Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

OMD - Sister Marie Says

"It sounds just like Enola Gay"

Yes. Yes, they know.

Friday, October 29, 2010



Yeah, we've been watching the home shopping channels again.

"And with this attachment," the excited American voice told us, "You can convert your Bullet Express into a handy dough maker."


"Use it to make bread dough, pizza dough, and tasty sweet pie dough."

We look at each other in surprise and alarm.

"I am surprised. Not to mention alarmed," I say.

"Pie dough? What the devil is pie dough?" The Fragrant Mrs Duck replies, "In this country we call it pastry."

"It's for cooking children."

"You sicken me."

"Kill 'em, bugger 'em and eat them. Pie dough."

"You sicken me."

We change channels, where poor, poor Tommy Walsh is selling DIY gear.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On destroying childhood memories, again

On destroying childhood memories, again

I vowed I'd stop doing these, but this one's for the boy Scaryduck Junior. That'll learn him.

The Boy Gladiator

"What do you want in life?"

He wanted to be the best.

"Then you must leave this town and travel to the City. Go."

He left home. He was ten years old.

With nothing but the clothes he stood up in, and a pet given to him by a friend, he left for the City.

The nights were cold, and he dared not touch the creature for it was as scared as he, and attacked him mercilessly.

He met a girl. She wore the shortest of shorts, a cropped T-shirt and felt the cold even worse than he. She was older, had been hunting creatures for some years, and if she did not bear the scars on her body, they were still raw and fresh in her mind.

Those long, cold nights, she would sit by a tree, rocking back and forth, sobbing.

Or, she would wake him in the small hours, her screams of terror filling the growing dawn.

And he arrived in the City, and they sent him straight away. Back to the country, where they forced him to capture and tame wild animals. Living on his wits, he had to train them to fight, attack without mercy, and - if necessary - kill.

Kill for their televised arena battles which filled the spaces between the advert breaks in the City. Sometimes the animals were killed. Sometimes the kids.

The older boys would attack him in the forests, but he was learning to become the best. Learning the tricks, learning to beat them, learning to survive. Learning to be the best.

And every time he returned to the City with a new set of captured, angry, fighting animals, their list somehow got longer. The adults would sent him back out into that accursed radioactive wasteland with a longer list of rapidly-evolving mutants to sate the blood-crazed hunger of the watching hordes.

But he couldn't give up. Not ever.

He wanted to be the best.

Catch those Pokémon.

Gotta catch 'em all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On the endemic cruelty of Hollywood

On the endemic cruelty of Hollywood

End of film.

Credits roll.

Fade to black.

My charming daughter Scaryduckling speaks.

"Hey! They didn't say 'No animals were harmed in the making of this film'."

"There's a good excuse for that," I say. "They punched a dog."

"What? They did WHAT?!"

"Punched a dog. At the end of every scene.

"CUT! The director would shout, and an old man would punch a dog."

"Spielberg's a BASTARD."

There's a pause.

"Cor, bloody hell you'd fall for anything. Of course Steven Spielberg would never pay a man to come in an punch a dog."

"Oh, good."

"He did it for free."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Scaryduck Poetry Corner

Scaryduck Poetry Corner

"Oh come friendly bombs," wrote Sir John Betjeman, "fall on Slough, it isn't fit for humans now."

The late poet's words on the fourth best town in Berkshire have caused controversy down the years, and if published today would probably have the Boys in Blue hammering at his door over an allegation of incitement to terrorism.

Readers will therefore be interested to hear about a clutch of previously unpublished poems on various towns in the United Kingdom, which Betjeman intended to publish as a collection called "Crapholes I have visited", excerpts of which we reproduce here for the first time:

Oh Basingstoke
You're like a bloke
with new trousers
but no belt to hold them up
I wouldn't pass water on you
If you were on fire.

Oh, stinking jewel of the south coast!
Dog crap capital of the world
Let us bomb the place with gas ovens full of turds
It being the only language these curs understand

Damn you British Rail and all you stand for!
For the night you left me here
I got food poisoning off accurs'd pie
Up to my neck in brown bottom soup;
If I ever come back here
I shall be armed with an axe

I would rather kill myself than visit this toilet again
And like most toilets, it's full of shit
Clacton, alas, is not much better
Bins full of buggered watermelons

Sodom and Gomorrah were once known
For their exquisite murals and the potter's art
Before their fall from grace and the wrath of the Lord
Sent firey death to all that liv'd
Sparing no-one from his Divine curse;
And the nudist beach is shit, too.
Extra points if you can fill the comments with a few lines on your local area.

Monday, October 25, 2010

On The Pretenders

On The Pretenders

The Pretenders. Or are they?

In this world dominated by tribute acts, how do we know that The Pretenders ARE The Pretenders and not some pretenders pretending to be The Pretenders.

The Pretend Pretenders. Or: The Pretenderers.

Chrissie Hynde had better get her act together, stop guzzling chick peas and Quorn burgers and address this menace of pretend Pretenders for once and for all.

I suggest the following, elegant solution: C. Hynde renames her band "The Genuine Article". All other tribute bands are then free to call themselves The Pretenders, and the world of popular music is SAVED.

I am not mad.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

British Sea Power - Please Stand up

Just about the only bit of British Sea Power this country's got left, right kids?

Friday, October 22, 2010

On having a jellybaby

On having a jellybaby

Hello. I am Scaryduckling and I am excellent.

If you've been paying attention (and I demand to know why not), you will know that I have an excellent summer and weekend job at an excellent gift shop on Weymouth seafront, catering for all your cuddly meerkat needs.

The other day, whilst blasting the meerkats with a hairdryer following a downpour, a tall, curly-haired man in a wide-brimmed hat came into the shop.

After several seconds patting down the pockets of his huge coat - completely out of character for a hot, showery summer's day - he fixed me with his wild eyes and asked: "Excuse me, young lady - do you sell sonic screwdrivers?"

We don't sell sonic screwdrivers. We only sell postcards, rock, cuddly meerkats and marshmallow sweets in the shape of men's willies.

"Sorry, we only sell postcards, rock, cuddly meerkats and marshmallow sweets in the shape of men's willies."

"Aaaah," he said, eyes darting around once again.

"You should try Toymaster down the road. Or Cash Converters. They've got a remote control dalek in the window."

"Have they really?" he exclaimed, lightening up somewhat, "Have a jellybaby."

I went against everything my parents told me about sweets from strangers and had a jellybaby.

I have no idea who this person was.

Geddit? Eh? EH? Oh, I give up.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Neil Gaiman's Balamory

On killing yet another childhood classic completely TO DEATH

Congratulations should certainly be aimed towards this website's favourite author - second-greatest living Englishman Neil Gaiman - over his forthcoming episode of Doctor Who.

This is, however, not Gaiman's first attempt at writing for the small screen, as a recent raid on BBC archives reveal. Where, marked "Not for Transmission, EVER" and "BEWARE OF THE LEOPARD", is this piece of work from the master himself:

Neil Gaiman's Balamory*

"What's the story on Balamory - wouldn't you like to know?"

"Given a long enough time scale, there is no such thing as a happy ending"

Shadow came to the island. America was a bad place for Gods and half-Gods such as himself, and he wanted to be somewhere that still believed. That meant staying away from cities where belief was measured by TV talent shows and the new deities of rational thinking; heading towards the fringe of society where old ways were still followed, uncritically, with all their souls.

He stepped onto the quayside and took in the brightly-coloured houses on the waterfront. And he knew. These people had ancient stories to tell. And where there were stories, there was belief. And with belief, power.

"We don't get many visitors," said the woman in the Green House. She told Shadow she was a teacher, although he saw no children as he walked the island; and the school-house echoed not with screams of play, but with something darker, far more ancient.

Miss Hoolie watched appreciatively as Josie failed to seduce Shadow with her "Jump a Little Higher" song. It had never failed before, musing that should this visitor pass PC Plum's test, then he would be the one. Pure.

"You'll come to the festival?" she asked Shadow, "Everyone will be there - Archie from the castle, Edie, Spencer, Penny Pocket. They'd all love to meet you. It's Wednesday."

Shadow's ears pricked at the sound of his father's name.

"Will there be a Wicker Man?" he asked, half joking. He knew the stories. Island visitors passing secret tests, presented to the chieftain, imprisoned in a giant human effigy before being burned alive as part of their fertility rite. These people had belief in their hearts, and Shadow knew the murderous intent with which it stalked. These rites never worked - he'd been dead once before and it wasn't an experience he cared to repeat.

Hoolie eyed him accusingly: "Och, who do you think we are? The only thing getting barbecued tomorrow are the hotdog sausages."

Good people.

They met the next afternoon in the sun of the waterfront, the brightly-coloured houses decked with bunting, the smell of burgers, sausages and onions filling the air as Spencer led the villagers in song.

And they sang of Musical Ladders, Great Inventions, Groovy Solutions, Following Clues and, of course, Jumping a Little Higher. Then they struck up a new, alien, unearthly song, with no tune, the words like fingernails down a blackboard:

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

The sky became black as night, the sun burning with darkness. Clouds billowed red as blood, purple as plague. The sea boiled, erupting with jets of flame, before finally tearing itself apart to reveal...

A creature as old as time and twice as awful. A creature that had spanned the planets, the dimensions, the very universe. A creature that was both there, in front of Shadow, and somewhere else. Somewhen else, its many faces, eyes, and what passed as mouths flitting in and out of focus, into this world and out again. Tentacles flailing, reaching, reaching, rising up from aeons-long slumber in old R'lyeh, time to feast.

Time to feast on a god.

And Shadow was gone into the dark loneliness of death, his body devoured, his soul doomed to walk the void for eternity. Cthulhu, sated, rose to rule again.

Miss Hoolie smiled. The dank, joyless smile of the long dead, as the village sunk into a burning pit of tentacled, feasting, fornicating beasts.

"What's the story? Wouldn't you like to know?"

* Possibly not written by Neil Gaiman at all

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dandy Highwayman

Dandy Highwayman (geddit?!)

Much celebrations as Our Pal Fanton gets not one but two - count' em TWO - strips in the newly-relaunched Dandy comic which hits the news stands on 27th October. But what - you ask - will he be drawing for the UK's number one inoffensive comic book? Our Pal Fanton will be drawing his EXCELLENT George vs Dragon strip for the title, plus one other story.

YAY! For Our Pal Fanton!

To help him with his work on The Dandy, we had a bit of a brain-storming session and came up with a few ideas:

Tyrannosaurus Rex
: The boy who thinks he's a flesh-eating dinosaur! "See those kids run and run / Because young Rex is going to eat his chums!"

I'm Blogging This: Billy Bloggs can't stop blogging about his life. Unfortunately he works on a flying hit squad for The Samaritans - with hilarious results!

Harry Otter and his non-copyright-busting adventures on the magical riverbank: Also starring Ron Weasel. And Lord Vole-demort. And Severus Snake.

Dignitas Dingo: Thrills and spills as a wild dog gets a job at Europe's number one suicide clinic

Pope Kid: Little Benny Brown is the luckiest boy in the world - because his dad's the fucking Pope!

Elton's Johnnies: Young Elton Smart saves the day with his hilarious prophylactic-based escapades

Lobsterman: Eric Potts is an innocent schoolboy by day - crustaceous fighter for justice by night, battling wrongdoers in the seaside town of Fulchester-on-Sea by tying them naked to a stake at low tide and leaving them for the crabs. With his trusty canine sidekick Winkle, no criminal is safe from LOBSTER JUSTICE!

And if we're going to pull in the older generation of Dandy readers…

Desperate Dan: Laid off from his cowboy job after the Brokeback scandal, Dan sets up shop as a barber. But where's he going to get the filling for his favourite meat pies?

Yeah. New Dandy. 27th October. It'll be excellent. Hopefully.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010



"I've got a present for you," she says.

"Ooh!" I reply as she hands me a two kilogram bag of dried fruit.

It's more of a sack, to be honest. And I'm not sure about the raisins, as rabbits may have become involved at some stage.

"I can't eat them," she tells me, "they're full of sugar and I'm on a diet."

I do my manly duty and tell her she is beautiful enough as it is; and tuck in, handful after lovely fruity handful.

"Om nom nom nom," I say, noticing the name on the packet, "Fruit surprise? Nom nom lovely nom. What's the surprise?"

"Yeah, that's the other reason I can't eat them. They give you the shits."


ALSO: It is The Fragrant Mrs Duck's birthday today. Happy Birthday, The Fragrant Mrs Duck.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A short story that ends with the word "SPANG"

A short story that ends with the word "SPANG"

"The safe won't open"

"The what won't what?"

"The safe. Where we keep all the company documents and contracts. And the money. And the credit cards. And THAT video. It won't open."

"Right. What's up with it."

"The battery's run out on the electric keypad and it won't open."

"OK - not a problem. Where's the emergency key I gave you?"

"The emergency key to the safe that you told me to keep safe in case we couldn't open the safe?"

"Yes - the emergency key to the safe."

"I put it in the safe."


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend video

Weekend Video

Blondie - Maria

OK, Debbie Harry's 65 and dances like your drunken aunt at a wedding disco, but she's still got it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

On improvising in the kitchen

On improvising in the kitchen

"Cup of tea?" I ask.

"No - coffee," she replies.


"No - make it a frothy one."

"W... what?"

"Get a jug of milk, right..."


"Put it in the microwave for two minutes."


"Pour in into my cup - the one with strawberries on..."

"Strawberries, right."

"...and use that little electric whisk to mix in a spoon of coffee."

"Wanking machine, right."

Hard stare.

"Yes," I say, "the electric whisk."

"Then add a small spoon of sugar."

"Small spoon. And would you like chocolate sprinkes too?"

"Yes. Yes I would."

We have chocolate sprinkles? Why did nobody tell me?

"We have chocolate sprinkles? Why did nobody tell me?"

"They're in the cupboard behind the peppermint tea you call Satan's Spunk."

"Good hiding place."

"Think you can manage that?"

Why, yes. Yes I can.

Three minutes later

"God! What in the name of all that is holy is THAT?"

"Ah. I was hoping you wouldn't notice."

"Notice what?"

"We were out of chocolate sprinkles."


"I improvised."


"I call it a cup-a-soup-uccino."

A dread pause.

"Well?" I venture, "What do you think?"

Shed tonight.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

On destroying yet another children's classic

Some uncharitable people suggest that master of horror and suspense Stephen King hasn't published a decent body of work for some years. Cobblers, I say. Feast your eyes, if you will, on the first draft of the storyline for a landmark television series. A story which will make you soil yourself in fear. We present:

Stephen King's Bob the Builder

Wendy Cunningham looked up from her ledgers and surveyed the building yard through dirt-smeared office windows. She had only worked for Bob for a few months in Derry, Maine, but had become his de facto business partner, ensuring his operation ran smoothly.

[Skip 150 pages of Wendy's life story, in which her childhood sweetheart is killed horribly in mind-numbing, visceral detail by an alien spider disguised as a clown, explaining why she can never love another man again. Except, perhaps, Bob]

And Bob was a good builder. The best in Derry, Maine, where folks' word of mouth ensured work came in steadily. Yet, while he was always busy, Wendy's employer seemed to only work alone. Just Bob - the only man she knew who didn't call her ...untingham - and the machines.

The machines. Oh, how she worried about Bob and his machines.

The big, yellow back-hoe. The bulldozer. The crane. The mixer. The Roller. He had given them all names, personalities, painted faces on their radiator grilles and talked to them incessantly, while they sat mute in the yard with some sort of hold over him. They never went out on jobs - they had adventures.

She sometimes saw Bob arguing at length with the old scarecrow on the Pickles Farm, while the machines were driven up to their latest contract - the new estate on the Indian Massacre Burial Ground, down the end of Indian Massacre Burial Ground Lane, in the Derry suburb of Indian Massacre.

People, as a rule, didn't go there much.

Bob wrote. Bob wrote when he was alone, every evening. And every evening, the machines singing to themselves in the yard, it was the same:

Dear Fiesta, I didn't think I stood a chance with the hot blonde who worked in my office. That was until she invited me to inspect her damp course... then, our moans reaching a crescendo, we collapsed into each others arms, promising to do it again - but that's another story! Bob, Derry, Maine.

This time he might even send it in. Or, he would just lock it in the desk drawer with the others.

Wendy knew about the letters. She found them while searching for some invoices from Derry Builders Merchants of Derry, Maine. She was shocked, excited, flattered in equal measure, confused over her feelings for her employer, especially since she could never love again after her childhood sweetheart was killed horribly by an alien spider disguised as a clown.

She smiled as she put Bob's lunch into her bag, climbed into her red 1958 Plymouth Fury, and – Derry's WGUY playing vintage rock'n'roll on the radio- headed up to meet him at the building site on the Indian Massacre Burial Ground right down the end of Indian Massacre Burial Ground Lane, in the Derry suburb of Indian Massacre, Derry.

[Skip four hundred pages in which we learn the life story of a tramp, subsequently torn inside-out in mind-numbing, visceral detail after stumbling drunkenly onto the Old Indian Burial Ground]

Bob was there, driving the bulldozer. So were the other machines, driving themselves, glowing with a ghostly luminescence. Bob - a different sort of Bob - whooped and hollered as he crashed through mounds of dirt, and Wendy gaped as what she thought were rocks and sticks were, in fact, human remains. Some ancient. Some fresh.

Then she realised - Bob wasn't driving the bulldozer, the bulldozer was driving him, ploughing onward, its human passenger reveling in the destruction but playing no part. Then... it turned.

"You!" the orange devil cried, "YOU!"

It bore down on Wendy. She tried to flee, but her heels became lodged in the cavity of some dismembered torso - the tramp who came to the yard looking for work just the day before - and she fell.

Bob, with a cry of "Muck, NO!" tried to stop the machine, but either couldn't - or, Wendy thought in her dying moments - wouldn't.

Then it was upon her. Crushing her feet, her legs, the skull-popping pressure mingling with the screaming agony as the merciless tracked vehicle worked its way up her chest; then she was gone, thinking of the man who used to be Bob, her brother, those far off days before Derry, Maine lost its innocence.

And Bob, at the mercy of the machines, waited until he was alone in the empty office before he cried.

"My name's Julia," said the figure in the doorway, "Derry Employment Agency sent me."

"No it's not," said the unkempt figure, scribbling away at a letter to Derry's foremost adult publication, "It's Wendy. Wendy. And if you want to keep this job, you'd better be blonde."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On fortune tellers

On fortune tellers

For reasons that escape me, I found myself in a shack on the seafront of a popular holiday resort, in the company of one Gypsy Rose Lee Harvey Oswald.

He lifts his rather fetching veil, fixes me with a furtive look and utters words as ancient as time, as powerful as the spirits of the long departed.

"What the fuck you want?"

"Aren't you supposed to be a woman?"

He is unfazed.

"You crossin' my palm with silver or what? And by 'silver', I actually mean 'gold'."

Against my better judgment, money changes hands, and I ask for my palm to be read.

"Hold yer hand up," he asks.

I obey.

"If yer hand is bigger than your face, you are ...err... rewarded with the wisdom and fortune of the ancients. Yeah."

My hand is, indeed, bigger than my face.

And I know this because Gypsy Rose Lee Harvey Oswald took the opportunity to punch me one and nick my wallet. Blood. Everywhere.

"I bet you didn't see that coming, eh?" he guffaws, helping himself to my entire worldly fortune, to whit: five quid and a Nectar Card.

"PLAW!" I reply, covered in blood and snot.

"And - HAH! - you said you wanted your palm 'RED'," he continued, showing me the door. Then he showed me the curtains, and then the pavement, with extreme force.

Funnily enough, I'm a psychic too. And I can tell you that Gypsy Rose Lee Harvey Oswald's immediate future holds a steaming, fresh turd through the letterbox, it being the only language these curs understand.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A personal message to Brandon Flowers out of The Killers

A personal message to Brandon Flowers out of The Killers

"I'm on my knees
Looking for an answer
Are we human?
Or are we dancer?"

So sang Brandon Flowers of the popular beat combo The Killers.

And, thussly, my message to him is this:

Get a grip, man. You're on your knees wearing a jacket that makes you look like a giant pheasant, whilst simultaneously trying to "throw some shapes" around the dancefloor.

If there is one thing SCIENCE and MATHS have proved, it is this: No man can dance whilst doing a Toulouse Lautrec impression. Did the Inspector Clouseau films completely pass you by, Flowers?

You, sir, dance like a drunken uncle at a disco and must be stopped. People like you should be forced bodily through a tea-strainer and turned into a cornish pasty, and the pasty fired out of a cannon at Jimmy Carr. Now get up, put on a sensible spangly jacket and dance like a man.

Apart from that: Number One Fan

Monday, October 11, 2010

On Sudoku

On Sudoku

Scaryduckling sits cross-legged by the pool in our Spanish holiday villa. We're not ponces, by the way. It's rented.

"There," she announces with triumph, "I've finished this book of Sudoku puzzles."

Then, a sudden realisation hits her: It is only Friday on the first week. What to do now?

"Dad - take me to the shop. I need to buy a new Sudoku book."

"Are you MAD?" I reply, "Have you gone stark-raving bonkers?"

"W..w..why?" she stammers.

"There's no way on Earth you can get yourself a Soduko book on Mallorca."

"Why ever not, dearest Papa?"

"The numbers will be in Spanish."

"Oh. Right."

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Weekend Video in which free stuff has changed hands

Weekend Video in which free stuff has changed hands

I cannot lie. I am not one of those blog owners who refuse to sully their pages with advertising and sponsorship deals.

So when those very nice people at greeting cards company The Dog's Doodahs offered me free snizzle, how could I refuse? After all, the youngling had a birthday coming...

That's The Dog's Doodahs. They're nice. Free stuff has changed hands.

Friday, October 08, 2010

On finally acknowledging the truth

On finally acknowledging the truth

"Right - who wants desserts?" asked the slightly over-attentive waiter.

Yes, we have eaten in a Harvester before. And having survived the first two courses it was time to study the sweet menu.

"Right, that'll be two chocolate indulgences, one profiteroles and I shall have the rhubarb crumble."

"I'm sorry sir, we're completely out of rhubarb crumble. Would you like to choose something else?"

Quel horreur! What to have?

My eyes turn to the specials board, and: "The spotted dick. I shall have the spotted dick with custard."

Time passes. Over-attentive waiter returns with an armful of desserts.

"Right - who's the profiteroles?"

I take charge of this otherwise tricky siutation.

"My charming wife is the profiteroles. And the chocolate indulgences are for my equally charming children."

And then, help me, the truth:

"...and I'm the dick."

And later, Over-attentive waiter returns.

"How are your desserts?"

"This is the best dick I've had in my mouth all day."

Why? Why do I say these things?

Thursday, October 07, 2010



"Here is a box, a musical box,
Wound up and ready to play.
But this box can hide a secret inside.
Can you guess what is in it today ?"

It's Windy Miller!

Oh, there doesn't appear to be any music. What's wrong Windy?

What? Music has been declared the work of Satan and is an affront you your religion?

And you'd like to be referred to as Ahmad Al-Chigli from now on? You've really changed since your little holiday in Waziristan, haven't you Windy?

And no, we won't tell anybody about the two tons of chapati flour and thirty cases of hydrogen peroxide hair bleach. Why should we?

What's that? You look forward to entering into paradise with your forty virgins, having blown that wicked infidel Lord Belborough limb-from-limb at the weekly factory workers' dance a lesson to those supplying weapons for the Yankee-Zionist military hegemony.

Then painful death to PC McGarry Number 452 and Pugh, Pugh, Barney, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb in a cunningly-designed secondary explosion as they rush to the scene of your recent glorious martyrdom in the name of Al-Qaeda in the Lands of the Western Crusader.

They will eventually find your severed head at the centre of the blast, amongst the limbs, entrails and blood of the hell-bound infidel crusaders, a smile on your face as you fulfil your destiny.

And what about Captain Snort and Sergeant Major Grout? What's that? They'll never get out of Helmand alive? Fuck, right.

No, wait. Here comes Paul Gascoigne with a fishing rod and a bucket of Kentucky Fried.

You might as well give it up now, Ahmad, my old son.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

On helping the homeless help themselves

On helping the homeless help themselves

"Big Tissue, sir?"

I eye the gentleman brandishing a wad of magazines with no little suspicion.

"Wait… WHAT?"

"Big Tissue, sir?"

"Surely you mean 'Big Issue'? You ARE an official Big Issue seller, aren't you? You appear to be remarkably well dressed to be homeless."

"Up until last week sir, yeah. They've had a rebrand an' we're coinin' it in. Big Tissue, sir?"

"And what, pray, did this rebrand entail?"

"To be honest, sir, if you bought one copy of the old mag you've seen 'em all, an' it was getting' harder an' harder to sell the bloody things."

To be perfectly honest, the man has a point.

"You have a point. Proceed."

"So we've switched to hardcore pornography. Tits, arse, flange, the works. An' there's a ready an' willing supply of models in the homeless community for our Hobos' Wives section, if you don't mind me saying. Big Tissue, sir? Comes with a free tissue."

How could I resist such a determined sales pitch? I part with my money and hie myself to the nearest venue that offers a modicum of privacy to examine my purchase, for eg the ladies' changing rooms in a nearby branch of Marks and Spencer.

"Dear The Big Tissue, I never thought I had a chance with that sexy tramp under the arches in Hounslow until the day she came knocking on my cardboard shelter asking me for the price of a cup of tea. Before we knew it…"


Tuesday, October 05, 2010



OK, I'll admit it. We were watching the X Factor.

As it switches to an advert break, we turn the sound back on so we may reap the full benefit of the creative hurricane that is Britain's advertising industry.

"Wait," says the Fragrant Mrs Duck in surprise and alarm as a certain mobile telephony company that rhymes with 'Spolinge' presents its latest offers, "What did that phone advert just say?"

I hadn't been giving the TV my 100 per cent attention, so the charming wife goes through the bullet points.

"It said free internet, free satnav, free photo messages and unlimited sex."

"Unlimited WHAT?"

"Unlimited sex. Why would they give away unlimited sex?"

We rewind the Sky Plus, and it's bad news.

"Texts," I say, "Unlimited texts."

"Oh. That's a shame."

"Damn shame."

Monday, October 04, 2010

On films that are so bad they're brilliant

On films that are so bad they're brilliant

I have recently sat through all 132 minutes of James Bond remake "Never Say Never Again", and not for the first time.

And - despite my unhealthy fixation on all things Bond - I've come to this conclusion: Bloody hell, it's awful.

- Every Bond cliché, turned up to eleven and recycled in the shoddiest manner possible

- Computer graphics which were cutting-edge in 1983 that now look ridiculous (if fact, the whole film seems unaware exactly what decade it wants to be in)

- Worst. Bond. Villain. Ever.

- Worst. Sexy. Female. Assassin. Ever.

- An embarrassing Rowan Atkinson cameo (his first ever movie role) which stinks up the screen like a packet of prawns sewn into an ex-boyfriend's sofa

- A horse jumping off a cliff

- The limpest boss battle in cinematic history

As you sit there watching, knowing that your life is slipping away like so much grains of sand through your fingers, you cannot help watching. Every. Last. Frame.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld? Ernst Stavros Flatley, more like.

Come on - there must be more so-awful-you-can't tear-yourself-away films out there. Tell.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

On brotherly love

On brotherly love

Things get a bit brutal between David and Ed Miliband.

Somebody's going to arrive home to find a turd in their sock drawer. But who?

Friday, October 01, 2010

On fatherly pride

On fatherly pride

The phone rings.

"Mr Duck?" It's your son's school."

Oh Lordy - who's he kicked in the fork in self-defence this time?

"Could you pick him up, please? He's not well."

I arrive at the school gate just in time to see the boy emerging from the undergrowth, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

"You all right?" I ask.

"Just been sick," he says at length (Juuuuuusssst beeeen siiiick).

And there is more: "Inna hedge."

That's me boy!

On fatherly pride, Part II

It is Scaryduckling's 16th birthday.

Happy birthday, Scaryduckling.