Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Scaryduck's Top Tips

Scaryduck's Top Tips

Things you don't want to see the insides of

i) Yourself. If you are seeing your insides, it is usually a sign that something has gone seriously wrong. Try to avoid this scenario if at all possible.

Also, if you are seeing the insides of something you don't normally see the outside of (eg, your liver, kidney or your bottom), you may safely assume that you are having the Worst Day Ever, or are starring in a re-make of Inner Space. Or a Sven Hassel book.

Top Tip: Rotating knives = bad, as a rule.

ii) Your local pizza takeaway. Pizza should only be ordered by phone. That way you can preserve the mental image that "Dinos Pizza and Kebab's" resembles, and has similar hygiene standards to, the Pizza Huts of this world.

On no account should you go out of your way to drive past this establishment – no matter how glossy the menu that was thrust through your door by persons unseen – to "check them out". If you are ever told that the delivery driver is off sick, you would be best advised to sink as low as Pot Noodle rather than offer to pick up your 12-inch Hawaiian with extra sausage yourself.

In the great scheme of things, random pizza takeaways rank somewhere between taxi offices and a Casualty Unit waiting room on a Friday night as undesirable places to find yourself. On the plus side, you may discover, exactly why the delivery driver has gone home sick. You may also recognise the pizza chef from his glory days as TV's Skeletor.

Top Tip: If you can see your meal being prepared – flee.

iii) Vending machines. This is ground that I've been over before, and these days, even the simplest of devices delivering powdered crap and warm water into a plastic cup looks like the inside of an ebola-infested dalek when the service engineer comes to call. Why do you think the he has so much protective clothing?

Top Tip: Don't have the soup. You know how posh people say the contents of teabags are the factory floor sweepings…?

iv) Your car. Gone are the days when you could flip the bonnet open, fit a new alternator, replace the oil sump and tune your motor to race standards on a Sunday morning with parts you liberated from the local tip and an oil-smudged Haynes manual. My Austin Allegro ran perfectly well for several years with vital parts sourced from a lawn mower. Indeed, there was a marked improvement in performance, and no, I'm not making this up.

These days, the engine compartment is filled-to-bursting with a terrifying maze of tubes, wire, shiny metal alloys and alien technology sourced from the Roswell crash. You can just about be trusted to check the oil and fill the windscreen washer without invalidating the warranty – anything else involves tools that have not yet been invented and require an anatomy not of this planet to see into whichever parallel dimension they've hidden the spark plugs.

Top Tip: Walk, or get an Austin Allegro. All much the same, really.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

As seen on Al Jazeera

As seen on Al Jazeera

I was on the telly last night. Al chuffin' Jazeera, no less.

So, last night to That There London in my capacity as cardboard-and-string flavoured boy journalist, where I was to cover a press event on the subject of a leaked British Government memo, in which the President of the United States reveals plans to attack a civilian television station on the sovereign territory of a friendly government.

He is, of course, utterly bonkers.

The whole report over here.

London: Love/Hate

I love London. I hate London.

I love the Tube. I hate the Tube.

I love the streets, the bustle, the shops, the flow of the people like a tide.

But I also hate the streets, (some of) the people, brutal elbowing, no-time-of-day, the fight-fight-fight, I don't want your sodding leaflet, your golf sale, your all-you-can-eat botulism buffet o' doom, and I am both a sinner and a winner. No, take that back, I love Sinner-or-winner Man.

I love the Thames, the glance of the river of sanity between the madness of the concrete buildings, people on boats getting there faster than on buses, but knowing full well you've got to get out and walk soon.

I hate it, but I was born there, and still I go back.

On the official Duckworth-Lewis scale of rating stuff, yesterday's London trip scored 9/20 - Cherie Blair with a strap-on. The free half-way decent umbrella given away with the immediately-binned Evening Standard, and the fact that no public transport was involved was offset rather cruelly by having to eat at Garfunkel's. Again.

On second thoughts, better make that 6/20 - The Princess Anne unnamed many-tentacled woe.

God, I hate London.

Monday, November 28, 2005

RLI: Real Life Interface

RLI: Real Life Interface

In which the author encourages you to switch off your computer, do stuff and win other, real life, stuff.

I spend far too much time on the internet, and it’s a fair assumption that you do as well. It’s not healthy, and can only lead to a pasty complexion, a withered body and a right arm like Popeye. Time, then, to switch off your computer and go and do something more interesting instead.

And this is my plan. Operation RLI: Real Life Interface. A plan to cause panic, confusion and general running amok the length and breadth of the country. And abroad, as well, if we can help it.

Your town almost certainly has a local newspaper. And this newspaper almost certainly has a letter page. Most of these are screaming out for content that hasn’t been written in crayon or on the back of a beer-mat by the local nutter, and will publish virtually anything with a local angle. Try it yourself. It’s fun.

Actually, I do want you to try it yourself. Write letters to your local paper, the more outrageous the better. When they publish it, send me a scan, or a link if they are mental enough to publish it online, and I’ll put it on a special page I have planned just for the event. You will most likely have to use your own name and address – they check, y’know – but you can ask for an alias. Check their terms and conditions, but don’t be put off by bored sub-editors making it up as they go along. Local rags will kill for decent letters page content - give them what they want.

Extra credit for:

* Bizarre subject matter
* A poem, in the style of an aggrieved pensioner
* Prominent placing on the letters page
* Tying a local issue to an international story in the most tenuous manner possible
* Starting a letter with “So…” or “Why oh why oh why…”
* “I am researching a book on …. and I wonder if anyone in the area can help me” (particularly good for newspapers outside your area)
* Winning genuine cash money for “Letter of the Week”
* The words "mirth" and "woe"
* Getting an editorial reply, or better still…
* Starting a local controversy

I’ve found it’s the simple stuff that really sets the ball rolling, such as inconsiderate dog owners, or car/cycle/pedestrian arguments. If you’re good, you can fill the page for days, stoking the fires by insisting on a right to reply.

Did I say prizes? Oh yeah – prizes for the best ones. No closing date – let’s look at this as a long-term project of mirth and woe. Like Fight Club, only without the fighting.

You’ve got your work cut out to beat our local champion. This week’s controversy saw a superbly crafted piece of lunacy imploring the immediate evacuation of Weymouth and surrounding villages all the way inland to Dorchester “in case of a Tsunami which could kill us all”. Genius.

Here's one we made earlier. See? They'll print any old rubbish, redeemed by a superb Thin Lizzy reference in the title.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Gullible Twat

Gullible Twat

The BBC Model B Micro-computer. Thirty-two kilobytes of raw, naked computing power. In the right hands, it became a valuable educational tool readying youngsters such as myself for a future in the burgeoning IT industries. In the wrong hands, used solely for the running of Samantha Fox Strip Poker and the authoring of shit-hot lesbian pornography. Like myself, too, is it happens.

Being of limited means, however, I found my Saturday job at Prestos supermarket and wine shop – the choice of the discerning wino – didn't quite stretch to getting hold of the latest releases for the Beeb, and with a disc drive prohibitively expensive, anything on cutting-edge cassette technology was gratefully snapped up.

So, when I was told there was a hidden all-formats computer game embedded in the 12" version of Dead or Alive's "You Spin me Round (Like A Record)" which you could play into your computer, I was in there like a teenager with a surprisingly large record collection.

The game was, I read, a hilarious role-player based around the adventures of our favourite eye-patched gender-bending chart-toppers. This new technology was really working, so I thought.

I knew exactly where to find such a disc, because I had recently bought it, not fully appreciating that it was, in fact, as camp as tits. In fact, I had recently spent a rather enjoyable evening at a certain low-quality Bracknell nightclub frugging away like a bucket of soapy eels to said track on several occasions, not realising the relatively low male-to-female ratio on the dance floor at the time. I had failed to pull, so once again, I went home and pulled myself*. But then I still thought Frankie Goes to Hollywood were as straight as a die. Oh Holly…

Anyhoo, back to the gayness, and with the help of a few leads I had lying about the house, thanks, in the main, to a brief flirtation with a world of geekery, I rigged up the output from my radiogram (oh yes, it was that long ago), and played the red hot Hi-NRG classic into my BBC Micro, a brand new cassette inserted firmly yet lovingly into the drive to save the results. It sat there, cursor blinking back at me on the CHAIN"" command. Not a sausage.

“Try turning the volume up,” said Nigel.

“Try it with less bass.”

“Try it on 33rpm.”

That's when the complaints from downstairs started.

But still - bugger all, and it looked like I wasn't going to get my free computer game after all.

My plans unravelling like a Chelsea Belgian bun, it would have been enough force any young man to don women's clothing and run amok after Margaret Thatcher with his dad's second best chainsaw. Instead, I turned to my friends.

So, I took it round to my mate Matt's house because he had a C-64, and we both thought, that despite promises, I might just have been playing it into the wrong format. We also new some poor bastard with a ZX Spectrum, and any I/O port in a storm, as it were (See? I made a geek funny).

I was only on the twentieth attempt that I remembered where I had seen this vital tip-off, and legged it back to my bedroom to see where I was going wrong. It was a copy of the late, lamented Record Mirror. A copy of Record Mirror dated… April 1st 1984.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

Gullible Twat.

Of course, fact is stranger than fiction, and I have found, in researching this piece that several pop acts in the 1980s really did put out computer games as extra tracks on their vinyl releases! That’s where we were going wrong – I didn’t have a Speccy, nor a love for the Thompson Twins or Shakin' Stevens. Lucky escape, then.

* Copyright Spike Milligan, mayherestinpeace

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Bestest Present Ever

The Bestest Present Ever

Yesterday, the lovely Mrs Duck gave me The Bestest Present Ever. My very own chainsaw. It's lovely, buzzy and very, very sharp. On the down side, it is electrical, which gives you a limited range if you wish to run amok.

Currently, my running amok range is about ten metres, plus the length of any extension lead I may have lying around. Still, it's the thought that counts, and just as soon as I've thrown off the dreaded lurgi, I shall be out there, amok on the streets of Weymouth with my new friend, Doctor Teeth.

She loves me. She really, really loves me.

"Greetings, potential victim and meat supply. You don't happen to have access to a nearby 13-Amp power supply? I've got an RCD device an' everything."
"Wha? Why?"
"Um... no reason."

Can't be bothered with much of a vote-o this week (lurgi) so you have the following:

*Gullible Twat: "In which your author cannot think of anything witty or outrageous to type here."

Tell you what, YOU think of something, and I'll shoe-horn it in to the story. Ah, just like the old days.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

We are, I hope, all intelligent adults here. It’s not all bodily functions and swearing, and to prove it, I hope to lead a discussion on that deepest of philosophical questions: “What is the Meaning of Life?”

The great philosopher B. Forsyth tells us: “Life: It's the name of the game.” But is it?

Now, I know, without the threat of extreme genital torture, some clever bastard’s going to pop up and say “Ha ha – it’s 42, isn’t it? Ha ha – just like in the book with the depressed robot and the fella with the dressing gown. AND they got the question wrong. Ha. I preferred the film version.”

This is not the Meaning of Life, people, and I vow extreme genital torture on anyone who suggests otherwise.

So, where were we? Yes – complex philosophical, theological and existential discussion on how – and why- we are here on this insignificant planet in a brain-meltingly large universe. It is a question that has defeated the greatest minds our civilizations have produced, and to put and end to all this waste of brain cells, we’re not going to leave today until we’ve got an answer.

After years of personal research, I have come up with two suggestions to lead this discussion off.

Firstly, the words of the great American thinker and dead president Abraham Lincoln, at his last personal appearance in San Dimas, California: “Be most excellent to each other, and party on dudes!”

Deep, meaningful words from a great, great lover of the theatre, I’m sure you’ll agree, and a fine way to live your life.

However, regular Scaryduck reader Ricardipus reminds us there are more important things in life than slacking off and partying: “When the going gets tough, the tough play bongos.”

Bongo playing – an allegory for the human condition, combining anarchy with the self-discipline of rhythm and getting away with the easy option for as long as possible. That’s a bit more like it, but still lacks an all-embracing definition for the complex reasoning behind our very existence.

Then, examining unpublished notebooks from the current Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, we found a page dismissing the works of Albert Einstein as a “nebulous fiction” with the following words written in a shaking hand in the margin:

“THE MEANING OF LIFE: There is one simple step to nirvana. Masturbate as much as you can in one month, then try to beat that figure,” followed by “167!!! Beat THAT Newton!!!”, circled three times.

Stephen Hawking: we salute you. No wonder you’re always smiling.

As the web is as close as we're ever going to get to the infinite monkeys thing (present company excepted, of course), the answer must be on these internets somewhere.

Other suggestions I have already received, hawking my theories round the Think Tanks of Europe:

* “Sticking my willy in things whilst drunk.”
* “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.” (I like this one).
* Pot as many balls as you can” (From the ‘Big Break’ school of thinking. Unfortunately these theories have been thoroughly discredited, as any form of life that revolves around the involvement of Jim Davidson is, frankly, not worth living.

Meaning of Life. Any ideas? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

“I am so excited by this, I cannot wash.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sgt Rock

Sgt Rock

“…is going to help me …win my own small battle of the sexes”

I’m happily married, as I’m sure you all know by know. Fourteen years, and she’s only ever tried to kill me the once. An attempt on my life which was, in retrospect, thoroughly deserved. After this rather unpleasant end-of-the-century upheaval, I’d like things to remain, on the whole, happy. But – something’s got to be said, and I’m going to say it here and now.

The House Rules are killing me.

Not the normal house rules, such as remembering not to tread dog poo into the carpet, and wiping the skids from the bowl. Those are, I’m sure you’ll agree, part and parcel of any domestic arrangement. It’s the other house rules. I’m not criticising the lovely Mrs Duck here, but you know the ones – the ones they make up as they go along.

When a new household rule comes into force (usually as a result of something heinous I’ve done), I no longer argue, I keep my head down and accept it, even if it utterly contradicts all the other house rules that have gone before. As our American friends say: “Suck it up.”

Rule 3,074: “Don’t wee in the toilet, you’ll stain it” – a bridge too far for my brittle sanity. The strict enforcement of rule 3,074 led to the return of one of the older house rules - Rule 37: “Don’t piss out of the window”, not to mention the drafting of new proposals regarding the proper use of wash basins, empty beer bottles and the watering of the garden.

I have decided to risk the wrath of my beloved and start writing these down.

No good will come of this.

“Don’t wipe your feet there - I’ve just hoovered the doormats.”

“Don’t mix your smelly laundry with mine – you’ll make it dirty.”

This is just the start...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Duck in Tunis II

Duck in Tunis II

Friday: Another day of relentless note-taking, filing, writing and filing until finally collapsing with exhaustion at the end of it all.

The Summit wrapped up with an utterly frightening press conference in which human rights groups railed against our generous Tunisian hosts over the unfortunate and completely misunderstood last-minute cancellations of meetings (usually due to a double-booking where a police self-help worskshop entitled “Getting your retaliation in first - the fucking great stick approach” obviously took precedence), clubbings with fucking great sticks and arrests of bewildered hacks and local human rights defenders, who face a, frankly, uncertain future.

Of course, the collected local press corps were having none of this, and the chap from La Presse de Tunisie – a government shill if ever I saw one, present at every event to ensure that no difficult questions got asked - looked like he was about to explode as he attempted the “you too, your name is going in ze book” line of questioning, while the rest of us cowered at the back. “I will only answer questions from journalists” the podium replied to nervous laughter.

Most of us in the press room had already spent most of the day fending off some fat bloke wearing a large jacket with the word “PRESS” written across the back - whose only connection with the media was wandering around looking over our shoulders to check we were playing nice - putting round a petition declaring that “We, the undersigned, thank our generous Tunisian hosts for their wonderful hospitality, and I am completely uninjured”, which will undoubtedly appear on the front page of all Tunisian newspapers before the week is out. We all signed as “Lunchtime O’Booze, The Daily Gnome”.

Friday Part II: Upset that The Register’s Kieren McCarthy has stolen my thunder as this Summit’s Official Done-a-Poo Correspondent, I still feel it is my duty to describe the unique toilet experience at the Kram PalExpo. The Tunisian organisers have looked towards the Chinese way of doing things here, and have employed virtually every citizen of Tunis and its environs for the event. This means every toilet has an army of at least eight cleaners, armed with mops, buckets of water and an endless supply of air freshener. That’s two cleaners per cubicle.

You’d be halfway through an important bowel movement when a gnarled old hand would appear under the door and spray lemon freshness all over your Ben Sherman boots. The cleaners’ diligence with their mops, coupled with the poor aim of the 30,000 others with whom I am sharing this building, also means that the toilet floor is always under at least half an inch of water, adding an exciting uncertainty to your visit. One false move and your nearest change of clothes is a bus ride away. The Summit is filled with soggy-arsed delegates, journalists and King Gyanendra of Nepal.

There is also some sort of hose arrangement adding to the already terrifying toilet risk factor. Some cultures, it appears, do not use paper, but prefer a jet of freezing water up the bum to finish the job, and good luck to them. However, more than one poor European hack in the press centre has sat down on the can and thought “Does this thing work?” with all-too-predictable results.

Saturday: A day off! The big plan is to stay in bed as long as possible, and then take my Hong Kong Phooey towel to the beach. It comes as absolutely no surprise to find that it is raining. So I am instead writing a diary piece, and filing the news item that I was holding over until I got back. You know, the one about p**** f******, that could still get me into a Tunisian pound-me-in-the-ass prison if I’m not careful.

This has been the most boring day of my life. In fact…


The WSIS summit in Tunis ended on Friday. Because my employers didn’t fancy paying 800 pounds for a flight on Saturday, I am obliged to stay in Africa for an extra day, when BA6849 costs a mere 96 squids. I can see their point, to be honest.

Saturday 19th November 2005, then, will go down as the most boring day in my life. So bored was I, that I actually made a list of things that I did because I was bored:

* Made a list of things that I did because I was bored
* Done a poo
* Charged my mobile phone that doesn’t actually work in Tunisia, unless I want to dial a Tunisian number
* Finished Tony Hawks’ “One Hit Wonderland”, to find, with some disappointment, that he doesn’t mention skateboarding at all
* Had a shave
* Done another poo
* Said “bonjour” to the cleaning lady, but drew the line at “Pompt de pompt-pompt”, the filthy mare
* Created a Powerpoint presentation called “SWAAAAN! – A study in peckiness”, featuring the words “SWAAAAN!” and “Done a poo” in a variety of fonts
* Read a leaflet entitled “The development of the internet in Iran” from cover to cover, and thought it interesting
* Considered running amok with a sharpened bottle of Evian water
* Held out long enough until the restaurant opened

You don’t know how lucky you are.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Duck in Tunis

Duck in Tunis

If you’re expecting a Friday Scary Story today, then tough luck. I am currently in Tunis, covering the World Summit on the Information Society [the UN-sponsored event that’s deciding who owns the internet – America – and how to use digital technology to rot our collective brains – you’re reading it now] for my employers, a large British-based broadcasting corporation, which you may have heard of. Completely unconnected to my journalistic duties, I’ve been keeping a diary. This is it, you lucky, lucky people.

Tuesday: Why is it, that when you leave stupidly early for the airport “to allow time” for delays, disasters and stupid people, nothing actually goes wrong, leaving you bored out of your skull in the departure lounge at Gatwick Airport with three hours to kill.

After a mere seven minutes, even Garfunkel’s, the curse of the West End diner looks alluring, and I’ve already been thrown out of the Burberry duty free shop for laughing at the dog coat (priced too high even for an ironic purchase). Yo! Sushi is a no-no, as the thought of eating raw fish just before heading to bottom-uncertainty in Africa is completely out. It’s no good, two hours to go. Garfunkel’s has got me. Sorry.

Wednesday: The words “piss-up” and “brewery” cannot do justice to the situation. I have also had a spunker of an idea for my next book: Great Desert Car Parks I Have Stood About In”.

Fantastically, our hosts closed the registration centre at the airport minutes before the evening flights from Europe, bearing assorted delegates, company executives and bored hacks, began to arrive. The net result being hordes of confused delegates herded from place-to-place until, by chance, a desirable outcome is reached. At one point, being the only person to spot their hotel, I came within seconds of auctioning my room to the highest bidder. Then I saw my room.

The Tunisian approach to problem solving is this: stand around in all-male groups, shouting, smoking, and if one is available, repeatedly slamming a car door. The threat of a good door slam is enough to set any wheels in motion, and surrounded by clouds of smoke, stuff eventually happens.

The heavily-armed-goon-to-nervous delegate ratio here is pleasingly high, with some goons so important, they are allowed up to two guns, bayonets and a stick. Disappointingly, it turns out the five traffic cops on each street corner only have empty holsters. Rather like me then. It’s the guys NOT in uniform standing in the background that really scare you, though…

Also: Spotted – my first Tunisian bad transvestite. I didn’t realise they were allowed. If only I had known…

Wednesday, Part II: Everybody has a better hotel than me.

On the plus side, in just one (fifteen hour working) day, I have been personally jostled by Tunisian President Ben Ali, who actually has his own goons to do jostling for him (he’s THAT important), the Nigerian Communications Minister and the Sultan of Qatar, who was very polite in his jostling technique. There is no British jostling contingent. We are, apparently, saving our powder for 2012.

Today’s best ironic moment: The summit WiFi server and Ethernet connection crashing, leaving the entire media corps without internet. That’s the Information society for you.

Thursday: Great excitement round the Summit as news gets about that my friend and yours, Colonel Muammar “The Artist Formerly known as Mad Dog” Qadaffi, is due on the podium, just after an uninspiring warm-up act by the Communications Minister of the Republic of Moldova.

Two o’clock approaches, and a message comes through that the Leader of the Revolution is far too busy for this kind of thing, and he’ll be showing up in his own time. Naturally, at such a high-level event, he almost certainly playing his infamous mind-games, and probably has no intention of showing up at all. He’s probably back in Tripoli having a hummus fight with select members of his bodyguard.

And there lies the greatest disappointment – not actually getting to see the Qadaffi bodyguard – hand-picked, all-girl, all-ninja, all-ssssexxxx. Which is a shame – I’d shaved my palms specially.

The prospect of a Qadaffi/Mugabe double-act on Friday scares us all. Some people have already left. I’m here for the duration.

Thursday, Part II: Of course, the major achievement of this Summit is its steadfast agreement to do nothing at all. The internet is still American, the very rich companies that run the internet will remain very, very rich companies that run the internet, and lots of ministers and heads of state got up and said things about “connecting” with the world’s poor, undoubtedly to sell stuff to them.

One or two of the world’s poor, having spent their last Dinar on the cheapest hotel possible, actually asked for money, and offered to set up call centres in return.

Of course, I admit that I have been paid off by one of these large and very, very, very rich organisations that still run the internet to say nice things about them. I have received, in return, my first, and I fear, my last, corporate bribe. A rather cheap pair of socks from the all-powerful internet behemoth, the Numbers Registry Organisation. They are black, which is always a bonus.

Qadaffi – get over here – you’re missing out on free footwear, man.

Today’s best ironic moment in a summit steeped in irony: The US Government seminar on disaster management. As the President says: “You’re doing one heckuva job, Brownie”.

Kieren McCarthy of The Register is also blogging from this very room, and is now the official Done-a-Poo correspondent at this event.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Poor, poor Kofi

Poor, poor Kofi

Yesterday, I met Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations and all-round good guy. Such a good guy, in fact, it makes me wonder, sitting here in my tin-foil hat, how such a quiet, softly spoken man became the figurehead of such a huge organisation.

He made a nice speech, in which he said nothing I didn't know already, and buggered off again, hand firmly held by President Ben Ali, who's been just about everywhere at this event.

Poor Kofi. Doomed to be nothing but a messenger boy, wielding no power at all unless our American friends say it's OK.

Of all this week's celebrity spots, the leader of the world was the most disappointing. How could he compete with...

Timmy Mallett: Two huge thumbs up in the staff canteen (in READING, you fools).

The lovely Debbie MacGee, the most orange person I have ever met, see through skirt and huge granny knickers.

Poor, poor Kofi.

This afternoon it's Colonel Qadaffi, listed only as "Leader of the Revolution".

Heh. Qadaffi Duck.

I hope he does that "You're desss-picible" thing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

That There Tunis

That There Tunis

My luxury hotel isn't.

The World's Worst internet connection, which, in a conference about the information society, is steeped in irony.

Yet to catch the crabs.

But: done a poo.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bollocks to this, I'm off to Tunisia

Bollocks to this, I'm off to Tunisia

Bollocks to this, I'm off to Tunisia*.

Tell you what - I'll start you off, and those of you who know the rules may take the lead in a game of Mornington Crescent while I'm travelling.

Prescott's 1998 revised regulations, please, and my only stipulation is that the Dollis Hill Loop is forbidden.

"Parson's Green"

*I'll be posting wireless stylee from Tunis, camels permitting.

Also: Buy Tim's book (see Amazon panel left) and make him rich.

Monday, November 14, 2005



I've been causing trouble. I used the word "spacker" on in the comments on somebody else's blog to describe the kind of moron who drunkenly runs up and down my street in the middle of the night, letting off fireworks and vandalising cars.

I know the context in which I use the word "spacker", and so, I should imagine, do you. But still, people are offended that I might be using a word that insults disabled people. I don't. I bear no grudge against those who pointed out my faux pax, elsewhere, I should temper my language on other people's blogs.

But: Jesus wept. Jesus wept piss.

Well, do you think I'm offensive? Re-phrase that. Do you think I'm nastily offensive, or simply re-using and re-defining words that are only shock the Daily Express readers of this world?

Besides, I don't need defending. I know I'm wrong.

As a rather offensive middle-class schoolboy, they banned all those nasty words when I was using them from the safety of a rather offensive middle-class schoolboy gang. So we came up with a non-specific, non-offensive term which they couldn't stop us from using: "anvid". They banned it.

B-B-Blenny and the Jets

Thank you for the pop acts named after fruit and veg. Today, mixed in with a serious discussion on the merits of various insults, I ask for a similar exercise:

Pop acts that sound like fish. We've had Derek Dick, thanks.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sauted for Peas and Wizz

Sauted for Peas and Wizz

* Tina Turnip
* Broccoli Spears
* Mariah Carrot
* Sophie Ellis-Beanstalk

Today, we are mostly looking for pop acts that sound like fruit and veg. Suggest-me-up!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It

Cruel and unusual punishments at school:

* Cross-country running
* German
* Making a lovely, frilly apron in needlework
* Dissecting sheep’s eyes

I had already been covered from head to toe in mud, the tram-stop of my father is already full of dogs*, my future in the masons was already assured by wonderful use of appliqué, which meant the fields of Berkshire were soon to be filled with sheep holding little white sticks.

I’ve mentioned in previous tales that the science curriculum in our school was at the wanky end of the Wanky scale of one-to-wanky, eschewing the usual fact-based teaching of physics, chemistry and biology for the “finding of patterns” and other touchy-feely crap that set my education back years. On arrival at college, my qualifications were laughed out of the lecture hall when it transpired I hadn’t been taught even the most basic principles of anything, ever.

Thanks for that, useless school science department.

Still, every now and then, we had to do stuff that normal schools were taught, and the sex education textbooks were a pleasing mess of graffiti and strategically placed speed-knobs that would bring a tear to the eye of any Viz reader.

And come the day, we were to cut up sheep’s eyes to see what made them tick. One or two of the more advanced types were already talking about reanimating the creature, and they might have got away with it too, if it weren’t for the unfortunate chain of events that was to follow.

Kathy, you see, lived in a butcher’s shop. Her dad was the village butcher (before all that nasty business with the green stuff that put them out of business and their shop under a Waitrose car park), and the entire family were, well, as well fed as a butcher’s dog. A butcher’s dog that ate nothing but enormous meat pies, forever. Kathy's dad made the generous offer of supplying the school science department with a batch of sheep’s eyes, uses for the cutting up of. And by way of a Brucie Bonus, he also threw in a pair of lungs. A fantastic way of getting rid of an unwanted corpse, if you ask me.

So, Monday morning rolled around, and young Kathy was sent to school with a bloody great plastic bag filled with frozen sheep’s eyes, lungs and assorted spare offal that had been lying round the back room, the kind of stuff they wouldn’t even sell to my mum as “dog meat”. That’s meat FOR the dog, and certainly not what you’re thinking. Though I have my doubts now… The idea of sending frozen cuts being that even on a warm spring morning, they would remain frozen long enough to get to school and into a fridge in the science block. And through years of trial, error and trips to the local casualty unit, the school had found that partially-frozen eyes were far easier to cut in half without taking young fingers with them.

What could possibly go wrong?

Kathy got to school, stepped down from the school bus, and promptly forgot all about her precious cargo for the afternoon’s lesson, left in a bag, Lord knows where.

A light Lunch came and went, and at two o’clock, we trooped into the science labs for the great eyeball adventure.

“Ah Kathy”, said Dr Jenkins, possessor of the creepiest pair of Aryan blue eyes you ever saw, and clandestine recruiter for a league of evil geniuses, “I understand you were unable to procure our ovine visual organs.”

“You what, sir?”

“The sheep’s eyes, girl. You couldn’t get the sheep’s eyes.”

“I did sir! I brung ‘em in an’ I …err… oh.”

“So where are they?”


Search parties were sent out, with strict instructions to bring back any plastic bag contain partially-defrosted offal. Ever the lateral thinker, I headed straight to the school secretary and asked if “any bags had been handed in today. Lost property, like.”

“And what, pray, is in this bag?”

“Eyes, miss. And bits of dead sheep.”

It was all I could do to escape alive.

All the obvious places were turned upside down. The cloakrooms. The dining hall. Smokers’ Gulch. But nothing could be found.

Then: barely registering above the audible – screams. Screams and shouting, getting louder and higher pitched. As we watched, a door burst open in the Old School building, and dozens of first years burst forth, several in the last paroxysms before vomiting, which they obliged in spectacular style.

Of course! Room Four!

Room Four in the French block was where we registered in the mornings. We had all trooped in there, answered our names, and then headed, like sheep to the slaughter to assembly and the weekly talking to on the subject of our sins and shortcomings from His Holiness the Reverend Ratings.

That morning, Kathy had propped her plastic bag of bits against a bubbling old radiator in Room Four, and had forgotten all about them. Four hours on a low heat had eventually defrosted this particular payload, and as they began to cook, a particularly funky smell filled the room. Some curious eleven year-old, torn away from the joys of Longman’s Audio-Visual French**, had gone to investigate, with all-too-predictable results.

We burst in to a scene of devastation.

There were at least three faintings, including Madame Talbot and her tight, tight white jumper. Several survivors were still bent double, their shoes spattered in vomit, while those who could flee were halfway home by now. And scattered across the room, like some eldritch Lovecraftian creature from the very outer reaches of the human imagination, were blood-smeared organs, guts, the wrong number of legs, and eyes, eyes, endless staring eyes.

In the distance, a siren wailed.

The room was sealed off as if someone had brought in ten pounds of plutonium for show-and-tell, and the headmaster made sure that only the local fire brigade were allowed in to hose the place down, who complained bitterly.

The next day, and in a fine example of “waste not, want not”, we each received a scalpel, and a dirt-flecked sheep’s eye.

School dinners that week, however – terrible.

* Der Förderwagenanschlag meiner Vater ist volle Hunden, or words to that effect
** “Ecoutez et rrrrrrepeter!”

Thursday, November 10, 2005

In which the author is not sorry at all

The Thursday vote-o

An explanation for new readers: Each Thursday, I hold a vote in which you may choose - in the "spicy brains" section at the bottom of today's post - which tale of mirth and woe appears on this site the following day . More fun than wrestling radioactive robot snakes, and as degrading as admitting your Condi Rice fetish, this is the kind of thing you end up with if you're not careful. A collected print version is due "soon", for which Mr Gaiman – who I am not blackmailing, at all – is writing the foreward.

This Thursday vote-o also comes with an advance warning: Next week, I shall be in Tunis, being a real journalist, so there will almost certainly be no Friday Scary Story. I will publish when and where I can, but if you don't hear from me, you can safely assume I'm off somewhere wanking myself stupid into a fez hob-nobbing with Kofi Annan and the rest of my world governance homies.

So, for this week, you must choose, and choose well, because African Bum Disease is rife, and I may never done a poo again. This week's quotes come from special guest publication, the TV industry magazine "Broadcast", and of course, bear no relation to the actual story contents:

* The Eyes have it – "And as Carol, her tongue already dancing involuntary spasms, placed the last consonant on the rack to form A N A L I N G U S, it was clear that everybody was going to get a nine letter word. Des quietly wished he too was with poor, poor Richard Whiteley"

* Pole-Dancing – "Michael Winner remembered the exact moment that his dream job in broadcasting disappeared forever – the second Jade Goody opened her mouth in his ill-starred, all-naked version of Hamlet on Channel Four"

* Gullible Twat – "Talk about miscalculating the mood of the British public. As he sheepishly zipped up his trousers, and slipping like a fool in the puddle that was his own mess, Bruce realised that his Strictly Come Dancing days were well and truly over."

* The Operator – "As the programme aired, it became abundantly clear to Jonathan Ross that the show's entire output had not contained a single reference to bizarre sexual practices. He vowed, there and then, never to broadcast again"

Hint: "The Eyes have it" is by far the best one, and is a classic tale of mirth, woe and vomit. Not that I'm trying to force you into anything.


Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip now has a blog, and rather good it is too. He writes about things that are not necessarily Dilbert, which is no bad thing, and has open (moderated) comments, which shows good faith in his readership. It is also pleasing to see that he is also: funny.

Adams manages to come up with the one phrase I've been struggling over for the last three years – the entire raison d'etre of this entire site. And it is this: "The only reason I dare write this blog is because I have absolutely no sense of embarrassment." Thank you, Mr Adams, you have exposed me for what I am, and I feel so dirty.

I have wrecked the internet for you, wasted the century's greatest invention, and for that I am truly sorry*. As Cochese told me in no uncertain terms: "That makes me want to shit on Charles Babbage's cold, dead chest." Poo away, fella.

* Not sorry, at all

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Neil, and Len. Len, and Neil

Neil, and Len

Yesterday, to that there London for work commitments, followed by a trip to the University of London's Logan Hall for a book-reading by the greatest living English author who also does comics, films, weblogs and lives in Minnesota. Look, there's LOADS of them out there, Neil Gaiman just happens to be the best of the lot.

So, I find myself in the presence of Neil Gaiman, who I am still not blackmailing (and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise), and also the event's compere, the excellent Lenny Henry, who lived up to his reputation as the funniest man in the world without even trying. Using my l33t ligging skills, I managed to get into the Green Room, where Lenny and I (see? We're on first name terms already) sat and guzzled Neil's rider while the man himself signed all the books in the world.

Thankfully, Neil puts the record straight about the foreword he is writing for the forthcoming Scary Book, in which I am not blackmailing him, and I certainly do not possess any photos of him in the presence of Jeffrey Archer, or worse, Ben Elton. His publicist – who also represents a gangster, and has obviously heard it all before, including the parts about nailing peoples' heads to coffee tables – allows me to stay, and Mr Gaiman is certainly as you'd expect, the nicest man in publishing, who I am not blackmailing, at all.

Neil signs books, while Lenny effortlessly dominates the room. Lenny Henry is Lenny Henry, it seems, whether the audience is several million or just three people in a back-stage room, reducing all to hysterics with barely a flick of his funny gland.

Neil signs books. He has an expensive-looking fountain pen with browny-sepia tinted ink. Piles and piles of books. Just when he thinks he is finished, flunkies arrive with more boxes of books, which he continues to sign like some hideous task conferred onto him by some vengeful God over something he may have written, or some ill-advised deal made over a flaming typewriter, a task he is doomed to undertake forever.

Gaiman writes of Gods, their tricks, games, lusts, foibles and their generally selfish behaviour; belief (or the lack thereof) of their Earthly subjects, and it is only reasonable to expect that some deity will have taken umbrage at some stage, and the Curse of the Sepia-Inked Fountain Pen is his eternal damnation. I myself fully expect a Hell of dog's bottoms at some stage, but that's the price you pay for minor internet celebrity.

(Terry Pratchett, Gaiman's co-conspirator in the novel "Good Omens" is similarly cursed, and all the proof one needs that this is a classic Old Testament Curse of the Whale-Swallows-Man or Pillar-Of-Salt variety from a God that enjoys a good laugh as much as the next deity. Doomed, he is, to sign every single book bearing his name ever printed, ever. Just to make his task tricky, I've buried a couple in a metal box in the garden. Next to the cat and a bottle of Dr Ju-ju's patent cat re-animating gel.)

Mr Henry: I know you're reading this. Update your damn blog, man! Also, I've got a spunker of an idea for a sitcom. Really. It is this: excellent.

Len, and Neil

The evening's events are, in the main, on the subject of Gaiman's latest work, the darkly humourous novel Anansi Boys. The pair talk of where the idea of the book came from (the act of teaching Lenny Henry's daughter to ride a bike, as it happens), and why it's not a book about taking the stabilizers off a bicycle (that's literary editors for you).

Then, as you concentrate on Gaiman the novelist, you are reminded of his sheer diversity, being a man from whom story flows from every pore. For some people, this can be a dreadful, shocking mess of unfinished projects and terrible quality control, for Gaiman it is a body of assured novels and short stories, cult comic books and illustrated works, and the logical step into the hellish world of film-making. The evening's audience, made up of fans from his many genres, may be easily recognised by how much black they are wearing.

Henry knows he can steal the show any time, but doesn't. The pair are such good friends, going back to the filming of Neverwhere (which Lenny still argues should have been set in Dudley) that they are an unexpectedly funny double act, playing off each other with confidence.

An off-the-cuff announcement that cult artist P. Craig Russell will be drawing a graphic novel version of Gaiman's scary children's book Coraline draws gasps from the audience, and names are dropped like confetti (Robert Zemeckis and his golden chequebook, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie) over the filming of Beowulf, which he has written with Roger Avary. Then, I forget to ask to whom we should be currently mailing dog turds to ensure that Good Omens gets filmed, and for most, the evening is over.

Over for all, except Gaiman. He is dragged into the foyer to sign books. More books, books and an endless queue of fans clutching multiple copies of his work, all requiring his signature, as decreed by the prophesy. A curse, and a pleasure, for Gaiman and his sepia-tinted pen bear it well.

He is still there.

Greetings, new readers who may have been sent here by Mr Gaiman (who I am not blackmailing) - Clicky here for the rest of the site.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Here comes the Festering Season

Here comes the Festering Season

Guy Fawkes barely cooked, and already certain shops are in full-on Christmas mode, the bastards, with their awful decorations and even worse musical "entertainment", for which somebody must die.

I have grown to hate the so-called retail experience at this time of year, and for a very good reason - I was part of it, and it may explain a lot about the way my head works now. Y'see, in my days as a dreadful stude, I had a terrible evening & Saturday job in a terrible supermrket, selling tramp fuel to the local winos. Terrible, as it happens.

They had a Christmas tape. It was a C-60, with the same 30 minutes of jazzed-up carols on both sides. The version of Good King Wenceslas would drive even the sanest of people to regicide, and I don't care how many maids were a-milking, they could get to fuck as far as I cared. They started playing it in November, under pain of death NEVER to remove it from the machine. I volunteered to collect trolleys a lot.

Come Christmas, the entire crew of till operators were twitching, nervous wrecks, and some of the full-time staff were offered counseling. The girl from the deli cut her finger off in the meat slicer (again) just to get away from the place for a morning. On closing on Christmas Eve, the tape was ceremonially deep-fried in the staff canteen and there was much rejoicing.

"Where's the Christmas tape?" asked Mr Newton, the manager, "Head Office say we need it for next year."


In summary: in-shop Christmas music = worse than J. Blunt and C.Dion's bastard progeny.

Worse: Christmas-themed adverts on local radio. J. Blunt and C.Dion's bastard progeny, on acid.

Even Worse: The thought of J. Blunt and C.Dion actually having bastard progeny.

Brief Encounter

A true* story of a trip to the shops.

Everything's-a-Pound Shop Guy: Can I help you sir?

Me: Do you sell Rohypnol?

Pound Shop Guy: Why, yes. Yes we do.

Me: Excellent! How much?

Pound Shop Guy: *sigh* If I had a penny for every time somebody asked me that question, I'd have enough money to buy a gun and shoot you dead.

Me: Well?

Pound Shop Guy: 50p.

* Not true at all


In case you missed it from yesterday's comments, Invicta's scan (from the Daily Mail, of all places) of a naked Felicity Kendal, rubbing against a pole, Penelope Keith talking dirty just out-of-frame. Life imitates art imitates manky devil writing his sordid thoughts into a blog.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Unlucky bag, again

Oh God, No

So, I spent two post-vasectomy months fapping myself stupid until nothing but dust came out, clearing my system so that I am officially jaffa.

Fifty-seven times, including the world's worst hand shandy – the one into a pot for the pathology lab, knowing Mrs Duck is downstairs watching "Cash in the Attic". Go on, you try to think dirty when you're trying to hit the target - it's like trying to roll jelly up a mountain, an ordeal closely followed by the embarrassment of presenting a jam-jar of your own man fat to an attractive young lady at the Dorset County Hospital.

And presently, I get a letter signed by the very man who had, back in August, attacked my meat-and-two-veg like a hungry diner attacking his meat-and-two-veg: "Your sample showed sperms present".

The little, wriggling bastards. They've built a bridge, haven't they?

"Wankers' Cramp. D'you get it?"

Wrong kind of Bush

Since I've just wasted the best part of two months developing a twitch and running a Bic Razor over the palms of my hands, I suppose I had better spend some time in recovery. Kate Bush, who appears to have spent the last decade running a pie shop, has musical product in the shops today, and it had better be good, or I shall seriously consider not taking the vacancy of freaky celebrity stalker.

This is, however, the wrong kind of bush entirely, and likely to get me arrested.

In summary: Bush.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club

M.Ringwald: Not in this story at all

There comes a time, at secondary school, where a young man should choose which subjects he is to study if he is to make something of himself in the world at large.

In the humanities, I chose Geography and 20th Century History, and they have served me well. In Art and Design, I chose metalwork, and it was fucking awful.

Hating every minute of it, I made an ashtray that was liable to melt at even the slightest application of heat, and a screwdriver which would perfectly drive any screw, as long as it had a head the shape of the leaning tower of Pisa. In other words, I hated metalwork, and metalwork hated me.

In fact, I had huge issues with Mr Callaghan, who had a false foot, and was hence nicknamed “The Penguin”. And these issues were simple: He was an utter bastard and a twunt to boot.

Then, one Tuesday morning came the blessed, blessed news: hardly anyone had chosen Home Economics. Not even girls. Would anyone from the other classes like to swap? I flung the blowtorch to the floor and volunteered immediately; as did Tim, leaving something terrible still spinning on the lathe, and we both legged it, whooping across the playground towards the kitchens and the butch, open arms of Miss Orton.

Miss Orton. She was a lesbian, proud, and only told us this at least three times a lesson. Not one of those lipstick lesbians all over our television screens these days. She was a rather unattractive short-arse reminiscent of an ugly Margaret Thatcher after an argument with the back end of a bus. An ugly Margaret Thatcher that did other women. And she taught us Sapphic Home Economics.

On my first lesson, I made a rather fancy cake, which hardly poisoned anyone at all (a further cake-making session which totally failed to poison our headmaster is told elsewhere on these pages), and a loaf of bread was used as a shot putt on the way home.

It being proper Home Economics, and not just cooking, we had to go into the minutiae of the whole kitchen business. This meant long, long lessons on nutrition and the proper choice of cake icing for a Bar Mitzvah. Then, we'd be sent off with this new knowledge and cook something.

This led relentlessly to the glorious day, where we were told to get into pairs, and plan a meal for the following Tuesday morning’s lesson. We were to devise, purchase the ingredients, prepare and then eat a breakfast. It would, Tim and I decided, be a right royal stuffing.

We sat down and planned the world’s largest breakfast.

Porridge. Bacon, eggs (fried, boiled, poached and scrambled), beans, sausages (normal AND herby), black pudding, mushrooms, hash browns, fried bread, toast, tea, coffee, orange juice, grapefruit juice, jam, marmalade, marmite, and for some reason, nutella*.

On the morning of the Great Feast, just to be on the safe side and knowing full well that breakfast was on the other side of the Reverend Rating’s school assembly sermon on gluttony, I made sure I had good breakfast before I left the house. Nothing huge, just the usual Weetabix and half a packet of sugar. Followed by a bacon buttie. And a packet of crisps and a Marathon bar from the garage on the way to school. A boy could starve if he wasn’t careful.

At half past nine we set about our task. Tim and I cooked. Tim and I ate. We cooked and ate. Morning break came and we were still cooking and eating. And as the bell went for the next lesson, we were still forcing down the last of the feast and simultaneously washing up and tidying away utensils. Girls, more fool them, had, in the main, prepared something light and continental involving freshly-brewed coffee and croissants. I’d dare say there was something worryingly Sapphic about that kind of thing, hence our manly over-reaction with the biggest hunk o’ breakfast in the history of the planet, ever. Continental breakfasts are just the first stop on the road to unshaved armpits and the East German shot-putt team.

As the bell went, Tim threw the last of the frying pans into a cupboard, and in four words summed up our exact feelings for the morning’s work:

“Fuck it, I’m stuffed.”

And stuffed we were. We could hardly bend over to pick up our bags, and we waddled out of the kitchens, across a now deserted playground to our next lesson.


Or, to be more specific, an hour and a quarter of Rugby.

God, I tried my hardest, but ten minutes in, I received the ball, darted up the wing, went down under a tackle and well… passed the ball forward.


Mr Prince, somewhat taken aback by the fact that vomiting on the field of play wasn’t actually covered by the rules, awarded a scrum-down.

To this day, I still feel sorry for the other lads as they bound on, with my mate Tim right at the back as Number Eight.

“Lads”, he announced as the ball bounced around their feet, “I don’t feel too good…”

Rugby was cancelled that day.

* At least, I assumed it was nutella

Thursday, November 03, 2005

On this day in History

On this day in History

1984: A team led by British professor Benny Hill detonates the world's first Dirty Bomb at a test facility in ITV's South Bank studios in London. The ensuing fall-out will fill TV schedules for the next fifteen years

1980: A young Robbie Williams picks up a gold medal in the World Firing Golf Balls Out of Your Arse Championships. Williams will later find fame as a fat dancer

1973: A tired and emotional football superstar George Best is arrested in London wearing nothing but frilly knickers and a see-through bra. The arresting officer, PC Lloyd-Webber, is seen scribbling copious notes at the scene of the crime, and subsequently leaves the force

1967: The Great Fire of Clacton, a raging inferno which destroys a litter bin and a candy floss booth in this popular seaside resort

1961: The Beatles hit the charts for the first time with "The Blacksmith's Song/Oh, I'm a Stupid Dicky-di-dildo"

1852: HRH Prince Albert introduces golden showers into the United Kingdom for the first time. Previously, sexual fetishists would sprinkle each other with house dust, a practice known as "Blunketting"

1630: The astronomer Galileo Galilei observes "a monstrous spectral eye, staring back at me through myne apparatus whene'er I make myne observations of the nyght skye", the first recorded instance of "leaving the lens cap on"

1372: Pope Leo XII marries a snail, denouncing slug-fanciers as "heretics", marking the start of the Thirty Years' Slime Terror

327BC: The Battle of Onanista, "the world's most embarrassing military manouevre", in which Alexander the Great accidentally went to battle with himself, giving rise to the phrase "to beat yourself off"

Stomm! Judgment Thursday

I'm in Oxford today, and I've left the wrong person in charge again:

Your attention, law-breakers. Judge Duckuss commands you, by the powers vested in him by the Chief Judge of Mega City One, to vote for one of the following tales of woe, which will no doubt earn their author a lengthy spell in the iso-cubes. Drokk! Choose, and choose well, for the Cursed Earth awaits you:

* The Breakfast Club – "Warning: may contain lesbians"
* The Eyes have it – "Warning: may contain Old, Dark Ones"
* Pole-Dancing – "Warning: may contain Poles, from Poland"
* Gullible Twat – "Warning: may contain rank stupidity"
* The Operator –"Warning: may contain the word 'fuck'*"

* Warning: This warning, warning of the word 'fuck', contains the word 'fuck'

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

On Doneing a Poo, and Knock Knock jokes

On Doneing a Poo

Superb exit velocity.

Optimum density.

Excellent content with just the right floater-to-sinker ratio with a first-class landing skid as a tell-tale to subsequent users.

It’s at times like this that you just want to jump up and tell the world that yours is the from the A-List of Poos. A King of Dumps. The Emperor of the Lands of the White Porcelain. The President, indeed, of the United States of America.

A bell, perhaps. Or a gong, even. Or – how about this - a red flashing light outside the cubicle.

The disabled can’s got both a bell and a flashing light, and I bet the gong's on order – WHY CAN’T WE?

In fact, the light’s been flashing for the last three days following what is obviously the poo of them all.



It’s no good. I’ve got the world’s worst ‘Knock Knock’ joke and I’ve got to tell somebody. Somebody at the other end of a computer who won’t kick my head in:

Knock knock
Who’s there?
Knock who?
Knock knock
Who’s there?
Knock who?
Continue forever

The world’s best ‘Knock Knock’ joke, as we all know, goes like this:

Knock knock
Who’s there?
I Dunnap
I Dunnap who?
Well, wash your hands then.

Sorry. Oh go on then, suggest-o!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

On Excitement

On Excitement

Why do all new housing developments always have a big flag-bedecked sign outside announcing “An exciting development of 37 executive homes (and …err… two borderline-affordable studio flats so we’d get planning permission) NOW RELEASED!”?

What kind of person, apart from the shareholders and clueless advertising hacks, gets “excited” about new executive homes? Or, come to think of it "exciting" new product lines at a carpet warehouse.

"Carpet, Jenkins! I've come!" just doesn't seem to work.

Massive imports of Russian Natashas, now that’s exciting (if not a little worrying); and I may just get a tad excited should Monsieur Wenger give me a call and ask me to bring my boots to the match on Sunday, but that’s never going to happen.

If perhaps, they were to build social housing on a massive scale, centred around the Kirstie Allsopp / Sarah Beeny Oily Bath-House With Live Streaming Webcams (featuring state-of-the-art wonky eye and bingo wing correction), then, dammit, excitement would be my middle name.

But they’re not. I am not excited in the least. Life - why do you taunt me so?

Duckworth-Lewis again

The entire list - expanded to a top twenty - from yesterday's woe is over here. Go! Use it in your everyday lives. Go!