Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On Armageddon

On Armageddon

Dragged out of bed at the unearthly hour of 11.30am by the doorbell. On a Saturday. Have people no heart?

It is a man in a suit, and quite possibly the rubber sheets I ordered from the Kleeneze catalogue, arriving just in time for the Hallowe'en rituals. I am wrong. Still, it always pays to have your chainsaw in tip-top nick, does it not, for you never know who might arrive at your door.

"Did you know the end of the world is nigh?" asked the Jehovah's Witness.

Oh God.

"Oh God", and: "How, exactly?"

Those of you who have bought my book - and you all have, haven't you? - would be aware of our regular Jehovah's Witness, Brother Nathanial and his steady descent into the sweary fires of Hell. This was not Brother Nathanial. It was a new Witness, Brother Les, who looked and dressed like a game show host, with a star prize of eternal salvation.

He gave me a leaflet.

A leaflet which was, if you ask me, deliberately cagey about times and dates for the end of the world, which doesn't help those of us with a busy diary (Tuesday: Parents' evening. Wednesday: Go to Turkey. Thursday: End of World, remember duty frees). It did, however, have a nice picture of a large-breasted Harlot in a tight, red jumpsuit, who resembled Kate O'Mara in her 80s prime riding a seven-headed, ten horned beast, as drawn by Napoleon Dynamite.

A bit like this, really. Use your imagination:

K. O'Mara, Liger, The End of the World

As I slammed the door in his face in the traditional stylee, I realised there was still much, much more I needed to ask, but Brother Les was already long gone, getting a good, stiff talking to from the churchy family over the road.

For example: if the end of the world really is nigh, should I really be bothered with re-negotiating my mortgage? After all, with the banking system shattered by thermo-nuclear warfare in the final battle with the Anti-Christ, who's going to give a microwaved shit about whether I'm paying the Bank of England base rate plus 0.39 per cent, or not? Is Armageddon a valid excuse for dodging a few household bills? I had my cavity wall insulation done last week - will it withstand the heat of the impending inferno?

And, if we're looking for answers to all the big end-of-the-world questions - could Brother Les fix me up with the beast-riding harlot? She's my kind of lady.

Gobble: As I indicated above, I shall be in Turkey for the rest of the week doing journalisty things. Misty's in charge. God - have I not learned my lesson already?

Monday, October 30, 2006

On setting yourself targets

On setting yourself targets

It's always good to set yourself targets in life. Jobs - financial reward - exams, it all serves to give your life a purpose. I have recently achieved long-standing aims in gaining my Open University degree and seeing my book in print, but I have yet to se my family secure.

Whenever I see a Securicor van, I always check to see if they've left the keys in the ignition, so settling this last goal is only a matter of time.

I remember when I was a teenager. My goals in life seemed so much simpler, and could be described thussly:

i) Pass my O-Levels with the least effort possible;

ii) Do the Barclays in every room in the house.

Not a problem, though the cupboard under the stairs was a bit of a squeeze, and the loft took weeks of planning.

God, the lads at school were green with envy when I told them. Even the six-times-a-night tuggers were deeply impressed by my tales of onanism in the garage and spider-infested summer house. It was like I had joined some kind of club, which of course, I hadn't.

The King of the Wankers they called me back then, and even now, they still do.

And then, we got a conservatory, and that's when the woe really started.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mirth and Woe: Disney


These pages are filled to brimming with my most awful confessions. I've done a poo in the shed. I've spewed all over the pert, heaving norks of a lovely, lovely potential girlfriend, and I once gave somebody a bottle of my own piss as a present. I have told you these things with little or no embarrassment, and have even gone as far as having a choice few bound into book form.

So now, I confess to an awful lapse of taste.

Oh, God.

I've been on holiday to Disneyland.

In fact:

I've been on holiday to Disneyland four times.

Granted, three of these trips were to the tatty establishment in Paris, where I spent my time stealing soap from the cleaners' trolleys (it's not as if they'd be getting much use in France as it is), and deliberately spreading myself out in a restaurant to make sure that Ron Weasley out of Harry Potter and his enormous entourage of grannies, family and assorted hangers-on got a really crappy table by the toilets.

I will also admit to a certain amount of enjoying myself, and count Scaryduck Junior's unfortunate groping of Minnie Mouse's pert mousy breasts as the height of my short existence on this planet. He'll go far, that boy.

Disneyland in Florida is like no other place on Earth. To start with, Florida is like no other state in the Union, as it's the place they send all the misfits and nutters from the rest of the country. It's looked on like we might regard the unfortunates who live in, say, Cornwall. Hi, Dad.

I've seen some of the most frightening things in my life at Disney in Florida, because, regardless of what they say, it is not the bestest place in the world.

I have never, for example, seen quite so many enormously fat people in one place. It's like they were drawn together by their own gravitational fields and, once in orbit, were unable to get away. One fella (at least I assume he was male - the tits were so disconcerting) was so big, he could only propel himself around the park in a wheelchair that was cobble together out of three regular chairs and a scaffolding pole. Even Goofy fled in abject fear.

Second, there was my crap celebrity spot. I'd already seen TV's Victor Meldrew on the plane, and annoyed him, along with about 250 others with choruses of "I don't BELIEEEEEVE IT" for the whole ten hour flight, but I was unprepared for what was to come, even though I was aware that Florida is where footballers and C-Listers go to get away from it all.

Big Mo from Eastenders. In a bikini. A tiny, tiny bikini. With spider's legs sticking out.

"Bowk", I said, losing control of my breakfast. "Bowk."

It would be enough to send a sane man back to the airport, but, as you well know, I am not Mr Sanity. "Bowk."

And so we made our way into the Magic Kingdom (TM) to marvel at the overpriced shops and forced jollity. I wore my best rictus grin, and "Have a Nice Day"-ed everyone I could, drawing fearful looks from Mrs Duck as I tipped a disappointed waiter one Disney dollar.

Taking a break in the blazing heat, we watched, with several dozen other holidaymakers, the sight of a mother duck ushering her cute ickle ducklings across a small pond in the middle of the park.

"Aaaah, ain't they cute?" observed a 30-stone American from behind a catering-sized bag of candy floss.

The crowd coo-ed and aah-ed as the family of ducks bobbed around in the water, quacking to each other in the cutest, fluffiest way imaginable.

Yes. One had to agree. Yes, they were cute. And so, so Disney.

Right up to the moment that a large spiky stork swooped out of the Floridian sky scooped up one of the cute little ducklings in its bucket-like bill and set about killing it to death and eating it with a specially prepared orange sauce it had brought along.

There were screams. And cries. And more screams as parents, children and lardarses fled in horror.

"Stop it!" someone shouted. "In the name of pity, STOP IT! This is supposed to be Disney!"

Others, expressing the kind of free enterprise that has made the United States of America what it is today, joined in:

“Stop it! Stop it someone! I’ll sue!”

For the fat woman next to me, it was all to much. She took one final munch at the candy floss, swallowed hard a couple of times, and bowked rich, pink vomit down the front of her one-size-fits-all circus tent.

The stork, fearing nothing,and undoubtedly having seen it all before and feasting on the bloated corpses, looked me in the eye, turned, and went back for seconds.

Donald Duck had better watch his feathery arse.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A list of things I have learned this week, quite by accident

A list of things I have learned this week, quite by accident

A list of things I have learned this week, quite by accident:

* John Cleese's father changed the family name from Cheese to Cleese when he joined the army in 1915, to avoid barrack-room ribbing. I would have preferred "Fromage" as an alternative.

* My car has a switch in the footwell that turns off the electronic engine management. It works better without it, and none of the wheels has fallen off recently.

* The phrase 'Hoist by his own petard' was coined by Shakespeare, and means, literally, 'burnt by his own bomb', a petard being a bomb used to blow up gates and walls in a siege.

Well, I'll be dipped.

I have also found out what a 'Hot Carl' is. Look it up for yourself. If you dare.

Anyhoo, I have a short list of Scary stories ready for this week, and they number three. Three being the number of stories. Three.

It's a serial killers special. Choose! Choose - or die!

* Take a Break: It was only after the "How Clean is your House" team had been filming for the best part of an hour, that Fred and Rose realised they meant to clean out the cellar as well. By the end of the day, there might be a few extra holes in the garden Rose joked, and she was right.

* Disney: "You see, Mr Nilsen," said Kirstie, "This place just hasn't got the kerb appeal to sell, and the toilet appears to be blocked. By the way, have you seen Phil? I'm sure I saw him earlier." "Denis. Call me Denis. Would you like some of this meat stew?"

* Hospital: "It's my bunions, Doctor Shipman," said Ann Noreen Widdecombe, "They've really been giving me gip this week. Can you give me something for them?"

And your reward: Harry Enfield extravaganza!


Charles "Charlie" Charles

Oi! Wales! NO!

Is that what you want? Cos that's what's gonna happen

Serial killers. H. Enfield. Now there's an idea. Vote!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006



Confession. I stole this idea from Wrath of Dawn, who in turn was inspired by a similar post by Finslippy.

I ask, then: Which old fashioned, obsolete or just plain obscure words do you use in your vocabulary?

I must admit that I am a bit of a fan of the term 'Ahoy Hoy', which was Alexander Graham Bell's choice of greeting for use on his newly invented telephonic device.

Alas, it was lost to history as "Hello" took over, giving us into the bargain, that dreadful Lionel Ritchie song "Ahoy hoy, is it me you're looking for?"

Ahoy Hoy, I am pleased to say, has returned to semi-popular usage, mainly through Montgomery Burns' refusal to let it die, and through its use by comedy Millwall fan Danny Baker on his radio programme.

It is, I am sure you agree, the ideal non-offensive greeting that will mark you down as 'a little bit strange' in anybody's book.

In summary: Ahoy Hoy!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

On phoning in sick

On phoning in sick

Photo: Pandemian.com"Your phoning-in-sick voice. It's rubbish."

OK, I'll be first to admit that when I call in sick to work, I adopt an involuntary whiny whine that sounds about as convincing as Jade Goody addressing the Oxford Union. I can't help it. Everybody does. Every single phoning-in-sick I've taken for years on end has been of the whiny-cough-cough variety, even from people who are clearly at death's door.

It's dreadful, and forces one to evaluate your entire phoning-in-sick strategy. Should you do your own phoning-in, or should you get a friend, spouse or relative to do it for you? What tone of voice should you take, and is it wise to record a few helpful sound effects, such as the sound of a handful of frozen veg going into the toilet bowl? Nowadays, I eschew all whininess and go for the Australo-Cockney "Awight geezer. I'm a bit crook. See ya when I see ya" followed by a huge hacking cough and the pre-recorded sound of a handful of frozen veg going into the toilet bowl*

The problem with getting someone else to do your phoning in sick, is that it leaves you open to accusations that you are already halfway to the races, an appointment with your cross-dressing whip-wielding master, or similar. Not that I'd know, obviously.**

The phone-ee must plan their calling-in technique carefully, and still remember to ensure that it all comes together on the big day when you actually end up genuinely sick. I must confess one occasion, the day after I first moved out of my parents' house and into a flat with the soon-to-be Mrs Duck, when I found myself too chuffin' exhausted to get myself in for a late shift that evening.

It being olden times, and we hadn't quite risen to the top of the Post Office waiting list for a phone, I was forced to stagger out into a beautifully sunny afternoon and use a public phone booth. In Reading town centre. Outside the Butts Shopping Centre. With every bus in the world roaring past. And music blaring for a nearby fashion emporium.

And Motorway Tyres still believed me.

Look: Here's how to do it properly.

* Note to employers: May contain traces of lie

**Though if anyone knows of a good ointment, my ...err... corrupt uncle would be pleased to hear.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm Ba-ack!

Yep. The fule that is known as Scaryduck has once again asked me to look after this blog, although this time for one day only, not a whole two weeks.

Apparently there has been some confusion over at 'Chez Duck' which resulted in Mrs Duck inserting an economy sized jar of pickles and a small toy duck into an orifice which Mr Duck would rather not be used for such purposes, and he's now stuck in the shed trying to remove things with a screwdriver.

Or was it that he's off visiting the in-laws...? I get confused.

Anyway, I'm here now* and I've been asked to entertain you all for the day, and am under strict oath and a promise on a copy of The Beano not to re-decorate/change links/break blog in any way whatsoever.


So, on to the entertainment.

Some of you that follow links and such here, may have noticed the rather splendid new blog that was the spawn of Scary, which is called 'Done a Poo'. If you haven't, plz to click here and familiarize yourselves.

What I'd like you to do today, is to put your thinking heads on and let me know two things.

Part the first: Who else needs to be 'Doneing a Poo?'

Part the second: What can I do to this blog that would cause Scary's blood pressure to go through the roof again?

*And it's lovely to see you all here again. How are you all, and did you miss me?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mrs Duck Week: Wello

Mrs Duck Week: Wello

Poor, dead WelloPoor, dead Wello.

Killed to death by my own hand.

Killed to death because I was tricked by the evil duck-killer I married.

Poor, dead Wello.

Ducks have always had a hard time in our household. First there came Quacky, a small fluffy duck that belonged to my brother, that went from dog basket to the oven, then frozen solid until his beak fell off. Poor Quacky. What made me think things would be any better for Wello?

Wello wasn't always called Wello. He was originally called Duck a la Orange, bought for 4.99 from the chemist shop opposite work, along with a packet of Hangover-Be-Gone, as a "Sorry" present to Mrs Duck after I had pissed all over her dressing table (and my Christmas presents) the previous night.

Duck a la Orange was a small, grey cuddly duck with an orange beak and flippers, and he was the best little duck ever.

Mrs Duck hated his guts.

Mrs Duck hated him so much, she would throw him out of the window whenever she saw him. We lived in a top floor flat next to a railway at the time. I would, then, hide Duck a la Orange in places where he was guaranteed to be found, such as her underwear drawer, or next to the milk in the fridge. And then, once she'd locked him away at the bottom of her wardrobe, I would wear a "Free Duck a la Orange" T-Shirt round the place until she relented in much the same way T-Shirt wearing activists got Nelson Mandela out of the slammer.

Even in my possession, poor Duck a la Orange wasn't safe. Discovered staring back at her from the bathroom cabinet, a cheeky little smile on his bill, she exploded.

"RIGHT! I'm gonna cut his bloody beak off!"

While she thrashed about for some scissors, I hid Duck a la Orange in the one place I knew he would be safe. Down the front of the "Free Duck a la Orange" T-Shirt.


The next thing I knew, a mad woman was lunging at my chest with a pair of terrifying tailor's scissors, slashing her way through on the way to her pecky arch-nemesis. My life flashed before my eyes (which you can now purchase, at no risk to your body or well-being, in book form, you lucky people), and then, the shower scene from Psycho forced itself to the front of my brain and refused to leave.

Luckily, by the time she had got through my T-Shirt, some sort of sanity had prevailed, and she settled for throwing Duck a la Orange out of the window, where he bounced of the 1132 train to Basingstoke.

I suffered only minor injuries.

After that, we lived as an uneasy menage a trois, on the understanding that The Duck Wasn't Seen, and in the main, he wasn't.

It wasn't until years later that Duck a la Orange was renamed Wello by my daughter Scaryduckling that things started going downhill. He gained something of an entourage of similar ducks, who started appearing in the underwear drawer, fridge, and on one memorable occasion, showering out of the loft hatch. You won't believe how long that one took to set up. Bongo. Dingo. Honky. Tyoko. Megaduck. I shall never forget their names. Unless I have a lobotomy, or crash a jet-car at 300 miles per hour, or something.

As we geared up to move house again, evil duck-killer Mrs Duck set her plan in motion.

"Here, Scary," she said, "Get some milk from Asda, and while you're at it, could you put this large sack of old coats into the Oxfam clothes bank in the car park?"

"Why, yes. Yes I will."

So I did.

It was only when I got home that the Evil Duck-Killer Woman told me the truth.

"You know what else was in that sack?"

"No. What?"

She told me.


How can one woman harbour a grudge against a poor innocent duck for so long?

I'm over it now. Wello. Poor, poor Wello.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mrs Duck Week: An Apology

Mrs Duck Week: An Apology

In our September 2003 story "PiSS: The Curse of Piss", subsequently republished in the paperback classic 'Tales of Mirth and Woe', we inadvertently stated that the fragrant, delightful, charming and somewhat voluptuous birthday girl Mrs Duck has "no sense of humour".

I refer, of course, to her rather negative reaction to my drunkenly pissing all over her dressing table, her hair drier and several rather expensive bottles of perfume, after an alcohol-fuelled office Christmas Party ended in the all-too-predictable woe.

Granted, she wasn't particularly pleased to have to mop up wee at two in the morning while I complained that the room wouldn't stop spinning, but she maintains that, even then, her sense of humour was entirely intact.

This was because I had also unwittingly pissed over my Christmas presents, which were concealed under the dressing table, and one of my most prized possessions is now a signed photo of the 1991 Arsenal title-winning squad, complete with a charming yellow fringe.

Allowing me to receive my own wee for Christmas, Mrs Duck claims, shows that she is as normal as the next lunatic.

In the light of this information, we now humbly accept that Mrs Duck is in full possession of a funny bone, which she demonstrated by forcing a copy of Tales of Mirth and Woe up my bottom and laughing like a stupid.

We are so, so sorry.

Could she also stop kicking me in the groin?

The greatest test of my lovely wife's humour came, as a matter of fact, last weekend, when she reached the part in my book about Rodeo Sex. You may recall that Rodeo Sex is a sexual act, when, at the height of doggy-style coitus you might say something along the lines of "Your sister likes this as well", before seeing how long you can stay on.

She turned to me and asked: "You're not talking about my sister, are you?"

"Which one?", it turns out, is the wrong answer.

So: We give further proof of Mrs Duck's sense of humour with tomorrow's Tale of Mirth and Woe, a tale of duck slaughter called "Wello".

Poor, dead Wello.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mrs Duck Week: Manky II

I am my own worst critic.

No. That is untrue. Mrs Duck is my worst critic.

Up until very recently, she had never read my blog, recognising it as a piece of personal territory, where girls, as a rule, fear to tread. And then she got hold of my book the other week. Woe.

She read it in silence. Put the book down and turned to me.

"So," she said, "So. Did you really take a shit in the shed?"

"Ummm… you do recognise there's a certain artistic licence throughout the book", I replied, opening with my standard defence.

"You did, didn't you? You manky git."

"Errr… might have done."

"And what, pray, did you do with the bag?"

"mumblemumble dunno mumble"

"You put it in the bin didn't you?"


"You manky, manky git."

Nothing gets past Mrs Duck. Nothing. Not even that business with the brassieres.

The shed, as scene of the crime, has to go. Despite my protests that a man's shed is his castle ("Yeah, but castles normally have toilets"), it is to be replaced by a greenhouse.

Luckily for me, I've still got a spare shed, while Mrs Duck can revel in her victory over the Forces of Mank.

"Ha!" she says, "Ha! Just you try doneing a poo in the greenhouse, matey. You'll be spotted."

And she'd be right. But then, I care not, for I shall be as happy as Larry planting tomatoes.

Oh yes. Planting tomatoes. Well mulched. In their own, steaming fresh manure. And there will be a small corner of an English greenhouse that will be forever manky.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Mrs Duck Week: Genie-ology in a Bottle

Mrs Duck Week

It is Mrs Duck week on Scaryduck, in honour of my beloved's *cough* somethingty-somethingth birthday this Thursday. You might wish to make her happy - and take her mind off the fact that she's married to me - by getting her something luv-er-ly off her Amazon wish list. Ah, go on. She's here all week. Staring at you. Evil duck-killer woman.

Be nice to Mrs Duck. Because she'll kill me to death otherwise.

Genie-ology in a Bottle

The charming, luscious, pouting Mrs Duck has spent a number of years researching her family tree. She's got plenty to go on. When we got married, we had to limit her side of the family to the first 100 that showed up with a decent present. Of my side, there were twelve of us.

Despite the swarms of aunts, uncles and cousins, by God she's got it easy. Her family is full of rare and unique surnames, all of which originate from a five square mile area just outside Winchester. Absolom. Dollery. Schooner. Names that jump out at you from the parish records because, simply, they are the only ones.

When the ancestors decided to travel, the really went for it: the Isle of Wight, which is where the Humble branch of the family originates.

Humble? Can it be? I wouldn't be surprised. She's already got R. Gervais, actor Joe Absolom and Come Dancing's Ian Waite falling out of her family tree, whilst the most famous person in my family is some idiot who sells a book about shitting in a plastic bag in his garden shed.

While Mrs Duck manages to get herself back to about 1780 without having to leave the front room what with her none-more-easy family tree growing in a small village in Hampshire, what of my researches?

I got back to my grandmother. Name of Smith. From London. 1913. I give up.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The 419 Project Update

Return to the 419 Project: Update

This month, I am mostly totting up the genuine not-made-up-at-all cash money I am being offered by fine, upstanding Nigerian businessmen in my e-mail inbox, to see how much richer I might be if they all came good on their promises, which, of course, they will.

Total money "resting" in offshore accounts at the halfway point in my survey: 367,449,419 pounds.

If I wasn't already the luckiest man alive, I am also keeping a count of all the e-mail lottery winnings I'm getting from our fine EU friends in the Netherlands as part of Dutch E-mail Bastard Month.

So, I'm fully expecting Dale Winton to turn up at my front door at any minute with a camera crew and one of those oversized cheques to the tune of 63,387,151 pounds.

Winton, you're well late, you orange-skinned freak.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mirth and Woe: Movie Club

Movie Club

P. Collins: Any excuseEvery Saturday morning in the mid-1970s, we would queue up outside Loddon Hall in Twyford, for the privilege of sitting in a freezing cold village hall, where Stephen Driver's dad showed movies in the Saturday morning kids' club stylee.

The closest cinema was in Henley, ruled over with a rod of iron by a uniformed commissionaire who put the fear of God into anyone - child or adult - entering his establishment, so the Saturday morning kids' club in Twyford did a roaring trade.

We'd wait for up to an hour to get in, and ther hall was bursting at the seams with virtually every child from miles around, sent out of the house for a cheap, old fashioned bit of entertainment. There'd be a couple of cartoons - if we were really lucky there'd be a classic Tom and Jerry, followed by something awful from the Children's Film Foundation. If we were really unlucky, it would have Phil Collins.

Every time Driver's Dad had to change the reels, the doors to the little hall next door would be pulled back, and there would be Driver's mum selling sweets and drinks. We would stock up with penny chews, which we would throw at the screen the projector, or the backs of people's heads.

There was, however, only so much excitement you could get from throwing penny chews at people you saw at school every day of the week, so plans were invariably hatched to make the CFF two-reelers go that much quicker.

We found that if you sneaked off to the toilets during the movie, instead of turning right back into the hall, you would turn left, creep through a set of sliding doors, and you'd find yourself up on the stage, with mong-faced P. Collins projected onto the back wall, twenty feet high.

Of course, I would never consider doing this and spoiling the cine-tastic fun of my school chums, wrecking their entire Saturday morning, while their parents spent an extra couple of hours in bed, doing whatever it is that parents do with a couple of extra hours in bed. The Drivers must have been responsible for a huge local baby boom…

So… I wasn't the kind of person to do that kind of thing.

Which is why, then, I took a deep breath, legged it out into the middle of the stage, did a couple of star-jumps, dazzled by the projector, and ran for the wings to hoots of derision, only picking up minor wounds from flying penny chews. Back in my seat, pockets bulging from scavenged sweets, I was feted as a minor hero, right up to the moment the next idiot did the same. And the next… and the next…


The penny chews flew toward their target with genuine malice.

"Get off!"

"Owwwwww! You bastards!"

So, when Mikey announced during the last reel change that'd he'd be "going up", we did our best to put him off, knowing that a direct hit with a sharpened Bazooka Joe might well be fatal.

"Naah, don't worry - it'll be the best EVER," he promised.

And so…

"Back to your seats" came the familiar shout from the back of the hall, as Driver's Dad killed the lights and set the projector running again.

And in the wings of the stage, we could vaguely see Mikey, crouching, waiting for his moment. The moment a gobstopper would catch him between the eyes, split his head open, and leave him a mong for the rest of his days as his brains oozed down his chest.

As the on-screen dialogue dropped to a whisper, Mikey, saw his chance, and with a single bound, jumped into centre stage.

As naked as the day he was born.

"Woah yeah they call him the streak!" he screamed, aping the number one hit of the time, before the hall erupted in fits of laughter, and the all-too-predictable shower of sweets.

Protecting his private parts with both hands, Mikey (now forever to be known as "Little Mike") ran to the relative safety wings - sweet, sweet freedom, free sweets, and he hoped, the worship of his peers.


He had run stage left. All his clothes were, inevitably, stage right, and just about everybody in the audience knew this to be true, and were preparing missiles for his return trip. Mikey would have to run across the stage again, if he were ever to escape his predicament.

As the red hot Phil Collins action neared its thrilling climax on the screen, there was a blood-curdling cry of "MUUUUUUM!" and Mikey shot out from the wings in his desperate last minute dash for his clothes.

It was heart-breaking. It was like some poor World War One Tommy going over the top into No Man's Land and a hail of German bullets. Only eight years old, naked and in a darkened village hall. The first gobstopper hit him on the side of the head and he staggered sideways. A hail of sweets struck home and true, and he went down, curling himself into a foetal position to present the smallest target possible, arse to the audience. How could we possibly resist?

Driver's Mum, we couldn't help but notice, had opened the sweet shop again. Top marks, there, for enterprise.

He lay there until the credits rolled, and fled for the safety of backstage as Driver's Dad, rather belatedly, closed the curtains.

We caught up with Mikey, now fully clothed, a little later. His pockets, we noticed, were bulging with sweets, the reward for his naked folly.

"Want one?" he asked.

I declined with all the tact I could muster.

"Are you joking? They've been up your arse."

He scoffed the lot himself, and, predictably, was sick in a hedge.

The following week, there was an announcement.

Going on stage was banned. Nudity, however, was not.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

On Doom

On Doom

TV's Mr Biffo wrote the other day on the paranoia he feels in learning that people he knows are reading his weblog. It's true. I have never been comfortable in the knowledge that both blood relations and people who employ me and give me genuine cash money actually read this crap. But they do. They are, in fact reading this now.


The worst words you can ever hear, I have found, are "I was reading your blog today". Words which hit you like a kick to the stomach as you experience those five awful seconds of dread filled only by your saying "Oh yeah?" and whilst you wait for whatever they're going to say next. Like "...and you're fired".

This feeling of abject horror is especially true when you have been writing about happy knockabout everyday subjects such as masturbation, golden showers or shitting into a plastic bag, and these words come from the mouth of your boss. Or your wife. Or your father. Or your ten-year-old son's schoolteacher.

The old man, in fact, always follows this statement up with "...and you'll be getting a letter from my solicitor". God, written out of his will again.

The second worst thing you can hear under these circumstances is, of course, "Can I have a free copy of your book? Signed?"

What am I? Some kind of charity? Buy your own, you bloody spongers.

This is known as combative marketing, by the way. It doesn't work.

...And a vote-o, too

Anyway! On to the Thursday vote-o, which, as usual, I've left to the last minute and have not a single vote-o quote-o prepared. Choose the story you'd like to read tomorrow, and it's time to roll out the old stand-by...

* Take a Break: "You'll be surprised at the elasticity", Ann Noreen Widdecombe told poor, cornered David Cameron. "Look!" And she was right. There appeared to be a small car parked inside. A small car occupied by several Kurdish migrants.

* Disney: "Good God!" Cameron exclaimed in horror, and no little fascination as he fought the inexorable pull of the gravitational field, "they do appear to have kept you rather nicely shaven."

* Hospital: "Yes, yes, I am rather pleased with Mustapha's skills. He's got the whole kit and caboodle in the glove compartment of his lorry." It was then that David saw the lorry, parked next to the Pizza Hut delivery moped, and noticed he was... moist.

* Movie Club: *bowk* It's no good. *bowk* There's a bit about baby oil I just can't bring myself *bowk* to write. *bowk* *bowk*

*bowk* Vote me up *bowk*

Now, what was I saying about people I know reading this stuff?


Blame Borat

I can watch this over and over and over again. And, yes, I think I will.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Poor, dead Andy

Poor, dead Andy

I have recently learned of the death - quite some time ago, as it turns out - of one of my partners in crime at the Ministry of Cow Counting. Poor, dead Andy.

Andy was the quiet, placard-carrying vegan who worked in our office, placed in the job by a dole office clerk with a sense of humour after being made redundant by a health food shop. Before that, poor, gentle Andy worked in an abattoir, where he had his own metal-trimmed apron and chainsaw. He was, of course, placed there by a dole office clerk with a sense of humour.

The senseless slaughter of nut roast went on for several weeks before he ended up in our office, reduced to refereeing our running battles with increasingly deadly elastic-powered missiles, as we re-enacted the Siege of Stalingrad in the comfort of a tenth floor office in Reading.

He stunk the place out with his foul-smelling herbal teas, which "Special" Yvette would drown in milk, despite poor, dead Andy's protestation that it had been "stolen" from a cow.

"But… but… you've got to have milk in tea. Me mum says so."

"But you're exploiting those poor cows" he told her, repeatedly, getting even redder in the face, whilst simultaneously ticking off an official report on frozen beef carcases with a pen made out of the hollowed-out thigh bone of an ocelot.

No wonder he had a heart attack, then.

Poor, not-quite-dead Andy was carted off to Addenbrooke's where they gave him a heart transplant.

Unfortunately for him, there was no vegetarian alternative, and he carked it.

Poor, dead Andy.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Death Disco

Death Disco

After some twenty years of resistance, I have shamefully given up the fight and my CD collection is now horribly inter-mingled with Mrs Duck's. It's not so bad. My Boo Radley discs have not melted in close proximity to her Jennifer Lopez, and Bowie still hasn't tried to murder The Corrs. More's the pity.

Now that my music is her music and vice versa, it is time to re-assess that all-important question: What is the most embarrassing CD in your collection?

The choice is a simple one:

Right Said Fred - Up.

A disc so bad, that it has survived frequent Amazon and Ebay listings, and always, always returns from car boot sales unsold. Charity shops have taken one look at our offering, and left it on our doorstep in the middle of the night. One Thursday morning, the binmen came knocking and gave us a stern lecture on why a Right Said Fred CD would bugger up the insides of their lorry, council tax payers or not.

It is the disc that we cannot shift. Like pornography, you simply cannot get rid of badly produced botter pop.

Her excuse: "It was a present. I can't remember who."
My reply: "They must have hated your guts."

Also: "Hang on. This came out in 1991. We were married in 1991. Who was giving you Right Said Fred CDs?"
"Ah. You did ask for it, though?"
"You never buy me decent presents."

Hoist by my own petard.

The Freds' 1991 meisterwerk beats my previous embarrassing purchase - on which I actually spent genuine cash money for my own personal entertainment - into a cocked hat:

R. Williams - Life Thru A Lens

When I think of this album, one word springs to mind. And it is this: "Anus"

I thought, making a rush purchase at Heathrow Airport on the way out for a two-week working trip to South Korea that it might have some decent tunes on it. I was wrong. But then, I was on Prozac at the time, and all I had for my listening pleasure was the musical equivalent of a bum-hole.

On my return, I gave it to Mrs Duck, and like a cursed Right Said Fred disc, it has found its way back into my collection. Life's a bastard like that.

Now: Fess up!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hand Shandy update

Hand Shandy update

I went to the doc's on Friday, for I needed to fill a specimen jar and cart it up to the hospital in Dorchester. On past experience, buckets, tea-cups and other people's mouths are not looked on too kindly by the staff in the pathology lab for some reason.

"Good morning, Miss," I said in my best, booming voice on reaching the front of the queue for the receptionist's window, "I'd like one of your finest specimen jars, please."

"What kind of specimen is it? Urine?" the dried-up husk of a receptionist asked, all her bodily fluids having been surgically removed years ago.

Faced with this fearsome harridan, honesty, I decided, would be the best policy. For this, with a following wind, would be the closing episode on the single-most unsexy chapter of my life.

"No, sperm. I need it for a sperm sample. Make sure it's a big one."

Honestly, some people have no sense of humour.

Since 11th August 2005, when I let a registered medical practitioner* loose on my gonads in what I presume was a successful vasectomy operation, I have diligently, and rather disturbingly kept count of my manipulations as I have attempted to flush out my system of spermatazoons. In this time, Dorset County Hospital have done their best to lose my samples, mistake them for mayonnaise in the staff canteen or fire them into the heart of the sun, so the process has taken rather longer than it should.

A small prize**, then, for the person who can guess what number hand shandy I'm up to, and I shall be Bruce Forsythe, egging you on with cries of "Higher!" and "Lower!" until one of you sick little puppies gets it right. And before you accuse me of filthy, perverted onanism, I might point out I am working to Doctor's Orders, and I am now being treated for RSI.

*At least I assume he was a doctor. He never showed me his certificates or anything. He could have been a chef, a cleaner, or some random idiot with an unusual hobby

** No prize at all

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mirth and Woe: Fear Them

Fear Them

There was a time, about seven years ago, when I was a bit out of order. In fact, I was tremendously out of order, made the lovely Mrs Duck cry, and was exiled to the spare bed in the study downstairs, where I was to spend several weeks contemplating my crimes.

Fair enough, really, I was bang to rights, and took my solitary confinement like a man. Also, it meant I could stay on the internet half the night and look at loads and loads of pictures of naked ladies, which was, in retrospect half the reason I'd found myself in the slammer. You would think then, that I was fully deserving of any bad karma that might head my way, and you'd probably be right.

Being the enormous bastard I was at the time, I failed to notice what I was doing to the rest of my family, and my sweet, sweet children did whatever they thought they could do to protect their poor, neglected mother. Spawn of my loins, eh?

My children are angels. But, I discovered, they can be a pair of dreadful, dreadful schemers with nothing but the painful downfall of their terrible Daddy on their mind. And so it proved.

So, come one fateful Saturday morning, I swung myself out of bed, ready to face the day, and lowered my feet onto the cool parquet flooring.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" I said, unaccustomed as I was to extreme agony at that hour of the morning.


I inspected my poor, bleeding feet. Both of them. Where I soon discovered the source of my eye-watering agony. I had been neatly skewered by at least three long, extremely pointy map pins. The kind that we kept on a cork noticeboard in the kitchen. The kind which were now sticking out of my feet.

On closer inspection of my immediate environment, I realized that, perhaps, this might not have been some random accident of chance, where a few carelessly discarded pins had ruined my morning. Not at all. The floor around the bed in my cell / den of vice was littered with map pins, each and every one of them fixed to the floor with a small blob of Blu-Tack.

Despite my agonies, I thought it best not to rock the boat and actually blame anybody. It was, I reasoned, the very least I deserved in the circumstances, and any actual complaining would probably have me sleeping in the shed with the rabbit and several large spiders.

So, my silence bought anonymity for my attackers, who, for seven long years, went unpunished. Until, at last, the truth came out.

As the sun came up on an early morning in the west of Reading, two small, shadowy figures slipped into my room like junior ninjas. Armed only with map pins and Blue-Tack, they went about their silent work, and slipped away, waiting just outside the door to hear the results of their labour.

And it was not long before they were rewarded.


Oh, how they laughed.

Scaryduckling and Scaryduck Junior, who had clearly been brought up reading Sun Tzu's Art of War, crushed their enemy when he least expected, and ran away sniggering like, well, kids.

They were five and four back then. Seven years later, who knows what they are capable of. Fear them.

I love them. Really. I do.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Return to the 419 Project

Return to the 419 Project

In June 2003, drowning in a sea of spam, I kept a record of the Nigerian scam emails I received, to see how rich I'd be if it were genuine cash money. I kept a running total on these pages, and in the end I was offered some 621m pounds in that one calendar month, or twice the Gross Domestic Product of Djibouti. So, three years later, I ask: How much has inflation hit the industry?

Starting from the first of this month, I've kept every email from former African dictators, dodgy Nigerian oil executives, dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers and - a new one this - US Marines smuggling out their Iraqi war loot and totted up how much I'd get if each and every one of these honest-to-goodness internet entrepreneurs came good on their promises of filthy lucre.

A mere four days into the project, the current total is: 158,188, 455 pounds, so I can safely say, at this stage in the game, that this time next year Rodders, we'll be billionaires.

I've also decided to take on the other growth industry in online scamming - that of the flood of emails doing the rounds informing me that I've won the Dutch national lottery. For just a small administrative fee, I will be able to release my prize amounting to (insert impressive sounding prize fund here). I get about seven of these a day, which usually go straight into the trash bin.

Unfortunately, the net savvy amongst us might find it a bit of a laugh, but as long as they keep sending the emails, the scammers will continue to find victims, like this poor sap from my local rag. I was rather pissed off that the paper took the scammers' excuses at face value, and told them so in an email they might even publish. This being one of the reasons I'm making this Dutch Email Bastard Month.

Dutch Email Bastard Month Total after four days: 18,003,638 pounds from 29 emails.

The bunch of bastards.

Return to the Thursday Vote-o

Yarks! I rise, wraith-like from my sick-bed to write up a bunch of all-new Tales of Mirth and Woe for your collective disgust. Vote, then for:

* Take a Break: "It was when it was far, far too late that Michael Barrymore realised he'd sent the wrong draft of his book to the printers. Still, he was sure that 'Awight: Bummed to Death' would be a huge seller"

* Disney: "And finally," said David Cameron winding up his first conference speech as Tory leader, "May I congratulate my colleague Ann Noreen Widdecombe on her fantastic pair of pendulous norks? Oh, mama!" It was at that exact moment that the Conservatives finally became unelectable.

* Hospital: At last, the pressure off, Tony Blair could now relax in the final months of his premiership. He would, he resolved, attend Prime Minister's Questions this very Wednesday in his gimp mask, and Black Rod could either like it or lump it.

* Fear Them: The Monarchy was doomed. Caught running frantic lustful fingers over your ladybits was one thing. Frantic lustful fingers over your ladybits during Trooping the Colour was quite another. The Blues and Royals would never get the smell of anchovies out.

Vote! Vote me up!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

On revenge, again

On revenge, again

"Revenge is a dish best left sitting out on the kitchen table overnight, then only partially warmed through in the microwave the following morning and served as part of an executive breakfast buffet at the Labour party conference"

My sister-in-law had a messy splitting up with a boyfriend. He actually told her he was leaving - on her birthday - to move in with her (former) best friend, who he had been boffing for quite some time. And, oh, he said, all the furniture's mine, so I'm taking every last stick of it. Tomorrow, just as soon as I can hire a van.

The fool. He had given her time to plan and execute an awful act of revenge.

So: she and the charming Mrs Duck spent an entire evening sewing a large box of fish fingers inside his lovely new three-piece suite, which he collected the following day. Finding his new love nest already furnished, he gave it to his mum, who could never quite get rid of the smell.

I've done "Tell me your pointless act of revenge" threads before, but I'm having a spectacularly bad week, so tell me of your pointless acts of revenge. I shall pass them on to Voltan, who still thinks shaving a sleeping adversary's armpit for laughs is the acme of payback.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On the Box

On the Box

Media whore that I am, I've been on the telly once or twice.

I was in the front row at a football match, and when the Arsenal scored, I can clearly be seen miming the actions of a man with an eight-foot penis, while Nigel Winterburn gave me a look that said "You spastic". It was, I fully understand, a defining moment in my life.

Earlier this year I was on Al-Jazeera asking pointed yet nonsensical questions on the US President's big idea of dropping red-hot spiky bombs on a civilian TV station funded by a sovereign state. And a few years ago, I was interviewed by Russian TV as part of a feature on my place of work. I was captioned "S. Duck, British Spy". Marvellous.

Near misses:

Queueing for cup final tickets -

TV's Mike Bushell: "Are you queueing for cup final tickets?"
Me: "No, I'm waiting for a bus."
TV's Mike Bushell: "Oh."

Walkers Crisps TV Advert

Researcher: "Eat a handful, then tell the camera what you think."
Me: "They're fuckin' ace."
Researcher: "Oh."

Have you been on the box then? Crimewatch doesn't count.

Actually, no, Crimewatch DOES count. We were sat at home of an evening, and with little else to entertain us, we watched Nick Ross doing his best to put the fear of God into every pensioner in the country.

"Have you seen this man?" he asked as a low quality security camera image flashed onto the screen, "He's responsible for a number of frauds and thefts across the south of England, and police wish to talk to him about his role in a post office robbery."

"I've seen him", said Mrs Duck.

"Oh yes," says I, reaching for the phone.

"I went out with him at school."


I'm married to a TV celebrity gangster's moll.

Monday, October 02, 2006

On Irony

On Irony

There is something deeply ironic - karmic, even - that the day after I post a story on this site asking "What's the illest you've ever been?" I should then spend the entire weekend with the flu, drowning in my own mucus.

OK, it's not that ironic. Getting ill just after writing about illness is nowhere near as ironic as this: Rubbish Cornish pirates killed by better, heavily-armed African pirates. I bet their last words (apart from "Aaargh!") were "I don't suppose you see the deep irony of our perillous situation", which, of course, they said just before "Aaargh!".

Anyway, unlike the rest of the male population, I refuse to wallow in my illness and demand your sympathy. Oh no. I am a New Man, and, as such, I shall rise above it and concentrate only on the means of my recovery. A recovery based on the teachings of the Eastern mystic Dr Wang Ka, demanding a steady supply of naked photographs.

So, if you care for me, your esteemed author, plz to send recent undraped photograph. Male readers: plz to not send undraped photographs. Cash will do in lieu.

The irony being, of course, that I am in no fit state to appreciate any of the thousands of images flooding my inbox. Damn you Wang Ka!