Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A lavishly-illustrated open letter to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

A lavishly-illustrated open letter to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

Dear Vladimir Putin

Congratulations on having the hardest official police militia in the world. You certainly know how to deal with pesky human rights campaigners and tree-hugging lefties that keep turning up on the mean streets of Moscow dressed as wheelie bins.

We all know you're hard as nails, and happily project this tough guy image through your OMON Black Berets. And damn, as fans of needless violence, we're impressed.

We've seen the photos of you riding bare-chested and lightly-oiled through the Russian Steppe, wrestling with Siberian Tigers, sweeping the enemies of the Motherland before you and revelling in the lamentation of their womenfolk. You don't get that from David Cameron, who is, frankly, a bit of a wet and a weed who'd soil his pants if faced with a rampaging bear driven to the point of insanity by the taste of human flesh.

But while the bravery and blood-curdling merciless violence of your OMON (Cyrillic: OMOH) troops in the name of law, order and top LULZ, is beyond question, I might draw your attention to the following:

Example One: DEAD HARD

Example Two, the same image with the simple introduction of Photoshop's 'Flip 180°' tool: NICE BOYS*

I expect you're horrified to see what we in the West would call a welcome touch diversity in your armed forces.

May I suggest - if you've got a problem with this - renaming your lads the "Federal United Constabulary Kicking Out Foreign Fighters"? I think you'll agree that it has a nice ring, and tells these Western European soft boys where to get off without compromising your rock-hard manliness.

Be lucky.

Your pal,

Albert O'Balsam

* As I've already had one humourless complaint over the use of this obsolete 70s term: Ever heard of satire?

Monday, November 29, 2010



"Wasps are the elementary particles of evil," I was told recently, "They don't exist in any particular place, until you decide where to have a picnic."

Wise words indeed.

However, I can tell you one place where wasps DO exist and it is here: The secret nuclear laboratory 50 km north-east of P'yongyang where Kim Jong-Il is splicing together the genes of a wasp, with those of poor, dead Jade Goody and an angry swan. An angry swan made all the more angry by telling it that its wife has been messing about with a touring busload of geese.

Worryingly, UN inspectors believe that Kim is coming frighteningly close to his goal of a six-foot rampaging wasp hybrid, driving around the Home Countries of England, buzzing "shut it, you slag" at passers-by, dropping McDonalds wrappers out of the window of its massive Mitsubishi L200 battle tank, before breaking your arm with a single flap of its wing.

Mega-Goody-Wasp-Swan won't even bother to wait for you to lay out your picnic rug before snaffling your jam sandwiches and heading off to its secret base in East Angular.

And when that day comes, we will have only one thing to say to the procrastinating do-gooders at the United Nations and their catastrophic appeasement policies: "We told you so."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On Bob Servant, again

On Bob Servant, again

I've written about the marvellous Bob Servant before, and his official spokesman Neil Forsyth has been in touch to ask if I would care to mention his latest book.

Bob is the hero of Dundee's Broughty Ferry who spends his spare time replying to spam emails with ridiculous requests until the culprits beg for mercy. And, happily, Delete this at your Peril is now available in an expanded edition. I LOLed last time, and I LOLed some more. In fact, I LOLOLOLed.

Now, he's back with his autobiography, Hero of Dundee, telling how he nearly joined the Merchant Navy, became a window cleaning magnate, before taking a key role in Dundee's Cheeseburger Wars ("the closest any major city has ever come to anarchy"), before describing his relentless pursuit of "skirt".

It is, of course, very funny indeed, and even a jaded old hack as myself found myself genuinely laughing out loud.

Bob's even on the radio these days, and you can catch his programme on Radio Scotland and BBC iPlayer.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

Thomas Dolby - Toadlickers

Featuring a special appearance from HRH Prince Charles and one Dr Magnus Cock.

As with anything taken from the "weird" drawer, your mileage may vary.

Friday, November 26, 2010

On wildlife conservation

On wildlife conservation

We here at Scaryduck Labs were upset to hear of the death of Hamley, the world's number one giraffe actor, killed by a bolt of lightning on the set of ITV's Wild At Heart drama.

Determined as we are to prevent a further tragedy on the channel's favourite drama that isn't Heartbeat, we have worked for a full ten minutes on a system that will save the lives of our long-necked friends everywhere:

Lightning rods for giraffes

Let's face it, when you're the tallest thing on the Serengeti, the last thing you want to see are the rolling black clouds that bring a storm and CERTAIN DEATH. Giraffes can't talk, but if they did, we would imagine they'd be saying "Awww, crap - I wish someone would hurry up and invent some sort of lighning conductor for very tall mammals."

And now we have.

As the life-giving rains pour down, and the death-bringing lightning forks around the Great Rift Valley, our lanky friends can go safe in the knowledge that any potentially fatal electrical charge will go safely to Earth, thanks to the ScaryDuck Labs Giraffe-Safe Lightning Rod. They also come with a handy red light, to guard against low-flying aircraft.

Or, through the next tallest thing on the Serengeti: Scaryduck Labs Double Decker Buses Full of Heavily-Armed American Tourists.

This time next year, Rodders....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

On channelling the spirit of poor, dead Bernard Cribbins

On channelling the spirit of poor, dead Bernard Cribbins*

I find myself in a traffic jam.

My progress home via a carefully-crafted series of back roads and short cuts has ground to a halt somewhere in a residential suburb of Reading, where a queue of cars in front of me disappears around the corner.

Minutes seem to turn into hours, and my car boxed into the mess of vehicles, I get out to see what the problem might be.

Rounding the corner, I am greeted by the sight of a large van, completely and utterly wedged between parked cars as it tried to perform a U-turn in the road.

The side of the pantechnicon reads: "BERKSHIRE PIANO REMOVALS - Fast! Efficient! Mostly in tune!!!"

Well - oh-ho! - they've hit a bum note today, and I venture forth to offer the driver the benefit of my advice as he wandered around scratching his head.

"May I be of assistance, my good man?" I ask.

"Why, yes," the scruff replied, "are you able to offer a solution to my current predicament vis-a-vis my goods vehicle loaded to its capacity with a grand piano, which appears to have become immobilised in this public thoroughfare?"

"Have you," I ventured, "Tried taking off the handles?

"And the things that hold the candles?"

So. He had a cup of tea. And told me to bugger off.

No wonder this country's going to ruin.

* I am assured that the wonderful Mr Cribbins is not dead, but you can't be too sure in the present zombie scare

Wednesday, November 24, 2010



The recession and government cuts are biting hard.

But no profession has been harder hit than that of Blurb Writer for the adult magazine trade.

Face it, now that there are unlimited supplies of free scud lying around on the internets (although I only have the vaguest notion as to where it is located), nobody buys printed gentlemen's leisure pamphlets any more. This means the finely-crafted six-page magazine layout with "come hither" blurb written by hard-working, experienced magazine sub-editors a dying art.

"Recently divorced Stephanie likes Indian takeaways, shopping for shoes, pole-dancing and threesomes. WITH YOU"


"Sultry Janie wonders how long it might take for you to get to her house. She also likes dogs and threesomes."

Big Society or no, the way things are going, these skills will be lost to our economy forever.

Where, then, can these highly skilled wordsmiths find gainful employ? Blurb is seriously out-of-bounds in this modern world of internet jazz, so these poor wretches have to be given work somewhere.

I'm suggesting roadsign writing. We'll always need roadsigns, and we'll always need people to write succint, eyecatching telling copy.

"Warning: Double bends, threesomes for 3/4 mile"

"Sexy MILF, low bridge, threesomes ahead"

"Thames Water wishes to apologise to the disruption to your journey caused by these essential rimjobs"

A win-win, I think you'll agree.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010



Things could be worse.

I've written in the past that no matter how bad things are, there's always something much worse that could be happening to you.

For example: A colleague told me "There's nothing worse than ringing your bank's call centre and being forced to listen to selections from James Blunt's Back to Bedlam album whilst waiting to be served."

On the contrary, I reply. James Blunt, coming round your house to tell you that you're overdrawn at the bank, before singing selections from his Back to Bedlam album whilst trying to force an angry goose up your rectum.

That is, I think you'll agree, much worse.

However, I have found the thing that cannot be worse. And it is this: Going to the toilet in a Morrisons supermarket.

And by "going to the toilet", we mean number twos and not number ones.

Number ones are fine. You walk in, do your business whilst obeying the rules of urinal etiquette, wash your hands, leave.

Number twos are a different matter altogether.

For the cubicles are in a grim corner of the facility, lit only by an oppressive blue light, designed solely to say "Right, have a shit if you must, then LEAVE".

And once you find yourself in the cubicle, you are completely engulfed in the claustrophobic blue; the sound of the outside world completely swallowed up by the drowning void; gagging at the detestable ichor of over-used cleaning products and the mouldering deposits of other unfortunates; quite unable to do anything except number twos; panic rising inside, the dread thought that someone, somewhere is watching you with squamous eyes; breaking, crushing, obliterating the desire to get up to anything anti-social or illegal, such as look under the gap of your necrophagous prison to see how the adjacent victim is coping; fear, fear, fear, never-ending piteous FEAR; your only thought being to escape this evil, inhuman womb and burst forth like the squirming young of some dread, otherworldly creature.

There is nothing - NOTHING - worse in the whole world.

Then they make you wipe your bum on an angry goose.

Monday, November 22, 2010



Why not be different this Christmas? Why not buy your friends a lump of cold sick the latest book by the genius author behind this website?

Now available in old-fashioned paper and ink, or in new-fangled digital download is my second collection based on the Scaryduck blog with nearly all of the spelling mistakes corrected and exactly 127% new funnies added.

With a genuine* foreword by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il.


Not in the UK? Try HERE.

Guaranteed excellent or your money back**.

*May contain traces of lie
** Offer open only to citizens of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, closes 19th October 1968

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

UB40 - Food For Thought

One from the days when they were rather good - well before they became enormous ponces with that "I've Got You Babe" and "Labour of Love Volume 27" garbage.

Friday, November 19, 2010



Stone the crows, how bad can things get in a man's life? So bad I had to write a letter to a well-known supermarket chain, complete with random CAPITALS and BOLD TEXT:

Dear the Co-op

I am writing to inform you of the unpleasant - yes UNpleasant experience I have suffered following the purchase of a 300g packet of Co-operative Rich Tea Biscuits. You know: The red packet with the comedy 'serving suggestion' picture of several so-called 'Rich Tea' biscuits sitting wanly on a plate in the middle distance.

Rich Tea? VERY POOR TEA, more like.

Within two days of purchasing your product, I should inform you that I have suffered the indignity of soggy Rich Tea biscuits snapping in half and falling into my otherwise excellent beverage with only the briefest of dunkings - thus completely wrecking my tea break - on no less than three occasions.

You have no idea how angry this makes me, but I'll tell you: A LOT. No man should be forced to live with the affront and humiliation of soggy biscuit defeat through the complete tectonic failure of what I wrongly thought were an acceptable Rich Tea purchase. On THREE occasions. I'm so cross I can't even go to the toilet properly.

Subsequent cuppas were made of tea, water, milk, HATE and FURY, and tasted much as you'd expect. For eg: TERRIBLE.

In order to get any pleasure from dunking my Rich Teas, each biscuit has to be individually wrapped in cling film first to ensure structural integrity before they are inserted into the tea. Hardly adding to the biscuit experience, I can tell you for nothing.

We have also experimented with dunking two biscuits at once, but we find the staples and glue get stuck in the poor, dead biscuit taster's throat and we're left with the all-too-common 'Dump another body round the back of the industrial estate' problem that has plagued serious biscuit testing down the years.

Clearly, there is a design fault which your highly-paid snack food boffins should address with all due urgency. May I suggest the EU Standard Baked Biscuits, Confectionery and Cake Stress Procedure (2003), which your product has quite clearly failed?

Sort it out, and make it (oh-ho!) snappy. And if you're planning on sending me free biscuits, make sure they're good ones, and not wafer-thin Rich Teas made out of structurally suspect biscuit stuff and the tormented souls of the dead.

Your pal

Albert O'Balsam

Thursday, November 18, 2010



WARNING: May contain traces of fiction

"Right, you terrible gits," I say of my shamefaced colleagues, "Which one of you took my last packet of Pickled Onion Monster Munch?"

I look up and down the line of desks, each face a picture of guilt, but there is no trace of my pickled onion flavour corn-based snack featuring tasty, tasty disodium 5 ribonucleotide.

Remembering Conan Doyle's classic work Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Corn-Laden Turd, in which the master of deduction solves the most vexing of mysteries by examining the stool samples of a cross-section of London society, I resolve to sort this out by using a similar tactic.

Under threat of death, each is forced to stand and allow their benevolent boss to smell their breath. Any trace of picked onion and tasty, tasty disodium 5 ribonucleotide resulting in instant transfer to our office in the back room of a butcher shop in Smolensk, via the matter transporter which we haven't quite got working properly.

"So. Frank. Your breath smells of anchovies. Again. How many times have I warned you about eating seafood in the office."

"And Brenda. Wipe that smile from your face. Along with that dried yoghurt. The loss of my pickled onion flavour corn-based snack featuring tasty, tasty disodium 5 ribonucleotide is no laughing matter."

Having failed to nail the culprit, I resort to plan B: the Jeremy Kyle-bran DNA Testing Kit and the big net in the sewage outflow pipe.

That - my friends - is what temporary staff is for.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



The fools. They've let me near the telephone again.

"Hello, Dorset's Wessex FM!"

"Yeah - I'd like to take a guess at your Secret Sound."

The DJ plays a well-worn sound effect of a distant clanking and knocking.

"Off you go then - for £300, what d'you reckon it is?"

"Have you got a naked Dannii Minogue tied up under your stairs and she's trying to tap out an SOS on the central heating pipes?"

"You disgust me."

"Cheryl Cole, then?"



"Hello, Dorset's Wessex FM!"

"Yeah - it's about your Harry Potter phone-in."

"Off you go then - what would you do if you had an invisibility cloak for the day?"

"For starters, I'd crack one out in the changing rooms in New Look."

"You disgust me."

"In fact, I'd crack one out in the changing rooms at Monsoon an' all. You can't beat a good bit of yummy mummy."

"You disgust me."

"And then - sod the ASBO - I'd have a guilty one in Evans..."


"Hello? Could you play something by Phil Collins? Hello?"

No wonder commercial radio's on its arse.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010



I had a dream last night.

I had a dream that I was visited by a load of dead slatterns, who told me I had to go out into the field outside my house and build a brothel.

And I went out into the field outside my house, and with the help of all the gohst slatterns, we built the biggest and best brothel in the world.

"But why," I asked of the head slattern, "But why am I building the world's biggest knocking shop out here in the middle of a corn field?"

She fetched me a telling look and told me:

"If you build it, they will come."

And then I woke up and my pillow was gone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tim Burton's Winnie the Pooh

Tim Burton's Winnie the Pooh

Starring Johnny Depp as Christopher Robin
Helena Bonham Carter's hairy armpits as Winnie the Pooh
And some more of Tim Burton's mates as everybody else

Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher Robin came to play.

And he ran

and jumped

and hid

and ran

until it was very, very dark indeed.

"Oh dear," said Christopher Robin feeling very lonely, "however shall I find my way home?"

And he climbed a tree to see if he could see the edge of the world, but all he found was a hive full of bees and delicious handfuls of honey.

"Hunny?" growled a voice from below.

"Hunny?" it said again, adding a few "tiddly poms" for good measure.

"Hunny?" cried Christopher Robin to the voice below, "are you sure you don't mean 'honey'?"

"Hunny? Honey? It doesn't matter," said the bear, "It's a tea party!"

"A tea party in the Hundred Acre Wood!" Christopher Robin shouted, jumping from his branch into a bank of moss, "We shall have a tiddly-pom tea party!"

And the animals came. A pig. An owl. Two kangaroos. A sad-looking donkey, quoting the darkest of poetry, and, jumping along happily in the rear, the happiest tiger Christopher Robin had ever seen.

"And the wonderful thing about Tiggers," it sang as Christopher Robin danced and clapped, "Is that I'm the only one!"

"Do you know why I'm the only Tigger, boy?" said the tiger, hot, fetid breath in his face.

"Why," said Christopher Robin, "I don't know! Why are you the only one?"

"Because I ate the others. I was hungry. I'm still hungry."

Christopher Robin soiled himself and found, at that moment, that poo sticks.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

Smith and Jones: Stanley Rogers - The Road Back

"You've got to have your Apocalypse Now"

Friday, November 12, 2010



I'm getting worried about the RSPB.

Yes, they are rightly praised for their work to preserve endangered birds, but the lengths they are going to raise funds leaves much to be desired, as a recent visit to their local bunker illustrates:

"A go on the cannon, sir?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"The duck cannon. Skim the little buggers across the pond. Watch 'em go. Five quid a shot."

"I BEG your pardon?"

"Most skips today wins a swan. Plucked, gutted, giblets in a bag."

I eyed the shop volunteer, a little old lady turned into a canard-blasting monster by her devious employers, disgust rising in me like the previous night's curry.

"You..." I managed, "You, madam... you sicken me."

"Hit a goose, win a Ford Ka."

"Three shots, please"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Dark Matter

On Dark Matter

There's a problem that's been puzzling physicists all over the world for some time now - where the bloody hell is everything? I think I've cracked it, and thought it best to write to the authority on the subject, toot sweet.

Dear Stephen Hawking

Congratulations on your recent world title in the X Games. You certainly kept your l33t Street Luge sk1llz totally under wraps, dude. I mean - who knew?

I note with some interest your theories on quantum physics, and offer you my expertise on the matter (geddit?).

I read recently that you and your esteemed colleagues in the field of theoretical physics have only managed to account for some 20 per cent of mass in the known universe, with the other 80 per cent comprising a theoretical - and, as yet, unobserved - substance known as "Dark Matter".

Steve - if I can call you that - I put it to you that you and your pals in the field of SCIENCE are looking in the wrong place.

I think you will find that all of this missing mass can be quite easily observed on the backside of any given punter coming out of a Lancashire pie shop.

For your proof, you can send that Professor Brian Cox along to check the second he comes back from his latest beano prancing about on glaciers. He's northern knows a thing or two about pie.

Incidentally, if we apply Einstein's relativity equations to this entirely new Pie Shop Theory of Universal Dynamics, it will also explain why Barnsley is still stuck in the 1970s.

Your pal,

Professor* Albert O'Balsam

* Doctor of Love-ology at the University of Luuuurve
That Nobel Prize is as good as in the bag.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On not being related to Thomas Dolby

On not being related to Thomas Dolby

"What's that? You're related to HIM?"

I cast my eye over The Fragrant Mrs Duck's family tree and see yet another familiar name.

She is already related to Strictly Come Dancing's Ian Waite, TV actor Joe Absolom and Whitley's most famous son Ricky Gervais. She also lays claim to war poet Wilfred Owen by way of a Brucie Bonus.

"What's that? You're related to HIM?" I say in surprise and alarm.


"Him," I say, pointing, "80s musical genius and geek's geek Thomas Dolby."

"That's Dollery. Thomas Dollery."

"Oh. Right."

"And don't fart."

"Sorry, I had to shoehorn a Windpower joke in somewhere."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010



I have control of the telephonic device.

"Hello, 3 Network. How can we help you?"

"Yes - can you tell your sales people to stop ringing my mobile twice a day? The phone rings and you always hang up before I get the chance to pick up."

"Ah-ha!" says the poor phone centre drone sensing early victory, "How do you know it's us?"

"Because your number's all over the internet, including a page called 'SOMEBODY STOP THESE BASTARDS'"

"Oh right. And why do you want us to stop? Do you actually know what these calls are about?"

I sigh. Now I am telling him his job.

"I'm on o2. You are not o2. You want me to buy a phone contract for your rubbish network."

"And do you want to buy a phone contract for our ...er... network?"

"I would much rather be violated by a Kenwood Chef. The one with the dough hook."

"Is that a 'yes', then?"

Monday, November 08, 2010

Democracy defined

Democracy defined


We all know what war's good for. To whit: Absolutely nothing.

But what about it's polar opposite, democracy?

According to a newspaper run by the Burmese military junta (who know a thing or two about what deomcracy isn't), democracy is:

Democracy is like the flame in a lantern, and wisdom is like glass sides that surrounds the flame. Fire is useful to man because it gives light. However it turns dangerous if is used without glass sides. It is because a fire can cause death and destruction. In other words, democracy is like the water in a dam, and wisdom is like the embankment of the dam. Water is useful to man. However it turns dangerous if the dam is in flood while it is without an embankment. If so, it can cause casualties and destroy property

If you'd permit me a little bit of political editorialising: What a load of bollocks.

According to my pal and comrade in arms No Good Boyo: Democracy is like the honey-filled mouth of a Thai go-go dancer, wrapping itself around your manly protuberance. Pleasant, but only until your wife finds out. And your wife, Burma, is a brutal and sclerotic junta.

That's a bit more like it. Democracy, we have discovered down the years, is a number of things. And, to this end, I have compiled a short list:

Democracy is...

like a rabid, half-starved leap of leopards* set loose in a branch of TK Maxx on "Half price for Pensioners and the Immobile" day, fending off the flesh-rending vultures of indifference

like a buy-one-get-one-free offer on Garibaldi biscuits at your local supermarket, only to find one's joyful expectations crushed by the revelation that "squashed fly biscuits" means exactly that

like falling autumnal leaves, covering the rotting corpse of the electorate's hopes and dreams

like meeting some sexy nuns in a nightclub, chatting them up, plying them with various high qualityfortified wines, going back to their place for a bit of red hot communion and a kebab, only to find out that they're real nuns

like winning the British Grand Prix, only to find the Champagne bottle is filled with stale horse's urine, which you are forced to drink - DRINK - to the bottom

Democracy, people. Have at that, Plato, you rubbish dead Greek bloke.

* That's the actual collective noun, fans of pedantry and FACTs will note

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

Mitch Benn - Proud of the BBC

Thanks to the power of TEH INTARNETS, this has a fair-to-middling chance of charting this week. I look forward to Mitch's next release: Up Your Arse, Murdoch

Friday, November 05, 2010



"Ere boy," says my learned colleague 'Spikes' Walker, "I'm trying to get some money back from this lakeside holiday cottage that went tits up. Could you help me pull a case together?"

I am only too happy to oblige. Watertight evidence coming right up...

"Thanks," he says without much enthusiasm. "Thanks."

Thursday, November 04, 2010

On staying awake in meetings

On staying awake in meetings

"Twitter Hive Mind!" I ask on the Twitter, "I have a meeting in 30 minutes and need to stay awake. What should I take with me?"

And the Twitter Hive Mind responds: A leopard, a board game, a number of poison-tipped paper darts, a flock of enraged crows. And a wasp.

I poo-pooed the wasp and went the whole nine yards: A biscuit tin full of mail order angry bees, made even more angry by suggesting that their Queen has been regularly serviced by a hornet for the last three weeks.

"So, who wants a biscuit?"

Blank faces.

"They're chocolate!"

28 seconds later:

"This meeting is adjourned"

"But… but…" I despair, "Twitter wants me to play musical chairs."

NEVER take the advice of the Twitter Hive Mind

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

On weird dreams

On weird dreams

All my life I've had two blokey dreams:

1. My life as the best footballer in the world, rising from teenage prodigy at Weymouth FC to winning the Premier League with the mighty Arsenal. I still occasionally have this dream, which often results in a knee-high tackle from the wife when I kick her in bed

2. The one where I captain a heavily-armed spaceship, crewed by a sexxxy crew of my chosing, based, in part on the classic BBC Micro computer game Elite. Right on Commander!

So why, I ask, am I suddenly having dreams where I am playing baseball?

There I am, out on the plate at the bottom of the ninth, two strikes dowm two men out and the ball in flight toward my face...

I don't even like baseball and only had a fleeting regard for rounders at school on account of [name redacted] in a miniskirt.

My only theory on this bizarre train of events is that some poor bastard's falling out of his bed in Pigdick, Ohio saying "Soccer? I don't even like soccer!"

The ball in flight toward my face...Then I woke up and my pillow was gone.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010



"Bloody hell!" I say, turning on the TV to a familiar, if rather elderly face, "Heinz Wolff is still alive!"

And there's our favourite mad scientist, at the age of 82, talking about care for the elderly. Chap.

This comes in the same week that the BBC finally dusts down the original 1980s recordings of The Great Egg Race and sticks them up on the internet for the world to enjoy all over again.

"Wouldn;t it be great," somebody asks me, "if they brought the Great Egg Race back?"

No. No it wouldn't. And I'll tell you why: It'll be crap.

These days TV executives love their programmes to have "jeopardy". Even the most lightweight of programmes have to have some sort of life-or-death scenario to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. "Will Brenda get to the post box before final collection? KEEP WATCHING!". Yes, she does.

And in this age of reality television and ever more destructive and brainless science programmes, the only way they'd get jeopardy onto the once sedate, cerebral Great Egg Race would be to involve rotating knives and/or violent celebrity death by explosion.

Not to mention the never-ending talking head interviews with contestants stating the bleeding obvious. A shot of someone sharpening the rotating knives will immediately be followed by Jim Dreadful of TEAM SLASHER saying "Yeah, we got the knives from John Lewis, and we're sharpening them just in case me meet some difficult gristle."

Then cut to host who will then ask celebrity judge Kerry Katona if they have any knife-slashing tips. And she does.

If I had my way, 'talking head' interviews on science-based programmes should mean just that, otherwise modern science is RUBBISH.

And that, friends, is why The Great Egg Race should be left, perfect as the day it was recorded, back in 1984.

Monday, November 01, 2010


The Fragrant Mrs Duck, I am sorry to say, has joined a cult.

A dreadful cult that has inveigled its way into her every waking thought, spreading conflict and discord throughout our household.

There are preachy leaflets everywhere. And horrible emotional blackmail.

She's joined Slimming World.

Not that (creepy comment alert) she actually needs to. But she arrived home one afternoon with a carrier bag bearing the words "Slimming World - Because You're ENORMOUS AWESOME!" and our world has changed forever.

And like any good cult, they come with their own propaganda. In this case, a magazine which is - and I quote Rowan Atkinson on exactly the same subject - "Not a million miles away from what Adolf Hitler was trying to do."

There is hope for us, however. The diet industry has more splits and schisms than the People's Front of Judaea, which means that Mrs Duck spends more time plotting lightning-quick strikes and drive-by shootings on rival groups than she does threatening us with leaflets and death by cholesterol.

"Why didn't you go to Weightwatchers?" I ask.

"Splitters," she replies, lightning quick and not a little venom on her tongue.

...And, polishing her Slimming World-branded AK47, "They'd better - oh-ho! - WATCH their backs!"

...And the trail of cream cakes leading to a bear trap outside the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Club is something of which she is immensely proud.

We - the poor down-trodden, overweight and hideously unfit members of the household - have started our own movement: People Against Slimming World Propaganda. Sadly, we've already schismed into 'People for Pie', 'Campaign for Cadbury's Dairy Milk' and 'Small Dogs Demand Cheeses, Beefs and Porks'.

Doom awaits.