Thursday, January 31, 2008

On bird flu striking Duck Towers

On bird flu striking Duck Towers

You may have noticed over recent weeks that the deadly H5N1 Avian Flu virus has struck at Abbotsbury just nine miles along the coast from us.

We are, in fact, living in a DEFRA control zone as steps are taken to ensure that the virus does not spread to other locations and kill us all to death.

Of course, the chances of H5N1 spreading from bird to human are incredibly slim, and as the recent fatal cases in the East have shown, you've got to live in a cardboard box with several dozen infected chickens for several weeks, rubbing infected chicken spit into your armpits until the virus even considers passing over.

Like that's a consolation to me.

Scary duck? Scaredy duck, more like.

In the words of Private Fraser: We're doomed! DOOMED!

The virus is winging its way to me, careering along the sewers to jump up the toilet and nip me on the scrotum when I least expect it.

In the bird world, you can get the disease just by shaking hands with a birdy vicar [note to self: Insert Parson's Nose gag HERE], and it can jump six feet off toilet seats. Bird flu seeks out birds - and ducks in particular - like an Exocet missile. I might as well go down to Abbotsbury wearing a T-shirt saying "Get It Here", if only to attract the attention of bored news crews.

I may not *cough* be long *cough* for this world *splutter*

Luckily, my charming lab assistant to whom I am married has come up with a health regime to ensure that this duck does not become yet another ministry statistic, scooped up and flung into an incinerator by some bloke who gets his kicks from dressing up in a large rubber protective suit. (I've known dozens of Ministry vets in my time. They're all at it.)

Vitamin C, she says. And loads of it.

In fact, she has knocked up a large tin bath in which she can whip up a thick, aromatic orange sauce from a book she has in her possession (written by that well-known vetinarian authority Nigella Lawson), where I can bathe for whole hours at a time, freshly plucked at gas mark 6.

She loves me. She really loves me.

And anyone would think she's trying to bump me off.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On stopping me if you think you've heard this one before

On stopping me if you think you've heard this one before

WoeA conversation with the lovely Mrs Duck reveals that she is not happy with the direction this site is taking. She has gone as far to suggest, after viewing some of the more scatological posts, that I "grow up a bit", and I am inclined to agree with her.

I tell her, in my own pitiful defence, that what I write is simply a comic persona, an exaggeration of my true character, with all the knobs turned up to eleven. This can, at times, lead to a certain immaturity in my writing that might lead to only one thing in the Scaryduck household: WOE.

She, however, is an all-or-nothing kind of person, and is having none of my pleadings. For various reasons (most of which revolve around my having a mental age of about thirteen), she does not want her husband writing about:

* young ladies' wobbly parts
* pooing through letterboxes, it being the only language a certain class of people understand
* poo in general
* being sick inna hedge
* poo

... five days a week with little in the way of quality control.

As this comprises about 99 per cent of the content I write for these pages, that leaves precious little of TEH FUNNAY for you, my humble readership, so alternatives must be sought with all due urgency.

For the sake of my marriage, I have agreed to cut down on acting like a turd and publishing posts which are not, in retrospect, all that funny. I've been writing this stuff for six years now. Perhaps it is time that this site evolved, in a slow yet steady manner from the tried-and-tested and broke new ground of filth and smut. I mean - adult and responsible humour.

I am disappointed by this turn of events. Disappointed and sad. Disappointed, sad, and mildly aroused.

This means that in future there will be less scat and more quality. How I hope to achieve this, my entire empire built on poop, is anybody's guess, and I would welcome your comments.

In lieu of today's regularly scheduled TEH FUNNAY, I present a short film featuring your hapless author falling off a log.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On monkey butlers, and the lack thereof

On monkey butlers, and the lack thereof

Pic courtesy Adam Koford // www.hobotopia.comAs we near the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, one can only sit and marvel at man's achievement in the field of technology.

Look at one of those 1960s TV documentaries on 'Where we'll be in a couple of generations time' and you'll be amazed on how much has come true.

A computer in every home.

Television programmes and Hollywood movies on demand.

Mobile telephones.

Cameras on street corners watching your every move.

But then you notice - we haven't come that far at all.

Cars are still cars.

Banks still take a week to clear a cheque.

Spurs haven't won a league title since 1961 and their supporters are - to a man - the missing link back to the cavemen.

The cure for the common cold remains locked up in a safe 100 metres below Porton Down.

Where, I ask, is my jet pack and monkey butler?

Nowhere, that's where.

I still remember the late Raymond Baxter promising me one black-and-white Thursday night on Tomorrow's World a future of jet packs, monkey butlers and holidays on the moon by 2010, and now I want my money back.

It's not as if the technology isn't out there. A jet pack would be a doddle these days, if THE MAN wasn't suppressing the technology to keep us addicted to the motor car. And technological advances in cloning and animal cruelty mean that we should all have simian servants catering to our every need.

Only Richard Branson seems to care about the holidays-on-the-moon thing, committed as he is to his Virgin Galactic project. A scheme designed solely to relieve incredibly rich people of all their money and fuck up the upper atmosphere with needless powered space-flight.

For this, he has my full support, for he has pushed the envelope of innovative travel, and has been rescued from certain death on many, many occasions.

And then, I saw the design for his commercial space craft SpaceShip Two.

It is clearly made out of cardboard, sticky-back plastic and a large quantity of cheese that passed its sell-by date several months ago, and will spend - if his train business is anything to go by - weeks at a time stuck at signals just outside Birmingham New Street station whilst some drunken Scot spills his ninth can of Special Brew all over your second best jacket.

It's also a fair bet the passengers won't even be waited on by monkey space butlers. The whole affair is doomed - DOOMED - I tell you.

I look forward to writing Branson's obituary in the very near future.

Monkey butler pic by the very excellent Adam Koford, who has a book out. Wants it

Monday, January 28, 2008

On several things that I have done in the last week or so

On several things that I have done in the last week or so

Several things I have done in the last week or so:

* sold my house for considerably less than the asking price

* bought a house for considerably less than the asking price

* found out that the people who bought my house for considerably less than the asking price didn't really want to buy my house at all

* ranted and raved at the people who are no longer buying my house for considerably less than the asking price, saying they deserve to have a poo shoved through their letter box, it being the only language that kind of person understands

* decided to revive the forgotten art of pooing through letterboxes, because it is the only language that kind of person understands

* procured a milk crate and a large aluminium funnel in order to achieve the optimum angle of entry for same

* alerted British Olympic committee of my availability for same in 2008 Beijing Games

* discovered that sneezing whilst trying to hold in an enormous poo is A Very Bad Thing, it being the kind of language that my bottom does not understand

* used the phrase 'The day I give up wanking is the day they prize my cock from my cold, dead fingers' in an email to polite company

* discovered a big red button in my car that says "Do not press", which I pressed

The car stopped, and I found I didn't need the presence of some random letterbox to crap myself, for it was the electronic ignition cut-off. Which was, in retrospect, why they had hidden it behind a great big panel in the first place.

Live and learn.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

On low-quality jokes

On low-quality jokes what you've made up all by yourself an' everything

Q. What's depressed and lives in the Arctic?

A. A bipolar bear


Friday, January 25, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Gay

Mirth and Woe: Gay


I turned fourteen years of age and realised how much I like girls.

There was a stirring in the trouser department, caused, it turned out, by the knowledge that girls had lumps and curves in all the right places. Girls that had, up until then, shared the same school classrooms as I, but as an alien species. An alien species with whom I had no desire to communicate.

I remember it well. I looked up from my books in an English classroom and noticed the beauty that surrounded me. Be still my beating heart for the memory of:

M***** P******
J******* W***
T**** J**
J**** B*****
J***** F******

Of course, I had absolutely no chance with any of these emerging fine examples of womanhood. This was because I had no idea that I was in fact:

A W*****

My one true love was reserved for a girl called G** C*******. Gay. Gay.

Her parents called her Gay. Which was a throwback to a more innocent, less bummy age. She was (and possibly still is) a cracking blonde with - let us do her justice here - a cracking pair. It was to be - for a couple of weeks at the very least - my life's work to ask her out, and one day, if I were lucky, hold her hand.

Gone were those miserable years as a Tom-Cruise-o-gram. She would be mine. My nights were filled with strange dreams of my beloved. Strange dreams involving nudey prod games and Fairy Liquid. I would wake up in a proper lather, I can tell you for nothing.

Knowing full well the terror of asking a girl out during school hours, and the pain and suffering caused by loud and public rejection, I decided to try to catch up with her one evening or weekend to pop the question.

It was just a matter of finding out where or when I could strike. Knocking on her front door was well and truly out. She had a big brother who would laugh at me and cream me into the pavement, and, of course, a dad who would do much the same without bothering to laugh first.

I discovered, quite by chance, that she had jacked in her job at the Big Fry chip shop in the village (on account of the damage all the grease was doing to my beloved marble-like features), and being a girl of means who looked much older than her fourteen years, was now waiting tables at a local garden centre cafe.

Having saved up my paper round money, I got on my bicycle and rode bloody miles on a drizzly Saturday afternoon to see her in her place of work and impress her with my irresistible charms.

"Plate of chips, please. And a cup of tea."

"Right you are love."

"And is Gay here?"

"What? Err... No. She only does Sundays."


So, I pedalled home in the drizzle and brought myself back the next day in the pouring rain, looking and smelling like a drowned rat. Worse, my paper round funds were severely depleted by the previous day's efforts, and there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to impress the lovely Gay in her waitress uniform and 80s feather-cut with my financial extravagance.

"Plate of chips, please. From the kids' menu."

"Anything else?"


"Plate of chips, then."

She returned, several minutes later with a kiddie-size portion of chips, which she placed in front of her pathetic-looking lone customer.

Now or never.

"Will you go out with me?"

She stood, magnificent, in front of me, and pondered my question. A smile spread across her face. A smile that lifted my heart.

"Why are you putting sugar on your chips?"


"Don't tell anyone. Please."

She didn't. And fair play to her for waiting until she was back in the kitchens before screaming with laughter.

As they say on these new-fangled internets these days: PWN3D.

Feigning enthusiasm, I ate the lot, and being in a garden centre, it would have been rude not to have bowked rich, brown vomit all over their incredibly expensive-looking display of topiary.

School dinner the following Monday was HELL.

"Hey Scary! D'you want some sugar?"

"Cup of tea, Scary? Want chips in that?"

And that from the teachers' table.

Too weak even to deliver a respectable cock-punch, I slunk away, entirely defeated by the cruelty of it all.

The following term Gay came in and announced that from now on, she would like to be known as 'Gail', thank you very much. I went right off her.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

On people who deserve a good, hard cock-punch

On people who deserve a good, hard cock-punch

J. Travolta recentlyIt is time, I have decided in my fury, for another list of people who deserve a good, hard cock-punch

* Anybody who - given a microphone, loudspeaker or any form of public address - says the words 'Testicles, testicles 1 - 2 - 3 testicles' expecting a laugh

* Ppl who use txt spk on thr blogs 4 a qwik larf. Oh.

* Fair-weather football fans who leave a match report of a recent humiliating 5-1 defeat to your local rivals on your desk while you are out of the office. Not mentioning any names, here, for I swore after that up-kilt business that I'd never blog about work. EVER.

* Family members who say things like '5-1? Is that bad then?' when you are suffering over The End Of The World

* Nissan Micra drivers. Especially those sporting a 'Super Spurs' sticker in the back window, cutting you up in your proud Arsenal-supporting actually-we've-won-the-league-title-on-several-occasions-in-living-memory-thanks Ford Escort. Marked. For. Death. For death

* Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and all those who sail in her. And Chelsea, come to think of it. And Manchester United, Liverpool, West Ham...

* People who photograph you gettin' down an' struttin' yo fancy stuff with a Disco Duck machine. Such people may, however, be excused on account of their general level of excellence. Video of an excellent afternoon at Earl's Court: HERE

Behold! The Thursday Vote-o!

Thursday strikes us down like the Duke of Edinburgh's hit squad in a Parisian underpass, and it is time, once again, to choose tomorrow's tale of mirth and woe.

You will be relieved to hear that none of the tales on these pages are puerile stories about sitting in front of the internet, wanking like safari park chimps. Certainly not - this is the highest quality smut and filth, carefully brewed to both amuse and disgust. The wanking is entirely up to you.

* Launcher: His trousers round his ankles and breathing so heavily that he wheezed menacingly like some demented Darth Vader, he answered the phone. "Hello, Childline"

* Leaving James Behind: The cameras rolled and Rene smiled. For he was the only person in the entire Deal or No Deal studio who knew what, exactly, was in Box 17. It would go down in TV history as "the Noel Edmonds gets rabies edition"

* Red Card: "These are the worst crimes I have ever had the misfortune to preside over", said the judge, "there can be only once sentence." And as the legal historians rushed to their reference books, they realised His Honour was correct. The Master of the Rolls was entitled to a fluffer.

* Bad Dog IV: "I know!" said Sir David Attenborough as the dull production meeting sprung to life, "There IS one thing we haven't filmed yet. Cocks. Great, big, elephants' cocks!" They left for the Wankie Game Reserve the next day,

* Gay: As I came to, I became aware of two things. Firstly, the distinct feeling that someone had applied some sort of lubricant to my private parts. Secondly, a familiar American accent saying the words that all heterosexual males fear: "Welcome to Torchwood"

I'm feeling particularly generous this week: Any sentences you suggest with your vote-o stands a fair-to-middling chance of appearing in the featured story. Get in!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

On things you do to punish your kids that aren't really punishments

On things you do to punish your kids that aren't really punishments

A. Lamb - the new hotnessIn conversation with an excellent soon-to-be colleague brought up this little exchange.

"Scary, do you ever punish your kids in ways that aren't really punishments?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know - refuse them some sort of treat because it's too much like hard work."

"I'm going to blog this. NOW."

I'm a parent.

A scheming, devious cruel-to-be-kind parent of two scheming, devious almost-but-not-quite teenagers who'd bludgeon me into an early grave given half the chance.

It is an absolute given that I'd do anything to give myself and the fragrant Mrs Duck an easier life.


By way of example:

Me: "Right! That's it! I'm not taking you swimming"

Translation: Because, frankly, I'd rather eat my own foot than catch some hideous water-borne disease whilst avoiding old ladies getting the only lengths they'll see this side of doomsday. No pool.

Me: "Right! That's it! We're not going for a bike ride!"

Translation: Because you always bugger off onto your PlayStation as soon as we get home leaving me to scrape every dog turd in Weymouth off your tyres

Me: "Right! That's it! I'm not going to help re-arrange your bedroom!"

Translation: "What do you keep in your wardrobe? Lead weights? Last time I had to move that I couldn't walk for a week"

Me: "Right! That's it! No McDonalds!"

Translation: Because I had a sneaky quarter-pounder with fries on the way home from work tonight, and frankly, guilty pleasure or not, I'm stuffed

Me: "Right! That's it! You're not going on the internet"

Translation: Because it's the Devil's own work to get you off Club Penguin at bed time so I can download faked pornographic pictures of Nigella Lawson. And Kirstie Allsopp. And Sarah Beeny. And (new entry at number four) Amanda Lamb

Said too much.

Monday, January 21, 2008

On blanking famous people

Famous people. They're nothing like what they are on the TV.

Nothing like them.

"Ere. You're nothing like what you are on the TV," you'd say, and they'd be forced to agree with you.

They are - by and large - much smaller, for a start. It is one of the laws of television that you must be less that five foot tall to appear on the box, thanks, mainly to the limitations of the modern TV camera.

This means that when you run into your average famous person, you are more than likely not going to recognise them, looking, as you do, right over their short-arsed little head.

This is why, for example, my encounter with a famous person of some repute went so, so badly:

There I was, making small talk with one Antony Worrall Thompson - a very small, angry middle-aged man who smells of mould - who was using our sadly deceased studio to give an interview to Radio Five Live not so long ago.

A regular venue for Prayer of the Day, we had small bearded men in all the time and each was very much like another.

"So," I ask, "What do you do?"

(Angrily) "I'm a CHEF"

"Oh, jolly good. Will you be talking about cookery?"


"Are you any good, then?"


"You're a tyre fitter too? Wow."

Things went downhill from there.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Boss by Fruit

Mirth and Woe: Boss by Fruit

I ran into my old boss from the Ministry of Cow Counting the other day.

Michael was no ordinary boss, mind you.

Michael was Boss By Fruit. OUR Boss By Fruit.

And, frankly, you don't get appointed to this high office by being a mere mortal.

You need to show office-bound arsing-about above and beyond the call of duty. None of that stapler-set-in-jelly that is the Ricky Gervais stock-in-trade.

We are talking not-a-stroke-of-work-for-three-years dossing involving publishing our own in-house comic, the invention of fictional colleagues to confuse other departments, and the booking up of meeting rooms so we could sit about and talk what is known in the trade as "wanky bollocks" without being disturbed.

One of my colleagues in this madness is now a respected broadcast journalist in a certain broadcasting corporation that is based in Britain, spent the best part of two years constructing the world's largest calculator roll, a monster which measured over a foot across by the time he was transferred sideways into a department that actually insisted on work.

Another of my workmates was so repentant over his behaviour over those years, he took vows in the church and never worked again.

Others are still there, some two decades later, the only effort they have put in during all those years being to follow the office relocation up to Newcastle, where they can continue slacking off with a far higher standard of living.

So, with so much farting about going on, it was hardly surprising that Michael should come in one morning to find a pineapple on his desk.

No ordinary pineapple.

It was a pineapple with crude eyes, ears and a mouth cut out of paper and stapled on.

"What the..." he said, not being one to cuss in front of the ladies, "What the blinkin' flip is this?"

"It's your fruit," said Kurt.

"My... what?" said Michael, not exactly grasping the concept.

"Your fruit. You need something to prove that you are our boss. So I got you fruit. Big fruit."

"Right... And this is normal where you come from?"

"What? Winnersh?"

And so Michael was crowned Boss By Fruit. The only Boss to be signified by a fruity trophy in the entire UK Civil Service, I should imagine, with the letters BBF after his name.

The pineapple was placed in The Sacred Place - on top of the filing cabinets that separated us from the sad workaholics next door, just above the post of Kate Bush in a leotard where you can see her nips.

And there it stayed. For several months, a trophy to our lack of industry, and the world record for sleeping on the toilet.


It was Caroline, the softly-spoken supervisor of the sad workaholics next door, waking us from our Tesco-delivered reverie.

"You ARE going to get rid of that pineapple, aren't you? It smells a bit."

We couldn't say we actually noticed.

"I can't say we've actually noticed. It's Michael's. He's our Boss By Fruit."

That from a man who would soon be reporting by satellite on the US Presidential elections into the Six O'clock News.

"Riiight. Be a chap, and get rid of it, could you?"

Reluctantly, we drew lots as to who was going to retrieve the fetid fruit.

I lost.

I clambered onto my civil service-issue office chair and, holding my breath with my groin brushing against Kate Bush's peachy goodness, grabbed the pineapple from its resting place atop the giant cabinets.

And my fingers sunk right into its stinking flesh with a hideous squelching sound.

"Oh my G..." I exclaimed in surprise and alarm, taking a huge mouthful of stinking air, as maggots - maggots squirmed under my fingers.

"Everything alright up there?" said Michael BBF.


Rich, brown vomit all over the 1986 Cow Counting Annual Accounts.


"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARCH" - all over Kate Bush.


"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARCH" - the world record attempt calculator roll.

It was horrible. People from Personnel were called in, our lack of industry exposed, and the cold-hearted bastards made us do actual work.

Two days later, a grapefruit sporting a crude face appeared on Michael BBF's desk.

You can't keep a good fruit down.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

On Tesco swag

On Tesco swag

Pic: @ b3taShopping in Britain's favourite supermarket not long ago, I noticed that the person who'd gone through the till before us had left a bag of their shopping behind.

Spotting a rare chance to end the day in profit, I kept my mouth shut and loaded it into my trolley with the rest of my stuff.

1-0 to the Duck, at last.

I arrived home, having broken several traffic laws on the way, and with not a little excitement, inspected my swag:

1. One small tin of Lily-of-the-Valley talcum powder of the kind that you only ever win in school Christmas Fayre tombolas, which you then donate, unused to the Summer Fayre tombola

2. A tube of Polygrip flavour-free denture fixative

3. One packet of biblical flood-strength tampons

4. Ten-pack of Durex Extra Safe condoms

Being a bloke with all my own teeth who has recently had a vasectomy: Fuck my luck.

If you are a pensioner with an incredibly adventurous sex drive: I may have some of your shopping.

Hot diddly poop, it's a Thursday vote-o!

I haven't done a vote for a few weeks, so it's high time I threw caution to the wind and let you - dear readers - choose tomorrow's Tale of Mirth and Woe. As usual, the value of the vote-o quote-os can go down as well as up (except for the last one with is 100% of TRUTH). Choose from:

* Launcher: It was worse than he thought. As the clock ran down, he discovered that ten feet of liquid oxygen powered projectile was aimed right up his rectum

* Leaving James Behind; "I don't know what worse about you," she said, "It's like living with a cross btween Ann Noreen Widdecombe and Captain Jack Harkness. I can hardly walk."

* Red Card: "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. No. Scrub that. It was all shit. Shit with nuts in."

* Boss by Fruit: Driving along the M3 at 75mph is probably not the best time to find your car has a big red button hidden under a dashboard panel with a label reading "Do not push". What's a man to do? Still, it's good to get on the radio, even if it is the traffic news.

All contain traces of vomit, you'll be pleased to hear. Get in there!

Oh, and still plenty of time to sign up for the Scaryduck-of-Death Celebrity Death Pool, where I'm already making up the rules as I go along.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On sell-by dates

On sell-by dates

No tinned or jarred food ever goes out of date: FACT

Use-by dates on tins and jars are only advisory, I keep telling the fragrant Mrs Duck, as she ruthlessly goes through our cupboard, flinging out anything that is even a nano-second out of date.

Just because it says "Consume by Jun 2003" on the jar doesn't mean you can't eat it, I assure her. But, as the brimming skip outside our house proves, she's having none of it.

Bovril, I claim, never goes off. And if the day comes - say in about fifty years time - that you can't drink the stuff, you can still use it to tarmac your drive.

I can see the pair of us now, roaming the aisles of a bombed-out Tesco supermarket in some post-nuclear wasteland.

"We can't eat any of this stuff" she says.

"Why not?"

"It's past its sell-by date. We'll die."

Let us take as testament the four jars of Cranberry Sauce found in various cupboards in the run-up to Christmas.

Consume by, they said: Dec 2007, Feb 2006, May 2005 and - completely unopened - August 2003.

"Look," says I, "there's nothing wrong with them. Even the oldest one's fine - they seal it in a vacuum."

So I showed her.

I swear it was the winter vomiting bug.

A winter vomiting bug that does rich, red, cranberry-flavoured vomit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

On The Duck of Death's Celebrity Death Pool featuring the Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Gold Cup

On The Duck of Death's Celebrity Death Pool featuring the Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Gold Cup

They were dropping like flies last week.

Sir John Harvey-Jones. Sir Edmund Hillary. May the both rest in peace.

The world waits, breath baited, for a third dead knight in order to restore the balance of the universe. So far, one has not been forthcoming, and if I were Sir Cliff Richard, I would be shitting myself.

Or not, if you believe those colostomy bag rumours.

Any road up, the whole famous-people-buying-the-farm thing has reminded me of the site I used to run before this whole Scaryduck thing took off. It was called:

Grim Reaper's Celebrity Death Pool featuring the Queen Mother Jubilee Diamond Stakes and Pope John Paul II Steeplechase

It was mildly successful, and I had over 150 players by the time the whole thing *cough* died a death, simply because the whole thing required an enormous excel spreadsheet to administer, and frankly chewed up all my waking hours to keep running.

When the Queen Mum died, I was up until 2am three nights running updating the scores. The selfish swan-eating moo.

So: Time to revive the idea, only simpler and less time consuming.

I invite you, then, to tempt the cold hand of fate and enter:

The Duck of Death's Celebrity Death Pool featuring the Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Gold Cup

The rules are simple, but may get extremely complicated once I start making it up as you go along.

Object of game: Collect dead celebrities. Dead celebrities make points. And what do points make? PRIZES!

1. Choose THREE celebrities who you think may cark it in the next twelve months. Ten points per stiff

2. Choose one additional TRAGEDY PICK - a celebrity less than fifty years of age who you think may shuffle off this mortal coil before the end of 2008. Twenty points per stiff. Your list, then will have FOUR names on it.

3. Assuming that the old duffer's on his last legs: Using your skill and judgment, guess the date in 2008 that Prince Philip will join his royal ancestors. Twenty points for the nearest guess, with points awarded on a sliding scale for near-misses.

4. On the death of one of your team, you may select a new victim

5. The stalking and bloody assassination of celebrities in the pursuit of this game is actively encouraged

6. Extra points awarded - at my discretion - for ironic deaths

7. The following "death's door" celebrities are excluded from the game: Former Indonesian dictator Suharto, Death Row prisoners,

8. I am the sole arbiter of what constitutes a celebrity. This includes film, TV and music stars; sports men and women; politicians; people famous for being famous. "Colin from Work" is not a celebrity.

Please leave your entries in the comments box by 31st January 2008, or email me at scaryduck [AT] fastmail [DOT] fm. The game starts immediately and will run until 31st December 2008, and a small, entirely worthless prize will be given to the winner.

Your scores, game news and loving obituaries will be posted on a new specially-created blog, with the odd update on these pages.

Yes, I know. I'm a sick bastard. So are you for reading this far. Get in!

Link: Scaryduck-of-Death-Pool

Monday, January 14, 2008

On Lies

On Lies

My entire life is a complete fabric of lies, for which I am very sorry (apart from all my Mirth and Woe stories which are all 100% of TRUTH, you'll be pleased to hear).

This for example:

To my eternal shame, I went years telling people that I was a rather talented and enthusiastic musician. This resulted in an offer to go on a European tour with a well-known goth-rock band* as their keyboard player at the height of their fame.

The awful truth was that while I had spent the best part of a grand on a very excellent Korg Poly-61 keyboard and assorted add-ons, I was, in fact, a complete musical dyslexic who had been booed off stage as a result of my eardrum-rending musical ineptitude. Twice.

Fellow Blogger Balders - with whom I have jammed on a number of occasions (translation: set up all our gear, let the presets do all the work and watch Pat - the only genuine musician amongst us - play the guitar) - can attest to my complete lack of hap in the face of any kind of musical instrument.

Legendary Goth Rockers: I lied.

I have not learned. I still tell the most enormous whoppers:

Him: "I haven't seen you for ages"

Me: "No, I've been on a motoring trip across Europe"

"Anywhere nice?"

"Oh, you know... Austria... Slovenia... Italy"

"Wow. Must have cost a bit."

"Too right. We only popped out to IKEA for the afternoon. Got lost on the way to Lakeside."


"Too right. Bit of an escape, really."

Colleague who shall remain nameless: I lied. I have never been to Austria.

* who shall remain anonymous, but their name rhymes with Boards of the Poo Lurch

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Instant Karma

Mirth and Woe: Instant Karma

H. Minogue: Done some really bad stuff in a previous lifeMy copy of the Teachings of Buddha - stolen from an incredibly expensive Tokyo hotel room - has much to say on the notion of Karma.

Karma, it teaches, is the balance of good and bad deeds, thoughts and actions throughout the many incarnations of the soul. Good that is displayed in one life may be rewarded in the next, until the soul may reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment.

In our modern age of 'take, take, take', we demand and expect our karma to arrive instantly. And so it does:

*** WoooOOOooooOOoo creepy flashback music ***

My charming wife has a high tolerance threshold for stupid animals. After all, we have been married for the best part of sixteen years, and only one member of the household has ever shat in a plastic carrier bag in the garden shed.

However, we had a small, hyperactive West Highland Terrier that tried even her patience.

Harry Minogue would jump on anything, try to screw anything, and then try to eat it. If all that failed, he would piss on it.

As thick as pigshit - he still looks behind the TV after natural history documentaries to try to find out where all the animals have gone - he would piss everywhere.

Nothing was safe. Arrive home with bags of shopping, you'd leave them on the kitchen floor for a few seconds, only to find them dripping with dog wee, a repentant H. Minogue quivering in the corner, pissing himself with fear.

You wouldn't know him now - he's got new owners and has calmed down considerably into a charming little dog. But in our household, he was a grey-and-white blur that leaked everywhere.

So, on finding a large puddle in the kitchen, for the five hundredth time, Mrs Duck finally exploded.

"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS THIS?" she asked of him, pointing to a puddle of guilt next to his heavily waterproofed dog basket.

He did his best to explain by repeating the trick - in her carpet slippers.

"RIGHT! OUT!" she shouted, aiming a bare-footed kick at his rapidly retreating arse.

Alas, she missed, and scored a direct hit with a full-powered haymaker on our cast-iron West Highland Terrier-shaped doorstop.


Result: a broken toe, swelling up cartoonishly to the size of the rest of her foot.

That'll learn her.

Harry showed his concern for his mistress, now writhing in agony on the floor of the kitchen, by puking rich, brown Pedigree Chum-flavoured vomit ("YAAAAAAAAAARCH!" he said, only in dog) onto her already soggy slippers, which I was subsequently required to burn.

They wouldn't.

Animal cruelty: IT DOES NOT PAY

His replacement, the extremely cute ickle Lucy Minogue has only ever been to the toilet in my footwear. But she so cute!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

On your family possessing a Poo Radar

On your family possessing a Poo Radar

Every time.

Every bloody time.

The second I park my bottom on the toilet seat with a good book, you can virtually guarantee that there will either be a knock on the door - or, having forgotten to throw the bolt across - the door swinging open to allow an intruder into my little world of poo.

It's like they've got a radar.

A poo radar.

A poo radar that goes 'ping' when they detect their father having a poo.

We are a two-bog household. Yet, there I am, parked on the shitter, and the door will swing open to the words "I need a pee".

Last week was the final straw.

I had been looking forward to this one.

All day.

A poo nutured from its very genesis as nutty slack, right up to the moment of no return as a walloping great log.

A brown trout that would - once released into the nation's subterranean waterworld - swim its way to meet its fellow floaters at Wyke Regis water treatment works, as I sat, wooden seat leaving a round mark on my peachy pink buttocks, reading on the early life of comedian Tommy Cooper.


"Jus' like that."

And so it proved - the second best poo I had ever had in my life (the best ever being what fellow blogger Balders would have called '18 inches of ferro-concrete' released into the wild via a hotel toilet in Istanbul), - so chunky that I gave serious consideration to putting it on my Flickr stream - when the door opened to reveal the unrepentant face of the boy Scaryduck Junior, his Poo Radar pinging like there was no tomorrow.

I am afraid I lost it somewhat.

"I need a pee," he said.

"I bet you do, son. I bet you do. But tell me, boy, have you ever seen the Blue Goldfish?"

He replied in the negative, a statement which may contain traces of lie.

No matter. He's now seen the Blue Goldfish.

Shame: It is mine.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

On things you do in the car when you think that nobody is looking

On things you do in the car when you think that nobody is looking

Top Gear's Richard Hammond picks his arse at the wheelI am a terrible, manky bastard when driving on my own. In my little bubble of Ford Escortiness, I am immune, invisible, invincible and free to do as I please, up to and including farting like a trooper and scoring the results out of ten.

Every now and then, the bubble bursts, and my habits are lade bare before me like the King of Wrong that I am.

Here then, is a short list of disgusting, embarrassing or anti-social activities I may or may not have performed in the last months, and the excuses given in that horrible moment of realisation that You Are Not Alone:

* Pick your nose and wipe it on the steering wheel

Excuse: "It improves grip"

* Sing along to music and imagine that I am auditioning for The X Factor

Excuse: "The pop industry is crying out of somebody singing 80s synth-pop covers, dammit"

* Mouth the word 'wanker' when cut up by some smooth bastard in a BMW

Excuse: None. Too busy trying to escape by driving much, much slower than he is before darting up a side road

* Eyeing up attractive young ladies on a hot summer's day, their pert young breasts struggling against the tight, white material of their flimsy T-shirts

Excuse: "I'm looking for somewhere to pull over. Oh. No. There's a mini parked there"

* Have filthy, erotic thoughts about attractive young ladies on a hot summer's day, their pert young breasts struggling against the tight, white material of their flimsy T-shirts to take your mind off the fact you are dying for a piss

Excuse: "It's itchy, right?"

* Taking a wee into a Lucozade bottle, screwing the top back on and leaving it on the back seat for some unsuspecting passenger to find in the very near future

Excuse: "M25. Traffic jam. No services. What did you expect?"

Sorry. Won't do it again.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

On dog whistles

On dog whistles

"Come on lad," says I to the boy Scaryduck Jr, "You've been playing on that DS all day. Why don't you put it down and get on with your homework."

Fatal mistake.

A man must never separate an 11-year-old boy from his Nintendo DS, especially one who has discovered how to tap in to the wireless network and indulge in several days of net play with some chap in Singapore. Non-stop.

"It's not fair..." he starts.

"And you've got homework to do..."

"You never let me have any fun..."

"And your school bag's not going to pack itself..."

"It's hours before bed..."

... as his voice raises into the pre-teen whine that only pre-teens and a particularly angry Sir Alex Ferguson can manage.

"Give it a rest, son. Your voice has gone so whiny, only the dog can hear you."

And so it was true. The lips moved on the face of the DS-clutching boy, but no audible sound came out. Lucy Minogue sat up alert in her basket, looking around the room with some distress.

"Funny," said Mrs Duck, "she doesn't do that when I blow that dog whistle I got from Portland Market."

"Maybe it's broken," I say after some thought on the subject. "But how would you know?"

How - I ask - without the help of incredibly expensive scientific equipment, do you know whether your dog whistle is working or not?

"In fact," said Mrs Duck, warming to my lunacy for once, "How do I know I haven't been ripped off? There's probably a huge market for mock dog whistles that don't work."

"I ought to write to Watchdog about it."

"No. Don't."

Instead, we aim to devise a test.

Step1: Blow the dog whistle. No sound audible to human will come out, but if it works, Lucy Minogue will come running.

Step2: Throw Scaryduck Jr's PS2 handsets out of the window just as he reaches a critical stage in Ratchett and Clank. If it works, Lucy Minogue will come running.

We have no alternative plan for the eventuality that Lucy Minogue is deaf. Or, as we suspect, just plain stupid.

Monday, January 07, 2008

On Five a Day

On Five a Day

Here's a tip.

When your local Budgens supermarket realises that it has hopelessly overstocked on fresh green vegetables and marked it all down to 20p, don't - whatever you do - buy all the spinach in the world and eat it all in two rampant, steamy sessions thinking that you are doing yourself a power of good.

That's as maybe. You need your five-a-day, after all.

However - and I take this as a scandal of global proportions - colonic apocalypse lurks just around the corner.

For what they don't tell you is that you'll still be doing green poo a week later. That's something they never mentioned on the Popeye cartoons:

"I'm Popeye the sailor man
I live in a caravan
I only eat spinach a bit
Because it gives me green shit
I'm Popeye the sailor man!"
There are - disgustingly - no warnings on the packet. And by rights, there should be, with the same prominence as the cautions they print on cigarette packets.

"DANGER: Makes your turds go green."

And beetroot as well:

"WARNING: Makes your piss go purple."

Not to mention Extra Strong Mints:

"CAUTION: Makes your wee sting like you're passing broken glass"

I wrote to my MP, the schools minister Jim Knight on this subject which has - thanks to Jamie 'Fat Tongue' Oliver's meddling in school meals - implications for the millions of young people in this country.

Scandalously, I have yet to receive a reply.

I am not mad.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hole in the sky

Hole in the sky

Ceiling Cat says: "Where is ur God now? LOLOLZ"

Students of the genre will note the shadow under Ceiling Cat's chin. This is no cause for alarm, simply proof that the skies above the Isle of Portland are made of cardboard.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Manhunt II

Mirth and Woe: Manhunt II

Why be a wimp in bed? Batter her womb with this patent schlong extender! Or, it might just be a groundbait catapultI have already, on these pages, regaled you with the sordid story of a bunch of spotty youths, a large country park, assorted airguns and the painful consequences thereof.

Down the gravel pits Matt and Squaggy went with their low-powered firearms, taking pot-shots at each other through the long grass, until they came home and bled all over the carpet.

"Wow!" said Matty excitedly as the physical and mental scars finally healed, "You've got to come down the pits with us. It's MEGA!"

Mega it may have been, but I didn't fancy getting shot up the arse by anybody, and still had the IRA-style gammy knee from the last firearm-related episode to prove it.

After days of arm-twisting, I - and several others - finally caved in. With solemn promises that they wouldn't shoot anybody up the arse ringing in our ears, a gaggle of like-minded, combat-jacket wearing idiots trooped down to Twyford gravel pits for The Second Great Manhunt (No Shooting People Up The Arse, Promise).

It was to be an evening event, for the idea of stalking people in the dark with fifty feet of freezing cold water lurking round every corner somehow appealed to us.

Not actually possessing a shooter of my own, I raided my long-retired fishing box and tooled myself up with a bait catapult and a selection of lead weights. Tying two particularly chunky specimens together with a length of fishing line, I made myself a particularly deadly set of bolas, which would almost certainly have decapitated anyone if I knew what the hell to do with them.

It was a gambit that had worked well before, having invested a great deal of time pelting a kid called Geoff with the contents of my bait catapult, until his scary mum told me to stop.

Crossing the bridge from the Wagon and Horses car park into the gravel pits, we split up knowing that the Great Manhunt would not start until the signal was given.

And given it would be - by the cutting-edge technology of Citizen Band Radio.

"1-4 for a hairy copy - 1-4 for a hairy copy. Die you scum!"

The war was ON.

So, not wanting to die, I hid.

Every now and then, like some dreadful war movie, my radio would crackle into life as another of my buddies succumbed to death by red-hot lead: "I'm hit! I'm hit!"

And the frighteningly homo-erotic: "You bastard! You promised not to shoot me up the arse!"

Fearing for my life as the darkness closed in, I crept from my hiding place and skirted round the lake back to the relative safety of the pub car park and civilisation.

As I rounded a bend in the path, I saw, crouching down by the water's edge, two inches of arse cleavage toward me, the unmistakable figure of Andrew "Squaggy" Davis.

Never in the history of mankind had one teenage boy been met with such an inviting target.

A target of opportunity, and the shot-of-a-lifetime that would be talked about whenever two or more men came together in the name of cocking about.

I filled my catapult with a handful of lead shot, and just for comic effect, a great wodge of mud.

SPANG! went the catapult.

THWUP! went my guided missile, a direct hit down the Death Star's exhaust port.

There was no yelp, no cry of agony. Squaggy simply tipped over forward and fell headfirst into the drink.

"Fuck, YES!"

Let me rewind a couple of hours. Enough time to, say, witness a young man of a certain reputation winding down from menacing pencil-necked geeks around the school playground, smoking behind the music block, and skiving off reading pornography in the loft space above the boys' toilets. This young man has a reputation so feared and admired that he is known only as "Bozzer", even by the head of PE.

Bozzer might be as hard as nails, but he also enjoys the quiet life. A quiet life that involves a Friday evening of night fishing down the gravel pits, getting away from a less-than-appealing home life and quite possibly expecting a late-night bunk-up with one of the local slappers who knew of his regular pitch. Or not. He probably just liked punching fish.

So, the last thing Bozzer would want was falling victim to some idiot's inability to tell the school thug and his third best friend apart, resulting in a handful of lead shot-and-mud up the bum and toppling head-first into the cold, cold waters of Twyford gravel pits.

"Fuck, YES!"


"Fuck, NO!"

He rose from the waters, enraged and rapidly turning into the Incredible Hulk. Not wanting to face the wrath of the second seed in the infamous School Fight Club, I did what any sane young man would do under the circumstances. I went and gave him a hand out of the water, apologising profusely, offering my warm, dry jacket.

Fuck that. I ran away.

I ran away as far and fast as I could, stopping only when I was on the other side of the village, vomiting rich, brown Marathon Bar-flavoured vomit into a hedge in Twyford Rec.

My CB radio crackled into life.

"Scary? Where the bloody hell are you? It's Bozzer! He's gone menta..."

The radio went dead. All was static and the distant chatter of truckers on the motorway. I never saw Matty and Squagg again.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

On Kylie

On Kylie

If there's been one thing that I've learned recently it is that Brave Kylie Minogue is nowhere near as talented as she'd like to think she is.

Granted, she wasn't supremely talented in the first place, but her Christmas over-exposure means that Brave Kylie's limitations are there for all to see, and frankly, I've gone right off her.

Right off her.

And her skank of a sister, too.

In fact, I've gone right off her to the extent that I have photoshopped all the clothes back onto my priceless collection of photoshopped naked and partially-clad Kylie Minogue pictures.

The upside of this revelation is that I am now able to devote my image manipulating skills to the one, true cause: Photoshopping the clothes off pictures of Nigella Lawson

And Sarah Beeny.

And sweet, sweet Kirstie Allsopp.

Said too much.

On any other business

Blogs I've noticed recently that deserve your attention. All of whom, doubtless, would be thrilled and delighted to be associated with the above.

* The Wendy House - Because Wendy a) lives in Reading and b) likes buses

* Dayorama - Insanely talented colleague and equally talented friends

* This is This - Blogging by insanely talented soon-to-be-a-colleague Cliff Jones, and the reason why I've started using italics everywhere. Of course, I link to his site just as he gives up the whole blog thing. Tell him not to stop. It is your duty.

Also: Bugger

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

On advertising

On advertising

Totally gratuitous N. Lawson picAdvertising. It's great, isn't it?

These advertising Johnnies pay people genuine cash money to go out and sell you stuff you don't actually need. And here's the brilliant bit - they do all this by making you feel happy about it.

You would have thought that advertising executives are right down there with telephone sanatisers and the bloke who comes round your office to dust all the plastic pot plants as the least useful people society has to offer. And you'd be WRONG.

How else would I know - as a man of the world - that panty liners with wings are IMPORTANT, and that there are at least ninety-seven signs of ageing that can be eliminated with something called Boswelox? Advertising. That's how.

I also know that my life is an empty shell unless I buy several different types of motorised air-freshener.

It is, then, advertising king Charles Saatchi's rightful reward that he should be able to see Nigella Lawson, naked as the day she was born, smearing her firm, peachy breasts with L. Casei Immunitas-enriched Actimel, before doing thing with a Philips Ladyshave that'll make your head spin.

Advertising works. And I can prove it. I watched the Skoda Fabia advert several times, and was hugely impressed by the craftmanship on show. So impressed, that I went out and bought lots of cake.

On the other hand, I my TV has also been bombarded with minute-and-a-half-long Cadbury chocolate commercials. And now I have several gorillas.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The return of the old, dark ones

The return of the old, dark ones

He's actually a bit of an old softie, is Cthulhu.

On New Year Resolutions

I suppose you'll be wanting to know what my New Year Resolutions are for 2008. As a matter of fact, so would I. Completely off the cuff, then:

* Give up fucking swearing. The bloody swear box is damn well wiping me out. Oh

* End every conversation with the words "And then I was sick inna hedge". How this is going to work in the red hot world of international journalism is anybody's guess

* Lose weight. Same as last year. And the year before. This time, I really mean it

* Learn to photoshop the dog. Finish the book. Finish the other book. And the sitcom

And then I was sick inna hedge.