Friday, August 31, 2007

Mirth and Woe: Guns (Remix)

Mirth and Woe: Guns (Remix)

This is one of my favourite stories which I first wrote several years ago, but was never entirely pleased with the end product. Here it is again, then, only with more swears and fewer spelling mistakes.

When I reached the ripe old age of fifteen, and following an unfortunate incident involving a couple of Girl Guides from Luton, I jacked in the Scouts and signed up for the Air Cadets.

The “Spacers” are essentially a youth organisation run by the British Royal Air Force to get kids interested in planes, flying and the military, in the hope that they might sign up for a career. They gave us real uniforms, free flying and gliding lessons, and if we were really, really good - guns.

We had a crumbling old commanding officer, but the guy who really ran the show was Warrant Officer Simmons. He was old-school career RAF, with a huge handle-bar moustache and was rock-hard. Discipline wasn’t the word for it. If your hair was too long, your uniform was wrong, if you forgot your place in the pecking order, or if your boots were dirty you were for the high jump.

He was also one of the lads, keep on his right side and he was a pleasure to be with. Simmo taught us swear-words and insults we never knew existed. He taught us how to make the officers' lives hell with “saluting traps”, and he also taught me how to shoot the bollocks off a fly from three hundred yards in the pissing rain. Hero.

Every other weekend we’d pile into an RAF bus and head up to the air station at Benson where we’d shoot at things.

The only problem with this was the weaponry. They gave the Spacers old Lee Enfield rifles which had (and I’m not kidding here) seen action in the trenches of World War One. There was absolutely no subtlety about them - they went off like cannons, kicked like a mule, and you’d be nursing a bruised shoulder at the end of the day.

I saw with my own eyes one particularly clueless kid from Slough Squadron (and did they ever have some thickies) trying to hold the weapon in front of him like a pistol. His first and last shot of the day broke his nose.

"I'm shot! I'm shot!" he screamed showering everyone with blood.

"You CUNT!" was all the sympathy he got.

How we laughed.

All that was to change in the early 80s. The British armed forces were to switch over to the much-maligned SA-80 rifle, a weedy thing made out of plastic, tinfoil and Lego bricks. This left them with a huge pile of unwanted L1A1 Self Loading Rifles and 7.62mm ammo.

In one of the Ministry of Defence's finer ideas, they gave them to the cadet corps.

It was a massacre.

I shot off so many rounds over a two month period, that I actually qualified as an RAF marksman, along with a reasonable number of my comrades. But, typically, there would be a price to pay...

The SLR is semi-automatic. Instead of creating a bastard great explosion and a donkey-kick like the old weapons, it used the expanding gases to eject the old cartridge and load the next one. All you’ve got to do it pull the trigger again and again, and rat-a-tat-a-tat, you get and impressive shower of empty shells flying out like the scene at the end of Rambo II. A twenty-round magazine would disappear in seconds and then, if you were a good little Spacer, they would let us have another go. Smashing.

Cadet Hawkins, bless him, tried his hardest, but the words "safety catch" and "assault with a deadly weapon" were a foreign concept to him. He was only about four foot something tall and four foot across, and the rifle was only slightly smaller than he was.

He lived in a local boarding school for "problem" children, mainly because his parents were sick to death of him trying to kill them. We named this school, as particularly cruel teenagers, The Blob Farm as they kept sending us recruits on the misunderstanding that we might be able to turn them into something vaguely resembling humans. Now, it turned out, was our turn to feel the wrath of Hawkins.

"HAWKINS!" bellowed Simmons at the mono-browed gorilla wearing an ill-fitting boiler suit, odd socks and ear defenders that also covered his eyes. "POINT YOUR WEAPON DOWN THE RANGE!"

"What’s that sir?" he said, swinging round, the lethal end sweeping an arc in front of a terrified crowd of spectators, who, as a man, dived for cover.

I remember the next comment clearly as if it was only yesterday.


Hawkins turned full circle, and just in time too. His finger tightened round the trigger and a hail of bullets ripped up the range, shooting up turf, stones, bits of wood, anything in its deadly path.

One bullet had ricocheted off something solid, proving that they really do go 'pyang-whoo-whoo-whooo' like they do in the movies, and thudded into the wall inches away from where Phil’s head had been moments earlier. I am reliably informed that he "shat his pants". Join the club, mate.

[You may, at this point, wish to endow yourself of the mental image of a number of my cadet comrades being sick inna nearby hedge out of sheer, unadulterated terror. This is optional, and your mileage my vary.]

The firing stopped. Empty cartridges tinkled onto concrete. There was a deathly silence. The smoke cleared, and we all staggered to our feet in a daze. Out of twenty rounds, nineteen had flown off to all corners of the range and back again. The twentieth had scored a perfect bulls-eye on the target. Hawkins put his weapon down, checked the chamber was empty, just as he had been taught, and shrugged.

"Sorry. Sorry, sir."

Simmons went volcanic.


"I wasn't ready, sir."

"YOU FUCKING SPACKER!" chipped in Cadet Cpl S. Duck.

"YEAH ...err... what Duck S* said. Are you trying to get us killed? Do we look like fucking Argies?"

"No, sir."

"Then fuck off out of my sight."

"Do I get another go, then?

No. No he did not get another fucking go. Ever.

* I realised this week that nobody has called me 'Duck S' for well over twenty years. My brother, who was also a Spacer, was known as 'Duck N'.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

On inserting foot into mouth

On inserting foot into mouth

I'll be the first to admit that my listening tastes are, frankly, crap. I had - and still have - a liking for the late 70s/early 80s New Romantic movement, and the sounds that went with it. Sounds such as the phrase "Can I borrow some of your eye-liner?"

This culminated in my paying genuine cash money for the entire Ultravox back-catalogue and the unfortunate playing to death of "Einstein-a-go-go" as if it were the greatest song ever written.

Fortunately, I had friends. Friends who were into real music. Friends who didn't get The Muppet Show album for their 13th birthday from their parents. Friends who owned - and could play - a double-neck electric guitar with optional mandolin attachment.

They took me, one incredibly hot summer's day, to Milton Keynes, and sat me in front of a stage where Jethro Tull, Gary Moore and Marillion took turns at singing songs.

Marillion - the headline act touring their huge Misplaced Childhood album - came up, and did their two massive hits Kayleigh and Lavender as the second and third songs of their set.

"What a load of crap," I said loudly. "They've blown it. What kind of band plays their best songs at the beginning? Completely blown it."

Everyone laughed at me. It was a large festival crowd in a very large field, and the band reaching a particularly quiet passage, my foghorn voice carried for miles.

Everyone laughed at me. And by everyone, I mean everyone.

Misplaced Childhood, you see, is one of those concept pieces that the band only ever played complete, beginning to end. Kayleigh and Lavender are tracks two and three, part of the curtain-raiser for the rest of what is a remarkable album. I did not know this.

Of course, I know that now as it is one of my favourite albums.

What a dick.

Because I cannot be arsed to run a vote-o this week, confess your best foot-in-mouth moments.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On trying to get blood from a stone

On trying to get blood from a stone

"Hello, Lloyds TSB Useless Workshy Cunts of an Insurance Company, how can I help you?"

"I'd like to make a claim on my leaking roof."

"Yes, thank you sir, in your dreams. Can you tell me when the loss occured?"

"We first noticed it on May 30th. It's just got worse since."

"I'm sorry sir, we can't help you."

"Why not?"

"Our Met Office records show the wind speed was only 33mph that day."


"It has to be 46mph to pay out on a leaking roof."

"Muh?" and "Pardon?" and "Water?" and, finally managing to rally, "You are having a laugh, aren't you?"

"I'm sorry, sir, those are the regulations."

"The new regulations? The ones you just made up because you're losing your shirts on these floods?"


"I've got news for you, chap - I didn't buy a house on a flood plain or at the end of a wind tunnel. Do I get a rebate?"


"Why didn't you buggers tell me I had bought the Can't-Claim-At-All Policy? Frankly, it would have saved me from calling you, and I'd be up there fixing it now, dicing with death like Rod Hull's last night on this Earth.

"I'd call you thieves, but I have made it my life's work to remove every last biro and paying-in slip from every Lloyds branch I visit."

I got the call centre monkey to laugh. Small victories.

It turns out the roof is a result of Useless Workshy Cunt of a Builders all-round incompetence, and I've still got to sort out a date when a large, brown, steaming package appears through his letterbox. Damn CCTV cameras - you can't even carry out a petty personal vendetta these days without getting a visit from the law.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On wrong numbers

On wrong numbers

I have, in all these years as a bona fide grown-up, always seemed to get second-hand phone numbers.

When I first got my own place in Reading, British Telecom kindly granted me a number that was previously used by a driving school.

"Hello, is that the L-of-a-Scary-Ride driving school?"

"I'm afraid they've got a new business number. It's 0800 696969"


"No, piss off."


"Yes. Yes it is. What time would you like us to pick you up?"

After several months of this madness, we complained to BT and got a new number. It was, fuck my luck, just one digit removed from Pizza Hut, a digit fat-fingered spackers found with unnerving precision on a Friday night.

"Awight mate - issh that Pizza Hut?"

"Sorry mate, their number's 407820. You dialled it wrong."


"No. Piss off."


"Yes. Yes it is. Can I take your order please?"

Of course, it couldn't last. We moved house and got a new number.

"Hello, is that Abbey Removals?"


OK, said British Telecom, our bad. Have a new number.

"Is that the RSPB?"

"Why yes. Yes it is. And today's special is buy a duck, get a free grebe. And an egg. We like egg."

"You're not the RSPB at all, are you?"

"No. Sorry. Do you still want egg?"

"You're strange."


So sweet, the sound of silence.

Monday, August 27, 2007

On inappropriate text messages

On inappropriate text messages

The SMS message.

The cutting edge of man's ingenuity, keeping citizens in touch with a grammar-free communication service wherever they are on the planet.

97 per cent of world diplomacy is now carried out via text message. A potential nuclear showdown with Iran was recently defused when President Ahmadinejad send a last minute "LOL" just as the bombers were taking off from an airfield just outside Tel Aviv.

With such technology comes responsibility. The standard text message should not be used in the domestic situation, for example, to inform a daughter - holidaying with her grandparants - that her pet Crackers Aguilera has shuffled off this mortal coil in the company of the Grim Squeaker, and is lying at the bottom of her cage, stiff as a board, covered in maggots and looking like a used tampon.


I think we handled that little family hiccup pretty well, if you ask me.

And no, I didn't send it. Oh, Mrs Duck...

Poor, dead Crackers Aguilera. The Duck family Boot Hill is getting alarmingly full these days.

Saturday, August 25, 2007



> Carrier Detected

Password: *******

> Login Successful. Welcome back Mr. Duck.

Check stock.

> Stock check = 300 and counting. Nearly ready to take over the world.Courtesy of the Rikaitch

Check sick inna hedge pictures

> One sick inna hedge picture, taken at Babbacombe Model Village, Devon.

>Illegal IP. Trace started. Tracking, 3... 2... 1... IP Trace found. Illegal User Rikaitch.

Remove IP

IP disconnec*%$))HO

+Carrier Lost+

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mirth and Woe: The Morning After

Mirth and Woe: The Morning After

One of my more recent stories tells the grim tale of a grown-up party in our Twyford home.

As kids, we were banished upstairs and away from the action, sneaking down to wreak drunken, vomit-laden revenge in the only way we knew how. Mostly by getting drunk and bowking rich, brown vomit all over the house, guests and dog.

It was not, in retrospect, my finest hour. Just par for the course, to be honest.

The story of that particular party - marking, I think, my old dad's fortieth birthday - did not reach a conclusion with my hurling partially digested Watney's Party Seven and vol-au-vents all over the guests' coats. Alas, there was more.

"I've never been so embarrassed in my life," said my mum, as she mopped up chunder with a reeking cloth and squeezing it into a bucket, all the time trying not to get it down the front of her best party frock.

This was clearly untrue. We, as her offspring, had embarrassed her far worse than that, not least in an unfortunate incident during a day-trip to the Natural History Museum which resulted in our being dragged out by our ears and driven by taxi all the way to Hammersmith, just to put some distance between us and aggrieved museum staff.

We were merely getting warmed up for a long weekend of embarrassment and awful, awful behaviour.

The party, even as we tried to sleep off our boozy excesses - kept going well into the wee small hours with increasingly boisterous singing of songs about a "Stupid Dicky-Di-Dildo" coming from downstairs.

Confined to our rooms, there was nothing we could do about it, except to appear in the living room, clutching a teddy and looking wan in the hope they might get the message. They did not.

Morning came, and at the unearthly hour of lunchtime, I was the first to emerge, nursing a minor pre-teen hangover. Only one thing for it - hair of the dog.

Luckily, there was plenty of hair for this particular dog, as the booze lay where it fell, and joy of joy - a hardly touched Party Seven at room temperature. And the jackpot - half a bottle of Martini. And several half finished gin-and-tonics. And something that was probably whisky. And lots of vodka. And three cans of cooking lager. And enough crisps, biscuits and cake things to feed a small, drunken army.

The Party Seven, if you didn't know, was a bloody huge tin of beer that held seven pints of Watney's fizziest piss. The clue is in the name - you were supposed to share it. I don't think many people actually did.

After studying my bounty for a while, I decided that my breakfast/lunch would be this: all of it. But, charitable fellow that I am, I left some over for my brother. It would have been rude not to.

At this point, dear reader, I imagine you are expecting me to tell you that I got as drunk as a little beetle. No. I did not. Pacing myself like a pro, I remained strangely sober, with the Sainsbury's own-brand pretzels soaking up the worst of the booze.

Vodka has always had a strange effect on me. I can put away gallons of the stuff and not display a single trace of inebriation. Give it five or six hours, however, and BLAM - drunk as a skunk's very drunk skunky friend.

"La lala la la laa la la you're me best friend hic la la laaa!"

Unfortunately, these five-or-six-hours-later coincided with a visit to polite company - good friends who were the principal guests at the soiree of the previous day.

I still remember clearly the exact moment I went from relatively normal eleven-year-old lad to raving, foul-mouthed drunk. It was as their front door swung open, and the smell of spicy cooking flew up my nostrils.

"I don't feel..."

And then I was sick inna hedge.


Actually, only a bit of it went into a hedge.

The rest showered over the threshold, over Maureen's best slippers, across the parquet flooring and decorated the side of their tropical fish tank. Tropical fish, as a rule, do not react well to vodka-laden vomit, so there was a certain amount of excitement and threats to my wilting body.

"Scary. Home. Now."


I trudged home, the sorry, zig-zig walk of the utterly pissed, stopping only to fill another hedge with the contents of my stomach and to follow through in my second best trousers.

Luckily, there was still vodka and Party Seven left when I got home to a darkened house. Result.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Things you thought were funny when you were fourteen, but were, in fact, horribly tragic and not funny at all

Things you thought were funny when you were fourteen, but were, in fact, horribly tragic and not funny at all

Excuse: I was a kid. And a retard.

No.1: The time the girl in the electric wheelchair got her throttle stuck, running horribly amok around the school playground until she crashed into the Sports Hall.

We shouldn't have laughed, but the whole screaming, shrieking chase was strangely compelling and the conclusion horribly, sickeningly funny.

She never returned to school, and the access ramps they put in ended up as an out-of-hours escape-from-the-caretakers stunt factory.

I saw her ten years later, when she sold me my eighties-tastic arctic bomber jacket in Top Man, dispelling once and for all the playground rumour that she was dead.

"We thought you were dead," I said.

"You prick," she replied.

And so to the Thursday Vote-o

Four stories for you to vote for, including a 12-inch remix version of a Scaryduck classic for the benefit of my new-found gun-toting readership.

* The Morning After: "Tropical fish, as a rule, do not react well to vodka-laden vomit."

* Fishing, and why it is shit: "I emptied my bowels over a post nuclear wasteland near Bognor Regis where people go to die, increasing property values immensely"

* Launcher: "We turned to the elderly lesbian down the road, who held us hostage and made us weed her garden. Kinky."

* Guns (12" Remix version): "You utter, utter, utter, total spack-handed CUNT!"

Vote-me-up then, and you might wish to tell me that I am a bad person for laughing at those far less fortunate.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On inappropriate crushes

On inappropriate crushes

Excuse: I was a kid.

Actually, I was fifteen and ought to have known better.

Good God, I was fifteen, studying like a girlie swot towards my O-Levels, and I had the hots for a children's TV character.

While my contemporaries were pulling themselves blind over pages 210-240 of the Grattan catalogue, before graduating to page three of the Sun and the fold-out delights of Escort magazine, I was going all doe-eyed and inexplicably filthy over a dead Russian.

A hub a hub a hub a hub a hub hubAh yes, Nadia Popov hay-fever suffering dead person from Rentaghost. Bloody Rentaghost. Trouser-rending lust does strange things to fifteen-year-old youths, and The Honourable Susan Frances Harmer Nicholls made me watch every last episode of an increasingly camp, desperate kids' sitcom.

I like to look back on this sorry period as a transition in my life. A transition from fancying dead Russians, to having the hots for the none-more-alive Janet Ellis on Blue Peter.

Of course, now that TV's Ms Popov (deceased) has become TV's Audrey Roberts, I now cannot watch Coronation Street without an inward squirm of embarrassment.

Luckily, now that her lustful advances have seen off Fred Elliott, she will be mine, all mine!

I am not mad.

I mean: tell me about your inappropriate crushes. I promise not to collate them into some form of hastily cobbled together dossier for blackmailing purposes. Honest.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tales of Mirth and Woe which may never, ever get told

Tales of Mirth and Woe which may never, ever get told

I have decided, in my wisdom of the years, to compile a list of those Tales of Mirth and Woe which may never, ever get told. This is mainly because should I ever include them on this site of a Friday, I may be condemned by my slanderous peers of telling a pack of complete and utter lies.

Here then, in a fit of publish-and-be-damned is a list of school teachers who made my school days such wonderful, wonderful fun.

Dr Shipman: Biology teacher, whose lessons, attended by an ever-dwindling number of pupils were marked by a gritty, yet perplexing realism. Left to pursue his dream of getting into the Guinness Book of Records

Frau Schuster: Derived a series of punishments in her German lessons for the incorrect use of the definite article. Woe betide if you should use the nominative instead of dative, as transgressors would be locked in a stock cupboard for up to a week, with only handfuls of rancid meat by way of sustenance.

The aftermath of Paul Hackett's inadvertent use of a genitive "des" during her time of the month had to be covered up by the board of governors.

Mr Sakamoto: Replacement German teacher. Could not speak a word of German. Or English, for that matter. Was given a lift home by Dr Shipman on his third day, was never seen again.

Colonel Llewellyn: Psychopathic Welsh gym teacher and former all-in wrestler. He only managed to teach one lesson, as nobody told him that "to-the-death" bare-knuckle fights were frowned upon in the 1980s.

Prof Dawkins: Religious Education, whose knowledge of the spiritual consisted only of the practical exploitation of the Cthulhu mythos and its use in the complete destruction of Portsmouth Football Club. A man for whom the phrase "split from arse to tit" was invented.

Father Cthulhu: Prof Dawkins' replacement. A devout Catholic priest, his appointment marking the darkest day in our school's history.

Mr Collins, aka 'The Penguin': Forced an entire metalwork class to take acid and watched, laughing until the urine ran down his false leg, as thirteen-year-old stoners ran amok with lathes, drills and blowtorches, leaving dozens with hideous injuries and deformities.

What a terrible, terrible SHIT.

Ah, the best days of our lives.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Oh Lordy! It's the return of 'Offensive Productions Present'

Oh Lordy! It's the return of 'Offensive Productions Present'

Students of the law of diminishing returns clearly states [and I quote] "That Scaryduck chap isn't as funny as he used to be." And they'd be right - nobody laughs at my comedy Maxine Carr impression these days, and every gag I come up with seems to involve Ann Noreen Widdecombe's wizened fallopian tubes.

So. We return to our past triumphs where we laughed and laughed and LOLed and ROFLed at Nazi TV, Communist TV, Chinese TV, and, fuck me, Tourettes TV.

Off we go again, with an exploration of the television scheduled offered to our friends on the Indian sub-continent. And, to avoid accusations of racism, I am indebted to a former Big Brother contestant who will be your host today:

"Hello. I am TV's Shilpa Poppadum and I am excellent. Plz to post your Indian and Asian TV programmes in the Spk yr Brains box. LOL!"

* East is EastEnders
* Mary, Queen of Cornershops
* Deal or New Delhi

* Bombaywatch
* Nepal Creatures Great and Small
* Scooby Kathman-doo, or, Scooby Hindu

* Only Fools and Elephants
* Sex and the Chapatii
* Faizabad Towers

* Bangalore and Order
* Top of the Poppadums
* Masala, She Wrote

And films as well, just so I can do:

* Pilau Talk
* It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Madras World
* Bengal the President's Men

Well? Suggest-me! Suggest-me-good!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Today's tale of mirth and woe is brought to you by Misty!


Back in my late teens, some friends and I decided to do the hippy thing and travel round Europe in an ancient car, busking and finding work as we went to keep us in luxuries such as food and alcohol.

We started off from France and wended our way through the back roads via Southern Germany and Austria, until we ended up near the French border again, somewhere in Italy.

It was a wonderful summer's day and we decided to spoil ourselves and buy all sorts of delicious goodies from a market, and go have a picnic at a beautiful place we'd spotted en route.

The spot was miles from anywhere and we scampered up a rather steep hill until we reached a field on a plateau, filled with wild flowers and surrounded by pine trees, the only sign of civilization being a ranshackled cabin at the far end of the field nestling in the start of the forest.

We unpacked our meal and settled back in the lush grass to feast in the sunshine and silence. Once our appetites were sated we decided to have a nice long rest from travelling, and grabbing a blanket, book and bottle of wine, I wombled off to do some sunbathing.

As there were no signs of human life around (other than my friends) I decided to strip down to bikini bottoms, and as the warm summer breeze played on my skin, I nestled down for a nap, the only sounds being the buzz of insects, chirping of crickets, and the lull of my friends chatting and playing guitars.

All was good and beautiful in the world.

Until the cows appeared.

From where they appeared we were unsure, but next we knew, there they were. About twenty of the beasts, standing at the far end of the field by the cabin, staring at us as they chewed the cud, and probably thinking up plans for world domination and the annihilation of all humans.

"Do you reckon they're safe?" asked one of my friends.
"Of course they are, they're just cows" replied the other.
"But I've heard that cows have been known to attack sometimes" said the worried one.
"Don't be daft, that's bulls you're thinking of" came the reply.

There were a few minutes of silence from my friends and the cows until the first friend asked another question.

"So how can you tell the difference between cows and bulls then?"

I tried not to laugh at that point.

"Cows have udders, bulls don't. Also, bulls have horns and are larger than cows generally" came the reply.
"Oh. So does that mean that that cow that's getting closer to us is a bull then?"

It was at then that I decided to have a look for myself.

It was most definitely a bull, and a fuc really large one at that. Not only was it enormous, it looked rather annoyed to find us in his field.

"What do you think we should do?" the first friend asked as the bull started to stamp it's hooves and lower it's head.
"Should we just lie down and play dead, or what...?"
"Erm... no..." came the reply. "I think we should leg it as fast as we can back to the car..."

I had just enough time to throw my clothes and so back into the blanket and pick it up before the bastard charged.

All of us ran as fast as we could after a large meal and rather a lot of vino, which given that we were being chased by something that wanted to stamp on us and/or gore us to death, was pretty damn quick.
We reached the slope of the hill again, and half ran, half tumbled down in our efforts to get away.
Very fortunately the bull decided we weren't worth the effort of running down a steep slope after us, but momentum and terror carried us down to the bottom and back to the road.

My friends were slightly in the lead and made it back to the sanctuary of the car, but as I got to the roadside - still nearly naked and barefoot, clutching only a blanket for modesty, the only car to go along that road that day, chose that precise moment to go past.

I stood there, trying to cover as much of me as possible, as the car carrying a family with young children and an astonished set of parents slowed down and gawped at me.
All I could think of to say was 'Hi, nice weather, huh?' as one of my friends was sick inna shrub, and the other laughed.

We decided not to go back for the remains of the picnic, just in case.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

On breaking wind

On breaking wind

"Our Father, who art in heaven"

School assembly, cross-legged on a wooden floor.

"Give us this day, your daily bread."

God, it echoes.

"Forgive us our tresssspasssessss"

And everybody, but everybody knows it is you sitting at the epicentre.

"The power and the glory."

Ah, beans, beans the musical fruit.

"And deliver us from evil," said Mr George, reciting the Lord's Prayer, winding it up with the now familiar "Forever and ever..."



Oh, sweet Jesus, I am so, so sorry.

* Tomorrow, I shall be mostly putting on my socks and sandals and heading out for a bit of train spotting. Misty will be in charge of the Friday tale of mirth and woe, and I have demanded nudity and/or sick inna hedge.

Nothing can possibly go wrong.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On personal embarrassment

On personal embarrassment

So, you're working late at office, long after everybody else has gone home. There are reports to compile, invoices to print and the company pay-run to process.

You have already dined well on the fine, fine set meal for one produced by Lee Fung's Chinese Takeaway over the road, but now you have an itch.

That shop is calling you.

That corner shop a brisk walk away that opens late and comes with an impressive top shelf with magazine for every conceivable - legal - peccadillo.

Suffering from some sort of jazz-mag-buying-compulsive-mental-disorder, you find yourself trolling down there on autopilot, shelling out genuine cash money on a copy of Tits in Bondage and bringing it back to the air conditioned comfort of the computer room for a good, hard peruse.

A peruse that is interrupted - at a vital Kleenex moment - by the arrival of the security guard.

Caught in the glare of his Maglite, the only words you can manage are "Just switching off for the night - be right with you", fully aware that your trousers are still undone and hanging around your knees.

Join the dots for maximum embarrassment.

This didn't happen to me. It was a friend. Yes. A friend.

What, then, was the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to a close friend whose name you have now forgotten?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On being time poor

On being time poor

I'm always being asked to take on extra work, do favours for people, sign up to new social networking websites or - God help me - spend more time with my family these days.

There are, sadly, not enough hours in the day for all these commitments. They would, I have worked out, clash with my regularly scheduled loafing, not to mention finding the time for writing Mirth, Woe and two book projects.

Unless somebody gets up into space and slows down the Earth to 36-hour days, I fear I might have to cut down of the loafing. And this will not do.

I've got little enough time to do things these days as it is, and can barely find thirty minutes for a quick hand shandy at the launderette. A task which is tough enough as it is, given the dearth of yummy mummies using the facilities these days, forced out as they are by skank-faced harridans with tattooed breasts.

Worse, and despite my best attempts to travel back to last Monday, I can never get enough AAA batteries for my Time Machine, which now sits, forlornly, in the boot of my car, flux capacitor as dead as Jade Goody's career.

"Takes 3,000 AAA batteries and a PP-9" it said on the box, which I didn't read when I bought the thing at a car boot sale in Yeovil.

"Batteries not included," it continued, the power-crazed bastard.

All is not lost, I might be able to get a fiver for it at Cash Converters. If - and this is a big 'if' - if I can find the time to get down there.

Has anybody got 4,500 volts handy?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Worst Wedding Disco in the World... EVER!

The Best Worst Wedding Disco in the World... EVER!

Love Shack. Fucking Love Shack. This is a song over which I will happily commit murder, and I would get off on grounds of provocation.

Why then, do the jokers than run wedding discos always, always play Love Shack? Is there a contractual obligation, or do people sidle up to the DJ booth, ask "Got any Spandau Ballet?" and get the B-52s by way of a collective punishment for all of us?

I went to a wedding this very weekend - the same clan that brought us the infamous Wedding From Hell - and, naturally, the bastard played Love Shack, so I let the tyres down on his Transit van and shoved his two-turntables-and-a-microphone where the sun don't shine.

I can tell you the exact moment the occaion turned into a riot. It was during the speech given by the bride's father: "She's been a wonderful daughter. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth."

Drunken voice from the back: "And she's spreadable!"

Things went downhill from there.

So, and getting back on track, instead of giving money to a bloke with three red lights in a box and a bubble machine swiped from the Early Learning Centre, why not just pull together a compilation album to welcome the happy couple to a future of joyless drudgery, misery and desperate flirting with a supermarket cashier? Saves time, money, and Misty's already suggested "Too Drunk to Fuck", as usual.

Ladies an' Gennelmen - your suggestions please, for The Best Worst Wedding Disco in the World... EVER!

Tammy Wynette - D.I.V.O.R.C.E.
Soft Cell - Tainted Love

Ugly Kid Joe - Everything about you
John Lennon - I'm losing you

U2 - I still haven't found what I'm looking for
Dead Kennedys - Too drunk to fuck

The Clash - Should I stay or should I go now
Kaiser Chiefs - I predict a riot

Suggest-me-up! Quickie divorce for the best one.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Mirth and Woe: Dare

Mirth and Woe: Dare

Dare: Not just a classic album by the Human League, but a game everyone can play!

This is a tale that can only have one ending: woe.

"I dare you," said Ernie to his quarter-witted side-kick and schoolmate Ju-Vid in a particularly dull maths class, "I dare you to say 'Fuck' to Mrs Smith."

"You're on."

It was to be a game of swearing in plain sight, then. Swearing so brazen that you either get clean away with it, or get detention for a month.

Either way, there's top playground kudos for even attempting it.

So: "Who can tell me the formula for solving quadratic equations?" she asked, the sunlight flowing through her floaty diaphonous dress, to the rapt attention of at least fifty per cent of the class.

One hand, straight in the air. Somewhat surprisingly, as it is the one hand that has never gone up in the entire school year.

"Ju… Julian?" Mrs Smith offered, somewhat surprised.

"Yeah, miss. It's …errr…"

"In your own time, Julian."

"Got it. X equals minus B plus or minus the square root of B-squared minus 4AC over 2 fucking B, miss."

"Over WHAT?"

"X equals minus B plus or minus the square root of B-squared minus 4AC over 2B, miss, what I said."

"Right. Yes. Right. I just thought you said... err... nothing."


Buoyed by our crushing defeat of the powers-that-be, the dares just got worse.

"Miss? Is it true you're a lesbian?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

"How do you do it, then?"

And: "What's the difference between a dildo and a vibrator, Miss?"

Poor, poor Miss Orton and her comfortable shoes - we could play her like a piano, and any Home Economics lesson would become a teenage boy's dream - down and dirty descriptions of red hot lesbian sex, straight from the mouth of a practitioner of the Sapphic Arts.


But still, the game of Dare rumbled on.

"Go on, Seany," said Ju-Vid, "I dares you to go on the school roof."

"Been there, done that."

"OK - race you across the science block. You go over the top, I'll run round."

And Seany might have won, too, had he not put his foot through a skylight. Caught like a Treen in a disabled space cruiser, and sentenced to a month of cruel, unusual and ironic punishments.


Alas, we should have quit while we were still ahead. But no, we did not.

"Come on then, Ernie. I dares ya… I dares you to… err… eat a toilet cake."

"You sick, sick bastard, Scary. I'll die."

"Aaah, no you won't. One bite then, just spit it out."

"You're on. Cost ya, though."

"How much?"

"Ten. No. Twenty. Fifty."


The bet was set at the nose-bleedingly high price of fifty new pence. We spat, shook and it was all official. There would be no backing out now.

Several of the round bluey-white cakes were procured from the cleaners.

Our school, keen to get the menial tasks done on the cheap, and with a ready pool of Eastern European migrants still two decades away, went for that other cheap market - sixth formers. Sixth formers who got at much as ten pounds per week, and were happy to take the cash and blow it all at the village bottle shop. For an insultingly low bribe, Ernie's brother came good with the gear, and we met up, next day, behind the Music Block.

One each, except for Manky Dave, who already had two of his own - fished, half dissolved out of the urinals by the language labs.

"Three… Two… One… Go!"

Immediately followed by: "Oh Jesus! This is foul!"

And: "Fuck me - it burns! It burns!"

And: "Hardly tastes like piss at all, really."

And, predictably: "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarch!"

And: "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARCH!", projectile style, all over the Music Block windows where a horrified Mrs Clarke had abandoned all attempts to conduct the Fourth Year Girls' Choir to take in the terrible vision unfolding outside.

Busted. Busted bad. But on the bright side, only one person needed stomach pumping.

The next day saw a special school assembly overseen by the vicar. His sermon: "The perils of drug-taking."

"Succumb not," the old duffer preached, all the time staring at our motley band of bog cube eaters, "Succumb not to the temptation of misguided friends! Only the fool experiments with forbidden substances! Kids - JUST SAY NO!"

Then he sat down to a barely audible yelp.

Twenty minutes earlier: "Hey, Ju-Vid. I dares ya… I dares ya to put this drawing pin on the vicar's chair."

Three-two. Home win.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The best Christmas Walford's ever seen

The best Christmas Walford's ever seen

Following on from the success of my LOL-tastic condensed films, I am undertaking my largest project to date: the BBC's long-running, cheery tale of everyday chirpy cockney follk, EastEnders.

Of course, boiling 22 years of murder, misery and Queen Vic knees-ups down to several hundred carefully-chosen words is bound to turn me old, wrinkled and bitter like Pauline Fowler on the blob, so I will be needing a little help.

Your help, otherwise the whole thing will just contain thirty-seven instances of "Shut it, slag", jokes about Ethel's Little Willy and people going LOLOLOL at Grunt Mitchell's tiny trouser snake. This would be entertainment in itself, but not the neat précis of life in Walford (Twin town: Gomorrah) I was looking for.

This, then, as a sneaky peak at the half-baked work-in-progress, is what I've done to date. So far it lacks plot, direction, and any kind of sense whatsoever.

Help me out. Help.

EastEnders - The whole 22 years


"Shut it shalaaag!"

"You're barred! Shlaaaag"

"Oh Arthur!"

*goes mental* *dies*

"Hello, I am Tucker Jenkins and I am excellent. However, I have got the Good AIDS and will die any minute. Whoops, there I go."

"Oooh, Mr Popodopoulos"



D. Den: *dies, again*

"Nice cup of tea"

"You shlaaaaag, Well'ard"

M. McCutcheon: This is going to be the best Christmas Walford's ever seen. Oh. I am dead, and appearing in variety.


I. Beale: Plz to not flush my head dn teh shitta!

P. Mitchell: LOLOLZ!

I. Beale: ONOZ! *gargle*

You're right. Maybe I should tackle something a little bit simpler. Coronation Street. Or Top Gear.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pimping Biffo

Pimping Biffo

TV's Mr Biffo - the evil genius behind Channel 4's Digitiser magazine, and the man who got the c-word into an EastEnders script has a book out. It's a rather good book, and I should know because I got to read it before it was published. For free. FREE!

Confessions of a Chatroom Freak confirms the awful realisation that the internet exists for one thing only - to get desperate men laid. Men, who will battle against the fact that the "lady" they are chatting to is both completely bonkers and looks like a bloke in a bad wig because there's still a chance of seeing her naked before the evening's out. That lady is loopylisa21f, and the resulting book is very, very funny.

Rather than go on an actual book tour to promote it, he is doing the rounds of the blogs giving his tome the good, hard pimping it deserves. So, here he is, and he's not even bothered to dress up as a lady:

So, after everything you told me in that chatroom, it turns out you're really a bloke. Live and learn. Is there something deeply Freudian about the development of LoopyLisa, or am I just asking this question to make myself sound intellectual?

I’m sure there’s something profoundly Freudian about the entire nonsense, and I’m certain that the book is a by-product of some dark and fractured part of my psyche. That said, on the surface anyway, it is just a stupid humour book, but it would still be nice if people took some sort of message away from it. It’s juvenile toilet humour with a point. Of sorts.

The point being that, contrary to the perceived wisdom that folk can pretend to be anyone they want online, its in our everyday, real-world lives where we’re wearing the mask, and the Internet just exposes us for who we truly are. Just browse any Internet forum for a few hours if you want to experience the true ugliness of humanity.

God on a bum biscuit… I’ve actually just bored myself with that answer. Just like you, Scary-D, I’ve tried to make myself sound intellectual, when in reality the book is filled with references to poo poo and blow-offs. Come and get it, kids!

I remember the minor production crisis when you decided to pull a couple of chats with the most unbelievable racist out of the book. Were there any other chats excised on grounds of taste and decency? It's pretty clear that some of the blokes at the other end are typing with one hand...

Well… I wouldn’t call it a crisis, minor or otherwise. It was simply part of the editing process. Apart from the racist chats – which were exorcised more on the grounds that they weren’t funny, than anything else (and that’s my fault, because I think I was too shocked to type in the funnies) – I don’t think anything was left out on taste grounds.

There were plenty that didn’t make it for a variety of reasons, mainly because they didn’t go anywhere, or were just a bit rubbish.

The most shocking ones – though I have to say that thus far it’s only been my poor mother who has admitted to being appalled by the book – are all in there. If I do a sequel, and I’m already thinking about doing one, providing someone wants to publish it, I’m possibly going to try and tackle various types of bigotry head-on. Except that this time I’ll be slightly more prepared for it.

Having done the sexxus I want to dig away at some other parts of the psyche, in a way that only online chats can do. While still making references to smelly bum-mess. Obviously.

In the name of research, I've actually put up adverts on web personals sites as women of varying age, number of limbs and degree of desperation. Each and every one of them has garnered at least one reply featuring a photo of a man's cock. Does/did Lisa have the same problem? (Obviously, it's not a problem if you actually like men's cocks. I'm quite attached to mine, but that's as far as the fascination goes.)

Research? Oh, Scaryduck… At least I had the excuse of writing a book! *cough*

But anyhow… yeah. I think I got sent a couple of cock-shots, but I’m not sure those chats made it into the book. Actually, I say that, but I think one of them did, and I edited out the section where he sent me his winky. It’s sort of difficult to do that unless you can show the image – and we’ve had enough trouble getting publicity for the book as it is, what with its risqué nature, without including photos of male members.

When I first started I did do a few chats with a friend, where we let the guy chat to us on webcam. There was one where he started out by insisting he was single, but when I saw the pile of toys behind him it was fairly apparent that he was married with kids. I found that quite depressing.

I actually knew one of the people who replied to one of my sex-o-matic small ads (I worked in the same civil service office as him a few years ago, and he was a complete sex case then). Did you ever have one of these near death experiences while Loopylisa-ing? God help anyone if you actually arranged a meet-up.

No no no. Thank god. Though – as you may be aware – the first LoopyLisa chat was an act of revenge upon someone who I was once very good friends with. I’m not terribly proud of doing that, but in my defence I was in my very early 20s, probably. What’s more, he was nowhere near as disgusting as most of the men I chatted to in the course of writing the book, and with hindsight was almost a gentleman. Although I did learn how often he masturbated, which is a piece of information I’d rather have avoided.

And I can't believe that no-one else has asked this yet: What's Mrs Biffo's take on all this? Is "I'm researching a book" really a valid excuse? Didn't work for Pete Townshend, did it?

Well, arguably it did work for Pete Townshend, because he’s still at large, and playing Glastonbury.

But anyway, Mrs Biffo – whoever the hell she may be – is quite used to me dressing up in stupid outfits. That said, it’s rare that I dress as a woman at home (though if you look at the photos of LoopyLisa I’m hardly dressed as a woman – I’m wearing a sort of wetsuit thing). Though I do own a Wolverine from the X-Men costume. And a gorilla suit. And a set of Star Wars stormtrooper armour. The best costume I ever owned was this sort of inflatable pumpkin outfit. I’d puff it up, and it used to make my dog go mental. Which really was a treat to see.

My eldest daughter did walk in when I was having the photos taken, and walked straight back out again after muttering “Other dads don’t do this – why do you have to?”. But my wife? No. I don’t think she’s even read the entire book. Perhaps she’s in denial.

Now that yourself and Hairs - the entire Digitiser massive - are published authors, are there any more books in the pipeline? Would Lisa and her bonkers backstory stand on her own as a character in fiction?

Well, Hairs has a new book out later this year. And this time I didn’t even give him the idea for it.

Interestingly, we were talking last week about doing Biffovision as a book, now that BBC3 has officially, and somewhat inevitably, passed on the series. We thought it’d work as a sort of spoof 1980s TV series tie-in annual. And we probably will give it a go if we can find a publisher, but it’s looking more likely that we’ll take what we learned from Biffovision – basically, that there’s a limit to how experimental and surreal stuff you can get past commissioners these days – and try and do something else for telly. Maybe something animated. There is a school of thinking that the Digi-esque stuff we do together works best when it’s either written down, or being performed by animated characters.

Aside from that I’d like to do a sequel to Confessions, providing this one sells well enough to justify it. I would love – absolutely LOVE – to write an entire book based upon Lisa’s blogs, because it’s such a liberating, ludicrous, stream-of-consciousness. However, I’m not sure there’s a big enough audience out there to justify it – I doubt the character works when she isn’t interacting with real people. I’d love to prove myself wrong, mind, but I think the character works best when she has a real person to bounce off. So to speak. I mean, that’s the format, really. Look what happened to Dom Joly when he stopped doing Trigger Happy, and tried to turn himself into the host of a spoof chatshow. Ghastly.

I’ve a couple of ideas for books that I’d like to do under my real name – which is my main reason for releasing Confessions of a Chatroom Freak as Mr Biffo – but one of them is currently in development as a show at the BBC, so I’ll have to wait for that to get turned down first. Overall I am pretty busy with the day job, writing scripts and gags for telly, and it doesn’t leave loads of time for a novel or a travel book, however much I may want to do one.

And as for the Digitiser massive all being published authors, I can reveal that Digitiser’s Mr Cheese – who was, for a time, our ‘fifth Beatle’ – has also signed a publishing deal with Friday Books. Get us!

Is any of this remotely interesting to your readers? I suspect not.

Better still, as you’ve both made the move into television comedy, what about a sitcom about two games journalists fighting against their evil management?

I suspect the chances of that getting commissioned are less than slim. Anyway, from your one-line pitch, the commissioner in me would say “It sounds too much like The IT Crowd”.

Besides, I think I’ve exorcised all my demons where Teletext is concerned. I think I’d struggle to work up a big enough lather to squeeze comedy out of the situation. There’s only one person from Teletext to whom I bear a lingering grudge. Indeed, I shall take to my grave the urge to punch him hard in the thorax.

Having read your book and a couple from Mr Hairs, it is clear he is the one obsessed with buttocks. Are you the bosoms man, then?

Oh, I think it’s very safe to say that he’s the bosoms man. What’s this obsession with Mr Hairs anyway? It’s my ruddy interview. I wouldn’t interview you and keep asking about Neil Gaiman. Ha ha – “kneel, gay man”.

Mr Biffo, thank you very much. Now clear off before I release the hounds

Confessions of a Chatroom Freak is available in all good book shops, quite a few of the crappy ones, and on Amazon.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

On accidentally inventing new swears

On accidentally inventing new swears

A recent trip to the rubbish tip on the Isle of Portland proved to be an offer too good to be true for my daughter Scaryduckling.

It is not every day, after all, that you get to dump your household detritus and a cunningly hidden bag of dog shite on the same lump of rock that harbours your good friend and ours, Useless Workshy Cunt of a Builder, over whom I am biding my time.

So, we piled my car full of garden waste, some crap from the garage and some crap from the dog, and headed over the causeway, up through Fortuneswell and onward to the tip just outside Britain's ASBO capital of Easton.

The rubbish duly dumped, we took the scenic route back, careful not to drive so slowly as to allow the mono-browed, shell-suited locals to have our hub-caps away, or to curse us with the evil eye.

The excitement of the trip getting to much for her, Scaryduckling wound down the car window as be approached a likely crowd of youngsters and prepared to let fly with a mouthful of Shakespearean invective.

Alas, the occasion of my daughter's first drive-by dissing of Portland Arts College didn't go entirely to plan, and her carefully rehearsed cry of "You window-licking, cousin-marrying numpties" came out thussly:

"You're just a bunch of ...err... cousin-lickers!"

I nearly crashed my car with laughter, which would have undoubtedly seen the pair of us burned to death in his-n-hers Wicker Men, but I presently regained control sufficiently to drive to safety.

By the time we had managed to leave the island and return to the relative safety of the English mainland, the insult had been further refined to add further unspeakable habits of our neighbours of the Court Leet*.

"You cousin-licking, aunt-touching chicken-suckers!"

We are dreadfully aware that this insult needs further work. Any suggestions?

* No, not that kind of l337. They r teh suXX0rz.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Best Funeral Album in the World...EVER!

The Best Funeral Album in the World...EVER!

Bowing to the demands of my blog readers, today we are putting the "FUN" back into "funeral" and "heaving naked bosoms" back into "small crowd of tearful mourners" as we compile The Best Funeral Album in the World...EVER!

A recent trip to a funeral at Bracknell Crematorium - neighbouring, as it does, an army firing range - is perhaps the most depressing place on the planet. Already in the business of death, it is all you can do to stop suicidal mourners from throwing themselves in front of gun-wielding squaddies.

These people need cheering up fast, not getting themselves in a position where they are creating a load of unnecessary paperwork for blameless trained killers.

I have let it become known, on more than one occasion, that I would like to depart from this mortal coil with "Going Underground" by The Jam blaring from the chapel speakers, and, if there's still any doubt as to the mentally of the person they are committing to the cleansing flames of the Weymouth Municipal Crematorium, "The Birdie Song".

That'll sort the mentallists from the boys.

So far we've had the following suggestions:

* The Jam - Going Underground
* Monty Python - Always look on the bright side of Life

* The Platters - Smoke gets in your Eyes
* Living in a Box - Living in a Box

* Meatloaf - Bat out of Hell
* The Doors - Light My Fire

* The Tweets - The Birdie Song
* Black Lace - Agadoo

Come on then - life's too short. Suggest me up!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Fashion Police

Fashion Police

Socks and Sandals

Call the cops! It's socks and sandals season in Weymouth! This particularly fine example of the genre spotted outside New Look on St Thomas Street, shortly before being bundled into the back of a van to be shown the error of his ways.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Mirth and Woe: Embarrassment

Mirth and Woe: Embarrassment

So, there we were, seated in the local Wimpy restaurant, not very long ago, having what we call 'a bit of a family outing'.

To be fair, it's a burger and a trip to the cinema that's taking fifty quid out of my bank account, but in the words of the entire cast of EastEnders: "It's famleee, innit?" and a treat's a treat.

We discuss friends, school, work and our future plans. Scaryduck Junior, however has other things weighing on his mind.

That particular Friday was one of the most traumatic of his eleven years on this Earth. His class had done sex education, which had featured - horrors - pictures of people with no clothes on, and there was no way on God's Earth he was going to do that, not while there are still rare Yu-Gi-Oh! cards to be collected.

All credit to the educational system - some of what he had been taught had gone into his head and lodged there - for the boy had a question. A question he would ask at the top of his voice in a restaurant backed to the gills with old ladies enjoying a nice tea-cake, and other families enjoying an evening out in much the way we were:


"Yes son?"

"What's wanking?"


"No, really. What's wanking? And are you a wanker?"

Honestly. You can't take him anywhere. Can't think where he gets it from.

Cue Scooby Doo-type flashback to the mid 1970s, because this public embarrassment is simply a matter of karma catching up on me.

So, there we were, 1977, the year of Star Wars, and my parents are holding a jolly little soiree in which a number of adult friends have come round for an evening of drinks and nibbles.

Taking advantage of this, my younger brother and I are lying on the living room floor, on a mission.

And our mission, like us, is a simple one. We are trying to find out what colour all the lady's knickers are.

"They're RED. Now go to your room!"

Ah, Dr Freud would have had a field day.

Alas, even after this particularly woeful upset to our plans, things were to go rapidly downhill from there.

As you'd expect, with a houseful of guests, the enforcement of the 'Now get to your room and stay there' rule was not vigorously enforced. In fact, we stayed in our rooms for a whole ten minutes, before sneaking down once again for a right old mingle.

Ok. So it wasn't actual mingling, to be honest.

It was more along the lines of prowling the kitchen, sitting room, hall, dining room and back garden and swiping any drink left lying around for more than five seconds and necking the lot.

Good God, it was a sophisticated evening. They even had a Party Seven on the go, which, with the help of a straw, we reduced to a Party Five.

"Bosoms!" we shouted, more than a little excited at the way the whole evening was going.

And: "Turds!", generously letting the dog have some of our ill-gotten gains.

And, of course, our mot de jour: "Buggeration!", and buggered we would be if we were caught.

All this wearing nothing but my pyjama bottoms of a certain vintage, in which the elastic in the waistband have given up being stretchy months and months ago.

And like the last day of British rule in India, down they came like the governor-general's Union Flag.

"I say, Audrey," said Bill from over the road, "There's a naked boy!"

"And... and... he appears to be extremely drunk."

"Yes. Just like that extremely drunk-looking beagle."

That was probably the gist of the conversation. I was a bit out of things at the time, you understand.

There was one thing I do remember with full technicolor clarity from that evening, however:


All over my mother's lovely hand-made carpet, the work of months with a hook-and-eye wossname and millions of very short pieces of wool.

Now with added boy-vomit.


And added dog vomit.

"SHRIEEEEEK!" said my mother (her actual words), closely followed by "GET TO YOUR ROOM!" and "GET SOME CLOTHES ON!"

I went, hang-dog, to my room, promises of 'what-for' ringing in my ears over the dreadful social embarrassment I had caused in front of people with particularly serious facial hair.

At least I thought I had made it to my bedroom. In my drunken fug, I took myself to a lovely, warm pile of coats on my parents' bed, and yodelling manfully, I topped the mountain with a luxurious Watneys-flavoured snow-cap.


Were they in for a surprise come kicking-out time.

You can't take me anywhere. You couldn't even trust me in my own home.


"Dad - what's wanking?"

After my little demonstration, I have been barred from all Wimpy Bars for life.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

On mobile phone etiquette

On mobile phone etiquette

A bit of useful advice to all of you.

And it is this: Always switch your mobile phone ringer off when you go somewhere that might cause other people offence.

An exam hall, for example. Or the 'Quiet Carriage' on a train. Or, perhaps, a library, or when visiting relatives in a hospital (where as we know, your mobile phone might interfere with the vital equipment which provides immensely expensive phone services to customers …err... patients).

The long and the short of it is this: People just don't want to hear your oh-so-funny ring tone. It might have been a laugh the first time you heard it, but, frankly, it's a total load of wank.

I should know. For, foolishly, I ignored the advice, written in stern-looking lettering on the door, and when the fella in charge of the whole shebang told us all to switch off mobile phones I did not.

So, I only had myself to blame when the not-as-funny-as-when-I-first-heard-it sound of the Star Wars Imperial March blasted across the hall to the withering stares of my companions.

The second bit of advice here is not to compound your actions by answering said phone and speaking into it in a very loud Dom Joly-esque voice. For that is also wrong, and generally frowned upon.


Star Wars Imperial March.

A mumbled "Oh, hang on, it's me."

And then, at 100 decibels:

"Hi! I'm in a funeral!"

And: "No. No I do not need a loan. I've told you before. Piss off."

It's what she would have wanted.

And while we're here - the irony of a large sign reading "It is against the law to smoke in this building" on the wall of the Crematorium was not lost. I am relieved to learn that they only use smokeless fuels and only the freshest dead people.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Condensed Films: The Da Vinci Code

Condensed Films: The Da Vinci Code

Regular readers will know that I once spent cash money on Dan Brown's mega-selling pulp novel The Da Vinci Code to see what the fuss was about, before throwing it, in disgust, out of a train window.

Here, then, is a similar treatment meted out to the bloated movie version of the same, staring Tom Hanks, French crumpet Audrey Tatou, Doc Ock out of Spiderman and that bloke from Allo Allo. I think.

Voldemort dies at the end, you know.

Le Da Vinci Code

Future Dead Guy: Bonsoir. Je suis teh curator at Le Louvre et je suis formidable. Also: I have been shot by a monk. Ooh la la.

Creepy Silas: LOLOLOL *cough* Sixth Commandment *cough* whippywhippywhippy.

Cardinal Doc Ock: LOLOLOL! This will make us rich! RICH! Although I shall never make it clear how this is the case.

T. Hanks: Hello. I am T Hanks and I am excellent. You might remember me from such cinematic triumphs as Forrest Gump and Bachelor Party. Today, I shall be mostly having a money fight with Dan Brown whilst attempting to see A. Tatou's bosoms. Excuse me while I talk to this Gallic-looking police officer.

Les Cops: Good moaning. Plose come with me to the Loo. We have found a biddy.

T. Hanks: WTF?

Les Cops: A biddy. Someone has been shit. LUL.

A. Tatou: Listen very carefully I will say zis only once. Les Cops r stitching u up for ze murder of my grandfather.

T. Hanks: ONOZ!

A. Tatou: Also, he has 'ad you bugged. With a bug. FFS.

T. Hanks: ONOZ! Luckily, I have thrown teh bug out of teh window, so Les Cops think I have escaped. Now to spend several hours wondering around a murder scene surrounded by Europe's most expensive art works, where there appears to be no security whatsoever.

A. Tatou: Luckily, my poor, dead grandfather 'as written clues all over ze Mona Lisa and several other priceless works, before stripping naked and painting himself with his own blood. I often worried about him, the manky old bugger. LOL

T. Hanks: Why, I ask, didn't the spack-handed oaf didn't just pick up a phone? Now I am in teh shit. FFS. Now I have to find the Holy Grail, and not a Grail-shaped beacon to be found. Jebus.

A. Tatou: Zat was my fault, and you can spank me for it later. An' zen ze oral sex. LOL

Les Cops: We 'ave been trocked. Tim Honks an' Audrey Toot Toot 'ave escooped and are on ze rin.

A. Tatou: Ecoutez et rrrrepetez! We must go to ze bank and get my grandfather's box.

T. Hanks: I'd like to get inside yr box. A hub a hub a hub a hub a hub hub.

A. Tatou: Quoi?

T. Hanks: Err... nothing. Now to plunder yr grandad's Swiss bank account. ROFFLE.

A. Tatou: Now to type in my grandfather's bank PIN code, which, like every old duffer he has written in large numerals on the floor of his place of work. FFS

T. Hanks: Lovely, lovely cash! WTF! Is that it? A bastard puzzle box? Yr grandfather was a terrible dick, A. Tatou.

A. Tatou: Yes. But inside is the secret of Teh Holy Grail and untold riches. LOL

Tim the Enchanter Bank Manager: A Grrrrail you say? I'll take that! Yoinks!

T. Hanks: Run away!

A. Tatou: Run away!

T. Hanks: We will hide at the home of my gd friend Sir Lee Magneto, who is not a villain at all and can be entirely trusted not to steal Teh Grail and kill us 2 deth. LOLZ.

Magneto: Hello. I am Magneto and I am evil excellent. I will take this opportunity to present D. Brown's half-arsed theories about Teh Holy Grail as fact. It's actually a lady's nadger, you know. No wonder the left footers are covering it up because they're all into Altar Boys' bottoms.

Cardinal Doc Ock: He's not wrong, you know. Wa-Hey-HEY!

Les Cops: Good moaning. This is ze poloose. Com oot with your hands op! And that inclodes you, you dirty English knnnnnn-ight!

T. Hanks: We cannot. We are in a life-or-death struggle with Creepy Silas. LOLZ!

Creepy Silas: Ouch! Now I am captured. Now I will never get that puzzle box with the fiendish combination that has defeated the intellects of generations and holds the last secret of Our Lord Jebus. FFS.

A. Tatou: Run away!

Magneto: Plz to run away in my private jet.

Les Cops: They hov ron away again. Oh, bigger.

T. Hanks: Hello London! LOL! Oh. We are in the wrong church, becos we have been sold a huge red herring and I have also let Silas run away.

D. Brown: LOLOL! I certainly know how to write 'em.

Magneto: Yes. And now I shall double-cross you becos I am really a terrible bastard. ROFFLE!

A. Tatou: Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once: you are a terrible bastard.

Magneto: I am such a terrible bastard I shall also double-cross Creepy Silas and Cardinal Doc Ock. LOLOLOL!

Cardinal Doc Ock: What? Oh. Shit. God. I wish I'd had an easy job. Like the Spanish Inquisition. Or a lumberjack. At least I'd get to keep the frock. PWN3D!

Creepy Silas: Arse. Now I am teh DED. So much for sustained menace, Brown, you dick.

T. Hanks: We are in yr Westminster Abbey decyphering yr grandfather's childishly easy clue to open this code box which has defeated the intellects of generations and holds the last secret of Our Lord Jebus.

A. Tatou: I bet it's something really simple, like 'apple'.

T. Hanks: A-P-P-L-E. Oh. It is. What a load of utter CUNT. FFS

A. Tatou: My grandfather really was a total dick, wasn't he? LOLZERZ.

Magneto: I'll take that. Yoinks!

Les Cops: Stip! In ze name of the loo! Also: Good moaning.

Magneto: What? Me? Oh, FFS. PWN3D.

Les Cops: I have realoosed that I was dibble-crossed and plooed like a potsy by Cardinal Dick Ock. You are under arrost, Mognootoo. I must apolojooz to you Tim Honks and A. Tootoo.

A. Tatou: LOLOLOL!

Les Cops: Although, to be perfectly frank Miss Tatou,and if you don't mind me saying, you have lost all the sexuality, charm, wit and allure you displayed so effortlssly in Amelie. That's Hollywood, babe.

T. Hanks: Not that I care. I got 18 mill for this one. Yusssss! To Scotch Scotchland! Jocks Waheeeey!

A. Tatou: Pardon? All I got was five euros and ten years' supply of soap. One bar.

T. Hanks: Errr... Nothing. Here, look in this unlocked and utterly unguarded basement of a major tourist attraction - the complete family tree of Jebus H Christ and his manly-looking slattern of a wife, M. Magdalene. Good Lord, A. Tatou! You ARE JEBUS!

A. Tatou: Well, that's a turn-up. No wonder they kept it so well hidden. LOL. Where is grail?

T. Hanks: Grail is on the other side of that gorge. I must answer this man's questions three, it turns out.

D. Brown: It's what? The other-side-of-the-gorge thing's been done? Heaven forbid that I plagiarise someone else's work. Bury the bloody thing in the Louvre for God's sake.

TEH END. Or is it?

Every day, forever:

Louvre tour guide: Good moaning. A bog welkim to ze Louver to your coach porty.

Wilbur Wilbkovsky IV of Pigdick, Arkansas: Can you show us the Holy Grail? We ain't leavin' till we seen it.

Louvre tour guide: Ur dead meat, D. Brown


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