Monday, March 31, 2008

On standing up for dog turds

On standing up for dog turds

My local rag is in a bit of a tizz about dog poo. Or, to be more accurate, people who allow their dogs to poo everywhere and fail to clear it up.

Living in a town that relies on looking good for the money that tourists bring, you can see their point.

Pooing through peoples' letterboxes, I am happy to say, remains socially acceptable as it remains out of sight and out of mind.

But when you're ankle deep in dog turds, that's another matter altogether.

I might point out at this stage that the lovely fur-faced Lucy Minogue never, ever does a poo, just jasmine-scented deposits that walk themselves to the dog loo.

Dog turds, then, should be deemed socially unacceptable, yet in a lazy, ignorant society that has bred a generation of lazy Rottweiler-wielding bastards, we're going to remain ankle deep in dog turds for some time to come.

That is unless the government uses the same approach to tackle the problem with the same stunning level of success that it has achieved in tackling youth crime, immigration and the long-term unemployed.

Having realised that the older you are, the more likely you are to agree with a Richard Littlejohn editorial in the Daily Mail, it has, frankly, astounded me to come up with the following 100% effective five-point plan:

1. Employ a Poo Tsar on £120k/year. I am ideally suited for this job as the country's authority on doneing a poo, with a further specialisation in sick inna hedge

2. Post a cork to every dog-owning household in the UK, with a full set of instruction. Large print, Braille and foreign-language versions are available. As are Braille corks.

3. Get the local community involved. I plan to get all Premiership football clubs on board with a cunningly-named campaign entitled "Your shit.... ARGH!". Only football fans will get this gag. Sorry.

4. The number of council estate chavs, we notice, holds a direct link to the number of council estate chav dogs shitting all over the place. In order to reduce the number of dogs crapping in the street, we therefore have to cut down on the number of council estate chavs rutting away like monkeys in a zoo. Contraceptive drugs in Pot Noodles. It's far-reaching, but the only way.

5. If all else fails - such as on-the-spot fines and electro-convulsive therapy - follow these curs home and poo through their letterboxes. It's the only language these people understand

On this basis, I shall stand at the next election for the English No Shit Castrate The Scroungers Send Em All Back To Alsatian Or Wherever They Come From Party.

I am not mad.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mirth and Woe: My Lovely Horse

Mirth and Woe: My Lovely Horse

Just after my sixteenth birthday, my parents thought the time would be right to move house, a mere three months ahead of my O-Levels.

Sixteen years of age is far too old to still be sharing a bedroom with your younger brother, and this arrangement was playing merry hell with my night manipulations.

I shan't – for once – go into the hideous details, suffice to say that even the slightest movement on the top of a bunk-bed would be magnified ten-fold on the poor bastard below, making life all the more difficult for any furtive bashing of the bishop.

So, we moved to a larger house where we all got our own rooms. I landed on my feet with the biggest of the lot, which I converted into a small music studio and darkroom, where I completely failed to make any meaningful music and churned out dozens of black-and-white photographs of the dog.

The best thing about moving a mile or two up the road was that our house backed on to open fields. These were the same fields that were planted with the local farmer's poo tomatoes that inspired my failed experiments in gastric vegetable planting not too long ago. One of these fields was laid to meadow, and it was used by the local traveller families to graze their horses.

There were about half a dozen in varying stages of decay. Every now and then you'd take the dog for a walk, turn the corner and find the old chap who owned the nags vigorously yanking away at one of his charge's monster appendage, in the hope that it would eventually get into a suitably aroused state to impregnate one of the mares.

That's the clean version.

The Scaryduck version: And bugger me rigid if I didn't turn up one day to see this manky old bloke wanking off a horse. Naturally, I declined his invitation to join in, made my excuses, and took pictures from a suitable distance.

This sort of thing occurred on a fairly regular basis, to the point that I was on nodding terms with the old bloke when he turned up in his battered old Ford Capri to feed his equines and to indulge in a touch of arm-wrestling with the purple-headed stormtrooper.

Slight Diversion:

My lovely horse running through the field,
Where are you going with your fetlocks blowing in the wind?
I want to shower you with sugarlumps,
And ride you over fences,
Polish your hooves every single day,
And bring you to the horse dentist,

My lovely horse,
You're a pony no more,
Running around with a man on your back,
Like a train in the night (yeah),
Like a train in the night.
One winter evening, long after dark, I trudged up the dirt track with the dog dashing from bush to bush to stay out of the rain, when I espied the old chap of the horses coming toward me.

"Could ye help me out?" he asked.

Oh God. He's got a particularly difficult customer...

"I ...err... Is it the horses?"

"Aaaah, not really. It's me car."

It turned out that he'd done his normal tour of the field in the Capri Ghia, dropping off hay and feed to the horses, and found – not actually owning an off-road vehicle of any sort – that a fast, flash sports car is not ideally suited to soggy Thames-side meadows.

I followed him down the field in the pissing rain, and there was his yellow-and-black pride and joy, sunk right down to the wheel arches in the mire.

"If ye'd be kind enough to give me a bit of a push, I'll put some old sacking under the wheels to give a bit o' grip."

I hunkered down at the back of his car, and he revved like a madman to get the Capri free of its muddy prison.

The first thing that hit me in the face was the sacking. Wet, filthy sacking, flinging itself at me at an alarming rate of knots, whipping me around the arms, face and neck as it was expelled from under the mad, spinning wheels.

The dog fled.

Then came the mud. Huge dollops of wet, clinging mud, mixed with horse dung – and knowing my luck – horse jism. It wasn't just a little bit of mud. It was all the mud in the world, covering me from head-to-toe in great dustbin-lids of filth.

I gave one final, primordial roar, and shoved with all my might, as Horse Wanking Man sat lovely and warm in his driver's seat, foot to the floor, Hank Williams playing on the car stereo. The Capri Ghia shot from its hole and roared away into the night.


That was the sound of your humble narrator falling flat on his face, soaked to the bone, muddied like a Kirstie Allsopp at the World Pro-Celebrity Mud Wrestling Championships falling flat on his face in the middle of a field, somewhere in rural Berkshire.

The Ford Capri was nowhere to be seen. He had gone, like a duck in the night, without even a word of thanks.

Eventually, I peeled myself up from my sodden repose, made a half-hearted attempt to find the dog, but instead finding one of my trainers, almost completely full of mud, water and shit, and hobbled home, pausing only to be sick inna hedge.


The dog, naturally, failed to recognise me, giving me the full-force of his previously unknown guard-dogging skills, while actual blood relations threatened to call the police and/or the Fortean Times, on account of the hideous wraith trying to enter their house.

Faced with the indignity of stripping in the tool shed, my once-clothes even refused to burn and instead ended up on the compost heap.

Moral? Never shake hands with a man who masturbates horses. Or something.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On the Thursday vote-o

On the Thursday vote-o

Tom Cruise: NOT BUMMYFive being the number of Tales of Mirth and Woe for you to choose from, the number being: FIVE.

Vote, if you please, for the story you wish to appear on these pages tomorrow, in which projectile vomiting, fecal matter, public displays of nudity and violent explosions are virtually guranteed.

The vote-o quote-os are sourced from The House of Lies, and their value, as always, may go down as well as up. Use them wisely.

* Shandy: Nothing to do with any alleged footballing talent, young Beckham gets his 'Goldenballs' nickname from a well-documented teenage masturbatory accident with a tin of spray paint

* Top Gun: Already known for its perceived homo-erotic imagery, not-bummy-at-all Tom Cruise's lead character Maverick in the movie Top Gun was originally to be called 'The Indian out of the Village People, Lightly Oiled'

* Wem-ber-ley: What happens to the previous years' winners on The Apprentice? Alan Sugar has them ritually killed on the first day of filming, and fed to the new set of contestants. Recycling at its finest

* My Lovely Horse: Thanks to a mix-up at the United Nations top-heavy orange-skinned glamour model Jordan is to spend the next two years as a member of the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, King Abdullah II is to write a number of steamy and barely adequate novels whilst appearing in a fly-on-the-wall documentary with Peter Andre

* Invisible Touch: In the shops next Monday - "Ready, Steady Gogogoch: The Best Welsh Pop Album In The World... Ever, Isn't It?" featuring Evans 17 and Dafydd Bowie

And while you're here, tell us some outrageous untruths of your own. I could do with some new material a laugh or two.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On pressing 'B'

On pressing 'B'

"So what do I do now?"

"Press 'B'"

"Which one's that?"

"Just press 'B'"

"I know - but which one's 'B'?"

"On the back. With the letter 'B' on it. Just press it when you want to release the bowling ball."

"No. Sorry. Can't see it."

"Press 'B'! Press 'B'! Press 'B'! Press 'B'! Press 'B'!"

"There. Oh."

"What did you do?"

"I pressed 'B'"

"Which button was that?"

"The one on the front."

"That's 'A'. Here… let me show yo….OOOOYAGH!"

Our first Nintendo Wii casualty.

It occurred just as Scary's Very Tall Nephew made a second – and fatal – attempt to Wii Sports Bowling at the exact moment your humble narrator stepped in to show, exactly, where Button B was on the handset.

A handset that was planted, with no little power, straight into your narrator's trouser parts.

"OOOOOYAGH!" I exclaimed, in surprise and alarm, before assuming a foetal position on the living room carpet.

I would, under the circumstances, have fully expected at least an apology or some sort of concern for my wellbeing. However, my gasps of "You're… supposed… to… use… the… wrist… strap" were met with hoots of laughter from the gallery.

It's a good thing the loins are no longer in productive use these days - now that I am only playing for pride – but it was the kind of sporting injury that will surely have a detrimental impact on any future attempts at the Jousts of Venus.

In a separate and equally disturbing development – and an indication that my weekend could hardly get any worse - some joker in my household has replaced my Wii Mii with one that closely resembles Chelsea Football Club's lump-faced captain John Terry.

This means war.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On being a public disgrace

On being a public disgrace

Today's playlist: The Pretenders – Brass in Pocket.

Ok, fine, so it's a passable song. However, whenever I hear it, commercial radio staple that it is, I get urges. Dreadful, anti-social, embarrassing urges.

Whenever Brass in Pocket comes into earshot, I have to sing along. I know full well that I cannot sing (describing myself, like Stephen Fry, as not only being tone deaf but also tone dumb), but I cannot help myself.

It's as I get to the chorus that the trouble starts. It's the word "special", for I cannot stop myself from pressing tongue to lower lip and, well, belming. "Special", you understand, in the "Special Bus" context.

To whit: "I'm special (special), so special (special) / something somethingty something / give it to meeeeee"

As offensive behaviour goes, it is neither big nor clever, and particularly not whilst standing in the queue for the tills in Superdrug. If I were Pretenders singer Chrissie Hyde, I'd be torn between staying at home and playing with my breasts, or storming down to Weymouth to biff me in the conker.

But I simply cannot help myself, and for this I shall burn in Hell.

So: Last Saturday in the Weymouth branch of Woolworths, eyeing up the latest Wii releases, and my lips start moving involuntarily to the words:

"Gonna use my arms / Gonna use my legs / Gonna press my tongue into my lower lip…"

"Don't you DARE" said me lovely wife.

I dared. I'm not proud.

Monday, March 24, 2008

On sticking your nose into local planning where it's not wanted

On sticking your nose into local planning where it's not wanted

Oh Lordy, not-mad-at-all Kim Jong-Il's back.

Once again, the leader of the Korean People's Military-First Self-Determinist Revolution is offering his faultless on-the-spot guidance to the good people of Weymouth and Portland over the building of a relief road for the town - known variously as the Brown Route or the Orange Route (pay attention, top laughs depend on you knowing this) - which has sat, mouldering, on a drawing board at County Hall in Dorchester since just before the D-Day landings.

Regular readers will remember that the Dear Leader has already offered his miraculous Juche-based advice to the town over its plans to piss £150m away on a new theatre complex, offering, instead a 300-foot statue of Kylie Minogue towering over the harbour (undraped for preference) as a landmark offering hope, civic pride and nipples like chapel hat pegs.

And did the Dorset Echo print it? BLAM – Saturday's Letter of the Day, and rather satisfying to see them enter into the spirit of things too with a picture of an orange-skinned celebrity.

Restoring the gags ruthlessly hacked out by Echo sub-editors:

Dear The Dorset Echo

I am grateful to the people of this fine port of Weymouth for the positive reaction my plan for the Pavilion site has produced. I can already see in my mind's eye - as must many readers of your excellent publication - the 300 foot statue of Kylie Minogue rising above the harbour, an inspiration to the people of our Olympic town in these uncertain days.

"Mr Kim!" people say as they stop me in the street, "Mr Kim! We bow before your massive intellect and cannot wait to pay the £3.00 fee to see panoramic views of the town from the platform in Giant Kylie's head. Have you - we beg - got anything to say over the Relief Road?"

Yes. Yes I have.

The problem with the Weymouth Relief Road is this: it is called The Weymouth Relief Road. A name that hardly brings inspiration to the hard-working Weymouth proletariat. Worse is the County Council's "Brown Route" designation. Brown can only be associated with one thing, and frankly, I refuse to travel on any roadway named after something that's come out of a dog's bottom. There's enough of that on the Rodwell Trail as it is.

Change the name, I say, and you change the thing. This new road will be the first thing that visitors will see as they enter the Borough, so it is essential to make this initial impression count. The name has to reflect our town, our hopes, dreams and aspirations.

So, ask yourselves - what's Weymouth famous for?

- Black Death Boulevard

- Mad King George Link

- That Elton John Impersonator Off The Telly Avenue

- Don't Pull Over In Littlemoor Or They'll Have Your Car Up On Bricks Before You Know It Road

However, I'm tempted to celebrate our town's newest landmark: Kylie Minogue Expressway

The nature reserve and park and ride schemes at the top of the Ridgeway would be replaced with a 300-foot floodlit statue of Kylie's one-time beau Jason Donovan standing sentinel over the town, beckoning to the Antipodean songbird as she poses gracefully on the harbour-side, a reminder to all that we can't watch Neighbours since it switched over to Five.

Or, having once seen orange-skinned TV celebrity David 'The Duke' Dickinson in Weymouth, perhaps "the Orange Route" will do after all. We can make it "cheap as chips"!

There's no point hanging around waiting for this never-ending, namby-pamby inquiry process to be over and done with. You - the brave proletariat of this fine town - should rise up with me as your leader, grab your shovels and wheelbarrows and set to work on the road's construction immediately. There'll be neither pay nor time off, but I shall spare the floggings. It is for the greater good. Trust me.

Yours etc,

Mr Kim
Secret Bunker, Castletown
Coming soon: The Dear Leader stands for electoral office, and offers his advice to the naked, thrusting capital of the Thames Valley.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Rejoice, for He is risen from the dead, just like that ET fella.

Zombie LOLcat Jebus with a Father Ted reference thrown in at no extra cost. I am SO going to HELL.

Plz to send chocklit egg.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Upside down

Mirth and Woe: Upside down

So, there I was, sitting on my bed one summer morning.

My bed - at that time - being at some RAF camp in the Midlands during another ill-advised summer camp in my teens, where I leafed through the week's 2000AD comic, in my full pseudo-military fig in the gap between a hearty canteen breakfast and inspection parade.

Inspection parade.


You're a kid in your early-to-mid teens, you're on a week's camp away from home in the company of your schoolmates where you get to shoot things, fly planes, and run about in the woods blowing things up whilst pretending to be Rambo.

What you actually get is a week in a dismal barrack room left over from the war, while your superior officers - themselves playing make-pretend airmen in time off from their day jobs - get to shout at you like the Sergeant-Major in It Ain't Half Hot, Mum.

Instead of loafing around in bed until two in the afternoon like normal teenagers on school holidays, Air Cadet camp is full of six o'clock starts, immaculately turned-out uniforms and boots that shine like black mirrors. The only fights you will ever see at ATC Summer camp is the one for the ironing board. And the one for the single dog-eared copy of Escort, the young teen's porno mag of choice.

I sat on my bed, trousers creased to a knife edge. Shirt freshly laundered and pressed. My beret held over a kettle and shaped until it no longer resembled Frank Spencer's. And my boots: I had worked long into the night doing arcane work with a spoon, a candle, a duster and huge dollops of Kiwi's finest polish until they shone twin black holes ripped in the fabric of the universe.

At the end of my bed, my blankets, sheets and pillow were folded neatly into a regulation bed pack, and - comic aside, which could be slipped into a drawer at he first sign of grown-ups - I was ready of inspection parade.

"Officer coming! Stand by your beds!"

I snapped into action. I flung my 2000AD into a drawer and snapped to attention.

At least, that's what I wanted to do. Burly hands grabbed hold of me, lifted me bodily, and dumped me upside down in my immaculately-kept wardrobe. My own room-mates, too. Good God, didn't they want to win the inspection parade trophy?

To add insult to injury, I was whopped around the genitals with my rolled-up comic just as the door slammed shut on me, leaving me in muffling darkness.

I could hear heavy boots outside and the voices of the inspecting officers. Warrant Officer Can't-Remember-His-Name-But-By-God-He-Was-All-Bullshit-Foghorn-And-Polish and Flying Officer Sennitt, who, within the year would be cashiered over his habit of following his young charges home to ensure they got back from drill nights safely.

The door flung open in an explosion of light and sound, and I poured myself out onto the barrack room floor.

"Boy! What are you doing in there?" screamed WO Noisy.

"Don't know sir"

"And you a corporal, too"


"And THAT"

"It's only a comic, sir"

"You disgust me"

"But... it's only 2000AD"

I looked down. It wasn't only a comic. It was a hurriedly dispatched copy of Escort magazine, hurled at my head by one of my panicking attackers who was - rather understandably - not keen to be caught in possession of the smut himself.

It flopped open, forlornly, at the traditional Escort four-page centre-spread, where The Girls of Yeovil were showing the delights of their home town. Delights which - such is the paucity of entertainment in Somerset - basically boiled down to naked bosoms and a bit of flange.

"Drop and give me fifty!"

I dropped and gave him fifty. At least, I tried. It's hard to drop and give your shouty senior officer fifty on a stomach full of fried breakfast. I gave him twenty-two and a boot covered in rich, brown vomit.

And then I spent a lovely morning on jankers, cleaning every toilet in the barrack block.

Revenge was served slightly warm and at about ten o'clock that night.

"Sorry lads," I lied, "I'm too knackered to go to the club tonight. I'll stay here an' do my boots."

With my assailants well out of the way, I spent a profitable hour 'tea-bagging' each and every one of their beds. Tea-bagging, for the uninitiated, is the art of folding the sheets on an already-made bed so that they *look* normal, but fold back upon themselves halfway down. The result being that the victim will jump - slightly pissed - into bed and find that it stops after three feet.

And if they jump into bed with enough enthusiasm...

"Chop chop lads! Lights out in thirty seconds!"




Got the bastards - all three of them.

"Boy! Why are you damaging Air Force property?"

"Don't know sir"

"And you a corporal, too"


"Drop and give me fifty."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On having to come up with a Thursday Vote-o at the last minute

On having to come up with a Thursday Vote-o at the last minute

There's a lot of new readers here today, thanks to the marvellous Kim du Toit and his generous linkage. And here I am, completely unprepared from the crowds, busy as I am with pretending to be Dear Leader Kim Jong Il for fun and profit.

Thursdays round here are a bit different. It's when I drop everything and hold a mockery of the democratic process of the type last seen in the Russian presidential elections to choose which Tale of Mirth and Woe will appear tomorrow. Many of these tales involve nudity, vomit or scatological references of a kind that celebrated wit Oscar Wilde could only dream.

Choose then, from the following, leaving your choice in the Spicy Brains comment box. The vote-o quote-os this week are drawn from the latest Scaryduck Tourist Guide to London. Please to add more, while you're here.

- Shandy: Turn up early at Westminster Abbey for daily readings from The Da Vinci Code. Tom Hanks makes an effort to be there every day, 7.30am sharp, often disguised as a nun

- Top Gun: The glass in the London Eye is actually a one-way mirror, so nobody will notice if you need to relieve yourself in a corner

- Upside down: Get a 50% discount at Harrods by saying the secret pass code to any cashier: "Actually, they were killed by a drunk driver"

- Wem-ber-ley: Try the guided tours to the famous police headquarters at New Scotland Yard. Backpackers particularly welcome!

As the used to say in Northern Ireland: Vote early! Vote often!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On self-diagnosis

On self-diagnosis

Numan: Not madA little learning, they say, is a dangerous thing. And sitting on your own on these long winter evenings with the entire sum of human knowledge at your very fingertips is very dangerous indeed.

Particularly dangerous if you are an amateur hypochondriac like myself.

Google. Wikipedia. NHS Direct. It is a veritable goldmine for what the medical profession calls "the worried well", who spend their waking hours flitting from Daily Mail health scares to the internet, convinced that they are getting killed to death by Ebola.

I've looked it up. I've been to Monkey World within the last five years, and who knows what's in primate crap these days? I'm doomed.

You might remember, not so very long ago, of a not-so-tall tale of a trip to the local surgery, having convinced myself through self-diagnosis, that I had a brain tumour.

I had, it turned out, something called a "headache".

I am certain Dr Chapman has appended the words "WARNING: Has internet access" on my records to warn his colleagues that I think I know better that years of intense medical training.

I've got a past record of this.

What I thought - and this went on for several years - was a brain haemorrhage, was a trapped nerve in my neck, cured coincidentally by the combined bad driving of my sister and a little old lady on a hara-kiri mission.

Only a couple of years ago, I seriously thought I had herpes or some other hideous disease. Scabies.

I know for a fact the doctor wrote "Manky git" in my notes, and he was right.

Now, having read the Wikipedia entry on my genuine MySpace chum Gary Numan, I am convinced I have Asperger's Syndrome.

It's all there in black and white:

- Problematic social skills

- Inability to mix with people

- Inability to communicate clearly (as six years of this blog have proved)

- Restrictive and repetitive behaviour

- Restrictive and repetitive behaviour

- Repetitive behaviour

- Minute obsession with a single subject matter. In my case: poo.

There can be only one answer to these obvious clues. It's Asperger's Syndrome. Of the fatal variety.

It all makes sense, when you think about it.

And the best bit for any fully paid-up member of the Worried Well is the fact that it's incurable.

Or, as I'm sure Dr Chapman has already noted: "Caution: CUCKOO"

I am not mad. I think.

On any other business

Multiple updates and latest scores on the Duck of Death Celebrity Deathpool.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On pressing 'A'

On pressing 'A'

"So what do I do now?"

"Press 'A'"

"Which one's that?"

"Just press 'A'"

"I know - but which one's 'A'?"

"On the front. With the letter 'A' on it. Just press it."

"No. Sorry. Can't see it."

"Press 'A'! Press 'A'! Press 'A'! Press 'A'! Press 'A'! "

"There. Oh."

"What did you do?"

"I pressed 'A'"

"Which button was that?"

"The one on the back."

"That's 'B'"

"Oh. Does that mean I've lost, then?"

"Yes. Yes it does."

You know what this means: We have bought a Nintendo Wii.

Having bought a few games to go with the monster, we'd like your suggestions as to which hideously expensive interactive software product we should be purchasing to add to our Bugger-Me-This-Is-Hard-Work Wii-playing experience.

So far, we've got:

- Wii Done a Poo Extreme

- Hand Shandy Simulator

- Ann Widdecombe's Mud Wrestling II

- Punching Jimmy Carr's Smug, Self-Satisfied Face, Really Really Hard

Plz to suggest more. Kthxbai!

On any other business

Lord Andrew of Fanton is thoroughly sick of LOLCats. So: RIPDogs.

The sick, sick bastard. I LOLed.

Monday, March 17, 2008

On sticking your nose into the dating game where it's not wanted

On sticking your nose into the dating game where it's not wanted

Click to embiggenLast week, regular reader Debster found a letter in her local newspaper - the esteemed Richmond and Twickenham Times - which tickled her enough to bring to my attention and post onto her Flickr stream.

Working on the premise that local newspaper editors will print absolutely anything in their postbag, the writer managed to get a perfectly acceptable Viz Letterbocks-style gag into the newspaper last week, which pleased me greatly.

The gist of it was this:


I wish to protest most strongly about my recent experience of Starbucks in George Street, Richmond.

You may or may not have noticed that on the door as you enter the coffee shop there is a sign that reads "Pull Here".

I would like to bring attention to the fact that I have visited the shop everyday and I have not pulled once. This is despite being reasonably attractive with symmetrical features and all my limbs still intact.

…etc, for several paragraphs…

Miss L MacDonald
Of course, that sort of thing's red rag to a bull for me these days, and I simply couldn't let it lie:

Dear Sirs,

I note Miss L MacDonald's recent letter in a recent R&T Times bemoaning her lack of success in the dating game despite more than adequate facilities provided by Starbucks in Richmond.

Miss MacDonald may consider herself reasonably attractive, however her inability to "pull" in this particular coffee shop may give the lie to her assumption. Please could the young lady send a recent picture to your newspaper (bikini for preference) for publication so that we - your humble readers - can judge for ourselves? Heaven forbid that she is defaming the good name of Starbucks if she has a face like a melted owl perched on top of Ann Noreen Widdecombe's body.

She might prove me wrong in my assumption. And you never know - she might get lucky!


Albert O'Balsam, Kew

PS I'll be there next Thursday, 11am, with a rolled-up copy of The Times and big sign saying "Get it here" ("It" being a skinny two-shot Latte with sprinkles)
Did they publish it? He shoots – HE SCORES! (Or, click on pic above to embiggen)

I am allowing myself a few short moments of smug self-satisfaction this morning after getting 'Anne Noreen Widdecombe' and 'face like a melted owl' into the pages of the Fourth Estate.

As I'm feeling particularly generous, I am allowing you to take the rest of the day off.

Take the rest of the day off.

Friday, March 14, 2008

On finding stuff

On finding stuff

A misguided attempt to mix mirth, woe and reader participation

Mrs Duck's got an uncle.

Mrs Duck has loads of uncles, the end result of not being able to afford a television.

One of these blood relatives had a Red Indian-style knack of finding stuff. Never stuff he was actually looking for, but random things left in the street that may or may not have some sort of intrinsic value. Uncle was, in fact, a long distance lorry driver, and much of his loot tended to come into his possession in motorway service stations and at the side of the road.

The man had – and probably still has for all I know – a perfectly functioning Other People's Crap Radar which could detect a pound coin down the back of a sofa dumped in a hedge off the A38 ten miles away.

So, the phone rings at a home somewhere in the south of England:

"Hello? Mrs Duck's aunt speaking"

"Hello, Mrs Duck's aunt, this is Mr's Duck's uncle."

"Hello, Mrs Duck's uncle – to what do I owe the pleasure of hearing your voice at this particular time of day, viz: just about to cook your tea."

"That's what I was ringing about Mrs Duck's aunt: don't cook tea tonight. I have it all sorted. All sorted."

"Oooh, I love it when you talk in italics, Mrs Duck's uncle. See you later."

Much, much later, a forty ton truck pulls up outside a house somewhere in the south of England.

"Hello Mrs Duck's aunt! I am home!"

"About time too – where's the dinner you promised, then?"

"Oh ye of little faith, Mrs Duck's aunt. It is in these boxes. Behold!"

She beheld. She beheld in awestruck silence for several seconds.

"It… it… it's a wedding cake, isn't it?"

"Spotter's badge, Mrs Duck's aunt. I found it in a lay-by on the A4. Lucky or what?"

"Well, you eat it. I'm off to the chip shop."

As we draw a discrete veil over this charming little scene where the more demanding reader may - at this point - imagine Mrs Duck's uncle scoffing the lot and being sick inna hedge, we ask "What, then, have you found?"

I set the bar thussly: One DVD copy of the cinematic epic 'Grannys Cumming II', discovered in a skip at Weymouth Municipal Recycling Centre. Free wrinkly porn for the best answer.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Condensed films: Titanic

Condensed films: Titanic

What's it to be, then? Three-and-a-half hours in front of the box, or the whole thing played out on these pages in a mere 436 words? Sure, you can watch the film if you want, the only consolation being the dappled light playing across Kate Winslet's peachy young breasts, but she pops them out in public anyway if you ask nicely.

So: Titanic, boiled down to a side of A4 paper in the the easy-to-understand language of the MySpace generation. And no Celine Dion, either. It's a win-win.


Captain Smith: Hello. I am Captain Smith and I am excellent. Welcome to TEH TITANIC, which is also excellent.

K. Winslet: ROFFLE. He just said 'tight anus'

Captain Smith: I'm sorry, I have a cold

L.D. Caprio: I love you K. Winslet, but you are rich

K. Winslet: I love you too, L.D. Caprio, but you are poor

Tarquin de Farquar: Also, I am marrying K. Winslet. LOL

K. Winslet: ONOZ! Plz not to marry T.D. Farquar - he is TEH BEASTLY CAD

Tarquin de Farquar: And I'm going to punch L.D. Caprio right in TEH COCK, just for TEH LULZ

K. Winslet: Wanker

L.D. Caprio: Poor people – let me show you them

Poor people: Begorrah! Bejebus!

K. Winslet: LOL! Poor people – they are TEH FUNNAY!


K. Winslet: Plz to draw me nekkid

L.D. Caprio: LOL B00BZ. I haz done them enormous

K. Winslet: And now plz to give me one

L.D. Caprio: WA-HEY-HEY! This day just gets better and better. What, I ask, could possibly go wrong?

Captain Smith: My TIT-ANUS. It is unsinkable


Captain Smith: Arse

Seaman Stains: Women and children first!

Tarquin de Farquar: I am a women and children. Plz to let me in the liferaft

Seaman Stains: KK

Tarquin de Farquar: LOLOLOLZ

Seaman Stains: Oh. I have shot myself in the head. Never mind, stiff upper lip and all that. At least teh band's still playing

L.D.Caprio: Do you know any Spandau Ballet?

TEH BAND: Plz to fk off. We're going down like a sinking ship as it is. LOL

K. Winslet: ONOZ! The lifeboats: THEY IZ TEH GON!

L.D. Caprio: Plz to not worry. We can climb to the very top of the ship and we'll be absolutely fine. The way my day's going – having seen your hairy nadge an' all that - everything's going to turn out totally peachy. Just you see

Captain Smith: Ub glub glub glub

Poor people: Ub glub begorrah glub glub bejebus glub

Rich people: I say, this is a pretty poor show, what? I shall complain to the directors of the company in the strongest terms ub glub glub glub


K. Winslet: ONOZ! We are in teh freezing ocean – wiv poor peoplez!

L.D.Caprio: We'll be rescued any minute. Trust me. Ub glub glub I can see your minge from down here LOL glub glub

Roger teh cabin boy: Hello. We are here to rescue you

K. Winslet: My bosoms – let me show you them

Roger teh cabin boy: A hub a hub a hub a hub hub hub

Coming to theatres in 2008: TITANIC II: The Wrath of L.D. Caprio - "He went down twice in one day, and now he's getting even"


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On a spell in the army doing them good

On a spell in the army doing them good

A typical army scrote, recentlyCrime.

Gangs of spork-wielding hoodies roaming the streets, high on wallpaper paste and scary old ladies stupid with a Wildean wit and a packet of French ticklers. That's the image of today's slovenly, ill-disciplined youth. And SOMETHING must be done about it. NOW.

Put them all in the army, I say.

I don't mean that in a retired Colonel Daily Mail reader kind of way, because they come from some sort of golden age where A Spell In The Army Did You Good, and gave you some sort of national amnesia about all the murders and robbing and violence that stalked the streets back then just as much as it does today.

Put them in the army, I say, to scare the living shit out of the little scrotes.

Apart from a number of notable exceptions - who are currently heroically hacking through the sweat-drenched jungles of Afghanistan rescuing a stranded Lord Kitchener from loin-clothed, spear-rattling savages (Are you sure? - Ed) - I can inform you with all confidence, that the British Armed Forces are filled to the brim with enormous twats.

You know: the kind of person who sports a wispy moustache and would drive a Ford Capri if they still made them, who - should they ever find themselves listed in Who's Who - would list their recreations as 'Having sex with large-breasted female celebrities' and 'Lying through my teeth'.

So. It's not the discipline of the army that my little scheme's aiming for. It's the sheer pant-wetting terror of 'Give us three months and you'll be like this too. Well, punk?'

The mere exposure to Lance Corporal If-you-can't-pull-on-a-Friday-night-in-Sutton-Coldfield-you-must-be-some-sort-of homo would be enough to drive even the most hardened of hoodies to a nice quiet life working in a High Street bank, helping old ladies cross the road in their lunch break and lecturing their less-enlightened kin on the error of their ways.

However - and I know what you're thinking as a fellow, upstanding British taxpayer- all this needless recruiting of the flower of English youth just to scare the shit out of them. It's not going to pass any Whitehall bean-counter's value for money test, is it?

Budget cuts. And I'm on top of this already. We CAN do it on the cheap.

I think, then, we should take a leaf out of the book of our good friends in the Former Soviet Union. Every Sunday morning since God-knows-when, they fill the airwaves with non-more-patriotic military TV programmes to promote the service to the Fatherland of the nation's armed forces. One of these programmes is even hosted by the current Miss Russian Army, a fine figure of a man, who urges viewers to wipe out the Chechen menace in between unfunny comedy skits, terrifying displays of martial arts and even more terrifying military band concerts.

The Belarusian army's TV programme is called "Arsenal", and that would be an ideal name for such a show hoping to grab the eyeballs of a potential young thug expecting the Sunday morning repeat of Match of the Day.

Instead of an orange-skinned, crisp-guzzling Gary Lineker, the poor saps will be introduced - at little expense to the TV Licence payer - to a procession of wispy-moustached junior NCOs giving forth on the best places to bunk up with the local slappers in the countryside around Aldershot, and which doctors will write out no-questions-asked penicillin prescriptions before regaling them with tall-tales on how they personally killed Bin Laden to death while attached to the Green Berets.

There will also be short films on the glamorous life cleaning the toilets at Catterick, cleaning the toilets at Colchester, and by way of variety, vintage clips of cleaning the toilets up the jungle during the Malay emergency. All this with a voiceover laying out the average squaddie's chances of becoming an SAS hero: "Square root of bugger all, son."

And: "You should've listened in school, you horrible little turd."

At a stroke, teen crime will be eradicated.

God help us if there's a war.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On the oldest email in your mailbox

On the oldest email in your mailbox

Rikaitch recently wrote a post for his marvellous blog on rubbish fake virus warning that you receive every now and then from well-meaning colleagues, friends or family.

Blissfully lacking web experience, they'll forward virtually every single email they get with such subject lines as FWD: FWD RE: FWD: READ THIS!!! NOT A JOKE!!!!!

"You know," I said to Rik, "I think I've got a genuine antique, mate."

And so I went in search, trawling through my mailbox, and there, in a darkened corner, amongst the files migrated from two previous changes to my work address was this little number:

SUBJ: HUM: "Free Money" FAKE Virus (***)

There is a computer virus that is being sent across the Internet. If you receive an e-mail message with the subject line "Free Money," DO NOT read the message. DELETE it immediately, UNPLUG your computer, then BURN IT to ASHES in a government-approved toxic waste disposal INCINERATOR.

Once a computer is infected, it will be TOO LATE. Your computer will begin to emit a vile ODOUR. Then it will secrete a foul, milky DISCHARGE. Verily, it shall SCREECH with the tortured, monitor-shattering SCREAM of 1,000 hell-scorched souls, drawing unwanted attention to your cubicle from co-workers and supervisors alike. After violently ripping itself from the wall, your computer will punch through your office window as it STREAKS into the night, HOWLING like a BANSHEE. Once free, it will spend the rest of its days TORTURING household PETS and MOCKING the POPE.

Some filthy, disgusting miscreant ... some no-good, low-down, good-for-nothing DIRTY SNAKE, in twisted pursuit of her own sadistic dreams, is sending this virus across the Net via an e- mail entitled "Free Money." What is so terrifying about this virus is that you do not even to have to open the e-mail for it to activate. In fact, you do not even need to RECEIVE the e- mail. You do not even need to OWN a COMPUTER. "Free Money" can infect even minor HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES.

How it does this with straight ASCII code is, frankly, a matter of some debate ... but BELIEVE YOU US, if this weren't a SERIOUS situation, we wouldn't be discussing it in ALL CAPS.

So for the LOVE OF GOD, forward this e-mail to all those you claim to care about, all those you purport to love. Don't do it later! Do it NOW! Now! Now! NOW! NOW! NOW!
The date on this piece of internet gold: 23rd March 1997. Some poor bloody email server's (not to mention its dad, and quite possibly its granddad) been storing this mail for well over a decade, consuming needless electricity generated from trees HACKED from VIRGIN Brazilian rainforests. This joke email has been sitting there, slowly killing the planet, and it is MY FAULT.

Also in my antique joke file I've also got the original Evil Overlord list (2nd September 1997) a genuine Good Times virus warning (10th May 1997) and a list of stupid product warnings ("On a bar of soap: Use like regular soap" - Oh, the ROFFLES) from November 1998. It's far, far too late to delete them - the council's come in and now they're Grade II listed buildings.

Luckily, this folder redeems itself with some genuine gems - the official Best Joke In the World - Death or Bulunga (1st Feb 2000), Family Fortunes (20th June 2000) and the first recorded instance of a Scaryduck Tale of Mirth and Woe, sent at 1337 o'clock on 9th April 2000.

Time, then, for an antique email amnesty. What's the oldest email in your possession, and what's your excuse, PLANET MURDERER.

Monday, March 10, 2008

On stick'ng one's nose into ye building of St Paul's Cathdedral where it is not want'd

On stick'ng one's nose into ye building of St Paul's Cathdedral where it is not want'd

I thought - until just two days ago - that I and my alter ego Kim Jong-Il held the monopoly on sending demented letters to those in authority demanding 300 foot statues of female celebrities. Until this turned up in newly-discovered documents on the life of famous London diarist Samuel Pepys, as published in the December 7th 1666 edition of London Lite:

December 3rd 1666: Our city stands on the edge of a great ungodly precipice, and it may topple ov'r into a pit of sin and debauch'ry at any minute. Why? I have seen with myne own eyes the newly-publish'd plans for Christopher Wren's Cathedral, which will replace St Paul's church, sadly lost in ye Great Fyre which was certainly not caus'd by my friend Newton sett'ng fire to his owne farts.

I have, with great speed, writt'n my friend Wren a letter explain'ng my misgiv'ngs, which my servant Harper is carry'ng to his lodg'ngs as we speak. I have, for the sake of this diary, not'd the contents of this letter, lest THE LORD strikes us all down for fail'ng in this most important of projects, viz the driv'ng out of wickedness and Catholicks from London.

My dear Wren!

I note with great interest on this cold'st of winter evenings, your noble desire to re-build this noble city after the unfortunate fires of early September, which I must stress were certainly not caus'd by myselfe and my good friend Newton in drunk'n attempts to set fire to our own gas as part of an ill-advis'd investigation into this new-found 'science'.

While your plans for the sadly consum'd St Paul's Cathedral are indeed laudable in the extreme, would you, as a fellow member of the Royal Society, allow me to suggest a few improvements which I fear you may have neglected?

- Many of my colleagues at the Navy Office agree that your project'd dome for the Cathedral is a fine idea. However, we all speak as one in ask'ng where - perchance - is the second? Sirrah! You are going to build the world's biggest titty in the myddle of London! Do you not know they come in pairs? Rectify this shortcoming immediately, and ensure they are paint'd pink.

- Don't forget the Oliver Cromwell Death Slide - you appear to have omitt'd this from your drawings

- More importantly, my Naval colleagues request that the open space you suggest in front of this noble building be reserved for a 300-foot statue of our lady Damaris 'Bury me in a Y-shaped coffin' Page, the slattern who has done more for our nation's proud seamen than the dread'd scurvy

Give me the name of one proud Englishman who would not be proud - as he walks into your new church of churches in his Sunday finery - to look up ye flappinge mynge of our capital's finest sixpenny whore, before giv'ng thanks for THE LORD'S preservation from ye dread'd clappe in the pews while giv'ng the widow'd Lady Johnson the eye in the hope of a quick bunk-up before Evensong.

Your goodly friend, Pepys
I have instruct'd Harper to wait for a reply. He has been gone for some hours, and he has promis'd to bring me a thrupenny slattern on his return. His idleness displeases me, for my loins await impatiently.

December 4th 1666: Harper did not return until late this morning, hav'ng been forc'd to wait at Wren's apartments and havn'g lost my sixpence. I thrash'd the boy greatly for his tardiness, and the fact that I was forc'd to pleasure myself of the night, Mrs Pepys being on ye ragge again. He did, however, bring a letter from the great architect Wren, which went some way to alleviating my fears:

My dear friend Pepys,

I thank you for your kind letter regard'ng my Great Church.

Alas! The Dean of St Paul's is a parsimonious old farte who lives in a shack in the ruins of the old cathedral and will not allow a second dome to be built. As much as London would like to see a pair of Ye Devil's Pillows on this fin'st of landmarks as a daily reminder of The Sinnes of Ye Fleshe which should be excis'd by daily scrubb'ng of Ye Private Partes, the silly old fool Wm Sancroft is hav'ng none of it.

A single tit it shall be, and that, sadly is the end of it. In fact, his actual words were thus: "I woulde rather shitte on my wigge and wear it round town all day like a hat than have Satan's Udders on myne church!" so I thinke his mind is made up.

Fortunately, both Dean Sancroft and myself have argu'd long and hard for yr propos'd statue of the slattern Damaris Page, as both of us have fond memories of her bucket-like mynge and extraordinary thatched lady-garden. Sadly, King Charles, whom we both serve, is of a different mind on this issue, and Miss Page's contribution to this fine city will go unmark'd.

Instead, he has commissioned a 300 foot statue of The Catholick Whore Queen Mary being violat'd by stoats, which I have on my draw'ng board this very morrow. It is a fine, fine likeness, and His Highness has already remark'd that he gets considerable wood just glanc'ng at my preliminary sketches. It being a fine alternative to Miss Page, I have already squandr'd much seed over my draw'ngs.

I trust this message soothes your conscience, my friend. I enclose a surplus sketch of The Whore Mary tak'ng it up the wrong'un for your inspection under a wax seal. I have already thrash'd your servant, just in case he is tempt'd to look for himself.

Your pal, Wren
Well, that's that well and truly sort'd out then. And so to bed, tak'ng my sketch of The Whore Mary with me, for educational purposes.

Lordy! Loads more Pepys diaries (Editor: S. Duck, Esq) HERE.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

On selling out to The Man, again

On selling out to The Man, again

In the wake of the hoo-haa over my one-man dash to get my nose in the trough of the public relations and advertising industries by accepting advertising on this site, it is pleasing to see that my decision as - finally - been vindicated.

A quick glance to the left shows that Google Adsense has the good taste - every so often - to throw up advertising for the wonky-eyed, lightly-oiled Sarah Beeny dating site My Single Friend onto these pages with the "Not scary" rider.

This is the best thing that has happened to me. EVER.

If only they knew. Come to think of it, they probably do, googling lightly-oiled Sarah Beeny morning, noon and night.

I am still waiting for Adsense to throw up an ad for and my work here will be done.

It would - of course - be completely mercenary for me to encourage you, dear reader, to click on these Adsense links and earn me GENUINE CASH MONEY. So I won't.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Leaving James Behind

Mirth and Woe: Leaving James Behind

In my late teens, I discovered football.

In fact, I discovered football in a big way. After a year of standing with my boss and a bunch of old fogies on the South Terrace at Reading, I was persuaded by my brother to experience a REAL football match. He took we to see West Ham entertain Arsenal one Tuesday evening - in the away end - and I was hooked.

It was, indeed, the real thing. Thousands of fans crammed, heaving and swaying on one tiny terrace, the waft of beer, burger and tobacco. The barely suppressed menace and naked aggression of the opposing fans in the aptly named Chicken Run (go near 'em, and the chickens run). The 'don't care if we win or lose (as long as we win) attitude' of the whole affair, that sociologists and politicians alike have failed to understand over the years.

And, of course, the fucking huge fight after the match that had me hiding in a local kebab shop.

The following week, I went to a home match against Newcastle. The Arsenal were shit, and we lost, but by then, it was far, far too late. Reading FC was a fast-fading memory, as I threw in my chips with the Arse, and I never looked back.

Reading would never take more than two or three coaches of away fans to a match. On one particular occasion, I had travelled with my boss to a midweek cup fixture against Shrewsbury. Finding ourselves numbering less than twenty, one of the players - Kevin Bremner, bless him - stood by the turnstiles and paid for the lot of us to get in.

Arsenal, on the other hand, chartered whole trains to get us to away grounds. Stories of Football Specials are legion, with hundreds of supporters turning up in places like Norwich to be met by equal numbers of home fans eager to put us in our place, and twice a many coppers just as eager to help them.

Our little band of layabouts and part-time hoolies soon found it was far more convenient to drive. As a rule, you could leave at a sensible time, park relatively near the ground, get a drink in a friendly pub (and, on the odd occasion, distinctly unfriendly pubs as well), and troll into the ground to see the Football Special mob being herded in by the local law, like sheep to a slaughter house.

After a while, a sort of community developed. Not only of groups of your own independently-travelling supporters, but also of fans of other teams heading up north for ninety minutes of swearing and eventual misery. With there being a good dozen or so teams in London, you'd invariably run into the same old faces at M1 service stations, trade light-hearted abuse in the queue for the Wimpy and go on your way, to do the same again on the way home.

We travelled in a group numbering anything from four to a dozen, sometimes travelling in a convoy of up to four cars, the colours displayed and the red-and-white scarf flapping out of the window.

Watford Gap was the traditional stopping-off point on any northern trip, and the scene of many an epic battle, particularly if West Ham, Chelsea or Millwall were also travelling that day. After a quick re-fuel, a bite to eat and some petty vandalism in the toilets ("Gooners kick 2 kill"), we'd be on our way again.

It was one one of these trips - and running rather late if we were to make it up to Derby (which is rather further north that you think) in time for kick-off, that we made a snap decision.

Ginger James was paying rather too much - and dare I say it - friendly attention to a group of Crystal Palace supporters and there was much road to be travelled if we were to get a pre-match drink in.

So we left him behind.

We felt no guilt about it. We waited for Mark to finish topping up his car's radiator with Evian water, got in, and hit the north.

"Where's James, then?"

"Who cares?"


We went to Derby.

We got chased out of the pub.

We had to endure the sight of a fat, smug, not-dead-yet Robert Maxwell parading himself around the pitch.

And we lost. To Derby Bastard County.

It was a grim ride back down to the capital, as it always is after an away defeat. You do not stop at motorway services if you can help it at all, for you may face fans of other teams who have had a rather better day of things than you, and you're mind really isn't into half-hearted fisticuffs at a time like that.

Flashing our Students Union passes (we were the oldest students in town thanks to some dodge I still haven't quite worked out) at the Kingston Polytechnic Union bar, we spent the remainder of the evening getting as pissed as little beetles to forget the day's ordeal. Alas, I still had another 50 miles to drive that night, and was cursed with staying sober in a students union.

And then, just as last orders were called, a filthy, foul-smelling, ginger wraith appeared in the doorway, clutching a nearly empty bottle of vodka.

"You bastards, I had to eat at a Little Chef!"

It was James.

"And I had to hitch a ride back."


"An' I met these Leeds fans"


"They threw me inna ditch."

That explained everything.

"You... you... bastards."

He had walked halfway across London, where some bloke had taken pity on him, given him a lift in the back of a van, and dropped him near to a tramp-friendly Off Licence nearby.

"Not to worry, mate. It was a joke. We never meant to..."


All over the lot of us, teaching us a valuable lesson about dumping mates in the middle of nowhere. Or something.

Karma never ceases to amaze me.


That one was ten minutes later, across the bonnet of my car. Thanks James. Thanks.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

On taking 454 words to say absolutely nothing at all

On taking 454 words to say absolutely nothing at all

Oh, spoons.

I was a bit busy yesterday.

I did an eight-hour day in my job, which involved genuine, paying work.

Then a couple of extra hours of work preparation, because with nothing better to do, long evenings stretch ahead of me like a long, stretchy thing.

Then I conducted a number of IM conversations with friends and family, during which the word "Minge" was mentioned on several occasions.

After that, Kim Jong-Il wrote letters to the Dorset Echo (again), McDonalds and home improvement store B&Q, offering his expert advice and a range of floodlit, 300 foot tall statues of female celebrities he happens to possess in an aircraft hangar just outside P'yongyang.

Then, in a moment of blind panic at about 11pm, just after watching Bummy Jack kill a fat, carnivorous Nerys Hughes TO DEATH on Torchwood, I realised that I did not actually have anything to post on these pages.

Nothing. At all.

Except for this excuse, of course. And what good is that?

Nothing. That's what. And after the hi-jinks of the last few days, you'd have a right to feel disappointed. Angry, even. Angry enough to raise some sort of baying hate mob armed with torches, rakes and pointy sticks, descending on Weymouth to do me a mischief.

So, by way of apology, I shall leave you with nothing but a slim-line Thursday vote-o, and joke what I made up today for radio hams. It got a round of applause at work, for they are, in the main, radio hams:

Scary's rubbish radio ham joke

They played Bob Marley on the Voice of America last night.

I couldn't hear it that well, though, because there was Jammin'.
Sorry. And at the risk of even worse - I have set the bar. Beat THAT.

Now that awful bit of business is out of the way, vote, then, on the following tales of Mirth and Woe, one of which will appear on these pages tomorrow.

* Leaving James Behind: "You know what they say about men with big feet?" he asked, eyeing her lasciviously. Ann Noreen Widdecombe told him with a knowing smile: "Circus clown"

* Shandy: "I don't know what you're complaining about," said Captain Birdseye as the scrum of press photographers backed him into a corner, "Almost everybody in the fishing business has had sex with a manta at some point"

* Top Gun: "That David Beckham chap. Goldenballs. He's shit, you know," said his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, "You do realise the name comes from a teenage masturbatory accident with a tin of spray paint?"

One of these quotes is 100% genuine, by the way. Only the identities have been changed to protect the guilty.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

On sticking your nose into English football where it's not wanted

On sticking your nose into English football where it's not wanted

In which North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il dispenses on-the-spot guidance to the Football Association on how to save the English game from CERTAIN DOOM - a plan which may or may not involve sexual congress with Kylie Minogue.

Now look what's happened.

The Dorset Echo, by publishing my recent not-barking-mad-at-all letter have only gone to encourage me, whilst others have gone so far as suggesting that I should continue Mr Kim's correspondence with the view of publishing his collected works in book form. Only about another 49 letters to write, then.

I was just about ready to drop the idea, when I spotted Fraser's big idea on how English football should be saved from itself by offering the manager's job on a rotating basis.

He's wrong, of course. Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il is ready and waiting to send his telling On-The-Spot Guidance to the English Football Association.

Dear The FA

Congratulations on finally getting Wembley Stadium rebuilt with a decent manager at the helm of the England team!

Of course, in any military-first, Juche ideology-based governmental system, such as the one I am fortunate enough to operate, heads would have rolled years ago and you would have had that pesky capitalist Ken Bates out of your hair faster than you could say "running dog western lackey".

I can't help feeling, however, that there is something missing from the entire Wembley experience. A certain je ne sais quoi (if you'll pardon my French) that is the elephant in the room of the English game.

The Twin Towers.

Bold statement that the new Wembley Arch is, the oversized coat-hanger doesn't invoke the sense of national pride that the Twin Towers did. The White Horse final. Spirit of 1966. Ticketless scousers shinning up the drainpipes. All part of the national psyche, all gone.

Don't fret. We can still rescue the situation with a few minor alterations to the existing design at almost negligible cost to the Football Association's coffers. Thirty million's small change to an organisation that can pay Sven AND McClaren to sit at home and do nothing for a couple of years. I've built an entire nuclear programme on cigarette coupons and the change down the back of the sofa, so I should know.

It's simple. Get rid of the arch. I'd even take it off your hands for a tenner, and save all the grief of having to look up a reputable builder in the Yellow Pages. Besides, I need the steel for the People's World Peace and Friendship Ballistic Missile Launcher and Die You Yankee Puppet Aggressors Theme Park, if you don't mind.

Frankly, it's only a matter of time before a misguided goal kick gets wedged up there, and this sort of design flaw - along with the diversion of the legendary Wembley River of Piss away from the stadium concourse where it has flowed for nigh on eighty years - only brings Wembley's good name into disrepute.

In the place of the arch, my wide-reaching customer research of English football fans suggests that the replacements for this misguided folly should be:

- Floodlit, 300-foot statue of the popular singer Kylie Minogue

- Floodlit, 300-foot statue of the popular singer Kylie Minogue's wonky-faced sister Dannii

They may be colonials, but, by gum, they're our colonials, and I dare say that many an England fan would be proud to stand between their legs, gazing up at those magnificent antipodean curves before entering The Venue of Legends, dreaming of Hurst's hat-trick, that Russian linesman and three-up action with pop's hottest sisters.

Draped or undraped is up to you, but frankly, I'd go for the latter.

I hope you take this suggestion seriously, as without these important changes, English football is DOOMED.

Yours etc

Kim Jong-Il, People's Revolutionary Military-First Secret Bunker, The Trophy Room, Weymouth Football Ground, Dorset

PS I am not mad
You know the drill. Get me sixty-nine comments, and those curs at 25 Soho Square get their on-the-spot guidance.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

On guilty pleasures, again

On guilty pleasures, again

On a playlist on my MP3 player, just after The Smiths' song in praise of the former manager of Glasgow Rangers - How Souness Now?* - comes one of my greatest guilty secrets: Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond.

God, yes. Neil Diamond.

I grew up in a household where we only had four cassettes for our 'radiogram'. It still remember the great steam-powered monstrosity that it was, with SOLID STATE written on the front to prove that "Hey, this might be a juggernaut, but you don't have to wait for no valves to warm up".

You clunked one of our four cassettes into the machine, pressed play, pushed up the faders and heard the distinctive, measured 'pink-pink-pink' as the wheels set themselves in motion.

Two of them were by The Beatles, which explains my praise of Abbey Road as a work of genius, and Sgt Pepper as a big pile of donkey poo. The others were both 'greatest hits' collections.

Elton John. It was green.

Neil Diamond.

And, frankly, not knowing any better, I played Neil Diamond's Twelve Greatest Hits to death.

Ironic, really, as I laboured under the impression for much of the 1970s and 1980s - the result of not paying absolute attention to some TV programme - that Neil Diamond was dead. He wasn't exactly prolific at the time, and neither did my mum go out and buy "Neil Diamond's Twelve More Greatest Hits" to give me some sort of clue that he was very much alive.

I can - embarrassingly - still sing along to Sweet Caroline, Song Sung Blue,Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show, Cracklin' Rosie and squeeze out a stupidly emotional tear to I Am... I Said.

Then my dad bought The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin by John Bird and Alan Coren, and I forgot all about Neil Diamond.

And then punk came out and I pretended I hadn't heard of ANY of them.

The presence of Neil Diamond tracks on my MP3 player betrays me. I went out - as a consenting adult - to genuine record shop and bought product by the man himself. I cannot lie.

And it's out there, on the internets, waiting to draw you in...

Hand touching hand...
Reaching out...
Touching me...
Touching you...
Sweet Caroline - Good times never seemed so good!
Sorry. I'll stop now.

Today, I have decided, is World Neil Diamond Day. So mote it be.

* I've also got a song of theirs about Morrissey's love of punctuation - 'Girlfriend in a Comma'

Monday, March 03, 2008

On Beadling

On Beadling

It's coming up to THAT time of year again.

And what better time to pay tribute to the late, great Jeremy Beadle, God rest his poor, pranked-out soul.

This year, April 1st falls on a Tuesday, which gives the committed prankster the advantage of a Monday evening "working" late at the office, getting the place ready for the day's high-jinks and top laughs, whilst muttering "Just wait until you see the looks on their faces!" and putting the thought of disciplinary hearings out of your head.

For 2008, we're planning the following EXCELLENT laugh-a-minute pranks:

- Auto-correct terrorism: Change all MS Word auto-correct settings to "flabby buttocks"

- water-boarding (The torture technique that's NOT torture!)

- setting the boss on fire and burying him under quicklime in a shallow grave next to the car park

- salt in the sugar cellar, rat poison in the coffee machine, vodka in the water cooler, gelatine down the toilet bowls

- send emails FROM THE FUTURE, warning of impending death and something unpleasant in the clam chowder

- something unpleasant in the clam chowder

- replace contents of soap dispensers with Bisto chicken gravy (this one's particularly good your job entails working with wild, meat-eating animals)

- Two words: Rabid Weasels

- Dig up Jeremy Beadle's body, dress him up in a huge fake beard and wheel him in on an office chair for that oh-so-hilarious pay-off

- Publish a list of hilarious prank suggestions on a popular weblog which you know your cow-orkers will read. Then do nothing
This is going to be the best Christmas Walford's ever seen April Fool's EVER!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

On sticking your nose into local politics etc etc again

Last week, I wrote a clearly not-mental-at-all letter on the redevelopment of a prime piece of Dorset real estate that has got a number of my home town's *cough* senior residents in a bit of a tizz.

Foolishly, I said I would send said letter to my local rag if enough of you goaded me.

I confess. I chickened out.

I chickened out, fearing a wave of Rover 75 drivers running me out of town of a tide of stale wee. All was not lost, as I gave it a bit of a re-write, which I sent to the paper with a covering "publish and be damned" note.

Boosh! Thursday's Letter of the Day!

At the risk of repeating a small number of gags from last week, and restoring a number of LOLs that the Echo sub-editors left out, here it is:

Dear Lapdogs of the Capitalist Yankee Puppet Government Propaganda Tool at the Dorset Echo,

On a recent visit into Weymouth town centre to dispense on-the-spot guidance to the brave workers of the Peoples' Republic of Wessex, I was recently approached by a haggard-looking gentleman in a disused shop doorway. Convinced he was trying to tap me for loose change, I was somewhat relieved to find that he was merely touting for signatures for a petition against current plans for the Weymouth Pavilion peninsula.

Recovering from my shock, I was rather dismayed to read their unrealistic list of demands, revolving around half-truths, scare tactics and the preservation of the Ocean Room in a 1950s time warp they once saw on an old episode of Doctor Who.

In the spirit of these demands surrounding the proposed eminently sensible mixed private/public use of the Pavilion site, I'd like to add - as a member of the pro-development silent majority and dictator of a small roped-off area in South East Asia - my own list of requirements if we are to turn Weymouth into Dorset's premier coastal resort:

- Vegas-style super-casino with Celine Dion and Jim Davidson in residency (by which I mean 'locked in a cell')

- Medium-range cruise missile system targeted on Bournemouth, just in case

- Twin, floodlit 200-foot statues of Kylie and Dannii Minogue guarding the entrance to Weymouth Harbour, just like in "Lord of the Rings", which would play "I should be so lucky" as a warning to shipping in times of fog and inclement weather

- Personal Jet-pack hire shop and landing strip to replace the so-called not-a-train-at-all Land Train

- A theme park dedicated to the town of Weymouth's greatest contribution to British history: Black Death Happy Fun Land

- Four words: Revolutionary Dictator Crazy Golf

Unrealistic demands? They started it.

Yours etc,

Kim Jong Il, People's Military-First Revolutionary Secret Underground Bunker, Castletown, Portland
In the light of these developments, Comrade Kim might have one or two things to tell the Echo about the Weymouth Relief Road, the Portland Olympic sailing regatta and the lack of decent, tasty stray dogs in the area.

I am not mad.