Monday, October 31, 2005

The Duckworth-Lewis method

The Duckworth-Lewis method explained

It has been a long-standing ambition of mine, when I come to review things or simply give my opinion on important matters, that I should have a strong, steadfast rating system that tells you, the reader, what I really mean in a clear, concise manner that also appeals to my average visitor. You know: manky old perverts.

Take, for example, a review of, say, the Wallace and Gromit flick I paid good money to see in the cinema. I’m somewhat impressed, as a matter of fact, and apply my opinion of this fine cinematic work to the Duckworth-Lewis method, taking into account style, control damage and aggression. My report would look something like this:

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

A work of outstanding creative genius, albeit by a group of people with far too much time on their hands. An outstanding mix of gags for both kids and adults, and the word "arse" released into the wild like a killer rabbit. On a scale of 1 (Ann Widdecombe giving you the eye) to 17 (Sarah Beeny wrestling Kirstie Allsopp in a paddling pool filled with baby oil), I score this a hetfy

14: (Konnie Huq in a bath of beans)

That’s thumbs, way, way up there.

So, you are asking, what are the other points on the scale? Ah ha! I reply. I haven’t thought of them yet. This is were you come in, as my imagination has been sucked out of me with the utter totality of Michael Portillo at a McDonald’s extra-super-concrete milkshake.

1. Ann Widdecombe giving you the eye
2. Margaret Thatcher leather whip “happy finish” massage
6. The Princess Anne unnamed many-tentacled woe
11. Carol Vorderman rubbing up against a bollard for cold, hard cash
14. Konnie Huq in a bath of beans
17. Sarah Beeny wrestling Kirstie Allsopp in a paddling pool filled with baby oil

Go on then: suggest-me-up, or Number Two may pay a Hallowe'en visit.

Also: You may wish to do some suggesting-me-up for my bestest House of Lies Lie ever.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sad case

Sad Case

Tom Baker. The former Mrs Tom Baker. John Cleese. Douglas Adams. The end of the world as we know it.

It's no good, I've come.

Friday, October 28, 2005



Some school teachers exist only to invite piss-taking. Their entire raison d’etre is to take the heat off the other teachers and live as the butt of all jokes for the general well-being of the rest of the staff. They turn up for their interview full of hope and smelly faintly of something awful, and despite being able to string a sentence together, or even see the headmaster through their milk bottle glasses, they are formally welcomed to the science faculty with barely a snigger.

We had Mr Delaney, who appeared to have been cobbled together out of spare parts, several of which were attached to his body entirely at random. His Adam’s Apple was so big, it looked like he’d once yawned during an inopportune moment at a basketball game, and never quite managed to get the thing out. Clothed entirely by Homme at Oxfam. After a fire sale. In 1962.

He is credited with the invention of a device that switches your windscreen wipers on when it rains, which only worked on Morris Minors; and also a special coating on his glasses that turned them into rear-view mirrors, with unfortunate side-effects.

"You may have heard," said Mr Delaney on our first day under his tutelage, "that some of the older pupils have a nickname for me."

Yes. Yes, we had. Cut to the chase you mad old duffer.

"It's 'donkey'," he continued, "because of that song - ha, ha - called 'Delaney's Donkey'. Have you heard it?"

No, we hadn't.

“It’s by Val Doonican.”

Nope, not a clue.

"It is rather funny, you know", he said, only twitching a little bit. "Here, I've got it on reel-to-reel tape."

After several minutes of fighting with a suitacse-sized tape player, which appeared to have him in a head-lock on at least two occasions, he played it to us. He was wrong. It wasn't funny in the slightest.

"Ha ha! This is your one and only chance to call me Donkey."

Wanna bet? “Yes, Mr Delaney, sir.”

"Well, go on, then," he pleaded, with not a little desperation in his voice.

Utterly defeated in his attempts to explain his unwanted nickname to us, he let the issue drop.

We didn’t. We waited. And waited. For at least a week. Four days, maximum.

"Donkey", to his face, for the next four years.

“Yes, Mr Donkey.”

“I’ve forgotten my homework, Mr Donkey.”

“Mr Donkey! Your car’s on fire.”

“Can I go to the toilet Mr Donkey, sir?”


"Sorry sir, but hee haw hee ought to know better. Pfffft!"

He cracked up, sinking to his knees in the physics lab and wept "Why don't they stop? Why?"

Because kids are bastards, that’s why.

Then we started on Dr Savage, Religious Education teacher, man of bronze, and locked in the stock cupboard.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Vote-o lite

The usual travesty of democracy

Once again, Thursday comes round, and I ask you, dear reader, what story you fancy for the Friday Scary Story. Then I pick the one I want and flee toward the weekend flipping you all a v-sign. Tough love, that’s what it is. Vote, then, for this week’s fine selection of Bird Flu-riddled excellence, one of which contains copious vomit and references to HP Lovecraft, while another is absolutely nothing to do with its rather misleading title.

As usual, the excerpts bear no relation to the actual stories. Not that you’re listening. I might as well be exposing myself in public for all you lot care. And I am. Look outside.

* Donkey - “He once bummed a man so hard, dogs appeared, which he then bummed. It was, he recalled, the moment when things started getting out of hand.”
* The Breakfast Club – “It was during his explanation of the Duckworth-Lewis method that he suddenly realised where he’d seen his mother-in-law before. Readers Wives, January 1987, Julie from Somerset.”
* The Eyes have it – “It was as the last wrappings fell away from his birthday present, he knew he shouldn’t have bought granny the 12-inch Monster Kong Intruder last Christmas”
* Pole-Dancing – “Dear Jim’ll Fix It, Could you Fix It for me to stroke the inner thigh of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe while Princess Anne is forced to watch? Yours, Bobby Rubbish.” And there, on his doormat, was a letter from the BBC.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Obscure-o-disc II

Obscure-o-disc II

In which the author declares his undying love for The Human League

A quarter of a century ago, an electro-pop group from Sheffield had a huge Christmas hit with a song called “Don’t You Want Me”. The album from which it came – “Dare!” – was seen as a New Romantic classic and sold by the shedload. I thought they were rather good, and bought the LP, which my brother kindly scratched for me, the punk.

A couple of years later, sitting around in Shed’s bedroom planning something that might have involved loud explosions, he put a Human League album on the turntable.

“Oh! Is that their new one?” I asked, looking at the unfamiliar sleeve featuring a mad on a sledge silouetted before a huge, red sunset.

“New? NEW! This was from before they were famous!”

Human League – Travelogue

In 1977, a group of northern idiots and electronics freaks fell together into a band called The Future. They recruited a long-haired type called Philip Oakey and became the Human League. They were …scary. No cutely packaged backing singers then, just four blokes with synths and a penchant for concerts featuring disturbing slideshows as a backdrop.

They ended up, somehow, with a record deal and released their debut album, Reproduction to a frankly frightened world, a release greatly improved in recent years with the edition of the infamous “Ok, ready, let’s do it” version of Being Boiled, re-released as a Don't You Want Me cash-in. It had a scary picture of babies on the front. Hardly anybody bought it at the time, filed firmly under "cult". A bunch of art-house cults from Sheffield.

Then came Travelogue.

Described by one reviewer as “the greatest electronic album ever made”, and as a listener with his mind set well back in the 1980s, I am not in a position to argue. I wouldn’t say “every song a potential hit”, because the early League weren’t like that, but every song something new, different, taking the unwary listener to places they rather wouldn’t.

The album opens with The Black Hit of Space, a rather prophetic tale of crappy pop music taking over the planet, following up with the catchy yet doom-laden Life Kills.

Track four is one of my favourite songs in the whole world ever, Dreams of Leaving, an epic song full of threat, foreboding, hope and soaring electronic waves and a huge wall of noise just in case you were thinking of dozing off at some stage.

In fact, the whole album is an eclectic mix of terror, bizarre sexual liaisons, throwaway pop and a ripped-off version of the Gordon’s Gin commercial, which actually sounds far better than you’d think. Oh, and the “with added (synth) horns” version of Being Boiled, just before the cigarette-lighters-in-the-air playout of WXJL Tonight. A classic, all told.

Then - they split up, became two separate bands (Human League version II with added girls and the truer-to-their-musical-roots Heaven 17) fame followed, and somewhere along the line Oakey disappeared up his own arse, from which he has only recently emerged.

I can’t claim to have known them before they were famous – though I’d very much like to – but Travelogue and the H17 remix album “Endless” (of which I have two copies, one of which is *cough* for sale *cough*) form a large part of my current listening.

Stuck in the past? Me? Not since I ran across an quasi-officially sanctioned Human League mash-up and remix site, making Dreams of Leaving, my favourite song in the whole world ever about a million times better (large download, you may wish to contribute to the League’s favourite charity to clear your conscience).

Now, leave me alone with the passing of God-like genius.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stupid Names, again, possibly

Stupid Names, again, possibly

Now that Blogger have mucked about with their “search this blog” facility, and still suffering from a short-to-medium term memory loss, I have absolutely no idea what I’ve blogged on in the past. I am certain, however, that we’ve done the whole Parents-Who-Give-Their-Kids-Stupid-Names thing at some stage or other.

Now, my name is hardly the most sensible in the world (after all, what kind of parent calls their son “Scary”, I ask you), but my heart went out to some kids singled out for attention by the BBC during the Great North run recently.

Ace Cooper.

They called him “Ace”. Have they not seen Red Dwarf? The second his school mates realise he can be expanded to “Ace Hole”, his life will become a misery.

I’m already on record that I had severe difficulties in my previous existence as a Dole Office clerk signing on Mr Wanker, and that our town is policed by Constable Rick O’Shea.

Any of you lot want to blame the parents?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Worst Website Ever, Again

Worst Website Ever, Again

Bad websites are excellent. Really bad websites, if they weren’t struggling under the weight of pop-ups, wanky cursor trails and embedded flash files might, one day, take over the world.

It is, then, pleasing to see that my favourite bad website – which I must visit daily as part of my work scraping world media news into a neat, conical heap – just got worse:

I give you the Bombay-based media and advertising news website Exchange4media, a site that makes the CITV website look a paragon of sanity. There’s content in there. Somewhere. Honest.

Now: you.

Edit: Commenting appears to be borked today. You may wish to reply on this here discussion thread.

Edit-me-edit: Comments now working again. Grrrr....

Friday, October 21, 2005

Bad Dog II

Bad Dog II

Never trust dogs. They may be cute, fluffy, slightly damp-of-the-nose, but they are just as evil – if not more so – than cats. My current dog – the doe-eyed, cutest-pup-in-the-world Lucy can be sweet and cuddly for England, but as soon as you turn your back she’s wiping her arse on the carpet or taking a leak in a corner of the kitchen. The terrible little.. but she’s SO cute…

Previously in the Duck household was Harry. He wouldn’t even wait until your back was turned, and treated everything as his personal toilet and chewing post. But he was SO cute…

However, the original Bad Dog was Snoopy. Yes, like Charlie Brown’s big-nosed genius, he was a beagle. A beagle crossed with Satanic Hell-Hound. Not even the removal of the doggy bollocks (and I thought I had it bad) calmed him down, and his life was spent either planning to escape (which he did once by throwing himself through a plate glass window, only to realise he didn’t have a plan of what to do next), or eating treasured personal possessions whenever he felt a bit peckish. Which was all the time.

His finest moment came when he once escaped through the hedge at the end of our garden into the school field.

During the Loddon District Cubs Five-a-side tournament.

In which I was playing.

In which he intercepted a goal-bound shot in the quarter finals.

In the last minute of the match.

We lost.

By one goal.

Bad Dog.

At his doggy peak, the fences round our house were over six feet high, and he’d still jump over them, and there was chicken wire buried right around the house, and he’d still dig his way to freedom, like a canine Steve McQueen.

Suitably chastised after a spell in the cooler (his one good trait was that he knew damn well when he’d been evil, and didn’t even need to be told to head for the cupboard under the stairs), and grown up rather, we thought we were over the worst of The Evil One. Not a bit of it – he was simply biding his time.

Come the day, I invited all my schoolmates back to my house one lunchtime to view a certain video. Getting hip with the new technology, we’d gone out and bought one of these new-fangled “video recorders” (top loading, huge ker-plunk press buttons), and had done the decent thing by recording the dirty bits out of Ryan's Daughter. It had been on television the previous night, and we were delighted to learn that it included various scenes of naked wobbly parts, and – good grief – a man Doing It with a lady.

As news got about of free scud, our living room was filled with about ten kids, cushions on laps as I freeze-framed on the norks. Enter Snoopy. In fact, the chair wedged under the doorhandle to get the maniacal mutt out had given way, and he burst in in a frenzy of nose, fur and whipping tail.

Lawks, as they say, a lordy.

Like an Exocet missile, he zeroed in on James Annal* – the poshest, cleverest and most excellent boy in the school - and gave his leg the rogering it deserved. James was so posh, he was the only boy in our year to regularly wear the school blazer. It took us ages to get it cleaned.

If there’s one thing that puts a pubescent kid right off high-brow illicit videoed jazz, it’s a hound from the darkest pits of Hell going at you with what appears to be a fully extended lipstick in his loins, spittle and slobber going in all directions, rounded off with his favourite wiping-arse-on-the-carpet trick.

“Don’t worry,” I said “He’s had his balls off - you won’t get pregnant.”

Bad Dog.

* The poor bastard went through hell, especially as our headmaster was crap with names. "And the school prize for Best Kid Ever goes to James Anal." He had an older, just as excellent, brother. Phil. Phil Anal. This is all true, for once.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Fiesta, again

Vote? No!

Far, far too busy fending off Nigerian curses to hold a vote-o today, so I have, against my better judgement, allowed the hardly-mental-at-all-even-though-she's-got-a-big-sword Misty to choose tomorrow’s story for you.

Blame her.

Fiesta, again

Research subsequent to last Monday’s post on the porno-letter writing industry, just goes to confirm my long-held theory that anybody who has ever made a living from writing, has, at some desperate stage, accepted cold, hard cash in return for the production of filth.

For example:

"She gasp'd as she layde her eyes on mye thynge" : Chaucer, letter to "Wenches" magazine

"In the seventh civilisation, cross-eyed with lust, they wrote a fourth law of robotics": Asimov, opening paragraph of the unpublished "She, Robot"

“Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by that red hot divorcee who lives next door. She’s always giving me the eye, and I was certain that she’d go for a ‘hump’ in more ways than one”: Shakespeare, Richard III

“Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
Her mimsy was all slither’d bare, and I couldn’t believe it when she suggested her best friend join in too!!!”: Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky

"Suddenly Winston Smith began writing in sheer panic, only imperfectly aware of what he was setting down. His small but childish handwriting straggled up and down the page, shedding first its capital letters and finally even its full stops: 'Dear Fiesta, There's this girl at work called Julia whose been giving me the eye. I thought I had no chance but one day after the two minutes hate she...'": George Orwell, 1984

"And then, she done a poo": Anon

Q E blummin’ D, as they say, but not in the letters column of Knave.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ebay Scammer Ahoy!

Ebay Scammer Ahoy!

I am selling a laptop on Ebay. Stupidly, I put on a “Buy It Now” button, a magnet for scammers, idiots and timewasters. And yes, who should “buy” my machine? A zero-feedback buyer who wants me to ship it to Lagos.

Lagos. That’s Lagos in Nigeria, and not Lagos in the UK. After all, did not the sale say, in large letters, “UK BUYERS ONLY”? That’s OK, Mr Scammer tells me, here is my address in the UK. It’s a B&B in Slough, an address picked up from a google search. I give them a ring on the phone number I, too, found on a google search. They’ve never heard of him.

So: Get lost, I tell him.

He writes again:

“But I am Pastor Useless Workshy Cunt of a Scammer, buying a laptop for my wife, who is doing missionary work in the UNITED STATE. Please ship the machine to me in Lagos.”

The old church gambit. Seen it, laughed at it, bought the pills.

“Dear “Pastor” UWCOA Scammer,

I note you only registered with Ebay today. I also note you have given a false UK address. I also also note that Lagos is outside the UK, while my sale listing says “UK buyers only” on two occasions.

Just a suggestion: Why doesn’t your “wife” buy a machine in the UNITED STATE, where there is a plentiful supply?

Do you want to keep digging, or shall we end this now with the traditional Ju-ju curse?

Yrs etc, Scary

I shall keep you informed. In the meantime, laptop anyone? A bargain: 92,000 Nigerian Niara, ono.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Random Acts

Making Mr Biffo happy

1. Go to this eyeball-peeling website.
2. Vote for “Manners” in the vote-me-do in left hand bar.
3. Feel pleased with yourself.

This is an episode of My Parents Are Aliens written by friend-I-met-on-the-internet Mr Biffo. He’s only asking because he feels this particular instalment is artistically far better than the others, and not, repeat NOT anything to do with a fat repeat fee.

Making Peckuss happy

1. Visit Dull But Adequate.
2. Encourage author to write more of same
3. Feel pleased with yourself, again.

That is all.

Fnarr etc

Another milestone in Duck family history last Friday night, when Scaryduck Jr, at the age of nine, discovered the joys of the double entendre.

It started, as it always does, innocently enough:

Mrs Duck: “Haven’t you made a cup of tea yet?”

Me: “I thought you were doing it.”

SD Jr: “Mwahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!!!!”

Mr & Mrs Duck: “……?”

SD Jr: “You… ha ha haaaaaaa! said….. pfffft!... DOING IT!”

Mrs Duck: “Doing what?”

SD Jr: “You know… the sex. HA! DOING IT!”

Life just got that tiny bit better. Or worse. Or something.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Art of the Dirty Letter

The Art of the Dirty Letter: ”Dear Fiesta…” explained for girls

Following last week’s “Zombie Dave” story, certain readers have asked me about the fabled "Dear Fiesta" letter and the rules that must be adhered to in the writing of same.

All I can say to my female readers is that it's a man thing. Actually, I don’t think any man over the age of twenty-one actually buys Fiesta, so that would make it a teenage thing, there. My suspicions were confirmed when one the mankier kids at our school sent them a letter “Last night I did it with a lady. It was great,” to see it published the following month.

Letters from "Fiesta readers" to Britain's favourite soft-porn mag, were, the editorial staff swore, not made up at all, although I know of at least one Scaryduck reader who made quite a living doing that very thing as a student. The “I Confess” page, I learn, paid particularly well.

The rules of the Letter to Fiesta clearly state that any communication should start as follows:

"Dear Fiesta, you won't believe the most incredible thing that happened to me the other day."

After the stock intro, there then follows the ad-libbed part of varying length, which describes an unlikely sexual encounter. Perm any from the following list:

* “I fancied her for ages, but I never would have guessed…”
* the attractive divorcee who lives next door/works in the same office as a cleaner/sells marital aids door-to-door/volunteers as a nurse in the sperm donor clinic OR
* any breathing female between the ages of 18 and 80
* the latest fashionable foible(“She pulled back the curtain to reveal the entire Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir” or “Then I opened the fridge and she moaned at the sight of the strawberry yoghurt”)
* the dead giveaway (“They both gasped at my nine-inch tool” and/or “We did it five times that night”)
* the phrase “she was clearly gagging for it” by way on an excuse for the whole tawdry affair.

The words “gallons of spunk” are mandatory and MUST be included, even if physically impossible.

After business is concluded, a standard Letter to Fiesta will sign off with "We're going to do it again next time we get the chance" and/or "The Aristocrats!"

Students of the genre are able to correctly identify writing styles and conclude – rather like Daily Telegraph crossword compilers - there are no more than four regular smutty letter-writers currently plying their trade in the UK jazz correspondence market.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…

“Dear Fiesta…”

Sunday, October 16, 2005

13 Amp (Geddit?!)

13 Amp (Geddit?!)

Regular reader Andy (she’s a she-Andy) writes books. She even gets them published. Unfortunately, she’s not terribly good at plugging them. So, Andy: consider your books plugged…

Buy Andy's Book

and this one's rather good as well

Friday, October 14, 2005

Zombie Dave

Zombie Dave

I’ve always found myself confused by office cleaners. They work for the same company as you, but, by their very twilight existence, they are not entirely part of the same workforce. This is reflected in the slightly offish relationship between the office staff and the cleaners who tidy after them, the words “miserable bastards” bandied about by both sides.

After years of working in an office environment, I have come to the conclusion that, in the main, office cleaners fall into three groups:
a) Slightly older women who would screw you to the desk given half the chance, providing they know the rules of the “Dear Fiesta” letter. In fact, this is the only reason they took the job.
b) Lunatics.
c) Normal ones who only last about three weeks before something better comes along, away from that creepy looking guy who appears to be taking notes.

I’ve seen my fair share of category c), who come, empty your bins, might chat a bit and then leave, never to be seen again, until they try to run you over in a bus.

Now, category a) – there was this time when I worked in the head office of one of the country’s major tyre dealers where I had to lock myself in the computer room on evening shifts. I believe that particular lady became the template for those “Norty and Forty” magazines you might see on the top shelves of newsagents whilst purchasing “Private Eye”, and fed bewilderment into my young, impressionable mind and easily confused swonnicles. She was, like all other cleaners of her generation, called Brenda, and give you a clue here, this was simply so she could have the word “Big” put at the front of her name.

Luckily, I managed to put her off the scent by accidentally leaving a paper cup full of urine on my desk for a whole bank holiday weekend [a tale of mank I am certain I have told before]. But - you know how it gets in the office when you’re working to a deadline… you just forget to throw your piss out of the window like normal people.

This was a faux pas so bad, that she left a note. “Plese empty you’re cups plese”. We could never have swapped bodily juices. That grammar.

Which brings us onto the lunatics. I’m a normal, well balanced person as you all know. I can put up with enormous levels of idiocy, rudeness or office cleaners before I even think of writing it up for a blog post.

I’ve even done cleaning jobs myself – our school actually paid older pupils to do the job after hours, saving themselves huge amounts of money by paying slave wages, and simultaneously freeing up the caretaker to scrape greenies off the toilet walls. I’ve been there, and only saw teachers snogging and touching each others’ wobbly parts on the one occasion, and names WILL be named unless I receive certain payments, pretty damn pronto.

Which brings us to Zombie Dave. Oh yes. Dave.

Zombie Dave was our office cleaner. First impressions count, and I’m afraid that the first time I clapped eyes on Dave, the word “git” sprang immediately to mind. And I was right! National Health specs, held together in the Jack Duckworth style with a knob of sellotape. Hair cut by his mum, who wasn’t allowed sharp objects. V-neck tank top, and always, always the bike clips and ill-fitting cycle helmet, which he never took off. You guessed it – he rode a Raleigh Shopper with a big basket on the front.

Uncharitable types simply wrote Dave off as “touched in the head”, but to dismiss him so simply would do him a disservice. He was, simply, not on the same planet as the rest of us. We would do the work more than adequately, but did it in such as way that you were convinced that he was eyeing you up for cuts of meat, sexual favours, or both.

At that time, I worked in the laid-back world of the Radio Telegraphy section – literally intercepting news agency copy as it was radioed from point-to-point in the days before they had the internet, I pulled the early shift tuning in the receivers and watching as the news chuntered out slowly from a batch of printers. A primitive system, but the section came with an impressive bank of receivers and decoders, each with its own flashing LED display, which would light up like Knight Rider if you had a good signal.

With all twelve receivers locked in, it was a reasonably awe-inspiring sight to the easily awe-inspired, and you could sit, feet up, listening to local phone calls on the research receiver. Not that I would do that kind of thing, you understand.

To Dave, it was the most incredible thing he had ever seen.

He would stand in front of the beast, transfixed as the LEDs lit up his milk-bottle glasses, and would stand there for up to ten minutes at a time, just staring, rubbish sack slumped by his side. As a special treat, I’d sometimes turn the speaker on for him, the warbling sound of the RTTY signals adding the extra dimension to whatever went on in his head.

Then, suddenly, he’d snap out of it, and would simply walk off. He never spoke.

Except on the one occasion.

He stood there, eyes on my throbbing monster on that sunny Sunday morning, watching the lights speed across the displays with his usual vacant stare, as his day-glo cycle clips sat uselessly on his ankles and the bike helmet saved him from any unexpected head injuries from flying fax rolls.

Then, suddenly, a light came on inside his head and he articulated the contents of his mind.

“It’s all space,” he said he said to my total indifference.

"It's all space," he repeated.


“It’s alllll space.”


And the floodgates opened.

“It’s all space. It goes up into space, goes all the way round the universe, round the stars an’ planets an’ comets an’ galaxies an’ spaceships, gets beamed down here an’ it’s all from space. Space. That’s what it is. It’s all space.”

I didn’t quite know how to take this sudden, extraordinary revelation. So I laughed. Long and hard.

Luckily, this inappropriate interruption didn’t end in my instant and painful death, and he simply picked up his rubbish sack, and ambled from the room, still saying “It’s all space” to himself. If I had known about tin foil helmets at the time, I would have made him one, and then knocked one out for myself. It might have helped.

Alas, Dave’s time with us was limited. New technology had arrived, and the News Agency Section was combined with other departments and eventually scrapped altogether as satellites and internet took over; while the cleaners were expected to operate the latest cleaning, polishing, and blanco-ing machinery. All except Zombie Dave.

“Zombie Dave”, he was told in no uncertain terms by the fearsome ex-army Sergeant-Major who kept the building running, “touch the new floor polisher and I’ll have your bollocks off.”

The next day, they separated him from two grand’s worth of formerly brand new floor polisher, gave him his cards, and heaved the smouldering wreck into the skip. Why pay good money to watch a rodeo when you get the real thing in the comfort of your own office? Nice of them to let him keep the mains lead, though – mainly because they couldn’t get the knots undone, and the fire brigade were laughing too much to be of any help.

Zombie Dave has now defected to become the office cleaner’s natural enemy: the hospital porter. Never get ill.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Letter from O'Balsam

Day After


Done exam.

Head hurts bad.

Three hours. Hand aches from “pen”.

Paper had picture of George Clooney. Terrible.

Nice venue. Didn’t open the bar. Bastards.

Tomorrow: Vote.

* Donkey – “Haaaaaw!”
* Zombie Dave – “Braaaains!”
* The Breakfast Club – “Eggggg!”
* Bad Dog II – “Woooof!”

Let someone else write something.

Oh Lordy, the Colonel’s back…

Letter to General HQ, somewhere up the Khyber, British Waziristan


Pardon me for speakin' out of line, but I fear that somethin' really has to be done about one of our former officers of Her Britannic Majesty's Armed Forces, rulers of the modern world, defenders of the FAITH, and executors of Her Majesty’s will viz finishing off troublesome colonials with the administering of BRITSH STEEL.

I refer, of course, to Captain James Blunt of the Queen's Own Fuzzywuzzy Stranglers, who has resigned his commission to take up a career as a long haired, whinin' folk singer of some description. Unheard of – what is the man thinking?

This is the kind of thing that we shouldn’t be showin’ our enemies unless they get the wrong idea about the pearl of the Empire’s youth, but I give you Exhibit A, sah. Not very good, is it?

Fer starters, an’ my immediate concern, is that he’s not wearing the regulation haircut, as per Queen’s Regs. An’ I suspect that he’s also let the shine on his boots go ter hell and his bayonet hasn’t tasted the flesh of the enemy for many a long month. An’ I fear that his pathetic guitar-based whinin’s may be givin’ succour an’ encouragement to the enemy. What’s wrong with a good military band? The boy’s gone soft, he needs the discipline of a spell on the parade ground if yer askin’.

“You’re Beautiful”? “You’re a Traitor” more like. In my day, we’d tie fifth columnists like him over the mouths of cannons an’ BOOM! I’ll give him “Back to Bedlam”, eh what?

A good short back an’ sides, an’ a morning with me good self on the drill square at Nanjkapour will do him the power of good, an’ we’ll have this pathetic example back to what the flower of British youth does best: Showin’ the unwashed colonials the error of their ways at the sharp end of good old British Steel.

This is one case, I fear, that will call for EXTREME UNCTION in the face of THE LORD before Blunt sees the error of his ways.

I propose we send him to the front line in British Waziristan with only his guitar as company, an' see how well he fares. Either the LORD will protect him, or see his body torn from arse to tit an' fed to the wolves, as is HIS WILL.

Dare I say that standards are slippin'? The Sandhurst I knew as a feared drill and personal hygiene instructor would have weeded this pansy out years ago, an' turned him into the kind of frenzied killin' machine that the heathens in these mountains dread.

I hope they succeed with the C-in-C's youngest, wossname Harry Windsor. I fear he's going to go the same way as his uncle Edward.

I am not mad.

I remain, as ever, your constant servant,

Colonel Albert. St.J. “Mad Dog” O’Balsam, DSC and Bar

PS Yer couldn’t see a way of securing access to the regimental goat, sah? As I said at those strictly off-the-record hearings, it was all a huge misunderstanding due to the doubling up of billets, and I gather Flossie is missing me. Meh!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A 922nd post spectacular

Escape from Hell

Today I shall be mostly taking the final exam in my Open University degree course. Six years of hard slog, falling asleep over bone-dry text books on modes of governance in the European Union, and with a bit of luck I should be S. Duck BSc (Hons), Dip Pol, Cert Soc Sci (Open) by the end of the year.

So, the best part of the afternoon will be spent writing three essays (with a PEN – are they mad?) on the construction of identities, meaning and their implications on modern society and media. If I mention the words “Foucaultian” and “discourse” often enough, I should be fine.

One of my essays this year included a deconstruction of Brass Eye and The Day Today as a satire on modern news, with frequent references to “The Bad AIDS”, “Nonce Sense” and “Cake”. It got 85 per cent, which proves that even OU lecturers have a sense of humour.

Back into Hell, again

Somebody in Another Place recently pointed out how wicked the word “wicked” is, especially when used in its original context. He’s right, y’know…

Leviticus 20
The LORD said unto Moses
"If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked."
And Moses said unto the LORD
And the LORD sayeth unto Moses
“No, you bloody idiot. I’m saying it’s BAD.”
And Moses said again unto the LORD
“Too bloody right it’s bad, you won’t believe the amazing thing that happened to me the other day. I was alone in the tent and the wife’s mother came round to muck out the donkeys. I never realised how sexy she was until I saw her with that shovel…”
And the LORD shaketh His head and goes off to find another chosen people.

I know… first class to Hull, please.

Not Hell , at all

Joy asks "If you could uninvent something, what would it be?" I'm personally thinking of "New" Labour, or shiny white toilet paper. Don't just sit there - suggest her up!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

On Hippies

On Hippies

Kids! Don’t end up a hippy. It’s wrong and only causes grief for your family and friends. Terrible, heart-rending grief, caused, in the main, by hippies who are worse than any terrorist organization on the planet, causing havoc and destruction just by being utterly useless.

My best friend Martin turned into a hippy.

* Unexplained access to large quantities of booze and doobage, despite having no money whatsoever

* Funny smell
* Kaftan, the fashion sense of a sheep (see 'funny smell')
* Liking for shit music and bands with names like 'Chocolate Teapot'
* Learning that, for me, the drugs don’t work (or, as I suspect, the “grass” was pulled from some bugger’s garden, and everybody else was simply pretending to be wrecked to save face)
* “I’m learning the guitar”
* Giving up the guitar and “I’m learning the bongos”
* Unconscious for about 80% of the time
* Having to do his A-Level computer science project for him so he might have a job to go to when he finally came to. He did. He's a gardener.

Hippies: No.

Also: My mate Martin the Hippie paid six hundred quid of his dad's money (“Son – why haven’t you got a job?” “I went to all the record shops and WH Smiths and they didn’t have any”) to go on some sort of hippy get-your-head-together course he'd seen advertised in some fanzine.

Basically, he, and a few other gullible twits were sat in an old, leaking barn with no food or cigarettes for a weekend and told, repeatedly, "Everybody is perfect in their own imperfect way." After 48 hours of this sensory depravation, he would have believed anything, and returned to the world a disciple of the Cult of Useless.

It was such a wonderful scam, a few of us seriously considered running one of these courses ourselves. Who’s with me? There’s money to be made, and students and shit-faced drop-outs to fleece.

I will give an actual, real-life prize to the person who can correctly guess the link between yesterday’s post and today’s. Oh yes.

Monday, October 10, 2005

On Portland and r*bb*ts

On Portland and r*bb*ts

I usually ignore news and current events on these pages, but I’ve been receiving e-mails and phone calls all weekend about this "news" story.

“Hey Scary”, they say, “You live near Portland. Is it true about the rabbits?” Educated people want to know if the idea that people are avoiding the title of the Wallace and Gromit movie is a publicity stunt designed solely to make the inhabitants of the island look like a bunch of over-superstitious, inbred weirdos.

As you probably know by now, the first thing I see when I throw open the blinds in the morning are the twinkling lights of Portland across the harbour, as the wind blows across the ashes of the previous night’s witches. Portlanders, as I’ve said before, are a breed apart from we mainlanders, and this is a state of affairs that most of us are happy to maintain. There are still those who think that building a bridge across the causeway was the worst thing ever, and the legend remains that there are still old duffers up there who have never “set foot in England.”

Yes, it is true that the underground mutton are seen as unlucky on the island, mainly because their appearance usually means either flooding or trouble in t’quarries. I took my good friend Robson da Silva Rabbitinho (who is spending a year as a Brazilian for world cup and tax reasons) across to the island for a little look over the weekend, and apart from leaning out of the car window taunting the locals with his lucky foot, we found out the following:

*cough* awful publicity stunt *cough*

A final thing: the infernal, demonic moving picture houses ("A BLASPHEMY in the eyes of the LORD!") have yet to reach Portland. As a matter of fact, they’re still getting used to flicking a switch and finding a light come on ("Witchery! Burn! BURN!"); while hot water out of taps clearly comes “straight from Beelzebub’s bladder”. If they want to see the r*bb*t film, they will have to come across the causeway to Weymouth, and I suspect they will do so in their droves. Passports ready, please.

Edit: See? This is what happens when you meddle with The Dark Side. That's the Curse of the Warehouse, that is. I made a funny.

Sunday, October 09, 2005



Short notice, I know, but: Me, BBC Radio Five, 12.45 p.m. today, on weblogs.

*insert smutty joke here*

After the event: They put me on ten minutes earlier than scheduled - you didn't miss much, except for the divulging of several trade secrets. Like the fact that I'm not actually here, ever.

And I failed in my master plan to say "bollards" at a crucial moment. I accidentally said "citizen-journalist" instead. Twice.


For those of you still desperate to hear it, I'm here, two hours 34 minutes in.

Friday, October 07, 2005



"Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?"*

Neighbours. Everybody needs good neighbours. And I've had more than my fair share of Mrs Mangels. Given the chance, I’d live in a house in the middle of a forest with no other bugger for miles around.

I’ve had more lunatic neighbours than you can shake a shitty stick at. Such as the elderly naturists who’d spend extended periods talking to me over the garden fence, whilst trying not to stare at – or even notice – sagging genitals and bare flanges. They were actually rather pleasant, if stone deaf and had a rather disturbing penchant for caravanning holidays.

I’ve also put up with a dreadful, dreadful girlfriend-beating shitbag who would rant and rave until the small hours over his habit of stealing the rent money from her purse for a night down the pub, until the sobbing died out and gave way to loud, thrashing sex that could be heard at the other end of the street. It takes all sorts, I suppose, and his eventual trip to the Big House for a few years was a minor triumph for all concerned.

Harmless eccentrics and thugs. My current neighbours are angels compared to this lot.

In the middle of all this fell Nikolai, who can only be described as the nutter next door. Nikolai was Russian, and as mad as a sack of ferrets. He drove a taxi, and had his hair cut in the Travis Bickle stylee, and always, always wore combat gear. His parents mysteriously disappeared at some stage. I think he ate them.

Nikolai was hugely patriotic and yearned for the days of pre-communist Imperial Russia. He kept banging on about his "Mother Russia" and how, one day, it would be free of the "tyrant communists" that were destroying his once-proud nation. He often twitched disturbingly as he told us this, on a near daily basis.

"I am fully trained in all armed and unarmed combats" he told us. The furniture in his flat consisted of nothing except a mattress, a multi-gym and what appeared to be a shrine to the memory of the Romanov dynasty. In short, he was really bringing down the market value of our place. I don’t think the Irish chap at the other end of the corridor was helping either, what with his huge barrels of chemicals and all that.

On the morning of 19 August 1991, hardline communists launched a coup to oust Soviet supreme Mikhail Gorbachev and roll back his policies of reform which would, eventually, lead to the collapse of state communism and the break-up of the Soviet Union. Nikolai heard the call and decided that the time had come for him to return to Moscow and fight for a free Russia under the benevolent rule of the restored Royal Family.

“Mother Russia! Mother Russia! I am coming!” he shouted for several hours as I tried to sleep off a night shift.

As a matter of fact, I had spent the night listening and making frantic cassette recordings, as I was paid to do at the time, as Radio Moscow dropped its regular programmes for martial music, and then a sombre thirty-second announcement that there were new people in charge.

I arrived home, a shattered wreck, as these things always seem to go off in the middle of the night, when [in those days before they invented the internet] you hoped your night shift would be a quiet once with the hugely expensive and newly-installed satellite dish was watching MTV for you.

Hoping only for a good day’s sleep, all I got instead were doors slamming and Nikolai running up and down the stairs, screaming “Mother Russia! Mother Russia!” until, eventually, he sped off in his taxi.

He was arrested with a suitcase full of nunchuks and other pointy things at Heathrow, a little snippet that never quite reached the television news that night. I never saw him again, but the current top man in the Kremlin looks strangely familiar.

I still shudder at the thought of his replacement at number fifteen. In fact the words “nymphomaniac office cleaner” should fill any sane man’s heart with fear…

* This link designed solely to wax fat off the proletariat's starvation

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Tony Blair's "Buggered Melons" shame

Arse, Thursday already

Look, it’s Thursday, and I’ve brought it all down on my own head. Here’s four stories, and I’d really, really appreciate it if you voted for “Revolution!” so I can go to bed early:

* Revolution! – “The best story, ever!”: Paul Ross
* Donkey – He haw he haw he ought to know better
* Zombie Dave – This one’s crap. Not about Zombies at all.
* The Breakfast Club – Nothing to do with the film. Vote for some other story.

Quote of the Day

“He is not to be trusted. I understand his bins are always full of buggered melons.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin on his meeting with Tony Blair Downing Street.

“Uglier than an Ocean Finance customer, as hideous as Deirdre Barlow’s reptilian neck.” – Vladimir Putin spurns the generous offer of a “three-up” with Cherie Blair.

“Keep away from my bins, fool!” – British Prime Minister Tony Blair

And thus the wheels of world diplomacy turn ever onwards.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005



A long time ago, long before I was z-list famous, I had a website. In fact, there were a number of websites, which were, in the main, not very good. The one I spent most time and effort on, and the first time I used my waterfowl-related nickname, was a sprawling number I sited in the pop-up hell of Tripod called Scaryduck’s House of Lies.

It was a website filled with nothing but the finest lies, untruths, exaggerations, falsehoods, bare-faced porkies and the empty promises of politicians. All for laughs, like. There was also, for some reason to do with needing somewhere to park my bike, a picture of TV’s Judy Finnegan with her tits out. One of the twelve people who read it must have enjoyed it, because it won minor, no-actual-cash-value awards.

One thing led to another, and the House of Lies eventually bit the dust because I enjoyed blogging rather more than the simple gag-writing that it entailed. Stupid boy! Didn’t I realize, thanks to the power of Blogger, I could do both?

So I am.

Scaryduck’s House of Lies LIVES.

Your daily source of low quality nob gags just got worse.

Not Lies

Real words I never knew existed until pointed out to me by a colleague wielding and English-Indonesian dictionary:

Pontang-panting: (Indonesian) The act of running away in blind panic, not caring where you end up.

So, I looked it up on google, and got a cricket page “Flintoff leaves Ponting panting.” Yeah, right, run back to Australia, losers.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Best Poo Ever

The best poo, ever

I remember it like it were yesterday, as you would any other life-defining moment. The birth of your first child. The death of a favourite pet. A pan-shattering crap.

I'd like to say the memory is a pleasant one, but it gives me horrifying flashbacks of a walking (that's walking, you deviants) holiday I once took with a bunch of college friends, reproduced here for your reading pleasure.

We lived on nothing but dehydrated food packs for a whole two weeks, with the result that none of us took a crap for the entire holiday, bunged up as we were with freeze-dried risotto.

My first post-holiday dump, some two days after returning, and the result of a good thirty minutes' straining, was like passing a rod of ferro-concrete, and it stood firmly to attention in the pan, daring me to beat it down with the toilet brush. So I did, and I never saw the brush again.

It was also one of those wonderful turds that leaves no residue on the ring, allowing for minimal wiping using a mere single sheet of two-ply. A good thing too, because it stung like buggery.

I couldn’t – wouldn’t flush it. So amazed was I at the alien invader that had torn itself from my body, that I left it there, glowering at the ceiling, returning to the scene of the crime every five minutes to check on it.

I should, in retrospect, have taken a picture for the holiday album, as the screams from family members were something to behold.

The relief I felt on that blissful summer’s morning was only matched by my best bogey ever:

One winter, I had dreadful problems breathing, coupled with an enormous migraine. Then I blew my nose by the birthday cards in WH Smiths and a solid bogey the size of a brazil nut came out.

I was so amazed, I kept the tissue for a week before sending it off to the Guinness Book of Records.

Unfortunately, outdone by Toxteth O'Grady, USA.

Hearing aid: full volume

Because he is old, Duckusss is mostly enjoying (apart from one, rather obvious flaw in ginger twat Hucknall’s rabbit-shagging song*) this rather fine example of the music producer’s art.

Once again, I am sad to note, Bigfoot and the Groincrushers cruelly overlooked.

And there’s a Volume Two as well. It’s no good.I’ve come.

* “Bunny’s too tight to mention”

Norman Stanley Fletcher, RIP

Poor, dead Ronnie Barker. Genius.

I shall be popping out to the hardware store in Emmer Green today and badgering the staff for "Four Candles" in his memory. It's what he would have wanted.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Phones for me

Phones for me

A couple of months ago, I won – or rather, lost – a competition. At a conference of the great and good of the broadcasting industry, we were jokingly asked by the MD of a company who will soon be providing live television to mobiles, to produce our mobile phones to see who had the worst.

I won. Greg Dyke came second, and resigned in a huff.

I got nothing.

That was the final straw. I have had enough of my phone, and it is high time The Brick was replaced.

And this is where you come in. Suggest-me-up a decent telephonic device for the modern-aged duck. My needs are simple:

* I use my phone as a phone.
* I cnt txt 2 sav my lf
* Though it pains me to give money to a company that supports The Forces of Darkness: Vodaphone Pay as you Go. In fact, I’ve used less than fifty quid’s worth of credit in four years, and was the first to complain when BT started digging up phone boxes.
* I want to impress people with my dazzling taste in ringtones, and demand a unit straight out of Star Trek.
* And a camera.

It’s all a plot by The Man to track us all down and control our minds, as you well know. So a phone with a free tin-foil helmet will be just dandy.

Tomorrow: Scary takes a stroll down Memory Lane and remembers The Best Poo Ever. You lucky, lucky people.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A short message for the young ducks

A short message for the Young Ducks

If I catch you reading these pages again, you will lose your online priveleges. Again. That is all.

It's hard enough being a z-list internet celebrity without your family having to read stuff like this:


Good: Doing the sex.

Bad: Coming to after a vigorous bout of the sex to discover that whilst letting her ride on top, you have actually made a rather good fist of wiping your arse on the sheets.

Worse: Blaming the dog.

I'm glad we sorted that out, then. Normal service resumed...