I read last week that a 19-year-old New Zealand student had posted her virginity for sale on the internet. Keen to earn some money for her college education, 'Unigirl' received 1,200 bids, and accepted the final offer of nearly €25,000.
There are many moral issues at stake here which, predictably enough, I'm going to ignore. But the ironic timing of the news struck me, as the papers were full all week with revelations of married English soccer player John Terry, and his affair with the former girlfriend of one of his team mates. Lying, cheating, arrogant low-life that Terry is of course, the story made me ponder on the woman involved -- Vanessa Perroncel -- and how her behaviour had echoes with that of Unigirl.
Is it just me, or is it always the man who gets the abuse in these situations, while the woman in question is portrayed, at worst, as simply an unfortunate participant or, quite often, a victim? But why is it so?
Isn't it true that for every cheating married man, there's a willing female participant? And, as is certainly the case with Terry, the women (there were more than just Perroncel ... ) knew full well that the man they were sleeping with was married. But did they consider the damage they were going to create to that man's marriage by succumbing to his advances, rather than just telling the neanderthal horn dog to lump it?
What a cunning game Perroncel played, spending the week in the full glare of the media talking to Britain's biggest kiss and tell broker, Max Clifford, cynically sending out a message to Terry -- buy my silence, or you know what's going to happen? And though trying to cover herself in glory by announcing that she wasn't going to kiss and tell to the tabloids, she omitted to mention the near million euro in hush money she allegedly got from Terry. All of which was reminiscent of Tiger Woods a few months back, and the manner in which his mistress, Rachel Uchitel, mysteriously cancelled a press conference at the very last minute, at which she was threatening to reveal details of her relationship with Woods, amidst accusations that Woods had bought her silence.
Two famous men, both of them well-known to be married, yet both having no trouble in finding women willing to sleep with them.
And you expect me to believe that, in the back of their minds, these women weren't looking forward to the possibility of a pay day, either from the tabloid or the cheating husband himself when the affairs, as they always do, became public?
Perroncel, just like Rachel Uchitel, got rich by having sex with a married man. She has tried to portray herself having behaved honourably, but if you ask me, Unigirl's honest, upfront proposition showed far more honour than the hypocritical Ms Perroncel.
I ain't saying she's a gold digger, but ...
I've a confession to make -- I think I'm responsible for the new 30kph speed limit. VIP Towers, you see, is located on Ely Place, just across the road from the Labour Party headquarters. And I imagine it was the sight of my orange sports car, gleaming outside his offices, that made councillor Andrew Montague come up with this hare-brained scheme.
I can visualise his already ruddy features, puce at the thought of a flash tosser buzzing around Dublin city centre in a Lambo, poisoning cyclists with exhaust smoke and knocking down grannies for fun, and vowing to get even.
There isn't, of course, a shred of evidence that lowering the speed limit will save lives. But this scheme will, as ever, generate some revenue for the council, and give the impression that Andrew and co are active, go-getting politicians, rather than the ineffectual, sweaty, sandal-wearing, hummus-eating cyclists that most of them really are.
But I'll get my revenge. Ely Place is a one way street, and the direct route to the Dail involves a brief wrong-way ride. So my staff are on the lookout for the day that Montague bows to temptation and goes for a sneaky short cut.
And I think being dragged around the city centre from a rope attached to the back of my car, his face up against my exhaust, is a punishment to fit the crime. It'll be a long punishment as well, as I'll be making sure to stay under 30kph the whole time ...
In the parallel universe that most PR executives live in, crappy nightclubs in the middle of nowhere are 'temples of hedonism', and a random collection of models and DJs is a 'celebrity guest list'. But surely the greatest hyperbole sprung by them is the entirely new profession they've invented -- the mixologist.
Yep, that's a barman to you and me, but for PR people, it's too lowly a word for someone who mixes together three ingredients in a flask, and shakes it.
A concept which has rubbed off on the bar staff throughout Ireland, who believe the hype and think themselves to be artistes who have to put on a performance, rather than just pouring the shagging drink and ringing it up.
Last Saturday, I was waiting to get served in a city centre bar. Every time the 'mixologist' was asked for a spirit, he flipped a slice of lemon over his shoulder, flicked two ice cubes in the air, making sure one landed in the glass, and swatted the other one away with the head of a swizzle stick. While a queue of about a dozen people waited for him to finish poncing around and actually serve them ...
Listen guys, Cocktail starring Tom Cruise was over 20 years ago. And even back in 1988, show-off barmen were naff. So just pour the drinks, guys -- and stop putting the 'cock' into cocktail.