Monday, May 31, 2010



Soon to appear on the hard-hitting Sky One documentary series: Ross Kemp on Helium

Colonial readers: It is a public holiday over here. Talk amongst yourselves and discuss how best to serve the Empire.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio

Yeah, I know they're miserablists, and I care not for the video, but the tune, man, THE TUNE.

"I owe money to the money to the money I owe"

Reminds me of somebody...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wooden bow tie

Baker and Kelly: Wooden Bow Tie

I'm going to let someone else do the funny story this week, and who better than this pair of ne'er-do-wells who are - more-or-less - the people that inspired this blog.

When I first heard this tale, I was in danger of doing myself actual damage from laughter. Please, then, do not click on the play button if you are operating heavy machinery. You have been warned.

I give you: The Wooden Bow Tie

Thursday, May 27, 2010

On understanding the metric system

On understanding the metric system

Sahara asked me - after I mentioned the conversion rate of the metric shitload to the Imperial Shedload - about units of measure. So, for those of you still working things out on the old money, always happy to oblige:

One metric shitload = 2.71 Imperial Shedloads

1 Imperial Shedload = 0.03 Fucktonnes

1 Fucktonne = 1.02 Fucktons = 23.567 Metric spunkbubbles

2 Bloody great handfuls = 3 Metric jubblies

3 Metric jubblies = 1 good old fashioned slap round the face = 0.47 Had it up to heres = 0.02 Motorboats

6 inches = 1 standard handjob = 0.5 Milibands

2 standard handjobs = 1 "Last night I dreamed I was skiing" = 0.5 Metric Liars

12 pints British ale = 56.8 litres of French piss = 1 vomir dans une haie = 0.93 Imperial Sick inna Hedge = 0.69 US Chunders

Do let me know if I've missed anything.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On over-estimating the intelligence of the person at the other end of the phone

On over-estimating the intelligence of the person at the other end of the phone

This exchange – part of a conversation with a call centre belonging to a well-known company - is 100 per cent genuine, and what follows left me unable to speak for at least half an hour:

Me: "Could you send confirmation to my email address?"

Call centre: "Sure – ready for it now"

Me: "My first name dot my last name at gmail dot com"

Them: "Cool! How did you get that?"

Me: *Facepalms*

Sometimes, I despair for the future of the human race

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On having your innards ripped out by sea monsters and used as a skipping rope

On having your innards ripped out by sea monsters and used as a skipping rope

"There's nothing worse," said the Fragrant Mrs Duck, "that you standing over me when I'm taking my make-up off.

"Can't I get ready for bed in peace?"

I harumph, the cogs turning over in my mind, there being LOADS of things worse than my standing over her whilst she is removing her make-up. Not that she needs telling, or anything.

"Having your face eaten by woodpeckers."

"What? WHAT?"

"Having your face eaten by woodpeckers. That's loads worse than my standing over you while you are removing your make-up. Not that you need telling, or anything.

"Or, getting run over by a steam roller driven by Gordon Brown, taking his awful revenge on the country for voting Conservative.

"Or, sea monsters rising from the fish pond, ripping out your innards for a skipping rope and getting wet footprints on the hall carpet.

"Or, angry geese.


"Shut up. And stop standing over me."

Monday, May 24, 2010

On crisps

On crisps

FACT: Crisps are an important part of your diet, and comprise at least seven of your five a day.

FACT: Modern culture started to collapse the day Golden Wonder stopped making Ringos.

A decision not taken lightly, production was halted after a successful legal challenge by fourth-best Beatle Ringo Starr, demanding a 1p payment for every tasty potato-based snack bearing his name.

Ironically, the Egg Marketing Board dodged a similar bullet by changing the name of the yellow bit inside their product to "yolk" after a writ from Yoko Ono in the early 1970s, while the makers of "Lennonade" craftily switched the double-n to a letter 'm'.

Paul McCartney and Man United footballer Wayne Rooney are said to be perfectly happy with Macca-Roons, as long as they stick to the veggie recipe.

I am not mad.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend Video (Request Spot)

Weekend Video (Request Spot and Double Bill)

Kate Bush - Babooshka

Michelle writes from That Land Down Under: "She was 19 when she wrote this. 19! I could hardly spell my name when I was 19.

"Also, my 68 year old father fancies her. Which I think is a bit wrong. I mean, I fancy Johnny Depp, but I'm not 68."

I am 44 and I do not fancy J. Depp.

Sage Francis - Best of Times

This is marvelous and I am going to force you to like it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

On being so cross I nearly said something

On being so cross I nearly said something

To Budgens, timing my arrival for the moment they fill the "Reduced to Clear" shelf with unsold produce (EXACTLY 4.25pm), those of us in the know hanging around and pretending not to pay attention to the daily ritual, our act betrayed by the fact we are all salivating like Pavlov's Dog.

"Ah-ha!" I say eyeing the goods as it is solemnly doled out onto the shelf, "I quite fancy one of those short-dated yoghurts", of which there were DOZENS, the people of Caversham not being that enamoured with paying full price for poncy-brand organic goods.

I drifted through the crowd, ready to strike. Timing is everything – there is a well practised art of getting to the front of the mob – and I was well set to swoop for a cut-price dairy product. Then…

"Mind 'ow you go," said a voice from below me.

To my dismay, I was nudged out of the way by the sharp elbows of an elderly woman, who filled her basket to the brim with ALL of them. ALL OF THEM. ALL OF THEM!

She was tiny but carried her load like Geoff Capes heaving a sports bag full of shot putts, and I raged to myself over what use she had with three dozen eat-by-midnight-tonight-or-you-will-die-of-yoghurt-poisoning strawberry desserts. Nothing was left on the shelf except for a sorry-looking pot of hummus.

Hummus: Made of chickpeas, the screams of the dead and raw, naked ANGER.


I was so angry over my defeat at the hands of this senile delinquent, I NEARLY SAID SOMETHING.

I bought a packet of dry roast nuts instead, giving her the skunk eye as she tootled across the car park to her Nissan Micra.

That told her.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On Menu Roulette

On Menu Roulette

Eating out recently, and unable to make up my mind, I found myself reading all the way to the bottom of the menu.

"Some products may contain allergens"

"Yeah, thanks for that", I thought to myself, before noticing that some wag had added "Good luck finding them".

Of course, this could open up a whole new concept for eating out: The risk that you might actually get KILLED TO DEATH through a poor choice of starter.

They tried this not terribly long ago in London, where the radioactive sushi proved to be a big hit with Russian guests, but how bringing the idea to your local Toby Carvery, where they can hope to attract a whole new audience of extreme sports enthusiasts.

"Some products may contain napalm"

I just don't want to be the person who cleans the toilets.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On expensive films

On expensive films

Hollywood's gone mad again, with Avatar setting the bar higher than ever for the sheer scale of cost and box office returns.

Of course, there's easy money to be made by taking existing films and making them expensiver. More expensive. Whatever.

- Get Cartier
- 24 Carat Party People

- Gladiate more
- Collectable Toy still in its original packaging Story

- Saving Private Ryan money on his car insurance
- Nanny Mc Inflated Phee

- One Million Years HSBC
- Lord of the Rings - Return of the Unwanted Christmas Present to the customer service desk in Harrods, which is noted for being quite expensive

Sadly, TV is having to tighten its belt, as the latest remake proves:

- Space: £19.99

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On I-Spy for grown-ups

On I-Spy for grown-ups

As a posh kid, I was frequently given I-Spy books on subjects such as cars, bird-spotting and trees, scoring points for each object seen.

When you completed the book, you'd send it off and get a spotter's certificate from Big Chief I-Spy, who I strongly suspect may not have actually been of Native American stock, despite his recent relocation to a reservation-stroke-casino in Nevada.

Now that I'm a grown-up, I still quite like the idea of I-Spy – so why not stretch the idea to the adult world, where there is a ready, nostalgic audience to be tapped?

Titles could include "I-Spy on my commute to work"; "I-Spy pubs and nightclubs"; and the one I'm currently working on: "I-Spy Workplace Meetings and Courses"

10 points: The person who asks the most rambling, overlong not-to-the-point-al-all questions and must be destroyed

10 points: The person who asks the most pointless questions, forcing the trainer or boss to repeat the last 15 minutes of the meeting, and must be destroyed
Top Tip: The previous two may actually be the same person, thus scoring double and saving you valuable shallow grave space

20 points: The person who asks the question you were about to ask, thus making you look like a complete plank when you are handed the microphone

25 points: The person who has forgotten to arrange the biscuits, and must be destroyed. By fire

5 points: The person who nods off and snores during the boring bits, and wakes up to find they've got ALL the action points
Top Tip: Write in your own name for this one

50 points: The person who takes copious notes, but in reality is actually writing up a load of stupid shit for his blog.
Top tip: Me again

1,000 points: The person who asks a question during that "Oh God, nobody say anything, or YOU WILL DIE BY MY HAND" pause at 4.55pm when the boss asks "Are there any more questions?", and must be destroyed
When I finish this book, I'm, going to start on my new one: "I-Spy Hedges"

Monday, May 17, 2010

On giving Johnny Taliban a right old kicking

On giving Johnny Taliban a right old kicking

I've made a fantastic new discovery, and being the patriot that I am, it is my duty to offer it to new Defence Secretary Liam Fox.

A letter, then:

Dear Dr Fox

Congratulations on your new job at the MoD. It's not often a DJ makes the cross-over to high government office, so: RESPECT, dude.

This letter is to inform you of an incredible discovery I have made that will swing the Afghan conflict our way, and save - in these days of austerity - the Treasury £££s!!!

After a careless accident involving a cheese toasted sandwich (I believe you posh types call them 'Welsh Rarebit') and a microwave oven, you may be delighted to hear that I have invented a new way to mass-produce napalm.

All you need is your boffins at Q Division to design some sort toast-shaped gun, and I fully expect this new weapon to be the Scourge of the Taliban within months, Bin Laden cowering in his cave in fear of our new lunch-based bazooka.

Also, left to cool for a bit, and it's a tasty snack for our hard-working troops.

No need to thank me. We're all in this together.

Please play anything by Phil Collins.

Your pal,

Albert O'Balsam
I am not mad.

And, on a similar vein: THIS

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

Morrissey and his homage to the legendary Liverpool and Glasgow Rangers manager: How Souness Now

This one's for Scaryduckling, who has recently discovered The Smiths. That's old music. OLD music.

Friday, May 14, 2010

On Heathrow Airport

On Heathrow Airport

Whatever you think about the outcome of the UK General Election, you cannot fault the new coalition government – headed by a newly-revived Morecambe and Wise – for being slow out of the blocks.

Already gone are the plans for ID Cards, and in comes half-arsed political reform.

And there goes the third runway at Heathrow Airport. Although desperately needed to improve transport links, it would have come at the expense of putting extremely wealthy homeowners out on the street as entire villages disappeared under swathes of concrete. As if that was a bad thing.

So – we ask – what can British ingenuity come up with to offset this loss of the new runway?

Think out of the box, that's what.

That's why we at Scaryduck Labs will approach the new Transport Minister with our plans for a double decker runway at Heathrow, allowing two planes to take off and land at once, whilst impressing Londoners with displays of precision formation flying that you only ever see from the Red Arrows at air shows.

"Ah-ha!" I hear you ask, "What about those foreign Johnny pilots who can't fly in formation – what then?"

Silence, you unbelieving fiends, I have this in hand.

The unskilled pilots are merely directed to the existing single-decker Boris Johnson-approved bendy runway at Heathrow, where they vacate the cockpit in favour of a fully-trained British pilot with impressive facial hair. Our man then takes off, joins the "Big Wing" over Hammersmith and then lands – safely – on the upper or lower deck of the new facility, having activated the appropriate colour smoke trails.

I am not mad.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On unlikely porn scenarios

On unlikely porn scenarios

They say that everything in porn has already been done, and that the only thing that remains is making the same films again and again.

No scenario, no pecadillo, no form of bedroom gymnastics has been left untouched.

All that is left is to keep feeding the beast and keeping Ron Jeremy in paid work.

In fact, Rule 34 - as we all know - says that "If it exists, there is porn of it."

Yeah, right.

I hope you haven't just eaten.

Scene: Indoors, day.

Ann Noreen Widdecombe's show is disturbed by the doorbell. Wearing nothing but a damp, see-through bathrobe, she answers the door to a gerntleman in a suit.

Music: 70's wokka-wokka-wokka funk

Man: Hello. My name's Gordon Brown

OK, Hollywood - time to play catch-up. Heaven knows the man needs the work now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



"Facepalm?" says one of the Younglings, "Aren't they a make of phone?"

I facepalmed.

But then, on further investigation, I found out that the Youngling was correct.

See also:

"Someone should invent doors that open automatically when you walk up to them."

"They have."

"Oh. Right. Yeah."


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ant and Dec: A Spotter's Guide

Ant and Dec: A Spotter's Guide

The one on the left is Ant. Or possibly on the right. But he could also be Dec. Or both. Only their mother can tell them apart.

Bonus rubbish joke

I went into Argos over the weekend and made a couple of bulky purchases.

"So we can arrange delivery," said the young lady behind the counter, "Can you give me your street name?"

"Yeah - it's DJ EXCELLENT, but I can't see how I'm going to get my gas barbecue any quicker."

*B'dum - tish!*

Monday, May 10, 2010

On the great cake riots of 2010

On the great cake riots of 2010

"Welcome to this Ministry of Cow Counting information briefing on efficient methods of counting cows in the twenty-first century.

"Due to a recent Freedom of Information request from a member of the public, we have been forced to disclose how much this organisation spends on cake.

"As a result of this, we are unable to provide you with neither cake nor biscuits for the duration of this course.

"We are thankful, however, for the 10 kilo tin of instant coffee donation from the local Scouts."

This is the stuff of popular revolt. Nations have fallen for less.

"Any questions?"

"What about jaffa cakes? They're neither cake nor biscuit."

"Please leave."

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Weekend video

Weekend video

McAlmont & Butler - Yes

This song gives me a big case of happy. That is all.

Friday, May 07, 2010

On coming to terms as life as LOBSTERMAN, defender of the Queen's Peace

On coming to terms as life as LOBSTERMAN, defender of the Queen's Peace

In which one man's crusade against crime hits the buffers.


"What is it son?"

"I... I don't want to be Crab Boy any more."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I don't want to be your superhero sidekick. It was fun to begin with, but now you're making me wear the costume to school and everyone takes the mickey. Even the teachers are laughing."

"But son - being a superhero's sidekick is a noble calling. You must rise above it. Be one with the lobster. And get me a list of these so-called teachers. They must face CRAB JUSTICE."

"And mum says you've got to grow up."

"Right. Err... right. Tell her there's plenty of space at low water mark for her to be tied to a post and left for the crabs, just like the rest of the law breakers that have afflicted this town with their bad haircuts and crossing the road from behind parked cars. Crab Justice cannot be denied."

"You tell her. I'm off to play Call of Duty."

Kids, eh?

Small Ads: For Sale - Lobster costume, slightly stained. Offers.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Normanian Rhapsody

Normanian Rhapsody

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Or something something huge bosoms something? I dunno.

But what we do know is that poor, dead Freddie Mercury wasn't as original as you might think.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Soundtrack to my Life

Soundtrack to my Life

There are times when it's not all about being sick in a hedge.

"Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown, this time I'm comin' down"
We climbed into the car after what had been an emotional funeral. My mother had died suddenly of an illness that may or may not – for we will never know - have been accelerated by the medication she had been taking for another condition.

Her slide from a healthy, happy 60-year-old to death had been sudden and shocking, my abiding memory of the time being driving up and down the M5 for weeks on end, working nightshifts and sleeping in my old bunk-bed back at the family home.

The car pulled away from Truro Crematorium, and we headed toward home in silence. I forget who in the front seat – either my brother or my sister – turned on the radio just to do something about the deathly atmosphere, but it was tuned to the local FM station and this song:

The Verve – The Drugs Don't Work

"Stop. Stop the car."

We pulled into a lay-by, and cried and cried. I still blub a bit when I hear this song, but turn it to happier memories. It was a sad, heart-wrenching time in my life, but now, ten years on, I've learned to remember the past and not live in it.

Happy birthday, mum.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

On Them Buying Any Car

On Them Buying Any Car

FACT: The words "dot com" on the We Buy Any Car adverts are voiced by none other than Prof Stephen Hawking, who returned a favour after they took an old Mini Metro off his hands.

Noted for his versatility in the advertising world, Hawking's is the voice you hear screaming "HI! I'M BARRY SCOTT!" on the Cillit Bang commercials.

And by running himself through Google Translate, he also does the German version: "BANG! UND DAS SCHMUCK IST WEG!"

Readers will be intrigued to hear that the concept for the We Buy Any Car is nothing new – this business model was first noted around the time of the Norman invasion as this never-before-seen panel from the Bayeux Tapestry proves, and is still going strong.

Monday, May 03, 2010

On things that really annoy me that shouldn't

On things that really annoy me that shouldn't

No.1: When you go to the toilet and find the previous user's I-don't-want-to-catch-a-hideous-disease toilet paper still spread over the seat.

Look, we've had hovercraft for well over half a century now – why can't SCIENCE come up with some sort of arrangement where you can "sit" on a cushion of air a couple of centimetres about the seat?

I'm certain James Dyson and his cyclone technology wallahs are all over this most urgent of technological developments, my own experiments being marred with the unfortunate re-insertion of ...err... waste matter that will be dealt with by the courts any day now.

They never have that problem on the Starship Enterprise. Scotty just beams it into the heart of a black hole, or something, and everybody's happy. Star Trek Tech has a habit of becoming real centuries before its time, so GET TO WORK, BOFFINS.

The next person to suggest "Do it standing up, like the French" will be burned as a BLASPHEMER.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Weekend video

Weekend video

The Chameleons - Up the Down Escalator

In which your humble author admits - yes - I've been listening to 6Music a lot recently.