Friday, April 29, 2005

Cubs' Camp

Cubs' Camp

"Kids can be terribly cruel" adults often say. I should know, as I was one once. A kid, that is. I’m not quite sure about the adult bit. According to my wife, I still am, and was a master at dishing out cruelty. In a fun, loving kind of way.

Ray was cruelty incarnate. He came from a well-off family, but was as spoilt as hell. He had a big mouth, bullied those around him, and was generally an unpleasant little shit prone to throwing hissy fits when he didn't get what he wanted. Which was often. And these were his good points. (Actually, his best point was his older sister. Yowsa!)

Unfortunately, his parents thought the best way to give him a bit of discipline was to run him through the local youth groups. So, after getting kicked out of every single after-school club in the district, he wound up at our Cub pack. Thank you, Lord Baden-Powell, this is all your fault.

Ray spent his entire time in the Cubs generally getting on everybody's tits, shouting, swearing and tying them up with their own string. I, on the other hand, got my Bronze Arrow, learned all the words to the National Anthem and took part in regular 14-0 thrashings on the football pitch as part of the world's worst football team. We were coached by an old fella with a goat. The goat was one of our best players.

It all came to a head when they carted us all off to camp for a few days. We were trapped in a cold, wet field full of cow shit in the pissing rain and told to enjoy ourselves. How? With Ray there was no let up. He threw mud into the the pans while we were cooking. He constantly let down the tents, and the hyperactive little bastard then kept everyone awake for the whole night with his brainless witterings until we clearly had to kill him. Poor Nick - a local farmer's lad who was a tad on the simple side - was given hell, and with a bit of adult supervision with the knots, would probably have had Ray lynched.

We planned revenge. We lured Ray into the woods, and at a given signal, we turned on him and pelted the little turd with great dollops of mud. Then, he was lifted by his arms and legs, and dumped into a huge muddy puddle before the bombardment of filth restarted.

It was all going very well, right up to the moment than an enraged Nick started throwing rocks at him, with unnerving accuracy. Young and cruel that we were, we still knew that dead cub scouts were A Bad Thing, and would probably end up with adults getting involved.

The tables turned. Nasty, shitty Ray was now our best friend, and quiet, reserved Nick was now Cubs' Enemy Number One, and was chased through the woods, up Cubs' Canyon and into the Forbidden Lands, where he made good his escape.

He was not seen for several hours, and he returned cold, wet and had clearly shat his pants. Which was bad news for us, because we were six-to-a-tent.

For the next two days, he was treated as normal, and not a word out of place was spoken in his presence. Even Mad Ray had calmed down somewhat - mostly due to the fact that he was not entirely keen on another woodland encounter - and the rest of the camp was somewhat pleasant.

Then, on the final morning of the camp, as Akela was getting everything packed away a masked gang led Nick away, and one person to each limb taught him the Discipline of The Tree. You know how it is - good run-up, preferably down a slight hill for speed's sake, and one leg either side of the trunk. Even at the age of ten it brings tears to the eyes.

Then we dumped him, curled in a foetal position into the shit pit. Feeling pity for the poor boy at last, and with a certain pack member laughing and shouting far too much over Nick's fall from grace, we kicked Ray into the shit as well.

Like I said, cruel, and typical of the shallow loyalties of youth. It was like Lord of the flies. With real flies. Mostly round Nick.

There was but one flaw to our plan. With all of Nick and Ray's clothes now stinking of shit, we had to sit alongside the shivering loons, squeezed like sardines in a minibus all the way home. A minibus the scout troop used to cart around the horse manure that they dug from the local stables to sell to local gardeners. Even with the windows open the atmosphere was the chewiest I had yet experienced in my young life, and that's coming from somebody whose brother had the nickname "Pooh"*.

Nick's dad picked him up in a mud-brown Land Rover and didn't even bat an eyelid. Ray's mum would't let him into the Daimler until he had stripped to his pants.

Oh, the humanity.

*I promised I would never reveal this. Well, hush my mouth.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Thursday Vote-o

Random thoughts that don’t fit anywhere else, and a vote-o

--- Murderers aren’t very good at covering their tracks and tend to get caught reasonably quickly due to their lack of forward planning. I’ve seen all those mysterious blue liquid adverts, and am firmly convinced that they should use sanitary towels to mop up blood. Those super-absorbent powers ought to save them all sorts of problems when the forensic team shows up, and presto - loads of saved work for the Crown Prosecution Service, courts etc!

--- Signs that your marriage isn't what it once was no.37: She no longer spends the long winter evenings popping the zits on your arse.

--- I have just bought some car insurance to go with my new car. For an extra nine quid, they said, I could be covered up to GBP25,000 "in the event of injury I should become a victim of road rage, something which is all too common these days." No it's not. You're a bunch of thieving bastards.

--- Some of my best nights out ever have been spent with rugger buggers. You haven't lived until you have seen the Dance of the Flaming Arseholes performed by fifteen brick shithouses singing "I'm a stupid dicky-di-dildo." It's what made this country great. And if it weren't for rugby players, the British brewing industry would have collapsed years ago. Let's hear it for egg-chasers and their hairy-armed girlfriends!

--- "If you're surfing for porn through your mobile phone, does that make it fWAP enabled?"

--- Dick Lovett. I bet he does. "Offering a personal service"

--- If I was in charge of pop music, I’d create a Devon-based all-girl rap outfit. And I’d call them Westward Ho!

And hey, with an election coming up, I thought it might be nice if I actually held a Thursday vote-o round these parts. Five …no, six… to choose from, plus the chance to invade the country of your choice*. Choose-o!

* Cubs' Camp – "It was only years later when they find the shallow grave containing Akela’s body that the sordid truth came out"
* Party – "And he ran, screaming, through the living room as people took turns flicking his suspender belt"
* Piss IV – "’And another thing’, I said, ‘that’s not lemonade’."
* Hawk – "’Eject! Eject! Eject!’ he cried, but I was too busy reading pornography to notice."
* Shed – "It was no use – his mum had cornered him with the strippers and there was potting compost everywhere."
* Poo – "’Forty years! I’ve had my no claims bonus for forty years’ But you know what dogs are like…"

Standard disclaimer (which no-one ever reads): The quotes listed above may not actually appear in the stories. In fact, I can guarantee it. Vote-me-do!

* As long as it’s Wales

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Knock Twice for ‘Yes’

Knock Twice for ‘Yes’

Strange goings on at Living TVs cult spook-fest Most Haunted, where the knives are out for so-called spiritualist medium Derek Acorah.

Convinced that Derek (real name Johnson, fact fans) might be making it up as he goes along, a mole on the Most Haunted team has been "accidentally" feeding Acorah little snippets of history from the locations they are filming. Except Moley's lying through his teeth, and poor, poor Derek has fallen for it hook, line and sinker.

According to my new friends at Bad Psychics, episodes in the latest series have featured Derek and his invisible friend Sam coming into conversation with characters straight off the top of our Mole's head.

Like, for example Rik Eedles (an anagram of Derek Lies) and Kreed Kafer (Derek Faker), an improbable South African criminal hanged at Bodmin Jail, which somehow got through the editing process and onto the screen. There are rumoured to be more, it’s all a matter of whether they get past the editors at Living.

In fact, Derek not only had a chat with the not-deceased-because-he-never-existed Mr Kafer, but he went for the whole possessed by evil spirits bit, complete with funny faces and cod Scouse/South African accent. He's great at what he does, even if it's acting.

“Mary loves Dick!” Derek screamed during a recently released clip of a possession. “MARY LOVES DICK!” Good God, even Mr Sceptic here was sold on that particular double entendre. So was the crew, right up to the moment they said “Cut”. Then, with the camera still rolling, there was general hysterics and the question “Does Derek win the twenty pounds?” Of course he does, and the viewer can only think the worst of the people he has given his trust. And why, we ask, did the finished broadcast have a night “night vision” tint to it, when it was taped during the day? All authenticity the team had demolished with one three minute clip.

Of course, the team are always out there, hearing bumps in the night and filming little dots of light which may or may not be orbs long after Derek's returned to his hotel. But then, if you stick a dozen people in a small room inside an old building in the dead of night, and you're going to raise some dust and hear the building creak, especially if the cleaners haven’t been around for a few days.

The last couple of series has been all table tipping, bells and whistles and all those Victorian parlour games made popular by the kind of mediums the late Harry Houdini made it his life’s work to discredit. At one stage, they were sitting round a table, ringing a little bell to attract the dead in an effort to recreate “an authentic Victorian séance”. The ones where the medium would kick a chair over, shout in strange tongues will an assistant would creep around in the dark touching people on the neck. Then the fridge door swung open and “Zuuuuuuul!” Or not. It beggars belief that they’re passing this off as some sort of serious investigation.

So, is Most Haunted faked? And does it matter? In the whole scheme of things, MH should be viewed as nothing but a hokey bit of entertainment, which it is, even if they make half of it up as they go along. On the other hand, the mediums on the programme make a rather good living touring the theatres of this country and beyond getting in touch with the dearly departed for the benefit of a paying audience. Mr Acorah currently charges around seventeen pounds for a night in his company. Some might say he is using his position as the star of a cult TV show to fill larger venues, and here lies the rub.

There is a little-used law that is still on the statutes known as the Fraudulent Mediums Act, that some would say Mr Acorah and others are breaking. However, you can imagine that the police have far more important things to do, like catching murderers and hassling the webmasters of village websites, so an investigation may be a long time coming. The history of spiritualism and psychic reading is dogged by controversy, and anyone can get themselves a decent bit of publicity and a large house fronting the River Thames by bending a few spoons these days. There are so many frauds out there, if the genuine article ever appeared, I doubt if anyone would notice.

There’s also the bonus of “ghost tourism” that an appearance on MH engenders for each venue. The publicity must have the punters pouring in, on the off chance that someone might get taken over by something from Derek’s imagination. Derby Gaol, for instance, a number one tourist attraction on the ghostly circuit, and visited no less than twice by the MH team. Derby Gaol is owned by Richard Felix, one of the Most Haunted team.

It appears that MH could well be on its last legs, if stories of a soured relationship between Living TV, Antix Productions (that’s Yvette Fielding and hubby, to you) and Mr Acorah are anything to go by. What started off as a fascinating delve into the secret world of ghost-hunting has become a parody of itself, sinking into a mire of its own making. Shame, that.

More: Most Haunted Exposed, Double Exposure

"Hey fans, at least I'm still genuine!"
Uri Geller: Twat

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Paula Radcliffe done a poo, again

A conversation

"So, this Pope fella. Is it true he was in the Hitler Youth and manned an anti-aircraft gun during the war?"
"Yeah, but he deserted in 1944."
"So a Nazi AND a coward, then."

Paula Radcliffe done a poo, again

My referrer stats have gone mad this week with punters looking for the infamous photo of Paula Radcliffe laying a log during the London Marathon. So, thanks to our spies at Arseblog, we've finally come up with the goods, as I feel it is my solemn duty to give, you, the reader, what you want.

Naturally, if Kirstie Allsopp and Sarah Beeny end up on Celebrity Wrestling on Saturday, I shall, of course, bring you the stills, and auction the used baby oil on ebay.

So, ladies, gentlemen and manky bastards: I present - Paula Radcliffe done a poo.

Now, I promise, no more scat for the rest of the week.


The more observant among you may have noticed that I'd stuck this site through the patent Wide-O-Matic and Make-It-Easier-To-Read-O-Tron, to make it 114% wider and 117.3% easier to read.

You'll be pleased to hear that the mank content will remain unaffected, although I had to beat my banner with a stick until it fitted the new format.

Your comments, etc...

Monday, April 25, 2005



Saturday, and another family visit. Which means a morning of housework woe, ensuring that the place is entirely spotless and free from anything that might offend the in-laws.

If they're so obsessed with seeing a tidy house, I say give 'em a duster when they arrive and tell 'em to get on with it. Controversial one this, and a suggestion which did not meet with Mrs Duck approval while struggling to roll the dogs up in carpet "to stop hairs from getting everywhere" and dipping the fish in acrylic plastic "the same, only with scales".

And just when you think you've finished, a trip up to the bog to cut off a length is met with the shout "Don't go using the toilet, I've just put bleach down."


Oh spoons.

Way to tell me just after the splashback from the explosion of a large, brown depth charge, followed by the tingly freshness normally associated with brushing your teeth.

If my arse goes blond, there'll be hell to pay.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Back to BASICs

Back to BASICs

We had a school computer. It cost a fortune and the monster and its sixteen kilobytes of RAM and cassette-loaded operating system were guarded like the crown jewels.

Mr Dupree used it for his own nefarious taking-over-the-world plans and the rest of us hardly got a look in. Typical conversation:

Us: "Can we have the key to the computer, sir?"

Mr Dupree: "No."

The rare occasions we got hold of the key were invariably morning break-time, where five minutes were spent getting hold of said key, five mniutes burned loading the operating system, giving us just enough time to type

10 PRINT "Fuck off"
20 GOTO 10

The truly l33t programmers would enter 10 PRINT "Fuck off "; - the semi-colon giving a full page of filth. Mr Dupree went fucking ballistic and we didn't see the key for months.

However, being a girly swot, I managed to learn enough of BASIC and the none-more-mind-boggling 8502 machine code to become a reasonably handy programmer, skills I would completely fail to use in my subsequent career in computing.

But my interest in the dork arts was sufficiently high to pursuade the parents to buy me a BBC Model B for Christmas one year. Four hundred notes and a massive 32kB of memory and no more loading BASIC off a tape, you just don't get that kind of value these days. I played Elite and Sam Fox Strip Poker on it for three years and it was possibly solely responsible for dreadful grades in both O and A Levels, not bad for a so-called educational tool.

And my dad called me a no-good layabout. He was probably right, too. But little did he know that I was still maintaining my programming skills - not only by writing my fellow layabout Martin's A Level Computer Science project for him (he had spent two years avoiding lectures by making sure he was sitting in a pub every time his presence was required. The bloody hippie could have at least turned up for the exam.), but also spent working on a little project of my own.

They say that sit an infinite number of monkeys at typewriters, and sooner or later they would come up with the Works of Shakespeare. And thussly, I worked several months writing up a little number called Project Hamlet. It was a pseudo-intelligent prose-writing programming - a neat little bit of coding and huge amounts of data, all nicely sorted into vowels, nouns, pronouns and adjectives. Type RUN, and it would turn out page after page of genuine-looking, if virtually plotless manuscript. In fact, I'm entirely certain a copy of this program went missing shortly before Jeffrey Archer started his distinguised "writing" career, but that ould be just idle conjecture.

With college lecturers, parents and other hangers-on mightily impressed with my l33t skills, I took the beast home and filled it with the names of every female I knew and every filthy sexual perversion in the book. Not to mention several that the book didn't know about. Et voila! Instant lesbian porn! Writhing, naked, thrusting, squirming red-hot flanges straight from the deranged mind of a teenage virgin. This was surely the greatest invention, ever, and not incredibly sad in any way whatsoever.

Good grief, it was all based in reality - I had resisted the urge to add Janet Ellis and what's-her-face from Rentaghost, because even I have standards. There was this girl who worked on the checkout in the supermarket where I had a Saturday job. Karen. She featured quite heavily, I recall, and for two very good reasons, neither of which I ever got to see first hand.

The computer churned out reams and reams of some of the most disgusting filth known to man starring my latest crush, most of which now forms the bulk of the William J Clinton Presidential Library, and cupled with the greatest computer game known to man - the 8-bit goodness of Sam Fox Strip Poker - it saved me all kinds of top-shelf embarrassment. Until I got bored with it, about a week later.

And that, dear reader, is how the letters page in Fiesta is written. I could have made a fortune from it, but hey, it was my gift to the world.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bad Poetry News

Bad Poetry News

I have been to a silly place on these here internets. A far-too-serious site where people write poetry, and ask for the criticism of their peers before going off in a huff to stick their heads in a gas oven. Criticism is delivered, often by similar self-important people who think they know a good poem when it hits them between their eyes.

Of course, there is no such thing, which is why Poet Laureate Andrew Motion is such a figure of fun.

Anybody can write crap poetry. And to prove it, I wrote them a pome or three:

On Genghis Khan (subject chosen completely at random because he's on the front of the Radio Times)

"A killer", they say.
"Barbarian thug."
What little they know
How you invented pipes
And loved swans.
Swan! Pipes! Khan!

On toilet walls

Oh crass monster!
Oh shouting fool!
How you offend with your toilet scrawls
How your little daggers rip out my heart
Yet I know in my soul
That all you say is right.
"Your all gay."
I cry.

On 20th April

You get no holiday
No roads in your name
No remembrance
For this son of Austria.
As you reach one hundred and sixteen,
We all know you
And your dream-turned-hell.
Happy Birthday Hitler.

In lieu of a Thursday vote-o, I am going to impose a story on you (I'm off work again on Useless Workshy Cunt of a Builder business), which is totally aces and features naked ladies and shit hot porno.

In the meantime, show me what great poets you are. I shall, of course, be awarding points for Style, Control, Damage and Aggression measured on the Duckworth-Lewis method. Hint: never spend more than five minutes writing a poem. Any longer than that and you run the risk of becoming infected by wankiness germs. And finally, see if you can spot the sublte message in my latest work:

For every emotion known to man,
Under this burning sun
Choose the one you hold most dear
Keep them close to your heart

You live only this once in this world
Only fools expect a second act
Understand the truth, we are as dust.

Alas, our times will soon be nigh
Let us return to the Earth with joy!
Losing nothing, for that is all we are.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Paula Radcliffe done a poo

Scat News

I am rather disturbed at the misinformation and the false news doing the rounds at the moment in this all-important pre-election period and the announcement of a new Pope for over a billion Roman Catholics. I mean, anyone can tell an untuth from time-to-time, but never, in all my years in the meeja industry, have I witnessed such unbridled lies in the reporting of a major news event.

And it is this: Paula Radcliffe done a poo during the London Marathon.

Not a wee, as nearly every single media outlet is suggesting. Done a poo. A dump. Number twos.

Think about it. Any top athlete, stretching their body to the limit over 26 miles will not upset their rhythm and make an unscheduled stop at a vital stage in a major race to have a quick tinkle. They will, manky that this sounds, just let go with the flow, and hope nobody notices as it runs down their leg.

There is much on the internet about the scourge that is runners' trots, so we mustn't judge Paula too harshly on something that will quite rightly get you banged up if you tried it outside a Chinese takeaway on a drunken Friday night.

For God's sake, my schooldays were scarred, scarred I say by the time I pissed my pants while climbing a rope during PE, yet she gets a free pass for crapping in the street.

And top marks too, to the Romanian lass who came in second for the spectacular shower of vomit at the finishing line. If the Kenyan bloke who won the men's race whacked one out in celebration, we'd have had the trifecta.

But, facts are facts. Paula took a shit. In the street. In front of thousands of people. On TV. And some bloke was running the marathon in bare feet.

Paula Radcliffe - we pronounce thee Queen of Mank.

And on that note, it is my 14th wedding anniversary today; and by some awesome coincidence it is also Mrs Duck's. Isn't it amazing how we ended up getting married on the same day?

It is our Ivory anniversary, so I'm off out to bag me an elephant. Yeah, I know "You kill it, you eat it." Barbecue at our place...

Sneak peak at the cover art for the forthcoming book Tales of Mirth and Woe. Thanks to Ed for the art-me-do, the cheque's in the post.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Election latest latest

Election latest latest

Another royal visitor to Weymouth as Deputy PM John Prescott sticks his head round the door for a photo opportunity with the increasingly smug-looking Jim Knight. Like Tony Blair before him, he didn't even bother coming into town, holding a bizarre press scrum in Upwey, fleeing before the proles got wind of his incursion into the field.

Just as he was tossing his 10p into Upwey Wishing Well and asking for Michael Howard to have a nasty spacehopper related accident I managed to take a swing at Punchin' John, timed it wrong and fell in.

It's dark in here, and I think there's something moving. That's the last time I vote for this bunch of cunts. Bad Deputy PM.

This last bit has provoked a certain amount of debate here at Duck World Headquarters. "It's not 'bunch of cunts'", I am being told, "It's a shower. A shower of cunts. You cunt."

They may have a point. A herd of cows. A stick of supermodels. A bunch of arse. A shower of cunts.

Does anybody out there know the correct collective noun for this word?

You might wish to look at a good old-fashioned Scaryduck Scary Story over at the other place. Or not.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Back in Circulation

Back in Circulation

I am now an official first aider. If, by chance, you accidentally lose a limb whilst reading these pages, drop me a line and I'll be along within a couple of days (schedule permitting) to patch you up.

As a matter of fact, I've been doing first aid courses on and off for 25 years, and I am pleased to say that this is the first one where there not strictly no fannying about with triangular bandages. This was brutal, realistic car-crash keep-em-alive-until-the-grown-ups-arrive stuff complete with screaming casualties with blood pumping out of sickeningly authentic looking wounds.

Just to make sure we got the message, the classroom sessions were filled withphotos of the real thing. A far cry from a scout hut and stern-faced instructors testing the quality of your head bandage on a little old lady from the WI.

It's a sad fact that the course was there to prepare me for the three most likely events that will happen in a war zone:

* Road Traffic Accidents
* Americans with guns
* Road Traffic Accidents caused by Americans with guns

They couldn't stress the bit about the Americans enough. Gone are the days when all you had to worry about was some shifty looking generic terrorist with an AK-47. These days, the biggest menace to your safety in any war-zone wears dark glasses and thinks they are liberating you. So, they took us all down to Bisley Ranges and showed us what it's like to get shot by firing at tins of tomatoes. It's the exit wound you've got to worry about. Ugh.

Then, we got taken hostage.

Bag on head chic. It's what they're all wearing in Fallujah Fashion Week.

If there's one thing this experience has taught me, it is this: stay at home, it's safer.

I still wouldn't do mouth-to-mouth on a tramp, mind.

Friday, April 15, 2005

In which your author is held hostage and then dragged out and shot

I work in a business where they sometimes send you to nasty places. I've been to some nasty places, and came back with a bump on the head and a tale of (now pleasingly dead) Congolese militias that would allow me to dine out for years if it hadn't actually given me a nervous breakdown.

To this end, my employers sent anyone who was going to visit a hazardous environment to the Hazardous Environments Course, in which you are sent to a large country estate for a week, and taught how to avoid getting killed TO DEATH by former members of Her Majesty's Special Forces.

We were taught first aid, map reading, how to avoid getting killed TO DEATH (Essentially: Don't be there in the first place; or if you are there, run away), and what happens when things get blown up. They demonstrated what happens when things get blown up an awful lot, mostly by gleefully blowing things up. The first aid course was a joy, one demonstration being the direct result of one first aider shooting the other in the kneecaps. Oh, how we laughed.

On the last day, the course climaxed with a field exercise, where we would pose as hapless field journalists and run around a field in Hampshire, trying not to get killed by bands of heavily-armed Special Forces posing as bandits.

So, there were were minutes later, captured by a band of heavily-armed Special Forces posing as bandits. I found myself kneeling, hands behind my head, as a man with a sub-Aleksandr Orlov accent pointed an AK47 at my vitals. It was at that exact moment that the 0945 Virgin Crosscountry train from Reading to Bournemouth should come to a halt at the red signal not twenty yards away.

I would, on behalf of Mad Dog Security Services, like to apologise to passengers for the sight that may have greeted them in this instance. To whit: my good self getting pistol-whipped by "Barking Mad" Andy, a man who possessed so many scars his face looked like a street map of London. A man in first class looked up from his Daily Telegraph. We made eye contact. He looked away.

The police did not come.

Then, the Special Forces loons hooded us, and marched us off to a wrecked farm-house, where we were left to reflect on our position. It was too much for some to bear.

"Can we have some music please?" is not a valid request in a hostage situation.

Then we were dragged out and shot.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thursday vote? No!

Thursday vote? No!

I am, I am sorry to say, still up the jungle with the fuzzy-wuzzies, learning how not to get myself shot, and what to do if I end up killed*. So, no vote-o and probably not a Friday Scary Story either, as I shall be spending tomorrow mostly getting kidnapped.

Any road up, to say that my hotel room is "basic" is an understatement to say the least. It was, at one stage, the store room for a gymnasium, and thussly smells of tramps socks. And every other night the Bracknell Tae Kwon-Do club turns up to kick the place up.

It can, I propose, be improved greatly by the following notice stuck to the mirror: "Please do not piss in the sink."

I mean, some people are just SO filthy.

*Lie down

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Tories! The Tories!

The Tories! The Tories!

Poor the Ed Matts, Tory candidate in my Dorset South constituency, caught over-using the photoshop on his election literature. Now utterly unelectable, which is a shame beause Mr Matts seemed one of the saner Tories I've ever met. Front page of The Times too. Bad Tory.

Meanwhile, Michael Howard asks "Are you thinking what we're thinking?" as the Conservative Party launch their election manifesto.

Let us consider: Kirstie Allsopp and Sarah Beeny wrestling in a paddling pool filled with baby oil.

So, probably not then. Ah well, better luck in 2009.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Dear Diary,

I am on the besterest training course ever. Today we got to have a riot and I got to put the boot in on people I had only just met. Then we got to have a go on the Resusci-Anne dolls. They all look like the Pope. Apparantly, if you do it wrong, they kick you in the head. I was OK. Mine didn't have legs.

Coming soon: Guns and bombs. Besterest. Course. Ever.*

*Translation: Scary is on a course where he is learning how not to get killed when his employers send him to nasty places where they might not have the internet. He is in the hands of highly-trained professionals and you should not fear for his safety. Except on Thursday.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Vote for grabs

Political parties, your attnetion please! I have absolutely no idea who to vote for. I am a blank canvas, an empty vessel, your vote-o-bitch.

Not that any of you jokers appeals to me in any way shape or form. It is my firm belief that it is a special kind of person who stands for office. "Special" in the "special bus" sense, that is. The only difference between your Blairs of this world, and the guy who wants to paint yellow lines outside your house is a better tailor and years of expensive dentistry.

Don't get me wrong, I want to vote, and will give my reluctant, conditional backing only to the party that deserves it. And living in the UK's most marginal seat - the present (Labour) incumbant took the seat from the Tories in 2001 with a 0.00000001% swing - my vote could make all the difference. Not just locally, but nationally. I'm that important, me, and that's why, I feel, you should try harder in my case.

Progress so far:

Labour: Prime Ministerial visit to Weymouth, did not speak to the proles. Bad Tony. My MP came knocking on Saturday, I was out. Unlucky.
Tories: Bugger all. Bad Dracula.
LibDem: Bugger all. Bad ginger bloke.
UKIP: Ranting postcard that assumed, because I live by the sea, I am a pensioner. Bad loonies.

As you can see from this sorry list, you really must try harder. So, on your knees and promise me any three of the following:

* The repeal of the Terrorism Act. I prefer the rule of law, not the law of politicians.
* An end to the pre-emptive war on terrorism. It's you that's the cause, you fools.
* Sane investment in transport, health, schools. The simple, straightforward stuff that doesn't need celebrity chefs to tell you what to do.
* Chemical castration of chavs.
* Kirstie Allsopp and Sarah Beeny and a catering size barrel of baby oil
* The moon on a stick

I'm going to get more picky as the campaign goes on. By polling day, I'll be wanting a stack of used fivers, so you lot had better get a crack on and convince-me-up.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Age of Steam

The Age of Steam

Christmas came once again, and this year I received a Mamod steam engine from my parents. A real, minature steam engine which ran on a meths burner. All the working bits were Meccano-compatible, the idea being that the junior engineer would build something in the traditional stylee and watch it spin round at a sedate speed under the power of scaldingly hot high pressure steam. And I'd asked for it too. The AK-47 would have to wait another year, though.

You could use it, like a tiny Fred Dibnah, to power machinery that you'd built out of lego and my specially sharpened mecanno set. Fairground ride replicas, replica agricultural equipment, funny looking robots, and, with the help of some smuggled kitchen goods, something deadly with rotating knives, that might come in handy if I were either very, very hungry, or got a work experience gig at the local slaughter house. What could possibly go wrong?

It was, in retrospect, an incredibly sad hobby, and this was proven when Geoff and I raised a magnificent 60p displaying our creations at the school Christmas Fayre, a disaster which became known as The Year We Didn't Make a Fortune. The only good thing to come from the experience was the pleasure of having both flammable liquids and the means to burn them on school property. The scorch marks are probably still there.

As it stands, that wasn't the best of years, as my continued possession of an Ian Allen Train Spotters' Almanac for 1979 proves.There may have been a pair of tartan flares involved at some stage, come to think of it.

My sister, who, for some reason doesn't appear often enough in these stories (and heaven knows I'm still physically and mentally scarred by her attempts to kill me) was the one chosen by the Gods of Mirth and Woe to spoil my innocent fun. And all I did was take the piss out of her saxophone playing. Easy mistake to make. I thought she was strangling the dog.

In a typical fit of old sister pique, she stole a vital part of my treasured Mamod, thus denying me the pleasure of raising steam (when I should, at that age, have been trying to raise something else). Financially challenged as I was, I couldn't afford to go up to the Mecanno shop to buy an new high-pressure valve, so I did was any member of the Round Table would do in the circumstances - Adopt, Adapt, Improve. Or failing that, just bodge something up.

I found a small, blue plastic peg out of a Christmas-cracker solitaire set. Proper job.

In the absence of the valve, I filled the tank with water, and pushed the peg home with a couple of twists. Perfect fit.

Steam! In went the little meths burner, and before long, the little flywheel was spinning round like a mad little bugger as my prototype rotating knives machine struggled into life.

Steam! White hot, high pressure steam! Bursting to get out of a high-pressure boiler in any which way it could!

BOOOMPHWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH! the peg shot out of the hole like a very fast thing that doesn't quite stand up to a bullet/gun analogy, closely followed by a jet of scalding, pressurised steam.

BOOOMPHWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH! went my bottom by way of reply, closely followed by... let's not go there. Perhaps it's best to say that I narrowly avoided permanent disfigurement in the trouser department.

The steam engine bucked around angrily, and the rotating knives machine took on a life of its own, helterskeltering round the garden and causing terminal damage to a herbaceous border that was going to take some explaining.

Quaking with fear, I looked up at the kitchen window to see if anyone had witnessed by moment of woe.


"Yak," she said, her single-syllable of derision that would haunt me for years to come, more than any bodily scar. "Yak."

Never rile a saxophonist. They're evil.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ebay Envy

Ebay Envy

I am, according to my feedback comments, an AA++++++++++++++++++++ ebayer.

A colleague and very good friend of mine, however, is only A+++++++++++++++++.

God, I know how to make a man feel small.

I have yet to meet anyone who admits to being a mere B- ebayer. He's out there. Somewhere.

Not a Vote-o

Today and tomorrow, I shall be mostly hanging doors at Scaryduck Mansions, a job Useless Workshy Cunt of a Builder* should have done six months ago.

This means, I cannot be arsed (and this IS the correct technical term, I've looked it up) to hold a vote-o, as it usually means far-too-much last-minute writing up. There will be a story tomorrow, chosen by the precise art that is Ip-Dip-Dog-Shit.

Just by way of advance warning - my employers are sending me on a How-Not-To-Get-Killed-In-A-War-Zone course next week, so I shall be high on running through mucky ditches in Bracknell and low on blog updates. A tin of Bob Martin's Anti-Mating Spray to the person who can rescue me!

And grief, a whole day's gone by an nobody's noticed the subtle change I've made to this site. *sigh*

* It is thanks to this phrase that this site is now second on google for "useless cunt", behind the late, sweary, great Bill Hicks. Exhalted company, indeed.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005



It galls me to say that America's got the right idea with radio. With dozens of bland, advert-stuffed radio stations filling the airwaves, people are flocking to subscription satellite radio in their droves. For about five quid a month, you get a hefty package of radio stations, each taylored to musical, political or listening taste, with perfect near-CD reception.

Of course, you get ranting conservative talkshows, but they have liberal stations by way of balance. With an alternative that contains up to thirty minutes of adverts per hour, it's no wonder that advert-free subscription radio is such a viable alternative.

If it ever happened here, we'd be mug enough to allow Murdoch to run it - you'd pay the sub and still get the adverts - just like Sky TV where you get only 44 minutes of programming each hour.

Over here, we're still with old fashioned steam-powered radio, but with a digital alternative (DAB - known in the industry as "Dead and Buried" because of its slow uptake) just taking off. The audio quality isn't as good as they promised - mostly because broadcasters are using hugely compressed bandwidths to save money. Rather defeats the purpose of having "near-CD sound" if you don't use it.

With the quality of radio - commercial or otherwise - it does make you incredibly picky over what you listen to during the day:

0700-0710 Radio 4: Today programme news
0710-0900 Graham Mack and Ritchie - Bournemouth 2CRFM. What could easily be an identikit commercial breakfast show, but strangely compelling thanks to one of the strangest DJs I have ever heard. Habitually abuses listeners on air, stays just on the wrong side of bad taste to keep me interested. A hero. Blots his copybook, however, with occasional forays into the mawkish Scouse sentimentality Boris Johnson got into trouble over.

Breakfast shows are notoriously difficult slots to fill - get the listener first thing, and the theory says they'll stay tuned all day. Once a DJ hits a winning formula, then they're all at it. There were no end of "Zoo" formats when Chris Evans was coining it in at Radio 1. Say what you like about the Ginger Whinger, he was streets ahead of anything Johnny "Lost it, utterly" Vaughan could ever manage on Crapital.

0900-1300 *Click*
1300-1330 Radio 4: The World at One
1400-1515 Steve Wright in the afternoon. Ah, guilty pleasures, but it's all downhill after the oldies slot.
1515-1900 Radio6 Music - now I remember why I bought this digital radio...
1900-2200 Dorchester Wessex FM (or any station in The Local Radio Group) - at last a local station that's not afraid to deviate from the tried and test, boring as hell Celine Dion/Westlife evening schedule. Good grief, there's new music. Unsigned acts. Top, edgy stuff. And on Sundays, a three hour punk programme. Heaven.

And you?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Man marries horse, film at eleven

Man marries horse, film at eleven

Breaking News: "Prince Charles's wedding postponed until Saturday, Queen's 'washing my hair' excuse in disarray." I expect she'll be attending Ian Paisley's Papal Memorial Jumble Sale instead.

And just think of that poor bastard who owns the Windsor Castle gift shop, applying a tiny drop of tipp-ex to each and every "Marriage of Charles and Camilla April 8th 2005" mug.

Despite this setback - and I'm sure that Diamond Geezer will mention the now useless commemorative Radio Times for the wedding that never was - no expense will be spared by the BBC for this weekend's big wedding. Notwithstanding having to put the whole shebang back a day due to unforeseen circumstances (although I'm led to believe that Charlie's still in a huff at the lack of an RSVP from the Vatican), this is set to be the nation's first interactive Royal Wedding.

With our unique insider knowledge of the forthcoming nptials, we've already seen a copy of the script from Friday ...err... Saturday's happy event, and thank God, I say, that the BBC have found something for Graham Norton to do:

"If any man knows just cause why this man and this woman cannot be joined together as husband and wife, press RED now or text HORSE-SHAGGER to 86969. Calls charged at 50p/minute, all proceeds to Comic Relief."

It'll be great. Prince Edward's in charge of the barbecue.

My wedding present for the happy couple: A tin of Bob Martin's Anti-Mating spray. It's for the good of the nation.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Getting the Hump

Getting the Hump

This weekend has been mostly spent prizing the dogs apart with a corwbar as they go at it, hammer and tongs, all over the house like something out of a Carry On film. You’d walk into the kitchen and find them banging away by the Dyson, and minutes later news of the Pope’s death is rather overshadowed by the mutts getting busy in front of the screen, Lucy‘s spaniel eyes bulging like ET being hit over the head with a cricket bat.

It’s not as if anything can come out of all their hard work - while Harry still has his meat, the vet whipped out his two veg some time ago, and it is only through a hormonal primal urge brought on by Lucy coming into season that Harry’s remembered what to do.

At it. Like dogs.

There’s something vaguely unsettling about the entire experience. It’s not just the fact that although they are different breeds, the pair of them have been given a roof over their heads as part of the Scary family, and all this hide the lipstick just isn’t right. It’s family. We might as well be living in some trailer park in Alabama, watching the World Cousin Shagging Championships on TV.

Worse, Lucy’s only about six months old, and is, to all intents and purposes, a puppy. Even in dog years and the pure biological fact that dogs reach sexual maturity much younger than humans, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

It all boils down to this: I seem to have Gary Glitter’s dog by mistake. He disgusts me and nothing‘s going to get me buying one of his records, ever again. And the dog, too. All I have to do now is stare at Harry and he slinks off into a corner looking guilty. The manky little sod.

For sale: One West Highland Terrier, male, neutered, pervert. Answers to the name “Aaaaargh! He’s doing it again!”

Steve Dix suggests Bob Martin's Anti-Mating Spray. Alternatively, I could just use my preferred brand of after-shave, which, in field tests lasting several years, shows exactly the same effect.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Top Trumps: Bottom woe

Top Trumps

There is nothing so funny as an inappropriate fart. Pumping one out at a funeral is guaranteed to bring the house down, as would answering "Do you take this woman...?" with a resounding trump of epic proportions. You'll be a hero. Trust me.

However, now that I've come to think of it, two minutes' silence for a much-loved Princess of All Our Hearts might find you swinging slowly on the end of a rope.

If you can find a way of amplifying your bottom burps, so much the better. Set up your own radio station. Graft a loudspeaker to your chuff. The louder the better. My grandparents used to own a small wicker footstool, which we found acted as a natural amplifier for guffery. Visits to their place were often punctuated by mad dashes to the stool and some of the most frightening perps ever transmitted by the human bottom. The best ones would come out several octaves higher than was natural.

"FreeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEp!" it went. "FreeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEp!"

Those long winter evenings used to fly by.

However, the very fact that we were in a drawing room in Northern Ireland somewhat limited the audience to a deaf former shipbuilder and his utterly disgusted wife. We could do better. Much better.

So, why not school assembly? Four hundred kids sitting cross-legged on wooden floor, with a headmaster reading from his Big Book of School Assembly Ideas. Just as Mr George had all our heads bowed for the Lord's Prayer, I accidentally quacked one out.

"Our Father, who art..."


Did I say quacked? More like "thundered", and the wood floor made it ten times worse as it vibrated through the very foundations of the building, emerging in the boiler room to echo forth throughout the school hall in all its rampant glory.


Eight out of ten. Nine, tops if you include the waft that followed.

For about half a second I was immensely proud of my arse.

But then, cue 400 kids turning round and staring at me, and a ripple of laughter that soon evolved into raucous hoots and the angry shouting of enraged teachers. Hell to pay.

I spent a whole week under the thumb of my elders, undertaking crap break-time jobs as punishment for my arse's blasphemy, and my future in the priesthood was dashed on the cruel, cruel rocks of the unexpected pump.

Worse, there were unfounded rumours going round the playground that my spectacular trump was followed by the spoilage of a follow through. My reputation was utterly ruined.

Now, an adult who has put aside childish things, I would never, ever do such a thing in an important meeting or family situation. Strike me down and call me a liar if I do.

"You'll be on air as soon as the news finishes", said the nice person from Radio Five at the other end of the phone line as my moment of weblog-related glory approached.

"....until the word 'Greenland' is almost entirely hidden. And that is the end of the news on Five Live."


"And now - weblogs..."

Oh, spoons. Silent but deadly.