Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On being a child of the 80s

On being a child of the 80s

You know you're the most 80s person in the world when:

* Somebody says 'It's cold outside' as part of a conversation about the weather, and you know the next line is 'And the paint's peeling off of my walls'

* You think 32kB is all the memory a home computer needs. In fact 'Defender' plays perfectly well on 17kB and comes on a cassette

* You only get to see your favourite bands on reunion tours, and your first thought is on the quality of the hair transplant

* You have no problem with men wearing eye-liner. In fact, you might be able to offer a few tips

* You think the Sinclair C5 is a perfectly good idea for a car, especially if it comes with a built-in Walkman

* You still harbour a grudge against Joe Dolce for keeping Ultravox off Number One

* You scour your Betamax recordings of TV cop drama 'Ashes to Ashes' pointing out the factual errors

* Pseudonymph adds: You quote The Young Ones on a regular basis. Ooh! Have we got a video?


On suddenly feeling old

* Your younger cousin becomes a grandparent. Congratulations, Andy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On Christmas tat

On Christmas tat

It cannot be Christmas without the annual "What have Sandra and Mike given us this year?" competition.

I thought I had won last year's top prize with a second-hand book called "A Teenager's Guide to Surviving the Millennium Bug". It still had the charity shop price tag on the back.

I am 42-years-old, the Millennium Bug didn't happen nine years ago and I am eternally thankful that they spent a whole 15 pence on me.

However: The boy Scaryduck Jr got a pink bracelet, clearly out of the previous year's Christmas cracker at a total outlay of £0.00.

The clear winner, we made sure he sent them a thank you letter, which will, as eggs are eggs, have the stamp steamed off and re-used.

So, come Christmas 2008 and I am on tenterhooks over this year's present. And I was not disappointed.

A novelty teapot, bearing the dyslexic legend "A gift from DEVNO"

Filthy dirty, I gave it a rub to give it a bit of a clean, and the next thing I know the room is filled with a large Devonian djinn, the smoke alarm drowning out EastEnders.

"Thank you," it said, pausing from what appeared to be a cream tea, "Thank you for releasing me from my prison. I see Nick Cotton's back."

Steps back in amazement.

"I grant you," the genie continued, "three questions. Think. Ask well. Ask wisely."

I thought. I asked.

"Do these have to be yes/no questions?"

"No."

"Did that count as a question?"

"Yes."

"Can I start again?"

Worst. Present. EVER.

Go on - tell us your worst present story. You know you want to.


In other news: The world's greatest living Welshman Rikaitch is organising a London piss-up meet as the Pseudonymph Family World Tour hits the capital. Details HERE.

Monday, December 29, 2008

On making short lists

On making short lists

A short list of famous people known only by one name:

- Bono
- Cher
- Madonna
- Pele
- Eminem
- Prince
- Thattwuntrichardlittlejohn

A short list of famous people whose names have become swears:

- Stefan Kuntz
- Jesus Christ
- Wayne Wanklin
- That twunt Richard Littlejohn

A short list of people who are, in my humble opinion, twunts:

- That twunt Richard Littlejohn

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mirth and Woe: On putting players off at football matches

Mirth and Woe: On putting players off at football matches

The City Ground, Nottingham, 6th November 1988.

A Sunday, it was, the nation shrouded in a thick fog as we drove up from the Home Counties to watch an Arsenal side on their way to the League Title take on a particularly useful Nottingham Forest side.

Four of us went up in a car, each and every one of us in possession of a novelty item sold to us the night before by a chap down the pub who had clearly just burgled a seaside tat shop: a brightly-coloured headband embedded with a number of flashing LEDs, which would, we were told as we parted with our fivers, make us "look absolutely bazzin' down any nightclub, mate".

We tried them on. We did, indeed, look bazzin'.

Drink was, you will be unsurprised to learn, a major factor in this transaction.

We arrived at the ground, half-expecting a last-minute postponement as the fog rolled over the Trent, but ITV had paid top dollar for the rights, and the game was going ahead, even if you couldn't see the other end of the pitch.

Fortunately, we found ourselves with front row seats, right down by the corner flag, where we sat, watching a finely-balanced match between two decent teams. With the match on a knife-edge, the ball bounced out of play mere yards away from us for a corner kick.

Current North Bank hero Brian Marwood trotted over to plonk a near-post corner kick onto Steve Bould's finely-greased pate, whereupon the cavalry would turn up to blast the ball home. That was the plan, anyway.

Brian was having the season of his life that year, one which would culminate in a grand total of thirteen minutes in an England shirt in a crunch friendly against Saudi Arabia, and he was treated like a conquering hero wherever he went. And here he was, in front of four buffoons on a foggy Sunday in Nottingham.

"Bwian! Bwian!" we shouted in our best Pontius Pilate voices, our bazzin' headbands flashing away like a very small, unconvincing discotheque. "Welease Bwian!"

I still remember the look of horror and confusion as he clocked us. Coming out of the goldfish bowl of the football pitch, he was suddenly and horribly self-aware, and it was more than the poor chap could take.

His face was a mixture of "Mwwwwwwwwargh!", "Oh my gawd!" and "Get me away from these tugboats, fast", as he scooped up the ball, plonked it by the corner flag, and punted the ball straight into the stand behind the goal and his career was downhill from there.

He fled. Never to return.

He had one excellent season in him at Highbury, before injury and disillusionment set in, followed by a number of transfers and a low-key media career where he rarely seems to have a good word to say of the club these days. A disillusionment where we and our bazzin' headbands clearly sowed the seeds.

I've still got a battered video-tape of this match, which takes pride of place on my shelf next to the surely-due-for-DVD-release Danny Baker's Own Goals and Gaffes. Watch at just the right moment, and you can still see our flashing light tomfoolery, and Marwood's fatal, fateful double-take.

6th November 1988: I broke our best player. Sorry.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

On not wanting to be a duck

On not wanting to be a duck

Pic from Essjay is happy in NZ's flickr stream, with thanks (cc licence). http://flickr.com/photos/19387816@N00/280378163I never wanted to be a duck. It just happened.

One day I was the internet's One, True Albert O'Balsam, the next my charming daughter was insisting that I should become the world's premier scary duck.

Also: I came to blogging a little late, and all the good names had gone.

Now that the security guards at work are calling me "Duckie", I feel that I might – in hindsight – have made a poor choice.

To be honest, all I ever wanted was to be excellent. Excellent, and indeed, l33t. And people called Alistair, or named after waterfowl are neither. I blame my parents entirely

In fact, I not only want to be excellent and l33t - I want to be ace.

Ace Wango.

Not Ace Hole*. Wango.

Or: Dave Fantastico

Or: Clint Dangerous

Or: Ninja Goose

This being a standard, harsh farmyard goose, and not that second rate Canadian rubbish.

So, after several seconds worth of good, hard consideration over a copy of Goose Fancier magazine (incorporating Rubber Goose Enthusiast monthly), I'm going for Ninja Goose.

Not a ninja. Not a goose.

Or – six years too late – if you're going to be a complete grammar nazi about it:

Neither ninjitsu, nor a goose.

Help a man out – suggest-me-up a new interwebs alias. Be warned, "That Wanker" as already been considered, but found to be taken by Richard Littlejohn.

* © Red Dwarf

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On making baby Jebus cry

On making baby Jebus cry

For one reason or another to do with the fact that I am EXCELLENT, I went to a meeting in a happy-clappy church in the skanky end of town the other night.

As we sat around quaffing tea and shovelling heroic quantities of cake down our gullets, proceedings were brought to a halt by the local Cro-Magnon oafs hanging round the car park, necking cheap lager and being generally offensive to the alleged "Jesus Freaks" inside the hallowed portals of God's House.

Jesus freaks who would – in the limited experience of these jobless, brain-rot-in-a-can-from-the-Off-Licence and shiny-stuff-for-chavs-TV-on-a-Saturday-night wastes of DNA – sit in silent prayer and take the abuse in shocked, Godly turn-the-other-cheek silence.

What they didn't expect, then, was my striding to the front door, flinging it open and yelling "Fuck off, you festering cunts" at them at the top of my voice.

To my surprise, they fucked off.

And I was further surprised that they didn't come back with their knife-wielding Karen Matthews-alike mums to trash our cars.

For Jesus Freaks we are not.

Then back indoors with the words "Amen to that" for my stunned colleagues.

"And... the next item on the agenda – Community Outreach."

"Fuck 'em."

"Passed."

Monday, December 22, 2008

On the use of the word "fook" in public

On the use of the word "fook" in public

I dunno - give some people a drink, and it's just like they've swallowed a dictionary.

"Fookin' fook off, I'll fookin' wear a fookin' Christmas hat if I fookin' want to cos it's fookin' Christmas you fookin' fookers."

This kind of language, I have learned from years of experience, is likely to see you ejected from Midnight Mass.

This kind of language also results in the knowledge that the Church of England - HOT CLERGY or no - employs bouncers.

"Forgive us our trepasses", my Aunt Fanny.

Friday, December 19, 2008

On N. Mandela

On N. Mandela

As a bewildered young man, my political views veered wildly between the Young Conservatives and the Socialist Workers Party, essentially depending on which circle of college friends I was most desperate to impress.

I soon found that the SWP had the best of the booze-ups, while the Tories harboured the best posh totty 1980s Bracknell had to offer, which wasn't saying much, to be brutally honest.

It was during this confused period of my life, I was one of dozens who piled onto a hired coach, where we were bussed to London to take part in a rather excitable South Africa Apartheid demo in Trafalgar Square.

Slogans were shouted.

Insults were traded with the angry, twisted faces of the opposition.

The odd traffic cone and placard was thrown.

And the police had trouble telling everybody apart and just stood around looking harassed.

In short: a good time was had by all, including the Old Bill who got Saturday overtime.

I know what you're thinking: 'Scary – you're a noble chap, and well done for experiencing this political awakening at this pivotal part of your young life. God bless ya. Really.'

Except – at this particular moment in time, I was desperate to impress a slim young thing called Esther from Wednesday swimming club. She was expensively educated, rumoured to be of the landed gentry, and always had spider's legs showing out of her swimming costume that betrayed the fact that she was a bottle blonde.

In the light of this particular challenge, the dungaree-d temptresses of the SWP could bugger right off – this week I was kicking for the blues and the demo was one to KEEP that no-good leftie terrorist Nelson Mandela in jail.

Whoops. If you're reading this Nelson: I'm very, VERY sorry.


Next week: Dear Dalai Lama, Your a HOMO. Your pal S. Duck (aged 9)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On not being mad

On not being mad

A Friday evening. A Friday evening at home, where, once the Friday evening curry goat is dispatched and the children locked safely away under the sofa-bed, I like nothing better than to sit back and talk all the way through Coronation Street.

"You know what you haven't done for a long time," my charming wife asks me, in a veiled attempt to get me out of the room.

"You KNOW I promised Anthea Turner I'd stop sending the letters" I reply, genuinely upset at the insinuation.

"No, not that - you haven't spoken to your sister."

"Yeah. That as well. Pass the phone. I will DO THAT THING."

So, I did that thing, and:

"Hel-lo, Scarysister speaking."

"Oh, Hi. It's me. What are you up to tonight?"

"Oh, nothing, nothing. I've got the house to myself and I'm just wrapping myself up in cling film."

Riiight….

"Riiight…"

"Then I'm going to take pictures and post them on the internet."

I take this news in for a few seconds, giving it the kind of deep thought this sort of hammer-blow deserves. After all, I thought I was the mental one in this family.

"You do realise I'm going to blog this. Blog this HARD."

Shamelessly, she tells me to do my worst, and still smarting from the scars of youth and the destruction of a go-kart three decades ago, I present this:

Wanted: Man, or near offer

I am – and it pleases me to say this – not mad.

"Ah-ha", you are thinking at this moment in time, "I know which site I want to visit next on my endless travels around cyberspace. It is the one with the 'Roy Orbison wrapped in cling film' stories. But I have no idea where to find it, and internet search engines vex me so."

Fear not. It is HERE.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the weighty subject of weight

On the weighty subject of weight

Hello. I am Scaryduck Junior and I am excellent. My old Dad - who is a complete CHEESE - has foolishly let me come onto his blog to show how excellent I really am.

This excellent: About nine excellents out of ten.

I saw the other day that SCIENCE has come up with yet another excuse for larger people being bloaters. All I can say - from my top secret underground lab and bakery - is this: What a load of rubbish.

It's easy to see why people put on weight. You see, they aren't fat, it's:

a) big bones
b) water retention
c) a virus
d) me glands
e) metabolisms
f) genetic
g) all of a), b), c), d), e) and f)
When we all know that it is really:

h) pie
Actually, when you come to think about it, perhaps we're being a little harsh on the differently gravitationally-affected of our society.

Pie-lovers have feelings too.

No – hang on. That's 'fillings'.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Condensed History: The Birth of Jesus

Condensed History: The Birth of Jesus

It's that time of year again, and what better way to celebrated with a bit of second-rate blasphemy? So here's the timeless tale of the birth of Our Lord and Saviour, translated into the language of today's easily bored youth, who are demanding a crate of White Lightning for Christmas or "I'll cut you wiv ma flicky innit?"

And who, pray, are we to argue?


TEH BIRTH OF JEBUS, with special guest star Jeremy Beadle as TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD

TEH Adoration of TEH Maji by S. DuckMary O'Nazareth: Hello. I am Mary O'Nazareth and I am excellent. Today, I shall be mostly visiting my boyf Joe Carpenter becoz we r very much in LUB in a proper, chaste manner. Also, I like kittens and ponies

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: Hello. I am TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD and I am excellent. Let's see if she recognises me...

M. O'Nazareth: Hello TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD. Sup?

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: Message from upstairs. U R up TEH duff. LOL

M. O'Nazareth: FTW! Will I be havng a puppy? And wait... is that a false beard?

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: Errr... nothing. TEH boss say u hv 2 marry J. Carpenter and call teh baby JEBUS. LOL

M. O'Nazareth: JEBUS? Is he going to be Mexican?

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: JEBUS H CHRIST

J. Carpenter: Hello. I am J. Carpenter and I am excellent. With any luck that soppy bint M. O'Nazareth will leave me alone today. Me n teh lads are out on a beaver patrol tonite, FFS

M. O'Nazareth: Cooo-eeee!

J. Carpenter: Oh, COCK

M. O'Nazareth: Guess what? I met TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD an' he sez I'm gonnur hav a puppy called JEBUS an' we've gotta get married an' everything an' save TEH WORLD from EVIL an' an' an' we'll all liv happy evar after WIV A PONY!!!

J. Carpenter: Wait... WHAT?

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: What she said, bud. Soz. Orders from above

J. Carpenter: Oh, COCK

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: Degree of difficulty – in BETHLEHEM

J. Carpenter: What? That dump? FAIL

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: By donkey

M. O'Nazareth: Weeeeeee! A PONY!

Some time later

Receptionist: Welcome to Bethlehem Travel Inn, how can we help you?

J.Carpenter: Here's three nails, put me up for the night

Receptionist: LOL, that's an Easter joke, sir

J. Carpenter: A reservation. I HAZ ONE. Name of Carpenter

Receptionist: SOZ. Computer Says No. In fact, fck off

J. Carpenter: COCK. How about the stable then?

Receptionist: Fifty notes. Cash in hand. Each

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: I'm hvng a baby, me. An' I got to ride onna pony all teh way here. Weeeee!

J. Carpenter: I wish I was TEH DED

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: Oh, look a baby, LOL

TEH Heavenly Host: All hail TEH KING OF KINGS, for He is born this day in Bethlehem!

J. Carpenter: Keep it down you mugs – people tryin to spleep here FFS

TEH Heavenly Host: Soz. LOL

Meanwhile, not terribly far away

Jones the Shepherd: Hello, I am Jones the Shepherd and I am excellent, isn't it? Despite everything you have ever heard, we shepherds are neither sexual deviants nor obsessed with rigging the result of One Man and His Dog

TEH ANGLE OF THE LORD: So, what are you doing with that sheep FFS?

Jones the Sheep: Err... nothing. Nothing. It's gone lame and I'm wheeling it to TEH Vet. Honest

TEH ANGLE OF THE LORD: LOL. Get down to Bethlehem and praise teh BABY JEBUS. There'll be a pint in it, dood

Jones the Sheep: Nice one, Angle.

TEH Heavenly Host: Praise! Praise! Praise! For He is born this Christmas Day!

Jones the Sheep: Look, you've been warned once already. Bunch of winged gits

Meanwhile, terribly far away

King Eric: Good moaning. Je suis King Eric et je suis formidable. Zut alors! Je must travel to Bethlehem to praise TEH BABY JEBUS

King Elvis: Uh huh huh. What he said, thankyouverymuch

Burger King: Belch

King Eric: Just don't tell King HEROD, whatever you do, for he is TEH KING OF FAIL

King Herod: Sup, fellow Kings. Just off to kill some peasants TO DETH for shits and giggles LOL

King Elvis: Just off to praise teh new BABY JEBUS, uh huh huh

Burger King: He's going to grow up to be KING OF TEH WURLD

King Herod: Oh yeh? Not on my watch, douchebags. Time to get smitin' LOLOLOL

King Eric: You pair of total, total GITS

TEH Heavenly Host: Praise...

King Eric: SHUT IT

Meanwhile meanwhile meanwhile

Jones the Sheep: Right, love, where's the nipper? I've brought Dai the Sheep, Morgan the Sheep and Cohen the Sheep so this had better be good. This is usually our pullin' night, isn't it?

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: Ooh! Do I get a pressie?!

Jones the Sheep: Yes. Yes you do. It's a... shut your eyes... a SHEEP

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: Weeeeee! A fluffy ickle pony!

King Eric: Zut alors and Good Moaning. We have also brought presents. Here's a pound. And some MUH*

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: Weeeee!

Burger King: Have you thought of a name? We've got TOP sponsorship opportunities going

J. Carpenter: JEBUS. JEBUS Carpenter

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: JEBUS H. CHRIST

J. Carpenter: Look, we had this argument on the back of the donkey on the way over…

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: An' I'm telling you – UR NOT TEH DAD. I'm chasing TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD through the CSA. Think of teh free house an' the benefits an' the FREE PONY LOLOLOL. Gordon Clown's Judaea LMAO

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: Wait.. what? But... but... He's his own Dad. IT IS WRITTEN and it is COMPLICATED FFS

TEH Heavenly Host: Do we get to sing now?

J. Carpenter: Oh, go on, then. A PROPER XMAS song or I kick you in teh nadgers

TEH Heavenly Host: Last Xmas I gave you my heart, the very next day you gave it away, ROFFLE

J. Carpenter: Nice one. Karaoke classic LMAO

Jones the Sheep: But.. but... strictly speaking, there was NO last Christmas. FAIL

Baby Jebus: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

J. Carpenter: Now look. You've made BABY JEBUS cry FFS

King Herod: It's SMITIN' time! LOLOLOLZERS. Crap, I love being KING . Best job in TEH WURLD

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: Have you brought me a pony? Have you? HAVE YOU? I'd give my first born for a lovely pony

King Herod: All the ponies you can eat, shexxxxy, and then - HOLLYWOOD

M. O'Nazareth-Carpenter: Ooo! What a dish

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: [slaps forehead]

J. Carpenter: Dood. Let her go.

TEH ANGLE OF TEH LORD: But...

King Herod: Stick with me, babe. I’ll make you a star. A star of BETHELEHEM.


Wrath of Dawn re-wrote the ending to this because my original was TEH SUXXOR

* Look, you can't improve on perfection. HERE for "A balm? Does it bite?" gag


Digg my article

Monday, December 15, 2008

On Christmas music

On Christmas music

"Are we looking forward to the release of a Scaryduck Christmas single, then?" asks regular reader Audrey, fine figure of a woman that she is.

"Perhaps 'Christmas time, spicy brains and wine?'" she continues, unaware of the No-Cliff fatwa that operates on these pages.

We are not in the business of mentioning Cliff Richard here, except, perhaps in close proximity to the words "colostomy bag" and "Una Stubbs over a glass coffee table", which would draw a sharp intake of breath from our legal advisors, there being no truth in the rumours. In fact, there are no rumours. At all.

So.

No Cl*ff R*chard. And No D*niel O'D*nn*ll either, the f*ck*ng c*nt.

But yes, we will be releasing a single in time for the Festive Period™.

Fairytale of Huge Norks

Please, if you dare, suggest other filth that should be appearing on the Duck Christmas Album.

Who says Christmas is for the kiddywinks?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Neither Mirth nor Woe: My Dentist Shame

Neither Mirth nor Woe: My Dentist Shame

I have alluded, in the past, to an episode in my life where I have shamed myself in the offices of my charming, hardly-expensive-at-all NHS dentist.

In fact, past tellings haven't quite told the whole truth, for I have shamed myself on a number of occasions in dentists' offices, and only once have I been told to leave. This one, in fact.

It is time, I am afraid, to tell the full story of My Dentist Shame. With added bosoms.

You see, I had a complicated bit of dental work done in my teens, the result of which means I've got - to all intents and purposes - a dead tooth cemented in my mouth. It is grey, and a real turn-on for the ladies, because it makes me look AS NAILS.

After a few years it became complete agony. Despite being AS NAILS, it turns out I'm rubbish at the whole pain thing, and took myself back to the dentist to have it seen to.

It turned out that the gum behind the Tooth of Doom had become infected, and there were what appeared to be gallons of pus behind the horrible grey thing in my mouth.

"It's too complex for me," my charming dentist confessed, "you'll have to see Mrs Booth. She comes in on Fridays."

I came back on a Friday, where I was ushered in to see a very nice middle-aged dentist, who drilled through the dead tooth and slurped all the pus out. This took several appointments, which I rather looked forward to on account of her charming demeanour, witty conversation and her enormous bosom.

The eighth and ninth wonders of the world, all in a tight lab coat. Geek heaven.

According to Newtonian physics, everything has its own gravitational field. And so it proved the case with Mrs Booth's bosom. For every time she leaned over to insert something into my gob, they would stick to my head, rendering it impossible to see. Or in some cases, breathe.

Each and every Friday for a month, despite the terrifying drills and the industrial vacuum cleaner in my gob, I felt no pain. The pain disappeared almost immediately, and I lay there in an almost blissful trance, her enormous cleavage pressed against the side of my head.

"How's that feel?" she asked as I lay there, my world completely blacked out by the sudden eclipse.

Who knows how the male brain works? I was only supposed to nod my head to indicate I was fine. But no. Dr Freud took over.

"Nice," I replied. "Nice tits."

She completed her work in stony silence, ramming the final filling home with what appeared to be a large chisel.

"Rinse and spit," she ordered, pointing out the plastic cup of poison pink stuff, "Now LEAVE."

She sent me to have my enamel scraped in the most painful way imaginable.

That was my final appointment.

Still, nice tits.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On talking forren

On talking forren

Hello, is that Russell Brand?"I don't speak French", sing fish-faced harpies Girls Aloud, adding "So I let the funky music do the talking, talking."

Although, as any fine, upstanding, patriotically-tattooed-for-Queen-and-Country Englishman traveling abroad will tell you, you'll have none of that speaking French OR funky music. We won the war, so I'm going to talk VERY LOUD IN ENGLISH, ENGLISH.

Sadly, I have completely wrecked my ignorant Englishman abroad credentials by a) being half-Irish and b) having a decent command of French and German. Unfortunately, I listened at school, which means that if there is any communication to be done between sunburned Brits abroad and Johhny Foreigner, it's me that has to apologise for the behaviour of, well, everybody.

However, where I fall over is my inability to understand the language of up-and-coming Euro-chavs, the Spanish. Luckily, I'm still paying attention, and have learned a few phrases from the electric television, mostly from the Bumblebee Man from The Simpsons.

This is all the Spanish I know:

* Ay ay ay! No me gusta!

* Ay ay ay! El mundo es loco!

* Ay ay ay! Mi mujer es contable!
As you can see, this is raw Spanish for every occasion and may, one day, save a life. However, my knowledge of languages is still sadly lacking.

So: Help me dear reader, with phrases I may find handy in any given foreign country. Don't bother with translations - I trust you all completely, and I fully expect the British Consul to pop over from his G&T to smooth over any wrinkles.

"Don't you understand, Diego? I SAID FISH AN' CHIPS!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On being led into temptation

On being led into temptation

Sunday morning to our local place of worship, once again for reasons that escape me. Even filthy heathens such as myself need a little moral guidance every once in a while, and it is quite possibly the best free show in town. Particularly if you live in a very, very dull town.

I am surprised to find that Canon Harry has been fired (LOL)* and HOT CLERGY in the face of the Reverend Sue has been installed in his place, single-handedly putting the "KER-IST!" back into Christianity and the "Come on, big boy" into Communion.

Whatever your views on organised religion, you've got to admire the Anglican Church for their stance on appointing HOT CLERGY to positions of responsibility. For in the long term, it's going to encourage young, hormonal teens to shun the way of the hoodie and take singing up the church choir, just to harbour TEMPTED thoughts regarding Reverend Sue's behind, whilst developing Hairy Psalms.

But back to the chase...

Hymns were sung, tales of morality were spoke, and, at length, the believers shuffled to the front for a quaff of J.C's blood and a munch on one of His Holy Crackers.

Then, as proceedings reached a rowdy climax (the result of a fine bottle of Glenhoddle single malt finding its way to the front of the Communion Wine cupboard), Hot Reverend Sue calmed the masses with a call to prayer.

"And now," she purred, hotness dripping from her Holy mouth, "As we all kneel to say The Lord's Prayer, let us pause for a few seconds of quiet reflection..."

And we knelt on over-sized cushions, the pews forcing bodies into positions only previously experienced during games of Twister – the sport of SINNERS.

We all settled down - with much fidgeting – and set to contemplating the world we live in and life in general.

In one case, this also involved contemplating – in the cold of the church, the unexpected contortions and the sight of close-quarters HOT CLERGY - the set meal for six they experienced at the Rajpoot Tandoori the night before, which inevitably concluded thussly:

"FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP!"

And: "Hells bells!"

And: "Christ onna bike!"

And: "Allahu akhbar!"

Not guilty, I merely knelt at the back and took notes.

We have been told to return next week with a candle and an orange. Things, I fear, are taking a turn for the filthy. You don't get this in the Catholics.

* May have actually retired, or been eaten by leopards. Why let actual truth get in the way of a low-quality gag?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On appearing in a public information film

On appearing in a public information film

Lunch time, and I find myself in the second floor executive washroom, end cubicle, catching up on a bit of sleep.

The door to the outside world opens, and in comes another punter to the luxury of the management-only facilities.

Alas, he breaks the silence of the moment, and rouses me from my slumber, as he is talking on his mobile phone.

I do not recognise the voice, but it is immediately apparent that he is talking – at some volume – to his other half, discussing the all-important subject of what they will be having for dinner that night.

He does this, dear reader, as he parks himself in the cubicle next to mine and proceeds to park his breakfast.

"Yes dear," he says, "I'll swing by Budgens on the way home for a pint of milk and the ham."

Then: "Nnnnnng" followed by the tell-tale splash.

"..... ... ...?" asks the muffled voice at the other end, forcing our man into the most bare-faced, bare-cheeked of lies.

"Oh, in the office, just finishing some paperwork."

NNnnnnnng-splash.

Well, I had just finished off some paperwork of my own, and blew his lie out of the water with a well-timed flush.

As the cistern emptied, a shrill ".... ... .... ... ... ....?" could be heard from the cubicle, the poor, defeated victim not even bothering to defend himself. For his sake, I sincerely hope he was operating hands-free.

Not wanting to hang around for the all-too-predictable fall-out, I made my excuses and fled.

Think once. Think twice. Think – don't use your phone on the shitter.

Monday, December 08, 2008

On ghosts and other worlds


Ghost bride by Kulstad @ worth1000.comIt is late, late on a Saturday evening as we hurtle down what passes for a major trunk road in Dorset on the way home from a pleasant, if tiring, day visiting friends and relatives. It is a cold, clear night on the Tolpuddle Bypass, with the odd patch of fog drifting insubstantially across the road like some lost soul trapped between this world an the next. Much like a...

"Ghost! Did you just see that ghost?"

I am dragged out of auto-pilot by the alarmed shouts of my darling wife at what I had – at first – taken to be a late-night hitch-hiker.

"You mean the figure of a man at the side of the road?"

"You saw it too?"

"The figure of a man at the side of the road, wearing what appears to be a long white gown?"

"That's unreal. Just wait until I tell everybody. It... it... was almost like an angel."

More like an angel, than you think, my dear. It is, alas, from my own bitter experience that I know this is not some vapour of a life already lived. Nor is it a messenger from the heavenly host. Nor is it, I am certain any deity, wood nymph, sprite, kobold or C-List celebrity staggering home from a night on the tiles in Blandford Forum.

"Sorry to burst your bubble, but really I don't think what we both saw was one of the ranks of the recently deceased."

"How do you know? It was almost real."

"It was, my dear, - and of this I am 100 per cent certain - a tranny in a wedding dress."

"And how would you know that?"

"This is Pervert Country, my dear. Pervert Country."

"Mum?" came a small, tired voice from the back, "Can we stop for the toilet?"

"NO."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

On recycling old jokes I found lying about in my archives

On recycling old jokes I found lying about in my archives

I hear one of London's top hotels is doing a special offer in its restaurant to try to ride out the current financial crisis.

Buy two courses, get the third free.

Or:

"Pudding on the Ritz"

/I'll get me coat


Also... Help your humble, impoverished author beat the credit crisis by clicking on the Google Ads link. "Not Scary. Not too proud to beg."

Friday, December 05, 2008

Neither mirth nor woe: "The goggles – They do nothing!"

Neither mirth nor woe: "The goggles – They do nothing!"

You may already know that I work away from home. My Monday morning ritual, then, is one where I rise at 4.30am, dress in the dark, pausing only to clean up a pool of dog piss in the conservatory, before hitting dark Dorset roads just in time to listen to the Shipping Forecast.

I like the Shipping Forecast. It is almost hypnotic in tone, and gives me a chance for an extra ten minutes of shut-eye as I head up the A35 in the general direction of civilisation.

By the time I reach Winchester Services on the M3, it is around a quarter after six, and I am just about ready – and let us use the correct medical term here – to park my breakfast.

Winchester Services at that time in the morning is a little island away from the white van and container lorry madness of the motorway, with bunny rabbits living in the grass verges, should your budget not stretch to a cooked breakfast in the restaurant.

My usual routine on these occasions is to pull off down the slip lane in the Silver Hornet, pretending that I am The Stig and staying on the racing line. I roll to a halt in the near-empty car park, amble into the gents' toilets and go about my business.

All done within five minutes, and I'd be straight back on the Road to Hell (Basingstoke).

Not this Monday morning.

This Monday morning would be spent – in the main – sitting in the driver's seat of the Silver Hornet, knuckles white as I grasp the steering wheel, foot to the floor, trying to erase something dreadful from my mind as I try to put as many miles as possible between myself and the Seventh Circle of HELL.

But there are things that - once seen - cannot be unseen.

The goggles, as they say, do nothing.

And it was this:

I locked the car door behind me, marched into the building as the sliding doors whooshed open before me, took in the morning's news headlines from the paper stand and noted the time on my watch: 6.18am.

Then, without further thought, I strode into the gentlemen's conveniences, where what can only be described as "a sight" awaited me.

There, in front of me, was an elderly gentleman, seventy years old if he were a day, at the electric hand-dryer. Flat cheese-cutter cap, NHS specs, sensible zipped-up anorak.

And there, the respectability of this vision ended. His trousers and grundies around his ankles, he fanned his not unsubstantial meat-and-two-veg under the warm air of the blower, a huge smile across his wizened old face as he arched his back to achieve a better angle of attack.

"Muh!" I said, taking in this vision of Gehenna, the place of eternal damnation, my mind not entirely sure what was going on.

Then, realising he was being watched, the manky old spunker gave me a wink and a grin before exclaiming over the roar of the blower "Aye, that's done the trick!", coaxing the last turkey in the shop still further into the warming stream of air.

Air which I would – at some stage – have to breathe.

I fled. Fled with foot to the floor, until the A33 spat me out in the middle of Reading.

I'll be stopping at Southampton Services from now on.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

On letters to Viz Comic, again

On letters to Viz Comic, again

Bored, and finding that the world's best adult comic is now funny again, I'm started knocking out (heh) unfunny letters to Viz once more.

At this rate, I might have to start actually sending them in. As actual letters. With stamps an' everything.



Dear Viz,

I read in a recent edition of Take a Break magazine that (and I quote) "The family that laughs together, stays together".

Alternatively, you can try locking them in a basement for 24 years.

Your pal,

Josef Fritzl
Austria



Dear Viz,

My old gran always used to say "A little bit of what you fancy does you good".

What a load of rubbish. Try telling that to Fred West.

Yours

Rosemary West
HMP Holloway



Dear Viz,

What a load of old rubbish Rosemary West said in her recent letter to Viz Comic(Letters, above).

A little bit of what you fancy DOES do you good, particularly if it's killing loads of people to DEATH.

I might even try it myself some time.

Yours

Harold Shipman (Dr)
Rio de Janeiro



Dear Viz,

What a con these co-called skin conditions are. I recently had a case of Athlete's Foot. If anything, it made my trip from my armchair to the fridge even slower than usual.

No wonder we never win anything at the Olympic Games. Typical of Gordon CLOWN'S Rip-Off Britain.

Yours etc

B. Manning
Cockermouth

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

On cheap, offensive stereotypes

On cheap, offensive stereotypes

My drive into work the other morning took me down unfamiliar streets through the less-privileged streets of Whitley. Home of the legendary Whitley Whiff, my sister Ricky Gervais and very little else, circumstance took me past a row of shops where traffic lights brought my car to a halt.

Having the presence of mind to activate the central locking and to arm the pod-mounted rocket system that comes as factory standard in any Renault Scenic, I took in my surroundings.

A chemist, a very small Tesco, kebab bar, the roughest pub in the world, and a charity shop.

At least I thought it was a charity shop. It might not even have been a shop at all, apart from the fact that it had the words "AUTISTIC SHOP" above the door in large, orange capital letters straight from the 1970s.

"That's been there for donkey's years," my colleague who wants to be a lumberjack told me as I brought the subject up over a cup of scout hut quality tea, whilst running a swift CTRL+A+DELETE over my inbox.

"Yeah, but what's it like?"

"They never have to have a stock-take. They know EXACTLY what's on the shelves."

Ah yes. Warming to the politically incorrect theme – having seen Rain Man on several occasions, and having no reason to believe that Hollywood might ever lie to me – I suggested "but they've got some really GREAT art".

"No. No they haven't."

And: "You're going to HELL."

Of course, this kind of chat was brought to an instant halt, because laughing at the misfortunes of others is neither big nor clever.

"I bought a jigsaw there, you know."

"Oh, right…"

"The bastards never told me there was a piece missing."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

On not being mad

On not being mad

The BBC - between bouts of swearing at pensioners - aired a programme not long ago called "How mad are you?"

My reply: 5 out of 10 mad, which is hardly mad at all, compared to some people I could mention.

Aired at a dangerous time where the nation has never been so outraged, I have no doubt that the switchboard at Television Centre lit up like a Christmas tree as fuming mad people rang up to complain that they are not mad in the slightest.

"Why oh why oh why?" they are asking, "can't do you a radio programme with that nice John Barrowman instead?"

I was not one of those people, even though I am not mad.

In fact, I can tell my relative level of sanity just by examining my own output for style, control, damage, aggression and general offence and presenting my findings to you, dear reader in a handy cut-out-and-keep guide:

----------- cut out and keep -----------

"How Mad Is Scary?" – Handy Ready Reckoner

Condensed movies: Perfectly sane
Minor swearing: Slightly unhinged
Samuel Pepys' diaries: A lyttle crack'd
Poo: Nuts
Sick inna hedge: Woofing mad
Heaving cleavage: Off my tits
Tales of poo, vomit and heaving cleavage: Utterly certifiable

----------- cut out and keep -----------
I have already cut out and kept a copy for my wallet, for the worst words I can hear from The Fragrant Mrs Duck, usually after a "Sick inna hedge" post, are "I've been reading your blog", and this is usually a prelude to WOE.

HINT: Do not 'cut out and keep' by use of a Stanley knife. Flat screens do not come cheap

HINT HINT: If I publish the piece about charity shops, please call the men in white coats. This particular post is right off the scale and into the rolling vistas of complete lunacy that have no name

I am not mad.

Tomorrow: The Duck visits a charity shop – with HILARIOUS consequences

Monday, December 01, 2008

On various things that I like

On various things that I like

Various Things That I Like No. 3,978: The Owl


More Owl THIS WAY.

Warning: MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF OWL

Saturday, November 29, 2008

On Christmas Round Robin letters again again

On Christmas Round Robin letters again again

A quick addition to Thursday's none-more-smug Christmas Round Robin letter, after a specially sharpened leaflet fell out of my copy of the Radio Times* and sliced my foot in twain.

We hope you don't mind if we don't send a present this year, as it's so hard to find something suitable in this day and age. Instead, we've bought goats for the village in Bangladesh where Tabitha did her voluntary work during her gap year. In return, they had a vote, and made me their king. Which was nice.
Warning: The value of smugness may go down as well as up.

* Other listings magazines are available, but they're shit

Friday, November 28, 2008

Neither mirth nor woe, but essentially true although possibly containing traces of fiction: Night Time

Neither mirth nor woe, but essentially true although possibly containing traces of fiction: Night Time

9.15pm.

On the dot, somewhere in nineteen ninety-something.

I stride into the control room at our luxuriously-appointed headquarters and take over from Cameron, who had been in charge of the throbbing console area for the best part of twelve hours.

Sitting in front of a bank of TV monitors and receiving equipment, I'd be spending the night making sure that our particular arm of The World's Greatest News Organisation continues to be The World's Greatest News Organisation.

"Nothing to report," says Cameron, "Except they've got one of these new-fangled PCs in the News Agency department".

"Right. I might go and look at it later."

"They've left some games on it, so I'm told."

The new technology.

We were, finally, moving from a clunking great mainframe system and were slowly but surely rolling out a PC-driven production network. Less than ten years earlier, mind, we had been on typewriters, and when the news editors spiked an item, it really did end up on a big nail in the newsroom.

So. 9.15pm.

Only twelve hours to go.

The first hour would be spent organising the video and audio recordings for the following day, making sure the right thing got onto the right tape.

In these days of satellite and internet broadcasting, it is easy to forget that not so very long ago, news got around the world on scratchy shortwave radio signals. It still does, by and large, but the modern listener and viewer is spoiled by the simplicity of it all. Back then, fishing a radio signal out of the ether was an art. These days, it's an art still practiced by bearded men in sheds and whole populations for whom television and internet is unaffordable luxury.

Still, nine hours to go, and the 'old media' forerunner of this site needs tending:

"Dear Fiesta, You won't believe the incredible thing that happened to me the other day..."
Eight hours and fifty to go.

"Dear Escort, I didn't think I had a chance with the divorcee next door, but I couldn't believe my eyes when..."
And, of course, the real paydirt:

"Dear Special Interest Monthly, There I was, rubbing linseed oil into my harness, when who should knock on my door but former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher looking all hot and flustered..."
And then it is 4.25am.

I turn the page in the log and the familiar instruction glares back at me:

"0425 – BAKHTAR 12145kHz CW RX4"

Yes, that's gibberish to you. To we highly-trained control room operators, that is the cue to walk down to the Haunted News Agency Section at the other end of the building, tune a radio receiver and wait for the state-owned Afghanistan news agency to begin its morning transmission, which would spill out from a printer that may or may not still be switched on.

A glow comes from Haunted News Agency Section.

A glow that could well be some poor, dead console operator, KILLED TO DEATH in the line of duty, ready to pounce and eat my spicy brains.

I hold my breath, make the sign of the cross, and leap through the door.

"MWAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" screams the ghoul.

"MWAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" I reply, before realising it is, in fact, Cameron picking himself up off the floor.

"Now see what you've done," he eventually says, bags evident under his eyes as he basks in the glow of the PC screen, I've lost again."

"Wait... what?"

"Just ... one ... more ... game."

Exactly seven hours and ten minutes earlier, Cameron had discovered Tetris. Or, it might have been the other way around.

"Go home, mate. You're relieving me in five hours."

"Yeah, sure. Just as soon as I finish this level."

And back to the grind, and only one more trip down the haunted corridor OF DOOM before they pour me out of the building, one 15p Luncheon Voucher the richer.

"0900 – TANJUG 12212.5 kHz RX2", or to you, the Yugoslav state news agency it all its steam-powered radio telegraphic goodness.

"MWAAAAAAAAAAARGH!"

"One more go. I'll beat this bastard if it kills me."

"See you in twelve hours, guy. I'm off home."

"What... What time is it?" he gibbers, looking more dead than alive.

Twelve hours later, a day and a half after leaving the bosom of his family - who had to be informed that he was not dead in a ditch somewhere – he fled the building, and seeing multi-coloured blocks raining down from the heavens upon him, was immediately sick in a hedge.

Moral: Remember to take your screen break

TEH END (or is it?)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On Christmas round-robin letters again

On Christmas round-robin letters again

Oh, spoons - it's that time of year yet again. That time of year when those really organised people in your life send you a Christmas card. An expensive Christmas card with a not-entirely-discreet charity logo on the back, and that dreaded, neatly folded piece of paper that falls into your lap. The round robin letter.

Having electronic EXCELLENCE at my fingertips, I can't be bothered to send one of these crimes against taste to my neither-nearest-nor-dearest. I just stick it on the internet as a warning to others. Seeing as last year's effort went down rather well, I expect you'll like to know what we at Duck Mansions* have been up to in 2008...

In fact, you may wish to cut-and-paste this into your annual family Christmas message. Just change the names and - boosh! - instant smugness. It'll save sending a card. In fact, it'll save having to talk to anybody at all over the Furtive Season. Let me know how you get on.

Duck Family Newsletter 2008!!

Dear [Insert name here]!!

Whew! What a breath-taking year it's been for all of us!! Once again, we've been busy, busy, busy, and we've hardly got the time to put pen to paper!!

Once again, I've been able to flex my muscles, and despite turning forty-two this year, my four gold medals from Beijing were the talk of the front AND back pages of all the papers! They said it couldn't be done, but I managed separate golds in rowing, cycling, AND the 100m races both in the pool and on the track. The world records were a nice bonus, too, and Her Majesty was SO graceful as she handed over the CBE.

Next time, she told me, it'll be a knighthood. So I gave her a wink and said "Same time, next year, then!" and we both laughed and laughed and made a joke about the poor lollipop ladies and footballers who only get an MBE. Keep it to yourself - this kind of thing is supposed to be hush-hush!!!

The whole thing didn't quite go to plan, as those pesky Russians tried to spoil it for me by invading Georgia, knowing FULL WELL that my peacekeeping efforts would be compromised by my efforts for Queen and Country in Beijing. Little did Vladimir Putin know that my charming wife drives just as hard a bargain, something he only found out as her cock-punch unerringly found his groin, ensuring an early Russian surrender.

Our friends in Washington were so impressed by her diplomacy that they cancelled last month's election, and appointed her as President of the United States, for life. How she's going to balance that with in her Am-Dram with Kenneth Branagh, her career as a neuro-surgeon AND running a busy home is anybody's guess!!

In the meantime, Scaryduckling has taken her GCSEs two years early, and used her new-found skills to solve the world financial crisis, by making everybody give all the money back - a solution which somehow eluded the so-called finest brains of our civilisation, and forced Alistair Darling to go on television to admit he is the King of the Gits. All this while embarking in a major stadium tour of Europe, supported by Radiohead AND a reformed Beatles!!

The lad Scaryduck Junior's also gone from strength to strength, wresting golf's Ryder Cup away from those uptight American wallahs, and posting a record-breaking round of 18 in the Open Championship. All the prize money's going to come in handy as he designs and builds the Space Shuttle replacement for NASA. He'll get his homework done as soon as he and his genetically-modified monkey butler come down from orbit!!

And as for Lucy Minogue, our darling little King Charles Cavalier – she pulled out of Crufts this year – which she has won three years in a row – in a much publicised spat over alleged cruelty in dog shows. It was her own decision, and we back her fully over her well-aimed cock-punch on the boss of the Kennel Club. We laughed and laughed!! We didn't miss the prize money, though, as she was clever enough to strike oil in our back garden whilst burying a bone – rolling back the global price of oil and solving the UK's financial woes into the bargain. Good dog!!

PHEW!!! That's just about it from us. Hope you had a good year, too. Though, frankly, we couldn't give a monkey's chuff.

Blissfully yours,

Lord S Duck of Smugsville OBE CBE VC (and bar) KFC Ph.D

* No, really. We've got a mansion each. We really are quite unbearably smug

Digg my article

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On watching TV and going straight to Hell

On watching TV and going straight to Hell

It's not often that I write about something that I've seen on television. This is mainly because I don't watch that much TV, and when I do it comes with the two-hour prologue of soap opera that tends to dull the senses, leading to an evening of big laughs as we cruise the shopping channels.

However, in Special Needs Pets last week, the 'Blog Fodder' bells were ringing in my head before we even got to the first advert break.

The programme was, all said and done, a testament to the love that owners will show to their pets when they fall ill, are disabled, or become too old to live a normal, happy life.

Touching, even.

And not to be laughed at. At all.

Not even the rabbit in a wheelchair. Or the cat that had to be squeezed like bagpipes to get it to go to the toilet. Or the dog that looks so much like Fred Elliot from Coronation Street that the owners have to fend off autograph hunters.

None of these.

It was, I am sad to report, the parrot on Prozac.

God, it was tragic.

A tragic tale of one bird pining for its poor, dead owner who was only in his comfy armchair because he'd been nailed there.

From "Who's a pretty boy?" to "Stone the crows, what's the bloody point?", mooching round the house listening to Leonard Cohen albums.

I LOLed.

I LOLed, fully aware that I am going to Hell.

I got a dirty look from The Keeper of the Sky Plus Box and the pointed question: "Well? What's so funny?"

I gestured toward the screen, desperately trying to form words in the face of Emo Parrot shouting expletives down the phone at the nice lady from the Samaritans, yet none would come.

"Who's a pretty boy?"

"You're going to Hell, you are."

And the obligatory "Beautiful plumage", which she didn't get.

By way of penance, I shall be driving a carload of ducks with RSI south for the winter. Orange sauce supplies notwithstanding, they may even get there.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On prayer

On prayer

Oh Lordy.

The God-botherers of Weymouth have struck again.

I return to my car following an afternoon waiting in the man-seats at New Look, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and various emporia with the word "Shoe" in their name, to find a leaflet under my windscreen wiper.

On most occasions ,it is a flyer informing the reader of the Tuesday market up on Portland, a veritable where-are-they-now of former satellite TV pitchmen, still selling their miracle cleaning products from damp, faded boxes at a substantial mark-down.

This time it is different.

A pair of hands, together in prayer.

Bless.

And the words, all in hideous red-on-yellow: "Driver in Front"

"Don't waste time in your car! Do something useful!!!" says the blurb committing at least one deadly sin against the commandments of grammar in the process.

"Pray for the driver in front, that he and his passengers may fulfil they journey and arrive home safely."

Of course, the value of prayer may go down as well as up, although I refuse to offer up any kindly thoughts to taxis, prossie-killing truckers and anyone behind the wheel of a Nissan Micra.

But, all the same, I beat down my world-weary cynicism with my stolen copy of 'The Teachings of Buddha' and thought I'd give it a go. Nothing to lose, and far cheaper than a Dashboard Jesus.

Hands together.

Eyes shut.

Purge all thoughts of ladies' bosoms from my mind.

"Our Father, who art..."

...Straight up the arse end of some old duffer in a Rover 75.

Luckily, he said it was all his fault, blinded as he was by the Heavenly Host coming down Boot Hill* for a late shop at Asda.

That's one car you owe me, Jebus.

* There really is a Boot Hill in Weymouth. Sadly, it doesn't lead to a cemetery, but more than makes up for this by spitting you out at The Boot Public House, proof that if there is a god, it is surely Bacchus.

Monday, November 24, 2008

On Christmas cheer

On Christmas cheer

This year at Christmas, we've decided – for a change – not to have a Secret Santa.

Instead, and planning ahead for the Furtive Season, we're having an office Secret Satan.

It's exactly the same as a Secret Santa, except, after the traditional drawing of names, you leave a steaming turd in your chosen colleague's desk drawer and they have to work out – using their skill and judgment – from whom it comes.

An activity, you will be pleased to hear, that is guaranteed to break the ice at the office party. You'll soon be drunkenly throwing each other down the fire escape in scat-induced rage. And laughing about it, should you survive.

The challenge for the gift-giver, of course, lies in nipping off a length during the lunch break without being detected by your unwitting colleagues as they sup up their pre-Christmas cheer in the White Horse over the road. Slap a label saying "Do not open until Christmas LOL" on the drawer, retire to a safe distance and Robert's your aunt's live-in lover.

As usual: Extra marks for style, control, damage and aggression.

Yeah, I know. There's this list, and he's checkin' it twice. See if I care.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Neither mirth nor woe: Friday morning

Neither mirth nor woe: Friday morning

Friday morning. Any Friday morning, in fact.

We drive past the house, and noting the lack of a parking space, spend the next twenty minutes getting further and further away, until, finally, we find somewhere to leave the car several hundred yards from our target.

We step out into the chill of the day, and finding our bearings in this unfamiliar part of town, strike out for the house. Past a school, from where the sound of Away in a Manger played on a badly-tuned piano emanates, despite being only November, soon drowned by the roar of the main road.

We look up at the house, its fa├žade obscured by a bus shelter which by night doubles as a urinal and a place to park half-digested takeaways, its once pristine frontage blackened with the years of road grime.

A hedge filled with something equally terrible and a front garden given over to dustbins, street litter and a pile of rags that may or may not be a dead tramp.

We meet him there, his suit shinier than his shoes, his smile like a hyena, hair cut by his mum, although he tells his colleagues – for he has no real friends - it's by a boutique where you have to book several weeks in advance. We note he has managed to find a parking space outside the house, for the Devil looks after his own.

He says something insincere to us, but it is, in the main, lost to the sound of forty tons of truck thundering by. I nod, pretending to hear him, knowing full well this is a fool's errand.

Then, he produces a key, unlocks the front door – once a rich, glossy green, now peeling and smeared with grey – and we step inside. In the bare hallway, the traffic is louder than on the street. White walls, tiled floor, stair rods holding down an ancient carpet that leads up to the flat we have come to inspect, the sound echoes about us, never ceasing.

At the top of the stairs is another door. It is clearly the cheapest possible from a local hardware depot, screwed into place as a property developer split a once-proud town house into shoebox-sized flats. Screwed to the door are the second-cheapest numbers from a local hardware store. 273B.

The door swings inwards to reveal a room barely big enough for the three of us to stand. Against one wall rests a bicycle which doubles as a hat stand. On the opposite wall, an open door betrays a bathroom featuring a tiny suite once clearly the property of an infants school. You could touch all four walls with your morning glory.

Despite the constant earthquake rumble of the road outside, the man drew us into the world inside his mind, that cheese-eating, I-want-to-kick-you-in-the-head grin still on his face.

"And this," said the estate agent referring to his crib sheet of lies as we struggle for breathing space, "is the dining room."

"Like fuck, it is."

Another wasted morning, for we didn't buy the flat.

Living in SIN would have to wait.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On correcting design flaws

On correcting design flaws

Dolmio's SPECIAL white sauceI couldn't help noticing the recent news story of an Australian gentleman caught pleasuring himself with a jar of pasta sauce. An Australian gentleman not only pleasuring himself with a jar of pasta sauce, but in the presence of a Jack Russell terrier.

Won't anybody, I ask, think of the puppies?

Yes, I know what you're thinking. The bloody fool. Doesn't he know the real sweet, sweet lovin' comes from a jar of medium strength Uncle Ben's Stir-in Chilli Sauce?

In fact, working in the news business as I do, rarely a day passes without some story of some fellow caught sticking his Johnson where no right-thinking member of society should and refusing to stop when the law turns up with their batons, pepper spray and tasers.

And there, I believe, there lies the design fault inherent in the penis.

The pecker, you see, spends most of its time doing nothing. Whilst coming with two uses, neither of these takes more than a few minutes a day (unless you are supremely skilled, in which case I recommend a job in the circus), so it spends much of its time just sitting there.

Waiting.

Plotting.

It gets bored.

And, like a cider-fuelled teenage hoodie, it does stuff. Stuff with jars of pasta sauce and homemade hand shandy devices.

Next time you hear about some bunch of numpties trying to get Creationism taught in schools, point out the example of the human hampton to them, and challenge them - on the 100% irrefutable evidence provided – to prove that this is the work of an Intelligent Designer.

If only there was a third use, such as a built-in FM radio, because anything can be improved with an FM radio. Then we'd all have rhythm.

Time to act like the deity of your choice. Your wang-improvement suggestions, please.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On bird-spotting

On bird-spotting

Tit. Window."'Ere, Duck, take a look at this," says my esteemed pal 'Spikes' Walker, summoning me over to where he is reading a well-known adult-oriented publication.

No, not that sort of adult-oriented publication.

It is a copy of this month's Viz Comic, opened to the latest update to Roger's Profanisaurus, the dictionary of filth.

"This one..." says the Swiss Toni-alike, pointing.

And I read:

Tit window: The opportunity, in any conversation or meeting with a young lady, to stare at her breasts whilst she is distracted by other matters. An art form that can be both challenging and rewarding.
"You disgust me," I reply, not disgusted in the slightest.

Disgusted I might have been, but Spikes has a habit of putting things into my head that refuse to leave. I cannot, for example, look at a pillow without unnatural thoughts forcing me to go and jump in the fish pond until the affected parts are soothed.

And that, I am sad to say, is exactly what happened this very weekend. A weekend where I spent an evening discussing the implications of the recent fall in the Bank of England's base lending rate with my charming wife, in the light of forthcoming changes in business terms with our current mortgage lender.

"So, according to this letter from the bank," she says, well on top of financial matters as usual, "Despite our lock-in period ending, we'll still be better off than new business customers who will be paying at least... WHAT are you doing?"

Alas, my new way of life compels me to speak with complete honesty.

"Tit window."

"And what, pray, is that?"

I tell her.

"You've been talking to Spikes Walker again, haven't you?"

"Yes. Yes I have."

"You disgust me. And when you see Spikes, tell him he disgusts me as well. And to think I had him as such a charming gentleman."

I agree, and apologise for my unacceptable behaviour, which would, in all honestly, have me flayed alive and fed to the lezzers in any council office in this once-proud Kingdom. But still...

"HEY! Look over there!"

"Stop it. NOW."

Sometimes I disgust even myself.

Edit: I am told there is a genuine tit window at this location.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On political correctness gone mad, on acid

On political correctness gone mad, on acid

The meeting reached a crisis point as we struggled with delivering a product in the face of unwelcoming technology.

"So," says the boss, scanning the row of tense faces, "how are we going to achieve this? Smoke and Mirrors?"

"I'm afraid not," I say, rifling through a pile of papers on the conference table before settling on one particular sheet, headlined in large, urgent-looking words.

"Oh for the love of crikey – what is it now?"

"It's that memo from Health and Safety. The list of words we're not allowed to use in meetings."

"The brainstorming one, you mean?"

"Shhh..." I say, glancing at the shocked faces of colleagues across the table, "You don't know who could be listening. Thought showers, boss. Thought showers."

I lay the memo on the table for all to see. "List of words, phrases and sayings that may be discriminatory to minority groups", the large, urgent-looking words read.

About a third of the way down, in jaunty Comic Sans – the typeface of the mentally challenged – my finger rests against the offending words:

"Smoke and Mirrors – May be discriminatory toward asthmatics and vampires."

"Riiiight... And what does this work of genius suggest instead?"

"Ventolin and Non-reflective surfaces."

"OK," says the boss, barely fazed by this temporary and lunatic set-back, "Ventolin and Non-reflective surfaces it is, then. Just to make sure we're all singing from the same hymn sheet."

"Ah. Sorry, that one's out as well. In fact, the document suggests that no-one speaks at all, as ALL language will be invariably offensive to at least one minority group."

"Cock. In which case," he says, veins sticking out on his forehead in a way that suggests P45s are imminent, "I WILL PERSONALLY KILL THE NEXT MAN WHO SPEAKS."

"Or womyn."

The meeting came to an abrupt end at that point.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Condensed Films: The Omen

Condensed Films: The Omen

The scariest film in the world, starring Gregory Peck, Chancellor Gorkon out of Star Trek and Ronnie and Reggie Kray's mum in the original version - guaranteed to make you SICK WITH TERROR. All reduced down to about 800 finely-crafted words in the language of today's easily-bored Saw-obsessed youth for your safety and convenience.

If you are not SICK WITH TERROR, please apply to the usual address for a full refund.

TEH OMEN

American Ambassador: Hello. I am teh American Ambassador to London, and I am excellent. Here, have a Ferrero Rocher. Arse, I appear to have blown my brains out and killed myself TO DETH

G. Pecker: Now I am teh American Ambassador to London, and I am even more excellent that the last guy, LOL. Here, have a Ferrero Rocher Om nom nom

Mrs Ambassador: Oh, look. I have dropped a sprog

Evil satanic nuns: Yoinks! We've done the old switcheroo and now they have TEH SON OF STAN... err... SANTA... err... SATAN. LOLOLOLOLevilLOLOL

G. Peck: We shall call him Dave. Dave Satan, LOL

Mrs Ambassador: I like the sound of Damian, because that's not at all satanic

G. Peck: Dave Satan it is, then. Have a Ferrero Rocher

Dave Satan's nice, angelic nanny: ONOZ! I have been possessed by TEH DEVIL and have killed myself TO DETH

Dave Satan's evil, satanic nanny: Nothing to do with me, guv

G. Peck: You're hired. Have a Ferrero Rocher. It is curs-ed

Dave Satan's evil, satanic nanny: Curs-ed F. Rocher is FULL OF WIN

Chancellor Gorkon out of Star Trek: Hello, I am one of Britain's finest character actors and I am excellent. May I be the first to point out that your son is evil – EVIL!

G. Peck: Die in a fire, you dreadful cnt. No tasty Ferrero Rocher hazelnut-and-chocklit goodness for you, FFS

Teh 2nd Doctor Who: He's right you know. He is TEH DEVIL INCARNATE, and now I am going to hang around Bishop's Park in Fulham until I am killed TO DETH, just to prove it

Some time later

Teh 2nd Doctor Who: Any minute now, eh readers?

Some more time later

Teh 2nd Doctor Who: Ouch. Completely arse-to-tit

Mrs Ambassador: Also, the little shit's just kicked me down the stairs, FFS

Dave Satan's evil, satanic nanny: LOLOLOLOL

D. Satan: I LOled. I LOLed out loud

Teh 2nd Doctor Who: See? Evil? And can somebody get this flag pole out of my arse? It hurts to buggery, FFS

G. Peck: OK, you might have a point. Ferrero Rocher, anyone? Nom nom nom

C. Gorkon: I could have been in the diplomatic corps, you know, but for the nut allergy. Brings me out all lumpy, for it is FULL of FAIL

G. Pecker: LOL. Also - On nom nom nom

C. Gorkon: Also, the hospital where D Satan was born is completely destroyed. All who were in it are TEH DED, and people who ask too many pointed questions end up wearing their vital organs inside-out, ROFL

G. Peck: Even teh evil satanic nuns?

C. Gorkon: Peeled, dipped in salt and eaten lightly fried in a delicate parsley sauce by starving lesbians

G. Peck: No need to labour the point. *boilk* Right inna Ferrero Rocher-flavour hedge

Mrs Ambassador: ONOZ, To cap it all, I have fallen out of the hospital window. TO DETH. Damn you Dave Satan!

D. Satan: LOL

C. Gorkon: I have dug up this handy grave to find D Satan's real mother. How handy

G. Peck: So, she's a dog. A DED dog. Ken Dodd's dad's dog. Which is DED. And remember kids: Don't give chocklit to dogs, it's poisonous. Not even those wonderful, wonderful F. Rochers

C. Gorkon: Now you must kill not-your-son D Satan TO DETH with these handy, sacred knifes from the Field of Armageddon before we are eaten TO DETH by rabid, evil hell hounds. Yours for just three easy payments to the Franklin Mint

Rabid, evil hell hounds: RARF bitey bitey RAAARF. Tasty G. Peck Om nom nom

G. Peck: RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

C. Gorkon: Actually, it's ARM-A-GEDDON out of here, LOL

G. Peck: I cannot kill D Satan, cos he's FAMLEE. I hope your head falls off, or something, ROFL

C. Gorkon: ONOZ! My hed has fallen off and gone bouncy bouncy bouncy down the street. FAIL

G. Peck: LOL. Oh wait... Now I suppose I've got to kill D Satan TO DETH now

Dave Satan's evil, satanic nanny: And what time do you call this? FFS

G. Peck: It's killin' D Satan's evil, satanic nanny TO DETH time, LOL

Dave Satan's evil, satanic nanny: Not the face, plz. I've still got to do TEH KRAYS.

G. Peck: Oh, if you insist, FFS

Dave Satan's evil, satanic nanny: Gloik! DETH by F. Rocher, nice touch

G. Peck: Now to kill D Satan TO DETH

D Satan: ONOZ! DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!

D Satan Sr: Oh, FFS. Kids, eh? Sending some of my best mad shooty police bastards right now

Mad shooty police bastards: Shooty shooty bang bang bang! We love being mad shooty bastards, best job in the world, LOL

G. Peck: Oh COCK, I am TEH DED and D SATAN stalks TEH EARTH

D Satan: Nice one lads

Mad shooty police bastards: No probs, kid. See you at Stockwell Tube

D Satan: Little bit of politics, like it

Mad shooty police bastards: Watch your lip, boy, or I'll... Oh, my head has fallen off. FAIL

D Satan: Now to take over the world, or something. LOLOLevilLOLOLOL

TEH END. Or is it? (Answer: No)

Digg my article

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On woe, and the lack thereof

On woe, and the lack thereof

This week marks the point – almost seven years after I starting writing this blog – that I find myself out of ideas for a Friday Mirth and Woe story.

This means that Fridays will not necessarily be Mirth and Woe day anymore. Mirth and Woe may appear, if I am moved to write something, but I'd rather maintain the quality rather than knock off any old tripe, or even >gulp< resort to fiction.

I'm surprised I lasted this long, to be honest. But teh Duck blog will continue.

One thing I may do – if there is the demand – is to rewrite and tighten up some of the old stories with added sick inna hedge, 130% more gags and 27% more typos.

Whatever happens, I'll try to keep something special (that's SPECIAL special, not 'Special Bus' special) for the end of the week, as there are still plenty of condensed films, Pepys diaries &c still to be had.

And breathe out...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On copyright

On copyright

It has come to my attention that somebody has been copying TEH FUNNAY from these pages and passing my work off as their own elsewhere on the internet.

Stop it, you cunt.

And now, some music.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mirth and Woe: "Ye Gods!"

Mirth and Woe: "Ye Gods!"

For one roller-coaster year of my life, I worked in the headquarters of a large motor parts company.

Things were going pretty badly for them as their main competitor went from strength-to-strength, leaving us floundering in their wake. Such was the rot, one of our outlets once reported a single sale in an entire week, when it should have been tens of thousands of pounds worth.

And carrying the can for this mess was Jerry the financial director, who was roundly blamed by many for paying more attention to chasing skirt rather than doing things that companies do to stay afloat, such as selling stuff.

"Ye Gods!" said Frank, whose role in the company was never quite made clear, "We're for the chop now."

Thankfully, neither myself nor Frank - who was a heavy-set man with spectacular facial hair, who liked to say "Ye Gods!" a lot - were sacked. Me for the reason that despite being the office Pimply-Faced Youth, I was one of only two people who knew how to operate the computer system; and Frank because he had the dirt on anybody of any consequence in the company.

As the sole survivor of The Great Disc Crash of 1986, which saw shards of ceramic computer disc still embedded in crucial parts of the air conditioning, I was to stay. Singled out as the only man with the financial clout to save the business, so was Frank, who had endured months of humiliation at the hands of Jerry.

There were tears, however, as half of the girls in the accounts department were culled, for there was simply not the work for them to do. Posts were trimmed throughout the company. And then the bombshell.

"And after fifteen years of service," said the MD, "I'm sad to say that Jerry will be leaving us."

"Ye Gods!"

The old man's face hardened. The room seemed to grow darker, the MD appeared to grow by several feet, while Jerry shrunk back into a corner as the finger of blame finally found its target: "Leaving us with immediate effect".

So, after he left the company's offices for the last time - given all of two minutes' notice - I drew the short straw to clear out his desk and arrange to have personal items sent to his home. Let's see:

* Nine-inch 'Monster Kong' vibrator and several packs of AA batteries

* A large quantity of specialist gentlemen's leisure magazines, most with the word "Rubber" or "Latex" in the title

* Several items of soiled lingerie which were clearly not in his size

* The empty packing of a device called "The Intruder". Of The Intruder, there was no sign

* Half a bottle of whiskey

* His 'Little Black Book' containing brief details of every female in the building ("Julia, document archive: Bad tempered, great arse. 6 out of 10.")

* A series of polaroid photographs of both Jerry and numerous young ladies in various states of shiny undress, posed almost entirely across the huge table in the company boardroom

I could barely contain myself. I had to show somebody, and all I could see was Vera, ("Vera, office cleaner. Husband works away, randy as hell, MASSIVE tits") but that option would probably have seen me killed TO DEATH.

I gathered my spoils to my bosom, legged it down the corridor and dumped it all on Frank's desk, as he joyfully prepared to move into his new role, viz: saving our arses.

"Look what I found in Jerry's desk!"

"Ye Gods!"

Then, a pause as he examined the booty, then: "Ye Gods!"

Then: "Ye Gods! What do they see in him? He's uglier than me!"

"If you'd care to study this picture, I think they see that he is hung like a rhino."

"YE GODS!"

We stuck it in a cardboard box and discussed what - if anything - we should do. Sadly the company didn't have a black museum, so we decided that honesty was to be the best policy.

"Scary," Frank said, a heart-warming look of a man of principle on his face, "Make sure this box finds its way back to the bosom of his family."

The evil bastard.

That Tuesday afternoon, knowing Jerry was down the Red Lion drowning his sorrows and/or eyeing up the barmaid with an eye to trying her out in something black and shiny, I drove the Box to his house in my Austin Allegro, rang the doorbell and fled.

In the rear-view mirror, I saw his harridan of a wife - who had made the Christmas Party a living Hell by managing to vomit on most of those attending like a scene from The Exorcist - open the door, see the box, and pick it up.

I dare say there was another Exorcist scene seconds later, but I was already far, far down the road.

"How'd it go?" Frank asked, as I finally showed my face back at the office.

I told him.

"Ye Gods!", which, I think, is Frank-ese for "I love it when a plan comes together".