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Paddy Courtney: 'Oh, sweet Jesus — if she has a rat problem, then I have a rat problem'

Isn't life full of surprises?

In no particular order, the various stages are: birth, meet, greet, wine, dine, shag, engagement, house purchase, wedding, love, hate, affair, death, thrills, spills, surprises, fights, frights, ooh and the pitter-patter of tiny feet thrown into the mix too. Did I forget anything?

Regular readers will be aware of my love affair with birds. I'm known as The Birdman of Malahide. I love feeding them every morning. My girlfriend says it's my maternal instinct kicking in, preparing me for when I have children of my own. She shocked me, as she's usually quite smart, but one thing I can guarantee: I'm definitely not pregnant. It's probably just wind or something.

This week, the pitter-patter of tiny feet entered my life for the first time and, like most people, they caught me off guard. I was lying in bed coming out of a deep sleep and a dream too filthy to talk about here, when I heard a tip-tapping noise above me. I thought it could only be one of two things: my new-found feathered friends dancing on my roof waiting for me to feed them; or the stork had dropped off a newborn baby. That's how it normally works, right?

Moments later, there was a knock on my front door. Was it the stork looking for me to sign the necessary documentation, or had the local birds run out of patience?

It was, in fact, my elderly neighbour announcing that she had a problem with a rat. I'm not sure I heard her properly? To be fair, I was still kind of sleepy, and began to imagine her as a member of a criminal gang and that she had just come to me looking for advice on how to load her newly acquired 9mm Glock pistol.

Oh, sweet Jesus -- if she has a rat problem, I have a rat problem. Definitely not the pitter-patter I was expecting.

Paddy will perform at the Dalkey Comedy Club in the Queen's tonight; pcc@herald.ie