4th October, 2001

A friend of mine, a very good quiz team member, got the phone call last week from the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" show. He was told that he was one of 100 people to have been chosen to go further than the rest of us when we answer Gay Byrne's question. However, they had one question for him to progress further. This was the question, and I'm not joking, this was asked to one of the best quiz minds in Cork. Here it is, "How many copies of the Star newspaper were sold in Ireland from September to December 1997. Why couldn't they have asked an easier question such as, "How many blades of grass are they in Douglas Community Park?" Anyway, he gave them an answer and he was told that he was successful, they would get back to him.

Speaking of that show, did you watch that man on it last week? I think he was from the North. Every question he was asked he gave us a lecture on why it wasn't the other three answers, then he gave the correct answer. I'm shouting at the TV, "You selfish B..... There are another nine people waiting who obviously knew how many copies of the Star were sold in 1997, and they're not going to get on the hot seat." My suggestion would be to make the chair an electric one, nothing heavy, say 100 volts, you have 30 seconds to answer, after Gay presses the button, that'll stop them wasting time.

A reader rang us a couple of weeks ago to complain that national lottery scratch cards had gone up in price from 1 to 1.50, a nice increase of 50%. We rang the National Lottery office in Dublin and asked if it was true that the price had increased. The answer was yes, but the spokesperson told us that the 10,000 prize had been increased to 15,000. "Fantastic," we said, "How many 15,000 prize scratch cards are printed?" we asked. Back came the answer, "One is every million tickets printed".
Let me get this right, by increasing the ticket price by 50p, the National Lottery take in an extra 500,000 and give out an extra 5,000. That does not mean that if you buy one thousand of these cards in one thousand outlets that you will win a 10,000 prize. To do that you would have to buy the whole block of one million tickets to win 15,000. Do the words, "There's one born every minute," spring to mind?

I watched a documentary of BBC1 last Thursday night. The subject was Ian Paisley. Would we see the big man "Line dancing in the local Orange hall, sipping a Bacardi Breezer afterwards?" You're right, we didn't. We saw a man who claims to preach the word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. I watched the whole programme, and wondered what young Ian had been taught by his parents, because it certainly wasn't Christianity, a rabble rousing bully who led young people astray with his bile, and as some loyalists said on the programme, "He was like the Grand old Duke of York, he led them to the fight, but when they turned around he was gone, and they ended up in the H Blocks". Big Ian runs a fundamentalist Church, so I went to my Colliers dictionary and looked up the word, "fundament", and what a fundament is to me is quite shocking. It's the buttocks, or an anus!! So what does that make a "fundamentalist?" Answers to the usual address.

Then there was a documentary on Freddy Starr (I watched a lot of TV last week). Freddy seems to have been a real nasty piece of goods, beating up his wife, his son, a reporter. Nobody had a good word to say about Freddy. Now he lives in Spain, watching re-runs of his TV shows with wife number ? She pretends to laugh at his dated comedy. Freddy, what you sow, you reap!

The final documentary I watched was the Six Wives of Henry VIII. Catherine Howard lost her head in more ways than one. It seems Catherine was young, fiery and passionate. She confessed to having an affair with a young man named Culpepper. The presenter told us that at that stage Henry was old (51!!), fat, and had a big abcess on his leg. Nowadays, a good lawyer would get her half the crown jewels, and a flat in Buck House, but in 1541 there was no alimony, only a wooded block and a big axe! Poor Culpepper was hanged, taken down, drawn and quartered, disemboweled, and finally, lost his head. What a punishment, almost as bad as watching an hour long TV Oireactas report!!

If you have any feelings on what seems like the impending closure on Douglas Swimming Pool, let us know, because the only action to secure it's future is people power. Perhaps the powers that be assume we in the Southside are all 1,000 a year members of leisure clubs.

Finally, on the subject of our Douglas Weekly Christmas party night, I just want to clarify that the tickets for th show are only on sale from the Douglas Weekly office (021-4896496). A deposit will secure your seat. Dickie Rock and Art Supple are two of the best entertainers in the country, and we believe that we have the best Christmas show in Cork. Bring your friends, your family, or even yourself, we'll be there to enjoy a beautiful four course meal, a visit by Santa, and 5 hours of musical magic. Don't leave it too late!

Bye for now,
Michael O'Hanlon.

P.S. Good luck and best wishes to Derry O'Regan of the East Village Bar and Restaurant, who's getting married on Friday 5th October.

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