Our Weekly Agony Aunt Column: Got A Problem? Ask Maureen!


Maureen is an incredibly, incredibly old woman from Ballisodare in Co. Sligo who, after months of fear and hysteria surrounding the changeover to Saorview, has now gone on to receive her first ever fibre optic broadbrand package.

Maureen used to babysit William Butler Yeats, and has a pet swan named Bunt. She'll join us on the Sliced Pan every Wednesday to answer your questions on romance, relationships, sex, swans, drugs, tea and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Here are this week's questions:

Dear Maureen,

My boyfriend Keith keeps leaving his toenail clippings lying around. This morning, I found a particularly large one wedged in the butter.

Is the butter still okay to use? It's not out of date until the 17th of July. Be a shame to waste it.


Dear Carol,

Thanks for getting in touch.

Your problem is one of the most disgusting I've encountered in 73 years as an agony aunt, 72 of which were spent replying to people on the walls of the ladies' bathrooms in the Rosses Point Hotel.

Nonetheless, the answer is that the butter should be fine to use if you give it a bit of a rinse. Maybe scoop out the part where you found the nail, using a spoon or some sort of shovel-like utensil, and butter away to beat the band once more.

However, I'd suggest the real problem here is that you're living with your boyfriend. Not only does he sound like an ignorant eejit, but you're also living in sin.

Mind yourself,


Dear Maureen,

I think I'm after leaving the immersion on. What should I do? I'm scared to check if I still even have a house.



Dear Kevin,

You big eejit. It really depends on how long you've been gone for.

If you've left it on for only 12 or 13 minutes, you should be grand. Any longer than that, and in all likelihood your home has by now burnt to the ground.

Mind yourself,


Dear Maureen,

On Saturday afternoon I was at a lavish party with my husband in Ballsbridge. He tripped on a biscuit and fell over, spilling a glass of red wine all over my good cream summer dress.

I'm not going to lie to you, I'd had a bit too much to drink myself. I slapped him a good wallop of my Michael Kors bag, hopped in the Merc and burned off still half-cut. I shamefully seem to recall ramming a toll on the M50 before arriving somewhere around the Urlingford junction, where a man from Jackie Lyng's Bar and Tavern put me up for the night.

We made intense, passionate love despite his Guinness-soaked beard and reprehensible, smoky breath. My marriage now lies in ruins.

What I want to ask you is, how do you remove a red wine stain from a cream dress?



Dear Niamh,

Sweet Christ in Heaven.

  1. Blot the stain. Drape the stained fabric over an empty bowl, centering the stain within the rim. ...
  2. Pour cool water on stain. Be sure you cover the entire stain with water.
  3. Cover with salt. ...
  4. Boil water and pour. ...
  5. Soak in vinegar mix and wash.
  6. Get yourself checked out by your local GP.

Mind yourself, for God's sake.


If you're facing a personal crisis or are just generally curious about Maureen's swan, drop her an email at [email protected] You can remain as anonymous as you like.

Aunty Maureen
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Got a problem? Email [email protected]

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