Monday, August 31, 2009

On gay dogs

On gay dogs

"That's a lovely dog," Beer Gut Bald Guy says, "What's his name?"

I find myself on the Rodwell Trail – a former railway line that ran near our house which now forms part of the Dorset Coast Path.

To my right, the majestic sweep of Chesil Beach, to the left, the noble ruins of Sandsfoot Castle. And in front of me, across the harbour, spectacular views of the cousin-marrying, mum-touching Isle of Portland, partially obscured by a fat bloke admiring my dog.

Forced out of the house on a wave of boredom, I eschew the ice cream kiosk in the castle gardens, and head down toward the yacht club and the hidden beaches that lie beyond.

And there, I meet Beer Gut Bald Guy, dog lover of this parish.

"That's a lovely dog. What's his name?"

It is at the point that I should point out that the charming Lucy Minogue is sporting a pink collar with spangly bits, a pink walkies harness of soft dogs and a pink lead with spangly bits to match the spangly bits on her collar.

I look Beer Gut Bald Guy in the piggy eyes and tell him the name of my dog.


"Yeah. Don't get too close. He'll scratch your eyes out."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Neither Mirth nor Woe: Red Arrows

Neither Mirth nor Woe: Red Arrows

Wednesday to the park in order to watch the very fine RAF Red Arrows strut their stuff over the clear, blue skies of Weymouth Harbour.

We are not alone, for we gather around Henry VIII's cliff-top Sandsfoot Castle with a crowd numbering in the dozens to witness the annual spectacle with forms the climax of the town carnival.

OK, the sacrificing TO DEATH of last year's Carnival queen is the real climax, but that's an event open only to a select few. Said too much.

While tens of thousands cram into the town centre to watch the show, we select few go to the park, it being directly underneath where the Arrows turn on the proverbial sixpence for the next run up the beach, strafing the collected hordes of grockles with their 30mm Aden cannons.

It's loud. Very loud. Nine loads of 18 million pound's worth of fighter jet loud.

So, why, I ask, has that woman brought her dog?

Pooch isn't your tiny little lapdog either. He's a monster of a canine of indeterminate breed, the size of a small pony, and rather excitable to boot.

The Arrows arrive with a roar.

Fido stops shagging some pensioner's leg and instead goes utterly mental.

"Aww, bless him," says his owner, "he thinks they're a kite."

Huge, loud, aviation fuel-powered kites.

"He likes to chase kites, you know."

He does? Oh good.

And so, our expensively-trained fly-boys steam overhead in their famous 'Diamond Nine' formation, and our canine pal takes off - entirely predictably - in hot pursuit.

I can now go to my grave proud in the knowledge that I have seen a grown, middle-aged woman dragged - head first and face down - through a turd-ridden park by a king-size dog out of his head on aviation fuel.

A woman dragged head-first through a vomit-strewn hedge to the cheers of approval from the watching throng.

And straight over the cliff, with nothing but the English Channel below. And sharks. Sharks with AIDS.

"That's it," said a filth-covered wraith emerging from the undergrowth as the Arrows powered their way back to Exeter, "I'm putting you in the car."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On putting the FUN back into funerals

On putting the FUN back into funerals

I've just redone my funeral play-list – AGAIN – this time giving it an all-female fronted synthpop look to give the grieving loved-ones something to get down and boogie with in the aisles.

The trouble is, in these days of production line send-offs, you're lucky to get half a tune as you're carried into the chapel and something uplifting at the end as the conveyor belt carts you off to your final appointment with the ovens.

All things being equal, it was pleasing to see that poor, dead Michael Jackson had the right idea by holding his funeral in a disco.

So – potentially as a plan to get the fun-fun-funeral play-list I want, but almost entirely to fulfil the prophecy of St Delboy ("This time next year, Rodders, we'll be millionaires") I am proud to announce the opening of Cinderella Grimreaperfellas – the world's first funeral night club and roller disco.

This distinction quite naturally excludes Student Union dances, which are much the same thing.

For the cheap sum of ten grand, the management at Cinderella Grimreaperfellas offers the recently departed:

- Roller-skating pall-bearers, carrying the glittering coffin to a roped-off VIP area
- Play-list of your choice (strictly no Spandau Ballet or Celine Dion)
- Complimentary bottle of bubbly for the ladies
- Smart/casual dress code
- Sexy undertaker and/or zombie strip-o-gram

And let's not forget – because we are aware of the need to ensure that traditional funeral rites are observed – the firing of the corpse out of a cannon straight up Jimmy Carr's arse as Reverend DJ plays poor, dead Coolio's I'll C U When U Get There.

That'll bring a tear to the eye.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On things not to do when you're bored in a meeting

On things not to do when you're bored in a meeting

So, you're in a meeting. Again.

The agenda stretches out before you like the Dead Sea Scrolls, and someone's getting all aerated about the quality of the hand soap in the gents toilets.

On no account should you allow yourself to get diverted by the contents of your mobile phone.

On no account should you even consider catching up on a few hours' sleep.

And on absolutely no account should you decide to take your incredibly expensive pen apart, stripping it down to its component parts.

Because this will almost certainly happen:

1. As you unscrew the barrel of your prize Parker pen (free with an insurance quotation that will settle those worrying 'final expenses') the spring will shoot out at a speed approaching Mach Two, and will land in someone's coffee

2. In your panic to re-assemble what is left of your heirloom writing implement, with all available hands, feet and facial cavities, the end will come off the ink cartridge and leave you covered in red ink

This will be the exact moment that your boss will ask your opinion on an important piece of workplace policy.

This opinion – I have found – is somewhat devalued if you look exactly like Heath Ledger playing The Joker.

Well done, there. Golf clap. Take the rest of the day off.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On poems every small boy should know

On poems every small boy should know

It's sad that they don't teach poetry in school these days.

Asa matter of fact, I went to school with a lad so determined to learn poetry, that he was forced to write his verses on his emerging, youthful carnal desires for Miss Shagwell on any surface he could find. THE MAN soon put a stop to that, and a great laureate was lost forever.

We aim to rectify this shortcoming – forced onto us be decades of Political Correctness Gone Mad at the hands of Gordon Brown's ZaNuLieBore – with a series of lessons on the poetic arts.

Lesson One: Ode to a Gentleman (c. 1597)

A man's occupation
Is to
Stick his cockulation
Up a
Woman's ventilation
Increase the population
The younger generation.

The last line is, of course, to be delivered with a hearty cock-punch to the victim listener in the manner the Great Bard of Stratford intended.

Next week: We examine Oscar Wilde's classic work: "Here I sit, broken hearted, paid my penny, only farted"

Monday, August 24, 2009

On hatching a diabolical plan

On hatching a diabolical plan

I sat in the car the other day, my journey held up by a bizarre accident in which a Brandon Hire truck shed its load of portable khazis across the Chickerell Relief Road, and a thought struck me.

And it was this: Nobody knows what's going on here.

Listening to the inane chat on my local radio station it struck me further: They only know what's going on if listeners ring in to say they're stuck in traffic.

What if...?

Yeah, I know. It'd never work.

But! Local radio stations do things on the cheap. If they haven't got a costing-cash-money deal with the AA to provide them with traffic news, they rely on listeners to ring in when they get stuck in a jam. Get two or three from the same incident, then it's official, and it goes out on air.

How many people with mobile phones, then, would it take to gridlock an entire town?

"Hello, Wessex FM!"

"Yeah, I'm stuck in a traffic jam in Weymouth. Down by the footie ground."

"What's up?"

"This lorry's gone too fast round the junction – shed it's load of portaloos."


"Yeah. Full ones. At least they were full. Kharzis an' brown stuff all over the place. Some poor cyclist got the lot. Looks like I'm here for the duration."

"Err... thanks for that..."


"Hello, Wessex FM!"

"Yeah, I'm stuck down by the footie ground. Richard the Thirds everywhere – you won't believe what's happened..."


And the the middle-of-the-road chart hit fades out: "We're getting reports of an incident down on the Chickerell Relief Road..."

Then, of course, reports will come in of a beach donkey running amok at the other end of town, with police forced to shut down the entire seafront as they extract it from the poor, traumatised pensioner down on a day trip from Swindon.

Chaos, and the vault at the local penny arcade is entirely at our mercy.

This is, of course, internet crowd-sourcing at its finest. I shall fade into the background, deny all responsibility and await your field reports.

Friday, August 21, 2009

On The Curse of The Duck

On The Curse of The Duck

February 1998.

As the world sits on the very edge of firey nuclear destruction, your humble author arrives at Seoul’s Kimpo Airport for a bit of hush-hush work for some American friends.

Suffering from the explosive squits of the type I only ever experience on long-distance air travel, I stagger out of the gents’ in the arrival hall to see the excited face of my travelling companion and excellent colleague, Very Tall Dave.

"You’ll never guess who I’ve just seen" he says, and without pausing for my answer: "Michael Jackson."

"He’s probably here for the inauguration," I say, searching my hand luggage for my passport.

"Wouldn’t it - heh - be funny if he’s got the same hotel as us."

If we had LOL back then, I might have LOLed. Out loud.

And - one very mental taxi ride later (for we were on expenses to be met by American friends) through streets bedecked by flags celebrating the election of the new President Kim Dae Jung - we arrived at the hugely luxurious yet strangely deserted Westin Chosun Hotel.

We marched into reception, two English scruffs in a world of South Korean decadence in the face of Northern worker-soldier Juche self-determination.

"We’ve got a reservation. Duck and Very Tall Dave"

"We are sorry, sir" said the receptionist, "We cannot accommodate you. Err… Presidential orders."

"Wait… WHAT?"

"Michael Jackson is here. President Kim has given him the whole hotel."

"So, what are we to do?" asked Very Tall Dave, whose fault this was entirely, our plans for the best hotel jazz money can buy already evaporating, "Sleep on the streets?"

"Ha ha! No! We have found you a new hotel. Very good. Cheaper."

So we waved the Chosun goodbye, and headed for the dubious delights of The Hotel Manhattan, vowing revenge.

Cheaper, yes. Also crapper, the wrong side of a city populated by the worst taxi drivers known to man; only one named meat on the restaurant menu; a bathroom that flooded whenever you flushed the toilet; and they fuzzed out the fuzzy bits on the hotel porn. We vowed further revenge.

Oh yes. We would bide our time, but revenge would come.

June 2009: Michael Jackson dies in mysterious circumstances

August 2009: Kim Dae Jung dies in mysterious circumstances


* Yes

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Together at last: SCIENCE, FACTS and writing things in CAPITAL LETTERS.

All of these facts have been peer reviewed by a panel of top scientists and certified EXCELLENT.

10. Amongst the many sub-atomic particles identified by SCIENCE are the quark, the quason, bosoms, cheesecake and Gandalf. This might also explain why a staggering 77% of particle physicists are unmarried.

9. Before gravity was invented by Sir Isaac Newton, everything had to be nailed down, including nails.

8. Creationists argue that the universe was brought into being 6,000 years ago. This is absolutely true, and can be proved by the dated copyright warning found on a recent Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil found in Pigdick, Arkansas

7. SCIENCE tells us that toast always lands butter side down, while cats always land on their feet. Superglue a kitten to a slice of freshly-buttered toast and voila - the Holy Grail that is perpetual motion

6. We can be rightly proud of humanity's efforts in splitting the atom to provide unlimited power and firey nuclear destruction. The trick comes, in these days of limited resources, from sweeping up all the broken bits of atom and gluing them back together for next time

5. Following a bizarre spacehopper accident, Seamus O'Flaherty of Bethnal Green, London became the first recipient of a pair of buttocks grafted on from a recently deceased donor in a procedure known as a "Fart Transplant"

4. The cast of cult cop drama CSI use SCIENCE to help them solve crimes. For example, they were able to solve a complex murder investigation by forensically examining the inks on a business card found at a crime scene bearing the words "Mad Frank McMad (Murders done cheap) Email:"

3. Excellent practitioner of SCIENCE Professor Stephen Hawking is on the verge of publishing his greatest thesis: "A study of sitting around doing bugger all for thirty years for shits and giggles"

2. Albert Einstein - another noted practitioner of SCIENCE - was also the inventor of what has become known on the internet as "l33t speak". Proof of this theory comes from the first draft of his now famous Theory of Relativity which reads 3 = |\/| C sqrd! WTF!!!!!!1 LOL!!!!!!1 OMG!!!!!!1 ROTFLOLOLOL!!!111

1: In order to save the world from the perils of Global Warming, NASA is to launch a manned mission to the sun to install a lower wattage bulb. Citizens are urged to do their bit by leaving their fridge doors open once a week.

Bonus FACT: Entering the words "search engine" on any internet search engine will cause a catastrophic infinite search loop, creating a massive cross-server overload which will eventually crash the entire internet. It’s a known bug which was foxed boffins at Google and Microsoft for years.

Bonus bonus FACT: Think twice before talking dirty to your wife/girlfriend/mistress on your mobile phone! In order to maximise profits, all calls are routed through your local prison, where the inmates are employed to operate the system as cheap labour. This is why they are known as "cell" phones.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On assembly being the reverse of disassembly

On assembly being the reverse of disassembly

The Haynes manual.

Those wonderful hardback books for motor enthusiasts which allow you to take your car apart, fix the shonky cam-biscuit and put it all back together again, as good as new.

My Austin Allegro owes its prolonged survival to the Haynes Manual, along with a petrol lawnmower which was found to possess a number of parts compatible with its throbbing 1750cc engine.

Alas, the Aggro limped its way to the scrapyard in Twyford and the Haynes for the ensuing Fiat Strada consisted of one hurriedly typed page which read "You utter twat".

Years pass, and those curs at Haynes no longer confine themselves to car manuals. They do loads of stuff that have nothing to do with motor maintenance, such as DIY, the Apollo 11 lander and - oh God - health and well-being.

Of course, they brush over the fact that the Apollo 13 crew flew to near disaster with only an out-of-date Apollo 11 manual on board, and frankly, on a beast of that complexity, assembly is not necessairily the reverse of disassembly.

And now - there's a genuine, official Scaryduck Haynes Manual.

Of course, they had to dress it up as Build Your Own Website, but the entire publication revolves around the revelations of page 62, which boil down to "You might as well give it up mate. That genius, gentleman explorer and small bets placed has it all stitched up."They also cropped out the word "slattern" for reasons that don't particularly surprise me.

As luck would have it, the book gives full, detailed instructions for stripping down, lubricating, servicing and re-assembling your very own Scaryduck.

I tried it myself, but was rather put out to find that I had a couple of useless nuts left over at the end.

I scavanged a few parts from an old lawnmower, but now I get a stiffy every time I see a compost heap.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On the evil menace in our midst

On the evil menace in our midst

A recent Dorset Echo report about crims on the rampage around our part of Weymouth reveals a sad truth: Our local copper is no longer the fantastically named hero of the Dorset Constabulary PC Rick O'Shea.

I gather our men left for pastures new some time ago, and have been replaced by a new man pounding the beat on the mean streets of Weymouth: PC James Bond.

It is good – in these days of restricted budgets and heightened terror alerts – to see MI6 allowing one of their top agents time off from saving the world from the menace of SPECTRE to put the kybosh on the local hoodies.

Unless – of course – our local gang of wannabe bad boys the Wykeside Crew are in with SMERSH, then we're really in the shit. Chaos, destruction, death to spies - and all on our very doorstep.

Any organisation that promises dread retribution at the hands of the head of the Catholic Church ("dont mees wid wykeside! or ul get poped! blud") needs the immediate attention of top, TOP intelligence operatives.

Get in there, Bond. Dangerous times need men like you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On a great weight lifting from my shoulders

On a great weight lifting from my shoulders

Bloody Hell's teeth, I'm an idiot.

A good 30-something years ago, I read a book. I remember it well. Green, it was.

On one of the opening pages, the author went to some lengths to describe the main characters, including one girl who was "tall, with blonde beribboned hair".

Now. There was a word I'd not come up against before, and I had no idea what it meant, or even how to pronounce it. This – of course – from the youngster who thought that the world's most famous ocean liner was the "Tit an' Nick" and was openly ridiculed by his parents.

So. I was certainly not going to ask anybody what – exactly – "Berry Boned" meant, and went through life assuming that it was some sort of hair style known only to women and girls of the female persuasion, the word sitting at the back of my head, nagging away for three decades.

You simply cannot measure the mental anguish this has caused me. About three out of ten, as it happens.

Then, I woke up this morning, roused from a dream in which Sonia from EastEnders was hitting me around the head with a fence post, shouting at the top of my voice:

"It's be-ribboned. She's got ribbons in her hair. Be-bloody-ribboned, you complete ARSE."

After 33 years of HELL, I am now able go about my life. Thank you, Sonia from EastEnders, you were the second best soap lesbian ever.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Neither Mirth nor Woe: Sucker

Neither Mirth nor Woe: Sucker

"Bloody hell – what's that in the corner?"

Returning home from a night off the leash on the last day of our Air Cadets annual camp – in which we were quite rightly flung out of a local pub after one of our number asked for "a cup of beer, please mister" – we trooped into a darkened barrack room to be met with a mysterious shape on one of the beds at the far end.

Someone switched on the lights with the pink-pink-pink-hum you only get with ancient fluoresent tubes. God, I wish they hadn't done that.

It was Marky. Marky was naked. Marky was naked, on his barrack room bed, sucking himself off in a manner that would make any yoga aficionado proud. That which has been seen cannot be unseen, and the sight of the skinny wretch playing a solo on the pink oboe will live for me for the rest of my life.

And if there's one rule in the cadet forces, it is this: Never, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be caught by your peers sucking yourself off in the barrack room. Publicly disgusted but secretly impressed, "You sick, sick fucker" and "Just wait until we tell EVERYBODY" and "I'm gonna puke" rang out as others ran in to see what the fuss was about.

And then, Gaz pointed at something. Something on Marky's cock, which by now resembled the nozzle on a rapidly deflating airbed. Normally, you'd be vilified for looking at your mate's hampton, but these were extraordinary circumstances.

"Jesus H – are you bleeding?"

"N...N...No," stammered Marky, who was only just recovering the power of speech, "It's jam."

Strawberry jam.

"I stick me cock in the jam," he said with a new-found air of belligerence, "' then I suck it off."

"Wait..." I ask, dreadful thoughts filling my head, "how often have you done this?"

Not the words I wanted to hear: "Every night since we got here. There's fuckloads in the kitchen."

"I had jam on my toast this morning. You didn't...?"

The question that did not need to be asked. But he nodded anyway.

We covered him in jam and left him naked and screaming on the other side of the airfield. That learned him.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On David Beckham FACTS

On David Beckham FACTS

Model, celebrity, chat show guest, saviour of the universe. Some people even say that Beckham hides a secret life as an international footballer. But what do you know about David Beckham, the most famous man on the planet? (Behind some other, more famous people. Such as his wife, for example)

10. Born David Aloysius Trumpington Tuddenham Beckham, 3rd Earl of Dagenham, the young Beckham renounced his title to become a popular, working class man of the people

9. David has a tattoo on his forehead which reads "This way up". This is to help his wife dress him in the morning

8. David's son Brooklyn is named after the area of New York in which he was allegedly conceived. This carries on a long-running family tradition: His wife was born Victoria Coach Station Disabled Toilets Adams

7. Contrary to the urban myth, David Beckham has never turned up for training with a thermos flask containing two cups of coffee and an ice cream. David is a confirmed tea drinker

6. Professor David Beckham and his Ph.D qualified wife Victoria are undergoing a long-running experiment into the shallowness and vapidity of fame by painting themselves orange and wearing bug-eyed sunglasses. However, like that episode of Colditz that nobody can quite remember, observers fear that they have "gone native"

5. David's spell at Manchester United was marked by a stormy relationship with manager Sir Alex Ferguson. This sang froid was based entirely on the misunderstanding that the boss did not know his star midfielder's name, finishing every sentence with his habitual Scottish "D'ye ken?"

4. David is lined up to play the part of Del Boy in Tarantino's big budget, big screen remake of Only Fools and Horses. He's already memorised his line: "This time next year Rodders, we'll be motherfuckers". Victoria will play the horse

3. The only parts of "Beckingham Palace" not extensively photographed by Hello! magazine is the servants' toilet and the gap behind the wardrobe where David keeps a 1995 copy of Fiesta, in which - coincidentally - one "Dave" of Manchester has a letter about going next door to borrow a cup of sugar from a busty, divorced neighbour

2. David's extensive diplomatic experience led to his brokering a ceasefire in the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, which was settled by the age-old device of "next goal wins it". However, Georgia has not accepted the result, claiming Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko was in an offside position when he nodded home the winner

1. An avid reader of top-class literature, David lists Tolstoy, Chekov, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky and Dan Brown as his favourite authors. He particularly likes the way Brown puts all the important bits in italics, so he can read faster and without moving his lips

BONUS FACT: David's favourite Spice Girl is Sporty. Nobody's had the heart to tell him

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On citizenship FAIL

On citizenship FAIL

Being a fine, upstanding British citizen, I sat down and took the Home Office's "Life in the United Kingdom" citizenship test, just to see how fine and upstanding a citizen I really am.

For there's nothing like sorting out we fine, upstanding, patriotic British citizens from the filthy foreign ladyboys who'd shit in your airing cupboard given half the chance than a crappy multiple choice quiz resulting from Daily Mail-led immigration policy. A test you could pass with a reasonable bit of guesswork and sheer blind luck.

Now, I've got a recent first class honours degree in Social Sciences and Politics from this fine, proud nation's foremost mail order universities. I have lived in the United Kingdom as a subject of Her Royal Britannic Majesty for all but one year of my life, so I really ought to know a thing or two about both living in this most superior of nations and arriving here from some filthy foreign shore (for eg Canada).

So, emerging from the airing cupboard only slightly flushed in the cheeks, I sat down and applied my excellent knowledge of all things BRITISH (and therefore EXCELLENT) to prove how BRITISH and EXCELLENT I am.

Yup. I failed, and failed hard, along with - I suspect - a good 99% of the population who couldn't give a shit which two cities the European Parliament sits. In fact, I took the test a second time, and still failed.

I fully deserve to be sent back where I came from. I don't know if Hammersmith will have me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On sorting out the Rozzers

On sorting out the Rozzers

The police force.

It's a dangerous business, what with all those crims and hoodies out to get you.

It's also an expensive business.

Hiding from all those nasty crims and hoodies inside a police car with a coffee cup holder and a special place to keep your doughnuts warm – whilst saving loads in shoe leather – costs about twenty grand per vehicle.

What the fuzz need, then, is some way of staying mobile – and one step ahead of those crims and hoodies – that doesn't cost the Earth.

Something that gets Plod out of his motor, yet enables him to move at high speed but also maintains the smart, dignified demeanour that we have come to expect from our guardians of whatever the law happens to be this week. Eh, kids?

And I know what you're thinking. Give 'em all a bike, just like in the old days.

And you'd be WRONG.

Because I'm proposing the latest cutting-edge technology here.


Cops in Heelies.

Think about it. It'd be excellent. Police boots with built-in wheels.

They work for pre-teen kids in shopping centres – they've GOT to do the business for our friendly defenders of the law.

Pc Nicebody would be able to gently plod around his beat, doing all that knees-bend evenin'-all business, a friendly wave to Mrs Perkins and the twins, a smile to the old boy he helped cross the High Street the previous week. All in a day's work.

But as soon as Johhny Drugtaker, the Taliban's friend legs it with poor old Mrs Warboys' handbag, our hero would be straight into skate mode, setting after the crim as fast as greased lightning, whistle between his lips, calling on all his beat pals, and any concerned citizen that might want to partake in a jolly hue-and-cry.

Head down, half-running, half skating, our well-trained hero sets his sights on the worthless piece of pond-life that is breaking the Queen's Peace. A mighty roar of "Stop! In the name of Mega City! Armed Judge!" strikes fear into the heart of all who behold it.

Then, grabbing hold of the back rail of a passing hover-bus, our intrepid defender of the law can wind the miscreant in hand-over-fist, giving him plenty of time to select the Hi-Ex round on his Lawgiver pistol, and blow the perp to kingdom come, before sentencing his entire family to twenty years in the iso-cubes for letting him bleed on the pavement..

Oh yes. My other idea: Dredd-style Lawgiver pistols.

For cops on Heelies.

I feel a letter to the Ministry of RIGHTEOUS JUSTICE coming on:

Dear Jack Straw,

Cops on Heelies. Go on. It's a fucking winner.

Your pal,

Albert O'Balsam

Monday, August 10, 2009

On having a bad day at PC World

On having a bad day at PC World

"Will we be getting a Thesaurus with this thing?"

"A what?"

"A Thesaurus."

"Does it bite? Oh-ho!"

"No, really. Will our word processor package be supplied with or without a Thesaurus?"

"Uh... Without."

"Bloody Hell's teeth. What are you trying to sell me? If I got this thing home and found it didn't have a Thesaurus, there'd be a riot. And a violent assembly. Not to mention an angry demonstration. An uprising. An insurrection. And a heated disturbance."

"Are you sure, sir? It wasn't in your original order / instruction / bid / request."

"Mark my words – somebody could end up killed TO DEATH / slaughtered / slain / assassinated / stoved over the head with a pickaxe handle and dumped in a tin bath of quicklime behind the industrial estate over this"

"Are you sure you really need that Thesaurus, sir?"

"Come to mention it – no."

"Deal. Five hundred quid."

"You're having a laugh / chuckle / snigger / hoot."

"Please leave."

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I was just pissing by this wee bloog...

I was just pissing by this wee bloog...

...when I saw this fabulose pocture shitting on the screen.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Neither Mirth nor Woe: School newsletter

Neither Mirth nor Woe: School newsletter

Back in the day, TV's James May was sacked from Autocar magazine for childishly spelling out a secret message from the initial letters of each page of the edition he happened to be editing.

He might have gotten away with it if it were not for those pesky readers who thought it was some sort of competition.

A true prince of cocking about does it and gets rewarded for his efforts. Much like the time I edited the school newsletter.

~~~ Wavy lines ~~~

"Hey, Scary," said Mrs Gordon, "How would you like to do something special for me?"

"Mmgg flrbbl grmph."

Ah, Mrs Gordon. Our humanities teacher: Thirty-something and blonde; and what would best be decribed as 'posh totty'. She also had the ability to speak in very sexy italics and to reduce teenage boys into gibbering wrecks.

"I would absolutely love it if you edited the next school newsletter."

"Lmpf snpp glaaaark."

I didn't even know there was a school newsletter, but – despite fearing this might be some sort of sexy trap – I eventually declared that I would be delighted.

"Oh, I'm so very pleased."

I went home and lied down for a bit.

Then, I set to work on the school newsletter. And a fine work of fiction it was, too.

Thanks to THATCHER coming to power, I had no access to any kind of word processor, and my sister's Bontempi typewriter being only useful for blackmail notes, I had to write out the whole bloody thing long-hand and print it on the school Banda Machine.

So, high as a kite on the booze-flavoured ink, it was little surprise that I got up to no good.

If you looked very, very carefully, you might have noticed that the first letter of every badly copied news story, teacher profile and sports report spelled out the words "MRS GORDONS TITS". Not for any good reason, except for the incredibly dangerous fact that I was thirteen-and-a-half years old, completely unsupervised, and damn the poor grammar.

So impressed was Mrs Gordon with the end result, I was called into her presence one day after school.

"Scary," she told me, her chest heaving in a way that would leave me with issues for decades to come, "your newsletter was quite marvellous."

"Blp snerrrg wum", I said, thanking her profusely, and looking everywhere except at her chest, which obviously gave her the impression that I was, in fact, staring at her chest.

Which, in retrospect, I might have been.

"In fact, before I hand over the editorial reigns to somebody else," she said, fiddling with the top button on her blouse, "I've got something very special for you."


And... relax. She got me a box of chocolates. Nice ones, too.

I don't know whether this was reward for a job well done, or if it was some sort of come-on.

"Jolly well done, young man. I do hope you keep abreast of further editions."


Thursday, August 06, 2009

On South West Trains

On South West Trains

Those generous curs at South West Trains are currently offering a travel-anywhere-on-our-network-for-a-tenner ticket at weekends.

So, who am I to refuse the chance to travel up to the concrete hell-hole that is Poole for a bit of BLASPHEMOUS Sunday shopping and gaping at the full horror of the Dolphin Centre*?

One cannot help feeling that in order to afford this once-in-a-lifetime offer, our favourite regional rail franchise might have cut a few corners on their PA system:

"Thank you for travelling on this South West Trains service to Weymouth.

"The next station is Wool.

"Wash at forty degrees, reshape and dry flat. Do not tumble dry.

"Please mind the gap between the train and the platform."

I didn't mind the gap at all. It was lovely.

* Made entirely out of dolphins and dolphin by-products

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

On Harry Potter FACTS

On Harry Potter FACTS

He's the boy wizard that everybody's talking about. But what does a muggle like you know about the one and only posh speccy do-gooder Harry Potter? Eh? EH?

10. "What happened to Flashman Malfoy the caddish bully from Tom Brown's Schooldays Harry Potter after he was expelled in disgrace from Rugby School Hogwarts? What kind of man grew out of the foul-mouthed, swaggering, cowardly toady who roasted Hufflepuffs for fun but howled when we was beaten himself? Follow his adventures as he joins the British Army and fornicates his way to Afghanistan and back." I don't know about you, but I think JK Rowling could be onto a winner with this

9. Little is known about the private lives of the teaching staff at Hogwarts. For example, headmaster Albus Dumbledore is only 35 years old. It's the endless cycle of swinging parties which are considered de rigeur in wizarding circles that makes him look much, much older

8. In a recent Ofsted inspection, Hogwarts was declared to be a "failing" school, with not a single GCSE pass in seven years, and the house system causing no end of bullying and hideous magical mutilations

7. Famous Hogwarts alumni include TV's Bob Monkhouse (Hufflepuff); the Rev Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams (both Slytherin); and DCI Gene Hunt (Griffindor). Despite claims to the contrary, Paul Daniels was expelled in his first week for dumping a truckload of fizzies in the swimming pool

6. Top student Hermione Grainger has been given the honour of presenting the Golden Snitch to the winner of this year's Quidditch World Cup. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she shaved the night before

5. Professor Snape, known in the school for his dour demeanour, couldn't be more different outside work hours, where he is the Indian in a Village People tribute band. Lord Voldemort plays the construction worker

4. Desperate to shake off its reputation for employing Defence Against the Dark Arts professors who turn out – with clockwork regularity – to be servants of the evil Voldemort, Hogwarts has unveiled the teacher for the forthcoming school year: Professor Dave Bin Laden, who promises his lessons will "go with a bang"

3. Hogwarts is known for its paintings that won't stay in their frames, staircases that move without prompting and giant talking spiders living in the woods. The Ofsted report had something to say about LSD in the school tuck-shop, too

2. What happened to Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald, noted criminal psychologist and "Cracker"? Finding the sickening world of crime too much, he dropped out of regular life and took a job as a caretaker at a quiet boarding school. Unfortunately, you can never quite escape your past…

1. Author JK Rowling has angrily dismissed Church accusations that the Harry Potter books are somehow "anti-religious", pointing to the books' annual celebration of Christmas, and the scene in book six where Ron Weasley is nailed to a tree

Bonus FACT: Wizard Harry Potter has gone through life telling people the scar on his forehead is the result of a youthful encounter with Lord Voldemort. Wrong! It is, in fact, a paper cut from a copy of Fiesta Busty Witches magazine

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Samuel Pepys gets bang'd up

Samuel Pepys gets bang'd up

I expect you'd like to know how my old chum Samuel Pepys, playboy and diarist of this parish is getting on. The good news is that he's escaped from a life of naval bummery, but he finds himself in even deeper trouble.

11th September 1660: Office Day. Up all night party'ng hard with myne goodly friend Newton, and it be'ng a shame to go to bedde, I find myself back at my desk in White Hall at five bells of the morning. Alas, two jugs of rum and three sixpenny-ha'penny slatterns taking their toll, I find it hard to focus on my papers. Also, I believe the doner from Mr Dibbler's hand-cart might have been a grave error of judgement.
It giveth me some great pleasure at this time to take advantage of my solitude to let rip of the foul'st of windes. Alas, I hear not the noise behind me, as I have the misfortune to draw mudde, for it is HIS MAJESTY THE KING, hav'ng himself avail'd of sixpenny-ha'penny slatterns and Mr Dibbler's kebab, be'ng unable to sleep, and dropp'd in on MY LORD DOWNING for the Naval Estimates and the borrow of the lat'st Fiesta woodcuttes.
"Guards!" he roars, "Clap this vagabond in irons and feed him to the virgins!" And so to bed, in the White Tower

12th September 1660: Upbetimes to find myself still incarcerat'd in THE TOWER, after committing the ignoble crime of laying a turde on our LORD SOVEREIGN'S second best carpet slippers. My jailer, whose accent I cannot quite place, tells me I am to spend several weeks in "Ze Cooler", while HIS MAJESTY'S temper cools. With some great fortune, I am incarcerat'd with another soul, of whom I have great hopes to strike up a prison friendship. He moves closer to me and utters the dreadful wordes: "Watch as your hopes are crushed like biscuits in a fat man's bed"

13th September 1660: Lord's Day. My ordeal at the handes (and other manlier parts) of Mad Brenda O'Toole came to an end at dawn, where he is dragg'd from our cell to have his head remov'd from the rest of his body, and his genitals preserved in a fifty-gallon bell-jar as a scientific curiosity. I shall miss him greatly.

14th September 1660: Today brings great hopes for my release. Myne best friend Newton is to petition our LORD SOVEREIGN KING CHARLES for my release, and is confident of success, hav'ng all the slatterns in London pay a subscription to buy HIS MAJESTY a fine new pair of carpet slippers. At length, a familiar face appears at the grating, and the door is flung open to reveal Newton himself. Alas, an unseen hand propels him into my cell and the door is lock'd behind him, for he too, hav'ng stopp'd for a tot of rum and one of Mr Dibbler's fine kebabs for Dutch Courage, contriv'd to shit in HIS MAJESTY'S ceremonial wigge. If there is any consolation, I have baggsied ye top bunk, so there will be no brown-hattery this night

15th September 1660: News reaches our cell that a special sitting of Parliament has been call'd at THE KING'S behest to declare the laying a cable on GOD'S chosen ROYAL MAJESTY to be a capital crime, backdated to last Friday. Afear'd, I shitte myself, and my gaoler kindly offers to send my soil'd breeches to Hampton Court to amuse the Royal Court.

16th September 1660: At last, my charm'ng wife Mrs Pepys is able to pay us a visit in our hour of direst need. She apologises for her tardiness, hav'ng been tied up at a bukkake study retreat for these last five days. How impress'd am I at her relentless learning of these ancient oriental arts. If only the other wives of London were like her, for she is a true gem. She tells me that she has hatch'd a plan to distract the gaoler to affect escapes for both myself and Newton. We are to be ready at a moment's notice. How I love that woman.

17th-23rd September 1660: This escape plan seems more complicat'd than I realis'd. I must be patient, but the sight of ye Royal Axeman practic'ng on life-sized models of myne goode self is somewhat unnerv'ng, particularly when he takes aim at myne private parts screaming something about "a case of the crabs"

24th September 1660: Up betimes, to find myne glorious, yet exhaust'd wife stand'ng over me, a pardon from HIS MAJESTY in her hands. She apologises profusely, for the gaoler took some persuad'ng, as did much of his staff, all the other prisoners, the Royal Axeman (twice) and much of the staff and courtiers at Hampton Court. And she asks for nothing in return, except a large, soft cushion. How terrible it must be to suffer piles "like an axeman's shaft", whatever that means. And so to bed.

Monday, August 03, 2009

On one thing leading to another

On one thing leading to another

A Saturday day-trip finds us – once again - in dog crap capital of the world Southampton.

After the ill-advised purchase of a T-shirt in The Gap ("You DO know what GAP stands for, don't you Dad. And that shirt's virtually pink") the boy Scaryduck Junior and I find ourselves waiting outside clothes shops whilst the female members of our post-nuclear family purchase a hoodie.

That's a hoodie top, by the way, and not –as you might suspect, a feral youth with a flicky, innit.

Of course, Duck's law of shopping tells us that this will most certainly mean a wait of several hours, so the lad and I window shop, and – at length – find ourselves outside the Southampton branch of the Build-a-Bear Workshop, the retail world's premier over-priced soft toy emporium.

"Isn't that the place where you can record your own voice box?"


"Hey! They've got owls!"


"Hey! His head spins all the way round, just like in The Exorcist!"


"Ooh look – there's the machine where you can record your own voice box."

"Well, don't just stand there. Press the button and say something."

And one thing led to another.

We are now the proud owner of a 14-inch tall cuddly owl.

A cuddly owl that says "Your Mum".

"Your mum's so fat, other mums orbit around her."

This cannot end well.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

On blindly following instructions

On blindly following instructions

Call me Lucky Jack "Luckiest Man in the World" McLuck if you like, but membership of a certain trades union come with this remarkable piece of plastic.

The only trouble is this: No matter how hard I push, nothing happens. I'm beginning to think I've been sent a dud.