I've been stunned into silence by two news items that have frankly been making me question the way we're programmed.
It's weird: when forming a view on what's possible/likely/probable/improbable in the future we all fall back on years of what's happened in the past. And yet life has a growing habit of throwing up surprises.
An intentional pun which brings me to Item 1. If you'd asked me last month what was more likely ...
A: a flying saucer hovering over Ballinamallard while Sinn Féin paraded down Main Street to commemorate the 1981 hunger strikes, or
B: Ian Paisley caught french-kissing Mary Lou MacDonald in a layby near Drogheda, or
C: John Prescott suffering from bulimia
... I'd have blown a fuse deciding between the first two.
I mean, that's so way off the scale of unexpected it's unreal. But it pales into insignificance compared to Item 2 which is Bertie Ahern announcing that the members of his cabinet all burst into tears when he told them he was resigning.
Sorry. I can picture Ian and Mary Lou shielding their eyes from a garda's flashlight, but Biffo Brian blubbering bye-bye Bertie is just too awful to imagine.
Seriously, what does he take us for? A tear or two quietly shed by his more shockable colleagues may be expected, but Éire's entire collection of government ministers inconsolable with grief because the teflon taoiseach has finally realised he can't explain away all that dodgy donation income is stretching imagination too far.
But then we said the IRA wouldn't disarm and that Paisley would never stop saying never. Be surprised. Be very surprised.