Thursday, October 28, 2004

Help ma Boab! It's the Thursday vote-o!

Help ma Boab! It's the Thursday vote-o!

Today's entirely sex-ed up quotes are brought to you by the letter "E" and the number "69".

* Duke of Kent: He examined the package carefully. On one side were the words "If undelivered, please return to PO Box 27, Melton Mowbray. Contents: pornography." Honestly, his parents went out of their way to embarrass him.

* Octopus: Portia gulped. Despite the years of therapy, she had never quite got over her national humiliation at the hands of John Leslie. And now this. They wanted her Blue Peter badge back.

* Diet Club: His entry into the People's Republic had taken six hours as the customs officials insisted that they thoroughly search every piece of his luggage. The Ambassador smirked. He had sent his butt plug in the diplomatic bag.

* Yvette: "Je t'aime! J t'aime!" Judy moaned at the height of her passion, and there was no stopping her. All Richard could think of was the trouble he'd be in if the advert break finished early.

* Elton: "Actually, no, I'm Canadian," he said to the taxi driver, knowing the trouble an American accent could get you into when travelling abroad. Bill Clinton managed a little smile to himself, and wondered what Monica was doing these days.

Vote me left! Vote me right! Vote me sideways!

Americans!: You get your chance to vote for real next week. My simple advice to you is this - Don't fuck it up this time.

Spoonerism woe

My boss, one of the finest men ever to walk this Earth*, recently briefed a room full of senior managers and high-ranking visitors about the media situation in the Israeli Occupied Territories. Unfortunately he managed to managed to mention the "Best Wank" on three separate occasions. Something to do with improving our working practices, I gather.

He was blissfully unaware of his faux pas until confronted, later, in the canteen and asked if he had the hots for Yasser Arafat. I mean, I certainly would, if paid enough.

*And I'm not just saying that in a shameless attempt to curry favour. Oh no - I'm only interested in the money.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fluffy! Don't give me fluffy!

Fluffy! Don't give me fluffy!

Regular readers will remember that I bought a new towel recently from the proceeds of the Buy Scaryduck a New Towel Appeal. You may even have seen the photograph of it in all its Hong Kong Phooey goodness, and a fine, fine towel it is too. I look forward to many adventures with it, camping out under the stars and whipping people with the damp end in swimming pools.

So, I thought it was high time to break the thing in and actually use it. I had a shower this morning, and toweled myself off with its soft, downy goodness.

I might have known. So, that's what they meant on the tag I ripped of and flung into the bin. "Wash before use."

I am now covered, head to toe, with a light, downy sheen of yellow and green fluff, and look like Wanky-Wanky the fifth Teletubby that left before they got famous.


Later: All the fluff seems - through some sort of capilliary action caused by the friction of my clothing, for which there is almost certainly a lengthy scientific treatise published somewhere - to have converged on a single point of my anatomy. My bell end now resembles a novelty yellow-and-green toffee apple. This is woe of the worst order. Damn you Hong Kong Phooey!


The most incredible thing suddenly dawned on me whilst nipping out a length and perusing the Daily Telegraph in the third cubicle along the other morning.

Iraq's been turned into a toilet, and whatever the rights and wrongs of going out there for any reason, there must be some underlying cause to the whole affair. And it struck me. The minute the late Ken Bigley - God rest his poor Scouse soul - was given Irish nationality, the Iraqi Head collectors killed him. Margaret Hossan, Baghdad's Care International director-turned-hostage was born in Ireland.

It's obvious. They're after us Micks, aren't they? In which case, let us teach the buggers a lesson they'll never forget. Let's send Ian Paisley out there.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Return of Internet Strangeness

The Return of Internet Strangeness

Your cut-out-and-keep souvenir special edition commemorating the weird, weird people I mix with on the internet. I really ought to get out more.

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

* "There are only two things I can't stand. Incest and Morris dancing."

* "Fox hunting should be replaced by Chav hunting, in Stevenage. I would pay good money to see those Burberry cap/England top wearing tossers chased across a field by a large pack of dogs. "

* "I am so upset with myself. I feel I have let my peers down. I passed David Blunkett in the street earlier and DIDN'T punch him in the face. I'm so ashamed."
"Damn right. After all, it's not like he could have identified you."
"Although you could be totally wrong there. Haven`t you seen that Lionel Ritchie video? He`ll identikit you using clay and a copy of 'Unchained Melody'"
"There's only one thing to do. Mix all the clay in the world with Pedigree Chum, and even if he does a good likeness, the guide dog'll eat it."

* "I'm going to kick all your teeth out and make you eat corn-on-the-cob."

* "After long, careful consideration and a period of quiet meditation, it is my erstwhile opinion that Jesus would slap the shit out of you."

* "I'm so confused these days, even going to the toilet is an adventure. Good God, this must be what it feels like to be President."

* "Why does every google image search I do get me badly drawn furry porn?"

* First they came for the Jews, but I did nothing because I'm not a Jew. Then they came for the socialists, but I did nothing because I'm not a socialist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I did nothing because I'm not a Catholic. Finally, they came for Robert Kilroy-Silk, and I said "He's over there, behind the wardrobe".

* "I rang my Mum the other day, and she thought I was my dad. We now have exactly the same voice."
"Did you talk dirty to her before letting on?"

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

Achtung!: Never run with scissors! Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson did, and now he's called Nigella. You have been warned.


Gutted. That is all.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Scaryduck’s ‘Did You Know...?’ No. 347

Scaryduck’s ‘Did You Know...?’ No. 347

England footballer Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne was elected president of the Central African Republic in 1992 after a popular "write-in" campaign. His first and only actions as the ruler of this impoverished nation was to change its national anthem to his novelty recording of "Fog on the Tyne", and install his mate “Five Bellies” as Minister for Beer, before going off on a five-year bender of booze, birds and pizza.

Following Gascoigne's decision to change his name to "G8", the real G8 - the organisation of the world's most industrialised nations - has also decided on a name-change to avoid any confusion with the washed-up old has-been. They'll now be known as "The No-Gazzas Club".

Friday, October 22, 2004

Lemon - party woe


A damning truth needs to be told.

Balders used to be a nice lad. Brought up in a nice house in a nice village by nice parents with a reasonably nice sister. He also had nice friends (until I came along), went to a nice scout group and went to a school full of blazing maniacs. Perhaps that's where it all went wrong.

Meeting the infamous brothers Shortt at college didn't help matters much, and neither did the discovery of Pub, and the alcoholic horrors within. By the time young Balders had grown into eighteen-year-old Balders, the transformation from nice young lad to debauched deflowerer of nubiles and drunken shouter down the big white telephone was complete.

Balders was allowed to have birthday parties round his house. His nice mum had seen us often enough to know that our parents were pillars of local society who had spawned nice, lovely children who attended nice youth organisations, got good grades at school, and on more than one shameful occasion, had sat round a table for an entire weekend playing Dungeons and Dragons. The poor, trusting fools!

So, when Balders reached the age of eighteen, the nightmare of the previous years' festivities forgotten, the decks were cleared for a Saturday of good, wholeseome birthday celebrations. Relatives were invited, including one elderly maiden aunt who would go to her grave haunted by the events of the coming evening, cursing the young man to a lifetime of hell surrounded by those who God himself has damned for all eternity.*

The evening started well enough. We managed to steer clear of the hard stuff while various grandmothers, aunts and assorted family members wished the young man future prosperity on his birthday. Then John gave Balders his present. A bottle of Polish Spirits. And things went downhill from there.

If you have never tasted Polish Spirits before and wish to do so, here is my advice: ARE YOU MENTAL? The stuff is evil. It's the reason they have to carry the Pope around in a chair. They had forty years of communist rule in Poland because everyone was too wasted to notice. You could run your car on the stuff, and, handily, it removes all known stains - including vomit - from your laundry.

I took one mouthful and was unable to speak for an hour. Other partygoers took several mouthfuls, and poor, sweet, virginal Debbie necked most of the bottle unaware of the unspeakable horrors of alcohol.

Debbie, you see, was one of those sweet innocent girls who never got out much, and a Friday night trip to the pub was seen as a great adventure. Being seen with boys was strictly verboten. She would much rather sit at home, knitting balaclavas for the boys at the front, waiting for her knight in shining armour to whisk her away, kissing her for the first time and living the dream life as a domestic goddess/slave somewhere. As far as I know, she's still waiting.

For reasons mainly involving desperation, both Balders and I had the hots for her and made it our sworn mission to cure her of this terrible malaise. We had both spent time and cash on her, and nearly came to blows over her limited affections on several occasions. Balders claims he once saw her naked ankle on one occasion, possibly in a shoe shop.

So, we were both rather distressed on this particular evening to see her necking furiously with some ginger kid called Rusty - a friend of a friend who had blagged his way in. It turns out that Rusty was a kleptomaniac, and several weeks later we took great pleasure in beating the seven shades of crap out of him of catching him rifling our pockets at Bracknell Sports Centre.

Debbie's excuse: off her tits (what there were of them in the first place) on the Eastern European stuff. Gutted, I was. Gutted. I took solace in drink, of which there was a plentiful supply.

"This tastes nice!" she said, having never touched anything stronger than sweet sherry in her life, downing the Polish stuff at a terrifying rate. Her eyes rolled up and there was that moment of equilibrium you get just before a tree falls, and down she went. I spent the rest of the evening "comforting" her as she slipped in and out of consciousness, vowing "never again". Whether she was talking about the booze or the tonsil hockey remains unclear. But I'm over it now. Honest.

I digress! Back in the party things were going from bad to worse. What had started off as a discrete little soiree of niceness had descended into a pretty good impression of a night out in Gomorrah, with added shocked grannies complaining that Deep Purple were so loud "you can't hear the words". She was right, you know - utterly useless for Pass-the-Parcel. Stephen swayed in front of the confused old dear doing an impression of a tree, should "Elegant Elms" ever get off their faces on the contents of the local Threshers and unconventional non-prescription drugs.

The rest of the night was, I am afraid to say, a bit of a blur. However, come the witching hour, the toilet was the busiest room in the house as victims queued up to hurl the contents of their stomachs into the nearest enamelled receptacle. Bath, sink, or if you were really lucky, the toilet. It was like Mr Creosote had paid a visit. Those on the spirits had a relatively easy time of it. We beer drinkers, however, were expelling in bulk, drawing disapproving tuts from Balders' exasperated mother, who had seen it all before, and by God, would see it all again.

Before long, there was a bit of a logjam outside the smallest room in the house. It appeared that someone has managed to pass out on the toilet mid-jobbie, trousers and pants round their ankles, a sight that caused a bit of a stir at party headquarters.

It was Balders, who had been happily shoving spirits and party food down his gullet right from the start, and his body had waved the white flag and switched itself off for the time being. Which was fine for him, wafting away in dreamland, arse stuck to the toilet seat, but people like me were busting for a piss, and Balders' mum wouldn't let us go in the sink.

Only one thing we could do - drag the snoring Balders off the bog and throw him in the bedroom along with all the other victims who had succumbed to Bacchus' poison. A room, incidentally, where my former beloved Rusty-snogger was still moaning "never again" over and over. That'll learn her, the unfaithful slattern.

But there was a hitch. Balders had been there for so long, he was stuck in the toilet. And he appeared to be - how could I put this? - soiled. Around his ankles, there appeared to be something horribly alien in his underwear. We peered through the gloom of the dimly lit bathroom. There was something in Balders' kecks. Something strangely familiar, with a fresh citrus smell.

It was a lemon.

Or rather, several slices of lemon.

Now, Balders is known around these parts as the world's greatest beer drinker. And yet, there he sprawled with sliced lemon - the symbol of all things poncey in the drinker's art - in his crusties.

The lemon had obviously been consumed by the birthday boy, shot through his insides as his body had rejected the Judas Fruit and come out the other end, intact. Either that, or his rude "aunt" had shoved them in his pants while he was out cold by way of a special birthday treat which may or may not have involved ******, ******* or even *********. Readers: shandy drinker or hand shandy? DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES.

The entire episode killed the party stone dead in its tracks. Stunned youths staggered home shaking their heads in disbelief, and your narrator discovered that there really is such a law as "drunk in charge of a pedal cycle" after being pulled over, singing and weaving down the Bath Road. They were very nice and let me walk the rest of the way.

Balders, poor Balders, he never lived it down. In certain circles of polite society he is known as the Citra Fiend and cannot be trusted in matters of fruit. He still has panic attacks in the greengrocers aisle in Tesco. While he may have settled into what we may define a "normal" life, he forever lives in the dread fear that one day, he may wake up to find the fruit bandit has struck again. And that is enough to drive any man to the brink of despair.

The following year, with nothing further to lose, we played a game called "Chug-a-Lug", which involved drink, sexual misadventure and forced transvestism.

Debbie is still a virgin and hopes the hangover will go away any day soon.

* And who says curses don't come true? The poor bloke lives in Yorkshire.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Fruit-o Thursday

Fruit-o Thursday

There is no Thursday vote-o today, thanks to the overwhelming requests for Balder's tale of citrus mirth and woe. So, by way of a curtain-raiser to "Lemon", here's a little something I tossed off earlier this week.

The Return of the Citra Fiend

"But Holmes, my old friend," I asked after dinner, ever the inquisitive companion, "how the Devil did you deduce that Fortescue was the cur who buggered his victims to death with citrus fruit?"

A shameless ploy, I know, but I felt it my duty to divert my good friend's attention from that nasty business with the missing tent, an incident which vexes Holmes to this day, plunging the great detective into an impenetrable fog of melancholia.

Holmes composed himself in his armchair, smoke from his pipe swirling over his head, a glass of port placed carefully on a side-table as he regarded me with his familiar look of patience and friendship.

After eliminating the impossibilities, the master of deduction explained, he had been left with one simple irrevocable conclusion, as plain as the nose on one's face. How wantonly foolish it was of me not to connect Fortescue's fruit fetish with the foul, sickening death of Eliza Crun, her private orifices bursting with citrus! How easily I had been fooled by the red herring of Fortescue's subscription to the Red Herring Fetishists' club, an establishment both myself and Holmes hold long standing memberships!

It would only be a matter of time, elucidated Holmes, that Fortescue would betray himself, and with our tip-off, Inspector Lastrade was ready for him.

Having concluded his explanation into this darkest of matters, Holmes sunk back into his chair, his face barely visible, and allowed the morphine to do its work. Before slipping into unconsciousness, he uttered just five more words:

"Lemon entry, my dear Watson."

"Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Corn-Laden Turd and other stories" - Sir Athur Conan Doyle (1904)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Celebrity nob-spotting

Celebrity nob-spotting

I once saw Jimmy Hill's cock. And hardly any money changed hands, at all.

It was back in the olden days when Fulham FC was a proper under-achieving football club, owned by Mr Chinny Reckon himself. Long before the Phony Pharoah turned up. Fulham were real crap in those days and proud of it. My colleague John was a season ticket holder there.

"I like to be alone on Saturdays", he would tell us mournfully.

Up in the smoke on a Saturday afternoon and with very little to do, I decided to go and take a look at my old house in Hammersmith (horribly yuppified) and take a gander at Bishop's Park to see if any priests were getting impaled like the one in The Omen (dozens). Football match? Why not, after all Fulham were playing at home, so I followed was passed for a crowd those days to an almost deserted Craven Cottage.*

Slipping through the turnstile and into the posh seats, I had a sudden urge for a pre-match tinkle. Most people have a drink, a shonky meat pie and a bet on the first scorer. I've got to go and spray my shoes.

So, there I was in the gents and found myself standing at the urinal right next to Mr Hill, who was spraying the wall in a vigourous manner, and ever the competitive type, hoping to get the highest mark on the wall.**

Well, under these extreme circumstances, you've got to look, haven't you? So I did. Surrupticiously, like, and in no way implying that I like to look at mens' hamptons in public conveniences.

Let's put it this way - it's nowhere as big as the chin.

* Fulham FC are known as "The Cottagers" because theit reckless habit of cruising public toilets for gay sex. 100 per cent of FACT!
** Celebrities are notoriously competitive. A recent "highest mark on the wall" compeititon during London Fashion Week resulted in an unexpected victory for supermodel Kate Moss, before her first place was taken from her following the scandal of a failed drug test. The scandal being that she hadn't taken any.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Write your own obit

Hall of Fame

Halls of Fame are great. You get to see all kinds of people rewarded for their travails in all kinds of worthwhile jobs, such as rock star, football player and movie robot. I want to be in a Hall of Fame, probably the Internet Mr Sex one they're thinking about. But it's not enough. The world needs more.

I'm going to set up a Hall of Fame for Halls of Fame. There's so many Halls of Fame out there, the public are confused as to which ones are good Halls of Fame and which ones are, in fact, Halls of Lame. So, by inducting the best Halls of Fame into the Hall of Fame Hall of Fame, people will be able to see all their favourite Halls of Fame collected into one, large, convenient Hall full of famous stuff.

If the idea catches on, we may see many Hall of Fame Hall of Fames opening around the world vying for attention. Then, the only course of action would be to set up a Hall of Fame for these Hall of Fame Hall of Fames, creating one big Hall of Fame Hall of Fame Hall of Fame, somewhere on a highway in Idaho. This is going to go huge.

Write your own obituary!

Oh well, another day, and Thatcher still lives. Where's the justice? Where are the crowds dancing in the streets? Where's the Diana-like memorial fountain that closely resembles a public urinal?

When I curl up my toes, I expect the Dorset Echo to carry a double-page spread entitled "Local author, wit, genius and sexual athlete who re-defined swearing genre, carks it in freak porn factory accident. Slow train to Hell waiting at platform one".

How would you like to be remembered?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Answerphone message

Answerphone message

"Hello? Mr Oedipus? This is Gary from Sigmund Freud Computer Services calling. We think we've found out what's wrong with your PC. Just as we suspected - your motherboard's fucked. Give us a call on..."

Friday, October 15, 2004

Exams: Not-giving-a-monkey's woe


I was a real lazy bastard by the time I reached sixteen. I knew it all, and couldn't be arsed with any of this college work and A-Level business.

This lax attitude and the joint discoveries of pornography, beer, dossing in the Students Union and the computer game Elite left me with little time for the such inconveniences as exam revision. Or even appearing in lectures.

The result: two grade Ds and an E in Maths, Physics and Chemistry A-levels, roughly equivalent to three straight As by today's standards, where you only need to turn up with your clothes on the right way round and the flimsiest knowledge of bowel control to get a top grade.

And that's where I went wrong, to tell you the truth. I aimed low, sat the exams and walked away with utterly shit grades. I actually spent more time doing my drinking buddy Martin's Computer Science project for him (he was almost permanantly comatose on beer and the dreaded weed), and I just HAD to do something to prevent him from getting no grade at all.

He got a grade O, which meant he had actually made no progress at all in two years of study, which was pretty good going on his part. With his newly found computer skills under his belt, he is now a landscape gardener. Looking back, I should have followed his example and done nothing at all.

And I'll tell you why.

Mrs Duck had a girl in her year at school who followed the Martin philosophy of doing as little as possible, and actually went on holiday instead of sitting her O-level exams. That balmy June, as her friends sweated it out in a hot exam room, the Whitley Whiff getting right up their noses, Jasmine spent a couple of weeks sitting on a beach in Spain, getting chatted up by tight-trousered waiters and puking over hotel balconies.

While everybody got their exam results in August with the usual passes, fails and screaming ab-dabs from the parents (these were back in the days where kids actually failed exams, even if they remembered to show up), Jasmine got a computer-generated sheet of paper with a list of subjects, each marked with the three letters "Abs" - Absent.

With no formal qualifications, Jas went out and took a course at the South Reading Polytechnic of Duckin' and Divin' (now the Thames Valley University of Geezer).

Most people would just shrug and go get a job stacking shelves in Tescos. Not our Jas. She applied for a job in a large High Street bank. A job of stature, one that needed qualifications. Qualifications in subjects she had pointedly avoided in the name of a rather stylish tan. She got the job, and now manages a branch of said large High Street branch in a location I am sworn never to divulge.

Jasmine, you see, the night before her big interview with said large High Street bank, spent a rather profitable evening making a few subtle changes to her computer-generated exam board letter of woe. The dot-matrix printed Abs-for-Absents were gently scraped away, leaving ten straight A grades, and an exciting career in banking beckoned.

I bet she even asked the two magic questions "How much money do I get?" and "How much sick leave can I have?" in the interview.

I don't know why I bother. Twenty years later, I am now more-or-less in the career I want to be in, and just a year away from getting the (Open University) degree I was more than capable of achieving had I not been such a lazy bastard. And to think that a bit of Tipp-ex would have seen me in Downing Street by now.

Edit-me-up: Yay! I rule teh internets, again.

Edit-sir?: The dream towel has arrived. Thank you to those who contributed to the towel fund.

Edit-me-do: My hit counter will reach 400,000 today or tomorrow. Will it be you? Hit F5 (repeatedly) to find out!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Exam woe / Vote-o hell

Well nail me to a tree and call me Messiah - is it Thursday already?

You know the form by now. Stories. Choose.

Duke of Kent - "A bath full of Um Bongo, you say? How extraordinary!"
Octopus - "It was at the precise moment that Barbara Windsor caught him in the small of the back with a punnet of raspberries"
Exams - "Build a bridge? At this hour? You can't get the wood, you know"
Diet Club - "As the bottle of baby oil slipped from his hands and landed at matron's feet, he knew he was in for a rough night."
Yvette - "'Je t'aime! Je't'aime!' she cried in ecstasy, and as she bestowed the Order of the British Empire upon the errant sailor"

Vote me up, sir!

S Duck, BSc (almost)

Who says exams have been dumbed down? This week, I sat a rigourous* three hour examination for my Open University degree course in Democracy.

I was expected to recall facts on historical models of democracy; the writings of Plato, Wollstonecraft and Marx; structural theories of democratisation and their application in a globalising, corporatist world.

So, I turned up on time, sat at my designated desk in the Rembrandt Hotel in Weymouth and filled out the forms awaiting me. Fellow examinees shuffled spare pens, snacks, lucky gonks as I cracked my knuckles.


I turned over my question paper and read:

One question: "Draw a big picture of a penguin. Extra credit will be given for style control, damage and aggression."


Pity, though, the poor guy taking the maths test who was clearly struggling in his quest to construct an unspecified farm animal out of various root vegetables and cocktail sticks. More fool him for taking the smart-arse course.

* I could have been a judge you know, but I didn't have the Latin.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Hello! Goodbye!

Hello! Goodbye!

One of the defining moments of modern culture occured in the midst of ITV's otherwise execrable "I'm a celebrity get me out of here" in an exchange between two C-List celebrities trading their dignity for another fifteen minutes in the spotlight.

"So," asked one of the C-Listers* as a nation watched agog, "What exactly do you do?"

Tara Palmer-Tompkinson said nothing. Stripped of her humanity, she sat there, stunned, and presently slipped away for a bit of a cry.

And that, I'm afraid, is what we get from a society that rewards mediocrity, celebrates the victory of style over content while a jealous press mercilessly attacks anyone and anything that might be of any worth.

For example, let us examine the candidates for Britain's "first couple" in this shallow, shallow land of red-top newspapers:

+ HRH and Prince Philip - too old, too royal
+ Tony and Cherie - too smug, too middle class
+ Madonna and Guy - too last year, too mad
+ Posh and Becks - living in temporary exile, on the downward swing of build-em-up-knock-em-down**

That leaves us, alas, with Peter Andre and Jordan, two partially clothed icons of chavdom with plastic chests for whom the words "media whore" were never more appropriate.

In this - dare I say it - here today, gone tomorrow world, one can only hope that they'll go away as soon as OK! magazine loses interest and finds someone equally vacuous for the supermarket checkout impulse buyer. After all, they've got to clear the boards to build up and demolish the victims of X-Factor. Can you remember anything about the last winners of Big Brother, Pop Idol, Fame Academy? Do you even care?

We could console ourselves with the fact that the merry-go-round keeps the Sunday supplements and TV Quick in business and gives the chattering classes something to chatter about. I'd much rather celebrate people who have actually done something worthwhile rather than waste precious seconds of my life reading about what Wayne Rooney's minger of a girlfriend buys in Lidl.

If I was in charge of celebrity, fashion and trend-setting, I'd go out of my way to ensure that our nation's attention-grabbers look as ridiculous as possible. For example: fake sun tans that leave the victime resemblinga lobster auditioning for the Balck and White Minstrel Show; tops that are six inches too short, pleated mini skirts as endorsed by Hot Gossip in 1979 all topped off with furry moon boots, 50p a dozen in Help the Aged. I would call it the "Jesus on a Moped, don't you look stupid" look.

- Glances out of window -

Ah. Beaten to it.

*Such is the nature of celebrity, I can't even picture who this person is, let alone know where they're doing panto this year.
** "Hello! Exclusive!! David and Victoria show us their newly refurbished downstairs loo" Is there no part of the Beckham household that hasn't been photographed (apart from the bulging library)?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Wanky Website Awards

The Wanky Website Awards 2004

The internet is now more than a few years old, and there are any number of easy-to-use packages that allow even the most fuckwitted of users to knock out a website without too much trouble. So, why then, are there still so many websites that look like they've been slapped together by David Blunkett Web Design Services?

Animated gifs.
Scrolling messages
Hideous backgrounds and uncropped 800kB images
Green text on a blue background *cough*
More pointless banner ads than you can shake a shitty stick at
Brazen attempts to fit a site's entire content on one page
Dodgy awards *double cough*

It must stop. Now.

The time has come to do something about this menace to society. These websites must be named and shamed for the good of the Internet.

Aaaaaargh! - If you're in two minds about taking a holiday in Dorset, then this page is exactly what you need to put you right off. Designed by Anna Ryder-Richardson's colourblind, brain damaged evil twin, this, according to a web-designing acquiantance is "crapper than crap. If crap was a Mercedes, this would be a Ford Capri." Check out the awards page. They've got awards. "Best viewed on 1024x768" because they can't imagine that people use anything else. Still, consider yourselves lucky 800x600 users, you ARE saved the full horror.

But I take your go2morrow dot com and raise you Miss Sarah Jane Newbury - career virgin. "There is music on every page of this web site so please switch your speakers on" - the words "bunny" and "boiler" immediately spring to mind, as do "fucking", "dog's" and "dinner". I would like to point out at this juncture that I have never slandered her. My defence shall be the casual observation of the bleedin' obvious.

Your contributions warmly received.

Monday, October 11, 2004

A preventable tragedy

A preventable tragedy

Alas, poor Kenneth, we hardly knew ye.

One man's life, a tragedy on a national scale, and whatever the rights and wrongs of his presence in Baghdad, we should be rightly sad, not just for him, but for his family who have taken his death at the hands of brutal murderers with a rare dignity.

But his tragedy is just one of thousands. Over a thousand allied servicemen killed, thousands injured. At least 13,000 civilians dead - probably more whose deaths will never be reported.

Bigley's death was entirely preventable - if Kerry's notion of "smart diplomacy" had been used instead of the Bush/Blair sledgehammer, there would have been no war, no endless family tragedies, none of which warranting even a single column inch in our newspapers.

With the case for war against Iraq more or less demolished by recent events, we are now left with the one, final war aim as constantly trotted out by Bush and his lapdog Blair: "We got rid of Saddam Hussein". And with cluster bombs dropped on residential areas in recent weeks, we need to ask - who, exactly, are the criminals?

The Charter of the United Nations is pretty damn clear about this kind of thing:

Chapter I, Article 2.1 The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members

2.3 All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

2.4 All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

2.7 Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

(Chapter VII, Article 39 allows for war if actions within domestic juridiction threaten international peace and security)

In other words, all states and their governments are sovereign. No matter how obnoxious they are (and Saddam was a premier league bad guy), unless he was threatening international security by his actions, it is ILLEGAL to invade a country in order to affect regime change.

Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, and had no means to build such weapons. Iraq had no links with international terrorism, specifically Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden (although, ironically, go for a walk in post-"liberation" Baghdad, and you'll find terrorists in the turn-ups of your trousers). Any threat Iraq posed to the region has been effectively stifled by post-1991 sanctions, arms embargoes and no-fly zones.

If the US/UK-led invasion was based on faulty intelligence then they are damned for making one of the great blunders of modern history.

If the invasion was based on intelligence they knew to be false, then they are doubly damned for knowingly unleashing the carnage that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians.

If the sole aim was to remove Saddam, then they are damned by the very laws and freedoms they claim to uphold.

The world is now a more dangerous place than when this so-called "war of freedom" started. The very people America claims to have liberated see nothing but the the results of US hegemony. George Bush claims he is working in to uphold the rule of law for peace-loving states (UN Chapter II, Article 4).

It's just a shame he's broken the very laws to which he pays such moving lip-service. A crime, even.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Presto - Supermarket woe

Another week, another skint student. I got fifteen pounds a month to keep myself in beer and porn, and even at 1980s prices this lasted no more than a couple of minutes. Something had to be done to maintain the increasingly large luxury gap.

I got myself a weekend job working in a supermarket. I'd leave college on a Friday, work the evening and the whole of Saturday for slave wages at Presto's in Reading - a supermarket chain that has since disappeared, and for good reason. They were shite.

The manager, Mr Norton, drove a pink Reliant Robin, and looked like he had eaten the entire stock. The only reason the place hadn't closed years before was that it was the refuelling stop for all of Reading's winos, and their own-brand cider was the biggest selling line.

Not exactly my career of choice, but in order to keep myself in beer and pornography, whilst simultaneously failing to turn up for lectures, it was my only thing I could do. Three quid a week for a paper round was never going to hack it, and after asking all the record shops and WH Smiths if they had any Saturday jobs, it was the supermarket or nothing.

This was a lie - I was offered a job in a bed shop, mainly because I liked the idea of lying around on the job. However, the owner refused to pay me more than two quid an hour, and even I had standards.

As the token student, I was made to do all the shitty jobs, like stack the washing powder, getting rid of the dead things from the stock room and taking the girl from the deli to hospital when she cut her finger off in the meat slicer. Which was a shame, because I fancied her rotten, but was rather put off by having to lug around the spare digit between two bags of frozen peas.

But there was one job I hated. As a matter of fact, everybody in the entire store hated it, which was why I, the token student was made to do it all the time: collect the trollies.

The customers, as a whole, were lazy bastards. They would do their shopping, take it back to their car in the multi-storey next door, and leave the trolley where it stood, miles from home. Some would even do their shopping, and take the trolley home with them, leaving them out for the council dustmen, who operated a Return-A-Trolley service for the local stores, at fifty quid a trolley.

So, with all the trollies sitting in some council depot, and the company too tight to go out and pay the ransom or buy some more, it was my task to stalk shoppers back to their cars and get them back to the shop before they ran out completely.

It was almost exactly like a computer game. Get the trollies from the multi-storey and bring them back before the shop ran out and Mr Norton got you. You had to avoid winos, tramps, mentallists, people driving straight at you for a laugh in the car park, and worst of all, the homosexual advances of the Sainsbury's trolley boy.

The lifts reeked of urine, and hideous dark corners smelled of vomit and far, far worse. And like all good computer games, there were secret levels - the underground car park next door, the bus depot, and a frightening dark passage leading to the railway station that always had one, lone trolley right at the other end.

Anyone would have thought I hated it. I did, with a venom. But jobs were hard to come by, and one of my college mates was earning a whole £1.10 an hour at Asda, where the entire staff was searched on the way out of an evening. But there were advantages. You could, of a Friday evening, when things were a bit quiet, go up to Level 10 of the car park and watch the world go by a hundred feet below you. On the darker evenings, you could also watch the the cleaners and late workers in the office block opposite, emptying bins, or catching up on their work.

What I didn't expect to see was one office worker disturbed at his desk by a female cleaner, a long conversation with exaggerated body language, followed by a prolonged bout of what can only be described as "energetic how's-your-father" across his desk. They ran out of trolleys that night, and I caught hell from Mr Norton.

Glowing from my Friday night voyeurism, I told the entire Saturday staff of my adventure, and the whole lot of them volunteered for trolley duty. But no, Norton, the pie-eating bastard, determined to get his own back for Friday's lack of trolleys, sent me out for an entire day with the town's low-life, wearing a wanky blue nylon jacket that only supermarket employees ever get to wear. I "lost" my name tag at the first possible opportunity.

Out into the carpark I strode, and spent the best part of an hour looking for nudity and finding none. Instead, I found several unconcious winos and three trolleys, two of which belonged to Sainsbury's, which I hid. Then back to the supermarket with my spoils.

"Hold the lift please!"

I pressed the "Door open" button and a not unattractive older woman bounded in between me and my prize trolley. Up close, to be honest, the full horror struck home. That wasn't attractive, it was all the make up in the world, and possibly a couple of bulldog clips round the back holding it all in place. But virgins can't be choosers, and my eyes were drawn to the heaving mass of cleavage straining under a tight, white blouse. Benny Hill ran around my head shouting "Knickers! Knackers! Knockers!" while the voice of reason asked me if she was out spending her pension.

Perhaps it was the rotating swonnicles that did it, or the accumulated years of tramps pissing in the lift car that buggered up the mechanism, but halfway down, the lift ground to a jarring halt, and my fellow prisoner wobbled impressively.

"Oh," I said.

"Oh," she said, keeping a brave face on things.

I pressed the emergency button. Somewhere, floors below, a bell rang.

"I hope they don't take too long," I said, trying to make conversation.

"People will start talking - young man like you stuck with an attractive woman like me."

Oh. God.

"HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!" I screamed. Except it came out like this:


Then, running a hand provocatively across her chest and down her thigh, she said the words that launched a thousand scud movies, and I knew I was doomed:

“Oh, it’s so hot in here.”

I prayed. Pleaseletmeoutofhere. Pleaseletmeoutofhere. Pleaseletmeoutofhere. Pleaseletmeoutofhere. I'll do anything, I'll dump the jazz mags, never look at another woman again. Please God, GET ME AWAY FROM THIS FOUL SUCCUBUS!

One of the buttons on her blouse was undone, revealing a cleavage that would have experienced potholders in trouble. The waft of stale tramps' urine made me gag, the nylon supermarket jacket had me boiling like a kipper, as she edged towards me.


The lift started again, moved about six inches and the door opened to reveal half of Berkshire Fire Brigade, dozens of annoyed shoppers and Mr Norton, glaring at me as if it were all my fault.

The temptress spoke.

"Can I have this trolley then?"

I fled, screaming for mercy, finding none.

I had a classmate who had a job in Burger King. Burger King! The lucky, lucky bastard.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Thursday vote-o: the truth at last

The Thursday vote-o: the truth at last

So, Thursday comes round again, and there you are, in from of your computers, expecting me to come up with a selection of stories for your voting delight.

Alas, this list does not contain the legendary tale of mirth and woe named "Lemon", simply because it has not yet been written, and because it involves a certain amount of embarrassment for both myself and a regular reader of this page *cough* Balders *cough*. Feast your eyes, me lovlies, on this collection of literary gems:

* Duke of Kent, in which your hero taps HRH for a pair of Cup Final tickets - with hilarious results!
* Presto, in which your hero pays the price for a teenage pornography habit - with hilarious results!
* Octopus, in which your hero can't remember what the hell this story is about** - with hilarious results!
* Exams, in which your hero discovers how to get ahead in life with the minimum of effort - with hilarious results!
* Diet Club, in which your hero goes on a diet, yet remains a famous fat bastard - with hilarious results!
* Yvette, in which your hero ends up getting married to someone not called Yvette - with hilarious results!

The Buy-Scaryduck-a-new-towel Appeal is coming on very nicely, thank you very much Lori. Total raised so far: 5.00. Did I mention I'll probably be using this item as my main place of abode by the end of this month?

** Fear not, it's vomit.

These hostages in Iraq...

How come they always seem to appear on "Islamist Message Boards"?

Are they anything like the ones I hang about on? We sent our heavily-disguised researchers out to find out. With depressing results:

"OMFG! We totally pwn3d the Yank33 1nf1dels!!!111one!!!"

*link sending noobs to goatse*

"U R teh GAY and Yr mom blowz camel3! LOL!"

*random Monty Python quote and a million pictures of a kitten*

The internet is doomed.

While you're still here

I command you to visit the weblog of Twenty Major, it rules TEH INTARNET!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Non-hoopy towel woe

Non-hoopy towel woe

The new series of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy currently on Radio4 has launched me into a frenzy of activity. Not only am I once more obsessed with the creation of the perfect cup of tea - which Douglas Adams, God rest his soul, was the first to theorise is impossible once the ingredients are removed from the British Isles - but I am also engaged in a study of Bistromatics which has seen my weight go through the roof in my quest to prove Craddock's Trans-dimensional Plum Duff Theory of Vectored Dried Fruit.

The one thing that has really taken over my life, though, is my urgent need for a new towel, the most basic tool for any Hitchhiker. My current towel is a disgrace, and with all our local shops now selling nothing but shoes, getting a new one is tougher that Jeremy Clarkson's skull.

I have a desperate need for a replacement - it is far too small, there are threads hanging out everywhere, and it possesses all the nutritional value of a McD's Happy Meal. This is not good. It's only saving grace is its calming shade of dark green, handy if I need to camouflage a very small part of my body.

I need a towel now - preferably M&S, but Debenham's will do at a push, as the Interstellar by-pass is due any day now. Your gift of love will be greatly appreciated, seconds before it is pissed up the wall on bathroom consumables.

The Buy-Scaryduck-a-new-towel Appeal grand total to date: 0.00

Whose duck is it anyway?

Yesterday saw my participation in a work-sponsored comedy workshop. I am now world famous in my place of work, after taking part in genuine improv comedy with a genuine Comedy Store Improv Comedian, who I accused of "staring at my bra".

Neil Mullarkey: What's in your fridge?
Unimaginative collegues: Milk! Food! Nothing!
Me: Half a Jehovah's Witness.
Mullarkey: Where's the other half?
Me: Did you eat in our staff canteen today?

I aim to use these l33t comedy skills in my everyday work. Somehow.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Reverse Midas Illustrated

The Reverse Midas Illustrated

Johnny Vaughan. Once upon a time he represented lads' humour, was cocky, mouthy, and had one hell of a double act going with Ms van Outen on the Big Breakfast. He was gold, a real star of radio and TV whose off-the-cuff humour was well suitedto an early-morning slot on Channel Four. Then he, suddenly, and inexplicably, turned to shit.

Maybe it was killing the golden goose of the Big Breakfast. Maybe it was the collapse of the Lads' mag market. Or maybe he's just turned to shit. Everything he's done in the last few years has been cursed with the reverse Midas toch. Everything he's been involved with has gone down like a pork roast at a Bar Mitzvah. Unfunny chat shows, dreadful star-vehicle game shows. He's on a licence-to-print-money contract, and no bugger knows what to do with him (see also Graham Norton).

If you live in the London area, you may have seen the TV adverts for his breakfast radio show on Capital FM. Yes, despite his everything-he-touches-turns-to-shit reputation and a gor-blimey-guvnor act that he hasn't changed since day one, confused media bosses continue to throw money at him in the hope that Johnny'll turn out good again.

The TV advert, then, involves Mr Vaughan singing and dancing to "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner" in the cheesiest manner possible in front of several of the capital's tourist traps. I am pretty sure (though not 100 per cent certain) that at one stage there are comely young ladies prancing about in sexy beefeater outfits and City Gents doing unfortunate things with bowler hats. Johnny does that cringeworthy hand-shaking, high-kicking dance that only the truly untalented and care in the community victims can do, and the whole thing is more frightening than Ann Widdecombe coming after you with a basket of king-sized sex aids.

It is, almost certainly, the most embarrassing thing I have seen on television for many a year, and the sound of nails being hammered into the coffin of a once promising career.

Johnny: take a year or so off. Go on a nice long cruise and write a book. Or pretend to write a book and get someone with talent to ghost it for you. Then come back, nice and refreshed with a few new ideas straight out of Roger Mellie's top drawer. Stardom beckons on Sky One, if only you stop trying to entertain the Sun readers. They don't need entertaining - heaven knows they've got enough tits as it is.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Baghdad Hilton

Baghdad Hilton

Did anyone see Terry Waite talking about the Iraq hostage crisis on Newsnight the other night? It's just "Me, me, me" with some people.

Waite: "The lucky, lucky bastard! Chained to a radiator, eh? Orange jumpsuit, eh? That's bloody favouritism, that is. I used to dream of being chained to a radiator. Four years in the room the size of a fridge, and they only hung me the right way up yesterday. Bloody jailer's pet!"
Jeremy Paxman: "Shut up."

Waite: "I used to hang there at night, wishing somebody would, just once, spit in my face and chop my head clean off my shoulders. But no, here he comes without a by-your-leave, and they chain him to a bloody radiator. They must think the sun shines out of his arse!"
Paxman: "Well the Archbishop of Canturbury was well shot of you, wasn't he?"

Waite: "Nice one Centurion! Like it, like it!"
Paxman: "SHUT UP!"
Waite: "Terrific race, the Arabs, terrific."

A question of etiquette

Dear Deirdre

When writing a reference for a tradesman, should one asterisk out the profanities or leave them in? The useless ****ing ****.


******* of Weymouth

Ah yes, your service industry tales of woe, if you please.

Friday, October 01, 2004



Oh cruel fate, why do you taunt me so?

Have you ever have one of those unlucky days where absolutely nothing goes right for you? Fall out of bed to be attacked by killer spiders in the shower, breakfast a bowl of dry corn flakes because the milk's gone green overnight, and trudge to work in the pouring rain, only for a car to get you by driving through a puddle just ten yards from the door. I do, all too frequently, and I blame it totally on the time I told Uri Geller to fuck off.

This was the day that I walked into a lamp post in full view of a bus load of school kids, and worse, in the company of a female work colleague who thought it was the funniest thing she had ever seen, and told me so in no uncertain terms. All I really needed, then, was for something truly unlikely to happen to me, like shitting on my own head, for example.

Lunch on this fateful day was chicken-flavoured grease and cardboard, a tribute to the chef's art of throwing random ingredients in the pot and heating it up until smoke came out. Like a damn fool, and still smarting from my puddle, spider and lamp post disasters, I found myself shelling out good money for this on the grounds that "you don't know where your next meal is coming from, chummy."

It tasted like it looked, and actually tried to make its own way back to the kitchen at one stage. So revolted was I by this crime against the culinary arts, I immediately dashed to the Gents, bent double, where I let fly with a brown laser of a turd that closely resembled a tin of oxtail soup with a dead rat in it. It stunk to high heaven - how unlucky could my day get? Answer: shitloads.

Still a bit queasy, I bent over to pull up my pants. As little white dots danced before my eyes, and a distant voice told me to "move toward the light", I lost balance and grabbed the first thing I could to prevent me from falling head first into the heaving brown mess in the toilet bowl. It was the toilet flush handle.

Alas, dear reader, the toilets at my place of work are nuclear powered, and so violent was the torrent, that I was caught full in the face with stinking brown splashback from a range of no more than twelve inches.

I staggered around the cubicle in the final death throes of the Wicked Witch of the West, if she had her pants round her ankles and Dorothy had shat on her head. With the stench of crap now on a direct line to my brain, the final act of this story was not far away.

"Yaaaarch!" I shouted, "Roooolf!"

Chicken-flavoured grease and cardboard vomit cascaded into the bowl, around the bowl, and I'm not ashamed to admit, nowhere near the bowl.

"Yaaaarch!" I shouted again, just for good measure. Somebody a couple of cubicles along shouted for me to keep the noise down, as they'd reached a vital stage in their crossword puzzle.


Finally managing to get myself looking at least halfway decent, I staggered out of the cubicle and examined myself in the mirror. My brand new shirt (four quid, Homme at Primark) speckled with shit and puke. I was a distinctly brown hue, and looked like I'd been mud wrestling with Kirstie Allsopp, which, in retrospect would have really rounded off a truly awful day.

Cleaning myself up, I finally managed to find my desk, and slumped into my chair, a defeated man. Slowly but surely, the gas hiss out of the seat's hydraulic system, leaving me six inches off the floor. Fantastic. Shouty Kev peered down at me over my terminal.

"D'you recommend anything in the canteen?" he shouted.

"Chicken," I replied, determined not to be the only one visiting Shit City that day, "Have the chicken."