12 Wonderful Events of 2013

Twelve months, and just 12 of the wonderful things that happened this year!

1. A golden eagle in Indiana breastfed a little baby lamb abandoned by its mother in January.

2. A dog licked a young man's naked butt as he leaned out of his bedroom window to have a cigarette in February, giving him such a fright that he fell out of the window entirely. His death generated plenty of laughs and good cheer!


3. In March, a man gave a waitress a tip. He wrote on a receipt: "Your lifestyle choice offends me. I pray that the Good Lord changes you sexually!" Some tip! So the people on the social media let the dog from the February video get at him. It changed HIM sexually.

4. A 10,000 year old pickle - discovered in a goatskin and clay cask of vinegar in Iran - was consumed by former Iranian president Machhhmoood Armoured-Dinnerjacket, while athletic Harvard lecturer and occasional Arizona rancher Professor Austin Seattle stood watching, at gunpoint, in April.

Thankfully, the expected world domination that the pickle was said to imbue in its eater never took place, the Iranian leader spent the next two days confined to a nearby bathroom, with a sink in close proximity to the toilet, and - even worse - he subsequently lost a general election in August, bringing in a more communicative president, Wayne Rooney.

5. In May, footage emerged from the vaults of a Czech television station showing Adolf Hitler playing what appeared to be a Nintendo Wii. While the footage has yet to be authenticated, Nintendo (est. in 1889) now admits that the prototype console was sent to the Fuhrer as a gift, and that the Japanese games manufacturer has been "sitting on the technology" since at least 1927.

7. June saw the first "switching of the sixes and the sevens". The move is hoped to reduce the world population by at least one billion, as the global population reached seven billion in 2011.

6. In July, the first firebombing of a bamboo forest full of giant pandas took place in western China, wiping out sixty percent of the planet's giant panda population - a total of seven animals - as the World Wrestling Federation started its search for a "replacement symbol". The giant panda (Ursapanda Pronetomaulye) is now regarded as "on the way out". Too much funding has gone towards breeding the deceptively cute but prone-to-maul-ya creatures, which have only one food staple, and seem to avoid anything that will result in its population re-establishing itself.

However, the move is seen as premature by some: Last year an experiment-fond janitor at the Bronx Zoo discovered that panda breeding in captivity was made easier, through allowing the scent of the female panda to be inhaled and exhaled by a mature Yangtze river dolphin, and then exposed to the male panda, as he is suspended above the freshwater mammal's blowhole.

The shortlist for the new animal representative for the wrestling association includes the black & decker toothless frog, the snakeskinned antelope, the thylacine (or Tasmanian tiger), the Yangtze river dolphin, and Edward, the last surviving farting skunk mimic.

8. Mathematics made its first major accidental breakthrough in August for more than 200 years, when the entire month of August - represented by the symbol "8" - fell over on a number of computer systems, and was converted to Infinity.

The result was a very, very extended summer for some, with holiday makers around the planet still stranded at their vacation spots today. Once 2014 begins, it is hoped that the systems will revert to normal, and these over-tanned tourists can get home.

9. The good news story of September involved the loss of a job for exotic animal lover Drucker Hardy. When his Goliath spider Tiny was made aware that they would be moving out of the house Drucker was living in, due to non-payment on the mortgage when he lost his job as an arachnophobe at the local theme park fun house, the spider started work as a male hand-model, picking up his first gig almost immediately for the back-to-school season. Drucker and Tiny got to keep the home, and Drucker has since become Tiny's manager full time.
10. 94-year-old Pastor Scooter Nichols predicted that the world would end for Halloween. Despite an upsurge in vampires, zombies and Obamacare, the suspected end of days didn't materialise.

11. Syria's government forces were persuaded by the international community to give up their chemical weapons, resulting in overt celebrations by the country's dissident groups. The street revelers were subsequently bombed by the Syrian government's artillery, using weapons to which the international community had given their seal of approval.

12. A Navy SEAL won a purple heart in the mountains of Pakistan, laying down cover fire as he returned to a minefield a total of seven times to rescue eight injured comrades, before airlifting them out of the region. The soldier maimed fourteen insurgents, refusing to inflict mortal wounds on two of them when he had the chance. On the helicopter journey back to base, his commanding officer - one of the wounded whom he had rescued - demanded to know why he "had not made any kills". On the removal of his mask, the hero soldier revealed himself to be Pope Francis, before he threw himself out the chopper door into the canopy of a forest below.

Fifth home explodes in e-Cigarettes nightmare

Yesterday, the sole occupant of a house in Navan, County Meath, was killed by a blast caused by his attempt to open an electronic cigarette. It is the fifth such known explosion since the products were introduced onto the market in the Republic. In a phone call to the Tipperary-based supplier of the e-cigarette brand that is believed to have caused the blast, a sales representative was actively discouraging their purchase.

"They don't have good reviews, these ones," he whispered. "Check online. There's been loads of fires from USB charges of them. You connect the e-cig chargers to the computers, and the laptops can't recognise the vapour as data. Can't handle it. Just starts going on fire. It does what the cigarette is trying to prevent, which is emit toxic fumes. We're not supplying them to the shops any more because they're all in dodgy legal territory. The chargers, the refills, the batteries, are all legislatively shady. We're laughed out of the pharmacies! Also, the cherry flavoured ones are so delicious that two people have died trying to drink the liquid."

The liquid is found in the refill or filter section of an electronic cigarette - which allows the e-cig to produce its vapour.

"But c'mere," the supplier went on. "Those who don't break open the filter successfully to get at the lethal dose of cherry vapour to suck it out and die, they don't realise that the e-cigarettes are lethal death traps. They're wired funny! They just explode, a lot of them, if you try to open them, bringing apartment blocks and houses and offices along with them. You're only reading about the explosions that are proved to be caused by e-cigarettes. I'd say that the electronic cigarette industry is responsible for ninety percent of the construction work carried out in Ireland at the moment, as the construction workers have to rebuild homes that have been brought down in all these so-called gas explosions or electrical fires that the electronic cigarette industry won't acknowledge as caused by their products!"

When asked for further details, the sales rep baulked.

"If they knew I was telling you this, they'd have me killed," he said. Then he added helpfully: "Oh no! Oh God no! I have to run!"

Gunshots could then be heard over the line, followed by approaching footsteps. Then a different, deeper voice asked:
"Hello? Hello? Who is this?"
"Hi, I was just talking to your colleague there about the cherry flavoured e-cigarette refills, and whether they're available at any retailers in Dublin? I see you have coffee ones as well?"
"Coffee?"
"Yeah. The coffee flavoured ones. The... you know? I see they're available in the UK, from the UK site. But I was just wondering if they've come into Ireland at all, or maybe even I could pop up to the North?"
"Sorry...who am I talking to?"
"Oh - look - I've got a call coming in here - it might be the shop here in the shopping centre down the road!"
"We don't supply to any shops in Dublin. We have stands at various locations."
"No. Yes. No. I just - this is for a different brand. Sorry. I'll have to get back to you."
"None of the manufacturers can supply to the shops. Who is this?"
"Ehhh... Coffey. Martin...Coffey. Thank you! I'll get back to you."

Dogs in Distress - a good cause and a great experience Part Three

Continued from Part Two

"Look at you," I could see him thinking. "You're here RIGHT NOW! We could go out and explore RIGHT NOW! Can you explain that one, Mister?" And sometimes he would bark at me.

He didn't really like his dog food. He often ate on the go - he explored a bush at one point, and before I could stop him, he had consumed an entire spare rib bone that he had sniffed out. Job done, he wiped his little paws in the grass, as if coming into a house on a Welcome mat, and he sprang back out of the bushes onto the street again to continue on our way.

Marie and Kathy at Dogs in Distress were very helpful. I probably spent more time detailing the dysfunctional dynamic that was developing between myself and my charge over email, than I actually spent sitting down with the little guy, telling him to behave. I should have been more common sense about it, as I said.

I was messing the little guy up, when there were any number of things I should have and could have tried to get him feeling happier with his circumstances. Hobo was going to leave the apartment once he found a good home anyway. But his frustrations started to manifest themselves in stopping on our walks, refusing to go in the direction I insisted on. We would stand together at one spot, each of us as stubborn as the other.

On his last day here, at 7.30 in the morning, he saw me waking up, and he started barking immediately. The tyke had already been out on the balcony, looking at activity going on like jogging, and dog walking, and I imagine he'd been looking out for an hour or more, as he had slept like a log while I had been at the keyboard the night before, writing my psychological assessment journal to Dogs in Distress.

Getting dressed quicker than a Lothario fleeing from the home of his lover whose husband has just arrived home unexpectedly, I threw him into the car, and drove him to my parents', making clear how very unhappy I was with his attitude, not letting him avail of the potential steering-wheel burn of which he was so fond. He had spent a lot more time napping than I had, I told him, and one of us needed some more sleep.

He knew he shouldn't have been barking so early. In fairness, I had seen a look like he had wanted to bark in the dead of night on occasions. He hadn't done it coz he knew darkness and night-time weren't barking time, even in the uncivilised world in which he had found himself plonked. But at 7.30 am, the sun had been splitting the stones for an hour already at least, and I had had him out on previous mornings at 8 a.m. He didn't know which way was up with me. He couldn't be expected to sense the mood any more than the forum readers would have in the next paragraph.

I put him in my parents' back garden where he could bark to his heart's content, without fear of reprisal or reprimand. I uploaded a post to the charity that was probably more mean-spirited than I had intended. But the other forum readers probably wouldn't have appreciated the tone. The post fell deadborn from the press, politely ignored by the administrators.

My departure from my parents' house, abandoning Hobo for a few hours, was probably a very bad idea, as I had spent every waking and sleeping hour with him for a couple of weeks. But he knew my parents, and he liked their wonderfully ordered home and garden, as he had been there twice before.

My mother spent some time with him while I went home, texted Kathy at the charity to give her the details of what had happened, and submitted the post which was rejected. I explained to Kathy that I hadn't wanted to reward this early morning barking with a walk. I could've actually taken him to a friend's garden around the corner from where I live, but I was unsure if there would be somebody there all day, and he hadn't met my friend yet, and I didn't want to give Hobo the impression he was going for any kind of a constitutional for being a little Narky Barky McBarksters.

I turned up again in the afternoon at my parents'. Mother told me that with every noise in the house, he had pricked his ears, as he thought it was me returning. Poor little guy. And he was delighted to see me, but I was conscious as I took him home that the accommodations were unfair, that he was forcing himself to be happy in a place where he wasn't, that ideally he needed somewhere else to stay, or I needed to sort out our arrangement and let him know quick-smart that he was being a bit of an Aretha.

Then Kathy - wise to all of our Odd Couple frustrations, maintaining contact all the way through his fostering - texted me with the details of a fosterer a mile down the street, the wonderful Amy, who worked at a pet-shop and had a bigger house with more than herself in it, with a garden and a second small dog, to accommodate and befriend Hobo. I told Kathy I was sorry I didn't get to sort out the issues for which I had ultimately been responsible.

They know their stuff, though, these charity peeps, and they really, really care for the dogs.

I drove down with Hobo and all his stuff - his toys and the great, tasty, high-quality food from the charity, his doggy treats, and his big dog bed cushion (very little cost associated with the fostering, all provided by D-in-D) - and I parked in a square near enough to his new home. Amy came out to meet me with her dog, and she took the lead while explaining where I ought to actually park. I drove up the street while she and the two dogs walked back to the house. I parked and waited at her house door with the stuff from my car. Amy arrived a half minute later than I had expected, carrying the little guy in her arms with her dog still on the lead.

"He refused to walk, so I had to pick him up," she explained.

See? There's the difference between a good fosterer and a bad one. I would've been standing there waiting for him to realise the error of his ways. It would've made more sense to scoop him up, instead of giving him equal footing as a decision maker on where we went walkies.

I didn't say goodbye to Hobo. Whatever minimal closure I wanted, I didn't feel it would have been fair on Amy trying to get him to settle. I told her to contact me to meet if he was upset, but I didn't want to confuse the little guy, and I certainly didn't want to trouble them with an insistence that I see him again. So I resisted the urge to take up her more-than-generous offer to visit if I wanted to. Maybe that's me overthinking things again.

It was unfortunate that I couldn't give him more routine, and that I didn't have the time to iron out the problems that had manifested themselves: If I was out late at night, he was with me.


Our latest night out had ended at four a.m. on a weekend visit to friends, and that can't have been good for him. He had gone everywhere, my best little pal. I'll know to do things differently if I have the privilege to foster again.

Amy found a new home for him. She claimed that he seemed to prefer the name Bobo, which might explain why he had so little interest in answering to "Hobo!" when I called him.

The charity does need fosterers, and they will match the right people with the right dogs, and if it doesn't work out, they find somewhere else. That isn't easy. It doesn't happen just like that, in the words of Tommy Cooper. But sometimes it has to happen, as in my situation. And the pool of potential fosterers needs to be a deep one. Kathy had said that another dog - maybe a few years older than Hobo's estimated four years, and a bit more chilled - would've probably been perfectly happy at my place. And there are various circumstances - bad weather, say - where Hobo might have been happier a little more indoors. (He had been a little put out by thunderstorms, hiding under my desk, and had required cuddles. And he seemed to understand and agree with me that going out in rain was just silly.)

I encourage people to volunteer for this cause or to make a donation - whether it's simply to try out pet ownership, or to take in one of the lovely animals as a permanent family member. I think, from what little research I've done, it's one of the best organisations of its kind around, in terms of how it goes about its work. So do it! Do it now!

Dogs in Distress - a good cause and a great experience Part Two

Continued from Part One.
There was no car accident. If there is, it's metaphorical. I learned a few things about myself when I took the dog in. I consider myself a patient enough individual. But when it comes to dogs, I need to be a bit less of the psychoanalyst, and more commonsense. For instance, I was instructed by Kathy at Dogs in Distress to ignore him when he barked at me. The advice paid off, and he would stop barking within a minute of realising I was ignoring him. It was a concern, as pets are frowned upon at my place, and he was taking too long to stop the yapping.

Honestly, I have found difficult toddlers easier to appease than my little guy. But no toddlers have stayed as long with me as Hobo had.

I had few answers that appealed to him, other than his insistence that we get out of the apartment when he saw other dogs in the park, or other curiosities to investigate further. Rolling a ball towards him indoors would be met with his own tokenistic chase after it, as if he were the one entertaining me. He loved his cuddles, and he loved play once we were outside the confines of the apartment. My dilemma was either frustrated overstimulation for Hobo, as he observed things passively from the balcony, or curtains drawn and darkness, with the telly on, which I wasn't willing to even test, given the glorious weather.

I had noticed that he was so impressed with my own barking that he initally hadn't believed it came from me. He looked around, thinking there was another dog present. It's not in the handbook - and maybe it's not advisable - but perhaps when he barked at me, I should've barked back to see if that would shut him up, out of sheer surprise that I could respond to him in his Warrior tongue. Kaplah!

I had to get him out of the apartment for fear of complaints from the Residents' Association or the apartment block management company. There was a missive from the management company in August, discussing pets generally and loudness. It was after Hobo had been with me.

I had asked Kathy if I could hit him, or tap his nose or something. I have no doubt that she thought I was the spawn of Satan, even asking that. But she also understood I needed a quick fix, and crushing a Valium into his dog food wouldn't do the trick. I felt like a resident of wartime Amsterdam, trying to hide members of the Jewish community in my attic.

"Sshhhh! You'll get us both killed!"

The dogs that come from shelters are sometimes somewhat dysfunctional, as they have suffered the trauma of abandonment or perhaps bereavement. That's not my excuse. Hobo was FINE before he encountered me. He was a gorgeous, shy, agreeable little chap. I was warned that he might forget his bathroom manners, and I was told to expect him to be sick. None of this happened. He did do a fake wee on a black bin liner at one stage, placed there for that just-in-case purpose. But I think by that stage he was actually just telling me what he thought of me and him being at home when we could've been out. (I could tell by the way he glanced at me when he did it. He cocked his leg and glanced at me as if to say "Now, I didn't do a whizz just now, but that's what I could do if we don't get out of here, buster!")

Most of the time, he really showed his love and affection. But he wasn't happy in a first floor apartment. He loved HOUSES with GARDENS, and he was reluctant to leave them if we visited one.

I can't just live anywhere, I would try to explain. We have to go home. And he would look at me when we were leaving a house, thinking: "I'd rather stay here than go back to the apartment, you know. Just sayin'."

About two days into my canine friend's stay, a long required spring clean took place in the apartment, while he mostly sat on the couch watching me, amused at my scrubbing and mopping. I really should've done this before his arrival, or on the day he came, but I had devoted a lot of time after he did arrive to making sure he had a little bit of routine, involving walks and plenty of attention and massages, and scratches and backrubs - although even that ended up backfiring, as my own routine was too haphazard.



On the evening when the big clean was finished, we were sitting at the balcony door, watching the park across the street. He looked up at me while I held him, and he got up and then he put his front paws up on my knees and gave my face such an aggressive, minute-long licking, that I laughed at his gratitude and pushed him away several times before holding him again.

He got frustrated sitting on the balcony, rather than having a garden. When we came home, he would often sit or stand at the bottom of the stairs - although well able to mount them - and look up as I looked back, while I was asking him to come up to the first floor. He sometimes flat refused, and I had to carry him up. The expression "flat refusal" would be a perfect way to describe his displeasure at his foster accommodations.




He would come in off the balcony in the glorious summer heat when we were at home, and look at me in the kitchen or the living room, and to say that he seemed curious as to why we couldn't go out and about - when we were both physically present in the apartment - would be an understatement. I have a few guests who like to stay, although I often have a lot of mess and disorder. But this little house-guest wasn't too pleased.

Continued Part Three.

I don't get it...

It's SOAPBOX DERBY TIME!!!!!

There was a discussion on Irish television last night that I don't even want to acknowledge. I will generalise here. I won't name names, or talk ill of specific bishops. But I don't get how a group of adults, or a figurehead, or a religious leader of any description, has the horrific audacity to try to explain to anybody else that they think that what they are doing is a sin - whether they forgive them or not.


But how about I forgive YOU, for being a disgusting asshole, which is probably the terminology some of the people who AGREE WITH YOU would use to describe the very rectal regions of the people you attack? The Russian so-called majority, and the African government ministers educated by your missionaries, and their Christian competitors, in their schools? How about that?

That anyone can suggest to others - in complete armchair sincerity - that their choices are actually flawed - if no one is getting hurt by those choices, and - actually - people would get hurt if those choices were reversed - is ridiculous. Do these people want reverses in society? Go back to Russia!

The first point in any conversation of this kind, from anyone on any side, should be as an advocate of freedoms and rights, however concessionary that seems, howsoever that weakens an argument. Like much of the content on this blog, discussions of the kind from last night are not "authentic dialogue". Anyone at a station that's privileged enough to express a view that includes the possibility of the denial of the Eucharistic sacrament - and who is honest and dumb enough to express that opinion - is wasting everyone's time. Do they deny heterosexual murderers the sacraments? Wife beaters? Which other groups of social pariahs could we list here that would be relevant to the discussion? Anyone?

It's an unnecessary parody of serious conversation. It shouldn't have to take place.

There was another talk, on the radio earlier in the evening, about transgender people, and the need to encourage and support them, and certain details of their surgical and medical treatments, and the lack of facilities for same in Ireland. Now, I don't get myself a lot of the time. But I certainly don't get transsexual lesbians, just as an example to pick on. I mean, even in Iran, they recognise gender dysmorphia. But I'm sure that the Iranians would look at transsexual lesbians and feel that they're pushing the boat out a little too far. This is one minority group I'm sure we can all agree that we can target! Let's round them up, people!

Dogs in Distress - a good cause and a great experience Part One

So I've heard a couple stories lately about the closure of a dog shelter in Ballymun due to the loss of its premises, and also, the far more (prohibitively expensive) medical assessments and treatments that will be required, on animals traveling to the UK from Ireland.

I haven't seen anything further on this second story since I read a piece about it a few months ago, but the legislation coming in is in part because of the horsemeat scandal, and the faking of documents and passports for old nags that were being sent to the glue factory by unscrupulous burger people. Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo...I'm lovin' it!

These new laws are going to have a major impact on the animal sanctuaries and charities and homes and pounds here in Ireland, because the British sure do love their pets. Hot dayum! I didn't realise this but a lot of the pets fostered here - after they've been abandoned or been found homeless - are often adopted by - I hate to admit it, so I'm gonna just look at the floor as I touch type - those bloody, warm-hearted, animal-loving, humane, kind, bloody Englanders. With their accents that can cut glass, and their corgis. In their portraits of elderly and soft-spoken, modest, regal noblewomen. Owaoight, guv'nahhhh!
At the height of this year's blazing summer, I took in a little foster dog for just a couple of weeks. I got the little chap from Dogs in Distress. Marie runs Dogs in Distress, with help from Kathy, and a plethora of excellent fosterers, such as the incredible and beautiful Corinne, whose acquaintance I made when I dropped some stuff to her home from the charity, as a bit of a lark one afternoon. A fair skinned, naturally Gothic-looking angel, she would qualify as the most beautiful creature in Tim Burton's entourage, if she were on his management team. But she does very good work in both personal and professional capacities. No quirky barber musicals or kid movie remakes for her.

After emailing Corinne, writing a piece about animal care, and asking her about the charity, I went up to Meath, having filled in the pertinent deets on my own life, residence, how much time I had, yadda yadda yadda, in a quite detailed application form, to see if the Dogs in Distress people could find a matching pooch for me to foster.

The decision was practical on my part. Dogs are brilliant. If there's a dog to take walking, gimme the leash and off we go. I wanted to see if a canine would enjoy my company, in the wonderful weather, when we could go out and about, and most of the work I do is from home anyway. These are all considerations that I outlined in the form, and the subsequent talks and vetting procedures, to make sure I was alreeet and a dog would be happy.


I picked him up from Marie's place, where there was a large back-room with half a dozen dogs or more to greet me, tails wagging. Her latest arrival was my little guy, a beige terrier mix of some kind, a gorgeous ball of fuzz who biddingly popped out for a quick walk up the country road before we set off on our way.

Marie said my dog's name was Hobo. He didn't seem to like the name when I called him that once we got home. She agreed it was a horrible name but it was the one the pound had given her.

I said "But he looks like a Hobo!" I think Marie was appalled at my insensitivity, as she had just taken him for a shampoo and a haircut, and he was looking quite the dapper charmer. What I had meant was, he looked a bit like Benji, the little terrier type mix or whatever it is, from the tv show in the 80s.


I had got Benji mixed up with The Littlest Hobo. The Littlest Hobo was a German shepherd Alsatian wolfdog huskie sort in his various guises - I think he was first played by David Niven or Bob Holness. And in all fairness, there are undoubtedly smaller HUMAN hobos than the Littlest Hobo. That's false advertising. Getting Hobo mixed up with Benji could've been a source of contention. I cleared up my mistake with a text message to Marie discussing North American canine-centered 1970s and 80s dramas, a few days after bringing Hobo home with me.

Marie is the founder of Dogs in Distress. She doesn't strike me as a self-promoter, but she does some necessary and very wonderful work from her base in Meath. The animals she looks after are often a little broken, traumatised, or hurting. None of them deserve to be put to sleep. As with the vast majority of such pooches, all they frequently need is some temporary TLC before they find somewhere more permanent to live. And they do need homes, now more than ever, given the details of the opening paragraph, and the added expenses that will be incurred in overseas transport. As I said, Marie has the quiet, assiduous humility of a charity leader.

She puts out fires caused by abandonment and whatever else, rescuing dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep, with the limited resources she has available. Corinne assisted me with a piece I wrote on animal welfare here in Ireland, where I suggested that international animal-loving students - here for a year or more - might think about fostering dogs or cats during their stay. And I gave Dogs in Distress a shout out in the piece.

We got home and Hobo seemed a little shy. I gave him some dogfood and water, which he only half finished. I showed him around the place. We went out onto the balcony. He liked it, and sat down, looking out onto the street and the park across the way, glancing at me. We went for a walk.



Over the next couple of weeks, I took the little guy everywhere with me, which was a blessing and a curse. Only because no time alone meant his dependence was more acute, although I loved his company and had no professional obligations that couldn't be done virtually. On our walks, he was one of these little beggars who didn't realise how small he was, and he would bark at huskies four or five times his size, like Benji barking at the Littlest Hobo.

If he had had a garden to explore and some alone time, he might have been better off. He was getting plenty of activity - long, two to four hour walks, and drives in the car, where he often insisted on at least my hand to hold as we drove around Dublin, but he was fond of seating arrangements that were clearly illegal. He had an uncanny knack of freeing himself of his lead while on our journeys, either by slipping off his collar, or loosening the lead from the passenger seat. It was easy enough to accommodate him if a friend was there with a free lap, but by golly, when you're alone with him there, trying to take a sharp turn, and you realise that there is potentially such a thing as "steering wheel burn", it makes driving quite difficult.

Read about the massive car pileup we caused on the M-50 in Part Two!

New Apple iPhone factory staffed entirely by undercover journalists and reporters

In a recent series of exposés, it was discovered that a new Apple phone manufacturing facility established in Detroit Michigan just three months ago was staffed entirely by journalists during its first quarter.


The reporters from a variety of media companies and publications - including Variety - were eager to establish if the working conditions in the factory would be on a par with the shoddy conditions that were exposed at a plant run by one of Apple's Chinese contractors in the Far East. Although people are still suffering at that plant, it's not even today's "fish and chips wrappers". If health and safety were to continue to allow the British tradition of chips wrapped in newspaper sheets, it would be the chip wrappers that are now at the hypothetical dump, under heaps of other detritus and waste that has been piled on top of it for the last six months.

The Variety reporter - a screenwriter working on a movie trilogy starring Rutger Hauer and Fiddy Cent - wanted to explore the potential for a script on poor working conditions at the Phone Mill, as it is known.

He laments the fact that he won't get an interesting story for a movie from his Apple experiences, as everyone else at the factory was also working undercover, with fabricated back-stories suggesting hardships that writers and reporters have yet to experience, working - as journalists often can - for free.

The city of Detroit declared bankruptcy earlier this year, against the backdrop of a questionable future, compounded by unfair rumors of the development a Beverly Hills Cop re-boot starring Eddie Murphy. Murphy's character in the franchise, Detective Axel Foley, works in Detroit before pursuing a lead in an investigation to California.

The reboot will be a re-imagining in an alternate timeline, as Detroit's entire police force has gone into liquidation.

Toilet Humour

Seen in a bathroom:


So I had to do a sh*t in the sink!