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Ian O'Doherty: Okay -- that makes perfect sense

So, what's the biggest threat we face in a year that is already promising to make for tough going?

Could it be the Mayan end-of-the-world prophecy?

That's unlikely, although I was rather tickled by the news yesterday that some American entrepreneur is making an absolute fortune selling luxury bunkers for paranoid rich people.

What about the Iranians getting the bomb and forcing Israel to attack, dragging us all into what could escalate to a Third World War?

Well, that's certainly a possibility but hopefully cool heads will prevail.

No, my friends, the biggest threat to humanity is in fact . . . drum roll please . . . gay marriage.

Yup, that's the interesting conclusion of Pope Benedict.

Old Sour Kraut has been fairly quiet on the crazy-talk front of late but he has returned to form with his remarks the other day.

Now, I perfectly understand that Catholics are meant to be against homosexuality and all that, even if I find it rather strange that they seem to be so bloody obsessed with issue.

But while talking about the importance of 'normal' marriage, the Pope took a swipe at the gay equivalent, stating it is a threat to not only the traditional family unit but "the very future of humanity itself".

Somehow I doubt that Adam and Steve getting hitched in the registry office in Molesworth Street is going to cause the apocalypse but it would appear that I was wrong.

Who wudda thunk it?

As readers will know, I don't believe in God but having said that I don't feel any particular affinity with atheists.

After all, I'm not going to forge a friendship with someone just because neither of us likes Marmite, and to me it's the same thing -- after all, you're not going to set up an association of like-minded people who form a bond over the fact that they don't believe in leprechauns, are you?

But the American Atheist group have once more shown themselves to be every bit as priggish and humourless as the religious people they profess to despise.

The latest example comes with the storm over the American footballer, Denver Broncos QB Tom Tebow.

Tebow is arguably the most popular sports star in America right now and his habit of kneeling down and blessing himself after every win has incensed our atheist friends.

A devout Christian, he is teetotal, clean living and does a lot of charitable work. So, when you compare him to some of the other footballers who look more like members of the Crips or the Bloods than athletes, you could argue that he is a good role model.

Just don't try that argument with David Silverman, head of AA, who says that: "Tebow is full of shit. He brings religion and injects it into the mix and divides fans. He is bad for football."

Interestingly, he stayed rather silent when that other footballer, Michael Vick, was sent to jail for drowning any of his dogs that didn't win a dog fight.

But then I guess he didn't want to be seen to criticise a black man . . .

What's the best excuse you've ever come up with to pull a sickie?

Obviously as someone as professional and dedicated to their trade as I am, I would never even contemplate doing such a thing (look, the boss reads this, I'll tell you the next time he's on holidays). But it would appear that there are other, morally inferior people who would stoop to such things.

People like Joan Bennet, a New York school worker who was enjoying her holiday in Costa Rica. And I mean really enjoyed it.

So much so that she fancied staying an extra week in the tropical idyll.

Now we've all been on holidays where we never want to come home, so Bennet got in touch with her employers to say that one of her daughters had died from a heart attack and she would have to extend her stay there by a week to sort things out.

She even went so far as to fax a fake death certificate to the school -- and that was her downfall.

It transpired that the fake cert was written in different fonts and wasn't aligned properly.

Not only has she been sacked from her job but the fake cert has also landed her in court in Manhattan on forgery charges.

Listen, guys, how many times do I have to tell you? When you're faking someone's death, it is always vital to make sure the forged certificate is accurate and believable.

Honestly, some people.

Sheesh.

As we have learned to our eternal cost, this country is not exactly overburdened with great political minds.

Which brings me to Fine Gael councillor Barry O'Neill.

As you know, O'Neill was on honeymoon and put up on his Facebook page a picture of his missus making a Nazi salute beside a waxwork of Hitler.

It was a phenomenally stupid thing to do and he has been condemned by Jewish groups in Ireland for gross insensitivity.

He took the offending pics down but rather than being contrite and hoping the whole thing goes away, he is now threatening to sue any publication which ran the shots because, he says, of the way he and his wife were portrayed.

Listen mate, you posted pics of your missus making Nazi salutes, would you like to tell us how you should have been portrayed?

I was watching Celebrity Big Brother the other night -- don't judge me, you bastards, I only watch so you don't have to -- and guests Jedward told Michael Madsen (pictured) that they would like to be in a remake of Madsen's biggest movie, Reservoir Dogs.

It seemed absurd at first but think about it -- the most iconic scene in that movie is Madsen chopping a dude's ear off and anytime Jedward sing we all feel like chopping our own ears off.

So you see, it makes perfect sense.

But I thought of it first, so don't nick the idea.

Irish Independent