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Ian O'Doherty: Step away from the pencil and nobody gets hurt

We all know that cops have a hard time of it. Their pay is fairly lousy, the hours are frequently horrible, and for American cops there's always the good chance that some crack-addled mentaller will shoot you for the sheer hell of it.

But it seems that sometimes they really could come up with a better use of their time.

Cops in Colorado are copping some flak at the moment after they arrested an 11-year-old boy at his home, handcuffed him, put him in the back of a patrol car, brought him down to the station where they booked him, fingerprinted him and took his mug shot.

Was he a budding Bugsy Malone? Was he like that 12-year-old in Mexico who is reckoned to be the youngest assassin?

Nay, nay and thrice nay -- he had drawn a picture his teacher didn't like.

The kid, known only by the name of 'Tim' has ADHD and was advised by his school therapist that every time he gets angry, rather than disrupt the class he should do a drawing instead.

It seems like perfectly good advice, but when a teacher saw him drawing himself with a gun she freaked out, went home and promptly called the cops.

So now it's official -- in Obama's America a troubled child can be arrested for the crime of drawing a picture.

Although, I'm impressed at the kid's ability -- I was so bad at drawing in school that no teacher was ever able to figure out what the hell I had doodled in the first place, so I could have drawn an entire school massacre and they would have thought I'd drawn a cat.

Okay, I want one. I want one now

I love chillies. I love chillies in the same way I love sharks -- they can be extremely harmful but I'm still drawn to them.

Indeed, the wife tends to look on me with a mixture of pity and contempt every time I run out of the kitchen with a beetroot-red face, tears streaming down my face and water sluicing out of my mouth after I've bitten into a particularly hot one.

I'll do the chilli dance for 10 minutes (hopping around from foot to foot while waving my hands in front of my mouth and going "ow, ow, ow, ow" in what I presume is an extremely macho and sexy fashion) and, once the searing, blinding agony has passed, I'll go back for another one.

So chilli lovers everywhere should be particularly excited by the news that a farmer has come up with the hottest one in the world.

Nick Woods of Grantham says that when he first tried it: "It tasted nice at first. Then it hit me. It was so hot that I couldn't speak. I began to shake uncontrollably, I had to sit down, and I felt physically sick. I really wouldn't recommend anyone to eat it raw like that."

So hot you can't speak, it makes you shake uncontrollably and puts you on your back?

Right, I'm off to Grantham -- that sounds like the best chilli ever.

You see, I told you

As readers may know, I have what I regard as an entirely rational fear of the dentist. Not just any dentist -- all of them.

Sure, part of that stems from watching Marathon Man at an impressionable age (God, I still shudder every time I think of that scene) but it's more complex than that.

Now, some people -- misguided, ill-informed people -- have said that my phobia against dentists borders on an almost racist level of prejudice against people who are performing a vital medical service.

But now I have incontrovertible proof that they are all, in effect, evil.

A dentist in Britain has been branded 'appalling' after it emerged at a medical misconduct hearing that he routinely farted loudly in front of patients, belched without covering his mouth and would stand behind patients and give them the two fingers.

I just knew it, dentists go into that profession because they hate people. And now I have proof.

Not a lot of proof, admittedly, but that's enough for me.

What part of 'pro-life' don't you understand?

Abortion is one of those topics that is best steered clear of. So obviously I'm going to write about it.

It's also one of those topics where people of good conscience can simply agree to disagree; after all, it's such a fundamental philosophical position that it's virtually impossible to change people's position on the issue.

Unless you're one of those rabidly pro-life people, that is.

And democracy isn't exactly their strong point, either.

The latest example of their crass behaviour came the other day at Maynooth College, when a representative from pro-choice and sexual health organisation Marie Stopes had to be physically escorted off the premises following protests from pro-life supporters.

And then it hit me -- these people aren't actually pro-life at all.

No, when you think about it, they're so obnoxious, undemocratic and, frankly, gobshites that they'd make you want to go out and have an abortion just to spite them -- so they're actually obviously pro-choicers.

Suddenly it all makes a strange and terrible sense.

Wow, they really don't get it

It's the battle of the self-righteous. Sinn Fein/IRA are angry at Green Paul Gogarty for a joke he made about them on his Twitter page.

In fact, one of them accused Gogarty of "taking a cheap shot".

Well, if anyone knows the cost of a bullet these days, it's that lot.

Irish Independent