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 Jumping the Shark
originally published in the Irish Independent
The phrase 'jumping the shark' refers to the point at which a beloved series goes from being, well, beloved to being despised in the way that only people who scowl at puppies are despised.

 Online Dating: Cyber Cyrano for hire
"So, it's your first date. You've been emailing for a couple of weeks, and now you've taken the plunge and decided to meet for a drink. He's nicely turned out and even better looking than his pictures suggested. Perhaps he's not quite as witty as he was over the internet, but then some people are just more fluent when they can put their thoughts down in writing. Mind you, he doesn't seem to remember all of the conversations that you had, or not in any great detail, and was that a piece of paper he was consulting at the bar as you walked in? Hey, are those notes? What kind of person brings notes on a date?"

 A Taste of the Orient
"Let's be clear on something before I start: I'm not entirely sure what kind of rectum I ate at dinner that night. It's the question I've been asked most often since I admitted eating a rectum at a restaurant in Taiwan: "But what animal did it come from?" I don't know. I'm sorry. Very remiss of me not to have cleared that one up."

 On Nostalgia
"I'm a man, and I have needs. There was a woman involved, of course. In these kinds of confessions, there always is. She was blonde, and I'd always believed that she was unattainable, but suddenly she was unattainable no longer. I could own her. I could possess her. She would be mine..."

 One Last Go on the Bumpers
"I walk slowly into the sea and, as the water reaches my waist, I am tempted to weep. It might be nostalgia, but I suspect that it's something more profound.
I think it's pain."

 The Writing Life
"You see, authors on tour live in dread of the "no show," those awful events when a line of empty chairs stares back accusingly at the writer, confirming that he or she is, in fact, a total nonentity and barely deserving of space in a remainder bin..."

 Movie Rental Hell
"According to a nice lady at the British Video Association, some 500 new movies were released for rental last year, yet the odds are still stacked against finding more than a handful that any self-respecting DVD player won't spit out like a piece of bad fish...."

 150th Anniversary of the AP
"...Marty Lederhandler's surreal photo of 10 sidewalk Santas helping an accident victim on a street in uptown New York..."

 Love Hurts, or Ten Great Myths about Dating for the Lonely and Brokenhearted
"Men are afraid of everything. They are afraid of commitment, of rejection, of acceptance, of their girlfriends, of their girlfriends' parents, of their girlfriends' friends..."