Monday, December 31, 2007

100% of FACT: John Lennon

100% of FACT: John Lennon

Fans of former Beatle John Lennon have been left fuming at his widow's latest attempts to cash in on the musical legend's name.

In a multi-million pound deal with a well-known food manufacturer - rivalling only Linda McCartney's big money marketing of marketing of shredded cardboard to vegetarians - Yoko Ono has given a consent for Lennon's image to appear on a range of stir-in curry sauces.

They will be called Instant Korma.

If the venture is a success, it is expected that other 60s pop acts will be asked to join in:

* Vinda-Lulu
* The Mamas and the Poppadoms
* The Jalfrezi World of Arthur Brown

/ I'll get me coat.
// Lack of sensible blogging = alcohol related
/// Normal service resumes tomorrow, depending on alcohol intake
//// Err... Happy New Year

Friday, December 28, 2007

Mirth and Woe: Dog Meat

Mirth and Woe: Dog Meat

I worked in retail for about five minutes of my life. I think, in that time, I was responsible for at least fifty people losing their jobs.

The fools at a local supermarket gave me an evening and weekend job, and apart from stocking the shelves, asking winos to leave and watching people having sex in the office block opposite the multi-storey car park when I was supposed to be collecting trollies, they accidentally let me help out as a bag packer round the tills.

Enter some bloke who wanted dog food. All the dog food in the world, it turned out.

Why he couldn't get it from a cash and carry defeats me, but I was sent down to the stores and heaved up all the Pedigree Chum, Marrowbone Pal and own-brand roadkill I could find on one huge trolley.

Perhaps he was organising a dog show at short notice, or cooking a beef stew for a large number of people, I don't know, but the truth was that it weighed a ton, and I was sweating like a bastard in my nylon staff-issue shop coat.

All we had to do was run it through the tills. And that is, as they say, when things went a little 'tits'.

What we needed to know was the number of tins, the price per tin for each brand, feed them in and the till would come up with the final price. The tins came in pallets loaded six-by-four, which, intelligent people that you are, means there are 24 per box.

Or, by my calculations, and blinded by the fantastic chest of till operator Karen: 12. He bought hundreds, at a good 50% knock-off.

I later worked out that I lost the company some £2,000 in one transaction. The manager - who was patting me on the back for my hard work and quick thinking - got suspended while a bunch of stony-faced auditors investigated every single case of "missing" stock up to and including several hundred tins of dog food.

The Supermarket closed not long after, and the entire site was nuked from orbit, just to make sure.

Karen with the fascinating chest who I sent to the dole queue in the dog-eat-dog world of Thatcher's Britain: I'm really, really sorry. But you did have the most fascinating chest I have ever seen on any woman, ever.

There is also a certain amount of regret that I made the nine-fingered girl on the deli counter unemployed as well.

There's not much love in the world for nine-fingered girls, and I should know. I fancied her rotten as a ten-fingered girl, right up until that nasty accident with the bacon slicer, and I rather went off her as I yarched rich, brown vomit all over the shop floor.

Nine-fingered girl: I hope it grew back.

On the plus side, I helped the bloke - who must have known he was on the winning team - load the stuff into his van, and he gave me a twenty quid tip.


Aggravating factor: I was studying A-Level maths at the time. I failed.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

On Christmas gifts

On Christmas gifts

A swear box.

A bloody swear box.

Why - in the name of cack-stained buggery - do these bloody spack-faced gits* think I need a bloody cock-knocking swear box?

Do they take me for some shit-headed melon-farming loud-mouthed bloody potty-mouth?

A bloody swear box, I ask ya.

Then, much later in the day, after I had calmed down, I took the boy Scaryduck Junior on his annual attempt to learn to ride a bike. He is eleven, and has found that life behind a PS2 handset has not actually prepared him for real life in the way that he might have hoped.

Confused by the lack of a handset with a triangle-shaped button, he crashed into Sandsfoot Castle - a scheduled Grade I listed building - for the second year in a row.

"You... you... you... GIT!"

That's what he said to me. I don't know where he gets it from..

The bloody swear box is full.

* For comedy effect only. I must point out that my beloved family are NOT bloody spack-faced gits in any way whatsoever

Monday, December 24, 2007

On the best Christmas Walford's ever seen

On the best Christmas Walford's ever seen

"I've got something to tell you," said the fragrant Mrs Duck, just as I settled down to watch Top Gear, "I've decided to be a Christian."

"Oh God."

And: "There's lovely."

And: "This God of yours - is he going to be vengeful or forgiving?"

"In your case, he's going to strike you down dead with firey bolts from above."

"Bloody Hell."

"And then he's going to play table tennis with your testicles."


"And another thing. I really like Cliff Richard."

Now she's really taking the piss. This on top of the business with the (lack of) Christmas nuts - not to mention the disturbing lack of Twiglets and smelly cheese at this festive time of year.

"Anything else you might want to declare before I call a formal end to our marriage?"

"Yes. Yes there is. I want to go to the Holy Land."

"What? Southend Pier not good enough for you?"

"You tit".

This is going to be the best Christmas Walford's ever seen.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

On living by the sea

On living by the sea

You know, if there's one thing I really love about living by the sea, it's the superb views we have from our house. In fact, I went through years of hell adding an extra storey to our home to make those views even better.

Every morning, I can through the curtains open to wonderful views of Portland Harbour and the Jurassic Coast all the way to Lulworth Cove.

Now, I know what you're say: There's bound to be some sort of downer on the whole experience, and I won't lie to you - there most certainly is. Put it down to the fact that the old naval base played host to any number of nuclear submarines in the 1950s and 60s - but on any given morning you might awake to this kind of scene:

Cute ickle dread creatures from the deep
Yup. Dread creatures from the deep attacking the Isle of Portland. Let 'em get on with it, I say. Just as long as they pull in the tourists and don't hit property prices.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mirth and Woe: Christmas Bike

Mirth and Woe: Christmas Bike

I never wanted a bike.

In fact, at the age of six, I already had a train set and the number one present on my Christmas list was more train, and perhaps something with bosoms.

Instead, I got a bike.

A small, red bike.

I cried. And parents, being what they are, interpreted my wails of "I don't want a bike!" as tears of joy.

I didn't want a bike. For a start, I didn't know how to ride one. My cunning plan from the year before of kidnapping large-breasted bikini-clad blondes and keep them tied up behind the bins was entirely conceived for one small boy on a tricycle. There was absolutely no way this plan was going to succeed on two wheels - with or without stabilisers.

Christmas morning was spent, then, trying, and generally failing in my attempts to learn to ride a bicycle.

The first time I got on, I pedalled like crazy and blazed along like a bat out of Hell. In a blind panic, I found myself at the other end of the street, mounting the kerb and falling flat on my face on a front lawn owned by two elderly lesbians, who glowered at me with man-hating distain through the blinds before returning to their festive tuppence-licking.

After a couple of hours fruitless thrashing about in which I managed to stay upright for about three seconds, I retired in disgust to the living room, where I watched my brother and sister cruising up and down the road on their brand new bikes.

A couple of hours later, after stuffing my face with Christmas dinner, half a bowl of nuts, cheesecake - frankly, my late mother made the best cheesecake in the world and I will fight any man that says otherwise - and an entire Cadbury's chocolate assortment, I was ready to face The Bike O' Doom all over again.

Belching slightly with the effort, I mounted my red steed, pushed off, and wobbled down the road. Easy.

After a short while, I was confident enough to ride around completely unaided, and even remembered to use the brakes nine times out of ten. Luckily, on the tenth occasion, a neighbour's car was there to halt me.

Now officially a cyclist, I felt brave enough to take the next step. All the other kids who sported brand-new Christmas bikes were already at the top of the hill and throwing themselves at enormous speed down our otherwise quiet little cul-de-sac.

I would, I decided, have a go myself.

I puffed my way to the top and looked back down the Crescent. It looked as steep as Hell and I was terrified. (In fact, I went back the last year on a Mirth and Woe-related fact-finding mission. It's hardly a hill at all, more a gentle slope. But to a six-year-old, it must have been massive)

No going back. I pushed off from the top of the hill, and whizzed down the road. With more luck than judgment, I negotiated the bend at the bottom, and pedalled like fury for the dead end at the far end of our crescent.

And, in the words of the well-known song:

"Now here comes the crucial bit
For there was no way of stopping it"
I would have pulled on the brakes and brought myself to a smooth halt outside my house, but I ...err... forgot. I also completely forgot to stop pedalling. These are two straightforward acts that might seem entirely logical to you, but back then, Christmas Day 1972, my first time on two wheels, I was struck stupid by the sheer speed at which things were happening. Events would be left to run their course to their terrifying conclusion.

And the conclusion would be this: woe.

I roared past Casa Lesbos, past The Mad Orange Woman's house, past our front door, and gulped in terror as I sped towards the dead end, a driveway, and - looming before me - number 30.

The front door of number 30 swung open to reveal a man carrying out a rubbish bag filled - presumably - with Christmas wrapping paper.

"MWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" I screamed, as I headed straight towards him, and things went rapidly downhill (as it were) from there.

If I was terrified, and so was he. Spying a six-year-old tearaway on a bike bearing down on him, he flung his rubbish to the ground and fled for his life.

About a quarter of a second later, I rammed into the lovely, soft sackful of scrunched-up paper, and, as is usual in cases like this, Newton's Laws took hold.

I flew over the handlebars, and landed crumpled in a heap halfway up their hallway.

"Ouch," I said.

Actually, it came out like this:


And, eventually and somewhat inevitably:


Luckily, I had already been turfed - somewhat uncharitably, given that this was the time of year to love-your-neighbour - out of their house and into the street, where rivers of rich, brown, tasty-gorgeous cheesecake-flavoured vomit could do far less damage.

Except, perhaps to the front wing of his 1969 Ford Cortina.

These days, the only connection I have with cycling is my entirely harmless saddle-sniffing hobby, but I still look back on that bike with more than a little fondness. I had some of my finest bone-jarring, head-cracking moments of woe on it; and it was my mode of escape from many, many acts of firey carnage.

It was a sad, sad day that I outgrew it, but come another Christmas Day, something large and yellow lurked next to the tree: A badly jaundiced Santa - with a new bike!

Merry Christmas.

Need more woe? Rikaitch has it

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On two surprising facts about your humble narrator and one big, fat lie

On two surprising facts about your humble narrator and one big, fat lie

Lie or truth? Truth or lie? Can you tell which one is the porky?

a) I held the rank of captain in the United States Air Force for a week

b) I was once arrested for being sick on a policeman's foot, but was released without charge

c) I was briefly the presenter of a late night local radio programme until the people in charge realised that I was, in fact, shit

If you answered (b) to this question, you may give yourself a shiny, for - surprisingly - I have never been arrested. Not even for all that stuff I blew up, or the 35p rub-down lettering I pilfered from WH Smith's in 1983.

If you answered (c), then you are TEH KING OF WRONG. The local radio station being WNYC in New York, and I was so bad we didn't even make it to air. It all came as a bit of a relief, to be honest, as the show was slated for "late night" New York time, which meant arriving at the studio in Reading at one in the morning.

And if you answered (a), not only are you TEH KING OF WRONG, but also ARCHDUKE INCORRECT, with a year's subscription to I'm A Bit Thick Monthly, for you are reading the weblog of Captain S Duck (USAF) (Hon) (Ret'd).

I spent a lovely week (typhoon notwithstanding) taking salutes from grunts at Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa whilst working there on a broadcast media survey of Chinese radio stations.

Alas, it was not a courtesy extended to me by the United States Army whilst conducting similar work at their Pyongtaek base the following week, where I was treated like some dreadful foreign spy who'd shit in their airing cupboard in the name of Kim Jong-Il given half the chance.

Anglo-American relations were strained to say the least, as this exchange illustrates:

"Please Corporal - could you escort me to the toilet again?"



That was the week I vowed to destroy the Yankee Imperialist Military-Industrial Complex. It's taking longer than I thought.

Now: For the purposes of blackmail, plz to tell surprising truths about yourself.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On Bob Servant

On Bob Servant

An email!

Could I, the author writes, take a look at his newly-published book and give it a mention on these pages if I like it?

Yes. Yes I could.

So, after I finished being sick with laughter, I finally get round to writing a review.

The book: Delete This At Your Peril, the tale of one man's fearless exchanges with internet spammers.

The man: Bob Servant, 62-year-old former window cleaner, king of the Dundee cheeseburger vans, gigolo, man of the sea and avid collector of jazz mags.

His victims: Some evil bastard sitting behind a computer terminal somewhere in Lagos, who deserves everything they get.

In a correspondence kindly edited for idiocy and checked for downright lies by his good friend Neil Forsyth, Bob takes on and roundly beats the scammers at their own game, turning the offer of a dead African king's $75m fortune into a doomed business plan to take delivery of a set of talking lions:

This is urgent. What is hapening?? I don’t sell animals. I only said I could get some lions to help you. Then you say you need a leopard and I say ok. Now you are saying the lion has to talk? What is this madness? Send me the £1700 that we agreed imeediately.

What does the lion say when it talks? I am just checking that it won’t get me into any fights.
Then there's the unfortunate episode where the offer of becoming the official money laundering agent of a non-existent company becomes the building of a legal defence over sticking a vacuum cleaner pipe up the postman's bottom...

There are, of course, sites all over the internet where fearless users take on spammers and have the time of their lives running them up the garden path and back again. The difference here is that it's actually funny. Laugh out loud funny, in fact. While some fake Russian bride ("My God, what a pair of bazookas") is trying to extract shed-loads of cash from our hero, he is out buying her an ostrich as a present and stringing her along with the tale of his attempts to get Champion home on the bus.

You may catch up with more of the genius of Bob Servant at his own high-quality website, and you can do the old fella a favour by purchasing his excellent book from one of many good bookstores. Or, just send him the money, because he'll only go back to window cleaning to fund his jazz mag collection.

So: Scoring this book on the Robot Wars scale for style, control, damage and aggression, this book is judged: EXCELLENT.

In fact, on our own Scaryduckworth-Lewis method of rating stuff for excellence, we'd even go as far as giving this one a coveted 19: Nigella Lawson whipping up a creamy sauce".

So mote it be.

Amazon: Delete This at Your Peril by Bob Servant

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On the best magazine ever published in the world, ever

On the best magazine ever published in the world, ever

I have just discovered the best magazine ever published in the world, ever. A laugh-and-a-half from cover-to-cover, a title passed from family member to family member, who, with tears of mirth rolling down their cheeks, passed it on to the next willing reader until the front cover fell off.

I refer, of course, to Take A Break's Fate and Fortune magazine, a spin-off from the regular soap star-fronted red-top nonsense, aimed solely at ...well... the kind of person who buys Take A Break.

It is Take A Break without all the celebrity guff, puzzle pages, recipes you'll never cook and Cute-things-kid-say letters. It is, then, Take A Break with nothing but horoscopes, ghost stories, psychics, divining, messages from beyond the grave, and a mind-reading horse. Seriously.

And a witch with her own recipe page, containing recipes you will never cook because you'll end up pregnant with frog spawn.

And somebody who tells you to move house by examining photos of all your expensive jewellery (and not, I repeat NOT, so they can rob you blind while you're out house-hunting).

And a past life regression page where everybody is convinced they were Queen Cleopatra "because I like cats".

And loads of £1.50/min 'destiny advice lines' that feature a recording of somebody saying "Don't have the green salad".

Or: "Your dead granny spent all the money LOLOL"

Or: "The Tarot deals you DEATH. LOLOLOL"

This month's edition - which one hopes if representative of the publication's high-brow nature - featured the following 100 per cent true stories, sent in by readers scared out of their wits:

1. HAUNTED BY A GHOST TRAMP (with artist's impression of same)

2. MY CURTAINS ARE POSSESSED BY EVIL SPIRITS (with artist's impression of same)

3. EVIL SPIRITS IN MY WARDROBE STEAL MY CLOTHES (with artist's impression of same)

4. MY PIANO PLAYS BY ITSELF (with artist's impression of same)

I can see a recurring theme running through these stories

1. Tramps

2. Tramps

3. Tramps in expensive, stolen lingerie

4. A down-on-his luck former concert pianist, who is now a tramp

Not to mention a resident artist with a 'Pan's People' approach to the literal interpretation of these tales of woe.

While TAB F&F play on the easily-influenced minds of their target audience, there are, of course, rational explanations for just about every tale of haunting, spooky coincidence and possession: your common hobo.

If your haunted wardrobe asks you "for the price of a cup o' tea", then it's probably a tramp.

If your possessed curtains stink of cider and vomit whilst your room is filled with dread cries for "Jimmy", then it's also a tramp, drunk and confused on his way back from the Dole Office.

If you are assailed by a ghost tramp whilst walking your dog, it's fairly safe to assume it's actually a real tramp, blurred through the fug of body odour and booze, reminiscing about his years with the London Symphony Orchestra before that nasty business with the oboe player.

Derek Acorah, you will not be surprised to learn, knows LOADS of tramps.

And then, towards the back of The Finest Magazine Ever Published, Ever: paydirt.

"Why not send us your ghost story for publication in Take A Break Fate and Fortune? It must be true, and we may have to interview you. We will pay up to £200 for your story."


"Dear TAB F&F,

Our house is haunted by a GHOST DOG.

We often see something lurking under the kitchen table, and hear the frantic scrabbling of claws as it darts up and down the hall. We've checked and it is definitely NOT tramps, neither is the grave in our garden marked 'Bobby' which we dug up to check.

Please send £200.

Yours, Scary

PS Don't get me started on my curs-ed boots. You'll shit your pants"
The money's in the bag.

Monday, December 17, 2007

On Christmas shopping

On Christmas shopping

Om nommy nom nomI took a day off work last week and braved the crowds for a touch of Christmas food shopping. So, in a howling gale, we headed for Morrisons, the supermarket formerly known as Safeway.

"Nuts?" I ask, brandishing a large assorted pack of my favourite Christmas treat.

"No nuts," replies the fragrant Mrs Duck.

"What? WHAT?"

"No nuts. Too much trouble."


"We never eat them. There's always nuts left over in March. No nuts."

I have never had trouble with nuts, ever, and the March leftovers can be used as weapons, so I fail to see her logic.

Granted, there was a slight controversy in my youth when, short of funds, my sister got a handful of walnuts as a Christmas present, but that's hardly reason to issue a fatwa against the consumption of a small bag of mixed nuts in the Duck household.

"Too much trouble? Christmas isn't Christmas without nuts. Did not King Eric, the fourth wise man of orient are, bring our Lord and Saviour a bowl of mixed nuts in that lowly Bethlehem manger? Did not Joseph pig out on all the walnuts, leaving the Virgin Mary with nothing but Brazils filled with ferro-concrete?"

"No. No he did not. No nuts."

Time to Be A Man. Time to Stand Up For My Nuts.

"If we don't have nuts this Christmas" - strikes a dramatic pose, gets his toes run over by an old lady's shopping trolley - "then - ouchouchouch - OUR MARRIAGE IS OVER"

"Look love," said the old lady to the lady wife whilst running over my foot again, "Don't blow your marriage on a load of nuts. Just get him a packet of Brazils an' we can all go home."

Relent, she did not.

Forty-one years, and my first nut-less Christmas. I cannot, however, let bitterness overwhelm me. Even when she's munching away at her TWO jars of olives.

I am not bitter. Not given my history of urinating into jars.

Thanks to the nice people at Post of the Week for making me ...err... Post of the Week.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Condensed Movies: Star Wars II - Attack of the Clones

Condensed Movies: Star Wars II - Attack of the Clones

We're over the worst of it, as we reach George Lucas's sprawling meisterwerk Attack of the Clones. Drawing on the likes of Pushkin, Wilde, Tolstoy and Barbara Cartland, Lucas has weaved a pile of inpenetrable bollocks that we - for the greater good - have boiled down to a few hundred words in the easy-to-understand language of L33T SP33K.

Star Wars II: Attack of TEH CLOWNS

O. Kenobi: Hello. I am Obi-Wan Kenobi and I am excellent. Today, my padowan learner Anakin Skywalker and I shall be mostly guarding the dreary Queen Amidala, who is the target of assassins unknown.

Geoff Vader Jr: Wanker

O. Kenobi: What was that, youngling? I detect a disturbance in TEH FORCE within you

Geoff Vader Jr: In my trousers more like, LOL. That Queen Amidala is TEH HOTNESS. A hub a hub a hub a hub hub

O. Kenobi: Alas, you have taken a vow, and the only action you will be seeing is with your right hand.

Geoff Vader Jr: WTF? Die in a fire, you bastard

O. Kenobi: You'll be the death of me, my padowan learner

Geoff Vader Jr: Yes. Yes I will. LULZ

Q. Amidala: whinywhinywhiny OMFG! Someone's trying to kill me TO DETH. With centipedes! whinywhiny

O. Kenobi: Don't worry, we has killed them TO DETH instead, LOL

Y. Oda: Geoff Vader, protect the whiny moo you must

S. L. Jackson: Take the motherfuppin' bitch back to motherfuppin' Naboobs where no motherfuppin' assassin can motherfuppin' kill her

Y. Oda: And with her TEH SEXUSS do not have

Geoff Vader Jr: Bunch of wankers

Y. Oda: About him there is something I do not like

O. Kenobi: Hey, don't all look at me, FFS. I'm off to kill TEH BAD GUYS to DETH. Fuck, I love being a Jedi

Q. Amidala: whinywhinywhiny Here we are - back home on Naboobs. Plz to have TEH SEXUSS with me

Geoff Vader Jr: I cannot, FFS. A vow - I has made one

Q. Amidala: I've got bosoms

Geoff Vader Jr: W00T! And: A hub a hub a hub hub hub

O. Kenobi: I feel something SEXXXY in TEH FORCE. And here I am somewhere on the outer rim with only a droid for company. A SEXXXY droid. Heh. I said "Rim"

Very Tall Alien: Hello, sir. Can we help you?

O. Kenobi: Fuck me, you're tall. I mean... err... I am a L33T JEDI

Very Tall Alien: Ah! You must be here to collect your clowns

O. Kenobi: WTF?

Very Tall Alien: Your clowns. Count Duckula ordered them ten years ago. They are ready. Take them. Please. They're driving us fucking mental

O. Kenobi: WTF? Clowns?

Very Tall Alien: Yes. Cloned Clowns. Cloned Clowns cloned from Coco teh Clown from Colombia. FFS.

O. Kenobi: Can I go now?

Coco Fett: Die Jedi scum!

O. Kenobi: ONOZ! Itz Coco teh bounty hunter (children's parties a speciality)

Coco Fett: I'm going to kill you TO DETH LOLZ

O. Kenobi: Run away!

Geoff Vader Jr: Piss, I'm bored. Come with me to Tatooine to rescue my mum Mrs Vader, who I have seen in my dreams getting split from arse to tit by a bunch of American Footballers

Q. Amidala: OK. You may play with my bosoms while we are in hyperspace

Geoff Vader Jr: W00T!

Mrs Vader: You haz saved me from TEH TUSKEN RAIDERS, who are not - as I had hoped - a professional American Football team of lightly-oiled, well hung athletes. Oh. I AM DED


Q. Amidala: Plz to stop being TEH EVIL and come and play with my bosoms

Geoff Vader Jr: A hub a hub a hub a hub hub hub LULZ. Now we must rescue O. Kenobi, who I sense is captured by TEH EVIL Count Duckula on the Planet Koozebane

O. Kenobi: Fuck my luck. I have been captured by TEH EVIL Count Duckula on the Planet Koozebane. So much for my L33T JEDI POWERZ, FFS

S L Jackson: And while that lot have been motherfuppin' fuppin' around teh motherfuppin' galaxy, there's a motherfuppin' war starting and no motherfupper to raise a motherfuppin' army to fight teh motherfuppin' BAD GUYS. Motherfup

Dave Sidious: What we need is some gullible arse-biscuit to nominate me as galactic dictator in TEH SENATE so I can take control of the Klone Klown Klone Army. Where, I ask, would we find someone so mind-numbingly stupid to do such a thing, knowing that by their actions they are sentencing billions of poor, defenceless souls to painful death at the hands of an evil fascist dictator guided by TEH DARK SIDE?

J. J. Binks: Meesa total cuntbubble!

Dave Sidious: W00T! Teh KKK - it is mine

J. J. Binks: Meesa see what you did there. LOL

Dave Sidious: You still here?

Geoff Vader Jr: Hello, O. Kenobi, we have come to save you

Q. Amidala: ONOZ! Now we are TEH PRISONRS too.

Count Duckula: Worst. Rescue. Party. Evah! LOL

O. Kenobi: Do you expect me to talk?

Count Duckula: No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!

Nute Bumgay: Nice one boss. I LOLed

Count Duckula: Instead of simply shooting you TO DETH like any rational person might, I am instead going to kill you TO DETH with an elaborate set-up involving wild animals in some giant stadium arrangement in front of a paying audience of some 50,000 interested spectators, all buying G. Lucas-branded merchandise at extortionate prices from my shop, after I used the fake ghost story to scare all the other merchandise sellers out of town. Oh. They have escaped

Nute Bumgay: Don't worry boss, my heavily-armed droid army will kill them TO DETH. Oh. Is there a scrap metal merchant in the house?

S L Jackson: I am motherfuppin' here to motherfuppin' rescue you. Oh. Now I am motherfuppin' captured and certain to be killed TO MOTHERFUPPIN' DETH

Coco Fett: Yoinks! Me head fell off

C3-R2D2-PO: Have mine, I'm not using it. Oh. He is TEH DED

Y. Oda: Here with teh Klone Klown Klone Army we are

Count Duckula: In which case, I shall take on any of you gaylords, mano-a-mano

O. Kenobi: Fzzzzt - wommmmmm - zzzzzzzzzzzzrbbbb. God, being a Jedi's fucking ace. Oh. I have lost.

Geoff Vader Jr: Don't worry boss, I'll have the bearded Jessie. Oh. He has cut my arm off, and there's TEH MIDI CHLORIANS all over the floor

O. Kenobi: Yaaaaaaaaarch. Sick inna hedge, I has been

Count Duckula: LOLOLOLZERS! I AM SO L33T!

Y. Oda: Out of the way, a bunch of big girls' blouses you are

Count Duckula: ONOZ! Run away!

Q. Amidala: W00T! We is TEH WINNERZ! Now to get married to Geoff Vader Jr. OMFG! Where's your arm?

Geoff Vader Jr: Could you love a cripple? A bionic arm. I HAZ ONE.


Geoff Vader Jr: A vibrating attachment - it haz one. And I can switch off the sensors so I can have one off the wrist and pretend it's someone else doing it. RESULT!

Q. Amidala: LOLZ I luvs ya Geoff Vader Jr

Geoff Vader Jr: I luvs ya more

Q. Amidala: No, I luvs you THIS MUCH (continue in this vein for six hours)


Dave Sidious: FTW! And we have TEH SECRET DETH STAR PLANS. All Your Base Belong To Us. ROFFLE

Count Duckula: Launch all Zig! For great justice! LOLOLOLOLOLOL

Digg my article

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On Curs-ed footwear

On Curs-ed footwear

Curs-ed boots. That's what I've got. Not cursed. Curs-ed.

The more observant amongst you, my loyal readership, may remember my recent face-to-face encounter with woe in the complete destruction of my favourite Ben Sherman boots at the hands of a hideous faecal explosion.

This tale ended reasonably happily with the purchase of a brand new pair of Size Nines from a local cut-price footwear emporium somewhere in Dorset.


After less than a week's happy use out of my new footwear, it appears that they are not all that they seem.

"Just what IS that smell?" asked the fragrant Mrs Duck as I entered her divine presence recently.

And: "What's crawled up your arse and died?"

But - for once - it wasn't my bottom. Nor was it beef-flavoured farts dealt by my canine friend of friends Lucy Minogue.

It was my brand new hardly-worn-at-all boots.

Boots which smell like they were mined from between the very buttocks of Satan.

"You're not coming inside my house with those boots, Mr Man," she said, meaning it.

And so, they are consigned to the shed, where they may fester in peace.

There can be only one explanation for this hideous spectral phenomenon. My new boots are haunted. Haunted and curs-ed. Haunted and curs-ed by the restless spirit of my poor, dead Ben Shermans.

And there is, I fear, only one course of action to be taken, and it was spelt out to me from the Other Side via a late-night Ouija board session in a darkened room at Duck Towers.

So mote it be.

Bless you Sam.

On any other business

A quick Thursday vote-o: A regular Tale of Mirth and Woe (which may or may not contain somebody bowking rich brown vomit into a hedge) tomorrow, or STAR WARS II: ATTACK OF TEH CLOWNS?

You decide. You.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On Christmas round-robin letters

On Christmas round-robin letters

...which was niceThis is the year that I have finally succumbed and written one of those round-robin letters you always receive in Christmas cards from annoying people.

You know the type - people who really deserve to be dragged out and shot crowing about promotions at work, the wife's successful production of Don Giovanni and Jemima's new pony, all with far too many exclamation marks.

Season of goodwill? Arse.

Well, screw that, this year I'm doing it properly:

Duck Family Newsletter 2007!!

What a year! It's been all-action round the Duck household, and we've hardly had time to draw breath!!!

We were just getting over the shock of last year's National Lottery jackpot when - blammo! - we won the top prize AGAIN with exactly the same numbers!!! Naturally, we decided that we wouldn't want all that money spoiling our lives, so we gave it all to charity - again!!! Next thing I knew, there was a letter from Buckingham Palace telling me that Her Majesty had awarded me an OBE for this act of kindness, on top of the George Cross for all that stuff I'd done in Afghanistan!

Which was nice.

Despite all my time away from the office helping the homeless, the chief has finally made me a full partner. As a concession, I may employ any vagrant I wish - even for target practice!!! With the Olympics coming up, I need all the training time I can get if I'm to successfully defend my gold medal.

Vanessa has been her usual busy self making sure our household continues to run smoothly. It's so difficult to get good, English-speaking staff these days, and I must say that my lovely wife has done WONDERS in finding the right cleaners and gardeners with the necessary skills at the right price! We were lucky enough to find Fernando, who comes three times a week to clean the pool - minimum wage AND a Ph.D in Theoretical Mathematics!!!

The lady wife's also on a number of local committees, and prides herself on booking GENUINE celebrities for talks at her ladies' lunches. To think that Mrs Bottomley - the silly woman who ran the Lunch Club before our successful 'putsch' - could only get somebody from that awful Big Brother programme, hardly a patch on the Duchess of Cornwall and the utterly charming Mu'ammar Qadaffi. It's a wonder she still shows her face at the gym.

Hazel continues to go from strength to strength. Despite being only thirteen years old, she won TV's Mastermind for the second year in a row, this time with a record points haul on the life and works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. She also competed in - and, happily, won - the world three-day eventing championships, and is currently tipped to pip that upstart Hamilton for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

On top of that, she's just finished her European tour after her single went straight to number one and stayed there for six weeks! You should have seen the boys queuing up outside our house!! Luckily, I'm a good friend of the chief constable, and a blind eye was turned when I had to use my war-loot Kalashnikov to disperse them. Still, that won't be a problem when she starts at Oxford next year - my old pal Qadaffi's giving us a lend of one of his bodyguards!

I'm pleased to say young Adam has taken a leaf out of his old dad's book by getting himself involved in the ongoing civil war in the Congo. It looks like the peace deal will be signed any day now, with the added bonus that his cure for Ebola makes him certain to win both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prize for Medicine in the same year!!! That's got to be some kind of record!

He doubts that he'll find the time to collect his prize money, though - things are more than a little busy now that he's going to be the new host of Top Gear!!

And let's not forget Lucy Minogue, our adorable little King Charles Cavalier - Crufts Supreme Champion for the second year in a row. The sponsorship offers have been rolling in, AND there's the reward money from when she rescued Prince William from that avalanche! We'll never have to buy dog food ever again!!!


Please don't bother telling us about your lives. Frankly, we're not interested in the slightest.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Condensed Films: Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace

Condensed Films: Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace

Once again we take a well-known cinematic work, boil it down and spit it out again in the easy-to-understand language of today's youth. Today, we save you from George Lucas's ridiculously-titled Star Wars prequel.


Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: Hello: I am Qui Gon Gin-an-Tonic and I am excellent. Today, I shall be mostly negotiating a trade deal with some toad-faced aliens, and when they get nasty, I shall KILL THEM TO DETH! LOL

O. Kenobi: Hello. I am Obi-Wank Enobi and I am excellent, though I am thinking of changing my name. I am tagging along with Gin-an-Tonic here for some red-hot lightsabre action. Bzzzzz - wrrrrb - ksssst - LOL

Toad-faced Aliens: Hurr hurr we have lured TEH JEDIS into a trap. KILL THEM TO DETH and launch TEH INVASION FLEET!

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: ONOZ!

O. Kenobi: Bzzzzz - wrrrrb - ksssst - LOL. I love being a Jedi. Fckng best job in the universe. ROFL

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: Stuff this for a laugh. We have escaped to Naboobs. Oh, FFS, what's happening now?


J. J. Binks: Meesa total cuntbubble

O. Kenobi: Oh, WANK.

J. J. Binks: Meesa help you escape, LOL

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: May I also say "Oh, WANK"


J. J. Binks: Meesa help you rescue Q. Amidala.


O. Kenobi: By the way, what's this Q. Amidala like? Is she TEH HOTNESS?

Q. Amidala: whiny whiny whiny

O. Kenobi: Oh.

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: I suppose we had better rescue you from TEH INVASION FLEETS

Q. Amidala: whiny whiny whiny

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: We has rescued you from TEH INVASION. Now we are trapped on Tatooine. Twin town: Poo. FFS.

O. Kenobi: A hive of wretched scum and villainy.

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: That's Episode IV, you arse.

O. Kenobi: Soz. LOL

D. Vader Jr: Hello! My name is Annie Skywalker and I am excellent

B. Kenobi: LOLOL! A girl's name - you haz one

D. Vader Jr: Very funny Kuntobi. You iz teh one wearing TEH DRESS!

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: An engine. We needs one.

D. Vader Jr: To cut a long story short, I can get you one by winning a pod race in unlikely circumstances, despite being only nine years old, my only previous accomplishment being the building of a homosexual robot out of a Build Your Own Homosexual Robot kit

C3-R2D2-PO: I'll scratch your eyes out

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: Arse. Anyone got any better ideas?

O. Kenobi: I've got a sign that says "Get it here". Does that help?

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: Not after last time, Bummy-Wan Kenobi. I suppose we're going to have to gamble the entire fate of the universe against a kid with a girls' name.

D. Vader Jr: It's wankers like you that'll turn me to the Dark Side, mark my words.

Pod Race: Zoom zoom explody zoom zoom

D. Vader Jr: YaY! I am teh l33t3st!

Mrs Vader (Actual movie line): Oh It's so wonderful, Annie. You have brought hope to those who have none. Christ on a bike - who wrote this shit?

O. Kenobi: w00t! We has an engine!

Dave Maul: No, you has not. DIE IN A FIRE!

O. Kenobi: RUN AWAY! FFS

D. Vader Jr: See that Q. Amidala bird? When she grows up, I'm gonna have 'er. LOL

Q. Amidala: whiny whiny whiny

D. Vader Jr: A hub a hub a hub hub hub

Y. Oda: Evil, this boy is.

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: He has TEH MIDI CHLORIANS

Y. Oda: Scabies I had once. LOL

D. Vader Jr: Plz to let me be a JEDI

S.L. Jackson: No. You is evil and the kind of person who'd put motherfuppin' snakes on a motherfuppin' star cruiser LOL

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: FFS, this is boring. We is going back to Naboobs. At least a man can get laid there.

J. J Binks: Meesa coming too.

O. Kenobi: FFS. You still here?

Q. Amidala: whiny whiny whiny

Q.G. Gin-an-tonic: We is back on Naboobs. We must do TEH TEAMWORK to beat TEH BADDIES, LOL


O. Kenobi: Jolly good.

Q. Amidala: And I was pretending to be my hand-maiden all along. Pretty neat trick, eh?

Q. G Gin-an-Tonic: Actually, we couldn't give a shit, to be honest you dreary moo. FFS

D. Vader Jr: When I'm older, I'm going to see you NEKKID. LOLOL

Q. Amidala: whiny whiny whiny

D. Vader Jr: Hurry up and grow some bosoms. LULZ

Q. Amidala: whiny whiny whiny whiny whiny whiny *sigh* he so cute

Dave Maul: Now I must kill you. KILL YOU TO DETH! LOLOLOLZ

Q. G Gin-an-Tonic: Oh. Ouch. FFS.

O. Kenobi: Oh, you shit-cake. Bzzzzz - wrrrrb - ksssst - ROFL

Dave Maul: Ouch. My legs. They have fallen off. LOL

J. J. Binks: And meesa won teh battle with my hilarious prat-falling. Plz to buy Star Wars merchandise so Mr Lucas can afford a neck transplant.


D. Vader Jr: And despite being nine years old, I have been allowed to take part in a vicious space battle and have KILLED TEH TOAD FACED ALIENS TO DETH! LOLOLOL

O. Kenobi: W00t! Teh planet Naboobs. We has freed it from TEH EVIL TYRANNY

Q. Amidala: whiny whiny whiny

O. Kenobi: However, not wanting to piss on this mightily fine parade, nobody actually made it clear what, exactly, TEH PHANTUM MENUS actually was. LULZ

TEH IMPERIAL EMPEROR: That's what you think. ROFL

Digg my article

Monday, December 10, 2007

On Gambling

On Gambling

Visit Cromer and die. Of boredom.At the age of nine, I pissed my entire holiday spending money up the wall in an amusement arcade in Cromer. And to be brutally honest, I haven't looked back since.

A whole pound, which in those days would have been enough to buy a large house set in several acres of landscaped gardens, all frittered away on those coin-shoving machines and the highly respectable pastime that is the pinball table.

My brother, highly amused, made up a song about this episode (Called, rather appropriately "One pound! One pound! In the amusement arcade!") a tune he still uses some thirty years later to wind me up. I can still hear its falsetto tones now as clearly as he made it up on the spot, taunting me, as I caught hell from my mother for my complete lack of loyalty.

Fair play to him, in retrospect - very few composers can come up with a song with that sort of longetivity.

This lack of loyalty for which I was royally upbraided being my refusal to stand at the seaward end of the pier at Cromer, holding a fishing rod for two weeks, catching household meals for the next three months.

Oh yes, we ate a lot of fish after that particular holiday, because my father had discovered the so-called art of fishing. It took several years to cure him of this dreadful affliction, and wean him onto the more socially acceptable pursuits of lawn bowls and yachting.

I have a trouble with fishing of any description. I cannot see the attraction of sitting around for hours on end in all weather, at all hours of the day or night waiting for some fish to bite the hook you are hopefully dangling into the water. It is not, as some anorak-clad enthusiasts point out, a battle of wits between man and fish. It is a waste of life, a one-sided battle between fish and cunt, one for which I hold no enthusiasm whatsoever.

So, when trapped in Cromer, and you've toured the end-of-the-pier lifeboat station for the twentieth time, there is little else to do except blow your life's savings in the penny arcade, or die of old age. I took one look at the dried-up husks sheltering in the piers shelters, and knew exactly which way I was going to fall.

The penny arcade won. They got all my money, physically threw me out of the establishment and scarred me for life.

And this is no exagerration, for your humble narrator has battled life-long against the twin vices of gambling and profligate spending. A battle, some three decades on, against which I am only just turning the tide.

There are groups for people like me. I should know. I go to them.

I bet the bastards from all the penny arcades in the world get together at the end of the season to have a good laugh over all the kids' holidays they've ruined. One fact I now know with 100 per cent certainty is this: living in a seaside resort, I can confirm that they really do turn up at Lloyds Bank at 9.30 on a Monday morning with their weekend's takings in a wheelbarrow. Bastards.

Damn you amusement arcades! Damn you fishing! And damn you my weak, weak will! I could have kept that pound, invested it in fish futures, and this time next year, Rodders...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Top Tips: Christmas Post

Top Tips: Christmas Post

Get your own back on the Scout movement!

Write out a number of Christmas cards to our brave troops battling the Taliban in Afghanistan's Helmand province, and put them in the Scout Mail box ("15p - We'll deliver ANYWHERE") these fine young men have set up in your local village hall.

What the little twerps don't realise is that they are contractually obliged by the Postal Services Act to deliver these items, personally, to some poor squaddie up to his neck in it somewhere near Musa Qala.

Luckily, all this running around the arse end of the Earth will go some way to developing their wood-whittling and old lady-crossing-the-road skills, sadly lacking in today's Scout movement. Baden-Powell would have been proud.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mirth and Woe: Men in Black

Mirth and Woe: Men in Black

Exercise is for other people. It took me quite a while to learn this important fact in life and I wasted a lot of Sunday mornings in the company of other hungover idiots playing parks football for a team in Division 6 (East) of the Reading Sunday League.

I'm actually completely rubbish at football, so, relegated to the subs' bench, this usually amounted to running the line with a flag and getting, perhaps, ten minutes' worth of lurching about in front of exhausted opponents in a glorious 3-1 defeat to a bunch of ageing postmen.

In fact, not being a particularly fit specimen, about ten minutes was all I could manage, so it was an arrangement that suited me right down to the ground.

One of the highlights of a pulsating Division 6 (East) season was the away match at Mortimer West End, for the ground (in reality, a recently converted farmer's field) was next door to a rather excellent public house called the Royal Oak, which served some of the finest ales known to man.

One Sunday morning, we turned up to play West End in a League Cup match to find that the referee assigned to the game clearly straight out of school, had only just done the ref's course and had found himself officiating over this bunch of ne'er-do-wells on just about his first run-out with a whistle.

We found, at a very early stage, that this man in black was not exactly cut-out for a life of reffing.

The whistle would blow for a free kick, which would be met by the Sunday footballer's traditional protest: "You're 'avin' a laugh, ref!"

Instead of sticking to his guns, he would go "Right you are, then" and either wave play on or give a free-kick to the opposite team, who would echo the "You're 'avin' a laugh, ref!" mantra, leaving the poor lad utterly confused.

His authority already completely gone, the match took on a sort of free-form officiating where the man with the whistle was almost completely ignored.

OK, not quite ignored. Playing in a bit of a rural community, any punt up the left wing would sail over a hedge and into the field next door.

"Throw in Blues," said the ref.

"Well, go and get it then..."

And he did. Every time the ball went over the hedge to land amongst the cows next door, the referee shrugged apologetically, legged it off the pitch, through a hole in the hawthorns and lobbed the ball back to us. We would then carry on as if he wasn't there. And he wasn't. Our ref was the ballboy.

God knows what he put in his referee's report, but both teams marked him 9 out of 10.

In the end, we played "next goal wins it" after the second half lasted for the best part of an hour.

And then to the pub, where it turned out he was too young to be served.

That made little difference to the team piss-takers, for half an hour later:


Early bath.

On any other business


Thursday, December 06, 2007

IKEA Criminal Mastermind II

IKEA Criminal Mastermind II

The big, fat and not entirely accurate dictionary on my desk defines 'karma' thussly:

Karma: noun.
1. Hinduism & Buddhism Action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation

2. John Lennon: Getting the whole lot in one easy-to-manage payment (See Goody, J)

On our recent trip to IKEA in Bristol, we returned home with a nice storage unit, a cutlery set and over 350 stolen pencils, only a few of which were used against local tramps with deadly force.

Having decided against using our swag for evil, the storage unit will come in handy as somewhere to keep all the pencils until the day of the Great Flood, when they shall be fashioned into some sort of raft to save us from the rising waters.

This is the kind of forward planning you don't get in 'Protect and Survive', I can tell you for nothing.

Alas, there is no accounting for the delicate balance of the universe, and so it turns out that karma feels the need to punish us over our petty larceny.

Our brand spanking new cutlery set, for example. Hand-crafted on the thighs of delightful 18-year-old Swedish blondes, it was left outside in a bucket as per the detailed Swedish-language instructions, and has gone rusty and looks like it's been dipped in poo.

If that wasn't bad enough, those Scandiwegian curs at IKEA won't take them back without a receipt because they think that I am some sort of crook.

If it wasn't for the fact that when the world pencil shortage kicks in - the result of IKEA trashing the Brazilian rain forests for fresh pencil stocks - I shall be a millionaire, and I will never set foot in their warehouse ever again.

I just hope that karma's finished with me over this. I gather that if you half-inch more than 1,000 pencils from IKEA, they send their delightful blonde enforcers round, and grown men have been found impaled and KILLED TO DEATH on their ill-gotten gains.

If this is the case, I shall resort to the kind of petty theft that benefits the whole nation: Tesco wine bottle holders.

On any other business

I have just rediscovered the writings of my blogging arch-nemesis Tired Dad, and he is excellent. Somebody, somewhere give the man a book deal.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

IKEA Criminal Mastermind

IKEA Criminal Mastermind

Scary's Confess-o-matic: This post previously appeared in B3TA's Question of the Week less than a month ago. In these days of global warming, I am merely recycling my hot air

Forced by your significant other to go on a family trip to IKEA?

Why not liven up an otherwise dull and boring experience by offering a prize to your offspring for the child who can steal the most pencils?

The boy Scaryduck Jr -who rattled as he walked past the tills - won with 186, pipping his sister who racked up a mere 152. A true criminal mastermind, who has earned his "Kingpin" nickname.

Subsequent shopping trips can be enlivened by stealing all the pens from your local branch of Argos and confusing the staff by replacing them all with IKEA pencils.

And there's literally pence to be made from your swag at car boot sales.

Alternatively, these devilishly-sharp Scandiwegian pencils may be employed as make-shift pungee sticks to keep tramps out of your garden; or as blow-pipe darts, also to keep tramps out of your garden.

And with Christmas fast approaching, once you have buried the rotting corpses of your local former hobos, there will be a steady stream of out-of-tune carol singers to dispatch with your newly honed Way Of The Smorgasbord deadly ninja skills.

I realise, as the evil Fagin figure behind this sorry, murderous affair which has spun wildly out of control, that I should be doing hard time in a Swedish prison - naked and soapy - forced to knit lingerie for the naked, soapy female inmates. Where do I hand myself in?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

On saying "Boilk"

On saying "Boilk"

Ho. Ho. And if I might be so bold: Ho.

It's that time of the year again, and you know what that means: the annual celebration of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In chocolate form.

Twenty-four days of the kids refusing to eat the chocolate out of their cheapest-food-products-imaginable advent calendars and consigning them to the human dustbin that is your humble narrator. This being a humble narrator who will even put away white-with-age 2003 stock purchased cut-price from a nervous-looking trader at Portland Market.

"Om nom nom nom," as they are saying at all the best ambassadors' receptions these days, where budget cut-backs are biting hard into the Ferrero Rocher budget.

I am sure that you will agree that scoffing other people's chocolate is the best chocolate of all, and I will climb over the bloated chocolatey corpses of friends and acquaintances to gorge myself stupid.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, however. And it's fucking awful in the Duck household's kitchen:

"Fucking hell's teeth, that was foul!" I remarked to the ever-patient Mrs Duck, "Advent calendar chocolate gets cheaper by the year."

"Which calendar was it?" she replied, waving in the general direction of the three blu-tacked to the wall.

"That one. The one with all the cartoon animals on it. Why?"

"That was Lucy's."

"Beg pardon?"

"The dog's. I got her an advent calendar at Pets at Home."

It dawns: "Good Boy Pet Non-Specific Holiday Countdown Calendar"


Monday, December 03, 2007

On selling religious artefacts for genuine cash money

On selling religious artefacts for genuine cash money

Hello. I am Scaryduck Junior and I am excellent.

The other day, this old man in a terrible nerdy anorak and flaky skin came to our school. We liked him, though, because he gave us all free stuff.

Boxes and boxes of free stuff.

He gave us a little talk at the front of the school hall, and then we all took turns going up and getting an absolutely free no-cash-changing-hands copy of the Bible.


He must have LOADS to get rid of, because he says he keeps leaving them in every hotel room in the world*. He certainly gets about.

Gideon is now my best friend.

Gideon is an even better friend to Liam from my class.

"Gideon," he asked, "Could you sign my bible?"

"My name's not...err... why?"

"So I can be reminded of your visit here every time I open these pages."

Touched to the very heart, Gideon opened the front of Liam's bible and signed his autograph.

"To Liam, God Bless you, squiggle-squiggle," he wrote.

Ten minutes later:

"Bible! Bible! Get your bible here! Signed by the author!"

"How much?"



* This is an outrageous lie, because I stole a copy of The Teachings of Buddha and a dressing gown from the outrageously expensive Westin Tokyo and still have them both, and a heap of bad karma