Michael O'Doherty: Rhys Meyers is a cretin. Get a grip, pretty boy, before you vanish up your fragrant behind
I SEE Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been causing trouble in an airport again.
Downing drink after drink in the lounge of New York's JFK airport, JRM was subsequently turned away as he tried to board a United Airlines flight, and indeed banned from ever flying with the airline again due to his 'disruptive behaviour'.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we been here before with 'Jonathan Pissed Flyer'?
Not once but twice, as the pillow-lipped thespian gave a repeat performance back in 2007, when he was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Dublin airport, and again a year ago in Paris, as he put on another show at Charles De Gaulle airport.
On the latter occasion, not only did he make a tit of himself in public, he also allegedly gave it loads of 'don't you know who I am?', hurling abuse at the bar staff and then, in a display of breathtaking vulgarity, throwing money at those people trying to subdue him, telling them how rich he was and that it meant nothing to him.
It's hard to imagine how anyone who would seem to have so much going for him could turn into such a complete cretin.
We should perhaps have seen it coming when he adopted a double-barrelled name.
Born Jonathan O'Keeffe, he adopted his mother's maiden name of Meyers -- fair enough -- but obviously decided that wasn't sufficiently 'luvvie', so added a 'Rhys' in the middle.
The last person to do something similar was Gavin Lambe Murphy -- need I saw any more?
And his move into modelling, most notably his cringe-inducing ads for Hugo Boss cologne, complete with ridiculous 'Blue Steel' shapes for the camera, marked him down as someone who was rapidly disappearing up his own, admittedly very fragrant, backside.
So to answer the question that you seem very fond of asking every time you get smashed, Jonathan -- do you know I am? -- yes, we do know you are.
You're a B-list TV actor who's busy pissing away what talent he has, and boring the arse of everyone within spitting distance in the process.
Your tortured thespian fighting-to-overcome-his-demons act, checking himself into rehab then falling off the wagon again, is getting extremely tiresome.
I don't mean to be flippant about the curse of alcohol addiction, but do us all a favour, pretty boy, and get a grip on yourself.
Stop trampling over the poor little grape
A moment's thought, if you please, for the humble grape. It gives us one of life's greatest treasures -- wine -- but gets such an unfairly rough ride that I feel it's time to speak up on its behalf.
Sitting in a posh city centre restaurant last week, I noticed that the cheese board that was ordered by two of my co-diners featured, as always seems to be the case, a small bunch of grapes. And inevitably, they were left untouched. After all, they didn't ask for a cheese and grape board...
But grapes are the coleslaw of fruit, a plate-filler to accompany any dish, no matter how unsuited they are as an accompaniment, and a token offering when you can't be arsed thinking of anything else. A plate of antipasto to start? Yep, throw some grapes in there... Visiting a sick relative in hospital? Bring them a bunch of grapes...
Joseph Steinbeck wrote about the Grapes Of Wrath. Disgruntled individuals who vent their spleen are accused of exhibiting 'sour grapes'. Forever associated with negative feelings -- anger, bitterness, death -- the grape is an unjustly abused little fella. Isn't it time we stopped walking all over them?
It makes me sick that HSE workers take more sickies than the rest of us
IT'S a piece of news that falls into the 'you couldn't make it up' bracket.
Figures released last week reveal that absenteeism amongst the staff of the HSE is running at over 5pc, twice the national average.
That's right, the Health Service Executive, our largest single employer, and the very company that is in charge of our nation's health, has the worst record of people taking sick leave in Ireland.
Think about it -- every single day of the year, 7,000 of its 140,000 staff don't turn up for work.
Now people do fall ill, but am I being overly cynical in suggesting that not all these cases are genuine, and that a culture of 'pulling a sickie' is now simply considered a fact of life?
The worst offender is St Mary's Orthopaedic Hospital, Co Cork, where absenteeism runs at over 8pc -- equivalent to every one of its staff taking 20 sick days per year.
But only last week, the HSE announced plans to move orthopaedic services from St Mary's to the University Hospital and went out of its way to reassure the 220 staff that none of them would lose their jobs in this move, which is designed to improve efficiency.
Despite the fact that the hospital seems to function perfectly well with nearly 10pc of its staff being permanently absent.
I think we're entitled, as the people who fund a body that spends €15bn of our taxes each year, to ask why this is tolerated.
In any private company, staff who are consistently absent would be asked to justify every day they miss, or be asked to clear their desks.
Yet in the public sector, it seems, we put up with thousands of workers sitting around doing nothing due to massive over-staffing. When they had the decency to turn up for work in the first place, that is.
We rage against highly paid RTE presenters, ministers' pensions and fat cat bonuses.
But for some reason we accept so many public service workers being paid for doing, quite literally, nothing.
Actually it makes me so sick, I'm coming over all woozy... I think I'll need tomorrow off work to recover.