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Bulent Arinc is not a name that trips from my tongue with ease. As a matter of fact neither I nor the girls had ever heard of him before but, having delved a little deeper, he sounds like a right stick in the mud.

Bulent, or Bully as Maggie nicknamed him, is the deputy Prime Minister of Turkey and last week he decided that, to save ourselves from ourselves, we women should stop laughing out loud in public.

He made the comment while lamenting on what he thinks is the general moral decline in society.

"A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent," he thundered in his speech.

As we are mere women and don't appear to know what is decent and what is not he went on to educate us.

"She should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times."

Here's a bit of advice from me to you Bully. Would you ever do yourself and your wife (if you still have one) a favour and go and lie down in a darkened room for an hour.

Then, as the young people say, build a bridge and get over yourself. What you don't seem to understand is that laughing our socks off helps free us from the stresses and strains of daily life.

Research also suggests laughter helps with blood flow and boosts our immune systems. It can lower blood pressure and improve memory. Laughing relaxes us and helps us sleep better.


More than that, laughter instils camaraderie, boosts friendships and helps solidify relationships. Patsy also believes it makes wine taste better but that's another story.

There is almost nothing in life that makes me feel better than a good belly laugh.

Every week I meet my girlfriends and scream with laughter at the utter ridiculousness of life. Laughing, whether in private or in public, has got us through the ups and downs of marriage, childrearing, strokes, cancer and the passing of loved ones.

Women have been laughing out loud in public ever since Eve copped a look at Adam's nethers in the Garden of Eden. That's what we do, Bully. Call us indecent but we just can't help ourselves.

But Bully, bless his grumpy face, won't leave it at laughing. He also had a pop at women's 'excessive' usage of mobile phones because we talk too much and - this is so much worse - we also use the phone to 'swap recipes'.

Hell's bells, if he heard Patsy's recipe for deep fried Mars bars cheesecake, he'd have a nervo altogether. That, coupled with her big, laughing gob ensures she takes decadence and indecency to a new level. And long may it last!