Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On being in charge of the Fatwa Department

On being in charge of the Fatwa Department

There's been a certain amount of controversy in media-watching circles in recent weeks over the proclamations of one of Saudi Arabia's leading conservative clerics.

In a number of religious fatwas which reveal a complete loss of plot our man has announced that:

* 'Sinful' satellite TV operators may be killed TO DEATH

* Mickey Mouse, on account of being a mouse, is an agent of SATAN and must be killed TO DEATH

* 'Sorcerers' that appear on television may also be – quite legally – killed TO DEATH

That's an awful lot of righteous smiting.

While some of these edicts make perfect sense in this modern world – I, for one, await R. Murdoch's demise with a certain amount of excitement – you get the feeling the boys in the Fatwa Department might be taking their job rather too seriously.

I've been to Disneyland. Frequently. We all know it's a Faustian third circle of Hell, but won't anyone think of the kiddywinks?

And as for TV sorcerers – as one of my learned colleagues said: "Well, that's Paul Daniels royally fucked, then."

Luckily, I had the chance of putting this bad news to the charming wife of TV's favourite magic man – The Lovely Debbie McGee – running into her half-naked following a bizarre Bourbon Cream-dunking accident in the office car park.

She fled.

Perhaps the sight of a middle-aged man, his moobs exposed to an arctic blast on a rainy Tuesday morning announcing a religious fatwa on her old man might have been a little too much for her. Honestly, some celebrities are just SO sensitive.

To be fair, if I was in charge of the Fatwa Department, I'd be leaving Daniels and his magical powers well alone and using my position for the good of society. Shan't go into details right now, but suffice to say, you won't be hearing much out of Simply Red in the near future.

Monday, September 29, 2008

On pointless signage

On pointless signage

"Eversley", said the sign as I crossed over into Hampshire, "Litter Free Parish".

Oh, how very well-meaning. No doubt there was an officially-sanctioned Scorched Earth policy resulting in the heads of transgressors displayed on spikes outside the Village Hall, but the number of sandwich wrappers, empty cigarette packets and other detritus in the gutter shows that their enforcement has been slipping over recent months.

No longer to the youth of Eversley quake in their boots as the dreaded sixteen ton weight punishment for failure to dispose of chewing gum thoughtfully, and the shootings-at-dawn no longer take place after it emerged the firing squad neglected to clear up their empty cartridge cases.

I shall be rattling off a letter to the Clerk of the Council, perhaps offering the good people of Eversley a 300-foot statue of Kylie Minogue should the floggings recommence.

Sadly, they are certainly not the first local council to come up with a bold promise on their road signs that they are clearly unable to keep.

Take the fair city of Gloucester, who brazenly continued with their "Murder-free zone" claims despite that sorry business with Fred West and his patio-laying family business. And the mayor of Chernobyl could barely show his hideously disfigured face in public after all those "Nuclear Free Town - No Nukes!" signs went up.

Even those "Shoreditch: No slatterns dissected by knife-wielding maniacs since 1888" signs are looking a little jaded these days.

Still, we should thank London mayor Boris Johnson for ensuring that there is at least some truth in advertising in this day and age. All routes into the capital – thanks to an edict from the towzle-haired leader – will henceforth display signage which reads: "Welcome to London: No stabbings for 35 minutes".

If more than 35 minutes passes without an incidence of knife-crime, Mayor Boris as personally pledged to ride out on his personal mayoral Raleigh Chopper and hold up an Off Licence with an ivory-handled letter opener. Chap.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Nursery Crime

Mirth and Woe: Nursery Crime

A Billy, recentlyHello, I am Scaryduckling and I am excellent. If you're asking, Scaryduckling is my actual, real name given to me by my dad, who paid off the lady in the Registry Office. Scaryduckling Minogue.

My dad's off being a git somewhere, and he's letting me do the Friday story this week. Stick with it, as someone will be sick inna hedge, because he says that's the rules.

No money has changed hands for writing this story. Yet. *cough cough*

When I was seven, and before we moved to Weymouth, I went to primary school in Reading. Dad, who thinks he knows a thing or two about writing, says it's best not to mention which one, as it might embarrass the teachers at Moorlands. Oh. Soz.

Anyway, we had a really nice teacher called Mrs Mayweather, who was excellent. She was really good at getting us to read out our own stories or favourite rhymes in front of the class and I wrote lots of stories for my friends [Duck note: all of which ended with the line "And then they all went home for a nice cup of tea"].

One day, as we all sat on the story-telling carpet, Mrs Mayweather asked if we knew any nursery rhymes we'd like to say to the class. After a few of my friends had sung "Humpty Dumpty", "Jack and Jill" and a few others which also contained mindless violence, I put up my hand.

"Yes, Scaryduckling Minogue," said Mrs Mayweather, "Which rhyme are you going to tell us?"

"One my dad taught me."

"Oh, that's lovely."

I stood up, took a deep breath and started:

My friend Billy
Had a ten foot willy
And he showed it to the girl next door.
She thought it was a snake
So she hit it with a rake
And now it's only two foot four.
By the time I got to "two foot four", Mrs Mayweather had wrestled me to the ground and had her foot on my chest. I am sure this is against the rules.

Then, from the stunned silence of my classmates came one outraged voice:

"She said 'willy'! I'm telling on you!"

Then I was sick inna hedge.

Duck (Scary) takes over from here:

Presently, a phone rings at Scaryduck Towers.

"Mr Duck?"

"This is he."

"This is Mrs Hardbottle. I'm temporary headmistress at your daughter's school."

"Scaryduckling Minogue? Has something happened?"

"In a manner of speaking. There's been an …err… incident. She said a bad word. In class."

"Oh cock," I said, purely within the confines of my skull. And, out loud: "Oh. Oh dear."

Then: "Uh... can you tell me, perhaps, what this word was?"

"Are you sure? I don't know where she picked up such foul language."

"Do your worst. I'm not easily shocked."

There was the sound of a gulp, followed by a deep breath.

"Willy. She said 'willy'"



And then I was sick inna hedge.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On things that turned out to be a bit of a disappointment

On things that turned out to be a bit of a disappointment

Life is full of little disappointments, and reality never, ever lives up to expectations. I should know, because I often spend days, weeks at a time planning things down to the most minute of details, and come the big day it is immediately apparent from the off that her clothes will be staying on.

I also know this because I support Arsenal Football Club.

Things that have disappointed me at some stage or other in my life include:

* Radiohead

* All internet dating

* Meeting your favourite footballer, who turns out to be an enormous knob

* Ultravox's eighth studio album, which both sucked and blowed

* The Olympic handover party. It may have been a 'big screen on the beach' event, but it was exactly like the Life of Brian 'Sermon on the Mount' scene, right down to the fight caused by a bloke from Nose City

* Discovering that not-quite-namesake Jaz Coleman – hard-as-nails lead singer from the otherwise excellent popular beat combo Killing Joke – is actually called Jeremy

Things which have NOT been a disappointment:

* August 15th 1987 & May 26th 1989

* Meeting N. Gaiman, who is excellent

* [sappy entry alert] Mrs Duck & the Ducklings

* Radiohead

Meanwhile, backstage at the Killing Joke reunion gig:

Killing Joke's Geordie: Hey, Jaz. Seen this BRILLIANT website?

Jaz Coleman: Fuck, yeah. Scaryduck. It's fantastic.

Killing Joke's Geordie: You do realise his real name's Alistair?

Jaz Coleman: Bloody hell, that's made it shit, hasn't it?

Killing Joke's Geordie: Yes. Yes it has.
You know what I'm going to ask: Plz to add your own

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On Christmas and Political Correctness

On Christmas and Political Correctness

Praise him!With December 25th creeping up on us like a big, stalky festive leopard, it is sad to see political correctness taking hold and banning the use of the C-word. No, not that C-word. The other one. Christmas.

Alas, with 'Christmas' replaced with 'Winter Holiday', 'The Festive Season', 'December Sick Inna Hedgemas' - or worse – 'Winterval', it is time to make a stand.

Political Correctness has, indeed, gone mad, and the only effective remedy is to be even madder. Political Correctness Gone Mad On Acid.

I propose then that any event designed to celebrate The Holiday That Falls On The 25th December Each Year That Cannot Be Mentioned Just In Case We Offend Scimitar-Wielding Foreign Types Who'd Shit In Your Airing Cupboard Given Half The Chance be renamed to something that is equally, if not more, offensive.

So, if we're not allowed to mention poor, dead, then not dead Jesus: You are cordially invited to the office Kenny Everett birthday party.

Take a look at the facts surrounding the life of Cuddly Ken:

* Born: 25th December in Seaforth (Twin town: Bethlehem)

* Died around Easter

* Crucified by radio station bosses, frequently

* Had a beard

* Liked to hang around other men with beards

* His most famous words, which are still quoted by millions ("Round 'em up, put 'em in a field, and BOMB THE BASTARDS!"), are not dissimilar to much of the smiting that goes on in the bible

Unlike Jesus, he had a sidekick with enormous bosoms, but Christianity's loss is variety's gain, and therefore makes our Ken-mas party all the more fun.

Alas, music by 25th December birthday girl Dido. Sorry.

Also: The internet's Cliff Jones writes for Newsbiscuit

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On mis-prints

On mis-prints


"Yes sir - is everything alright with your starters?"

"Well... no. It's the starter I wanted to talk about."

"Ah yes. Prawn toast and seaweed."

"Yes, although the seaweed's against my better judgement because you can just pick it up off the beach...."

"...just like chef..."

"Wait... what? No... wait. It just tastes funny."

"That, sir, is chef's speciality sauce."

"Yes, I see. The sweet and chilli sauce."

"No. Sweat and chill. Chef's special."

"But surely you mean..."

"I don't know what you're complaining about. Chef's a very clean man. He have regular medical - every four, five years. We haven't poisoned anyone for weeks."

"But... but..."

"He takes extra care over his sweat an' chill sauce, too. He only makes it after he takes plenty of exercise, which is commendable seeing as he weighs twenty stone. He tells me Mrs Chef kept him up half the night. Mrs Chef can raise a sweat at twenty paces, I can tell you for nothing, sir."

"Umm.. right. And what about the 'chill' part?"

"Sorry. That a mis-print. It should say 'rat poison'."

This story guaranteed 100% OF TRUTH

Monday, September 22, 2008



The SAFETY CUP. I have it. Three times. Look:

No, I have no idea why the world needs yellow beverage holders with the wrds "SAFETY" cup in big, black letters, but one can only assume that there is a logical explanation and an everyday use I have overlooked.

Quite possibly something to do with disposal protection for cricket players.

I'm off to the nets to find out NOW, standing there PROUD and NAKED but for SAFETY CUP as our resident demon bowlers try out my theory.

Edit: No. It wasn't that, and I have crawled all the way here to tell you. Kill me. Kill me now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mirth and Woe: The Nightshift

Mirth and Woe: The Nightshift

"Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift"
As someone who worked nightshifts for the best part of fifteen years, I have this to say: "What a load of bollocks. Keep the noise down, you joke."

On the plus side, the money's good. However, balance this against the fact that you feel like death for an entire week, and the fact that you are more than willing to kill any man that crosses your path.

"Nightshift workers," read a magazine article handed to me by a red-eyed fellow might shift victim, "are more sexually active than any other social group".

After the fourth Espresso of the night we finally came down from the ceiling for long enough to agree that this was obviously written by somebody who only worked days. You might be part of the most sexually active group in the world, but seeing as you're awake while the rest of the world is asleep and vice versa, the only other outlet is through what some people might call 'bashing the bishop'.

Those bored housewives you hear so much about – do not exist. (Unless you are one, then write in! We'd be only too pleased to hear from you.)

So, the worst thing that can happen to you whilst working nightshifts is some noisy bastard doing their very best to keep you awake.

Don't bother putting a note of your door saying "Nightshift worker - Quiet please!!!" with multiple exclamation marks in Comic Sans, because they'll ring the doorbell anyway and say "Oh – were you in bed?"

Jehovah's Witnesses take note. This means you.

You do, however, get used to a lot of things, and can tune out the worst of the passing trains and TV from the flat next door.

However, there are some things you just cannot get used to – the extra noise at weekends, and having to sleep with the window open in summer.

And, of course, the American girl from across the landing having vigorous sex in the shower with her current – and apparently well-hung - boyfriend.

OK, they started of in the shower, before going at it hammer-and-tongs in various rooms of the flat.

"Oooooh baby! You're so big!"

"Oooooh baby! Give it to me!"

"Oooooh baby! Mmmfff mmmmf mmmf!" (Heaven knows what that was about)

This went on for an impressive period of time, and would, had I not been completely frazzled by a twelve-hour shift of data backups, have made rather satisfying spectator sport.

And then, the words any interested observer dreads:

"Oooooh baby! Fill my ass!"

You do not want to know what that sounded like, but from what I could hear, Fairy Liquid was the lubricant of choice.

Even with the pillow over the head, the frenzied screams of ecstasy found their way through, and it was all I could do to for the ordeal could end.

Actually, I could have gone and knocked on their door, and asked them to keep it down a bit, but I didn't want to spoil it for the small crowd of spectators that had gathered outside. Also, there was the small-to-middling chance that I might be offered a bit-part in their free show, and that would have completely wiped me out for the forthcoming night's work.

At last, with a final cry of "Oooooh baby! It's everywhere", they were done, and a round of applause drifted up from the street and one observer packed away his video camera.

Then, they called out for pizza, who, quite naturally went to the wrong door because you just can't get the staff.

"Good day, Scary?" asked the day shift as I rolled in later that evening.

"Awful. I've got a letter to write."

So, I set to it.

"Dear Fiesta, You won't believe the most amazing thing that happened to me today…"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On Super-condensed movies

On Super-condensed movies

If there's one thing people tell me about my condensed movies, it's that they're too long. And they're probably right, for I'm not condensing them enough.

So, to this end, I've taken a grab-bag of the best of Hollywood history, and really gone to town on them. Fifty words maximum, and still in the easy-to-understand txt speak of today's easily bored, stabby youth.

You may note that I have managed to condense The Untouchables so much, that the mere peripheral character of Eliot Ness no longer features. That's showbiz.

Good Moaning Vietnam

R. Williams: O Haaaaaaaaaaaai Vietnm!

Radio station chief: You're fired. You also stopped being funny about halfway through this picture

R. Williams's replacement: O Hai! This is Steve Wright in the afternoon

R. Williams: Cock. This war is lost.


The Untouchables

S. Connery: Hello. I am Essh Connery and I am exshellent. Today I shall be helping Eliot Nessh shtop A. Capone from being an awful shit. Oh, I am dead

A.Capone: LOL

Judge: I find you TEH GUILTY of being an awful shit

A.Capone: What a mistake-a to make-a!


Close Encounters of the Third Kind

R. Dreyfuss: Voices in my head want me to go to Wyoming, for no apparent reason

THE MAN (French): Good moaning. Nothing to see here voices-in-your-head-man, plz to go away

R. Dreyfuss: Bismillah, no

THE MAN (French): Right you are, then

Alien: Beeee Goooooood


Field of Dreams

Mysterious voice: "If you build it, they will come"

Some time later...

K. Costner: There. I have finished building it

They: O hai! We have come

K. Costner: w00t!


And they said it couldn't be done.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On awful geek jokes

On awful geek jokes

"And other Boolean logic terms you can use in this search engine are 'or', 'and', 'before' and 'eor'," said the geek-in-charge of our seminar on Applied Geekery.

The Napoleon Dynamite-alike looked out onto a sea of blank faces.

"Does anyone," he finally asked, "Know what 'eor' is?"

Still blank faces, and the sound of snoozing from the back row.

"Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Eor? Eor?"

I knew, for I have secret geek skills. And, to be honest, it always pays to be awake at moments like this, no matter how long the seminar and how dull the speaker, for you might need to be FULL OF WIN at any time.

"Eor? Anyone?"

Hand in the air. A toothy smile, thankful that at least someone in the audience was paying attention two hours after lunch.

"Yes.. you... the stylish chap with the chiselled good looks."

"A donkey."

"Get. Out."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On foreign television

On foreign television

Those pesky forren types.

Coming over here and taking all the jobs that we don't want to do, and now some crazy EU Directive that I've just pulled out of my arse says we've got to give them something to watch on TV while they wait for their Burger King pay check to roll in.

The cheek of it. It almost makes a man want to go out and buy the Daily Mail. Almost.

So... before those curs from Listopia get in, plz to suggest TV programmes that might appeal to an international audience. Such as:

* Andorra the Explorer
* Istanbulseye
* Dragon's Denmark

* Can't Cook Won't Cook Islands
* Black Addis Ababa Goes Forth
* Last of the Somali Wine

And, while we're at it, how about a few stout, British programmes for use when we go abroad and take all the jobs those pesky forrens don't want to do:

* Police Camera Acton
* Essex and the City
* Question Tyne

* Silent Widnes
* Pennies from Devon
* Rhyl and Grace

Get in there - free beer, money and sex for the best suggestion*

And while you're at it: No Woman, No Chrysler - Songs that sound like cars

* Free beer, money and sex offer closes October 19th 1968

Monday, September 15, 2008

On forgetting how to have fun

On forgetting how to have fun

"Dad? Can I have a gun?"

And you look around with your child's eyes, and every boy you know is running about with a toy rifle or a cap gun, shooting the imaginary injuns hiding in a neighbour's bushes.

Back in the day, nobody batted an eyelid about kids with toy guns. For heaven's sake – I remember a group of us – all ten and eleven-years-old marching out into the middle of our street during the Queen's Silver Jubilee party in 1977, raising our fully-charged cap guns above our heads and letting off a six-gun salute to Her Majesty.

Try that these days, and you'll be eating pavement with an armed response copper's knee in your back. If you're lucky.

Even pointing an imaginery gun at the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition is likely to get you an ASBO.

Such is the fear of firearms this side of the Atlantic that not even toy guns are acceptable these days. Even sports guns for target-shooting enthusiasts, and more the pity, for I was a reasonable shot in my time, and can probably still shoot the nads off a fly from 300 yards.

I admit to mixed feeling on this, for once you've been at the wrong end of a pistol-whipping, even a kid with a toy in Marks and Spencers can make you jump six feet in the air. But when a nice man put a real, live AK47 in my hands not long ago, I was like a boy in a toyshop. A toyshop that sells big, spiky weapons that can kill people TO DEATH.

So. We went to Disney in Paris this year.

Rack after rack of toy guns in the western-themed Disney tat shops, but hardly a piece to be seen around the park.

"Dad? Can I have a gun?"

That's what my excellent nephew asked of his father.

"Tell you what – if you seen ten other boys carrying toy guns in the park today, I'll get you one."

We saw nine.

Out of tens of thousands of cash-paying punters.


We saw loads of Buzz Lightyear-style noise-making blasters.

But guns? NINE.

No gun. But a nice cowboy hat.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mirth and woe: Gig of HELL

Mirth and woe: Gig of HELL

Like many schools in this hip, happenin' age, we had our own rock band.

Our rock band, sadly, was comprised entirely of teachers.

Mr Kirby the German teacher was on drums, while scary PE teacher Mr Garrett formed a formidable front-line with Mr Lawson, who cemented his rock star credentials after being caught en flagrante in the stock room with one of his female colleagues.

Mr Butler pissed on Lawson's rock star credentials by actually making his bass guitar in the school workshops when he was supposed to be teaching us woodwork.

"But sir... can we use the wood lathe?"

"Sorry lads... bit busy. Just play with the bench saw for a while, why don'tcha?"

They were – truth be told – rather good.

So good, in fact, that they bought genuine studio time and pressed their own single.

And, preaching to a captive audience in the classroom, the PE hall, the woodwork room and tutorials, they told us the exact location of the local chart return shops and told us to get out there and spend whatever money we could scrounge from parents and paper rounds on their seven inches of vinyl.

It worked. They got to number 81, and we were all owners of a doom-laden piece of noodly guitar work on the horrors of nuclear destruction in Thatcher's Britain.

Number Eighty-one, back in the days when getting into the lower reaches of the chart meant something.

It was such an occasion, they had a gig.

A real gig, on a stage, with a PA, lights and everything. Students half price.

Of course we went. There was no way we were going to miss our axe-hero teachers bigging it up on stage.

Only having one song was no problem. They played it three times, and loads and loads of covers. Which would have been excellent if you were into Dire Straits in a big way, and didn't mind hearing Sultans of Swing three times in a evening.

After a while, the novelty started to wear off, and the young, bored audience started getting cocky.

We began – God forgive us – to heckle.

"Here's one," said Mr Garrett, scourge of the games field and owner of a superb 80s-style pencil moustache, "you might know. Sing along if you know it."

"It had better not be Sultans of Swing!" I shouted, King of Shining Wit.

Garrett fixed me with his gimlet stare that was the precursor to schoolyard trouble, and the opening bars to Sultans of Swing rang out.

"Sultans of WANK!" I shouted at the top of my voice, to the hilarity of my mates.

With a sound like a gamelan orchestra falling down a flight of stairs, the music stopped.

Then: silence.

I was aware that all eyes in the hall were on me. All eyes, which roughly equated to everybody in our entire school, sixth formers, teaching staff and one or two interested hangers-on.

"Coleman!" Garrett boomed into the microphone, "Detention. Monday. After school."

"Buh... buh... buh... you're joking, aren't you sir?" I blurted out, the hall now deathly quiet with embarrassment.

He wasn't joking.

"Detention. Monday. You're cleaning the cricket boxes."

My schoolchums were - I might point out - not laughing WITH me at that stage. I slunk to the back, where the mocking was all the worse, before fleeing into the night.

Well, I must say, that worked wonders for my social standing. It was something I reflected on as I scrubbed the stain out of the box that had the big dent in it, the words "Sultans of WANK!" ringing in my ears for the rest of the school term.

Having fled from the gig before they played their hit single for the third, forth and fifth times, I also missed the sight of one of my close friends actually puking on the dance floor, causing no end of mosh-pit chaos. HE, I am sad to report, was treated like a hero.

No justice. No justice at all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Condensed Movies: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Condensed Movies: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

I haven't given a movie a damn good condensing for a while, so I thought that now is the time to do the business on S. Spielberg's so-called Jewish Revenge Movie and boil it down to a few hundred well chosen words. Several of which being "LOL", but nobody's perfect.

Aslo, please accept the management's apologies for any trace of Monty Python which may appear below. The people responsible for this outrage have been sacked.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

I.Jones: Hello. I am I. Jones and I am excellent. You have arrived slightly late and missed and interesting yet somewhat redundant prologue about my youth. You have missed nothing.

W. Donovan: Your father. He has gone missing.

I.Jones: The silly old sod.

W.Donovan: He was looking for TEH HOLY GRAIL

I.Jones: The Grrrrrail, you say?

W.Donovan: Ni! I mean 'yes'

Postman: Candygram for I.Jones! Candygram for I.Jones!

I.Jones: Oooh! Indie love candy. Waaaaait…. This not candy. It my father's diary.

W.Donovan: What it say?

I.Jones: "January 6th: Pd 37 cents for shecond cheapesht shlattern. Caught teh poxsh*." TMI. Also: "Have found grrrrrail clues in Venish. LOL"

W.Donovan: U must go to Venish. Err... Venice.

I.Jones: I shall take my dearest friend Marcus, because he will be EXCELLENT

Marcus: In fact, I am the most enormous wanker. LOL

I.Jones: Never mind, we will team up with this mysterious German blonde, who is certainly not a Nazi.

E.Schneider: Heil Hitler!

I.Jones: Pardon?

E. Schneider: I said "Weather's bitter"

I.Jones: In which case we shall spend the next thirty seconds deciphering these clues which have puzzled the greatest minds of the last five hundred years to find TEH GRAIL

E.Schneider: And you thought The Da Vinci Code was bollocks. I'm not a Nazi, you know. Neither have I done filthy sex with your father. FTW

I.Jones: Wait... what?

E.Schneider: Err... Nothing. Nothing. We are in TEH LOLCATACOMBS. Soon ze GRAIL VILL BE IN ZE HANDS OF ZE FUHRER!

I.Jones: Oh, you're such a tease. Oh cock, someone has set the LOLCATACOMBS on fire. Ouch.

TEH SECRET BROTHERHOOD: That was us. Soz. We thought you were TEH NAZIS.

I.Jones: Whups. What a mistake-a to make-a. Soz about all your mates I killed TO DEATH.

E.Schneider: Now you must travel to ZER VATERLAND to rescue your old dad. I promise not to double cross you because I'm not a Nazi.

I.Jones: KK

S. Connery: I.Jonesh! What are you doing here?

I.Jones: Listen carefully, 007. I am rescuing you from TEH NAZIS

E.Schneider: That's what you think. Because I AM A NAZI who has done TEH SEXUSSS with your dad. LOLOLOLOL

I.Jones: FFS. I never saw that one coming

W. Donovan: I, too, am a NAZI. I, however, have not done TEH SEXUSSS with your dad...

I.Jones: Oh good.

W. Donovan: ...yet

S.Connery: Shave my ringpiecsh!

I.Jones: Don't worry, Dad. We shall escape from this prison through a series of dashing adventures, and will eventually wind up in Berlin, where I shall get A. Hitler's autograph

A.Hitler: Hello. I am A Hitler and I am excellent. Who do I make it out to?

I.Jones: Waaaaait... You're Mr Bronson out of Grange Hill.

A.Hitler: You boy! I mean ...err... EIN REICH!

I.Jones: ...then we can escape on a FREAKIN' ZEPPELIN before fleeing to the Middle East to find TEH GRAIL. And then teh oral sex

S. Connery: Oral shexsh?

Large crowd on hilltop: GET ON WITH IT!

TEH NAZIS: Sadly for you, old poy, ve are winning ze race for ZE GRAIL. Ve have a little tank. LOL

I.Jones: FFS. I haz a horse and TEH SECRET BROTHERHOOD

TEH SECRET BROTHERHOOD: Shhh... keep it down you joke. We're meant to be secret

I.Jones: Soz. Now everybody stand back while I rescue that useless twat Marcus, save me old Dad (again), kill TEH NAZIS TO DEATH and find TEH HOLY GRAIL in one of the Middle East's most popular tourist destinations

S.Connery: Nishe one shon. Did I tell you I knobbed that German bird?

I.Jones: You disgust me

E.Schneider: Good moaning

W.Donovan: It is I, Leclerq. Plz to get me TEH GRAIL

I.Jones: Get TEH GRAIL yourself. And you appear to be in the wrong production

Large crowd on hilltop: GET ON WITH IT!

W.Donovan: Shooty shooty bang bang!

S. Connery: Ouch. That hurtsh

I.Jones: What we do now, dad?

S. Connery: You must get TEH GRAIL to stop me from dying TO DEATH

I.Jones: Arse. I was hoping you'd say "Shcrew the German bird'sh titsh off" or something

S.Connery: TEH BOOK. It say "If you want TEH GRAIL to see, answer me these questions three"

I.Jones: Let's just cut to the bit about swallows, then.


W.Donovan: African! Ub glub glub glub tasty grail water


W.Donovan: ArbleGlarbleMeltingGlarbleDED

I.Jones: Afri... Waaaaaaaaaait... European. Ub glub glub glub tasty grail water


I.Jones: HONK!


I.Jones: HONK!

FIVE HUNDRED YEAR OLD KNIGHT: HINK! But enough of this silliness. Plz to stop S. Connery from dying TO DEATH

I.Jones: HONK! I mean... right you are. LOL

S. Connery: TEH HOLY GRAIL of Jeshush Chrisht'sh Lasht Shupper hash shtopped me from dying TO DEATH!

E.Schneider: Now to run away with TEH GRAIL! Yoinks! Oh cock, I dropped it down this large hole that has suddenly appeared.

I.Jones: Butterfingers. LOL

S. Connery: Butterface, more like

I.Jones: My Dad made me done a LOL. I LOLed out loud. Now she's fallen in, the daft Nazi bint. What is she like, eh?

E.Schneider: Err... Halp?

I.Jones: Oh. Too late. She is TEH DEAD

S. Connery: Whoops, that'sh a pity. Best shag I've had this shide of the Great Depresshion.

I.Jones: Oh give it a rest, you dirty old man. I'm trying to rescue TEH GRAIL. Naaah, can't be bothered.

S. Connery: Right. OK, we'd besht be off then. My entire life's work, down a hole. Not that I'm bitter. YOU SHPACKER.

I.Jones: Sorry dad

S.Connery: It'sh coming out of your pocket money

FIVE HUNDRED YEAR OLD KNIGHT: It's actually under the Louvre in Paris you know. LOL

Random Frenchman: That's what you think you silly English knnnnnnn-ight.


* Say it with an S. Connery accent and you'll get the idea


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On government data losses

On government data losses

Just an average day at MI6, where performance targets, the replacement of the canteen with a row of vending machines and the outsourcing of the legendary Q Department have hit HARD:

> RING! <

"Hello Q Department helpdesk, how can we help you?"

"Bond here. I appear to be experiencing some problems with my computer. I think I might well have been hacked."

"Listen carefully 007 – are you certain?"

"Of course I'm certain. It's the one with the top secret Pussy Galore files. I need to access them this instant."

"They're the ones with the high resolutions jpegs, aren't they 007? Quite remarkable."

"Yes ...err... never you mind. Are you going to help me or not?"

"Of course, 007. Matters of national security are no laughing matter. If you'd be so kind to tell us your system login?"

"James. That's J A M E S. James."

"Good. And your password?"

"Do you want me to read it out? Walls have ears, you know."

"Go right ahead, 007. This is a secure line."


"Ready as we'll ever be."


"B - Bravo"


"O - Oscar"


"N - November"


"D - Delta".

"Got it?"

"You really are the most enormous spacker, 007."


> RING! <

"Hello Q Department helpdesk, how can we help you?"

"M here. I appear to be experiencing some problems with my computer. I think I might well have been hacked."

"Don't tell me. Login: M. Password: M."

"Good God, Q. Is there no security in this department?"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

On sticking your nose into the Cold War where it's not wanted

On sticking your nose into the Cold War where it's not wanted

Look, one or two things at home have been driving me mental, and if I'm totally honest, only senseless violence will sort it out.

Don't get me wrong, it's not the charming wife and kids, for everything on this front is sweetness and light. It's the Daily Mail-reading bloke who lives round the back. Something's got to be done. Now.

And in a world of senseless violence, there's only one scary-eyed, judo black-belt lunatic in town who can come up with the goods.

Dear Vladimir Putin,

Congratulations on your successful invasion of Georgia!

It is pleasing to see - despite your ill-equipped army of country bumpkins – that you are able to march into any small, roped-off area in south-east Europe where the defence minister is barely out of school and kill scores of spear-waggling natives TO DEATH.

It has come to our attention that Russia has laid its hands not only on a couple of prime pieces of commodity-rich real estate (with which we are quite happy to let you do as you please as long as you hide the bodies), but also some of the latest red-hot imported Ukrainian military hardware.

And let's face it, Vlad me old mate, all that cutting-edge gear could be fatal in the hands of your spack-handed, blind drunk armed forces, who are more used to fighting with weapons held together with baling wire. They'd be much safer in the hands of people who knew how to handle this sort of ultra-modern killing machine. And frankly, I'd bet you cold, hard US dollars that no-one in the Russian Defence Ministry ever made it to --- E L I T E --- on the BBC Micro.

Cards on the table. You've got problems with the neighbours and so have I. You've got restless Georgians trying to screw the Russian Fatherland out of its rightful billions-worth gas export monopoly, while I've got the old codger from four doors down who keeps beeping his car horn whenever her drives round the bend outside my house.

He is - frankly - doing my head in, and I ask how would you feel if the wizened old fool with poor taste in motor vehicles kept swinging by the Kremlin honking his horn at all hours? Exactly.

A couple of these surplus-to-requirements Gadfly missile systems would transform his Rover 75-with-a-tartan-rug-on-the-back-shelf into a pleasing crater in the middle of the road.

I enclose a postal order for five pounds to cover the postage and packing, and frankly, doing it this way will save you a fortune in eBay fees.

Best of luck sorting out those pesky Chechens. You'll need it!

Your pal

Duck (Scary)

Monday, September 08, 2008

On axe juggling

On axe juggling

To the out-of-town shopping paradise that is B&Q for a few essential purchases.

And you've got to admit, this is one hell of a shopping list:

* Eight pound wood axe
* 11-inch rotary saw blade
* Cordless power drill

The lady behind the till at B&Q thought so as well as I eventually made it to the check-out with my dream axe, my dream power tool and my dream ninja throwing star. Impressed as she was, she aired a certain amount of concern for my personal security. All that sharp stuff and not an ounce of safety equipment.

"You be careful with that lot," she said, somewhat prophetically, "We don't want to hear about any nasty accidents."

"Never you mind, ma'am," I replied in my most authoritative voice as Mrs Duck shrunk away in embarrassment, "For I am The Mighty Alexander, and this is my assistant, The Lovely Debbie McGee."

"Oh yeah?"

"We are, I'll have you know, Weymouth's third best juggling act."

I swept my cape over my shoulder, and left, stage right.

Two hours later, I was back for a set of chisels and half a pound of assorted nails (in a packet marked 'No More No More Nails'), because, as you know, all DIY jobs throw up unexpected challenges.

Alas, on the way down to the store, I spent a profitable few minutes picking at a zit that had appeared on my right ear, and drawn blood. And man, don't ears hold a lot of blood. Loads.

Clutching my purchases, and bleeding steadily on my Homme-at-Matalan three-quid-from-an-Indonesian-sweat-shop polo shirt, I found myself at exactly the same till.

She looked me up and down, with not a little terror.

"Did I tell you that we are also a knife-throwing act?"

"And your assistant?" she said, noticing that on this occasion I was solo.

"We have a vacancy on that front, it grieves me to say. Do you happen to sell a good first aid kit?"

Unsurprisingly, she declined my offer to run away and join the circus on minimum wage and a low-to-medium chance of getting killed TO DEATH.

Honestly, no wonder this country's in such a mess.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

On touting for sponsorship, again

On touting for sponsorship, again

This finely-chiselled gentleman is my current boss.

While I managed to stagger for several miles around Poundbury to raise a couple of hundred notes for Cancer Research, the charming yet hard-as-nails Mr Brewer is taking time out from his regular rugger and ice hockey pursuits to go to Germany at the end of this month and take part in the Berlin Marathon in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Living within spitting distance of the English Channel, I'm a regular spectator as our local lifeboats fish hapless tourists and unfortunate sailors out of the drink, and the RNLI need every penny they can get.


I know what you're thinking. And yes, there is an anvil in that backpack.

And yes, we are after your money.

Give this here link a click, leave a donation and go about your day knowing that you have done A Good Thing.

Will that do, guv?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mirth and Woe: Marrow

Mirth and Woe: Marrow

This is a story about a very good friend of mine.

Yes. A friend.

A story he told me in strictest confidence on the condition that I do not tell anybody, and ESPECIALLY not the entire internet.

It's the story of a friend.

And not me.


Good. Then, we are agreed.

So. My friend, then. A friend last seen, an empty shell of a man, rocking back and forth like a bear in those charity adverts you see on television.

My friend ...uh... Scary Goose was a helpful chap.

In particular, Goose was particularly friendly with an elderly couple down the road. He helped them with their shopping, odd jobs around the house, and, on occasion, in the garden.

He never sought any reward for these acts of kindness, except for a nice cup of tea and a couple of rich teas at the end of the day.

So, Goose was somewhat delighted, one early autumn day, to receive a small gift from his lovely, church-going neighbours.

It was a marrow. A marrow he had helped nurture and grow in their garden, and presented as thanks for a job well done.

The problem was, Scary Goose lived, being a single man of good means, on the best junk food money could buy, and didn't have a clue what to do with the thing. He looked up a few recipes in the book his mother had given him one Christmas, and decided straight away that cooking seasonal summer squash was far too much like hard work.

So he had a Chinese takeaway, and set out on Plan B.

He cut off the end of his marrow and hollowed it out with a spoon.

His mission: the Mark One Scary Goose Wanking Machine.

A gift of love from a dear, dear friend and neighbour, that would come to a terrible spoodgy end.

And, dear reader, he almost fulfilled his mission.

He almost – but not quite – achieved a satisfactory level of success due to factors which he had not quite anticipated in his lust for zucchini-based relief.

1. Don't try hollowing out one end with a serving spoon whilst entering the thing at the other

2. Don't set about the Mark One Scary Goose Wanking Machine straight from the fridge, for this will lead to uncomfortable shrinkage, and ultimately...

3. Don't fill the thing up with water from the kettle to get it up to body temperature, especially if you'd just made yourself a nice cup of tea

That is what my friend told me when I visited him at the Scorched Peckers Ward in the Royal Berkshire Hospital.


My friend.

And may the Good Lord strike me down dead if I am telling a word of a lie.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

On Disneyland

"Welcome to Disneyland Paris", said the sign on the gate at Europe's premier theme park attraction. "Number of days since last fatal accident: 100"

"One hundred?" says Scaryduckling, clearly impressed at their tolerably low body count, "Wow."

"You do realise that number's in binary", I say helpfully.

"Oh. What's that then?"


There is a distant sound of metal on metal on human flesh and bone, followed by a rising crescendo of screams from the "Meet Mickey" corral.

"Zut alors," says the man at the turnstile, "I told zem ze combine 'arvester death slide was a bad idea."

There is a clunk as the sign above the gate changes, and the rebellious turnstile operator holds his beret to his chest. "We 'aven't 'ad a Donald Duck for a fortnight. Ze costume's still at ze dry cleaners. Also: Good Moaning."

"Welcome to Disneyland Paris", reads the jauntily-painted sign in a number of European languages, "Number of days since last fatal accident: 000."

We shrug, push our way through the turnstiles, watch the well-drilled teams hose down the mangled machinery before making our way to the Tower of Certain Death and Rotating Knives.

And that's what I did on my holiday.

Note to Disney corporate lawyers: The above account of my trip to your fine, fine establishment may contain traces of lie

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

On outstaying your welcome

On outstaying your welcome

Pic: nataliedee.comDesperate times need desperate measures, and stranded in a strange town, you've got to get straight to the point.

"Welcome to Burger King", said the pimply-faced youth in the deeply unfashionable uniform, "How can I help you?"

"Yeah. Could you direct me to the nearest McDonalds?"

"Mr Stevens! Help!"

I am approached by a pimply-faced older man in a deeply unfashionable uniform. He has two words for me, and far too much punctuation: "GET. OUT."

Ten Minutes Later...

"Welcome to McDonalds", said the pimply-faced youth in the deeply unfashionable uniform, "How can I help you?"

"Yeah. Sachet of ketchup and six straws please."

"Mr Davies!"


That night, we starved.

On things I like

Today, I am mostly liking Listopia.

Specifically, I am mostly liking this list.

That is all.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

On having the best Christmas Walford's ever seen

On having the best Christmas Walford's ever seen

Happy Christmas, one and all!

I greet you thussly as I return from my summer holidays in La Belle France as - sadly - it appears the Festive Season is upon us already.

For a stop at - and let us name names - The Old Bell at Grazeley Green on the outskirts of Reading, where my eyes were assaulted with a none-too-subtle display inviting patrons to book their Christmas parties. With four months to go to the big day, every second counts.

So, it is my doubtful duty to announce:

St Ebeneezer's Day: A moveable feast, being the first day that Christmas displays appear in shops and public houses. Traditionally, St Ebeneezer's Tide occurs one week earlier each year.
This year, St Ebeneezer's Day fell on Saturday 30th August.

And to prove the fact that Christmas DOES get earlier, policemen younger, and Mars Bars smaller, St Ebeneezer's Day 2007 fell on 12th September.

Of course, this rampant commercialism of Santa's Special Holiday makes me an angry man. A very angry man. I decree, then, that the people responsible for this kind of OUTRAGE need to be rolled in honey, tied to a tree and left to the lesbians.

I also need to work on my punishments.

So mote it be.

Monday, September 01, 2008

On revenge

On revenge

Casebook One
: The Long Game

Early 90s: I accidentally come into possession of Wokingham MPJohn Redwood's parliamentary biro. He was quite cross at the time as (and I quote) "They only ever give you one of those" and there was a mild bout of fisticuffs in the car park as a result

1995: Enraged, he brings about The Town and Country Planning Act in which local authorities may - for example - erect as much street lighting as they please without seeking planning permission

2002: Fearing for my life as Davros runs amok through his Berkshire constituency, I move house to escape his wrath. Sadly, he has Conservative Party spies everywhere, and it is not long before I am tracked down to my bolt-hole on the south coast of England. Not naming names *cough* Richard Plunkett Ernle Erle Drax, Tory party candidate for Dorset South *cough*

2008: Dorset County Council install no less than three street lights outside my house, illuminating the place like a German Prisoner-of-War camp. Unnaturally bright, white light reflects off the Portcullis logo on my preferred writing implement, as I find my every movement in my bedroom can be seen in the street below, where a small crowd watches and takes notes

2008-and-a-quarter: I arrive at work, exhausted, a broken man to see John Redwood sitting in reception, brand new parliamentary biro glinting in his hand, running a critical eye over his broken former nemesis

2008-and-a-half: John Redwood allows himself a moment of smug satisfaction, his work done.

Casebook Two: A Quick One off the Wrist

"Then I filled up his entire three-piece suite with frozen prawns" she told me, "that sorted him out."

"Why?" I reply, stupefied, "In the name of God, why?"

"Simple. He was a wanker."

"Right you are, then."