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Monster Hunters

Forget all those fancy new dramas on Sky Atlantic. I’ve recently discovered the greatest show on earth on Living TV. It’s called Monster Hunters. The series follows a fanatical clampit called Josh Gates as he takes a gang of slightly less fanatical clampits on expeditions to find mythical monsters.

He’s been in search of famous legendary creatures like werewolves and mermaids and he’s also trailed other less well-known monsters like The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp and El Pombero - a dwarf-like creature that is said to impregnate women with a single touch on the belly. The long and the short of it is Josh never gets to shake hands and share a beer with any of the monsters, but he has an uncanny knack of tracking down people who swear they’ve come face to face with these far-fetched legends.

But does the lack of the key ingredient deter Josh from his monster hunting? Heck, no. His delusional escapades are what makes this show a winner.

“Do you see those green eyes on the night vision glasses,” Josh gushes. “We’re probably staring straight at Bigfoot.”

“Did you feel that?” asks a catatonic Josh. “Do you see those ripples on the surface of the water. I bet that was the three-headed killer worm of Reykjavik that just swam by.”

Josh and his Monster Hunters are going to be in Ireland this Saint Patrick’s Day in search of the Banshee. So they’re looking for an elusive creature of habit, famous for its high pitched moaning. I should take them round to see my Uncle Harold.

Cinemaphobia

I watched the Bafta awards on Sunday night. It’s not my usual Sunday night viewing but we had visitors so I had to compromise. Watching the Baftas made me realise how little I know about modern films. I’ve been to the cinema four times in the past two years and two of those visits were to see Harry Potter films.

I think my poor relationship with cinemas may date back to my early twenties.

Picture the scene. It’s 1999, The Sixth Sense is the big box office draw. I’m going to see the film with my then girlfriend. My mate has seen the film the night before and feels the need to ring me up and tell me that it’s a brilliant film, especially the surprise at the end. The thing about a surprise ending is it’s not a surprise if you’re expecting it. The film was ruined and to compound matters I split up with the girl not long after. The Sixth Sense wasn’t to blame, but the other five senses could have been partially responsible.

A few weeks later and I’m arranging a first date with a prospective replacement girlfriend. She suggests going to the cinema. I let her choose which film she wants to see. She chooses The Sixth Sense. I say nothing. So for the second time in matter of weeks I sit through The Sixth Sense, not only knowing that there’s a surprise ending, but knowing exactly what that surprise ending will be. The curse of the cinema continues and there is no second date.

A few months later I chance another cinema visit with another new lady. We’re in the foyer deciding what to watch. She picks The Sixth Sense. It’s still on! Surely it should be on DVD by now. Anyway, I’ve learned from my mistake and I explain that I’ve already seen The Sixth Sense... twice, but I’m willing to watch anything else that’s showing. She picks ‘She’s All That’ with Freddie Prinze Junior and Rachel Leigh Cook. There was no surprise ending to the film, although that particular relationship ended surprisingly quickly.

Romance isn’t dead

Karen’s been getting a fair bit of stick in the column these last few weeks. I thought it only fair that I gave her a break this week.

Karen is the apple of my eye, the love of my life and most importantly someone who lets me pick the films when we go to the cinema. To show her how special she is to me I cooked her a delicious three-course meal on Valentine’s night and we shared a bottle of top of the range Champagne.

Romance isn’t dead - it’s just hiding from Josh Gates.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: the girl, knowing both stones are black and that she requires a white stone, lifts one of the black stones out of the bag, drops it on the ground amongst all the other black and white stones, then says, “Oops, I didn’t see what colour that was. If you check what colour the one in the bag is then mine must have been the other colour.”

Here’s this week’s puzzle: An American who has never been to another country sees the Great Wall of China with his own eyes. He’s standing on solid ground. How is this possible?