With the race for the Presidency heating up we're in serious need of some light relief and, aside from Vincent Browne's masterful ambush of Martin McGuinness (a man who'd surely appreciate a good ambush given his terrorist IRA past) on TV3 on Monday night, the ever-reliable Liveline duly obliged the following day.
It began with a phone call from a woman who had forked out more than ¤80 for her teenage son to be treated for a bowel infection. The cost of the treatment wasn't what was exercising her, but rather the manner in which he succumbed to a dickey tummy.
He has just started college and, it being Freshers week when all sorts of madcap japes (aka drunken tomfoolery) go on, had decided to enter into the spirit of things by taking part in an Iron Stomach competition. This ludicrous carry-on is a variant on an eating contest (themselves barbaric practices with no place in civilised society), where participants were expected to scoff down such treats as cat food, dog food, lamb hearts, raw chicken and live goldfish.
Now, we all know that students can be pretty thick, but what kind of gobsh*te would you have to be to eat raw chicken?
Have these people never paid heed to a food-safety notice in their lives, or learned the first thing about cooking practices before being cut loose from their mammies' apron strings?
Frankly, anyone who knowingly eats raw chicken deserves to qualify for a Darwin Award.
Things became more surreal on the programme when a chap from the Tropical Fish Society of Ireland came on and detailed just what a panicked goldfish is likely to do inside your stomach before it expires. It's not nice.
The organisers of this gross act of stupidity, which took place at the National College of Ireland, where all the clever kids clearly go, were on a hiding to nothing, especially when the object was clearly to watch the contestants spew their guts up. If you want to see freestyle puking then just head to T***** B** on any weekend night.
I hope they all felt dog-sick for a week afterwards, the idiots.