Thursday, December 31, 2009

On left/right confusion

On left/right confusion

"So," she said, lost in thought as her hand hovered over a mess of Post-it notes on the desk, "Is it by my left hand or my right?"


"Uh..." she said in the way that betrayed the fact that she was a citizen of the colonies, "Which hand's that?"

"Left. That side."

I pointed, being no help whatsoever.

"Sorry," she said, our brain-storming meeting taking a turn for the bizarre, "we drive on the other side of the road where I come from. I still can't see it."

I could. There, clear as day, was a Post-it note bearing the word "BAZOOKA"

"It.. it's by your left hand. You drive on the right."

"No I don't - I can't drive."

"Bu... you started it."

"And don't you guys call your right hand your left over here?"

No point in arguing with this impeccable logic.

"You're absolutely correct - it's by your right hand."

"Oh yeah - there it is. Why didn't you say?"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On random FACTS

On random FACTS

FACT! People who listen to music through headphones have heads 17% larger than those who do not. This is due to the long-term effects of music forcing micro-currents of air into the listener's cranium, gradually inflating the skull over a number of years. The medical term for this is Tefal Syndrome.

FACT! One of the world's most enduring urban myths is that Eskimos have over 300 words for snow. In fact, they have just two: "snow" and "yellow snow"

FACT: Thanks to a newly-signed sponsorship deal, there are 57 states in the United States of America. One for each tasty, tasty Heinz variety.

FACT! You can avoid giving blood by claiming that you once borrowed a sleeping bag from a male nurse.

Question: When giving blood, how do you know when you've given enough?
Answer: You know that sound you make with a straw when you get to the bottom of a McDonald's milk shake? That sound"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On the Daily Mail

On the Daily Mail

I've just broken into the offices of the Daily Mail. And aside from a caged Richard Littlejohn, I found a file marked "Future Front Pages. Warning: CANCER RISK".

I felt it was my duty, then, to kick Littlejohn right in the fuck, and to take my life in my hands and liberate the front page copy.

I've read through the lot. Nothing to worry about. Look for yourselves:

Headline: We're all doomed ARRRRRRGH!

The nation has been plunged into crisis after European Union bureaucrats refused the entire United Kingdom was a fire safety certificate on the grounds that many – if not all – of its trees are made of highly inflammable wood.

Confirming the Brussels edict, UK government Head Bastard and EU apologist Lord Mandelson told a huddled mass of reporters: "One match, one carelessly discarded cigarette, one hideous accident with a B-52 bomber loaded with napalm and WOOF! the whole lot could go up.

"Citizens! Stay in your homes!" he continued, that I-could-have-you-all-killed-as-easy-as-kiss-my-hand look on his face "Keep watching officially approved state broadcasting outlets!"

After pointing out that homes are just as dangerous as the outside world, Lord Mandelson advised Britons to dig a big hole in their gardens, throw themselves in and leave their twitching bodies for the rats.

"After a brief peak of 100 per cent fatalities in 2009, our analysts predict zero accidental deaths both in the homes and in the outside world for some years to come", Mandelson said.

"I am not mad."

Headline: We're all doomed ARRRRRRGH!

Secret European Union plans have been revealed that will doom each and every one of us to early DEATH through the enforced use of cancer-filled low energy lightbulbs.

Brussels Eurocrats plan to kill us all by plunging this nation into semi-darkness, whittling down numbers through a steady war of attrition via otherwise avoidable household accidents in the twilight caused by these foreign-produced pieces of shit.

Figures leaked from government sources see:

* 312% increase in deaths from sitting on toilet brushes
* 932% increase in roller skates-on-stairs-related fatalities
* 10,000% increase in summary executions for light bulb misuse

If that wasn't enough, Trinity House have revealed that all UK lighthouses must now be fitted with 12W low energy bulbs as per EU regulations, with foghorns restricted to 30dB during the hours of darkness.

Recent secret trials off the coast of Sellafield led to the loss of bulk nuclear waste carrier, the Liberia-registered MV Ship-full-of-darkies-and-immigrants-who'd-crap-in-your-airing-cupboard-given-half-the-chance and its cargo of fifty thousand tins of irradiated Special Brew.

"It's rather embarrassing", said a Trinity House spokesman, "We switched on the light, fell down the stairs in the dark and by the time it had warmed up, it had completely vanished.

"We are, however, investigating reports of 50, 000 glowing corpses in Blackpool. It's a most perplexing mystery."

UK government Head Bastard and EU apologist Lord Mandelson told a huddled mass of reporters: "You're on your own, bastards. Good luck."

Monday, December 28, 2009

On excellent Christmas gifts

On excellent Christmas gifts

The fragrant Mrs Duck found a rare gem on online tat market Ebay and got me one of these for Christmas.

Custom dictates that I should show the whole world the first picture I took with the monster:

And then to the local panto to see The Wizard of Oz, where I asked the Wiz for a Dorothy that didn't have a face like a smacked arse.

He didn't listen.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Neither Mirth Nor Woe: Rockets Rockets Rockets!

Neither Mirth Nor Woe: Rockets Rockets Rockets!

Edit: Now with working video

What you see here is a reckless idiot fitting his motorbike with a rocket launcher, and the sane amongst us can only stand and applaud his genius.

But, be warned: This cannot end well.

And I shall tell you why.

For, as an idiot, reckless teen I tried something similar, only with my bicycle.

I had already tried jousting on a bike, and been left in a bleeding, dog-crap smeared heap in the middle of Twyford Rec.

Lightning surely couldn't strike twice. Racing toward my similarly-armed foe (Matty from next door) with rocket launchers blazing away couldn't possibly prove potentially fatal, could it?

Of course not, otherwise you'd be reading a blog authored by Derek Acorah; and Matty wouldn't be alive and well and living in Australia, and not in a shallow grave round the back of the industrial estate under six inches of quicklime. Because he's in Australia. Honest.

It worked well in theory.

In practice, I suffered burns to both thighs, fell my bike off into an unfortunately placed dog turd, and a passing busybody who came within an ace of becoming collateral damage scuttled off home and rang the police.

The police arrived, who laughed at me and offered advice which I have done my best to ignore for my entire life: "Don't be a prick."

Apart from that, a complete success.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On poor, dead R. Dahl

On poor, dead R. Dahl

That Roald Dahl, eh?

- James and the Giant Peachy Breasts
- Charlie up the Chocolate Factory
- Charlie and the Great Glass Stimulator
- The BFG (The Big Fat Gazoomas)
- Fantastic Mr Fux
- The Twats

Not to mention is superb work in the field of television:

- Tales of the Unexpected Finger In Anus

And his celebrated film screenplays:

- You Only Spuff Twice
- Titty Titty Bang Bang

Poor, dead R. Dahl – we salute you! We also salute your borderline boiler grand-daughter, but that's by-the-by.

R. Dahl, everybody!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On writing a letter to The Man in Room 22 of the Reading South Premier Inn last Saturday Night

On writing a letter to The Man in Room 22 of the Reading South Premier Inn last Saturday Night

Dear The Man in Room 22 of the Reading South Premier Inn last Saturday Night

Hello. I am the man from Room 21 of Reading South Premier Inn last Saturday night and I am excellent.

You might remember me as the person who hammered on the wall shouting "Shut up you plank" as you banged and groaned away at your significant other like a paired of rutting walruses.

Four times.

I'd like to point out that I am not jealous or anything - any man who can make that much noise on his fourth turn around the block within a space of three hours deserves some sort of medal and a catering-sized jar of cream for his burning bell-end.

It is just that room 21 also housed The Frangrant Mrs Duck and the Duck childs, and even with the TV turned up to 11, we still could not drown out the banging, crashing and the mating cries of the New Guinean Dugong.

Or, as we shall call her - "Your girlfriend".

Yeah, look. Yes, we did offer a round of applause after the third bout of moaning; and we breathed a sign of relief when you both scuttled off home to your respective spouses at two in the morning, but there is one thing we'd just like to say.

Thanks. We got our money back because of you.

Pop by any time. You can stay in the shed.

Your pal,

Albert O'Balsam

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On begging for your money

On begging for your money

On 2nd January, when I dare say the majority of you are still recovering from New Year sick-inna-hedge adventures, I shall be mostly stepping out on a sponsored walk for my very good pals at Weldmar Hospicecare Trust.

I am short, slightly overweight and fabulously unfit, meaning there is a fair-to-middling chance that I may actually get killed TO DEATH in this endeavour.

So, it will be a comforting thought, as I take this final journey into the unknown*, to know that you have parted with your hard-earned cash to sponsor me.

Why waste money on Christmas presents and far too much chocolate? Visit this EXCELLENT WEB PAGE and send this excellent Dorset charity all your money instead.

Anything in excess of my modest £200 target will go toward the development of my compressed-air guide dog booster which will make us all millionaires**.

Sponsor me. Sponsor me GOOD.

* A six-mile circuit around Weymouth, which is much the same thing

** Lie

Monday, December 21, 2009

On pork

On pork

Any excuse"Good morning, and welcome to BBC Radio 4. It's 5.45, which means it's time for Farming Today."

I like a bit of Farming Today. I started my career as a paid slob in the Ministry of Cow Counting, and still harbour a touch of nostalgia for the business of agriculture. A business I do my best to help by running over as many badgers as possible.

"Today," said the charming Charlotte Smith, "We ask: Where does your pork comes from?"

I steer my car onto the A31 at Ringwood and manage the feat of simultaneously banging my head on the steering wheel.

Lordy, Radio 4's dumbing down.

Everybody knows the answer is: Pigs. Pork comes from pigs.

Yoinks! Rumbled by those new media curs at Radio 4

Friday, December 18, 2009

Neither Mirth nor Woe: Robbed

Neither Mirth nor Woe: Robbed

And then I got robbed.

Being a victim of crime isn't exactly a bundle of laughs, but I only have myself to blame taking the dog for a walk just as the sun set over Portland Harbour.

I thought I'd be fine, but as two burly shadows emerged from the bushes and blocked my path, I knew I was in for it.

"Evening," I said, hoping that the situation wasn't as bad as I hoped, but in vain.

"We're gonna rob you, innit."

Oh dear. Ali G has SO much to answer for.

"I beg your pardon?"

"We're gonna rob you, innit, or I'm gonna cut you with my flicky."

I was too terrified to remind him that statement was one 'innit' short and instead harkened back to my hazardous environment training, one of the few excellent perks you get from a career in journalism.

"Give us everything you got," said the second hoodie, "Or I cut ya. Innit."

My training, then, taught me two things. Depending on the situation, a nice former Royal Marine had said, you either do everything they say, hoping for the best; or you club them in the face and break their nose.

This was not a nose-breaking situation, and his "flicky, innit" was clearly a twig.

"What do you chaps want, then?" I ventured, hoping to get away with as little personal and financial damage as possible.

"Everything. Woss in that bag?"

I had forgotten I was carrying a small bag from H. Samuel the jewelers in my right hand.

"Oh, have a care, fella, "I pleaded, "that's my wife's Christmas present. Cost me a fortune. Do you WANT to wreck her Christmas?"

"Jus' f-ing gimme it," said the troll, "Or I stick ya, innit."

No point arguing. I f-ing gave him it.

Then, taking Falstaff's advice about discretion and valour, I fled.

I fled, not for my safety, nor that of Lucy Minogue - who had failed in her duty as a fierce guard dog throughout my hideous ordeal - but for what might happen if I wasn't hiding behind by sofa within the next thirty seconds.

For the long and the short of this story is this: Robbed, I was, for a small plastic bag containing a steaming fresh dog shit.

Good dog. GOOD DOG.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On cynical system design

On cynical system design

"So," I say to the IT chaps, "You say we're getting WYSIWYG on this new system."


"Wait... what?"


"Yeah, that's what I thought you said. What is it, and how much have we paid?"

"What You See Is What You Never Get, Ever. It's free, and adds comedy value."

"Well, that's a relief."

"You think you're putting together a complete and detailed audio-visual presentation for the board of directors, and it throws in whole pages of text in Comic Sans, sparkly Stars-and-Stripes and a mother-in-law joke written by Frank Carson. It's the way he tells 'em, so I hear."

"So I hear. How's the Uploaded Pictures of Your Arse detector coming along?"

"RUBBISH. We're having to use WYSIWYG."

"Oh, that is unfortunate."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On homeopathy

On homeopathy

Regular readers of these pages will know by now that I'm a big fan of SCIENCE and FACTS, and an even bigger fan of fake SCIENCE masquerading as FACTS in the pursuit of a quick fortune.

The above statement may or may not have anything to do with my latest SCIENCE and FACT based money-making venture – a trip into the world of complementary medicine and homeopathy.

Homeopathy, as you may know, is the practice of diluting a substance in water to such an extent that absolutely NONE of the original exists.

This process allows the quack to pass off a bottle of water as magic medicine that contains the "memory" of the original, and is hence a cure-all medicine that many people swear by.

I'd swear by it as well. They're fucking idiots.

However, they're easily-impressed idiots with lots and lots of money, to such an extent that even major High Street retailers have the front to sell bottles of magic water at an extraordinary mark-up.

And I want a slice of the action.

Just as your Take a Break astrologers rake it in with dial-up Astro-Tarot-Flip-a-Coin-Feng-Shui horoscopes, I'll be mixing up the best alternative medicines to provide a unique, scientifically unsound, highly profitable service.

And it is this: Combine the best natural therapies with reflexology and homeopathy to create a therapy that has guaranteed* results.

Applying homeopathic logic into the sphere of natural medicine: I theorise that if a plant such as mistletoe holds healing properties (with natural therapists claiming it can be used for lowering blood pressure and combating fatigue, whilst others say it is also useful for poisoning people TO DEATH), other parts of the tree on which this mistletoe grows must have the MEMORY of these properties even if they are not directly connected.

Therefore, other parts of the tree – or any tree growing nearby - can be used in healing, and may be used in my patent-pending herbalist-complementary-homeopathic-reflexology therapies for fee-paying customers.

For fifty quid a throw, I'm going to thrash stupid people's feet with a stick.

It's the very least they deserve.

* results not guaranteed

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On Top Gear, again

On Top Gear, again

Some people are saying Top Gear's jumped the shark.

They're wrong, of course.

Having said that, it is clear they may be struggling in their quest to stay at the cutting edge of cocking about.

They've fired cars off aircraft carriers (failed), turned a Reliant Robin into a spacecraft (failed) and taken a nice, quiet caravan holiday in South Dorset (epic failed).

What else can they do? Where else can they drive their dream cars? How else can they outrage the outragerati at the Daily Mail?

Fear not, Stig fans – we're working on it. And after literally minutes of frenzied brain-storming, thought-showers, solutioneering and scuba-diving in our think-tank, here's what we've come up with:

- Which Japanese budget car would make the best Kamikaze plane? James May uses MATHS, SCIENCE and a bloody great catapult to fire Nissan Micras at the Isle of Wight ferry whilst jumping over a shark

- Jeremy Carkson takes the Bugatti Veyron on a tour of Ann Noreen Widdecombe ("Oh my Lord – this is the most cavernous nadge .. .. .. .. .. .. IN THE WORLD")

- Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car – Maureen from Driving School. And Stevie Wonder

- Richard "Hamster" Hammond drives the new Ford Ka down to the corner shop for twenty Bensons and a copy of Nuts magazine, but hilariously crashes and burns whilst negotiating a speed hump in Shepherd's Bush

- RACE CHALLENGE: The boys race across Europe from Bulgaria to a cabbage farm in Suffolk. How many immigrants can they get across the Channel in the back of a family-sized luxury estate? Jeremy wins with a grand total of 117 through cunning use of a garden shredder ("Nothing in the rules says they have to arrive intact")

"Next week we start our own Bulgarian-flavoured kebab vans. And on that bombshell..."

Monday, December 14, 2009

On having one's assets manipulated

On having one's assets manipulated

So, I return to work after two weeks' paid holiday in the bosom of my loving family.

I log onto the computer system, and groan inwardly as my mailbox reveals some 1,500 emails have arrive in my absence, work-related messages hiding behind a deluge of offers for Viagra and fakes Rolexes.

The last thing I want, then, is for my Outlook Calendar to do that cheerful "You've got an appointment" sound and remind me that I have a six-hour meeting entitled (and I quote) "Asset manipulation metadata".

In fifteen minutes.

While recognising that this is a serious business, where there is very little solutioneering, picking of low-hanging fruit and rear-view-mirrorism going on, the last thing you want to see on a Monday morning – unless used as the name for a particularly exciting Canadian industrial techno band - are the words "Asset Manipulation Metadata" in close proximity.

I'd go as far as saying that "Asset Manipulation Metadata" on a Monday morning is the sort of thing that makes a man want to slay his colleagues with a pick-axe handle, hiding their still-warm bodies in a hurriedly-dug trench at the far end of the car park.

In other news, a spate of sudden ...err... resignations and permanent emigrations to the Antipodes means there are now twenty-seven vacancies in my place of work.

CVs in the post, please. I promise no asset manipulation will occur.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Neither Mirth Nor Woe: Geography

Neither Mirth Nor Woe: Geography

The small boy sidles up to me with what can only be described as a shit-eating grin spread across his face.

And I should know, for I was – at that time – little more than a small boy myself, and shit-eating grins were my stock-in-trade.

"Ere," he says, shit-eating grin barely flickering, "What's the capital of China?"

I draw breath to give him the answer – for it is Peking – but my reply is not even given the chance to form itself in my mouth as his fist makes violent contact with my nether regions.

"Ha haaaaa!" he screams as he makes a dash for the safety of the school cloakrooms, "It's Bang Cock!"

"No it's not," I wheeze after my retreating foe, "I think you'll find that's in Thailand."

A little bit of sick came up into my mouth. Followed, as it happens, by quite a lot of sick.

And then I was sick inna hedge.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On THINKIUM, again


The first blow is cast. Once again, what started as a one-off gag egged on by fellow internet lunatics has taken over my life with new websites, email addresses and authentic-looking press releases. Let's see how far this little beauty goes...

PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release


LONDON, 9th December 2009: UK-based Think Tank THINKIUM has called for immediate and decisive action on climate change as world leaders meets to discuss the global crisis in Copenhagen.

Renowned for its out-of-the-box analysis, THINKIUM urges both world governments and citizens to take urgent and direct steps in order to combat the threat of rising global temperatures and sea levels.

Scientists engaged by THINKIUM note that global warming only became an issue AFTER the banning of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in hundreds of millions of refrigerators around the world.

Logic dictates, therefore, that CFCs – the very substance that makes things cooler – should be immediately un-banned by world regulatory bodies in order to reverse the indisputable rise in global temperatures.

Citizens are also urged to help this process of "Global Cooling" by leaving their refrigerator doors open for three hours per day.

Additionally, pensioners who cannot afford to run their central heating should simply leave their doors open at night to let the cold out.


In the light of this simple, elegant solution, THINKIUM disputes the need for the expensive, environmentally damaging Copenhagen Conference, and proposes that drastic measures are taken to offset the carbon dioxide generated by 60,000 people travelling to Denmark.

THINKIUM scientists have calculated that these 60,000 visitors, once humanely despatched, will provide 3,900 tons of prime fertiliser, or to put it another way, enough fresh, red, iron-rich mulch to grow nearly four million trees.

This solution provides answers to many of the questions surrounding climate change: over-population, deforestation, pollution due to excessive air travel and taxpayers' money wasted on useless research grants.

THINKIUM supplies answers to the world's most pressing crisis at both the governmental and societal levels, and if employed immediately, will provide benefits for entire populations.

THINKIUM: "We say what you pay us to say"


THINKIUM is an independent, privately-funded Think Tank with a select client base. Members of THINKIUM are available for analysis, comment and policy direction on matters of governance, law, society, science, faith and environment.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

On swimming in our think tank

On swimming in our think tank

You can always tell a slow news day when some mysteriously-funded think tank hits the headlines with some half-baked suggestion that the nation could slash its massive deficit by sacking all the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, police and firemen because "there are rather a lot of them, aren't there?"

Like this, for example: BBC News - Mysteriously-funded think tank calls for sacking of doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, police and firemen because "there are rather a lot of them, aren't there?".

It comes as no surprise to learn that absolutely anybody can set themselves up as a think tank, and get a slice of that big, fat mysteriously-funded mysterious think tank funding.

And the more outrageous your ideas, the bigger the headlines on a slow December Tuesday. And the more money you get for future cloud cuckoo ideas.

I want some of that big, fat tasty pie, and thus THINKIUM – the official Scaryduck Think Tank – is born.

All we need now is to do the hard work – the actual thinking – and come up with some money-making, headline-grabbing big ideas that will be splashed all over the Daily Mail as A Good Idea.

- All emergency services to be cross-trained into the other emergency services. Once everybody is trained, we can sack 66% of now unnecessary ambo-fire-police officers and save £££s from the public purse. As a side-effect, the AA renames itself "the second emergency service"

- Outsourcing all publicly-funded ambo-fire-police officers to the private sector, with the AA as the preferred bidder. As a side-effect, the AA renames itself "the only emergency service". See also: 0118 999 881 999 119 7253

- Diversify the Armed Forces into other, more profitable areas. For example: The Queen's Own Kwik Fit Light Infantry

- Replace Asbos with mandatory Butler Boot Camp for anti-social youths, creating a new generation of useful man-servants (@Flashboy)

- A one-in-one-out immigration policy. For every decent, hard-working person who comes in we kick out a scrounging BNP voter (@ThirdmanUK)

- Replace every government cabinet member with a think tank that works inside a giant statue of a politician (@mattround). At night, a door opens in the side of the statue, and the think tank is allowed out to fight crime, dressed as a crime-fighting dog

- State funding for Think Tanks

That's as good a start as any. Once David Cameron sends us £££s for these excellent ideas, we'll be on Easy Street. This time next year, Rodders...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

On things which are 100 per cent of truth

On things which are 100 per cent of truth

Scaryduck's "Did You Know...?" No 34,091
Footballer David Beckham is known as 'Goldenballs' to both his legions of fans and an unimaginative tabloid press. However, the sobriquet has nothing to do with any alleged footballing talent, but relates to a teenage masturbatory accident involving a tin of spray paint that was documented in a 1989 edition of the Barking and Dagenham Post.

Scaryduck's "Did you know...?" No. 56,022
All penguins are naturally inclined to join organised crime gangs. The first penguin to join the mob was "Genial" Harry Fishfinger, attracted by a promise that he would be "sleeping with the fishes", but ending his days on a life stretch for wanton acts of violence against puffins.

Look, I don't make this stuff up. It's all 100 per cent true. Honest.

Just to prove it, here's a bird's eye view of Ayrton Senna Road in Reading, built as a fitting tribute to the world's greatest racing driver, not terribly far from where he had a home. (Click on pic to embiggen)

The more eagle-eyed amongst you will note that a) it's a cul-de-sac and b) yes, those are speed bumps. Poor, dead Ayrton.

Monday, December 07, 2009



What's your bus count?

The 'bus count' is an internationally recognised measure within the business world quantifying how many key staff members falling under buses are required before any given company grinds to a halt.

A bus count of one in your company is bad news.

A bus count of four is regarded as the absolute minimum, but if you find yourself with four vital staff members falling under buses, you either have a pressing need to get the Green Cross Man to make a personal appearance, or your local bus company has no in-house procedure for rooting out the psychopaths and the registered blind.

Or, of course, your competitors could simply be using our services.

Welcome to BUS COUNT BEATERS - a new service for the business that wants to get ahead.

Worried that your competitors have the edge?

Is your throat getting cut in this cut-throat market?

Need to even things up a bit?

Never fear - get yourself to the front of the queue with BUS COUNT BEATERS

All our drivers are fully-uninsured and PSV unqualified, and only undertake their duties in the best, unmarked, un-MOTed, specially re-inforced double deckers sourced only from the least well-known Russian defence exporters.

All contracts 100 per cent fully researched, rehearsed and guaranteed - Your competitors buried between two barn doors, or YOUR MONEY BACK!


* But it will be a bus

Saturday, December 05, 2009

On charity

On charity

I've recently got back in touch with an old school friend, who is now trustee of a rather worthy charity supporting both people and the environment in Africa.

If you're planning a charitable donation this Christmas, please consider Tree Africa.

That is all.

Friday, December 04, 2009

On travelling by train

On travelling by train

Every now and then, I find myself travelling up to London for work.

Having trawled through the arcane ticket-booking website in which you need to click "BUY TICKETS" buttons on no less than four occasions, I eventually find myself in possession of both tickets to ride, but also seat reservations so that I may travel on a rush hour train to London in relative comfort.

Seat reservations are one thing, but the reality is somewhat more brutal.

By the time the 0730 to Paddington has arrived at Reading, I have darted from one end of the platform to the other to find Coach B, and am already at the back of the seething mass of humanity trying to board the packed train.

Then, squeezing down the aisle toward seat 47B to the sighs and stares of standing passengers, I discover the worst: My seat is already taken.

"Excuse me – I have a reservation for that seat," I say to the suited bastard, his Blackberry, Mac and Costa Coffee already laid out before him.

"And what are you going to do about it?" he said, possession being nine-tenths of the law.

Here's what I did about it: I stood for half-an-hour, reading a copy of Metro, farting in his face all the way to London.

WIN, snatched from the very jaws of FAIL, I am sure you will agree.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

On things not to say at a funeral

On things not to say at a funeral

Things not to say at a funeral. I repeat: Things not to say at a funeral

- "What's that Sam? The money's in the coffin? Bless you Sam."

- "...Funk to funky / We know Major Tom's a junkie"

- "3... 2...1... MEXICAN WAVE!"

- "We've swapped the funeral music for the Birdie Song. Let's see if they're GAME FOR A LAUGH!"

- "Skip to the end, padre. I've got a good feeling about the will."

- "Has anyone mentioned that you look SO hot in black?"

- "Can I have your autograph? It's not for me..."

- "Yeah, face down and covered in garlic, as per your instructions."

- "And the real tragedy is that Jim Davidson's still walking the Earth."

- "I thought it was going to be a Y-shaped coffin"

From Twitter's @DanielOppenheim, who wins an INTARNET: "HA! You dead bastard! I made it! I'm Solihull's 4th greatest piano tuner now!!!"

I have actually said one of these lines. Go on, guess.

Also: Add more.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

On Iceland

On Iceland

There are times when a man's got to stand up and be counted. And that time is NOW.

In these darkest of days, I have decided - for the good of the nation - that I shall make it my life's work to hunt down and mete out righteous justice on those behind this monstrosity:

Righteous justice may include any of the following:

- Public ridicule

- Turd through the letterbox, it being the only language these curs understand

- Tied to a dentist's chair and being made to sing "Well did you Evah" non-stop except for periods when the victim person under re-education is force-fed Iceland-branded nutrition-free calories and/or Coleen Nolan

- Being Coleen Nolan. Or Jason Donovan

I am not mad

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

On round robin Christmas letters, yet again

It's that time of year again, when we turn the smug dial up to eleven and tell people we barely see from one decade to the next what we've been up to for the year with the annual, dreadful Christmas round robin letter. And what a year!

Instructions: Cut, paste, change names and send to people you hate.

Hello everybody!

Or should I say "Malo 'e lelei" after I was elected King of Tonga this January on a unanimous vote by the islanders – aka my loyal subjects!!!

Of course, I was more than happy to take the job, for kingship is one of the "milestones" on my chosen career path, now that I have reluctantly decided three "Best Director" Oscars is more than enough! The Tongans were more than understanding when I told them that I couldn't possibly move to Tonga until John Lewis opened a branch there, but work is proceeding quickly following my decree that there should be more boutique shops and charming little trattorias and tapas bars.

Sadly, I am considering abdication already after the untimely death of dear, dear Michael Jackson in June. As I wept in front of GMTV on that sad morning, the private line rang, and Simon Cowell quite literally begged me to be the new King of Pop. Naturally I agreed, if only for the fact that I can now afford to have someone write my "Hello!" column for me, but feel that I cannot be two kings at once, so it's (reluctantly!) good-bye Tonga!!!

Then in November we won another £45 million on the Lottery to go with last year's bumper £27 million jackpot – using exactly the same numbers!!! What are we going to do with all that money?!

All that cash is burning a hole in our pockets, but after that fiasco with the Somali orphans (not one of the urchins bothered learning enough English to wish us a word of thanks), we've decided to give charity a wide berth. My lovely wife Vanessa – taking time out from her job as Max Clifford's PR advisor - went out and bought an entire set of Crown Jewels, but took them back to Elizabeth Duke at Argos under the 16-day no-quibble guarantee, finding them tacky to the extreme.

My young lad Adam changed school this year – to become Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge!!! He's taken over Stephen Hawking's old job, and has already sent out a number of corrections to his shoddy "Brief History of Time" and exchanged the electric wheelchair for a rather more modern and sleek Bugatti Veyron!!! Luckily, after becoming the fastest speeding offender ever, the judge was so impressed he let him off!!! Which was nice.

Our daughter Hazel has also had her fair share of success – she's became a dotcom billionaire with her new insurance comparison website comparison website. You might have seen the popular TV adverts for in which a friendly talking meerkat is dragged out and shot by Churchill the Dog on the town hall steps, while my newly-created John and Edward clones sing Gina G's "Ooh Aah! Just a Little Bit" in the background. A real viral hit!!!

That's all from us for another breathless, fun-packed year. We do hope you have a happy and prosperous Christmas (though not as prosperous as we are – LOL!!!). Just don't bother writing back – we've moved and we decided not to tell the poor, tedious people where we are.

Ciao – or as they say in Tonga – "nefo!"

King Duckalula e' Wakakulu III of Tonga (Retired)

Monday, November 30, 2009

On writing a letter to Top Gear

On writing a letter to Top Gear

Dear Top Gear

I couldn't help noticing that undertakers these days are getting to drive some really sporty-looking hearses. Like this:

Unfortunately, the poor saps in the funeral industry are limited to 5 mph and never get to have any fun in their pimped-up stiff-wagons with mega-bass sound systems and under-coffin lighting.

You should have a race. And when Hammond wipes out at a nose-bleed-erupting 27 mph, he'd oven-ready for the local crem.

Go on. DO IT. Today.

I am not mad.

Your pal, Albert O'Balsam

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Dawn of the Video Age: A Tale of Mirth and Woe

The Dawn of the Video Age: A Tale of Mirth and Woe

"I'd like to hire a video please"

"Yes, well, we've got a wide choice."

"What do you recommend?"

Our family had joined the video age with the purchase of a top-loading Panasonic VHS machine wth clunking great buttons on the front.

It had cost the best part of four hundred quid, and another forty was blown on two tapes to feed it. One was the good-but-not-brilliant Porridge movie from which I have gleaned my lifelong "Our ordeal is over" line, and the other was blank.

We immediately recorded Jaws on the E-180, and couldn't record anything else until a major pay rise funded some more blanks.

I was, then, ordered to join the corner shop's newly-formed video club and get in some top-drawer family entertainment.

"What do you recommend?"

"What are you after?"

Comedy. If there's one thing that brings a family together - and ours in particular - it is comedy.

"In which case, I've got the very film for you. It's a scream."

Friday night.

We all sat round. Family. Friends. A few guests who had never seen a VCR in operation. Solemnity mixed with a little bit of excitement, all thanks to the magic of Hollywood.

Lights down.

"Fuck you"

"Get the fuck out of here!"

"Fucking fucking fuckity fuck"

"Get the fuck out of here!"

And so on, for 105 fuck-filled minutes.

Lights back up.

A circle of family members, friends and guests, all doing very passable goldfish impressions.

In retrospect, Beverly Hills Cop was a fucking awful choice for a family movie.

"Well. That was pretty fucking poor, wasn't it?"

Elderly aunts, eh? Holding a grudge against Eddie Murphy all the way to the grave.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On gross-out

On gross-out

I hadn't felt too good.

In fact, I felt bloody awful.

Hell of a cold, nose feeling like it had a block of concrete stuck up it.

I was the very definition of “mouth-breather”, for that was just about all I could manage.

Grasping a handful of Kleenex, I decided to give it one final blow before I slammed my head in the oven door.


And out it came.

A pasta tube.

A foul-smelling pasta tube, for I hadn't eaten pasta tubes in several weeks.

What, I ask, have I done in my life for that to happen?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On contract negotiations

On contract negotiations

"Right, that's the contract agreed. We pay you three million pounds on successful completion, and your company supplies us with the computer and delivery system as set out in the requirements documentation."

"Fantastic - all we need are your signatures and the whole transaction is formalised. If you'd be so kind to sign here and...”

“Not just yet. There's one more factor to discuss.”

“Are you sure? Our legal people have been through everything with a fine-tooth comb. It's water-tight. We've jumped through all the hoops and all our ducks are in a row.”

“That's as maybe. Our company's long-standing policy on contracts of this value is to demand a hostage exchange.”

“A what?”

“Oh, it's nothing really. Business being what it is these days, we need to make sure we don't get stiffed somewhere down the line.”

“But... but... what if we refuse?”

“Yeah, they all say that. Look – just give us one of your kids, and we'll hand the blighter back relatively unscathed when you deliver on the contract.”

“And what do I get?”

“A spare room in your house in which Nigel from accounts will lodge.”

“Wait – what – who?”

“Only until our final payment clears. Fair's fair, eh?”

“And what happens – theoretically speaking – if the deal goes tits? Will I ever see Julian again?”

“Stop your worrying – you get to bring up Nigel as your own son-and-heir, while it's the kebab shop for your lad.”

“W... w... w... you don't mean *boilk*”

“Calm down man – they're always after serving staff at the Medina – he'd fit in perfectly.”

“I really don't think this hostage thing is appropriate. We may have to reconsider the whole contract in the light of this unexpected turn of events.”

“Heh. God. Had you fooled – there's no way on Earth we'd demand your son as a hostage for a contract of this magnitude...”

“Well – thank the good Lord for that. You really had me going for a minute...”

“...we'd be asking for your wife and seventeen-year-old daughter at the very least.”


"I like a man who can do business."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On tramps

On tramps

Is it just me – or don't you see tramps these days?

You know – proper tramps. Gentlemen of the road, badgering you for the price of a portion of chips and a flagon of the finest freshly-pressed scrumpy, living like kings of the road in cardboard palaces under the railway arches of our towns and cities.

Characters to a man, a far cry from the modern wino who is virtually indistinguishable from market-stall tracksuit-clad binge-drinking chav.

Their own way of life. Their own secret signals. Their own private haunts in the unwanted, crumbling quarters of town, huddled round camp fires, sharing their tales of the road.

A dying breed – where are they now?

In other news: God, it there ANOTHER kebab shop opening in town? You've got to love that smoky, cider-marinated taste of a large doner and chips.

Actually – that's not a bad idea. I hope nobody's got in before me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On The Liston-Smith Angry Scale to measure angriness

On The Liston-Smith Angry Scale to measure angriness

One of the great staples of television journalism is that of pushing a microphone into the face of an angry person – whose day has not improved since a local press photographer had them pointing at dog turds – and asking "How angry are you?"

The answer - invariably "very" – leaves the viewing public with no idea how angry they are. They might have an anger base line which is really quite angry, and the events on which they are quizzed might have made them only slightly more angry. Or, in rare cases, actually less angry than when they started but still not entirely happy.

So, the finest minds of our generation have come up with the handy Liston-Smith Angry Scale to measure angriness.

Now, when asked the question "How angry are you?" the interviewee can now reply in measured, yet dark tones "Eleven. I am eleven angry" and everybody will know you are celebrity bunny-boiler Katie Price.

The Liston-Smith Angry Scale to measure angriness

0. Not angry at all
1. Disappointed
2. Unhappy
3. Miffed
4. Dismayed
5. Irritated
6. Annoyed
7. Cross
8. Angry
9. Really angry
10. Livid
11. Furious
12. Volcanic

And, added by popular demand by people who know

13. The Silent Treatment
Those with an interest in such things will note that the Liston-Smith scale is modelled on the already existing Beaufort Scale for measuring wind speeds, with "Angry" appearing at Force Eight, where gale force winds would otherwise appear.

When approached with this news, the Met Office were said to be "Force Three Angry – Miffed".

Saturday, November 21, 2009

On selling my soul, yet again

On selling my soul, yet again

It was if an occult hand had reached down and shovelled my pockets with cold, hard cash.

For I cannot lie: those very nice people at Blinkbox have paid me cold, hard cash to say how good their movies-and-TV-on-the-internet website is.

After downloading the new Star Trek movie, the rather brilliant Mr Gaiman's Coraline and some old Doctor Who, the Blinkbox experience arrives on the Scaryduckworth-Lewis Scale of Rating Things for Excellence thussly:

"18/20. Julia Bradbury soaked and windswept after a long wet walk up a mountain" - which equates to EXCELLENT.

And I'm not saying that because they're paying me. Honest.

Oooh: Free Bottom

Friday, November 20, 2009

On the Road to HELL

On the Road to HELL

The more excellent among you may have heard me recount this tale on Radio Five's Danny Baker Show last Saturday morning. This is the full version which I planned to read out had I managed to get a word in...

Bad drivers? Don't talk to me about bad drivers!

Let me recount my trip into an actual circle of HELL. This being, as you might have already guessed, Manchester.

For reasons far too complicated to explain, I got hold of some tickets for a Man United match at Old Trafford. Away end only, you understand, supporting the poor saps who were about to get a lesson in football from the legions of darkness.

The catch being that we had to get up early and drive up from the south coast with a chap called Brian.

I'd never met him before - the whole deal was done through a mutual friend called Geoff - and he trolled up in his Ford Fiesta and we set off, him driving, me reading the map, Geoff in the back offering bad advice.

It was as we headed north that he admitted after covering only about 20 miles in the first hour: "I don't drive on motorways."


He wasn't particularly good at A-roads, either. Or taking my directions, all of which he patently ignored.

I should have noticed this on account of his devious plan of ignoring all road signs that said "M5 NORTH", veering off in the opposite direction as if they were sending his beloved Fiesta over a cliff.

"Turn left here," I said as Banbury disappeared very slowly in the rear-view mirror, followed by a desperate "Left... LEFT... LEFT!!!!!" as he turned right, anticipating a short-cut that would eventually resolve itself Northampton.

At three o'clock switched off the engine, got out and stretched his legs before declaring: "This is close enough."

We were alone in a car park.

A church car park.

A church car park in Coventry.

We had missed Old Trafford by a piffling 82 miles, and we turned round and headed back to Dorset.

We should be home in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On a night in the pub

On a night in the pub

"Good evening, mein host, a flagon of your finest stout ale, if you please."

"Yer what?"

"Guinness. One of Her Majesty's pints, if it pleases you."

"Oh, right."

"And, if you'd be so bold, could you direct me to the secret garden as advertised on the sign outside, for I wish to partake in the last dying rays of this autumnal sun."

"Are you trying to chat me up, gaylord?"

"What? Your secret garden - where is it located?"

"There's no way I'm showing anybody my secret garden, you great wooly wooftah."

"No.. No... The Secret Garden. The one on your sign outside. The one that says 'Secret Garden' on it."

"Oh, THAT."


"It's through there."

"But.. but.. it's an alley full of empty barrels and a dead pigeon."

"Yes. Secret Garden. Tell anybody and we break your legs."

"And a packet of helicopter flavour crisps, my good man."

"Heard it."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Star Wars FACTS

On Star Wars FACTS

Or Lordy! It's another bucket of FACTS - all 100 per cent TRUE FACTS about the galaxy's favourite movie series (and, as it turns out, gay icon). Who knew? Don't look at me, I'm just reporting the truth.

10. Popular droid and gay icon C3P0 is to be replaced in future episodes of the space saga by C4P0, who comes with a 14-inch groin attachment and realistic orifices. He also speaks all known languages, including Danish

9. Unseen footage of popular heroine and gay icon Princess Leia shows that the rebel leader's public hair is styled in her trademark "double bun". The same footage also reveals Jabba the Hutt's groin to be shaped like a shed

8. Popular villain and gay icon Darth "Geoff" Vader was based on former England opening batsman Geoffrey Boycott, who is not a gay icon by any stretch of the imagination

7. The original concept drawings for the Imperial Empire's super-weapon showed there were to be two planet-killing space stations to be called the "Death Bosoms", which were to be destroyed by popular hero and gay icon Luke Skywalker exploding his torpedo between them

6. Space port and wretched hive of scum and villainy Mos Eisley is based entirely on George Lucas's one and only visit to the BNP-voting wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Manchester

5. The costume used for seven-foot tall Wookie and gay icon Chewbacca is sourced entirely from shavings obtained from just one Central London vasectomy clinic

4. Such is his command of the force, Jedi Knight and gay icon Obi Wan Kenobi is able to poo out of anybody's bottom

3. Disappointed at being named as the worst character in the Star Wars franchise, annoyance and gay icon Jar Jar Binks is to relaunch his career starring alongside Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop XXVII

2. Film mogul and non-gay icon George Lucas will continue to churn out new versions of existing Star Wars product right up to the moment medical science allows him to buy a neck

1. Thanks to a dreadful mis-hearing at a concept meeting, 20th Century Fox was forced to junk millions of dollars worth of footage of the cartoon spin-off and gay icon Star Wars: Clown Wars

Bonus FACT: Popular droid and gay icon R2-D2 was originally created as a wanking machine in 1976 sci-fi scud movie "Star Whores". His scenes were dropped, but George Lucas liked the happy finish so much, the rest is cinematic history. Lucas also pulled the name "Hand Solo" from the same flick

Bonus Bonus FACT: The original ending to the movie series had hero and gay icon Luke Skywalker turning to the Dark Side and becoming the Imperial Empire's number one gay icon and wanking machine salesman

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On keeping up with modern technology

On keeping up with modern technology

A couple of years ago, I went round the house of some relatives, to see them sitting at the dining room table with his'n'hers laptops doing their Christmas shopping.

I laughed.

I told some other people, they laughed, and I felt a bit guilty.

Wind forward a couple of years, and our family life is thus:

- Kids told dinner is ready via Instant Messenger ("Wot is it? LOL" - "Spgtti Blgnse")

- Meals going cold while Farm Town harvesting is finished ("But I've got PINEAPPLES!")

- An outright ban on leaving posts on the Facebook wall of any family member ("News for you, Dad - you're not cool")

- Online conversations with people IN THE SAME ROOM ("Turn the telly up LOL", "It's loud enough FFS")

- Threats of actual non-duck flavoured weblogs

- Sitting at the dining room table with his'n'hers laptops doing the Christmas shopping. On Ebay. ("A++++++++++ present, will unwrap again")

I now realise our rels were not weird-cakes. They were early-adopters, years ahead of their time. And if their home is still a living lab of the future, I look forward to my Techno Sofa, just in time for the Olympics.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On crap-o-vision, again

On crap-o-vision, again


You go a whole year without anything truly, truly bad on television, and then two gems come along in a week.

And bugger my luck - I go and miss both of them.

Regular readers know that I'm a big fan of rubbish, and last year's Demons on ITV was a true turd on the otherwise white tablecloth of British television which I thought could never be beaten.

And BANG - two in a week, leaving me scrabbling around for rpeat showings and catch-up services.

The Execution of Gary Glitter - Channel Four

In 2001, Channel Four were brave enough to ignore the ouraged shrieks of the tavbloid press to air the Chris Morris Brass Eye Paedo-geddon Special, a damning indictment of the worst excesses of moral panic. Got 27 minutes to spare? Watch it all HERE

In 2009, the same network brought us The Execution of Gary Glitter, an all-singing, all-dancing mockumentray mixing fiction and genuine talking heads, speculating what might happen if we decided to stretch the neck of Britain's favourite pedalo. The usual suspects: Garry Bushell, Ann Widdecombe, kids in "paedo's are scum" T-shirts, all to a brainless music soundtrack.

I had to skip to the end just to see if it wasn't the long-awaited return of Chris Morris and all a great big joke. It wasn't. They actually meant it.

Channel Four - what have you become?

Top THAT, Rupert Murdoch.

And he did.

Michael Jackson: The Live Seance - Sky One

Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Derek Acorah takes a bunch of Jackson fans to a castle in Ireland (on account of the fact that Jacko once slept there), and attempts to make contact with the King of Pop himself.

And he does, with all-too-predictable, all-too-hilarious, all-too-disturbing results.

Look, just watch it.

The sad fact is that 600,000 people actually watched this tosh. 600,000 people who might actually live near you and have a vote in the next election.

Yeah. We're doomed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

On alien invasions

On alien invasions

They came for us during the Shipping Forecast.

As the sombre woman on Radio Four warned us of gales in Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Cromarty, Forth, Faeroes and South-East Iceland, they came out of the skies to conquer a sleeping nation.

And I saw them. I saw them coming.

"Southerly or southwesterly six to gale eight decreasing four or five, backing south-easterly five, occasionally six later."

Five twenty-two in the morning. And I drive in the dark on the main road toward Bournemouth, over the hill above Tolpuddle and down to Bere Regis.

There, around the long sweep of the dual carriageway, they came through the drizzle.

"Cyclonic five or six, becoming variable four, then becoming southerly four or five later."

Blue. White. Bright. Hanging above the road, sweeping from right-to-left as I drove toward it, right foot on the gas pedal despite knowing that I was driving relentlessly into danger.

And then…

"Northerly five to seven. Rough, occasional rain."

And then, as my wipers thrummed across the not-quite-wet-enough-to-work windscreen, another.

Just like the first, blue, white, illuminated with a deathly glow, hovering with menace just above the road, sweeping slowly across my line of vision as I headed onward, ever onward toward them.

These visitors. These invaders, menace oozing from them as they hatched their plans against humanity, alien markings becoming clear on their hulls, their intention clear. They come not in peace. They come to dominate, destroy.

I tried to scream. To call out. To reach for the hands-free. But nothing. Nothing except:

"And now the forecast for the inshore waters of Great Britain and Ireland. A new low will…"

Then, I breathe.

Keep Left signs.

We are being invaded by brain-eating aliens disguised as Keep Left signs.

You have been warned.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On plugging God

On plugging God

The Church of England, I read, is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis.

So much so that one of its bishops recently stated that the church 'shouldn't try to convert Marks and Spencer customers', but should instead be working to attract the easily-converted masses seen drooling in the aisles of low-rent supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl.

So far, so sane.

It is clear that the one thing organised religion needs is new brains to wash, and what better way of getting hold of them than through the drug-addled world of corporate advertising?

With new rules allowing advertisers to directly attack their competitors, and to do just about anything short of crapping through their letterboxes (it being the only language these curs understand), the way is clear for your local church to engage in a Holy War to poach knee-benders from the heathen house of blasphemy down the road.

Bearing in mind that four-letter abuse is the new black, let's get a few slogans together to help our robed betters get ahead in advertising and promote the virtues of the invisible sky zombie. As a self-confessed deity-curious atheist and serial BLASPHEMER, I feel it is nothing short of my duty:

- I can't believe it's not Buddha

- Goths, Vampires and Freaks! Free actual blood – every Sunday!

- Scientologists! Our magic sky zombie's better than your magic sky zombie

- Scientologists! Guaranteed Tom Cruise-free since 1985

- Catholics! Double your chance of a date. We've got altar girls as well!

- Mormons: Multpile mothers-in-law? You bunch of daft, slack-jawed spackers

- Soap fans! Our God's his own son. Fuck, yeah!

- Atheists! Free beer, money and sex for every new convert*
*May be a lie. We've got a book full of 'em

- Islamists! You bunch of part-timers. Brutally slaying unbelievers for 6,000 years, in ways that'll make your skin fall off like a heathen in a vat of boiling oil

- Jedis! Come to the Dark Side

And if that doesn't get them surging through the doors next Sunday, I'm afraid it's going to be Plan B. And frankly, the Women's Institute isn't going to be pleased.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On getting your hair cut

On getting your hair cut

"So, what'll it be, sir?"

"Short round the sides, long and spiky on the top. I'll have the Jedward cut, please."

"Rock-hard hair gel to keep the spikes up?"

"Oh, aye. That an' all."

Never – NEVER – joke with your barber. It can only lead to one thing: Extreme FAIL.

Can anyone recommend a decent cheap clip joint?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On lunchtime meetings

On lunchtime meetings

I love my job. I love the people with whom I work.


It's got to be said: Who keeps scheduling lunchtime meetings?

I'm a big fan of lunch, finding it useful for things like pie, cake and tea, and not useful for things like discussing Any Other Business and the "Who's going to keep the minutes" stare-out.

It has already been suggested that lunchtime meetings could be avoided with a simple refusal. However, refusal leads to your knees being nailed to the desk, which leads to anger, which leads to The Dark Side. So, I am there, Stare-out King, taking notes on a sheet of paper headed Things to do to People Who Schedule Meetings at Lunch Times.

And here it is, corrected only for spelling and the bits where I crayoned outside the lines.

Things to do to People Who Schedule Meetings at Lunch Times

1. Lock them in a room with a load of killer wasps. Get some action points out of THAT.

2. Plug them into the mains through a badly-wired power-point display. BUZZ-word bingo LOL!

3. Disembowel them with a sharpened clipboard and run their innards up the flagpole in the car park. Try running THAT up the flagpole.

4. Shut their fingers in the lift doors and send it up to the 37th floor. Try helping yourself to the fingerbuffet without having any actual fingers!

5. Wait until they're asleep, then rewire their brain using the Readers Digest Guide to Rewiring Your Home as a guide. Hope you like brainstorming, pal!

6. Stove them to death with the overhead projector and leave their body tied to the lectern pour encourager les autres - No.1 item on the agenda – Can I have your laptop?!!!

Don't get me started on meetings scheduled for a) mornings, b) afternoons or c) any other time of day not specified

I am not mad.

Monday, November 09, 2009

On Movie FACTS

On Movie FACTS

Here's a FACT: Me an' Fanton are finally getting our act together with The Big Book of Condensed Movies, which may well be ready in time for Christmas. 2010. Me = words, Him = pictures. What it needed though, is something to break up the text, and that something is FACTS.

Here are, then, some of our movie FACTS, wihich are 100% of FACT.

FACT! Legendary Disney short "Steamboat Willy" originally had an 18 Certificate and featured a man wearing dungarees coming to fix a fridge.

FACT! Star Wars director George Lucas originally intended to make a cameo appearance in the original movie as the villainous Jabba the Hutt. It was only in the Special Edition when effects technology became suitably advanced that this became possible.

FACT! Stephen Spielberg originally touted smash hit adventure flick 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' as "the ultimate Jewish revenge movie". He will continue with this theme with his forthcoming feature 'Up Your Arse, Nick Griffin'.

FACT! Hollywood megastar and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is known around the world for his catchphrase "I'll be back". However, this came after a number of false starts, his original "Der Strassenbahnhaltestelle meines Onkel is volle Hunden" not capturing the imagination of movie-goers.

FACT! Restored to its original glory, the Elvis classic Jailhouse Rock now features the previously-deleted prison shower scene and the long-lost song 'Soap on a rope (Don't want it up my bunghole)'.

FACT! The original script for the smash hit Brit-com Four Weddings and a Funeral was for a public information film about the dangers of making hoax phone calls to the emergency services, to be aired late-night on BBC2, starring Hugh Grant and a Shepherds Bush slattern.

FACT! Coming next year: Titanic II – The Unsinkening. Leonardo di Caprio's back, and this time he's ANGRY

FACT! Guy Ritchie's putting the finishing touches on his latest movie offering. This time, by way of a change, it's a madcap cockney crime caper starring eminent East End actors Ray Winstone, Vinnie Jones and Wellard from EastEnders called "Shut It, You Slag"

Popular chick flick Pretty Woman is about a kerb-crawler. No, wait... that one's true.

FACT! Having run out of cromulent source material from Ian Fleming's 007 books, producers have been forced to merge several of the master's best-known titles for the next James Bond film: The Spy Who Fingered My Pussy Galore

A poll of influential critics and film directors has revealed 'S Club 7: Seeing Double' to be the greatest movie ever made, romping away from distance runners-up 'Citizen Kane', 'The Seven Samurai' and 'Shaving Ryan's Privates'. "It's S Club magic – only twice as much!" enthused Martin Scorsese.

The world's greatest dinosaur movie is based on an actual vomit-based tourist attraction on an island in the Scottish Inner Hebrides: Jura Sick Park