Independent