Thursday, June 30, 2005

A return to pestilence

A return to pestilence

I have suddenly realised that, in recent weeks, I’ve been tempering my language on this site, mainly due to the fact that we’ve had posh visitors round from that there London *cough* Melissa from Boris Johnson’s office *cough* and I daren’t raise my voice.

Well, bollocks to that. As Oscar Wilde once commented: “Profanity is the literary crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker”, I reasoned it was about time that I made a full-on return to high-quality four-letter cussage, hang the consequences, and leave the still twitching corpse in a cage full of shagger monkies.

Handily, this coincides with reader requests for a full low-down – following last Friday’s tale of mirth and woe - on a certain fuck-stick who blighted my life going by the charming name of Cunt-Eye.

After in-depth discussions with my brother over how much of a cunt Cunt-Eye really was (Conclusion: “an utter, utter cunt”), the options for today’s Thursday vote-o are reduced to the following travesty of the democratic process:

* Cunt-Eye: “An utter, utter cunt”

Here’s a hint: vote the right way, or we nail your head to the coffee table.

Or, better still, a short “suggest-me-do” follows:


Gratuitous Nudity

Excuses for going to work naked:

"Sorry, I thought it was Tits-Out Friday. I've got me quid for the charity collection and everything."

“Hulk SMASH! Oh. I appear to have recovered.”

“Naked is the new black. Ask Kate Moss.”

Spike Milligan: “Can anyone recommend a good tailor?” and “Ladies and Gentlemen - There appears to be a thief in this office.”

Suggest-me-do!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Chimp-me-don't

Chimp-me-don't

Last night, the President of the United States of America made a speech about Iraq.

You may remember a recent Scaryduck tale of mirth and woe in which, in my late teens, I wrote a rather nifty computerised prose-writing programme, that when coupled with a suitable database, was capable of turning out page after page of red-hot lesbian pornography that has kept the adult publication industry in material for the last twenty years.

It seems, alas, the American government has finally bridged the technology gap and has set this programme the grim task of writing presidential speeches. On the neo-cons’ new Vietnam, Bush made a point of pushing all the buttons:

“Terr’ists”
“September 11th”
“Terr’ists”
“Bin Laden”
“Freedom-loving people”
“September 11th”
“Aaaaargh! They’re gonna kill us in our beds and run off with our daughters!”
“Terr’ists”
“Freedom”
“Hey! Kids! Join the Army!”
“Pray”
“Stay the course”
“Superman! Can you hear me? Superman! Where are you?”
“Terr’ists”

No news on Georgie-boy's anti-terrorist moon laser. I reckon he's saving that one for a really big speech.

I can only think of one person outside of America that believes this guff, and he gives his postcode as SW1A 2AA, and even his grinning fa├žade has slipped somewhat over recent times. He’s got his own problems trying to maintain the Church of Tony’s theocracy – WMD lies, ID cards, car tracking devices, all defended against common sense by sharp-suited government ministers. And Home Secretary Charles Clarke – the man with a head like an elephant’s testicle.

Call me a tin-foil hatted conspiracy theorist, but I’m beginning to believe they really are out to get us.

Was it not Joseph Goebbels that said that thing about lies? Ah yes, he probably said this, and worth repeating in its entirety, for he was a right-wing lunatic as well:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

Chimpy and co are doing their best to keep the lid on the big lie, but, unhappily for them, it’s all going, as they say, Pete Tong.

If I was a soldier on the ground in Baghdad right now, I’d be root-root-rooting for my commander-in-chief to fall down the stairs. Kennedy, Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt – all remembered for rousing speeches that changed the way America sees the world and how America is seen by the world. The words of the Gettysburg address are engraved on the walls of Lincoln’s own memorial. In contrast, this is brain-dead pap that will be forgotten in a week, another floater in the sewer of empty rhetoric.

God help us if there’s a war.

Ah.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

On Science, again again

On Science, again again

Further to my recent post on Coleman’s Housework Paradox, my research has also led me to study related discourses on the nature of power within the modern household in a work entitled Coleman’s Household Regulation Law. These analyses into the inequalities surrounding the domestic male/female power nexus in the context of bathroom habits has led me to publish my latest theories in the New England Journal of the Bleeding Obvious.

In particular:

All household rules are explicitly unwritten to make it all your fault. Any rules that are written down for clarification purposes immediately become null and void.

Even if you are not present at a bathroom "incident", either through your negligence, inaction or just simply by existing, it’s all your fault.

Rules may be changed to contradict previous rules, at any time, with no notice whatsoever, making it all your fault.

Don't leave the seat up.

Don't leave the seat down.

Don't take the seat off and hide it behind the bath panel, either. That's just being awkward.

That's enough "science" for now. I'm not allowed.


Won’t anyone think of the children?

Where’s Geldof when you need him? Instead of all this poncing about with Annie Lennox and other acts that dropped off the Radio Two playlist years ago, he ought to be stopping this hideous black market, cashing in on the misery of others.

It's foul, that's what it is. They'll be giving Les Ferdinand an MBE next...


Great Unanswered questions

Thing like this keep me awake at night. Pity me.

If Queen Sofia only married Juan Carlos II to cover up his homosexuality, would that make her the King of Spain’s beard?

I'll get me coat...


Pluggage

Wanabehuman is the best new blog I've read for quite some time. And I'm not just saying that because Mr Wanabehuman is sitting not ten feet from me as I type this, oh no!

The site features excellent, intelligent writing - a rarity in these days of slapdash blogging, full of cuss-words and content designed purely to slip the words "Natasha Kaplinsky naked" higher up the google rankings - from our very own cub reporter in the World Media office. Mr Wanabehuman is also appealing for new writers for his project. One to watch.

Monday, June 27, 2005

TV = dead

TV = dead

Hob-nobbing with the great and good of the broadcast industry, I learned one thing that should sink the heart of anybody who watches television in this country: product placement is coming, and sooner than you think.

Technology marches on, and the fact is that we don't like watching adverts, so we skip them. Especially if they're all for ring-tones or of the badly-dubbed Italian variety, and with Personal Video Recorders (which is the posh name for a Sky+ box) we can do just that.

Advertisers are rightly pissed off about this whole state of affairs, after all, why bother paying for a 30-second spot on Coronation Street if no-one's going to bother watching it? ITV and the other commercial channels are crapping themselves as well- how do they exist without their major source of income? Result: pleas to broadcast regulator Ofcom for product placement. They're thinking about it, but received wisdom is that the answer will be "yes".

Well, it's going to be crap, isn't it? Same cars, same brands of coffee, and-now-a-message-from-our-sponsors. It'll be The Truman Show, only made by ITV, with celebrities, and it'll be crud.

But think how easily the whole concept can be corrupted. One well-placed Durex placement in a soap opera could kill off an entire storyline. And some manufacturer of pick-axe handles could quite easily insist a few of their best goods are left lying round the Trisha studio "just in case, like".

It is our duty then, to do what we must whenever a shitty idea like this rears its ugly head: laugh at it, long and hard.

Inappropriate-TV-sponsorship-me-up, people!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hawk: Aircraft woe

Hawk

They called us space cadets. This is mainly because all members of the Air Training Corps were good for was taking up space, and we were not in a position to disagree with huge RAF blokes who were getting paid to muck about with fighter jets. They must have been SO pleased to get a group of spotty, useless teenagers posted to the engine maintenance guys on one of the Hawk training squadrons at RAF Chivenor.

We were on summer camp, getting to experience the RAF life for a week with free meals and lodgings. This was everyday life for these poor sods, and frankly, we were getting in the way of their skiving off.

They barely put up with us, allowing us to do those all-important tasks that didn’t involve any actual work, like making tea for thirty, emptying the bins and cataloguing the squadron’s priceless porn collection. One of the enlisted chaps, however, wasn’t quite on message and if you were lucky, he’d let you do stuff that involved some sort of skill or responsibility. Like arming the ejector seats, or making sure nobody had eaten the pilot’s emergency chocolate rations.

So, it came as a pleasant surprise to find myself under SAC Geezer’s wing, and we had a special job to undertake. Problem: a plane needed its 10,000 mile service and an oil change, and had to be moved from one side of the airfield to the other. Would I like to come? Duh, alright then.

We were dropped off by the Hawk in a Land Rover, and the driver gave us the keys to the plane and sped back to the hangar for a hard-earned tea break.

Not knowing what I should be doing, Geezer indicated that I would, perhaps, like to sit in the co-pilot’s seat while he fired the thing up and taxi-ed it back to base. I climbed in the back, and promised, on my dog’s life, not to touch anything, especially “that thing there that sets off the guns. Oh, and the ejector’s probably armed too, so best not to pull that handle either, come to think of it.”

“Stick these headphones on, cos it gets a bit noisy. And do as I say.”

Gulp. Whatever you say, boss.

He fired up the monster and began rolling it along the taxi way. For a bit.

“Got the hang yet?” he asked, “I’m taking a nap now, you steer it back. If the control tower wants us, we’re Bravo Delta.”

“Eep!”

It was only then that I realised that he had unfolded a copy of that morning’s Sun newspaper, and after a few minutes looking at the curvaceous charms of Ms Fox on page three, slouched back with the thing over his face and began to snore loudly.

Me, six squillion pounds of military aircraft and a dozing squaddie.

Yes, it did enter my mind to shut the canopy, crank it up to eleven and take off somewhere to impress a certain female cadet whose chest kept me awake at nights, but I knew I’d never get away with it. And we certainly didn’t have the fuel to carry out a few selected bombing raids – school, Cunt-eye’s house*, Downing Street.

So I steered it round in circles until the Air Traffic Control people got annoyed (“Bravo Delta – what the fuck’s going on?”) and drove it back to the hangar where I excitedly told my peers of my incredible tale.

And did anyone believe me? I got one of my armpits shaved for bullshitting, and left half naked in an old Nissen Hut, miles away from camp, where the only sounds were – hark! – my mate Gary getting a late-night knee trembler off one of the officers, a woman twenty-five years his senior.

Staggering back to my billet, I told the guys, who shaved by other armpit for bullshitting, again. I’ll never learn.

* I really ought to tell you about Cunt-eye at some stage. The cunt-eyed twat.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Duckmob!

Duckmob!

A completely different concept for the Thursday vote-o, as I am stupidly busy this week. And it is this:

On Thursday, I shall be in that there London, taking part in a none-more-serious conference on broadcasting, kneeling before the sainted Greg Dyke, saviour of the BBC and now owner of Bob the Builder.

Between the hours of 1330-1400 BST, however, I shall be sitting by the statue of Eros at Picadilly Circus – coach-loads of tourists permitting – and the first person to thrust a piece of paper no larger than 149mm by 79mm* into my hands bearing the name of one of the following five tales of mirth and woe will see their choice published on Friday.

In internet terms, one might call this “thrusting!”, “cutting edge!” And possibly “bloody stupid!” Readers living abroad may like to head to a local airport in the first instance, and avail yourself of one of the many flights heading towards London. By God, it'll be worth it***.

You may also be photographed for mirth/woe/fwappage purposes.

Choose-me-do!

- Foot in Mouth
- Hawk
- Incy Wincy
- Thumb
- Scott the Plank

By way of a clue, I look like this.

I have a feeling that this will be less “flashmob” and more “flash-sitting-on-my-arse-swatting-away-wilburs-like-an-utter-twat”, so the rest of you had better do the vote-me-up as usual.

*The same size as a twenty pound note**, coincidence fans!
** Or, you could just give me a piece of paper
*** Lie.


Update: Well, that's thirty minutes of my life I won't see again, you miserable bastards. What was a man to do? I got there early, left late, and was surrounded by swarms of nubile young tourists on a sweltering hot day and ...ooh!... bouncy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hitler Therapy

On Fags

“You still smoking then?”

“Naah – I’m tryin’ to give it up. I’m doin’ that Hitler Therapy an’ everthing.”

“Don’t you mean ‘hypnotherapy’?”

“Tried that an’ all – it’s shit. Now, yer Hitler Therapy – really does work.”

“What’s it all about then?”

“I pay fifty quid a session, an’ this little Austrian bloke with a moustache shouts at me every time I try an’ light up. For an extra twenty notes, you get a load of mucky pictures of Eva Braun.”

“Good, is it, then?”

“Yeah, but I can’t shake this burnin’ urge to go an’ invade Poland.”

“But you can get patches for that, can’t you...”

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Know your enemy

Know your enemy

This week I have been mostly reading local history books about my near neighbour, the Island and Royal Manor of Portland. Portland is the first thing I see from my bedroom window when I roll up the blinds of a morning, except on those far too frequent days when it is shrouded in a thick blanket of damp mist. Then I think: "Good."

Anywhere which boasts a feature called Nicodemus Knob is well worthy of study, but for all its unusual natural and mad-made geography, it’s the social history that has caught me.

Portlanders, you understand, are a breed apart. Literally. Isolated from the mainland until a commercial quarrying took off – and even then a bridge connecting the island to the world was only a relatively recent addition, the Islanders can best be described in one word: “mentallists”. Two, if you care to use the prefix “fucking”. Actually, one gets the impression that there are many rather pleasant islanders. It's just that the mad ones are louder.

Essentially, without the intervention of we Kimberlins, one gets the impression that they’d still be in the middle ages today, inter-marrying between a few dozen families and burning cow dung. But that’s not to say that would be a bad thing. The people are stubborn, tough, weather beaten, and as one Georgian visitor put it “about a foot taller than mainlanders”. The women worked the wind-swept fields while the men worked the quarries and manned fishing boats in famously treacherous seas.

They would risk all to save lives from a wreck in hurricane-force winds, then return straight to the seas to plunder the cargo mercilessly as if it were their birthright. Take, for example, the 1872 wreck of the Royal Adelaide, one of many to hit the Shambles or Chesil Beach in seas that even modern ships would think twice of navigating. Sixty of sixty-nine lives saved through the bravery of Islanders, with four rescuers later dying on the beach from drunkenness and exposure after the ship’s cargo of spirits was salvaged from the waves. Hardly Portland’s finest hour, such episodes gave the island as somewhat undeserved reputation for self-interest, greed and thuggish behaviour.

With caves, coves and beaches round the island, there was many a hiding place for smugglers, and contraband was a way of life on Portland – with even the man employed by the government to put a stop to the practice deeply involved.

Little surprise, then, that the men of Portland became a handy rent-a-mob in any political campaign on the mainland where Dorset maintained the most rotten of rotten boroughs.

A distaste for their local neighbours still exists today – they fought for the Royalist cause in the Civil War, while the rest of the county was staunchly Parliamentarian, and have spent centuries making up for it. There are still Islanders who have “never been to England”, and good God, who would ever wish to leave such a paradise? Well, all of the inmates in the island’s three prisoners wouldn’t say no. And a few of the warders, too.

Their one weakness, I have found out – an irrational fear of rabbits, the “underground mutton”, whose appearance can only mean rock-slide or flooding. A weakness I intend to take advantage of during Duck vs A certain builder, who is not actually a true islander. If only I can find a bunny-sized cannon.

"Come on then, you bastards!"
|
Robber Rabbit

Monday, June 20, 2005

Skill

Skill

This student is able to ascertain the sexuality of horses whilst simultaneously being pissed out of his head. L33t n1nja skills, indeed.

"Feh!" I say to that. "Feh!"

I once trained my dog to do a handstand and can, with virtually no prompting or advance warning, fart the theme tune to TV’s popular “Only Fools and Horses”.

What useless skills do you, dear reader, possess?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Party II: Hairy-arsed biker woe

Party II

Martin was a hippy.

I don’t think he actually made a conscious life choice to become a hippy. He just sort of drifted into it through a lax attitude to life, alcohol (ab)use and occasional college attendance. He would, if out of bed at a reasonable hour in the afternoon, be the first to admit he was an utter layabout, and made it his life’s mission to get away with doing as little as possible for as long as he could.

He got away with this for years, mainly because his dad – the lock-keeper at Sonning-on-Thames – was far too busy with sluice gates and idiot boaters to notice his son was a slob. It also meant he had the finest venue in the known universe for slobbery.

The upshot of this was that - foolish youth that I was - I spent a good portion of my time covering for him. I think, after about the twentieth time, the “he’s got a dental appointment” excuse might not have been entirely believable to our rubber-faced, plaid-wearing mini-roundabout-inventing (and I’m not making this up) maths tutor.

There were times when Martin’s dad was away, off on advanced lock-keeping courses somewhere where they have loads of locks and the very best weirs. So, only one thing to do under the circumstances – wake Martin from his hippy coma and organise a party.

All the best people would be there. Actually, absolutely every would be there. Martin made sure of this by telling a bunch of hairy-arsed Bracknell bikers there would be a no-holds-barred party at his house on Saturday night. Just turn up. And hey, bring a mate.

“A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet.”

“And there better be fuckin’ booze.”

By Saturday evening the word was out. Half of Reading, Bracknell and every biker in the South of England would be descending on Martin’s place that night. A two bedroomed house on an island in the middle of the River Thames.

It was the most frightening night of my life.

It started off quietly enough for us unfashionable early arrivals. A few relatively quiet drinks and a chance to letch at Iron Drawers Debs, a girl I fancied like buggery, but knowing deep, deep down that the chances of seeing anything more than a flash of her ankle were remote in the extreme.

She was “nice”, from a “nice” household, had a “nice” job in a bank and did “nice” things with her time, such as knitting and playing the hits of Stevie Wonder on a Bontempi organ (something I witnessed too many times for my sanity to handle). I don’t know why I bothered, but I did for far too long, getting precisely nowhere and falling out with Balders into the bargain over who should be first in line for her lack of attentions.

And then, the bikers came. Dozens of them, cruising up the towpath in the dark like a long, evil snake of bearded, warty, foul-smelling, Hawkwind-loving death.

Martin, we could tell, was entirely cool about the idea of his house getting totally trashed. This was mainly because he was unconscious in his bedroom, lying in a pool of his own rich, brown vomit which seeped over his priceless signed copy of Thick as a Brick, while bikers smashed the vinyl over some poor bastard’s head and ripped the arm off the record player.

“What’s this hippy bollocks?”

and

“Give us all the booze and music we want or we trash the place!”

and

“But, Dave, you’ve just broke the record player.”

and

“Ah, fuck. Just give us the fuckin’ booze!”

and

“Drugs!”

As anarchy, death and destruction spread around us, and priceless family heirlooms shattered windows, I did what any sensible man would do in the circumstance. I grabbed Debbie and hid with her in the shed, where she ripped her clothes off and seduced me in a frenzied whirlwind of lust, rimming, golden showers and something filthy with a hover mower. Or perhaps she just sat there and told me how much she admired Lionel Ritchie – the man and his music. Go on, guess which one I got.

Eventually coming to his drink-addled senses Martin decided the only way to get the bastards out was to open both lock gates. At the same time. Thus, sweeping away the bikers and their infernal machines on a tide of white water. Never mind flooding the whole of Sonning, Wargrave, Henley and towns all the way down to London, this was important.

In the end, with one gate open, and several saner party-goers physically restraining the hippy in his attempts to open the other, the bikers got the message, and drifted away, taking all the booze and the vol-au-vents with them, the bastards. The party was dead in the rapidly-flowing waters of the Thames. With nothing to do, or drink for that matter, it would only be a matter of time before some hippy bastard got a guitar out.

Then drunken hippy Martin suddenly realised – about twelve hours too late – the one thing he was supposed to be doing that very day.

“Shit!” he cried, suddenly and frighteningly animated. “House-sitting!”

He fled from the house, the rest of the party crowd in tow, over the weir into the rather plush grounds of a very large house.

“Mr Geller will go mental if I don’t check his house,” he puffed, stopping only to roll up an anaemic looking cigarette.

“Mr Geller?”

“Mr Geller.”

Oh joy.

“Where’s the kitchen?”

“Don’t you dare touch the fucking spoons.”

Too late.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A lack of woe

A lack of woe

This is me, all broadbanded up. I’ve heard all the horror stories about getting broadband. “Woe” is broadband’s middle name.

“You’ll get ripped off.”

“It’ll take you WEEKS to install it, and it’ll utter bugger up your PC.”

“Your old ISP will never let you leave. They’re all crooks.”

So I bought broadband from TalkTalk. I paid for 512kBps, no download limits, plus free phone-calls, forever, at twenty quid a month. Two days later, a package arrived containing a plug-in modem, some modulator wossnames for the phone sockets and a disc.

It worked first time, and I find I am connected at a massive 2.2MBps. Also, a two minute phone-call to Wanadoo went something like this:

“Hello? Scaryduck here, I’d like to cancel my Wanadoo Anytime contract please.”

“Right you are, Mr Duck, we’ll refund your existing credit.”

*click*

The lack of woe in this entire situation disturbs me somewhat, and makes for rather unfunny reading when I post it on these pages, even when I ramp up the mirth for comic effect. Something, somewhere, somehow has got to go wrong with hilarious results, and yet…. I feel strangely unfulfilled.

Real woe, then, in the form of the following four stories for tomorrow:

* Foot in mouth – faux pas woe
* Hawk – air force woe
* Party II – hairy-arsed biker woe, with a special *spoons* celebrity *spoons* guest
* Incy Wincy – evil eight-legged bastard woe.

You only come here for the woe, so do your duty. Choose one. Choose!

Also: Penguin latest.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dick-tionary corner

Dick-tionary corner

"Chav", "asbo", "bouncebackability" and "squeaky-burn time" are now official words according to the Collins dictionary.

I can't help thinking, though, that they've missed out a few. "Wonkolid"*, for example. And "All gone Sarah Beeny"** for another. It is time, I thought, we suggested a few new words, and put them to use in the wider world.

Suggest-me-up! (Which is both a request, and a suggested word).

*The description of an item as broken
** Use your lightly-oiled imaginations


More of this kind of crap on Robber Rabbit, the official Scary's-got-too-much-going-on-in-his-head-for-one-blog blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Inappropriate Celebrity Guests

Inappropriate Celebrity Guests

Who says British television is dumbing down? I’ve taken the liberty of examining the transcripts of recent editions of high-brow news analysis programme Newsnight, and have found that, yes, they are still discussing the issues that matter:

Paxman: "And here to discuss Tracey Emin's challenging juxtaposition of opera, Congolese rape camps and personal female hygiene in her new exhibition at the Tate Modern: Peter Andre"

Paxman: "And joining us in the Newsnight studio to discuss the French 'Non' in its recent European referendum - and I shall say zis only once - Rene Artois from Allo Allo"

Paxman: "Unfortunately, the Home Secretary refused to discuss his latest banning order on suspected Al-Qaeda militants; so joining us instead to represent the government view is TV’s 'King of the Jungle' Joe Pasquale, with so-called comedy terrorist Aaron Barschak representing the Conservative Party."

Paxman: "And here to discuss the chronic shortage of NHS dentists in the UK – Shane McGowan."

Paxman: "Joining us in the studio to discuss the disturbing trend towards anorexia in British youth: Rik Waller"

Paxman: "To further our discussion on the vexed question of life after death, we are joined in the studio by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Freddie Mercury."

Paxman: "Yeeeesss… A new report highlights the dangers of funfair machinery to small children. We’re joined in the studio by millionaire funfair owner Michael Jackson…*"

Paxman: "And joining us to celebrate and discuss the far-reaching legacy of the Boney M classic ‘Ra Ra Rasputin’ on its the 27th anniversary, we are joined – live by satellite – by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Mr Putin – Rasputin was kept off number one by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta singing ‘Summer Nights’ – do you think this obvious snub extended the Cold War in any way?"

As they say: QE chuffin' D.

* Remember folks - he's not guilty of everything**. After far reaching analysis of the situation, it is my firm belief that after the verdict, I bet you any money that he went home and had an enormous celebratory wank.
** Except being Bad.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Sky Watch

Sky Watch

I cruise Sky Digital TV channels so you don’t have to expose yourself to the tidal wave of crap television that is driving our nation into a slack-jawed stupor, just before the aliens take over. And here’s what I’ve found:

Channel 694: Your Destiny TV. Psychic predictions and horoscopes by satellite. Or rather, they would if any bugger bothered to ring in and speak to the increasingly desperate presenters. Often spends several hours at a time in caption, begging punters to call the station at 1.50 GBP per minute for a pointless reading of the runes.

Programming comes live from what appears to be a cupboard under the stairs - with all the production finesse of a wedding video – featuring a pairs of orange-tanned evening dress clad harpies making it up as they go along. For people who claim to have a regular commune with the dead, they seem to spend an awful lot of time corpsing.

A true gem – tune in before it goes bust. I give them six weeks, tops.

Channel 531: Fox News. Fast. Fair. Fox. Fucking awful. In particular, the so-called “No-Spin Zone” of the O’Reilly Factor, where Bill O’Reilly does nothing but spin hate-fuelled invective at anyone who doesn’t tow the (Republican) Party line. Will always feature two guests for any discussion, both of whom will agree with him vehemently, before plugging their book on how liberals give you cancer. O’Reilly will them round off with a few toadying not-made-up-at-all e-mails, and a plug for his book, the frighteningly named “O’Reilly Factor for Kids”. Straight for the target audience, then.

A true guilty pleasure.

829: Al Jazeera. Fair. First. Scary. Helps if you speak Arabic, but not entirely essential. Still ten times more informative than Fox. English version due by 2006, Jazeera fans.

Anywhere from 630-670: Cloned shopping channels. “And when you switch the juicer on you’ll hear THAT IT’S WHISPER QUIET!” Also: Always a steam cleaner, gym equipment and that balding bloke selling No-Wet Wonder Foam.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Bang 'em up, I say!

Bang 'em up, I say!

I am outraged, OUTRAGED that Her Majesty the Queen has seen fit to give an MBE to "Sir" Les Ferdinand. This is a man, you may remember, along with his mates (including Dennis "The Insect" Wise) broke into BBC Television Centre and smashed up the Blue Peter garden, making Percy Thrower cry.

The Queen, effectively, is rewarding Les for a life of crime, when he should actually be getting an ASBO. Sort it out Brenda, or you can hand that gold BP badge back in shame*!

* Unless, of course, this is all a cunning plan to lure Sir Les to Buckingham Palace and have him hauled off to Scotland Yard for his evil deed. In which case - God Bless ya, your majesty.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Shed: No-shed woe

Shed

A story that is not about sheds, at all.

Nobody, but nobody wass as accident-prone as Shed. Shed was tall, ginger, cocky, and a regular at the Royal Berkshire Hospital out-patients department, usually having a plaster-cast removed. Shed had a rather large collection of antique weapons on his bedroom wall, and he’d hardly been hideously maimed by any of them, at all. And all this despite his being ginger.

One thing you really should know about Shed. He didn’t have a shed in his garden. Oh no, it was a workshop, where he made guns. Guns of wood, which we would take up the woods and run about shouting “Ner-ner-ner-ner-ner!!!” like a bunch of demented Private Pikes.

I suppose it was better than sitting at home trading pornographic magazines, of which he was the undisputed king. He also introduced me to the frightening delights of the pre-fame Human League, so I’ll not hear a word against him.

In summary: Shed = aces.

During the summer holidays, you get used to your mates disappearing for a couple of weeks at a time as they go on family holidays. Shed disappeared at the end of July one year, and come the beginning of September, he still hadn’t returned. It’s little things like that which get noticed by observant kids such as myself. After all, I’d only been on a week’s camp with the Space Cadets, followed by two weeks away with the parental units which segued into another week of “Thank fuck he’s gone” palming-off to the grandparents in deepest Essex, so I had my finger right on the local pulse.

Shed, it turned out, was missing in action.

It had turned out that one the second day of his family holiday, somewhere in the South West of England, the Shed family had gone to the beach. There had been the usual late teen high-jinx in the sun, and quite possibly a nice picnic.

Shed, clad only in a tiny pair of Speedo trunks went swimming, and in a doomed attempt to prove his manly prowess to watching females, he went diving off some rocks.

The tide went out.

“Crunch”, he went as his head connected with densely compacted sand.

“Ouch,” he said, closely followed by “my head’s on at a funny angle”, and “I’m having difficulty standing up.”

He broke his neck, and spent the rest of the summer wearing a rather manly neck-brace.

Shed survived this ordeal, but it turned out it was out of the frying pan and back into the red hot wok of certain death.

One supposes, in retrospect and with his reputation, it was a mistake of his dad to allow him to drive the family car. In fact, I would go as far as saying that even allowing him to take driving lessons was a huge familial howler. It could only end in woe.

And woe indeed.

“Wanna come for a drive?” he said, screeching up to our house in his old man’s brand new Volkswagen Jetta. His pride and joy no less.

“No, sorry mate, got college work to catch up on.”

“I know of this great country pub…”

“I’ll get me coat.”

We never reached the pub, and I am prepared to believe that it never existed at all. Instead, careering down some narrow country lane, we met another bunch of middle class youths coming the other way in their dad’s car. It was almost as if we had met our own mirror image. In fact, the lad in the back seat was wearing a combat jacket and appeared to be taking notes for some future internet-based tales-of-woe project.

Crunch.

“My car!” whimpered Mr Shed, as the AA delivered the wreckage to his front door, managing to fit most of it through the letter box, “My car!”

“Don’t worry, Dad,” said Shed, "Look – I’ve got his insurance details".

“Son – who the hell is Mr Michael Mouse?”

Ah.

"And call me a man of the world, but I'm absolutely certain there's no place round here called 'Bollockstoya'."

Double Ah.

Post script: Fortune smiles on idiots. One of Shed’s rear seat passengers had the presence of mind to find and trouser Mr Mouse’s severed number plate from the gutter and present it to a nice police officer. Result: large fine for leaving the scene of an accident, a relieved Mr Shed who kept his no claims bonus, Shed Jr banned from using the family motor for the rest of his natural.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mank, part XXXVII

Mank, part XXXVII

The last time I went to Weymouth rubbish tip I “rescued” a DVD from a skip which turn out to be a low-budget art-house movie going by the name Granny’s Cumming II. I’ve still got it – along with a copy of the sub-scud classic Flesh Gordon – if anyone cares to make me an offer.

Still, my return to the Venue of Filth, couldn’t be any worse, could it? Yes.

The lady in front of me was from one of Weymouth’s many hotels, and she was dumping a large box (and I quote, because she insisted on telling everybody) of “out of date tins my husband found in a store room”.

And indeed, there were quite a lot of tins, dozens of them, many of which appeared to have been part of Second World War aid parcels. One of them appeared to be leaking red stuff, while another may or may not have had a tree growing out of it. Into the skip they went, and lady left, well pleased with herself. However...

Rubbish Tip Bloke’s prerogative: First dibs on anything that goes onto the pile.

As soon as she’s gone: “Oi’m ‘avin’ that. It’s me dinner tonight.”

Me: “Gn...argh...*choke*....*gulp*”

My rubbish contained – amongst other things – a large quantity hound-flavoured chocolate surprise, scrapings from the dog run in our back garden. Heaven knows what happened to that.

At last, the return of the vote-o

Oh go on, seeing as absolutely nobody complained - vote on these following for stories of mirth, woe and mank. All come with health warnings in line with new European regulations:

* Foot in Mouth - may contain traces of feet. And mouths
* Hawk - may contain traces of vicious pecky birds
* Shed - may contain traces of outhouses
* Party II - may contain traces of getting down funky style

Vote! Vote! Send money! It's got to work one day...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Oh Lordy, he’s back again...

Dear Sir,

I note with dismay that our Bolshevik government is not going to give us, the stout-hearted British people, the chance to vote on this accursed European Constitution foisted upon us by a bunch of foul-smelling Johnny Foreigners in Brussels who’d shit in your airing cupboard given half the chance.

It is every proud Briton’s duty to stand up and tell those Nazi bureaucrats in Brussels where to stick their Common Market, a job those insufferable lefties at the UK Independence Party have sadly failed to do, despite my offer of my stockpile of World War I Lee Enfields and as much mustard gas as they could carry.

As a matter of fact, I am of the firm belief that every household in the country should be presented with a copy of this foul document just so they may destroy it in a manner of their choosing (for example, by rolling it up, varnishing it with camel’s dung and firing it out of a cannon up arch-Quisling Jack Straw’s bottom).

To this end, I hereby offer my services as Commander-in-Chief of the Free British Mounted Hussars to launch an invasion of the continent and do what even Churchill and the Duke of Wellington failed to do: wipe the filth of Europe off the face of the Earth and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our ally George W Bush’s Fourth Reich. Sgt O’Balsam has already volunteered to take a Lancaster bomber over Paris with twenty tons of soap to teach those French Hun a lesson. Together, we can make this Empire great again!

Public meeting, 2pm Thursday, Little Dipshit Village Hall.

I am not mad.

Lt Col Winston St John Cholmondeley-Cholmondeley Patel (Mrs)

PS I see these pages have also fallen foul of EU Sarah Beeny and Kirstie Allsopp quotas. It's an Englishman's right to grease up his female television celebrities and no Brussels Eurocrat is going to stop us! Why, in my day, we'd never be seen without Valerie Singleton and a bucket of pig fat... (continued on p.95)

First class ticket to Hull, please

Alas, poor the Anne Bancroft, I hardly knew ye. So I made this glowing tribute for you.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Darth

Darth

I finally caught up with Star Wars III last weekend, and, yes, it was very excellent, spoiled only by the unintentionally funny dialogue.

In fact, the best part of the entire film comes in the final minutes when Darth Vader discovers the worst about his transformation to the Dark Side and cries out "NOOOOOOOOOOO!", to which I pissed myself laughing.

So - and this, I have found, has worked well in Another Place - what is it that makes Darth say "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"?

Here's one to start you off. Suggest-me-up!

"And another thing - we found your stash of gay Bantha porn on Tatooine"

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
|
Darth says Nooooo!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Computer Operator woe

Computer operator

Greetings, B3TA readers - it's likely you've stumbled on this place courtesy of this week's newsletter. You poor, poor people. Here, then, for your delight, the full, unedited version of the tale of woe I submitted. We're big on woe here.

Woe

We suffered a major system crash, and spent several hours running round swearing until the monster was fixed.

Boss sticks his head round the door and says "Scary - do us a favour - send an on-screen message to all users to let 'em know the computer's no longer fucked."

So I did.

"ALL USERS: COMPUTER NO LONGER FUCKED"

We laughed.

Then, I dropped my coffee mug. It landed on the Enter key.

Our network had several hundred users in many varied locations round the world.

I was no longer one of them.

Also, greetings to Guardian readers who have found their way here thanks to this here mention. I can assure you that I am not, and never will be, Belle de Jour.

Who

Call me a sad Doctor Who fan: The Bad Wolf website is up at last, and I'm none the wiser.

However, a source who wishes to remain anonymous sends me this. The BBC Cult team having a laugh, there's a funny thing.

Friday, June 03, 2005

PiSS IV

Piss IV

Here's a hint, don't try gymnastics in the buff. Well, not unless you are considering a career in the adult film industry, then I suppose it's perfectly acceptable course of action. Try telling that to Phil. Listen carefully - Phil is Scary's Sister's Best Friend's Cousin. So we're talking close family, right?

Don't get me wrong about Phil, he's a pretty cool cucumber and there's nothing kinky about him if you draw that sort of conclusion about a youth who does gymnastic in the nude. He didn't make a habit of it, right? It was just the once, there was an absolutely iron-clad excuse for it, and it wasn't his fault he had that accident.

The Duck clan and the Sister'sBestFriend clan were particularly close, as a matter of fact, some thirty years later, sister and Sister'sBestFriend are still best friends, and it was only natural that we should be on reasonable-to-good terms with each other's extended families. In fact Duck Family Cousins were on impressively good terms with Sister'sBestFriend's cousins, which, if you haven't given up in utter confusion, shows the depth of the relationship.

Still here? Good. The manky bit's just coming up.

There was a huge clan get together, in the seaside paradise of Frinton-on-Sea, where you stand on the dank featureless beach in a town where fun is officially banned and people go to die. There was one amusement arcade, the machines only recently converted to accept decimal currency. If you're holidaying in this kind of place, I suppose meeting me would be deemed some sort of exciting event.

The families flew together like that propaganda film of the Russian armies meeting at Stalingrad. There was, for the adults, drink and merriment and a daring road-trip up the road to Clacton for the nearest Fish and Chips. For us kids, just merriment, all in the comfort of a rented holiday home. No expense spared, y'know.

Such was the excitement engendered by a large group of seven-twelve year-olds getting together for a large family and friends bash, young Phil started doing his gymnastics party piece. He started in his swimming trunks, and for reasons which have unfortunately escaped me (but may have been something to do with a play we were rehearsing for the grown ups), he was soon fully birthday suited and tumbling all over the kids' bedroom.

And what do over-excited lads on a diet of fizzy pop do? They piss themselves. And what do over-excited naked gymnasts on a diet of fizzy pop do? They piss themselves when they're upside down. In fact, he was in the middle of some forward roll-cum handstand mixed with a blood-curdling scream.

Now you come to mention it, his scream comprised the words "Aaaargh! I've piddled in me mouth!", and you had to admit, that was a pretty impressive feat.

It is the kind of thing you're sworn to secrecy over. Never tell a soul. Cross your heart. Never eat apple pie. Nothing happened in Frinton. Nada.

And there, all was forgotten.

Five years later, the Sister'sBestFriendsCousin family moved to our neck of the woods, and there was much rejoicing.

Phil was put into my class at school and it was pleasure to introduce him to friends, teachers, and girls easily impressed by his tanned good looks and rugby-honed physique. God, he was one popular fella. The bastard.

I swear on my dog's life it was nothing to do with me. I had sworn a solemn vow.

"Alright Phil," said Gaz, "You're the one who drinks piss, aren't you?"

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Low expectations

Low expectations

Last week, I went to see Scaryduck Jr performing in his school play.

He was playing a snail, a fact that had me thinking I'd been overcharged on my free tickets.

"Don't worry Dad," he said, "All of class 3S are playing dung beetles."

"Ah."

"They've got to bring their own ball of poo."

"Ah."

He was right. They were crap.

Lower Expectations

I am off work this week, and as such, this website is ruynning on automatic.

You guessed it - another week, another no-show for the vote-o. BUT! You would have voted for it anyway, because, dear reader, tomorrow brings the long-awaited sequel (and proof of the Law of Diminishing Returns) PiSS IV.

You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll send me money*!

* Ah, go on

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Pie

Pie!

Pie is aces. Everybody loves pie. What’s not to love about pie?

There are many, many types of pie, of which I am an avid student, but there are also grave dangers involved which may trick the unwary pie-eater into a life of foul sexual deviancy and unnatural consumption of Battenberg.

Let us, then, take a closer look at our subject.

Savoury: There's nothing like a good, home-made steak and kidney, although the majority of said pies you buy in the shops are incredibly nasty. Having said that, I could eat a quality tinned steak and kidney pudding every night of the week, and hardly keel over with a heart attack, at all. Some of the faithful will often enjoy a pie deep-fired. They are, according to the World Society of the Pie: “Mental”.

Sweet: My mum used to make the world's best ever blackcurrant pie - home grown blackcurrants into a pie that I can polish off on my own over several evenings. Unfortunately, she's rather slackened off her output since she died, and haven't had one of these beauties in over five years. Apple Pie, excellent that it is when served correctly, symbolises America, and for this reason only, it shall henceforth be known as Great Satan Pie.

A word of warning. There are many things out there which claim to be pie, but are clearly not pie. Sausage rolls, for instance. And Cornish Pasties, which are nearly pie, but fail on several key pie tests.

Then there are lattice lid “pies” and the dreaded flan which no man in their right mind should consume.

Lattice lids are veering dangerously close to the world of flan, and all the bumming connotations involved. To illustrate this point in the starkest way possible, there will be an episode in the next series of Doctor Who called "The Doctor has flan for tea. A big, gay flan, and I should know because I wrote Queer as Folk, and that had flan in it too, signed Russell T Davies."

Even Mr Kipling’s so-called pies may be refused admission to any pie-related get-together through their insistence on hanging around with undesirable cakes and their preference for cream instead of double-thick custard. They are, I am afraid to say, just the start of a slippery slope that ends with Cake.

Pie is, and should always remain a stout, manly pursuit.

Other pie: Finger.