| 10.6°C Dublin

Cure for man flu comes out of a can

ANGLO Irish Bank staff and angry callers were untangling a web on Liveline on Wednesday. More than one of the callers had a point that should make Cowen and cohorts shake in their Armanis: it's time to go to the people.

It's not revolution -- not yet.

But wait.

Most angry were those who'd been queueing interminably for passports. Even the usually cautious Joe Duffy made the point: "It's Planet Kildare Street and Planet Molesworth Street."

Colin Gillick, who chained himself to a handle at the Passport Office on Wednesday morning, said he went over to get hot water from a local hotel halfway through Tuesday night.

The queue had started at 9.30pm, he said. He'd brought with him three coats, sandwiches, a flask, a radio, books, a lamp . . . and a chain.

It was the night of the reshuffle, and at around 3am Colin says he went to the hotel looking for some hot water to make tea. But the door was closed. "They wouldn't give us hot water," he said.

A party had been going on most of the night, but Colin, who says he's a qualified horticulturist who is now on the jobseeker's allowance, couldn't get hot water.

Next up was Phil, whose husband works in Anglo Irish Bank. He had heard on Prime Time about the staff who got a raise. His wife said he's afraid to tell people where he works and other staff feel the same.

"Even if it's raining and you had an umbrella with the Anglo sign, none of the staff would even use it," she said. "They'd be lynched walking down the street."

But Seamus, who rang in next, thought she should be glad that her husband had a job.

And in comes Sarah, who worked for Anglo Irish around 10 years ago. Sean Fitzpatrick, she said, was "a gentleman to work with".

Colm and Jim Jim roundly deny that 'man flu' is a minor ailment: "When we get sick, when we spend all our time in bed and need pampering, like, and the moaning -- and I want to say to the women, too, they don't realise this, but man flu can be more painful than giving birth," said Colm.

Scientists from Cambridge University have established that men have a weaker immune system, poor dotes.

"It does exist, and we can now bitch on for as long as we want," he crowed.

Jim Jim cleared something else up. "When we have to go to bed, it's just a coincidence that there's a match on the same night. And a can of beer, when you have man flu, is better for you than medicine."

Caller Dominica O'Malley -- "I was supposed to be a Dominic, but I came out a girl" -- had the blush of the day.

Dominica said a few years back she was worried about her little boy, who couldn't pronounce 'F', he said it as 'S'.

She tried vocal exercises on him for six months: "Say 'Fat Frank farted' now", but he just couldn't do it. So she brought him to the doctor to get an appointment for a speech therapist.

He lay happily on the floor playing with toys, while Dominica sat beside an immense man.

Then -- you could see it coming -- the receptionist came out and called "Frank, the doctor can see you now."

"And this little three-year-old baby voice piped up: 'Mum! Fat Frank farted!'"

Liveline with Joe Duffy, RTE Radio 1, 1.45-3pm, weekdays The Colm & Jim-Jim Breakfast Show, RTE Radio 2, 6-9am, weekdays