Friday, January 30, 2004


1989 was the year that football changed forever. On April 15th that year, ninety-six Liverpool fans died needlessly at Hillsborough football ground, and we all knew there and then that the game would never be the same again. The sport had undergone a bit of a renaissance from the dark days of the seventies and early eighties, the crowds were flocking through the turnstiles, and football, dammit, was fun. Hillsborough changed all that. It is no longer the peoples’ game, for shame, instead it has gone corporate. Executive bums on seats. But I remember the years before all that. I know, because I was there.

“Celery! Celery!
If she don’t come
I’ll tickle her up the bum
With a stick of celery!”

There are times when you cannot help but shit yourself with laughter. And when Chelsea came to call, usually the cue to run away in fear of your life, we spent more time watching the terrace hi-jinx than the match itself. Y’see, the Chels had this new chant. It was about celery. And to illustrate the words, they brought celery to the ground. Tons of it, hidden inside jackets like illicit clubs and flick knives, to be thrown onto the pitch and at each other as soon as the singing started.

With tears running down my face, we all joined in with the celery song, as the Reading goalkeeper ran for cover under a shower of salad. The following week, there were dire warnings in the local press and the match programme about the consequences of bringing greens to the match. But we did anyway, smuggling it into the ground down the trousers, like a scene out of Spinal Tap.

There were, however, people who got it horribly, horribly wrong. As the celery song started, I was clubbed in the back of the head by a Tesco’s cucumber portion, closely followed by a handful of spring onions. You just can’t trust anybody to get anything right.

The police crushed the celery craze ruthlessly, saying (and I kid you not) that a stick of celery might actually take some’s eye out. They punished transgressors as if they were plotting the downfall of the monarchy. They would wade into the terrace mob-handed, returning to their posts proudly clutching enough salad to start a small picnic, while the rest of the crowd was still lobbing the stuff around like there was no tomorrow.

Tomorrow came, and celery was so last week. The inflatables craze had begun.

It started at Manchester City. They had a player called Imre Varadi. Chant his name enough times from the Kippax end and it starts to come out Imre Banana. The name stuck, and some wag started bringing a Fyffe’s inflatable banana, dressed up in a City shirt, to the game in his honour. The police were so panicky about ANYTHING illicit getting into football matches (I’ve actually had a bike pump confiscated, and at Norwich they used to make you take your shoes off before you go into the ground), that Imre Banana had to be inflated surrupticiously in the gents’ toilets before appearing on a packed terrace.

Before long, everybody at Maine Road had an inflatable banana, and like any good craze, the world soon sat up and took notice. Bananas started turning up at matches everywhere, and as usual there were sternly worded warnings in the match programme about the dangers of such a fad. You guessed it - they spoil the view for everybody, and could take someone’s eye out.

At the height of the craze, I stood on the North Bank at Highbury in a forest of bananas, watching awestruck as they celebrated another goal going in by either bopping your neighbour over the head, or simply chucking the thing in the air.

The variations were the best. Everybody remembers the Grimbsy fans with their thousands of Harry the Haddocks when they played Wimbledon on live television one Sunday, perhaps one of the most surreal things I have ever seen. Nottingham Forest did a rather dodgy line of inflatable trees, while at West Ham, the police went absolutely ballistic at the inflatable hammers, which when only half blown up, made a rather painful weapon. Timmy Mallett sued, and won.

We Arsenal fans had seen it all before, though. A couple of years earlier, David Pleat, manager of arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur, was arrested for inviting young ladies of the Oldest Profession into his car in the dead of night. Young genius added the two together and turned up at the Arsenal vs Tottenham derby match - covered live and direct from Shite Hart Lane by ITV - with an inflatable woman. The type with the realistic hair and orifices, I’m led to believe.

As the match action swung towards the Arsenal fans, she was thrown onto the pitch to an almighty cheer of approval, followed closely by a despairing steward trying to prevent disaster. Inevitably, he tripped just short of his target, landing on top of her in what can only be described as the missionary position. The crowd roared "One-Nil to the Arsenal". Those who were there still remember this episode with fondness today. She still appears, to this day, as a lucky talisman to most Arsenal matches, and had a seat to herself at last year's Cup Final.

Of course, we had to rip the shit out of it. England vs Poland was a World Cup qualifier at Wembley and fans felt something special had to be done. I took me to Wall’s Carnival Stores in Reading and got me a four foot long inflatable tiger which could be swung about by the tail - clearly visible on the TV footage as England scored their second in a 3-0 victory. My brother just had to go one better. He went down to Brighton with some mates and got himself an inflatable killer whale. Eight feet long with its own carrying handles. Only one problem - while people were getting their bananas and other ephemera into Wembley on the nod of the copper at the gate, Orca was refused entry without his own ticket.

So, back to the car, let the air out, and stuff it down your trousers. What about the pump? No worries, we’ll blow it up when we get into the ground. So we did, only with a few tinnies inside us, this was a harder job than we realised. It was half time before Orca was inflated enough to see the game, and by then, four of us had puked our guts up from blowing.

Blummin hell, why couldn’t we have just stuck to celery?

It was a nightmare. None of us could see the game, our heads spun from the effort of blowing the thing up, and on the way out, he got dragged through Wembley Stadium's legendary River of Piss (the most expensive part of the new stadium development) and jammed in the gate. Apart from that, a one hundred per cent success. Someone had the bright idea of tying him to the roof of the car as some sort of bizarre mascot on the way home. All fine and dandy crawling out of a packed Wembley car park at five miles per hour, but an utter disaster once flying round the Kingston Bypass.

There was this blue flashing light in the mirror... and so our football inflatable craze came to an abrupt end.

Best thing for it really. Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne came along soon after - the world’s first inflatable footballer.

The Scaryduck Archive

Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Thursday Vote-o-rama

Today's vote is rather simpler than most weeks.

Inflatables: Pneumatic mirth and woe


And there's not even a chance to suggest fitting the words "and Kirstie Allsopp snapped it in half like Michael Jackson's old man" into the narrative either. And that's final. You're going to start complaining now, aren't you? Your entire raison d'etre snatched from you in the style of Thatcher and a small child's pint of milk.

Excuses, excuses: I'm not here. I've done a runner. All this is an illusion brought on by lack of sleep and terrifying visions of Lord Hutton dressed in cheap lingerie from Primark, the old slapper. Today, I am mostly visiting BBC Television Centre in that there London, whilst on Friday I shall be mostly shopping for a new TV cabinet at Ikea in that there Bristol. This blog is running on autopilot without a driver. I'd leg it if I were you.

In the meantime, the latest bike news.

Monday: Scary bike stolen, reported to insurers and police, who are all very nice about it.
Tuesday: Insurers - "We'll get a replacement bike to you tomorrow." Me - "Coo."
Wednesday: Insurers - "Errr... your new bike. Ha ha. You'll laugh... it was stolen from the depot. Sorry." Me - "You bunch of cocks."

You couldn't make it up.

The Scaryduck Archive

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

On Hutton

Establishment figure supports the establishment and slaps down those pesky journalists. Now there's a surprise.

Everyone seems to be missing the main nub of the argument here. What is the point of splitting hairs over an Iraqi deployment of weapons of mass destruction in forty-five minutes if said weapons never existed in the first place?

Whitewash. Discuss.

Scaryduck’s ‘Did You Know...?’ No. 344

Rumours continue to circulate of a royal marriage between Britain’s Prince Charles and his main squeeze Camilla Parker-Bowles after he answered a journalist’s question, “Your Highness, how is Camilla?” with the words “Really firm, fruity and gagging for it”. Still, it’s nice to see old people happy.


Strange goings on at the Circle K. Or celebrity tattle web site popbitch [edit: linky now works], even. Belle de Jour, winner of a Grauniard Blogging Award last year for best written blog (the category I was the judge for) appears to have been outed. It turns out that "Belle" may be a well known young British author known to certain regulars on the 'bitch.

I wouldn't know one way or another and don't really care if it is true or not, but I thought she only won thanks to an opportune blaze of publicity just as the awards were being judged. I didn't think much of the style, preferring the Bottle Shop, even if I'm pretty sure that Late Bland is another author self publishing a very, very good manuscript on the web. Or not. Maybe he's really is an off-licence manager with loopy neighbours, getting loads of sex of a psychotic girlfriend. Stranger things have happened. After all, you lot read everything I publish here as fact. Which it is. Honest.

But who can tell these days? Bloggers could be lying through their teeth and no-one would know the difference. Kenna only tells us he's a double glazing salesman because he's too ashamed to admit he's a Conservative MP. Ionicus tells us he plays a huge organ in church, and even I'm prepared to believe that it's the kind with bellows. We will never know. Maybe George W Bush really does blog ("ToDaY ME n dIck InvadeRed iRaK!!!1 iT woz dA bOmb!!!111 I aM da l33t pr3z1d3nT!!!1 LOLOL!!!111"). Good grief, if Grand Ayatollah Sistani (remember that name - he's gonna go huge in Baghdad after his crushing win in Iraq Idol) can proffer advice on anal sex on the Great Satan's interwebnet, anything can happen.

The Scaryduck Archive

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Room 101

An occasional series of things that get right on my tits

No.6: The Smear

My first real job after college was as a clerk at the dole office in Reading. This was the mid-1980s when Thatch was doing her best to create as many paupers as possible, and Reading was heaving with the jobless, who swarmed in their thousands to my window at the Department of (Un)Employment. It was, at the time, the nation’s only growth industry.

For each and every one of these people, the routine was the same - present the UB40, sign the chit and go off to your cash-in-hand job. One morning, I even met the lad was was supposed to be fitting my parents’ bathroom. A nod and a wink and he was on his way, before plying me with drink down the Duke that night in a desperate (and entirely successful) attempt to buy my silence.

This process also involved, for many, the taxing task of signing one’s own name, and in order to achieve this, as many of the body’s non-essential functions were switched off, including the important one that controls your balance. Many of the claimants were already prepared for this as they walked into the building, it seemed, using half empty cans of Special Brew by way of a counterweight.

They’d grab the pen, and with a thud their head would collide with the plexiglass that separated me from a daily fatal beating, while concentrating fully on the task in hand - “X”. Then, like thieves in the night, they’d be away, leaving a lovely souvenir to admire - the smear of weeks, months, years of hair grease.

One smear of dole-ite’s hair grease. Now multiply this by a couple of hundred. At four windows. And it’s raining outside. By the end of the day, the smear would get so thick that you couldn’t actually see their faces. When one of the four James Bonds on our books turned up, cunningly disguised as a middle-aged unemployable layabout, I swear it was the real thing.

At closing time, the grease is painstakingly scraped from the windows by heavy-duy implements wielded by highly trained specialists and sold on to the doner kebab industry. FACT.

To this day, I cannot travel on a bus or train where some smeggy bastard has rested their head against the window, leaving that eye-level spider’s web of mouldy head-gunk that makes me reach. This is a complete bugger as I seem to spend rather a lot of time on trains. In fact, I’d rather listen to Celine Dion while being tickled round the private parts by Brain Blessed and Jocky Wilson.

My advice to the greasers of this world is simple: Buy some shampoo, you smelly gits. I gather Asda own-brand is remarkably good value for money, and used imaginatively can double up as soap while you’re pissing in the shower.

Fate, it must be said, played a cruel, cruel trick on me. A couple of years ago, I “forgot” to pay my council tax and got a court summons. I could only get around it if I went down the council offices that day and paid up two months’ worth of cash. So there I was, on the wrong side of the plexiglass, staring at the blurred face of the clerk through a mist of grease. He gave me the chit of paper to sign, and my legs buckled....

Oooh! Ooooh!

Somebody buy me these.

Buy my quality internet tat!

Monday, January 26, 2004

Mammon, again

You asked for new t-shirts, and by golly you're getting them. I can now offer you, top quality t-shirty goodness featuring both ducks and penguins.

The duck shirt costs nine of your English pounds, the full-colour penguin will set you back ten, and that's including postage. Both come with a back-print - which may be optional if I can twist my printer's arm hard enough. Overseas buyers please add an extra pound to feed the long distance flamingos. If the pictures here look a bit shonky, don't worry, the artwork I've got is pretty darn good. Buy now before a certain fashion chain sues the arse off me.

Full details here, or e-mail.

And have pity on a poor duck. Some bastard's stolen my bike, and we've a new mouth to feed in the shape of Scaryduck Jr's new hamster, Ryan Minogue.

The Scaryduck Archive

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Letters to the editor

Sir -

I fought the Nazis for twenty-seven years for people like you, and I never thought I’d see the day that they’d allow people with regional accents to present programmes on the BBC.

What kind of sane, well-balanced individual wants to hear the news from London read to them by some leek-munching Taff, some thieving Scouser who’d steal the hubcaps from your cars as soon as look at you, or worse still, one of our Commonwealth bretheren? Not that I’ve got anything against these fine people, I just done what them thrust down my throat morning, noon and night.

As a licence fee payer, and therefore one of the Corporation’s owners, I demand a return to programmes featuring white middle-to-ruling class Londoners wearing dinner jackets, shot only from the waist up; and armed escorts preventing camera crews from leaving the capital.

Any other solution reeks of Bolshevism, and the government should take steps to shut down the BBC - by force if necessary - if the Stalinist lapdogs at Broadcasting House don’t comply. A spell in the Bangkok Hilton, sharing a cell with assorted ladyboys and sheepshaggers, will do them a power of good. After all, it turned me into the pillar of society I am today.

I am not mad.

Yours etc,

Lt Col Winston St John Cholmondeley-Cholmondeley Patel (Mrs)

Scary note: I have it on very good authority that the BBC and other broadcasters actually do receive letters like this on a regular basis.

The Scaryduck Archive

Friday, January 23, 2004

I'm afraid of Americans

I cannot comment on the truth of this story, except it came straight from the bullshitting Welsh horse's mouth. And your teachers wouldn't lie to you, would they?

God bless the North Atlantic Alliance. Without our special relationship which our American cousins, there would be no nucular umbrella, no free trade and no incredibly fat people pulling the planet out of orbit. We had loads of American kids in our school, thanks to a two nuclear bomb factories, NATO central command and various other agencies which employed "friends" from across the Atlantic, all in the local fall-out zone.

Amongst these were two Irish-American brothers, Paul and Tom Maloney. For reasons I have never quite fathomed, apart from the fact that either or both of us were utter twats, Tom never liked me and I never liked Tom. This might have been something to do with the fact that he once stamped seven shades of shit out of me on the rugby field, even though we were both playing on the same team - his interpretation of the rules was liberal to say the least. In return, I gave him my top anti-Tom insult "Wanky Yankee" and we ended up slogging it out in the corridor outside the French labs.

Dragged apart, I managed a final blow to the propeller-head's cojones before Tom grassed me up.

"Misssss, that Limey creep called me a 'wanky yankee'." Limey creep? I'll give him Limey creep.

"Did you? Why?"

"Because he is."

Mrs Haig was shocked. She had me down as such a lovely, sensitive child. And this is why we need regime change.

Paul, on the other hand, was much more laid back than his rather tense brother. Chalk and solidified dairy product, the two of them.

Before the end of the school year, their father's tour of duty ended and they were to go back to the States. It was decided to see the brothers off properly. Party, the works.

True to form, our class went completely over the top, a few crisps and sausage rolls turned into the kind of feast that could feed most of the Third World, or just pass as a starter in an American restaurant.

What a bloat out. I never thought I'd see the day when Tom Maloney turned down food, but shortly after his seventh Mr Kipling's applie pie, several witnesses heard him say the immortal words "No more food for me thanks." Women fainted. Grown men threw down gauntlets and challenged other equally stunned grown men to duels. The world stopped.

The bell went. Five tons of food down the gullet, and it was PE next. A recipe for disaster if you don't mind me saying at this point.

Mr Curtis had arranged a leaving ceremony at the end of the lesson, a ceremony carried out in typical games teacher style. Curtis was a sterotypical games teacher. He had been an athlete that almost, but not quite, made it big - he was apparantly the Welsh national weightlifting champion for bullshitting dwarves - and possessed the distinctive sense of humour possessed only by those in this particular profession - evil. He looked and acted like Jeremy Clarkson's sadistic twin brother.

We all sat at the end of the sports hall at the end of the Mahony brothers' last PE lesson.

"As you know," said Curtis, "we are losing our two American friends."


"So, by way of a little entertainment, I have arranged a bit of a treat for them."

The lads beamed.

"All they have to do is sprint the length of the sports hall, put a basketball through the hoop, do five press-ups, five star jumps, drink that glass of cider, and the first boy back wins the rest of the bottle."

"Honest, sir?"

"As the day is long, lad. Does a bear shit in the woods?"

Both lads were up to it, despite Tom's already obvious retching from the Great Lunch.

"He's gonna hurl," observed one witness.

"You sure?"

"I'd bet my left nad on it. Get your umbrella ready." Wise words indeed, but, alas, no umbrellas were forthcoming for the doomed boys that Friday afternoon.


They sprinted up the hall, playfully shoulder-barging each other in their quest for the free booze. Tom shot the hoop first time, Paul took several attempts.

Tom did the press-ups and started on the star jumps, while his brother lagged behind.

"Stop!" yelled Curtis, waving the half empty bottle at them.

They carried on.

"STOP!" he shouted again, running up the hall towards them, his face a mask of dread.

But they were American, and hence deaf to the cries of the outside world.

To Curtis's horror, they both downed the cider in one, and staggered back.

"Can I have some more?" asked Tom.

"You weren't meant to drink that" said the horrified teacher. He showed them the bottle of 'cider' they weren't meant to drink.

It was neat turps.



"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARCH!!!!!!" they both said, again.

Neat turps. With a naked flame, the whole place could have gone up. With the force of crisps, sausage rolls and Mr Kipling's pies, it would have been like napalm.


Puke. Everywhere. Those sitting at the front got a rather unpleasant shower which resulted in a somewhat sheepish visit to the dry cleaners. Others - those of a more sensitive constitution - got a whiff of the technicolor yawn and followed suit in a domino effect of chundering.

"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARCH!!!!!!" said everybody.

Curtis left the next term, but more importantly, in the face of this merciless assault, the NATO alliance survived.

The Scaryduck Archive

Thursday, January 22, 2004


I am writing today's bloggy goodness a day early as, for the first time in eighteen years, moderately large, sweaty old bloke Scary Duck is playing squash. I may not survive, or vital parts of my body may not function correctly for the forseeable future. However, I have enough stuff lined up for the site to function for the next two months without anybody noticing. Rather like this poor chap.

Anyway. Vote-o Thursday. I've been a busy boy this week, what with my demise hanging over me like a big hangy thing, so there are seven Scary stories to choose from, all scoring highy and the mirth-and-woe-o-meter:

Top shelf - mirth, woe
Inflatables - mirth
An inspector calls - woe
Surfing - woe squared
Blarney - mirth, woe
Paul - great mirth
Americans - mirth, woe with extra mirth

Because some of the new stories are shorter than usual (there's a blessed relief), I'll be rather more selective in the words or phrases you may nominate. Chickening out, moi? Choose-o!

Rik wins the copy of Flesh Gordon for his tale of bar-room scat woe. Get in touch with your address, Rik. If you dare. The full text of his story is on my other other blog at Anyone got a Carrot?

The Scaryduck Archive

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

News from the 51st state

Bad news for six year old kids still wobbling about on stabilisers - it is now illegal to ride your bicycle on the pavement. This is of part of our esteemed government's attempts to criminalise everything under the catch-all "anti-social behaviour" banner, rather than try to sort out the joblessness, poverty and despair that is the root cause of criminal behaviour.

Nipping up the kerb to get round a traffic jam, or to avoid getting squashed to a pulp by a forty ton lorry is now outlawed in the same act that allows the police to close down crack houses "for up to six months". What happens after the sixth months is up? Do they get to put a neon sign over the door saying "Pipes R Us"?

Somehow, I think the Old Bill will be cracking down on cyclists who haven't realised the bike lane's finished - and could easily be prosecuted under existing laws, rather than the drug dealers or the oiks terrorising old ladies on their BMXes. But that would just be my natural cynicism. God bless ya, David Blunkett! Any excuse to use that picture...

The Scaryduck guide to... ending Cliff Richard's evil reign of terror

"Is shooting too good for Cliff Richard?" Gert asks. Quite frankly, yes it is. The man is a menace to society, and clearly needs to be stopped before our youth's morals are corrupted by his squaky clean image and his Mistletoe and fucking whine. Why waste a bullet on the bastard? There are a million and one ways to dispose of his limp, lifeless corpse, and to achieve this we must learn from Bond movie bad guys.

* Tie a knot in his colostomy bag. It will be only a matter of time before he explodes in a shower of shit, the resulting mess to be released as his next Christmas single
* Forced sex with the Cheeky Girls until he expires from exhaustion. Believe me, he'd hate every minute of the experience.

* A concert for "special" prisoners at Parkhurst Jail. In the round. With no security.
* Tie him to a chair and force him to listen to Misteltoe and Whine on an endless loop for three days. Allow him just enough movement in his right arm to be able to hold a pistol loaded with a single round to his head. We're merciful like that.

* While he's asleep, give him plastic surgery to look like the stupid's stupid Maxine Carr. Then give him a twenty yard head-start in that mad council estate in Portsmouth.
* Make him live in Hull. A living, festering death.


Heads up folks - Friday is National Pie Day. As a result, our weekly Scary Story may have a pie theme. Or it might mention pie. Or it might not. Depends.


... Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit.

That is all.

The Scaryduck Archive

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Gimpoid Man

Rubbish things I have done at work (and I stress, not in this current job):

- Working late, too lazy to get up and go to the toilet, I pissed in a paper cup. An hour later, and still too engrossed in my work, I felt the urge and soon had two cups full to the brim with steaming, yellow piss. Then I went home for the weekend.

I went sick Monday and Tuesday (sobering up), and came in to discover that the cleaners had left two cups of finest urine on my desk to mature for five days. I panicked and emptied them out of the window, forgetting that my office was directly above the street. Or, to be more accurate, directly above a bus stop. To the shit end of town.

A copy of the faux-porn classic "Flesh Gordon" to the winner (VHS, UK only) to the punter who can top that (or something equally fluffy for the laydez). Speak your brains!

Scary. Ducks.

Neil Gaiman on our new national anthem: The March of the Sinister Ducks. Now with added mp3 goodness.


Just testing the waters - is anyone out there interested in Scaryduck t-shirts? Ducks, penguins or both? Price will be as cheap as I can get away with.

The Scaryduck Archive

Monday, January 19, 2004

Toga! Toga!

Nail me to a tree and call me Harriet - National Lampoon's Animal House is released on DVD next week. You understand that anyone who doesn't rush out first thing Monday morning and purchase a copy is on double secret probation. Okay?

Shocked and stunned

Big up to South West Trains for getting me to work on time today for the first time in three weeks. I feel a letter of congratulation coming on.


Apropos of my COCK-FM story yesterday, I bring you - genuinely - KNOB FM of Mineral Wells, Texas. Of course, they make 'em bigger in the Lone Star state.

Soaps Update

Scaryduck - rotting his brain watching the soaps so you don't have to.

Back at Innsmouth's top soap Cthulhu Street:

Despite his constant invoking of demons, Fred Elliott's doing a roaring trade in his Butcher's Shop with his new line of Longpig sausages flying out of the shop and into local frying pans. But why is local undertaker Archie Shuttleworth such a regular visitor to Fred's delivery entrance these days, and why does he never seem to do any funerals?

Local transsexual Hayley (ne Harold) Cropper surprises everybody by giving birth to a bouncing baby boy following a pregnancy lasting a whole two weeks.

"Oh yes," say the soap doctors, "eight legs and fourteen eyes are perfectly normal for a baby this age, Hail Nyogtha!"

"Ooh! Isn't he lovely?" coos Vera over the writhing bundle of joy, "He looks just like his dad!"

If only she knew. The have named him Chucky.

Back at the Rovers (A Newton and R'yleh Pub), there's trouble brewing for new lanlord Richard Hillman, the country's only zombie pub owner. Down to his last barrel of Shoggoth's Old Peculiar, he's forced to put on a little number of his own recipe, pulled together from the canal water coursing through his cold, dead veins and the secretions from the glands in Deirdre's frightening neck. Sir Les Battersby (knighted by mistake in the New Year's Honours) loves it, and asks barmaid Ena Sharples, resplendant in her hairnet and shroud, for more.

But there's a price to pay, and Sir Les is all out of brains.

Meanwhile, over in Albert Square, a reluctant Pauline Fowler is revealed as the one true vampire slayer, taking over the role vacated by Buffy Summers, as a Hellmouth opens in Arthur's shed down Walford Allotments. Most of the undead, creatures of the night and blood-sucking scum of the underworld are seen heading for the Queen Vic, where Pauline and sidekick Dot Cotton ("Oooh, get thee behind me, foul creature, or you'll bring me haemorrhoids out again") will be hard pushed to tell them apart from the genuine punters.

The Scaryduck Archive

Sunday, January 18, 2004


I went up to the smoke, managed to shake off Rob's shonky directions and turned up at the right place at the right time for the B3ta radio show. Which is more than can be said for Rob - h turned up five minutes into the programme and he was the presenter!

Resonance FM can be best described as pert, broadcasting from a couple of rooms on Denmark Street - London's Tin Pan Alley, next door to the shop where I bought my Korg Poly6 as a callow youth. On the wall of the frighteningly small studio is stern notice "NO SWEARING - you can't afford the fine." I'd already thought about this, and was determined to be on my best behaviour.

"Can I say 'twat'?"


"What about 'arse'?"



"As often as you like."

It is the curse of the community radio station - they have little control over the people behind the mike, so they're up to their necks with OFCOM over an unfortunate 'Jesus Fucking Christ' that made it out into the wild. Ooops.

I got off to a slow start, gave dreadful interview, but thanked myself for actually having something scripted beforehand. Apart from that, the running order was made up as we went along, we had to fight over the mike, and it was utter chaos. But it was brill, and there were free sausage rolls. And we got to play Frank Zappa and slag off Oasis.

As an experience, all very woo, and if invited back, I promise to be better prepared.

Also on Friday... Weymouth and Portland confirmed as the yachting venue for the 2012 London Olympic bid. I'm surprised they didn't try to do it in the boating lake in Hyde Park. Beach Volleyball in Horseguard's Parade. There won't be a stroke of work done in Whitehall for weeks.

The Scaryduck Archive

Friday, January 16, 2004

Slide of Dooooooooom

Ha! Do you think that's going to put us off?
Playgrounds are dangerous places. I should know, having lost teeth playing silly buggers on the slide at Twyford Rec. The whole place was a death trap. These days, it's all safe play, loads of wood chipping and rubber matting to fall into, and not a single sharp edge or masses of exposed mechanics to rip off innocent fingers. And if you were going to fall off the twenty foot monstrosity of a climbing frame of tubular steel and exposed bolts, you would land on concrete or tarmac and like it.

Hideous accidents were legion at our park. In fact, there was an ambulance bay by the main gate and a permanent supply of bags of frozen peas to keep severed fingers fresh. The swings were made out of the hardest substances known to man, and could decapitate anyone foolhardy enough to walk past. The concrete tunnels housed wild creatures and broken glass, while the Witches Hat, well, you know what to expect from a piece of torture equipment called the Witches Hat. The whole thing was surrounded by a hawthorn hedge. If the swings didn't get you, the thorns would rip you to shreds.

Parents didn't give a monkey's either. If you didn't come home from the park, they knew to drive to Casualty where they'd pick you up after having your bits sewn back on. The human body can take a lot of punishment. You could do yourself a lot of damage yet still walk away, often with crucial parts in a shopping bag. My father - the doctor - once showed us how bendy it was, on a rather unnerving visit to his lab. It toughened you up.

Today's toughening up exercise will be brought to you by Stupid Scary and his friends. We'd done plenty of stupid stuff before, usually ending with pain, explosions, or pain and explosions. Today, having seen some crapfest on television, we were The World's Greatest Stuntmen, and we were going to do The World's Greatest Stunts. At the park. On our bikes. And a skateboard. If we survived without getting the frottage-obsessed parkie out of his garden, all the better.

We were doomed.

We started off with the easy stuff. We set up a small ramp with a bit of wood which had once hidden rather important and life-threatening rotating machinery on some of the more fiendish equipment. Something dead dropped out, looking like lurid mashed potatoes and smelling like a cross between fetid dingo's kidneys and a flatulent halibut, but that was par for the course, and after prodding it with sticks, we soon lost interest. We jumped over on the skateboard. We jumped over one of the bikes. Then we jumped over Russell, taking great care not to cause him any physical harm. Well, as little as we could get away with, because we secretly wanted to know what his insides looked like.

Naturally, it wasn't enough. We wanted speed, we wanted thrills. We wanted stolen cigarettes and hardcore pornography. But at the age of thirteen fag smoke swirling like bukkake over our heads while we studied a copy of "Oooh, Sticky" magazine was hardly forthcoming. So we settled for mindbending death-defying skills instead, that involved jumping over hawthorn hedges on your mum's Raleigh Shopper.

Try as we might, there was just no way we could get up enough speed for the jump. John, while we chanted our favourite TV advert by way of encouragement ("Nuts, oh hazlenuts, OOH! Cadbury's take 'em and kick you in the bollocks!"), had already chickened out at the last moment and come within an ace of severe mutilation. Speed. We needed speed. And there was only one way we were going to get it.

It was my idea, I am forced to admit. Simple. Carry your bike to the top of the slide - a thirty foot high behemoth of cast iron and a sheer drop that rivalled Beachy Head as one of the country's most notorious blackspots for gravity-induced death.

I lugged the bike to the very top, and in fear of my life, mounted up. I was scared shitless, I don't mind saying, the only thing I could see below being cold, hard tarmac. Following parental advice, I was wearing fresh underwear "just in case you have an accident", but alas, my pants were on inside out and lightly soiled. I chickened out. I let the bike go, and it careered down the slide on its own, and and caught Russell squarely up the arse with one of the handlebars.

As Russell writhed in agony on the tarmac, it was time for a "Carry On" interlude at his expense... "Rectum? Well it didn't do 'em any good!" - "No time for love, Dr Jones, can't you see this boy has a tattered sphincter?" - "If you stretch it I can get both hands in."

I followed it down at a more sedate pace to the jeers of my mates. Fate! Why do you mock me at every turn?

"Out the way you great poof" said Matty, "I'll show you how it's done."

He grabbed his bright green skateboard and hoofed it to the top of the slide, while we readied the ramp for his do-or-die stunt attempt.

He was as scared as I was, but was determined not to wimp out. With a whimper, he jumped onto the board, and shot off down the slide like Eddie the Eagle's less talented and rather more mental brother.

With a thwooosh! he shot off the end of the slide and landed, with Tony Hawk-like agility, on the board and careered his way towards the ramp and certain glory.

"Go for it Matty!", "Ride that board!" we yelled after him as his moment of triumph approached. Only cruel, cruel fate could let him down now. Or forgetting the crucial detail that the ramp was made of wood an inch thick, obviously.


Matty hit the ramp.

The skateboard stopped.

Matty didn't. He flew.

It was majestic. It was beautiful. It was sweary.


He nearly made it.

The hedge claimed him. Wood, leaves, branches, thorns, thorns, thorns swallowed him up.

The were screams of pain. There was blood. There was a fear-wracked teen in his death-throes, clutching his groin which had come into contact with something solid. There was only one thing for it.

"Leg it!"

Half an hour later, a blood-drench wraith dressed in rags appeared at my front door on all fours.

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

"Err... you alright mate?"

"Me fookin' skateboard's bust!"


He held up his skateboard. A piece of green plastic and a couple of wheels.

"And me bollocks are killing me"


"Take a look at them, will ya?"

"Oh no, I don't do other fellas' testicles. I'm not a bumgay, y'know. Lie to your dad. Say it was bigger kids."

The catch-all excuse of 'bigger kids did it'. He told his dad. Dad didn't believe him. Blame me, why don'tcha?

*cough* We hit the crest of a tidal wave of gravy *cough*

The Scaryduck Archive

Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Thursday Thing

Tomorrow, I shall be mostly guesting on the B3ta radio show on Resonance FM in the London area, with a large folder containing various tales of mirth and woe for anyone foolish enough to be listening. The show is between 4pm and 5pm GMT, and yes, there is a live internet feed. I have promised to be on my best behaviour, and I will be doing my utmost not to fucking swear.

Also this week I shall be considering getting an RSS feed, but only if there's a demand for it. Opinions yes/no will be muchly appreciated.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're really here for: The Thursday voting wossname. Six stories, six choices and the chance to see a word or short phrase - Rich Wild, are you reading this: a short phrase - included in the winning tale of mirth and woe.

Top shelf: Woe
Inflatables: Mirth
An inspector calls: Woe
Surfing: Woe
Slide of doom: and thrice woe
Blarney: Mirth and woe

Speak your brains - vote-o!

Scaryduck’s ‘Did You Know...?’ No. 326

For those of you thinking of joining the gayers at some time in the near future, the World Federation of Homosexualists offers a bargain membership plan designed to attract new recruits to their ranks. It's called "Bi now, gay later."

(This gag has been approved for general use by "Daffyd", the only gay in the office)

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Scaryduck guide to... alien abduction

One of the great hazards of living in this modern age - at least 98% of Americans claim to have been carried away by flying saucers, had bizarre experiments performed on their wobbly parts and returned to the bosom of their family with an interesting set of neuroses and a whopping great anal probe. However, you can avoid this terrible fate if you follow these simple steps, totally approved by the Gillian Anderson's Wobbly Parts Appreciation Society.

- Lay off the drugs. It turns out that one third of "abductions" are in fact taxi rides home following a night out at Spliffy's. I'd lose time too if I spent half my existence off my face while the taxi driver takes the scenic route home.
- Wear very, very tight trousers in lycra or spandex at all times. Those pesky aliens will soon give up on you when they realise they can't get the anal probe in.

- Keep in constant touch with your local law enforcement officers. Report in every ten to fifteen minutes if needs be, they'll understand totally when they realise the greys are after your bumhole.
- Three words. Tin foil helmet. This year's fashion statement*.

- Make yourself look less appealing to the aliens by disguising yourself as a Klingon. Qapla!
- Get your boss to instigate an emergency plan in case of alien attack. This kind of forward thinking will do your career a power of good.

- Tie yourself to a large, inanimate object (eg the Post Office Tower, the 1200 King's Cross to Edinburgh), making it impossible for ET's tractor beam to get a hold of you. A night in the police cells has a similar effect.
- Don't be American. They never seem to take Dutch people, who, as far as I can tell from my experiences of Dutch culture, rather enjoy a good anal probing every now and then.

And remember - the aliens are watching. Always. Even when you are naked. Especially when you are naked. They're perverts like that.

* The statement being "I am a twat"

Scaryduck’s ‘Did You Know...?’ No. 325

The director of the Swedish Security and Intelligence Service goes under the code-name of Double-O Sven.

Finbarr Saunders corner

This grabbed from the BBC Devon website. Kyak Kyak! Fnarr Fnarr!

The Scaryduck Archive

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


Borag Thungg, or if you're not a speaker: Galactic Greetings!

One day in 1977, a small boy, clutching his 15p pocket money, stood in a newsagents pondering whether or not to buy a comic. He stood there and he stood there for a considerable amount of time, until the old bat in a housecoat behind the counter came over and demanded if I was "going to buy the bloody thing or not". I risked eight pence. The clincher was the free gift on the front - a plastic "space spinner", and so my first 2000AD comic was purchased. I wouldn't miss an issue for more than a decade.

The first issue grabbed you by the balls and wouldn't let go. The Russians ("Volgans") invaded Britan, time-travelling cowboys harvesting flesh-eating dinosaurs, a rollerball clone, a six-million dollar man clone and ...err... Dan Dare, an ill-advised revival of the Eagle character. But the real meat didn't turn up until the following week - another 8p gave you another free gift and the first appearance of Judge Dredd.

Make no bones about it, Dredd was a fascist. He rode a big motorbike, never took his helmet off and had a big gun, which he used to blow away criminals in Mega City One employing a "shoot first ask questions later" philosophy. He never smiled, and was supremely ace. Of course, it's the kind of thing that could never happen. (Thanks to Balders for the pic)

The best way to describe the early 2000AD was an orgy of violence aimed at young teens, and being a young teen, I lapped it up. The far too cerebral Dan Dare (only revived to get the old codgers who remembered him from Eagle to hand over their money) was quietly killed off, while the WW3 epic Invasion fizzled out. In its place, following a merger with Starlord (known in our house as Gaylord), came Strontium Dog, another long-runner still doing the rounds today. Then there's Robo Hunter. Rogue Trooper. Halo Jones, and the frankly bonkers sword and sorcery thing Nemesis the Warlock. What the blummin' hell was that all about?

Every now and then, something came up which would completely knock you sideways. The New Adventures of Hitler. What the...? Fiends on the Eastern Front - nazi vampires. Ace Trucking - pants pissingly funny CB radio/convoy rip-off. The whole affair was obviously run by nutters.

Dreddy had managed to get away from the tether of single episode stories with the now classic Cursed Earth/Judge Cal series which formed the basis of the ill-fated movie in which *gasp* Stallone's Dredd committed the cardinal sins of REMOVING HIS HELMET and GETTING A GIRL.

Dredd faced further trials in Judge Death from a parallel dimension and the evil Russians of Sov-City, setting the entire comic right in the middle of the Cold War before 2000AD and I slowly began drifting apart. I began missing editions as the artwork and storylines became shoddy. I began not to care about the characters, and getting into my twenties, I hid my shame by buying pornography to conceal my comic inside.

Only one thing kept me going - the awesome D.R & Quinch. Two juvenile delinquents with a penchants for extreme violence, girls and blowing things up. It was like, man, they completely knew my entire life.

2000AD is still there, with the mighty Tharg at the helm dishing out Thrills to us mere humans from the Nerve Centre, cunningly disguised as Kings Reach Tower in Central London. The artwork and storylines have improved immensely since I've been away, and I confess I still dip in from time to time. The comic, after all, has been the launchpad for some of the great names in comic art and the popular media. It did come as some disappointment, however, to find out that Tharg wasn't really from Betelgeuse, but was in fact some guy in a rubber mask and a bad tracksuit.

I still remember though, the response to a reader's letter in 1977 bemoaning the dearth of good science fiction movies. "Watch out for a film called Star Wars. We think you may enjoy it." Understatement of the decade, though they failed to warn us about Jar Jar Binks, the bastards.

Splundig vur Thrigg, Earthlets.

Shameless Pimpage

Last chance to nominate your favourite blogs for the 2004 Bloggie Awards. Did I mention the free beer, money and sex for every vote I get?* While you're there, use your votes to include any of the sites in my sidebar, cos they're all ace.

* Beer, money and sex offer closes 19th October 1968, open only to residents of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

The Scaryduck Archive

Monday, January 12, 2004

Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir,

What a fuss over nothing this Robert Kilroy-Silk business is. Who do those bolsheviks at the BBC think they are by vilifying this fine, upstanding patriot just for having the audacity to accept pots of cash to say exactly what we already know - anyone living south of Dover is an evil, unwashed dervish who'd crap in your airing cupboard given half the chance.

Like Kilroy, I am no stranger to crap in my airing cupboard and the blue pencil of censorship. Despite a voluminous correspondence between myself and the editor of the Cheltenham Gazette (soon to be published in several editions by Vanity Publications Ltd), I have yet to see one of my well-reasoned letters in print. As a result of this blatant attempt to silence free speech, I have been forced to photocopy my expose of the Reverand Timmins as a sniffer of bicycle saddles at my own expense and nail them to trees and fences round the town.

This is nothing but sour grapes from the bearded, left-wing homosexual so-called-intelligensia posing as the Gazette's editorial board, upset that I polled a massive nine votes in the last general election. Despite this obvious censorship, the Flog 'em, Skin 'em, Send 'em back, Sterlize the poor, we'll have no riff-raff in this green and pleasant land, Fuck the Euro Campaign for crap-free airing cupboards Party will rise again!

I am not mad.

Yours etc,

Lt Col Winston St John Cholmondeley-Cholmondeley Patel (Mrs)

The Scaryduck Archive

Sunday, January 11, 2004

“Scaryduck’s ‘Did You Know...?’ No. 356”

The Welsh version of the popular gameshow ‘Wheel of Fortune’ features no vowels, but allows contestants to buy an ‘L’ for 500 points. On the other hand, such is the complexity of the language, a typical edition of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ on Chinese Television (top prize - three dogs and a chicken) lasts for 18 hours, and usually ends with one of the contestants dying of exhaustion.

The Scaryduck Archive

Friday, January 09, 2004


Welcome to new readers who Neil Gaiman may have prodded in my direction. Strange how he mentions me the day I write about zombies. Coincidentally, today is the second day of a general strike in Haiti, so getting a man in to raise your Uncle Pierre from his icy grave will be nigh on impossible, unless he's not a member of the National Union of Witchdoctors, JuJu Men and Allied Trades. I know - get on with it!

Zombie pic by Thor-Son-of-Odin from b3ta
Brains! Let me eat your
spicy braaaaainssss
Regular readers may have noticed by now that I heart zombies. Zombies are great, and as an aspiring JuJu Man (I’m on a correspondance course from the University of Port-au-Prince), I feel it is my duty to promote the cause of the preparation and eating of spicy brains whenever possible; even if the undead have all the charm and elan of a piss-soaked tramp, staggering around like a drunk wombat spewing fetid pineapple chunks.

Not that I feel the urge to eat yours, it’s simply because, let’s face it, the Undead have rights too. What would you do, rising from your cold, cold grave, to find nothing but an indifferent population and quarter pounder brainburgers with cheese still off the menu at Maccy D’s? Exactly. Zombies need representation in this mortal coil, and that person is me. There are whole swathes of the population who never use their brains (let us, for the sake of argument, refer to them as “Sun Readers”), and it is only fair that they donate them to the cause of equality for the reanimated.

And what brought about this personal Road to Damascus? As usual, anything which occured in my late teens can be laid squarely at the door of my college contemporary Balders. OK, everything except for that business with the submissive cross-dressers coming to clean my house, but I still maintain I was set up. It was his idea that we go and see Return of the Living Dead. After all, once you’ve turned eighteen years of age, it is your duty to go and see as many X-rated movies as possible, and this was one of the first. Coincidentally, the second I turned fourteen, I went and saw Life of Brian, damning me to an eternity in Hell, loudly quoting from Python movies, leaving me the screwed up mess I am today.

The point! Get to the point, man! Balders took us to see Return of the Living Dead at the ABC cinema in Reading, where the box office lady was so fat she resembled Jabba the Hutt's sister. They wedged her in when the place opened, and as far as I know is still there, feasting from the popcorn stand. RotLD a rather fabby comedy zombie movie in which brains are eaten and the dead walk the Earth, rather like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine crossed with a Cliff Richard concert. It is, in fact, one of my favourite films, which John, Sarah, Balders and I shelled out good money for that evening. We laughed like idiots, but Sarah seemed to take it all rather seriously, with the look of a rabbit caught between the headlights of a redneck with the horn.

Ernie: What the hell is in those bags?
Burt: Rabid weasels.
Ernie: What? What the hell are you doing with a bunch of rabid weasels?
Burt: That's what I was trying to explain to you, they came in as part of a shipment. Of course, they weren't supposed to be rabid.

And just when you think a tender love scene is getting far too drippy:

Freddy: But I don't care darling, because I love you, and you've got to let me eat your brains!

However, Balders reminds me of a running gag throughout the movie:

There’s a classic scene when the police turn up, and are attacked by the zombies. One grabs the radio in the police car and says "Send... more... Cops!". Later an ambulance arrives and the occupants fall to a similar fate. Another zombie radios in "Send... more... Paramedics!".

It was after the film, giggling and scared shitless by turns, that the four of us returned to the car with the intention of repairing to the Old Devil for a few after-the-event drinkies. John had parked his car next to a rusty 1980 Volvo 240 Estate - the undead of the road - under the Prudential building in Reading, a horrifyingly bad concrete edifice built as part of a scheme to drive four lanes of traffic through the middle of the town centre’s only open space. Dark, dank and filled with horrible smelly things, some of which were still alive.

It was half-dark in the feeble street-lighting. It was gloomy, and the skulking figures of the town’s down-and-outs gave the whole area a certain not-quite-alive not-quite-dead feel. In the neon light, shadows ran into the darkened corners, while the smell of piss, vomit and that fetid tramp's odour of crumbly cheddar hung in the air. And Balders, bless him, wasn’t what I’d call the most beautiful of people, and though I’m sure he’s lovely now, parents often ushered their offspring to the other side of the road as he approached. In his own words: "A simpering chimpanzee with a drool fixation and fondness for Blair's Babes." I was hardly an image of loveliness in those days, come to think of it.

With the cold night closing in, John flipped the central locking on the car, and he and Balders got into the front, Sarah and I into the back.

“Well, that was good”, said Sarah,

"I'm so happy! It's like a koala crapped a rainbow in my brain!" I replied, “I liked that bit wh...”

I never got to finish the sentence. There was an explosion of brown leather jacket and black hair from the front seat as Balders leapt into the back of the car, pulling a rather spectacular back flip with one and a half twists that you just wouldn’t think possible in a Renault 25, landing almost, but not quite, on top of Sarah.


The effect was electrifying, and I don't mind saying that it was brown trouser time. Sarah’s not exactly the calmest of individuals at the best of times, and her screams left me with perforated eardrums and impaired hearing for the next two weeks. I wouldn’t say she jumped out of her skin, but we had to get the tyre iron out of the back of the car to prize her off the ceiling.

"Meep" said Sarah, eventually.

"Good golly Miss Molly, you've shat on my apples!"

Balders was never forgiven. Even so, the “BRAINS!” gag was tried out another six times that night, and it worked each and every time. Imagine the effect in a crowded pub where everybody else had picked up on the joke. And me? Too traumatised to speak, I was left with a lifetime of therapy, and a never-ending afterlife discovering new recipes.

Mmmmm.... Brainssss... in cheese sauce....

The Scaryduck Archive

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Time of the Month. Movie of the Week. Match of the Day

A long, long time ago I had several books of Peanuts cartoons. One of these strips had Snoopy sitting on top of his kennel with his typewriter, trying to write his epic novel which would, as always, fail to get past the first page. And so he typed:

The Fluffy Bunnies: A tale of mirth and woe.

Chapter One

"Ha ha ha," laughed the bunnies.

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha."

Snoopy turns to the reader and says, "So much for the mirth."

And that, dear reader, is where I get it all from. Hardly seems worth the effort, does it?

Hey, but you know what I'm trying to say - it's time to vote for this week's Scary tale of mirth and woe. Choose from:

Top shelf - alcohol and vomit woe
Inflatables - football, not much woe but plenty of mirth
Brains! - Zombie woe
An Inspector Calls - Food poisoning woe
Surfing - bizarre ringpiece injury woe
Slide of doom - playground stunt-gone-wrong woe

Natch, I will also be up half the night trying to fit in your suggestions of words or phrases you might like to see in the winning epic. Vote-o!

The Scaryduck Archive

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Soaps Redux

Following our post-Christmas navel gaze on TV soap operas, the thinktank here at Scaryduck Towers has been hard at it thinking up new ways of improving Britain's favourite entertainment medium. Good God, our nation is doomed if it's come to this.

- Cthulhu Street: The Nyarlathotep family move in at the Rover's Return with hilarious results. Can Sir Les Battersby finish his pint while being strangled by tentacles? Is Deirdre Barlow one of the Old Dark Ones? Will Fred Elliot's continued utterances of "Hastur, I said Hastur" bring doom and destruction on the street?

- Pull in the dirty old spunker audience by changing EastEnders to "Soapy Tit Wank". Drive them all away again by revealing that Dot Cotton and Pat Butcher have cornered the world supply of soap.

- Guest appearance of Hayley Cropper's pickled meat and two veg, to be played by TV's Ant and Dec.

- A ban on the dreaded EastEnders "knees up" by smashing their knees with a hammer.

However, that's just tinkering with old formats. What's needed is a whole new show, with new angles and new issues. We are, therefore, proud to present, live and direct from sunny Belfast, "Communion Street".

Picture the scene - the Paisley family - dad a firey protestant preacher with a mysterious past, a son so Orange that he can only be the bastard progeny of David Dickinson and Judith Chalmers (now there's a plot twist), move into a house next door to the staunchly catholic Adams family just off the Falls Road - with hilarious results! Was that really Mr Adams coming out of the Rub-a-Tug shop with Mr McGuinness? And why does his wife never bother getting dressed until after the milkman's been?

The plot possibilities are endless. Will anyone turn up to the Paisley's "Stuff the Pope" barbeque? Will the constabulary find the crate of Libyan AK-47's and fifty pounds of Semtex in the Adams's bathroom? And who built the razor-wire fence up the middle of the public bar in the Cardinal and Firkin? And when Mrs Adams gets put up the duff by young Paisley, that only the start of their Troubles!*

You mark my words - this one's gonna go big. With a big gap in the schedules where Brookside used to be, it's only a matter of time before Channel Four picks it up.

* Poltical Correctness watch: Being half Irish, and having lived in Belfast for a whole eight weeks, I am therefore allowed to make gags like this.

The Scaryduck Archive

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The Scaryduck guide to... smuggling penguins onto airliners

It's always the same. You go on holiday, have a few drinks, and before you know it, you're faced with the problem of getting that ill-advised purchase onto the plane home. Don't sweat - you'll get Mr Flippers back home with minimal jail time if you follow our foolproof guide.

- Wear dark glasses and claim he is your guide penguin. Any attempt to harrass you is dicrimination against the disabled.
- Superglue a handle to his back and insist that he is the latest line of designer handbag: "Gaultier's got one"

- "Airport security - we understand there is an illicit shipment of fish on this aircraft. Go fetch, boy!"
- "Are you stupid? Can't you see my son supports Newcastle United?"

- Hide it inside the llama you are also smuggling on board
- Buy him a first class ticket, and continually refer to him as "Maestro"

- Pretend to be a BBC film crew from TV's Jim'll Fix It, and produce a letter saying "Dear Jim, please could you fix it for my small flightless bird to go up in a plane."
- Put him inside a condom, swallow him and carry him through customs inside your stomach. Back at home, just wait for nature to do its course, et voila! (Only works for very, very, very small penguins)

Best of luck to you all. Please be aware that the penalties for penguin smuggling are severe and vary from country to country.

Rampant self promotion

The 2004 Bloggies are now upon us. *cough* Vote Scary! *cough*

While you're here, Robber Rabbit has a jolly good story in the Scaryduck stylee, even if he robbed it from somewhere else.

The Scaryduck Archive

Monday, January 05, 2004

Happy Easter

Date: January 2nd 2004
Location: Tesco Dorchester
The Event: First sighting of Easter eggs. They don't hang around, do they?

The year I became the citizen of a rogue nation

Tin Foil Hat
The year 2003 will go down as the one where America forgot the lessons of Vietnam and got itself caught up in another military misadventure that has the potential of making their Indo-China foray look like a vicar’s tea party. In truth, the war started even before September 11th 2001, with th election of a government of hawks, 9-11 becoming the lever which allowed the US, in the name of protecting its interests, to secure the Middle East and ensure long-term energy supplies in an age where fossil fuels are becoming more and more scarce.

There was no plot, no conspiracy behind 9-11 outside one group of extremists desire to see The Great Satan humbled. I don’t think even bin Laden could even predict the destruction his attacks would cause, and the scale of American retaliations. The extreme Taliban government paid the price for its open support of Al-Qa’ida, and soon succumbed to the might of the American military. However, Mullah Omar’s comments that, try as they might, America would never fully control Afghanistan soon became remarkably true.

Despite the justification for war, America is now bogged down in Afghanistan where only the major cities can be said to be secure. The Taliban is still active, bin Laden’s group are still at large, and most tellingly, the opium harvest was as large as ever. So much for the War on Drugs.

Then came Iraq. The focus was off Al-Qa’ida and Saddam became the bogeyman. Let’s not forget that Saddam was a murderous despot, but his removal by force and on the flimsiest of pretences brings the governments of Bush and Blair down to the rogue state level that they so arrogantly decry.

Let’s take a look at the President’s own words:

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” - Total WMDs found so far: nil.

“This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.” - Weapons supplied to this member of the Axis of Evil by ...err.. The United States of America..

“It has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.” - Saddam and bin Laden have openly denounced each other. It’s like saying the UK harbours IRA terrorists because they live in the same (vast) country.

“The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other.” - There were no nuclear weapons, the uranium that came from Niger only existed in the President’s imagination. Chemical and biological weapons turned out to be a truck used for filling hydrogen ballons and a crop-dusting aircraft made out of an Airfix kit.

“The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.” - Bollocks to the lot of ya, we’re going it alone, and will come crawling back to you later in the year when it all goes pear-shaped. See ya.

“And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people.” - Did they really fall for that one? Suckers!

“The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed.” - *cough*

All quotes sourced from “President Says Saddam Hussein Must Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours - Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation” 17 March 2003. To translate the whole shebang into understandable English for the MTV generation, the C-in-C’s speech boils down to:

“My fellow citizens, blah... drone... Ma’s apple pie on Sundays... he tried to kill my paw... round ‘em up, put ‘em in a field and bomb the bastards... I am not a crook... we’re a peace-loving nation, and we’ll kill anyone who says otherwise.”

One person who did fall for this one hook, line and sinker was our very own Tony Blair. Oh dear. How he blew the “forty-five minute” allegation completely out of proportion. How he continued to push the case for war when it was clear that the UN Inspectors’ take on events on the ground were completely at odds with those put by our democratically elected betters.

They took us to war on false pretences. They were warned that while Iraq was not a terrorist state, it would soon enough become a magnet for terrorists, and bugger me backwards if that wasn’t exactly what happened, shortly before the well-publicsed crawl back to the UN the second it became too expensive to wage armed peace. At least when Clinton went charging into war, it had some point outside asset stripping. But to criticise Clinton was a Conservative’s prerogative. Nowadays, criticising the President is “Unamerican”. Welcome back, Senator McCarthy.

A war over oil? In 1973, the Nixon government considered military intervention in Saudi Arabia to secure the oil fields over OPEC price fixing. Even Nixon (who was not a crook), thought this a step too far. Not so the current administration. Still, they found the WMDs. In Libya.

So now, I humbly ask the United Nations if it would be possible to effect regime change in the United Kingdom. Good God, there’s WMDs everywhere, I go past the bloody factories at Porton Down and Burghfield/Aldermaston on the way to work. I live under a government that has waged war outside the bounds of the UN charter, acting as a stooge to the world’s biggest superpower. To put it frankly, I feel dirtied.

We are now living under a government so right wing, even the Tories would have been embarrassed with some of the policies that are appearing. Abolition of trial by jury. The hobbling of the Upper House of Parliament. Identity cards. The impoverishing and forcible splitting up of refugee families, after paying five hundred notes and singing “God Save the Queen” just to get through the front doors. All the stuff that George Orwell held over for his comedy sequel “1985”, but couldn’t be arsed to write, mainly because he died. All of a sudden, New Zealand looks appealing.

"Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction." -- George W Bush, president of a country which has openly developed and deployed weapons of mass destruction. I don't know why, but I always feel nervous about leaders that bang on about "homeland" all the time.

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Sunday, January 04, 2004

No way to run a railway

My semi-regular rail journey between Weymouth and Reading costs me GBP 29.00 to travel 110 miles on the dubious delights of South West Trains. Tonight, thanks to a mixture of engineering works, bizarre accidents and blazing incompetance, I only managed to see a real live train for the last ten miles of my epic trek. Myself and my fellow travellers (or "victims") suffered buses, taxis, dog-carts, ricksaws and a rocket - which will be re-used up the backside of the station manager at Bournemouth - before we even got close to a train.

The last I saw of my fellow sufferers who also had to put up with closed buffets, locked toilets, empty vending machines and hiding station staff, they were arguing their way onto a taxi at Basingstoke, which would, eventually, see them in London. I worked out that my twenty-nine quid journey actually cost SWT approximately GBP 160.00. I've still got to get home. One day.

Skeptic's Corner

1) Big up to NASA for managing to land its Martian space probe smack bang on target right in the middle of a whopping great hangar in the Nevada desert, saving them a fortune on rockets and stuff which they can piss up the wall on a huge party and free cars all round. Which is where those Beagle 2 people went wrong.

2) Great work also to the Egpytian government for announcing within hours of the tragic plane crash off the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Shaikh that it was absolutely, definately, positively nothing to do with any terrorist organisation, especially not that one fronted by Os*m* b*n L*d*n. This, of course, was nothing to do with the fact that Tony Blair and family are holidaying in ...err... the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Shaikh, and the denial was rushed out even before you could say "assassination attempt". Which it wasn't. At all. Honest.

Say what you like about Blair, but our Prime Minister's braver than your President. Or just as stupid.


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Saturday, January 03, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Sir -

Whoever said “An Englishman’s home is his castle” has obviously not experienced petty byelaws and officialdom enforced by my local council, obviously foisted upon them by those no-nothing free-loaders in Brussels.

For example, I am no longer entitled to defend myself against any unwanted visitor to my abode. I am still facing totally vindictive charges relating to that little incident with that chap who invaded my doorstep peddling household goods.

As I told my fellow Lodge member Chief Constable Smithers at the time, the young man - obviously one of our council estate bretheren - came at me with a handful of feather dusters and the dread war-cry of "Homeless and hungry, mate"; and it was only my swift thinking and my war-loot German bayonet that save my wife Algernon from a fate worse than death.

Now things have come to a head with some jumped-up official saying that the machine-gun nest in my garden contravenes council planning policy and “lowers the tone of the area”. They wouldn’t have said that back in 1939 with the Bosch only miles from our coast, what? The council order for thre removal of the mantrap and hot oil chute just goes to show officialdom’s lax attitude to a family’s personal safety with hoardes of immigrants already hammering at our once-proud nation’s door.

I was led to believe that this was the government of law and order. When is Mr Blunkett going to open his eyes and allow upstanding citizens such as myself take the common law into our own hands.

There’s only one rule for the unwashed, uneducated criminal classes! Castrate the buggers and don’t let ‘em breed! It’s the only language these curs understand.

I am not mad.

Yours etc,

Lt Col Winston St John Cholmondeley-Cholmondeley Patel (Mrs)

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Thursday, January 01, 2004


Yesterday’s blog was going to be a sharp, witty and somewhat hilarious account of a New Year’s party I went to several years ago. However, one thing led to another (drink), and I never quite (drink) got round (drink) to writing the actual story (drink). But fear not, gentle reader, for instead, I have prepared a precis version for your delight (drink).

Pub. Friends. Drink. Girls. Drink. Drink. Arses. Drink. Drink. Drink. Drink. Drink. Vomit. Drink. Drink. Hilarious yet painful episode. Drink. Drink. Taxi. Vomit. Hilarious yet painful episode at the hands of vengeful taxi driver. Vomit. Bed. Vomit. Hangover. Hangover. Terrible, terrible hangover. For three days. Drink.

Amuse and delight yourself by filling in the blanks. Happy New Year to you all. Drink.

Balls of Crystal

In lieu of the usual horror-scopes, we’ve rushed out and bought a copy of Old Moron’s Almanack to see, amongst the sunrise tiems, the tide timetables and the adverts for charms and lucky bingo boards, what the coming year has in store for us. Doom. That’s what.

January: Michael Jackson is acquitted of all charges against him after medical evidence reveals that he has no genitals. Two headed dog found in Walthamstow.

February: Favourites and second favourites may prove successful in this month’s race meetings. It may be worth backing a few outsiders, just to be on the safe side. Image of Mother Teresa found in a chicken balti.

March: First sighting of Christmas displays in London shops. President Bush announces America now on Level 20 “Plaid” state of paranoia. Horse with two bodies and two heads wins the St Leger.

April: The Grand National will be won by a horse. Luck in the national lottery favours a combination of odd and even numbers. Prominent politician to be choked to death by the Queen Mother, rising from the dead as a zombie.

May: The FA Cup will be won by a team in red, blue or striped shirts. A team from Glasgow may win the Scottish football league. Sheep found working as commander-in-chief of the Portuguese army.

June: Scandal as a senior Royal’s seedy past as a grumbleflick actress is revealed. Asked why nobody noticed sooner, a palace official replies “Nobody ever looks at the face, do they?” Image of Donald Rumsfeld found in fish and chip wrapper at Southsea. Huge excitement until someone realises it was yesterday’s newspaper.

July: The world cowers as Satan’s hoardes ride out for the apocalyptic battle of Megidd, the ultimate battle of good against evil. However, the whole event is postponed due to unforeseen bad weather, judged an away win by the pools panel. Back all horses at race meetings this month, due to the shortage.

August: Education is plunged into crisis as nation’s schools report a staggering 0% attendance. Punch and Judy industry reported “close to collapse” due to a lack of interest. Back teams you’ve never heard of in the Aussie pools.

September: A nation mourns as a week passes without the Beckhams appearing in any of Hello!, OK! or TV Quick. Tony Blair announces a state of emergency as a result, “Our new downstairs toilet with Victoria and David” editions rushed out to Asda supermarkets everywhere.

October: UK raises terrorist alert to High as world marmite supply dries up. Favourites, second favourites and very small men on huge horses backed at National Hunt meetings. Director of the National Lottery wins GBP 50 million prize on the National Lottery. “Now there’s a turn-up for the books.”

November: A rich white man in a suit wins the US Presidential election against another rich besuited white man. Iraqi government calls for “urgent restoration of democracy in the US” after it emerges that both main candidates polled 97% of the vote in the first all-electronic election.

December: Millions to take part in some sort of end-of-year celebrations, followed by a rush to buy Old Moron’s Almanack 2005. Gold Cup won by skeletal figure on flaming steed, bookies go home happy.

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