Another Thursday, another Scary story vote:
* An inspector calls: "It was a dark and stormy night. Except for the bits which were neither dark nor stormy, but life's a bastard like that."
As you may have noticed, I'm imposing a story on you. Reason: It is Scaryduck Jr's birthday on Friday, so I probably won't be around to do much more than press the "publish" button. Feel free to talk about me behind my back. You do anyway. Punks.
The Scaryduck Second Novel was started last night, a tale of mirth and woe set in the dotcom boom and bust. Ever wondered how scaryduck.com got its name? Wonder no more:
"So, what," I asked, and I can only assume that I am by no means the first person to ask this particular question, "in the name of Satan and all his testicle-munching little demons, possessed you to choose the name scaryduck dot com?"
Margaret Hilda Roberts sighed, and told me. It was one of those moments of dreadful realization, the opening of a Pandora's Box of management bollocks-speak, and I just knew she was going to say things like "target demographic" and "consultancy". I bit the insides of my cheeks to stop myself from laughing, buzzword bingo card at the ready.
"We paid an awful lot of money to an image consultancy," she said, "After an exhaustive investigative process of interviews, questionnaires and the latest Feng Shui techniques, they told us that our target demographic is looking for something adventurous, dangerous, yet still craves something familiar and comforting. With me so far?"
"Ungh," I said, nodding furiously.
"So they came up with scaryduck. Scary for the danger, the great adrenaline rush our customers crave. Duck, because of the calming, soothing images of tranquil river banks it draws up. Scaryduck. Magnifique, n'est-ce pas?"
"And because no-one else was stupid enough to register it," said Lawrence, earning himself the Roberts Glare.
I paused, and considered my next question with great care.
"Were they on drugs?"