Sunday, December 31, 2006

Get on up

Get on up

Actual workplace conversation today:

"I see James Brown went and carked it on Christmas Day."


"I wonder if he got to open his presents first?"

"That's probably what killed him. Somebody gave him a sex machine."

"What a way to go, though."

"Too right: 'Good God' *thump*"

"I got three pairs of socks an' a jumper, you know..."


Saturday, December 30, 2006

On New Years Resolutions

On New Years Resolutions, and the failure thereof

It's that time of year again, where the weak-of-willed (such as myself) attempt to turn over a new leaf and do something useful with our lives. By giving up smoking, for example:

Bart: When I'm old enough I'm going to give up smoking
Homer: Giving up smoking is the hardest thing you'll ever have to do. Have a dollar
Lisa: Dad! You gave him a dollar and he didn't do anything!
Homer: Didn't he Lisa? Didn't he? Wait... no he didn't. D'oh!

Last year, I made an attempt to go to the gym regularly, but crippled myself playing golf and never went back. The whole Gym Thing wasn't helped by the fact that Sir Steve Redgrave, training for the London Marathon, was a regular visitor at the time, and his huge, toned body on the rowing machine versus my sweating, coughing frame was the worst motivation ever.

This year, however, I have a foolproof plan. I am going on a diet. A special diet I devised on the toilet this morning.

"Ooh", I said to myself, "There's those brand new digital bathroom scales some evil-minded bugger gave us this year. I wonder how much I weigh."

Thirty seconds later:


It was at that exact moment of Aaaargh-ness that I had my plan. I would done an enormous poo, and weigh myself again.

So I did. And it being a massive, massive poo, I lost TWO POUNDS in mere minutes. If I could keep up this rate of loss, I would hit my target weight within a matter of days. Then I'd get my picture in the Daily Mirror, wearing a pair of outsized trousers borrowed off MC Hammer, and the Duck Diet book deal would surely follow.

The Duck Diet would be the way forward for thousands, nay millions, of fellow bloaters the world over. What could possibly go wrong?

Then I went downstairs and celebrated my New Years Resolution with beer, cake and pie. God, I'm a genius.

Also: Duck News on Dead Dictator December.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Fairy Tales, Part the First.

I would point out, rather belatedly and to scotch these cross-dressing rumours, that this is a Misty production. I thang yew.

A few years ago, I had a job as a Christmas Fairy in a shopping centre. It was lots of fun. I got to wear a pretty outfit and did the whole sparkly make-up bit every day. The downside was having to deal with screaming children, and on occasions screaming adults as well.
The deal was, that every child who came to see Santa would get a pressie, and for an extra two quid could also have a polaroid photo taken with him. My job was to keep the brats little darlings under control whilst they waited, and also ask if they'd decided on what they wanted for Christmas and so.
Most of the children were fine. All happy and excited, and smiles all round, hurrah.
But one day, a small boy was really acting up. He was screaming, and complaining, and shouting, and yet his mother was determined that he was going to meet Santa and get a photo taken with him as well.
I went over to have a little talk with him. I asked his name, and explained that Santa had a list of all the good boys and girls that were going to get presents, but that if he was going to carry on being 'naughty' it was unlikely that his name would be on that list, and there might not be anything under the tree for him on the big day.
That shut him up. His mother gave me a look of gratitude, and also asked me to mention that he had to be good ALL the time, not just for the here and now, so I explained that Santa's fairies went around checking on the children to make sure they were keeping their promises to be good, and that although we could see them, they couldn't see us.
The boy behaved himself, met Santa, got the photo taken and so, and off they went.
A couple of weeks later, I was on the bus on my way to the Grotto. No make-up or 'fairy dress' on, just normal clothes.
Also on the bus, was the same boy with his mother, and the boy had obviously forgotten his promise to be good, as he was having yet another hissy fit and somewhat disturbing the sluggish gloom and quiet of the bus journey.
I had to pass by them to get off the bus, and as I went past, I bent down next to him, and said "The fairies are watching you don't forget!"
I have never seen a child stop a temper tantrum so quickly. He looked all around for a fairy, but as I wasn't in costume, he couldn't see one.
Oh yes. Traumatizing small children. They were happy days...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Morning all, Misty here again!

Scaryduck has had to go and do things down in that there Cornwall, which although being a lovely part of the world doesn't have intermanet access. So he called me and asked me to look after you all for a couple of days.

So, everybody have a turkey sandwich and a mince pie to munch on while you choose your tale for tomorrow's entertainment*

Your choices are:

Fairy Tales, part the First.
Fairy Tales, part the Second.
About the Castle and the Japanese Tourist.

Also, I hope you all had a very merry festive season of choice, and the new year finds you hale, and hearty.

*Better than what's on the telly, honest.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Theatre Review

Theatre Review: Cinderella - Weymouth Pavilion

The naked greed of the proletariat unmaskedScaryduck's Review: A stunning indictment of a post-modern materialistic society in which Marxist-Leninist ideas of the bourgoisie-proletariat relationship are ruthlessly maintained through the selfish, yet predictable actions of the participants through the medium of song, dance and the acting arts.

With the heaving bosom of the fairy godmother representing Thatcherite I-want-it-now materialism tempered with boom-and-bust politics; and Martin Platt out of Coronation Street representing the cuntery of the masses, it was sadly inevitable that the working classes (Buttons) should be left metaphorically naked in the gutter, whilst, given the choice, the daughter of Baron Hardup should grab her chance to remain within the landed aristocracy, maintaining the irony of the status quo of class-based power relationships in Blair's so-called classless society.

This Diana-esque marriage ignores the shallow nature of the relationship - based, laughably, on footwear - leaving the audience confused as to the very nature of 'Happy Ever After', knowing full well that the real ending will be played out, tragically, in some Parisian underpass.

And, for some reason, Crazy Frog.

Scaryduckling's Review: "What a bitch! She turned down the love of her life and leaves him for some bloke she met for less than five minutes in the forest, just because he was loaded. Cow."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

On not learning from the last time

On not learning from the last time

"Bathroom's free!" I shout, adding "Unlike Briatain under this Blairite fascist junta."

"I see you've left it in the usual mess," says Mrs Duck, "And you're still too tight to buy your own shampoo."


"So, which one did you use, then?"

"Um. Yours?" the wrong answer.

"You bloody liar. I'm waiting for the Tesco's delivery this afteroon. There's only..."

Oh God. In the heat and confusion of war the shower, any man can make a mistake, and not for the first time. Oh, and indeed, God.

"But... but... it said 'pro-vitamin' on the side and everything."

"The dog's gonna go rabid when she finds out."

And so, dear reader, I wish you Happy Christmas, from here, my corner of the doghouse.

Something else: Postmodern Sass on her quest to meet Neil Gaiman: Part One and the inevitable denouement.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Mirth and Woe: The Christmas Drawer o' Doom

Mirth and Woe: The Christmas Drawer o' Doom

Christmas time of year. Pants, pants, pants.

As Christmas approaches - a time for family, goodwill and happiness - we live in a state of abject fear. A state of fear that Mrs Duck's highly organized present-buying routine will be rendered worthless by the appearance of unwanted visitors. Unwanted visitors bearing gifts.

Living in a top-quality seaside resort as we do, the world and their hideously foul smelling dog beat a path to our door looking for a freebie weekend on the coast. This can happen at any time of year, even when a Force Ten gale is blowing in off the Atlantic, and we are up in the loft trying to keep the roof on the house. As the Festive Season approaches, these visitors often bribe us with gifts, and it is only natural that we should reciprocate in some way or another.

And therein lies the fear. The fear that Aunty Terrible will turn up with a box of Tesco Value choccies, and we have no Asda Value choccies to give in return.

To counter this awful, awful dread, we keep a drawer brimming with low quality seaside tat purchased from the many, many emporia of seaside tat that ply their trade in Weymouth, in case we have unexpected Christmas visitors bearing gifts bought from inland tat shops. It's like a Secret Santa, as even we don't know what we're going to give people until the drawer is flung open in wide-eyed panic, and something awful is dragged out, wrapped in the downstairs toilet and handed over to the thankful recipients.

Just wait till they open it. They won't be so thankful then.

We are reminded, at this time, of the words of Our Lady Of The Harpies, Catherine Tate, to whit: "A squirrel. It's a fucking squirrel!"

So, not terribly long ago, and caught short by several distant family members using our place for a free weekend on the coast all at once, the drawer was sadly empty, and I was forced to improvise when the wife's aunt and her manky old boyfriend came to call.

It was the usual performance.

"Oh, how lovely to see you," we lied as rels bearing gifts arrived. "A present! Oh! You shouldn't have."

No, really, you shouldn't have.

Mrs Duck gave me the coded message for "Oh Christ, they've brought a bloody present - get something out of the drawer, pronto", which was the time-honoured, "Why don't you go and put the kettle on, while I show Aunty the house?"

So, while they got the grand tour of Useless Workshy Cunt of a Builder's worst work, I dashed to the kitchen drawer and found… nothing. Not a sausage. Not even a sausage.

Oh, spoons.

For what seemed an eternity, I stood, Milligan-style, clenching and unclenching my fists in frustration as I thought - in vain - what to wrap up for our guests. Dead hamster? The bottom of the recycling bin? The remnants from a car boot sale? Why, yes.

And so mote it be. Under the stairs, I found the best, least appropriate present for the boyfriend who had spent the entire visit talking to my wife's chest, like a manky old perve. Good grief, that's my job. Still you've got to hand it to Harry Minogue, mad dog about town, for latching onto the guy's leg, hammering away like a canine possessed, and not letting go until the job was well and truly finished. Good Dog.

"Happy Christmas!" I said handing over the small, square package as he wiped the dog jizz from his Matalan jeans, "don't open it until the 25th, mind."

"Oh, you shouldn't have."

You're damn right I shouldn't have. But I did.

"Thank buggery they've gone," said Mrs Duck at the end of our ordeal, "what did you give them?"

"A video."

"Oh Lord. Which one?"

"Flesh Gordon."

"Thank God, you had me worried for a minute."

Post Script: And guess what I found in a charity shop several weeks later? You should know the saying by now - "You can't get rid of porn".

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More top fives. And a top six

More Top Fives. And a Top Six

Top Five excuses after getting caught mincing around in your mother-in-law's soiled lingerie, rapidly deflating erection in hand

5. Guess what! I've just got tickets for the Rocky Horror Show!
4. Just walking these down to the washing machine. More whites, anybody?
3. Police? I've just fallen victim to a gang of clothes thieves. They've just left…
2. Can you direct me to a decent tailor, plz?
1. Fantastic! There's a love - hold the camera for me.

Top Five rejected names for pop acts

5. Paedo Squad
4. Stan Stranglia and The Shipmans
3. Al Kyder and The Bombers
2. Dixie Chicks-with-Dicks
1. Coldplay

Top Five Buzzword Bingo phrases

5. Let's stuff low-hanging fruit up the ballerina's chuff
4. Time to fellate those sharks swimming in our think tank
3. Run some split-crotch knickers up the company flagpole
2. Prod the fat lady and bottle her sweat
1. Let's plant a few trees and see if the nice dog pisses up them

Top Six Stories for the Thursday Vote-o the form of a bizarre, and almost entirely genuine conversation which I recently undertook on MSN Instant Messenger.

6. Conk: "I am afflicted by an acne spot on my groin", she said, "Could you love a cripple?"
5. Road Rage: "I tried squeezing it," she continued, "but it hurt. I think it might actually be a penis growing."
4. Hole in the Ground: "Well leave it alone," I said, "It'll only get bigger."
3. Killer Sheep: "It might even come in handy one day," I said, punning.
2. Bin: "Why's that then?" she asked, missing the double entendre entirely
1. Christmas o' Doom: "You see, Ann Noreen Widdecombe," says I, "The next time somebody tells you to go fuck yourself..."

I strongly advise you, in the spirit of Christmas, to vote "Go Fuck Yourself". After all, that's what this time of year is about. Isn't it? Oh.

Plug: Duck News - shedloads of frankly brilliant stuff on press freedom, performance art and dead Turkmenbashis.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

On contraception

On contraception

In my other life, I've been writing an awful lot about contraception and protection from sexually transmitted diseases over the last couple of weeks. It has been, I'm proud to admit, a bit of an education in which the items I've written might go some way to help young people to make educated choices about their futures before they go off and get themselves swarms of unwanted babies and/or Chlamydia.

However, this weekend I have discovered what may well be the most effective form of contraception known to man or woman alike: Flat-Pack Furniture.

The Ikea form of contraception is guaranteed 100 per cent effective and works on two fronts. Firstly, once your leisurely morning putting together a new wardrobe and chest of drawers becomes a hellish eight-hour fight against poor design, missing parts and your own blazing incompetence, you find yourself in no mood to engage in any sort of act of a sexual nature. Not even with yourself.

As the Screwdriver Shakes set in, you find that your arms are completely useless for even the most menial of tasks, and your back is so stiff that it feels like the six-drawer merchant's chest you have spent most of the day damning its very existence has been rammed, quite brutally, up your bottom. And unless you have very alternative tastes in after-hours amusement, that is hardly preparation for an evening exploring the marital arts.

Secondly, if your significant partner should become involved in the construction of flat-pack contraception in any way, you will find, within approximately ten minutes, that you are no longer on speaking terms with each other, let alone be in a position to play with each others' pink wobbly parts. In even the mildest of cases (for example, the building of a bedside table or bathroom cabinet) this may even become permanent.

So, as you retire to bed on all fours, your partner (now known as 'Don't you ever touch my cordless drill again you HUSSY') not even bothering to acknowledge your existence, the last thing you see as you switch out the light and fall immediately into a pain-wracked sleep in the three door antique-finish wardrobe that makes sure you will never use your genitals ever again.

And, my, does it gloat.

Alternative pluggery

Heaven knows I've plugged my book enough times on these pages. And there I go again. However, this time I'm plugging for somebody else.

Terry Ravenscroft is one of the great unsung heroes of British comedy, and has written material, in his time, for some of the acknowledged greats. He's also got a rather entertaining weblog in these here intarnets.

You might be interested to hear that he's got a couple of books out which you can buy either through Amazon if you're that way inclined, or direct from the author himself at a bit of a discount.

If you've ever seen Terry's Dear Air 2000 website - a collection of bizarre letters of complaint to a number of airlines and their po-faced replies - you know you're in for a treat. Get in there!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Too soon?

Too soon?

Once again the nation cowers before the wrath of a seriously depraved criminal mastermind. Despite the recent arrest of a custard-loving freak from Myspace, it is sadly inevitable that the finger of blame for the dreadful events in Suffolk should point, as is all too common in these cases, at the sordid world of celebrity. This is, after all, a group of people who have done so much to drag this nation's good name into their very own mire of filth.

G. Glitter.

F. Bough.

M. Barrymore.

In the face of the dreadful end wrought upon these valuable public servants, snatched from the very streets of our once proud nation, we have to ask ourselves the all-important question: where have the Chuckle Brothers been these last two weeks?

And after mere seconds of research, we find the disturbing answer to be: Hull. Doing panto.

We find out to our great horror that the City of Hull is only 194 miles from Ipswich. A mere four hour drive. This gives them more than enough time to knock off rehearsals, scoot down the coast to Suffolk, dump a slattern in a ditch, and drive back, shouting "Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear" out of the window to passers-by in a sickeningly triumphant manner.

Paul and Barry had better have a pretty good alibi, or their millions of fans will be well and truly disgusted. I can see, in my mind's eye, the pair of up to no good in a dark, wet field, muttering "To me, to you - to me, to you" as they go about their grim work, giving each other 'high fives' as they dump another limp body in a ditch.

Chuckles: your silence sickens me. I will never watch ChuckleVision again.

I am not mad.

The management would like to point out that the Chuckle Brothers have never killed anybody to death, ever, at all; and would like to remind readers that the Coroner completely vindicated Paul and Barry over that nasty business with the elephant on heat at the holiday camp, which was not their fault at all, despite the unlicensed use of spacehoppers on a commercial premises. I am still not mad.

Monday, December 18, 2006

On Reading (100% true FACTS)

On Reading (100% true FACTS)

Wilde: Prison bitchThe town where I work has a chequered and varied history. Founded as a settlement on the confluence of the Rivers Thames and Kennet by Anglo-Saxons, before falling into the hands of the Vikings in 871, little has changed since then.

As a matter of fact, the ancient Battle of Reading is re-enacted every Friday and Saturday night on the streets of the town centre by an eager and youthful band of enthusiasts, the night air ringing with their tradition war cries of "What that fack ya starin at ya cant!" and "Yor fackin dead meat ya fackin poof!", while their women folk respond with "Leave 'im Darryl, e's not worth it" before vomiting into the gutter in the traditional manner.

Also surviving to this day is the original Viking street plan, which the modern, twenty-first century town council, mindful of the weight of history on their shoulders, has gone to great lengths to ensure that cars traveling through the town move at the same speed as a ninth century Ox Cart.

Latterly, the town became famous for its "Three Bs" - biscuits, beer and bumming. Sadly, the Huntley and Palmer factory left the town in shame after the notorious 'soggy biscuit' scandal became public knowledge, and Reading is no longer connected with beer since they switched production to Fosters.

It is hardly surprising to learn, then, that Reading's most famous resident - Oscar Wilde - was only in the town whilst doing a two-year jail stretch for being a notorious botter, an experience he wrote about in his now-famous work 'Big Bubba's Prison Bitch'.

Did you know:

*Despite losing its manufacturing base when the biscuit business sunk under the weight of its own jism, Reading remains the world's largest producer of artificial vomit

* Reading-born celebrity Kate Winslet thanks the town's culture for public nudity for her many undraped roles in the movie business. "If it wasn't for the young Mr Duck prodding me in the tit when he was buying his wank rags", she says, "I might never have whopped them out for Leonardo di Caprio. God bless you Scary!"

* By bizarre coincidence, Reading, like my newly adopted home town of Weymouth, is also twinned with Your Mum's bedroom. The town, keen to help out its less fortunate citizens, has a long-running programme of sending its tramps and winos on exchange visits.

* Reading is rightly recognised by the United Nations as the world capital of Fat Girl pornography, and as such, the town has its own extreme gravitational field pulling other fat girls towards the Fat Girl Event Horizon, centred in a back room of a knocking shop on the Oxford Road

* In a solemn ceremony held in front of 25,000 at the Madjeski Stadium, the town has offered its thanks to local celebrity Ricky Gervais for putting Reading on the map. After a performance by the Reading Fat Bird Nude Chorus, the Mayor and Bishop of Reading bestowed the title of "That Cunt" on the portly entertainer, before giving him a 100-yard head start from the town's official baying hate mob

Oh Lordy: Scaryduckling strikes again.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Mirth and Woe: Kendo's Barbie of Woe

Kendo's Barbie of Woe

Kendo is my excellent father in law. He'll try anything once, like the time he took gliding lessons, and spent his entire time trying to dive bomb us as we ran, fleeing like mentals from the airfield.

He is, at heart, a family man who'd drop just about anything to help a family member, friend or neighbour. He also does a mean barbecue.

But not for Kendo an expensive shop-bought barbecue from the likes of B&Q, because, on top of all his excellent personal traits, Kendo is also the kind of chap who can build anything out of bits he finds lying in his shed. Several years ago, he brought my Austin Allegro back from the dead with pieces of a lawnmower and part of the washing line. He is also a cracking shot with an air rifle, so I had better watch what I say about him. Or his daughter.

There are times, however, when things don't go quite to plan. That's when Mrs Kendo comes in, for her job is to tell him so, with the immortal words "Oh Ken", the full stop to many of his misadventures.

Take the great Dee Road barbecue, for example. He had eschewed the usual practice of trotting down to the local DIY warehouse for all the bits, and gerry-built something out of some scrap metal he had lying about the place, left over from the construction of a fully functioning bar in his living room - the 'must have' feature of any 1970s home.

After a couple of hours trying to get the thing lit, and the sausages, burgers and meat from at least one named animal still resolutely pink on the grill, and the guests getting increasingly hungry, he found, like most back garden barbecues, the design fault that is inherent in charcoal. It doesn't light. Ever.

So, in his own words, he switched over to Plan B:

"It was a bit slow getting going, so I thought I'd use a Fairy Liquid bottle full of meths"

As you do.



In fact, and we're talking advanced and possibly unlikely physics here. His giving the bottle a good, hard squeeze, actually sucked burning meths back into the bottle; where it found just the right mixture of fuel and oxygen to woof burning chemicals all over the shop. Especially when he gave it a good, panic-ridden second squeeze, which had much the same effect as a flamethrower.


This is his own explanation, dragged back over the years as that moment of horror drew itself out to last a lifetime. It all happened, you understand, in an instant, and you don't tend to stand around theorizing about the explosive tendencies of raw alcohol when your trousers are on fire, the conflagration licking up around the family jewels. It's all self preservation, particularly when somebody suggests stamping out the flames.

"Kendo!" said a helpful party guest, "Your trousers are on fire!"

"Never mind that," said Mrs Kendo, "Look at the fence!"

Yeah, never mind that, the fence was well alight, and concerned neighbours and guests were already turning the garden hose and a handy bucket onto the flames, before eventually soaking Kendo and his brand new Top Man jumper, bringing the party to an abrupt close.

It was a disaster. Kendo's Barbie was now a metal tray full of half-charred meat swimming around in grey water, tended by a man who appeared to have steam rising from his genitals.

"The sausages are all wet!" said Mrs Kendo unaware of her double entendre, and "Oh Ken!"

"The experiment was over," he said, ever the pragamatist, "We went down the chip shop."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Greetings, Reading Evening Post readers

Greetings, Reading Evening Post readers

Thanks for visiting! I suppose you'd like to know what the devil goes on around here, and, frankly so do I. The funny stories appear on Fridays, and the last two were set in the none-more-sought-after surroundings of Whitley and Dee Road. If that doesn't put you off, the rest of the content, in my humblest of opinions, is still excellent.

And, if you're one of those people who reads a newspaper from the back pages first: URRRRRRRRRZ!

The book, if you want a copy, can be obtained (signed) from Waterstones in Broad Street, from their website or from Amazon.

Finally, if you remember me from school, I assure you that you're not in the book. Honest.

Even more Joys of YouTube

Even more Joys of YouTube

Terry Hall: Yes.

Possibly the finest person ever to come out of Coventry since Lady Godiva. Seeing as the opposition isn't exactly up to much, this could be seen as damning with faint praise. But! Look!

The Specials: Gangsters - "Bernie Rhodes knows, don't argue", a saying I still use to mystify the kids. Also: The drummer! Look at the drummer!

The Specials: Too Much Too Young "Ain't you heard of the starving millions? Ain't you heard of contraception?" Soon (with luck and a following wind) to become the them tune to a BBC sitcom written by TV's Mr Biffo

The Specials: Ghost Town, which will now, for me, be forever associated with Father Ted

Fun Boy Three: Our Lips Are Sealed - And in Urdu, with additional big hair

Fun Boy Three: Tunnel of Love, miming on Top of the Pops with additional big trousers

The Colour Field: Thinking of You - one of those songs that makes you feel all gooey inside for no accountable reason

Lightning Seeds: Sense - written by Hall, T

Dub Pistols: Problem Is

Terry Hall: Ballad of a Landlord - Plz to note the popular beat combo 'No Doubt' making a cameo appearance at about 1:30

In summary: Don't call me Scarface!

Ye Olde Thursday Vote-o

To mark the fact that I have, at last, started work on my new - and much-requested - book "Samuel Pepys: Lust for Glory", I have handed this week's Thursday vote-o over to the man himself. So, if it pleases you, the broad masses of the working proletariat (this is A Good Thing), here are the four stories to choose from for Friday's Tale of Mirth and Woe:

* Conk: Twas a strange day indeed where I met a fyne yet strangely cultur'd gentlemen known only as "The Doctor", whose consultynge rooms were nothing but a small, blue box in Drury Lane

* Road Rage: He spoke in a strange argot, and seem'd greatly interest'd in Ye Great Fyre in which myself and my friend Newton were in no way responsible for by settynge alight to our own fartes

* Kendo's Barbie of Woe: He spake greatly of 'Daleks' - who I assum'd to be Dutch sailors, and showe'd me the inside of his vessel which, he claim'd was 'grander than Ann Noreen Widdecombe's chuff', whoever is this foule harridan of whom he speaks

* Hole in the Ground: Alas, his companion, one Captain Jack, took rather a shining to me and bumm'd me into next week, which came as an extraordinary surprise to both myself and Mrs Pepys who had the watch searchynge for me this last seven days.

Whyle I appear to be with childe with space babies from the 50th Century, I aske you to 'vote-me-do', whatever that means

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On Telemarketing

On Telemarketing

We are now members of the Telephone Preference Service, which mean that we no longer get cold called by telemarketers and associated buggers and bastards trying to sell us crap we don't want, just as we're settling down to Neighbours of an evening.

This, however, is not entirely accurate. There are so many loopholes in the scheme, that just about any company on the planet can give you an unwanted buzz because you accidentally ticked a box on an order form three years ago. And then there's all the companies they own. We're talking about you, Lloyds TSB. So, while we don't get the buggers calling us on a regular basis, they still ring once or twice a week.

I've given up telling them to bugger off. The phrase "We're members of the TPS, and you're in trouble" usually has them hanging up in a blind panic before you even finish the sentence, but there is little or no fun to be had in that anymore.

These days, I just leave them to Mrs Duck, who no longer tells them that the people living here are dead, or Albanian, or in prison, because they don't believe her. Instead, we just resort to sarcasm.

Like this:

Telemarketer: "What would you say if I told you that you get free doors with every set of replacement windows you order?"

Mrs Duck: "I would tell you to get a proper job."

Telemarketer: "But… it's a once-in-a-lifetime offer!"

Mrs Duck: "So is listening at school, mate. Don't ring back."

She's a gem, that Mrs Duck.

Tell me phone pest avoidance tactics: HERE.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

On Weymouth (100% True FACTS)

On Weymouth (100% True FACTS)

Still, you've gotta laughMy home town has a chequered and varied history. The town brought the Great Plague to England, changed hands several times during the Civil War and was the favoured holiday haunt for "Mad" King George III, who had a caravan at Littlesea. He could often be seen in the holiday camp members' club singing 'Simply the Best' on karaoke night and proclaiming "See that? That's class, that is" to any visiting cabaret act. No wonder they thought him mental.

Such was the late King's influence on the dark arts of the seaside entertainment industry which make even circus performers look talented, the town is cursed as the acknowledged international centre for holiday camp variety.

There is, you will be sickened to hear, an annual beginning-of-season showcase where acts do a turn at the none-more-seedy Pavilion Theatre in front of all the holiday camp bosses, in the hope of getting hired. Next year, for the good of the nation, I shall be calling in the RAF to bomb the place into the sea.

Latterly, Weymouth was the departure point for the US Forces on D-Day, and it is sobering to think that Ernest Hemingway might have wenched his way through the Borough, yet still it stands.

Like any town, Weymouth has its own charming little quirks which make life there worth living. For example:

* As a result of public pressure, a local bylaw allows for a roped-off 'Jimmy Area' on the seafront where tramps and winos may congregate and ask passers-by for the price of a cup of tea. If you guess the correct amount, you win a tramp.

* Weymouth has been recognised by the United Nations as the Grab-a-Granny capital of the World.

* As a result of a clerical error, Weymouth is theoretically in a state of war with neighbouring Dorchester. If a citizen feels so inclined, he may take himself over the Ridgeway, relieve himself through any Dorchester letterbox and return to his home without fear of reprisal.

* The town was briefly an independent nation in 1957 following the constitutional controversy over the town's 'Carnival of Bumming', which saw the historic Pier Bandstand destroyed in a bizarre spacehopper accident. The Carnival then moved on to Brighton, and the rest, as they say, is history.

* Weymouth is twinned with Your Mum's bedroom, and there exists a thriving exchange programme.

Interestingly, the town's named is derived not from its position on the mouth of the River Wey - a common mistake to which many local historians have fallen foul - but because of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis' history as the centre for the European insect trade.

Merchants were paid for their cargoes by the pound, hence the name "Weigh Moth". The original scales are now positioned at the Town Gateway on the Ridgeway above Weymouth, and used as a means of ejecting fat northerners who frequently fall foul of strict European Union pie quotas.

In his novels 'Far from the Madding Crowd' and 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', Dorset author Thomas Hardy referred to Weymouth, somewhat prophetically, as "SuperExcellentScaryduckTown".

Conversely, the nearby Isle of Portland derives its name from the Old English 'Place of Terrible Cunts', a title that is still remarkably accurate to this day.

What, then, stands your home town out from the crowd?

Also: Duck News on rubbish laws.

Also also: Curs-ed footwear update *bowk*

Also also also: I've changed to Blogger Beta. Let me know if you find any glitches.

Monday, December 11, 2006

In praise of Brigadier-General Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC KCB KCIE, 1822-1915

In praise of Brigadier-General Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC KCB KCIE, 1822-1915

"Hoi Scary", says one of me learned comrades at my place of work not so very long ago, "Read this 'ere book. It's excellent."

It was a copy of 'Flashman' the 1969 novel by the Scottish author George MacDonald Fraser - screenwriter of some repute - who had taken the notorious bully from Thomas Hughes' 'Tom Brown's Schooldays' and given Britain's greatest ever cad and bounder a life story.

And what a story. Twelve volumes to date, with a cult following, and continuing just as long as Fraser continues to draw breath, long may that be.

The Flashman books cover Flashy's life story from the moment he is expelled from Rugby School for drunkenness, and finds himself, by a circuitous set of events caught in the middle of the Afghan War; and despite his best attempts to run away, finding himself a national hero. Speaking as a coward myself, who has fled adversity on many, many occasions, Flashy is my kind of man.

Flashy's interests are two-fold: self-preservation and women. Finding himself married to the dotty, if voluptuous Elspeth at the end of a shotgun, this proved no obstacle to our be-whiskered anti-hero, who is rarely more than a few pages from female company throughout the series. As far as I can make out he's married at least four of them.

As you might gather, Flashman is a huge misogynist, and the books - written in the language of a ninety-year-old retired army officer looking back at his glorious career in the service of Queen and Country - the books are about as politically incorrect as you can get. If you are offended by the word 'nigger' and suchlike, used in the context of the age, for just about any person born south of Dover, then you'd be best giving Flashy a miss, for this is the kind of work that would give a council equal opportunities officer a heart attack.

A true guilty pleasure, the uninitiated might be surprised to learn that thanks to Flashman's uncanny knack of failing to avoid some of the greatest military engagements of the 19th Century, the reader actually manages to learn a great deal as the man himself bounces from bedroom to bedroom, usually followed closely by a heavily-armed mob.

The books are presented in memoir form - the author having "decided" to discover Flashman's original journals in a Leicestershire saleroom in 1966, correcting nothing but spellings and adding copious footnotes that substantiate and expand upon this history as told by Flashy.

Fraser spends months researching each book for historical accuracy, and some thirty-seven years after the first Flashman book was published, he is still tickled by reviews that assume the books are a genuine memoir in which the hero meets some of the pivotal characters of the century, invariably deflowering their women, cheating them at cards, before fleeing into the night, hailed, mistakenly as the saviour of the British Empire.

Typical quote: "And despite the dashed nuisance of the enemy's guns firing over our heads, I popped them out of her dress and gave them a quick squeeze."

The Duck recommends: all of them, but Flashman in the Great Game - a tale of the Indian Mutiny - stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Mirth and Woe: Stripper

Mirth and Woe: Stripper

A tale of woe starring my most excellent father-in-law, known to his mates as Kendo.

Kendo, as I've mentioned before, is a practical man, and will never pay to get a craftsman in if he thinks he can do the job himself. This is a philosophy that has, over the years, saved him thousands of pounds, and has only resulted in potentially fatal injuries on less than a dozen occasions. Two dozen, tops.

So, when the Kendo family got their own house for the first time, Kendo did what any family man would do by setting about the place with a tin of paint and a few rolls of wallpaper.

The paint job on the stairs, however, proved problematic. The previous residents were clearly colour-blind, or, it being the seventies, suffering from the national taste shortage that cursed the nation at a difficult time in British history. The stairs were orange. Orange gloss paint. Orange gloss paint, slapped on in layers about an inch thick. It hurt your face just looking at it.

"Kendo," said Mrs Kendo, "That's got to go."

He set about the paint with a piece of sandpaper like a man possessed, and found that there was no way he was going to finish the job this side of Doomsday.

"I know," he says, "I've got a mate in the trade - he can get me some paint stripper! Industrial grade stuff. That'll do the trick."

So, finding himself on the Post Office waiting list for a phone (they were sent a letter with a date for installation - it said '1987') he went to the phone box outside the fire station with a pocket of 2p pieces, made a few calls, and pretty soon, Kendo was the proud owner of a catering size tin of industrial strength stripper.

Off came the lid, and dipping a brush into the goo, he set about the orange, and pretty soon he was getting back to plaster that had not seen the light of day in decades.

It was several couple of hours into the job, halfway up the stairs that Kendo became aware of a strange tingling sensation. A strange tingling sensation in his backside, which he put down to sitting on his rump for hours at a time while he set about the paint with blobs of caustic goo and a scraper.

The tingling did not get any better, though. If anything, it was getting worse. A tingling that was becoming a dull ache, and presently, eyeball-popping agonies.

"Ouch," he said out loud, "Ouch, my bottom appears to be on fire."

Or words to that effect.

"Kendo," says Mrs Kendo, surveying the scene as her husband ran up and down the stairs beating out the invisible flames coming from his arse, "You've sat on the lid."

And so he had. He had taken the top off the paint stripper (which, going against 1970s health and safety advice, had a large, frightening warning on the side on the dangers of not touching, breathing or even being in the same postcode as the tin of jollop), and set to work, unaware that The Lid of Doom was quietly melting its way towards bare flesh.

In fact, the stuff had burned a neat hole through his jeans, a pair of y-fronts - where the added crust had merely accelerated the chemical reaction - and was making a reasonable fist of burning him a new, larger bum-hole.

Rather belatedly: "MWAAAAAAAAAAARGH!"

Tom and Jerry style, he charged back up the stairs, five at a time, and launched himself fully-clothed into the bath with a sigh.

Naturally, two words echoed in his ears as he contemplated his brush with melty death:

"Oh Ken."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dog Woe

Dog woe

You know you're heading for trouble when the kids start a conversation with the opening gambit "Dad? Am I allowed to swear?"

For the record, the answer is usually "no", but for once, I relented.


"Dad?" asked Scaryduck Junior, "Am I allowed to swear?"


"Well, you know how girl dogs are called bitches..."

"Yes. Yes they are, and I can see exactly where this is heading."

"Does that mean boy dogs are called bastards?"

I can't imagine where he gets it from.

Hussssss! It's the Thursday vote-o!

Ye Gods, it's Thursday again, and finding myself lacking any kind of motivation whatsoever, this week I steal all this week's vote-o quote-os from a list of supposedly genuine entries in the Queen Mother Condolence Book. Choose then, for tomorrow's Friday Tale of Mirth and Woe, from the following:

Conk: "No matter how she felt, no matter the situation, she always wore a smile. Just like a retard"

Road Rage: "How refreshing to be able to mourn the death of a member of the Royal family without being accused of being homosexual"

Kendo's Barbie of Woe: "I remember she came to visit us in the East End one time. She was so kind, so generous and so sweet. She whispered softly in my ear, 'You know it's not true' she said, 'you don't smell of shit'. She was a wondrous person".

Stripper: "I have been unable to masturbate for five days, and will not do so again until Her Majesty is buried"

The full, sorry list can be found here. The management accepts no responsibility, etc...

Your reward: this.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

On Shattering Illusions

On Shattering Illusions

Oh Gods. It's that Viking womanHere comes Christmas, and here comes a happy, smiling Santa with his sack. The great fat checking-his-list-twice bastard. When in your life did you realise that Father Christmas was - as you always suspected - actually your parents, or these days, some fat old bloke in a low budget department store grotto who's just had a criminal records check?

Let's face it, no kid with half a brain is going to fall for that 'Well, we buy the presents, then we give them to Santa, who delivers them on Christmas Day' trick forever. We are already being told 'Yeah, right, just give us the money' in our household over the Tooth Fairy.

And God, if it can't get much worse, it does. It turns out that the fairy in the big guy's grotto in Debenhams isn't a fairy after all. It's a vicious spear-wielding Viking, with, no doubt, pillage on her mind.

Santy can't hold out much longer.

I remember the fateful Death-of-Santa Christmas well:

I was ten, the year we spent Christmas at my grandad's.

"Here's your stocking, then."

"Oh, right. Thanks Mum."

That was the year I drunk the old geezer's peapod wine and puked all over his gardening trophies, so a memorable year all round.

Or, my brother's epiphany one Christmas Day: "Oh look, the ariel on my brand new CB radio - it's broken."

Of course, he had been using said radio for the best part of a month going 10-4-for-a-copy to all his mates, and snapped the thing off putting it back in the bottom of the secret wardrobe when Mum came home from work earlier than expect.

That was the year he gave up on Santa. He was 15.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Curse of the Curse-d Trainers

The Curse of the Curse-d Trainers

Genuine Curse-d FootwearThis weekend, in a fit of stupidity, I went beachcombing yesterday along Chesil Beach after the latest big storm to hit the south coast.

Stupid, because the area around Chesil and Portland is perhaps the most dangerous part of the south coast when the wind is any stronger than a light breeze, and my little trip comes only a week after a local kid was swept away - presumably drowned - in the sheltered waters of Portland Harbour. This here picture of mine goes some way to illustrate the enormity of the big sea against very, very small people. It was so windy I could barely stand upright to take the photo.

There, with a gale blowing straight up my swonnicles, I made the most excellent discovery. All beachcombers dream of finding something special, a dream that tends to involve a suitcase full of used bank notes, but that was better. Much, much better. For I found, amongst the usual plastic bottles, bits of wood, rope and cuttlefish, an excellent pair of Nike trainers IN MY SIZE that had quite probably fallen off a boat somewhere. Or, were formerly attached to a dead sailor.

However, on taking my prize home, I now find myself in the position where I am loathe to wear them as:

a) walking around in dead sailor's trainers is, when you think about it and in the cold light of day, just a little bit pikey, and

b) For dead sailor's trainers read 'Curse-d Trainers'. Curse-d. Curse-d to death. And nobody wants curse-d feet.

I fear curse-d feet because of what Mrs Duck told me. In fact, our actual conversation, held at 100 decibels in a howling gale went like this:

Me: Hey! I found some trainers! Nike! In my size!

Mrs Duck: I bet they belong to some drowned sailor. You ought to call the police.

Me: Finders keepers.

Mrs Duck: They'll be curse-d, you mark my words.

Me: What-ed?

Mrs Duck: Curse-d. Curse-d trainers.

I have been told, in another place, by another blogger, of the dangers of donning curse-d clothing and getting killed to death by vengeful footwear. For similar reasons, you should never buy trousers from a charity shop as it is a 100 per cent guarantee that someone died in them. Possibly from explosive diarrhoea.

And who am I to argue? Mrs Duck's got an uncle, who, as a lorry driver, was always bringing home things he'd 'found' at the side of the road. This included, on one memorable occasion, a whole three-tier wedding cake, complete with little plastic bride and groom on top.

Curse-d cake. Curse-d cake that brought on explosive diarrhoea. That'll learn 'em.

What excellent things have you found? And was it curse-d in any way?

Monday, December 04, 2006

On satellite navigation systems

On satellite navigation systems

I understand that the companies that make and sell in-car navigation systems have come up with the horrifying idea of churning them out with celebrity voices in an effort to beef up sales to the easily impressed. In fact, they've already signed up Mr. T who would almost certainly chide the poor driver with "Turn left. LEFT! I pity the foo' that turns right" just before the unit is thrown out of the car window and never seen again. He also, I gather, needs the money.

But "Feh!", we say to that. "Feh!" If we were to ever have our good taste glands surgically removed and forced at gunpoint to buy one of these devices, we'd want real celebrity voices for idiot customers with more money than sense. You know, the kind of person with an oh-so-funny "Am I bovvered?" ringtone. People who buy Crazy Frog records. You know: idiots.

So, we're pushing for this kind of crap, and it'll kill the market stone dead. That'll learn 'em:

The late Ronnie Barker as Arkwright in Open All Hours: "T-t-t-t-t-urn left in a h-h-h-h-h-undred yards, G-g-g-ranville. S-s-s-s-sorry, missed it."

Margaret Thatcher: "Straight on! Always straight ahead! This lady's not for turning."

Jeremy Clarkson: "POW-ERRRRRRRRRR! FOOT TO THE FLOOR! POW-ERRRRRRRR! Only ladyboys ask directions. POW-ERRRRRR!"

George Michael: "Don' ask me - it's jus' this lemsip reactin' with me antibiotics, an' not illegal drugs at all... ZZZzzz..."

S. Duck: "Left. Right. Straight on for 400 yards. Pull over. Wait five minutes while I done a poo in this hedge. Third turning at next roundabout..."

And while you're here, any suggestions of your own? Not that we'd rip off your idea or anything. What do you take me for?

Minogue Latest: Celebrity Bestiality - not as manky as you might think.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Mirth and Woe: Graffiti

Mirth and Woe: Graffiti

Long-time readers will remember the time I was dobbed in to my junior school headmaster and soundly thrashed for writing the word "PiSS" in soap on the mirror of the boys' toilets. It was a fair cop and society was entirely to blame, mainly for failing to tell me that writing "PiSS" on a mirror in soap was, indeed, outside of accepted moral and ethical standards that we live by. My arse glowed for several hours, and I consider myself lucky to have learned my lesson so early on.

OK, so I did go through a phase - aided and abetted by a younger brother who gave me a box of chalks and a set of felt tips for Christmas, graffiti for the purpose of - of writing "Arsenal Gooners kick to kill" in toilet cubicles at motorway service stations.

And then there was the business of writing "except Slough" on those stickers in train toilets that tell you not to flush the toilet when standing in a station, but I'm over that now. Just don't get me and a pen together in a public convenience, I'll only do something I might be ashamed of. Still, it beats cottaging, and hurts less.

But! This story is not about me (for a change). It is about the lovely, svelte Mrs Duck.

Mrs Duck went through a hard time in her early teens. He family moved from one part of Reading to a new estate on the edge of town when she was about twelve years old. This meant a whole new school in a less than desirable neighbourhood. A girls' school, packed to the gills with the shrieking harpy offspring of the local mouthbreathers.

In fact, said school has changed its name twice in recent years to escape the shame of damning Ofsted reports, pointing out it was one of the first educational establishments in the country to have its own crèche. That kind of school. And coming in as an outsider into the second year from the other side of town didn't make for a happy childhood.

Highlights of her years in this particular establishment included the time she and her sister were chased home by all 1,000 pupils (and some of the teachers), and something physically impossible involving a rubber tyre, which may yet appear in a later tale of mirth and woe.

So, it came as no surprise, one day, when she was led by the ear by an avenging deputy headmistress from the playground, to the shrieking delight of her classmates.

Dragged to a stairwell in the hovel of a building, the deputy head pointed to some fresh graffiti on the wall and demanded one thing of my future wife:

"What the bloody hell's this?"


"This. This foul scribbling on the wall. All this swearing. And we've warned you kids about fuckin' swearing in school how many times?"

"I didn't do it, miss."

"Yes you did. I can tell."

"Err… how?"

"Ah ha!" she beamed in triumph, "You signed your name! Just wait until your parents get here. I've phoned them already, and they're LIVID. Your mother came to this school and I hated her too."

"But… but…"

"That's enough of your excuses, you're in BIG trouble, my girl."

"But… I couldn't have written it."

"You couldn't? Why the devil not? You'll have a hell of a time trying to wriggle out of this one."


"Out with it girl!"

"If I HAD done it…"


"If it had been me who wrote that…"


"I would have spelt my name right."

"Oh fuckery."

"You see, miss. It goes V E N E S A. I never spell it like that. And as for the surname..."

"Oh fuckery."

"Apslom? It's A B S O L O M."

"Oh fuckery"

"Can I go now? What are you goin' to tell my parents?"

"Oh fuckery."

"And stop swearing miss. It's not clever"

God, she's wonderful. I had to say that, of course, she's got 'em both in a vice.

Serious face: Duck News. World AIDS DAY. That is all.