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Ian O'Doherty: Yup, that seems plausible

Have you ever watched a movie and thought -- hang on, that's exactly what my life is like?

Let's face it, every bloke of my generation wishes their life was like Ferris Bueller's, but the sad reality is that Dumb And Dumber or Mr Bean would perhaps be a more accurate depiction.

But it seems that there are some people -- let's just call them mad people -- who reckon that not only are certain movies like their life, they are their life.

Just look at the entirely reasonable lawsuit being taken by Washington native Michael Charles Bertsch who is suing News Corp -- because he says they based Donnie Darko on him.

Now, you might think that if you're going to sue on the basis of "defamation and invasion of privacy", as our hero is doing in this case, then you might pick a rather more prosaic picture than the famously odd Donnie Darko (a bloody great film if you haven't seen it, by the way).

But, in fairness, his argument is compelling.

Amongst the spooky similarities are the fact that a) the car in the movie was a Ford Taurus, his father had a Ford Taurus; b) Donnie Darko's sister's name is Elizabeth, his sister's name is also Elizabeth and, perhaps most compellingly of all, he says that: c) "Donnie's girlfriend Gretchen is introduced as a new student. Gretchen is a German name and my fiancée was living in Germany and resembles the woman in the movie."

Well, you can't argue with logic like that, can you?

After all, who among us has ever watched a movie about a mentally disturbed young man who is forced into committing criminal acts by a psychotic imaginary seven-foot-tall rabbit called Frank and not thought: My God! They've stolen my life story!

To the lawyer-mobile!

Anyone who read this column last Friday will undoubtedly remember -- such is the fierce beauty of my prose I'm well aware that it was an unforgettable piece. Ahem -- the story about the anger felt by some residents of Terenure who are pissed off that they share a constituency with the great unwashed masses of places like Crumlin and Drimnagh.

The whole debate attracted my attention because I am originally from Crumlin (a big shout out to my homies on Kildare Road, as I'm sure nobody has ever said before), went to primary school in Drimnagh and I now live in Terenure, so I can see the argument from all sides.

But that didn't stop people from getting the hump.

According to one guy, I'm a class traitor for leaving my original area and have turned into a snob, while on the other side, someone from Terenure emailed to say they didn't want knackers like me in their leafy environs.

But the most emotional, accurate and devastating critique of the piece, and one which completely proved I have lost touch with my roots, came from one Crumlin native who objected to me referring to the perception that people from Crumlin only drank Royal Dutch: "Ian, as a Crumlin lad you should know that Royal Dutch is not our favourite tipple. It's Dutch Gold, five for a fiver."

So may I sincerely apologise to anyone in Crumlin who was offended by my mistake.

The older I get, the worse I am as a flyer.

I used to love spending hours on a long-haul flight, reading a good book and sipping a relaxing gin and tonic, whereas now I just feel claustrophobic and my sinuses tend to go mental which, as anyone who suffers from that will tell you, makes a flight from Dublin to LA a particular form of torture.

So I read with sympathy -- and then burst out laughing because I have no empathy for others -- about the story of what happened on a flight from Miami to Heathrow the other day.

Most passengers were asleep when, at 3am, they were rudely awoken by an automated message, made in error, which shrieked: "This is an emergency announcement. We may need to make an emergency landing on water."

The message was repeated twice as staff tried to calm the passengers who were freaking out.

Indeed, one of them said: "There's nothing worse than being told your plane is going to crash."

Well, I would have thought that your plane actually crashing would be up there?

I reckon the only people who are more adept than journalists at claiming expenses for every little thing are our politicians.

Indeed, if they paid as much attention to the running of the country as they did to claiming everything back, then we would be in a much better place right now.

But I was rather tickled by the expenses claim of one councillor, that tedious éirígí crank, Louise Minihan.

She has claimed exes for going to a training seminar where she engaged in a: "Discussion on how to deal with the media. How to deal with bad press and how to build relations with the media."

Well, I have one suggestion -- perhaps you're better off not hurling a can of red paint at the Health Minister, as Minihan did.

Right -- that'll be two hundred quid please.

You know how it is. You're out in a nightclub, you give a girl the eye. And then she glasses you in an unprovoked attack, forcing you to go to hospital.

That was the rather unfortunate plight suffered by James Kirkham in Exeter.

Now you might expect that the woman responsible, Sheona Keith, would be looking at a bit of jail time. After all, smashing a glass over someone is a pretty heavy offence.

But you would be wrong.

The judge has given her a suspended sentence because, after she claimed that, having been subjected to sexist remarks in her workplace, she was very defensive and Judge Phillip Wassel said: "You felt threatened by this man although he had done nothing wrong ... and he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Oh, well that's okay then.

Somehow I can't see the same consideration being given to a bloke if he was the one who glassed someone.

Irish Independent