Saturday, January 31, 2009

On soft, snuggly toilet paper

On soft, snuggly toilet paper

I've often wondered who'd win a fight between the cutesome mascots used by the three main brands of toilet paper.

The Andrex Puppy

The Velvet Baby ("Soft soft soft!")

and, of course, The Charmin Bear

I know what you're thinking. My money's on the dog, too.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mirth and Woe: Rubber

Mirth and Woe: Rubber

With the 2009 Bloggies voting deadline looming like a big loomy thing, I thought it would be time to revive one of my favourite Tales of Mirth and Woe from the archives. This one last saw the light of day in November 2002, and now features 135% more FUNNAY and free sick-inna-hedge.

So, there I was. Friday night, down the Swan Inn with my beloved, taking part in an activity she innocently referred to as 'courting', and I as 'beer and bosooms'.

She liked The Swan because it was a nice out-of-town pub, not too far from home, with a nice atmosphere and a surprisingly good jukebox. I liked it because the landlady had the most enormous knockers I had ever seen on any woman, ever.

Things were going particularly well, and it was becoming increasingly clear that my luck might be in. Unfortunately - and rather like Tom Sharpe’s Zipser in Porterhouse Blue - I realised that I had been caught short in the rubberised protection department. The kind they dispense from a machine in the gents’ lavatory.

I headed for the bog, pretended to strain my onions while the last punter finished off, and turned my attention to the machine with the remnants of my pocket change.

I pulled back the drawer. Nothing. I could see the Holy Pack Of Three TRYING to come out, but it was caught somewhere in the gubbins. I pushed the drawer back slowly, hoping that gravity would do its job, but no.


The packet was almost, but not quite, coming out. All it needed was a little digital encouragement.

I gave it a prod with my finger. Close – but still no post-coital cigar. So I gave it a firm push.


The drawer slammed shut, my finger still inside, my pockets free of the pound coin that would secure my release. On a sufficiently lengthy time-line I could have actually starved to death there.

For what seemed a panic-filled eternity I turned my finger this way and that, pushed, pulled, twisted and shook, but I was stuck fast, and if anything it was getting worse.

Then I heard footsteps.

I was trapped. Laughter, ridicule and slow death by embarrassment and/or cock-punch could be only seconds away.

With one foot halfway up the wall, I let out a silent scream and gave one final mighty tug.

There was an audible "CRACK!" as I freed myself and staggered backwards across the bogs, regaining my composure just in time for the landlord to come in to pump ship.

“Alright there”, he said.

I wanted to say “Actually, no. The machine’s eaten my money, and now it’s just tried to kill me and I only just escaped with my life. Furthermore, you get to motorboat the Best Bosoms In The World and I do not.”

So I said “Alright Dave” instead, ran off and was sick inna hedge.

That final blood-curdling tug broke my finger, and killed off any desire to partake in the Acts of Venus until a swelling in the trouser parts replaced the swelling of my injured digit.

Embarrassed by the circumstances, I never told Mrs Scary, and only saw a doctor the following Thursday when the pain got too much to bear.

"I shut it in a car door," I lied. Alas, the words "ynapmoC rebbuR nodnoL" betrayed the awful, awful truth as he lazily scrawled 'sex case' on my notes with a chisel-tip marker.

From that day on I used strips of bike inner tube and liked it. Let that be a lesson to you all.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On me me me ME ME

On me me me ME ME

Ace Rimmer: What a guyI appear to have grown a few extra readers on account of that whole award thing, so – thanks to a bit of prodding by the internet's Cliff Jones and TV's Mr Angry – it might be time to update the 100% truthful 'Who The Blummin' Hell Is This Asshat?' FAQ.

Besides, who better to talk about on here than The World's Most Excellent Person In The Universe, EVER?

Sadly, Ace Rimmer couldn't make it, so here are some things you should know about that Scaryduck chap instead:

1. This blog started on February 6th 2002, so that's seven years of my life gone that I won't see again. I took the leap from unfunny Arsenal fansite owner to unfunny blogger because TV's Wil Wheaton told me it would be "a blast". Stupid, excellent Wheaton.

2. I also owe a debt of thanks to radio's Danny Baker, the internet's Danny Kelly and TV news' Richard Lister for inadvertently encouraging me to write this stuff.

2-and-a-bit. I accidentally won the Guardian's best blog award several years ago. To avoid humiliation, and realising that I had already peaked, I volunteered to be on the voting panel the following year. I was the only panellist not to vote for that Belle de Jour bloke.

2-and-three-quarters. Dave de Jour got a bloody massive book contract and a TV series starring William 'Billie' Piper as Dave. I did not. I am not bitter about this AT ALL

3. TV's Anita Roddick said I was "a better writer than Jeffrey Archer". She is now dead.

4. TV's Lenny Henry said this site was "the best blog in the universe" and he is now crapping himself.

5. TV's Ricky Gervais is my mother-in-law's son-in-law's brother, or something. Which means he is either my sister or blogging deep, deep undercover somewhere in West LondonWilliam 'Billie' Piper: Spawny

6. I am English, Welsh, Irish, Jewish and French with a Scottish name. I once walked into a bar and the landlord said "What is this? Some kind of joke?"

7. The once funny Scaryduck blog (© 'Spikes' Walker) has also been accidentally nominated for a number of national and international blogging awards (usually in the 'Weird Shit' category), but the author clearly didn't sleep with the right people.

8. I have a book that is EXCELLENT (and still available). I also have three half-finished book manuscripts and a half-finished pilot for a radio sitcom which are also EXCELLENT and would make a superb addition to the output of any top quality publishing house or large broadcasting organisation hem hem passing media types hem hem.

9. Yes, the stories on my site ARE true. Mostly.

10. Me. Me, me, me, me. Smug. ME. ME. How was your day?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On mail order scams

On mail order scams

The acceptable face of SpamI recently got a spam email with the stright-to-the-point subject line: "Keep her moaning all night and all day"


Intrigued by the offer of foolproof penis enlargement pills and the 24/7 shagging power that goes with them - with absolutely no fatal and/or elephantine side-effects GUARANTEED - I fired up my credit card and made three easy payments of £299.99 for their information pack.

"Order today and get a FREE 'Get a huge cock now - Ask me how' T-shirt". How - I ask - could a man resist?

Allowing the standard 28 days for delivery, a scruffy mail order package soon fell into my sweaty hands. There, in equally scruffy hundred-times-photocopied print it repeated its tantalising promise:

"Keep her moaning all night and all day. SEE INSIDE!"

As I ripped it open, a small card fell out. Printed on it were two words:

"Marry her"


On being a bit of a media whore

Last night saw my participation in the legendary Angry and Cliff podcast, in which we talked about me, my weblog and my plans to invade Iceland while their guard is down. And then a bit more me, me, me.

It is HERE. You'll like it. It's got me in it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On using these new-fangled internets to send a personal message to your Member of Parliament

On using these new-fangled internets to send a personal message to your Member of Parliament

Hello. I am The Fragrant Mrs Duck and I am EXCELLENT.

Today, My Not Excellent-At-All Husband has allowed me to use his website to send a message to our Member of Parliament who is (according to the 42-year-old juvenile in our household) FULL of FAIL*. Whatever that means.

The other day – taking time off from my full-time job of running a household that features a fully-grown idiot - I took our dog Lucy Minogue for a walk with our neighbour.

As we walked down the coast path around Portland Harbour, I told Madge how Weymouth town centre has acquired yet another lunatic in the shape of a fire-and-brimstone end-times preacher warning bored shoppers outside the 99p Shop to accept "Jayyyy-sus" in their hearts or the world will end a week next Tuesday.

The Duck's a bit annoyed by this whole World's End business, as a) he thought he had the monopoly on Weymouth-based lunacy, and b) it means he won't get his birthday presents.

"Oh, I know who that is," said Madge with an air of sorrow on her voice, "He used to be a minister in our church. We had to let him go on account of the smiting. Very sad business."

I must admit the news that Madge had the insider gossip on Our New Loony came as a bit of a shock to the system, and my reply might have been a little louder than it should have been in the circumstances:


It was at this exact moment that a small man with a goatee beard and a smug look on his face walked by. On hearing my words, his face became nothing if not more smug, and the added spring in his step making him look smugger still.

So - my message for the Minister of State for School and Learners is this:

Dear Jim Knight MP,

Sorry to spoil your day and all that, but I wasn't talking about you. I was, if you'll pardon the cheap insult, talking about another idiot.

Your pal, The Fragrant Mrs Duck

PS Sort your facial hair out. It frightens the dog
At this point I am directed to type the words "Then I was sick inna hedge". But I won't. So there.

* Duck note: I've had John Redwood as an MP, and am pleased to report that Mr Knight is actually rather pleasant in comparison. So there

Monday, January 26, 2009

On the science of supermarket shopping

On the science of supermarket shopping

Pic: www.whatacorker.comAs the credit crunch forces us all to tighten our belts, it has become harder for impoverished families up and down the country to buy those everyday goods that are guaranteed to result in sickening, wallpaper-stripping farts.

So, in the name of SCIENCE, SHITS and GIGGLES we ask the question: Which supermarket offers the cheapest basket of fart fruit? My pal TRT (a genuine white-coated scientist) and I vowed to find out. We have called our plan Operation Supermarket Squeak

Donning our protective gear, we went to Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury and Tesco with the following shopping list:

- Savoy Cabbage
- Jerusalem Artichokes (luxury item)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Onion Bhajis
- Own-brand Baked Beans
- Value brand tinned sweet corn
- Curry sauce (extra hot)
- Bran Flakes
- Four-pack of Guinness
- Izal shiny white toilet paper (in case of follow-through)

Sadly, the budget didn't run as far as Marks and Spencer, and our Harrods personal shopper flung us out onto the cold, dismal streets of Kensington once our filthy secret became apparent.

Worse, those stuck-up bastards at Waitrose don't stock shiny white, so we had to make do with a packet of luxury moist towelettes and a handful of barbed wire, for the pursuit of SCIENCE forces such challenges upon us.

So, the scores on the doors:

Adsa: £10.73
Tesco: £11.43
Sainsbury: £11.63
Waitrose: £15.12

Now we know why the lady on the Asda adverts is always slapping her arse, while we suspect Waitrose shoppers probably wipes their bums on wads of brand new fifties.

Of course, the application of SCIENCE doesn't end here. Our mission now is to find a volunteer to consume these products and find out the guff-per-pound ratio, measuring their trouser coughs for style, control, damage and aggression and translating this data into the Scaryduckworth-Lewis Method of Rating Things for Excellence.

Sadly, the ideal candidate – Craig Charles out of Robot Wars – is currently having loads of granny sex on Coronation Street and is thus unavailable. Furthermore, I have NO desire to get close to Jamie 'Fat Tongue' Oliver's rear passage, which means he's out as well. Which means it looks like it's going to be me, then. As usual.

You – dear reader – are more than welcome to witness the proceedings in the name of scientific neutrality, but please: No smoking in the lab

When it's all over, and once the builders have made the facilities safe, we shall write it up and submit the paper to those wallahs at the BMJ (Bottom Music Journal) for peer review.

In these days of dwindling natural resources and the threat of a renewed Cold War over transit of fossil fuels through Eastern Europe, the entire energy security of the British way of life could depend on these findings. Use them wisely.

On rampant self-promotion

Courtesy of Metro, thanks to Rikaitch for the spot

Sunday, January 25, 2009

On Sunday odds'n'sods

On Sunday odds'n'sods

From your humble author:

People who sound like 80s pop bands – No.1: Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama

From a colleague:

Dubai TV has blocked the broadcast of `The Flintstones'.

According to a spokesperson for the station, the decision had been made because people in Dubai don't like the show - but people in Abu Dhabi do.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

On declaring war on Iceland

On declaring war on Iceland

This weekend finds me accidentally nominated for Best European Weblog in the 2009 Bloggie Awards.

Fearing I've only floated to the top on account of the fact that Zoe has been banned from winning ever again, it means that I've got a whole month and a half of pretending I don't really care who wins before the inevitable "I didn't really care who won but well done / IN YOUR FACE" post some time in late March.

Readers will be delighted to learn that this unexpected recognition will not alter you regular diet of scatalogical references, but it will go straight to my head and I will be King of The Gits for the next few weeks.

I expect a good fair fight – with no eye-gouging or cock-punching – and I will be the first to announce that feeble attempts to buy votes with offers of free beer, money and sex will be treated with the contempt they deserve.

Free beer, money and sex: HERE

Good luck to the other finalists.

Terms and conditions apply. Free beer, money and sex offer only open to residents of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, closes 19th October 1968

Friday, January 23, 2009

On catharsis

On catharsis

I accidentally found myself on a course the other day.

Usually, I'd avoid courses like the plague as they tend to detract from my valuable work arsing about on studying the internet.

This one, however, was on public speaking, and being a writer of TEH FUNNAY, it might help in my awful, red-faced retelling of same. Also, it might come in handy at work.

The only place I can perform – the fragrant Mrs Duck can testify - is at the till in a supermarket.

So, a nice lady from Emmerdale turned up and turned me from a gibbering wreck into the kind of annoying git that hogs the limelight at social gatherings. And, in doing so, she uncovered the one great phobia in my life.

Many people have a mortal terror of something benign. I mean – who on this Earth could fear OWLS? But, an exercise in speaking for 60 seconds, Just A Minute-style revealed just that.

"Scary," she said, "I'd like you to talk to us for a minute about gardening."




"Time's up. Hesitation, there, I think."

And it occurred to me: I have an irrational fear of gardening, based around the desire to kill, destroy and maim rather than to nurture new life, fertilized by my own fair bottom.

Or maybe I'm just a lazy bastard. One or the other.

"So," she said eyeing me with the sort of gimlet stare that might turn Eric Pollard into a gibbering wreck, "would you like to try again?"

Deep breath...

"My fear of gardening is the result of a bizarre space-hopper accident, a rose-bed and the accidental combustion of half a hundredweight of sodium chlorate weedkiller at the age of eight. The scars on the outside healed, but those in my head festered, grew, took control until Alan Titchmarsh was nothing but a bloodied pulp beneath my raging fists and Charlie Dimmock had to disguise himself as a woman for several years until the drugs took control.

"The front of my house – I loathe to use the 'g' word under any circumstance - is set to gravel, while the back is set to concrete. Two sheds to fill the space and act as workshops for my killing machines, pictures of the hosts of Gardeners World pinned to the walls along with the painted words 'KNOW YOUR ENEMY'. The decking acts only as an area where I can observe the mantraps in action, commanding a full sweep with the sniper rifle over any feline that dare think my property a latrine.

"While medical professionals have tried to 'cure' me of this so-called 'anti-social' longing, their success – or lack of it – can only be measured by the number of unmarked graves behind shed no.2 and the parched thigh bones in the leopard enclosure. If the Good Lord had wanted us to take part in such unsavoury acts as tending plants, why did he expel Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden with nothing but a voracious desire for freshly-culled flesh to protect them?

"Horticulture? Not a million miles from what Adolf Hitler was trying to do. AND he was a vegetarian..."
"Annnnnnd... Time's up."

"No. No it's not," I say, still twitching from the effort, "I've still got two seconds left."

"Ah. Right you are."

"I am not mad."

I am not mad.

On the 2009 Bloggie Awards

Vote for me, you mutinous dogs. And Fark. But mostly for me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

On choosing a bad time to break wind

On choosing a bad time to break wind

No. 278: Crawling under your desk whilst unplugging your phone charger.

Extra credit: Fire risk caused by a dodgy electrical connection that produces arcs of electricity like Gozer the Destroyer spewing fire on the Ghostbusters

Extra extra credit: Laughing and farting and laughing some more as you realise the mortal danger in which you have placed yourself. Then farting

Extra extra credit: Knocking yourself senseless on the corner of your desk drawer as you try to escape your gaseous, firey, napalm-filled tomb. Witnesses may recall a loud 'Spang-g-g-g-g!" as noggin and office furniture collide

Extra extra extra extra credit: Having to explain the whole sorry incident in a) an insurance claim form and b) the accident book

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Condensed history: The Norman Conquest

Condensed history: The Norman Conquest

The Battle of Hastings was the world's first rolling news event, documented and reported in the cutting-edge medium of sewing by dead French ladies. However, nobody does sewing these days, so it is high time the whole affair was retold in a language today's modern youth will understand: Txt spk and TOP LOLZ.

NOTE: Value of historical accuracy may go down as well as up

Condensed History: TEH NORMAN CONQUEST starring almost nobody called Norman

Edward Confessor: Hello. I am Edward the Confessor and I am excellent. I confess that I am not feeling very well and may actually DIE TO DEATH within three paragraphs

William T. CONQUEROR: C'est un buggeur, lordship. Any thoughts for ze succession? Eh? EH?

Ed Confessor: Yeah, all yours French bloke. Frankly, I'm losing my marbles and I'd give the job to a footstool if somebody put a crown on it LOL

William T. CONQUEROR: Woo-hoo!

Ed Confessor: Here come the icy hand of DETH and guaranteed SAINTHOOD. *ded* Oh hang on… I promised the job to the lad Harold last week. Oh, never mind – what could possibly go wrong?

William T CONQUEROR: EPIC WIN. Now for some proper ruling, LOL


William T CONQUEROR: LOLOL, and indeed ROFFLE

TEH PLEBS: All hail King Harold!

William T CONQUEROR: Quoi? Zut alors!

King Harold: Hello. I am King Harold and I am EXCELLENT. Plz to fck off back to France, so I can get on with some serious kinging and pressing of wild flowers etc

William T CONQUEROR: Oui? You an' who's army, pal?

King Harold: This one

Ten thousand hairy-arsed Saxons: Hello

William T. CONQUEROR: Arse. You haven't heard the last of me, your mother was an 'amster etc etc etc

King Harold: Now to get married, have filthy KING SEX and pretend not to worry about W.T. CONQUEROR who is a wet and a weed who sa hello clouds hello sky chiz chiz

William T. CONQUEROR: Soon see about that. WIFE! Pass my best messenger pigeons, ZUT ALORS

Madam T. CONQUEROR: You're writing dirty letters to Fiesta again, aren't you FFS?

William T. CONQUEROR: Knave, actually LOLOL

Madam T. CONQUEROR: You manky old spunker. UR not getting TEH SEXXUS until UR TEH KING

William T. CONQUEROR: "Dear Vikings, Pls to invade England, just like we planned. Bonus - all the rape, pillage and TOP LULZ you can eat. Your Pal, W.T CONQUEROR (LOL)"

N. Wisdom: Is it time for my 'Mr Grimsdale!' line yet?

Madam T. CONQUEROR: Cock off

Meanwhile, back in England...

King Harold: Crazy golf or beheadings? Being King is TEH BORING. Plz to find teh royal copy of THE SUN

Guest appearance by Royal butler and not-a-thief-at-all Paul Burrell: Here it is, my liege. I'll just ...err... tidy away all this silverware in this large sack, along with this crown you don't appear to be wearing, LOL

King Harold: Let's have a look at the old footie fixtures... Wank me off with a baboon! We're at Stamford Bridge. To-fucking-night! ARSE! Send for my ten thousand hairy-arsed Saxons, FFS

Guest appearance by Royal butler and not-a-thief-at-all Paul Burrell: Will sir be requiring the Vaseline as well?

Harald Hardrade: Hello. I am hairy-arsed Harald Hardrade and I am EXCELLENT. Today, I shall be fighting Saxon pansy King Harold at Stamford Bridge. 3pm kick-off, seats at all prices. Oh, I am TEH DED

King Harold

Meanwhile, at the other end of the M1...

William T.CONQUEROR: Bonjour Angleterre! LOL. Where's that king-stealing ponce Harold?

King Harold: Oh, FFS. If it's not one thing it's another

N. Wisdom: Mr Grimsdale?

King Harold: NOB OFF

William T.CONQUEROR: So. My arch-nemesis - we meet again, but for ze final time

King Harold: Yeah? You an' whose army?

Ten Thousand Stinking Frenchmen: Bonjour!

King Harold: EASY

Imagine – if you will, dear reader – a pitched battle on England's green and pleasant land between two large, determined armies. A battle which will shape the future of both our great nation and the world as we know it. Then sew it into a fucking great bit of needlework and nail it to a church in France

King Harold: Heh. I love being King. Best job in the world

Guest appearance by Royal butler and not-a-thief-at-all Paul Burrell: Hey look up there! The Goodyear blimp!

King Harold: COCK. Right in the eye. Oh, I am ded

N. Wisdom: Mr Grimsdale! Mr Grimsdale! UR crown – I haz it

William T.CONQUEROR: LOLOLOL Now for some proper kinging

Guest appearance by Royal butler and not-a-thief-at-all Paul Burrell: Anything you say, boss

William T.CONQUEROR: Yes. First I shall set up a large and wide-ranging bureaucracy. Then, once I have recruited and trained by legion of official inspectors and ensured they are fully aware of all discrimination and health and safety regulations, we shall document each and every man, woman and child in this kingdom for the purposes of accurate and efficient economic policy and taxation at a financially prudent rate in my DOOMSDAY BOOK and… (continued on page 65)

Poor, dead King Harold: EPIC FAIL. Your fault

Poor, dead Saint Ed Confessor: SOZ. LOLZ

Digg my article

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On finding oneself the King of the Gits

On finding oneself the King of the Gits

"I vowed I'd never write about home life" - Number 12,564 in a series.

It's no good. We've been married for nearly eighteen years now, and I've got to say something.

"Do you know how long we've been married?"

"Yes. Nearly eighteen years now."

"And do you know what REALLY winds me up about you?"

"I have no idea."

So I explain.

It's that moment on any given evening. I get into bed, say 'goodnight', turn the light off and shut my eyes, waiting for the Sandman to come down and punch my lights out and drag me to his realm of dream, where I am Space Commander, Wembley Super-sub and the main protagonist in a "Dear Fiesta…" letter, rolled into one.

It is that exact moment that my charming, fragrant wife decides to have a conversation. About the neighbours In the dark. Without fail. For eighteen years.

The end result is that I'm so tense that the one-sided conversation may re-start at any moment, I am quite unable to surrender to the grasp of sweet, sweet sleep.

"Well," she says, "we never get to speak during the evenings."

I draw the jury's attention to the period between 7pm – 9pm where Emmerdale, EastEnders and a double dose of Coronation Street hold sway. I am – I say – more than happy to converse between those hours on any subject she sees fit.

"Do you want to know what annoys me about you?"

"What?" I ask, with a terrible sense for foreboding.

"I've written a few down."

She reveals a notepad the size and shape of the central London phone directory. It is rather full.

Snores – Is a git – Is an enormous git – snores – disobeys house rules re: toilet seat – Displays record gittishness – Smelly slippers - King of the Gits

After several minutes, I manage a reply: "King of the Gits? WIN!"

"I'm in love with an idiot."

"What's his name?"

The War of the Lifted Toilet Seat and Poor Foot Cleanliness: IT HAS BEGUN.

Monday, January 19, 2009

On Roffle Harris

On Roffle Harris

I'm Jake the Peg
Iddle iddle iddle um
With the extra leg
Iddle iddle iddle um

So sang TV's Rolf Harris in his hit song about an unfortunate man's life with an additional limb.

Or did he?

Far from being a ditty about the eponymous Jake's struggles through life where the only benefit is getting a free parking space in the centre of town, the song - it emerges - has an entirely different meaning altogether.

In fact, if we refer to the original version, released at last under a Freedom of Information request, we hear the stark truth about this particular hit song, along with the first recorded use of now-familiar 'l33t speak'.

I'm Rolf the Harris
And I am excellent
I've got an enormous pecker

With the rest of the - frankly, unprintable - lyrics bragging on how Mrs Harris walks like John Wayne after a week in the saddle, and how he once poked the Australian Cultural Attache's eye out at an offical barbecue when a pretty lady hove into view at an inopportune moment.

No wonder - with the frightening Mary Whitehouse on the rampage - the young Rolf decided to hide the real meaning of the song behind a comedy pair of trousers and a shoe tied to his bell-end.

"Can you tell what it is yet?" TV's Rolf Harris asks us.

"Yes, Rolf," we reply, "Yes we can."

Don't get me started on Two Little Boys.

Dead Pool: Transfer window now open.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On excellent advice

On excellent advice

"Never be a name-dropper. That's what Ricky Gervais told me over dinner at Jagger's house. Bowie thought it a bit out-of-order, too."

Friday, January 16, 2009

On spooky coincidences

On spooky coincidences

There's nothing like a bit of spooky coincidence to get easily-impressed people saying "WoooOOooOOOoooOooo" at the end of your tale.

So. Spooky coincidence.

A Sunday in summer.

A warm summer Sunday back in the days when the family would pile in the car, go out for a (95% liquid) pub lunch, then pile back into the car before embarking on what was known back then as a "drive".

Ah yes. The Sunday drive. That 1970s mystery tour from an age where cars were a luxury rather than a necessity, where you could take off into the country and not have some drum'n'bass twat stuck up your arse for miles on end. As it were.

And then – you'd end up somewhere. Quite often in the woods, before The Man cut them all down to build housing estates, right kids?

This time, after a liquid lunch down the social club in Twyford, where we kids amused ourselves with an energetic game of "Dodge Dart" against the local council estate brats, we piled into our second-hand Renault 12 (honestly, we're suckers for French cars) and headed north.

North. Far further north than usual, in fact. Our usual limit were the roads around Henley-on-Thames, where we'd run into little marvels like the Maharajah's Well, or the aerial farm at Crowsley Park (where your humble author would one day earn a living).

But we pressed on. And as we did, the weather turned.

It had started a bright sunny afternoon, but the clouds rolled in, the sky became as black as Armageddon, and the temperature dropped off the scale.

And then, the skies opened.

But didn't rain. It snowed, the trees given a white coating as freak weather turned summer into winter all within a matter of minutes.

Struggling to see where we were heading, we entered a village.

"Welcome," said the sign thoughtfully provided by Oxfordshire County Council, "Welcome to Christmas Common."


Thursday, January 15, 2009

On laundretiquette

On laundrette etiquette

On laundretiquette

On the niceties of washing your kecks

Dear Uncle Scary,

Like everybody in EastEnders, for whom the technology has clearly passed them by, I have to go to a laundrette to get my washing done.

Sadly, the tumble drier is invariably hogged by one customer who loads his greying rags into the drum before buggering off to the pub for three hours, returning only when he's had a skinful and spilling doner kebab juice all over my freshly-washed lingeries.

What, I ask, is the correct etiquette in these circumstances? Clearly I cannot stand on a stool and dump a steaming, fresh turd into the tumble drier by way of punishment because:

a) I have to use it next, and

b) there is a 'No standing on stools and dumping a steaming, fresh turd into the tumble drier' sign that prohibits such acts.

Similarly, opening the drier, removing his fetid clothes and drying my own might appear a tad forward and is simply not British.

What should I do? You're my last chance!

Hopelessly yours,

Albert O'Balsam, Emmer Green

Dear Albert

Follow him home and crap through his letterbox. It's the only language these curs understand.

Your pal,

Uncle Scary

On comments

I've been told that some people can't see the new-style JS-Kit/Haloscan comments, so I've decided to switch to those supplied by Blogger.

They'll run in parallel for a week or so, then I'll delete one or the other.

Please direct any complaints about the comments box to the comments box.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On Jacob's Cheeselets: An appeal

On Jacob's Cheeselets: An appeal

Just after Christmas, my erstwhile colleague 'Spikes' Walker brought in the remains of his festive scran for the vultures in the office to finish off.

This consisted of a wheelbarrow-full of the taste sensation that is Jacob's Cheeselets, small squares of biscuit impregnated with spray-on cheese flavour and (possibly) drugs.

We feasted on them for several days like Amy Winehouse with the munchies, then, having necked the lot, sat staring wanly at the empty cartons, craving more.

And this is where it does tits-up.

There are no more.


For the last week, we have trudged the means streets of Reading, the not-so-mean-streets of Weymouth and points in between, and have found this many Cheeselets: NONE.

We are beginning to think that Cheeselets never actually existed at all and memories of the initial supply might have been a hallucination brought on by Twiglet fumes.

Where are Cheeselets? WHERE?

I have written them a friendly letter enquiring after the sudden disappearance of our favourite processed food.

Dear United Biscuits,

For the love of God, what happened to all the Cheeselets?

Shop shelves are empty and gangs of disaffected lovers of cheese-flavoured snacks roam the streets with blunt-edged weapons and flaming torches.

This is a travesty, worse than that Jonathon Ross business that you probably had a hand in. SORT IT OUT. NOW.

Think carefully about your answer. Nobody likes to get a steaming, fresh turd through their letterbox.

Your Pal

Albert O'Balsam
That'll do it.

Please send Cheeselets. Think of the children. Please.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On estate agents from HELL

On estate agents from HELL

"Do you know what I can see here?" said the middle-aged man in a shiny suit that had once seen better days, its one jacket button straining to hold everything in place.

The man, I decided had seen better days, too. Some time in the early 1970s.

No, I couldn't see what he saw there: "What?" I ask. "What?"

"I can see you buying small, young trout, growing them in the garden pond, then whipping them out at a later date to sell from a stall at the end of your drive. Perfect business opportunity."


Yes, dear reader, we are house-hunting again, and the lunacy had begun before we had even got through the front door, for this time McMad Brothers Estate Agents had sent along Mad Jake McMad to view an enormous house that stunk of dog wee and featured the thickest flock wallpaper on the planet.

Come to think of it, the flock might just have been mould.

"And this bedroom with admittedly ancient ensuite bathroom facilities. Do you know what I can see here?"

"No. I have no idea."

"I can see you sub-letting this room for up to £75-per-week," he said, hands rubbing his thighs Vic Reeves-style, "Perhaps to a young, female nurse, who'd be able to shower – naked and soapy – in the privacy of her own room, where she'd bring a friend home to entertain, with you just the thickness of a wafer-thin plasterboard wall away as the two innocent young things explore the delights of Sapphic love."

"Now you come to mention it, so do I."

"And now the kitchen," he said, still sweating from this particular bout of red-hot estate agenting, "Do you know what I…"

"Yes. Yes I do. The Battle of Agincourt re-enacted with kittens while Sarah Beeny pole-dances in the background."

"Actually, it's Kirstie Allsopp."

"We'll take it."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

On awful television, again

On awful television, again

"Go on," they said, "Demons can't be that bad. Watch it again on Saturday and give it a second chance."

So I did.

And it's still shit.

Still, nice to see the bad guy out of The Smurfs getting back on our screens again after all these years.

Friday, January 09, 2009

On tinned cat

On tinned cat

I am not - by-and-large - a cruel person.

In fact, I am known for my kind and cosiderate nature, and that business with the jet-powered hamster was nothing but an unfortunate misunderstanding. Ditto the freefall goldfish experiments.

And the same can be said for my charming considerate wife, The Fragrant Mrs Duck, who has never harmed an animal in her life that she hasn't been prepared to eat. Raw.

However, like any other person from this great nation of animal-lovers, we like nothing more than a good, hard laugh at the misfortunes of some poor, dumb creature. THat is why You've Been Framed fills a prime-time slot on Saturday evening television.

This is especially true if this misfortune is falling upon is the cat belonging to the chav family down the road that's been going through the bins and shitting in our front garden.

That's the cat doing the bins and the turds, but I wouldn't put it past the kids either, to be honest.

So, it came as no surprise to be awoken by the sound of feral family's feral cat rummaging through our recycling bin at one o'clock of the morning. Its target: scraps at the bottom of Lucy Minogue's Harrod's Not-Value-Brand-At-All Dog Chunks.

Then... the sound of a cat panicking.

This, I am afraid, it a tough one to describe, but picture if you will, the spawn of a pair of street moggies jumping about in a large bin of tins, jars and plastic bottles, a tin of dog food wedged onto its head.

Then, picture the same cat running round and round in (literally) blind panic for several minutes until, inevitably, its helter-skelter route around the garden it halted by a fucking great brick wall.


And there, in an upstairs window, your humble narrator and his fragrant, charming wife sat, laughing like a great pair of stupids.

Of course, being the kind, caring person that I am, I donned a dressing gown and went downstairs to see if moggy was uninjured. It went for my face, and I trod in a freshly-squeezed turd, so I took that as a great big 'YES'.

The next day, the recycling bin grew a lid. A lid held down with a breeze-block.

If I angle it just right, I could catch me a kitty.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

On gastropod art pamphlets

On gastropod art pamphlets

The flashing blue bar in the corner of my screen tells me I have an Instant Messenger conversation on the go. After trading the usual good natured insults, we get into the meat of the exchange:

"I was walking to work this morning," my colleague 'Snit' Bolton tells me, "when I stumbled across a large quantity of grumble mags in a hedge."

I was impressed with his find, and offered him advice, what with being the king of finding abandoned smut.

"You ought to go back there and start digging. There's probably a porn mine down there. Whole seams of the stuff. Tits, arse, flange – the whole works."

He agreed, and arrangements were made to borrow a pickaxe and shovel from the gardeners' shed.

"What," I ask trying not to sound too involved in the whole sordid episode, "what genre did the jazz fall into?"

"It was brown and covered in slugs."


"And there was also a Ukrainian dictionary."

There's no accounting for the tastes of other cultures.

"The kinky stuff, then. Meet you in ten minutes. Bring your wellies."

"I'll be right along. I've got to update my Facebook status first."

So I wait. And I wait. And press the 'Refresh' key:

'Snit Bolton is digging for Ukrainian slug porn.'

In for a penny: 'Duck (Scary) is examining gastropod art pamphlets for fun and profit'

I suppose – at this point – it is only fair to reach out to the original owner of this collection in case they want it back. So, if you're a Ukrainian speaker who has misplaced a vast quantity of cliterature of a specialist nature, it should still be where you left it for the next five minutes or so.

It's days like this, dear reader, when you never feel so alive.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

On stuff that is EXACTLY 98.9 per cent of truth

On stuff that is EXACTLY 98.9 per cent of truth

The economy's in a right old state. But never fear! Alistair Darling – the man with caterpillars for eyebrows - is here to save us with a miniscule VAT cut that will have long-suffering consumers the length and breadth of the country soiling themselves with delight.

Sadly, I don't think he's thought the whole tax-cutting scheme through – just look at the chaos he has brought upon us:

- Thanks to Darling's recent decision to cut the rate of VAT from 17.5% to 15%, the Will Smith movie 'Seven Pounds' – the result of a finely-tuned Hollywood marketing campaign - will be released in the United Kingdom under the title '£6.92'*.

- Shop chain Poundland is resisting calls to change its name to 98.9p-Land. Instead, the store group has (genuinely – I'm not making this up for once) said that it will instead add special offers in its tawdry chav-encrusted aisles. Neither I nor my bottom can wait for the buy-39-get-one-free on single-ply shiny-white toilet paper.

- Any gentlemen's leisure magazine which refers to 'Giving this steamy lady a good, hard pounding' must be prepared to offer readers a 1.1 penny refund for each mention, along with a valid tax receipt.

- Additionally, under EC Directive 2008/12789c, all future productions of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice must refer to 0.454kg of flesh, which should only be removed in the presence of a registered medical practitioner with full consent of all parties in a registered meat processing plant or McDonalds restaurant.

In the words of professional tosser Richard Littlejohn – You couldn't make it up. Apart from the bits that I made up, obviously.

* Yes, I actually sat down and worked out the VAT saving, with a calculator an' everything

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

On toilet etiquette

On toilet etiquette

I find myself on an infrequent screen-break, doing exactly what comes naturally to a man of my advancing years: standing at urinial, staring at wall, minding my own business and avoiding the head-height grease stain on the wall left by manky persons unknown.

I had remembered my urinal etiquette – drummed into me through years of tutelage and cold, hard experience - and occupied the end pissoir of the four available.

Alas, as I am about to find out, others in the same employ as myself have no such concept of urinal etiquette.

Another gentleman, also finding a pressing need to make water, enters the luxurious warmth of the second-best gentlemen's bathroom in the building, and, given a choice of three urinals, blatantly – and with malice aforethought – chose the one next to me.

Oh, had I chosen to go up to the executive lavs on the first-and-a-halfth floors, this son of England might have been spared his embarrassment.

Had I farted, I dare say he would have thrown all taboos to the four winds and made a comment, or even glanced my way in a manner banned in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland since 1847.

Naturally, I was disgusted, and let my anger show in the only way I knew how.

I pissed on his foot

I did absolutely nothing.

And having made my feelings on the matter absolutely clear, I made my excuses, adjusted my dress (oh-ho!), washed my hands carefully and deliberately, and fled.

That certainly told him.

GENTLEMEN: Learn your Toilet Etiquette. A life may depend on it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

On awful television

On awful television

Glenister: Poor, poor Gene HuntEvery once in a while, a television programme comes along that is so bad it sets the standard for dreadful entertainment.

For years, Eldorado was this yard-stick.

Then, in quick succession the title was taken by the ridiculous Bonekickers ("What do we do now?" "We dig") and the embarassing Britannia High ("Don't be a wannabe, be who you want to be"), but now, a new king is in town: ITV's Saturday night family drama Demons.

It was meant to be a vaguely scary supernatural thriller. A sort of Doctor Who-meets-Buffy that would have little kids hiding behind the sofa along with their parents. I haven't laughed so much in my life.

God. Where do I start?

- The writing features just about every cliche on the planet ("I'm getting too old for this", "Showtime!", "I've got a bad feeling about this"), and can't make up its mind if it's Star Wars, Dracula, Dr Who, Buffy, something stolen from Neil Gaiman, or sick inna hedge.

- Philip Glenister - hardnut Northern actor - sporting the worst American accent ever. We laughed at Dick van Dyke's cockney geezer in Mary Poppins. Now the tables are turned as the words "I smite at thee" dribble from his mouth and crawl into a corner to die. Poor, dead Gene Hunt

- MacKenzie Crook sporting a false nose and wishing he was back in The Office

- Character names brazenly stolen from literature. Mina Harker? Van Helsing? REALLY?

- Eye-candy hero who gets his shirt off at the drop of a hat. And he's called Luke. And they did a "Use the Force" gag.

- Love interest Ruby introduced by the Kaiser Chiefs tune "Ruby Ruby Ruby Rubeeee" to gales of laughter from the family sofa

- Plot 'twists' telegraphed from a distance of approximately ten miles. You just know that the Glenister character will turn out to be eye-candy hero's father in a future episode to an enraged cry of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

- Speaking of which, moving the plot along with the minimum of fuss or believability: "I'm your god-father. And I'm also a vampire hunter that kills supernatural monsters." "Akay"

- Characters you want to punch in the face. Hard. Even if they're a girl. And blind.

Mere words, sadly, cannot convey the sheer depths that this series plumbs. Equally sadly, foreign readers will have to wait until this eventually reaches your screens, but I dare say somebody's already uploaded it onto the net for shits and giggles.

I can't wait for next week. Harry Hill's going to have a field day.

Friday, January 02, 2009

On Duck versus Rat

On Duck versus Rat

"There's only one way to get rid of a mole," said poor, dead Jasper Carrott, "Blow its bloody head off!"

I can see where poor, dead Jasper's coming from, for Scaryduck Towers has possession of a rat. A rat that has been sent to seek awful, bloody revenge for my rat-killing excellence earlier this year.

As I sat, smugly, in my kitchen-diner on Boxing Day, looking out through the patio doors whilst putting away biblical quantities of Twiglets, my attention was drawn to a patch of bare garden not six feet away from where I sat.

There, looking equally smug, was a large, brown rat, putting away biblical quantities of turkey fat, poured out the back door not the night before.

It stopped and looked up at me, an air of "screw you" on its face, before diving back into the leftovers.

I did what any manly man would do in the circumstances. I grabbed the poker from the fireplace and sallied forth to give the evil bastard a damn good shoeing.

It did what any ratty rat would do face with a poker-wielding short-arse. It ran away.

There was no way I was going to take such an affront lying down. Fearing something hideous out of a James Herbert novel (only without the scenes of graphic, filthy sex) I was straight down to B&Q for their best budget-price rat trap, and set it up in the garden, cunningly baited with a tempting mixture of turkey fat and strawberry jam.

Seven thirty the next morning – roused from my pit by the sound of the bin lorry – the bait was gone, the trap unsprung.

"Maybe it's not working," the fragrant Mrs Duck ventured.

"Let's see," I replied, prodding it with a toe.

Here's a tip: Don't wear your carpet slippers in the garden. Epic, EPIC FAIL.

Rat 1-0 Duck.

The war: It has BEGUN.

On being an attention whore

Nominations for the 2009 Bloggie Awards are open.

I'm not going to demand that you all go and nominate me for the Best Humour Blog award, but if you don't and Julian Meteor wins, it's going to be YOUR FAULT.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

On Instant Messenger etiquette

On Instant Messenger etiquette

"LOL" wrote my esteemed colleague 'Spikes' Walker as we shared wry observations through the medium of MSN Instant Messenger

Yet, he did not LOL. He didn't even raise the merest titter. I know this for a fact because he was sitting no more than six feet from me in our luxuriously-appointed offices.

He – and let us not beat about the bush – lied to me.

He said he did a LOL, yet no LOL emerged.

This wanton behaviour poses questions about the very fabric and honest foundations on which our society is built.

How many others, I ask, are saying "ROFFLE", but are still sitting firmly in their seats, not roffling in the slightest? Worse, how many are ROTFLMAO, when their A is still firmly attached?

How many others are saying BRB but are merely using it as an excuse to ignore a boring conversation?

And how many are replying to the all-important A/S/L question with "17 / F / In my Underwear LOL" when they are, in fact, "45 / M / FBI Headquarters"?


We should be told. FFS.