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We're all toast as radio signals the end is nigh

CATS suckling on dogs? Ghost ships stuffed to bursting with ravenous cannibal rats? Rhino horns snatched? Vials of Papal blood nicked? Vaginas on toast?

I don't know about you, but from where I'm sitting – hunkered down in my survivalist bunker gobbling tinned beans – it's beginning to look (or sound) like the end times are nigh (and getting nigher).

Yes, it was a week in which radio went full-on apocalyptic, with grim omens of impending doom popping up all over the dial. "Hang on!" says you (probably), "Haven't you just listed a series of random and disconnected events?". "Tsk and double-tsk," says I, in reply. If you were blessed with my eschatological listening skills – skills honed to a point so sharp they'd have Nostradamus's eye out – you'd see clear and ominous patterns. Plus, I, er, once read a Dan Brown book. So hark unto me, dear readers. We're all goosed.

You can (partially) blame Derek Mooney for my jitteriness. "They're going to jump off the ship and they're going to eat everything in sight!", he shrieked, on Monday's show, RE: the gang of killer rats that have been gallivanting about the Atlantic onboard the MV Lyubov Orlova.


He was, to be fair, merely poking fun at cannibal-rat-hysteria. And his guest, Chris Reynolds, director of the Irish Coast Guard, was at pains to pour additional cold water on fevered speculation about rodent invasions (not that there really was any).

It was hard not to feel a wee bit disappointed by all this reassurance, if, like me, you'd tuned in mainly to hear lurid tales of unstoppable uber-rats. Happily, Mooney seemed alert to the mood – cranking the tension levels back up with juicy 'n' gory asides about human-on-human cannibalism during the Second World War. The rats (probably) won't get you, was the ultimate message, but it would be foolish to relax entirely. Hoorah!

There was more mammalian hijinks the following day, when Derek sent Brenda Donohue off to a house in Wicklow where she found cats laying down with dogs (as foretold in the Bible, or something). Actually, there was just one cat, laying (lying?) down with one dog, but said cat was contentedly guzzling milk from said dog. A heart-warming display of inter-species love, I thought. Staunch opponents of non- traditional relationships most likely listened on in horror.

Those keen to keep the traditionalist flag flying (especially those who regard the modern world as a baffling, infuriating and inferior version of the good ol' days) probably don't find much to object to on The Right Hook. George, himself, was sounding even more nostalgic and elegiac than usual on Monday as he reflected on the recent death, from lung disease, of Eric Lawson, a former 'Marlboro Man'. "These guys . . . were wonderful," said George, wistfully. "The cowboy out on the range, all that stuff. It really was fantastic." Fantastic, he added, as long as "you didn't realise they were killing themselves while they were doing it". Cough.


After polishing off that tribute to traditional/rugged masculinity, Hook turned his shootin' irons on Ruairí Quinn, and Quinn's recent remarks about the time devoted to religious education in primary schools.

Hook told his guest Gemma Hussey that the current Labour party was "essentially opposed to organised religion" and embracing ideas that "would have been described as atheistic communism" 20 years ago.

"By and large," he added (after waxing lyrical about hot topics like The Aeneid and Caesar's Gallic Wars), "religious schools deliver". "I'd like to know what you base that on," Hussey replied. "My opinion," chuckled Hook, neatly summing up The Right Hook (and its failings) in two words.

Which brings me (sort of) back to three words I'd almost forgotten about: vaginas on toast. Galen Dively, founder of novelty toaster company Burnt Impressions, joined Sean Moncrieff on Wednesday's show to discuss the icons, images and patterns his appliances will burn onto your daily bread.

Jesus, naturally (complete with optional Rapture design for those who want to munch their way through the end times). Also peace signs, marijuana leaves, "male bits" and "lady bits". "Some folks think it looks like the eye of Sauron more than lady bits," said Dively. "That's made me think completely differently about The Lord of the Rings!", quipped Moncrieff.

Who said there no decent female . . . 'parts' in Tolkien's world?