Thursday, March 31, 2011

On inventing new sports

On inventing new sports

Comedian and tennis enthusiast Tony Hawks has made a bit of a career out of the fact that he is not skateboarder and extreme sports enthusiast Tony Hawk. In fact, there is a very excellent section on his website, heaving under the weight of misdirected emails from confused sk8trboiz and grrls asking an English comedian tips on doing an "Ollie", whatever that means.

His tennis career having peaked in the thrashing of the entire Moldovan football side several years ago, Hawks must be aware that the sport suffers one hell of an image problem when it comes to the hip young kids on the street.

And Hawk must be well aware, as time's icy grip sweeps over his 42-year-old shoulders, that the knees aren't going to hold out forever and his scheme of brining skateboarding to the English middle classes may never be realised.

That is, until now. Instead of working against each other, why not work together? The results would be awesome.

Dear Tony Hawks,

Congratulations on getting round Ireland with a fridge. I hope your plan to circumnavigate Argentina with a tumble dryer meets with similar success.

Look, I've had a spunker on a idea that's going to make you millions, so you don't have to do those Radio Four panel shows ever again. It's a bit controversial, but here goes:

You've got to bury the hatchet with your arch-nemesis Tony Hawk and combine forces. With growing numbers of people assuming that Total Wipeout is a genuine sport that's going to be in the 2012 Olympics, you've both got to do something to bring proper, genuine sports to the masses.

Skateboard tennis: The perfect combination of dude and toff. The kind of sport that idiot TV executives will pay a fortune for the rights because of the fair-to-middling chance that somebody may lose actual limbs.

Imagine, if you will, Scottish loser Andy Murray, roaring down a half-pipe at Henman Hill, performing a perfect 1080 before hitting a perfect backhand winner past a surprised teenager wearing a bandana. The best of British, I'm sure you'll agree.

Then he'd lose to some eight-year-old from Samoa in the next round.

Stephen Hawking's up for the Paralympic version. And if you can get Serena Williams and her brother on board, it'll be unstoppable.

You pal

Albert O'Balsam

Dear Tony Hawk

Yo! Dude! Like, gnarly!

Your pal

Albert O'Balsam
This time next year, etc...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On weird charity shops

On weird charity shops

"That," I said as we drove through the desolate wastes of Easton, "is the weirdest charity shop I have ever seen."

And frankly, on the Island of Portland (Motto: "Keeping it weird, marrying your cousin"), you've got to be truly weird to stand out from the aunt-licking crowd.

"What's so weird about that... oh," says The Boy as eyes clap onto a lock-up seeming constructed out of railway sleepers, corrugated iron and parts from a local quarry.

The sign above the door betrays all: "Feral Cat Shop".

"As a matter of fact," I say, steering the car back toward the safety of the mainland, "I'm not entirely sure if it IS a charity shop."

"Why?" he asks, "What do they sell there?"

"Feral cats, obviously. Feral cats, large nets and first aid kits."

We drive on in silence.

"And books of feral cat recipes."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On providing for my family in hard times

On providing for my family in hard times

Times are hard. Belts are being tightened.

And, in an attempt to get the family food bill down, I've decided to embrace 'Cornish Cuisine'* and have started to cook and eat my own road kill.

It's not as grim as it sounds - if you time things just right, the Tesco delivery driver won't know what hit him.

* My father, who lives in the depths of West Cornwall, claims to have invented the Roadkill Pasty. He is not mad.

Monday, March 28, 2011

On writing open letters

On writing open letters

"I saw this item on the BBC website", said a Facebook pal, "and I thought of you":

BBC: Open Letters: Why are they on the increase?

Time to deploy a high-risk strategy:

Dear the BBC,

My attention has been drawn to an item on your so-called news website on the subject of Open Letters, asking the reader why the long-lost art of letter-writing is being revived to draw public attention to matters of national, local and parochial interest.

It does, of course, completely miss the point, for eg: My very own epic letter of complaint aimed at the cold, dark heart of D***** V****** R******, which is to become a West End Musical, video game, tie-in novel and Hollywood Blockbuster movie, illustrating the traction that these letters can generate once set loose into the wild, hunting down readers like an angry buzzard.

Sadly, the open nature of Open Letters often gives the target the excuse not to exercise his or her right to reply, leading to the temptation - and one to which I have not sunk - of the Open Poo In A Box, or - worse still - the Open Leopard Which Hasn't Eaten For Six Days Because I Sent It By Second Class Post.

The art of letter-writing is not lost at all, for there are quite literally several angry, middle-aged, middle-class blokes hammering out letters to shoddy restaurants, half-witted bureaucrats and company directors, copying their mind-farts to the editorial desk of local and national media organisations, who then file them in the bin where they belong.

One can only praise the internet for encouraging this lunacy. Most news organisations allow commenting on their stories, which gives many ranting imbeciles and immediate outlet for their fury, usually culminating in the words "VOTE BNP,,,,,,,,", giving we genuine letter-writing lunatics the elbow room to write considered editor-baiting fury in our own time.

Sadly, there are also various fiends, ne'er-do-wells and BLASPHEMERS who revel in the so-called art of the Poem To Local Newspapers, who should be stamped out immediately, preferably by firing them bodily out of a cannon through the rotating propellers of Lancaster bomber, the bits fed to leopards, and the leopard shit dropped on that Japanese nuclear reactor to cool the molten fuel rods, it being the only language these curs understand. Especially if you can make it rhyme.

Apart from that: Great work. Keep it up. Write something about Leopards and their everyday use in the workplace.

Your pal,

Albert O'Balsam
Job. Done.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Video - B-B-B-BONUS!

Weekend Video - B-B-B-BONUS!

Jeux San Frontieres - Penguins

Stuart Hall = Television GOD

From the comments: "The noise Stuart Hall makes at 2.10 is more pterodactyl than human."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

The Unknown Stuntman - The Mailman

Just beginning to get some airplay on the BBC Electric Radio, a lovely uplifting song about life and the end of life in the American Depression.

I'll be off to read Anne Frank to cheer myself up.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm not saying I've moved to the posh end of town, but...

I'm not saying I've moved to the posh end of town, but...

For those of you with a strong interest in stalking me, I'm now living in Caversham in Reading. Yeah, I'm lowering the tone and sicking in hedges of one of the poshest parts of town. And what hedges.

I'm not saying I've moved into a posh neighbourhood, but after a particularly eventful council meeting, they passed a by-law that does away with all the local tramps. Instead, we have "Persons of reduced means supporting the cider industry", and there is a proper tramping rota organised by a fearsome ladty from the Womens Institute. Even the binmen round here have servants for all the heavy lifting.

And if you want to go shopping - beware: Our branch of Waitrose has a fantastically strict dress code. Turn up in Homme at Matalan, and you'll be sneered at and shown the door. Then, the pavement. Somebody once turned up there for a pint of milk one afternoon in pyjamas and dressing gown. He's still there, withering in a cage above the door, pour encourager les autres. Yes, we have got a branch of Iceland, but anyone seen going in there is handed free blankets laced with smallpox.

And there's more: The doner kebab van has a swan going round on a spit, and whenever I go out on the balcony for a stretch first thing in the morning, a huge crowd cheers and waves Union flags. It's a tough life here, I'm telling you.

But then, I'm used to living in the face of adversity. I lived in the West Country for nine years. They make you take rigorous Cider Exams before you're allowed to move in. It's all a bit hazy, but I think I passed.

In other news: I'm suing the Dalai Lama. His "Not Daily, Not a Llama" tagline's just taking it too far.

Lama! I'll see you in court.

Thursday, March 24, 2011



The Diet industry.

Billions of pounds spent every year by people in the hope that it's the magic cure to losing weight. A magic cure when all they really want is to eat less and walk to the corner shop.

But in this results-led society, people want to see instant results, and when the weight doesn't fall off the second they've popped a pill and spent ten of the most boring minutes on their life on a piece of torture equipment they've bought off a TV Shopping channel, they soon go back to the cake.

Billions of pounds. Wasted. And I want some of that sweet, sweet money.

So. Back to basic. People want to pay genuine cash money for a quick fix for their huge wobbling arse problem, and what they really want to do is eat less. A lot less.

I can do that.

And taking the tried-and-tested concept of "What doesn't kill me makes me strong", it should be pointed out that I have never once been killed by a chip sandwich and a cream cake.

Especially not the cake. No-one, as far as I know, has every been killed in a cake-related accident.

If we take cake, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it, dilute it and shake it and put it on a sugar pill, we end up with HOMEOPATHIC CAKE.

HOMEOPATHIC CAKE which is the ideal diet solution for today's slimmer-in-a-hurry-with-far-too-much-money-to-burn.

Yeah, genius. Don't tell me.

"Ha ha!" I hear you say, "How are people who want to lose weight going to shed the pounds when they're guzzling homeopathic cake on a sugar pill that's made out of actual sugar? Get out of THAT, clever trousers."

To which I say: Nutra-Sweet.

This time next year, Rodders....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A list of things not to put on your CV

A list of things not to put on your CV

With government cuts starting to bite, it's time to dust down the old curriculum vitae for when the worst comes to the worst. Sadly many people make a number of easily-avoidable mistakes which could well do them out of their dream job.

Here, then is a short list of CV statements you should avoid if you want to get an interview:

"I could kill you with a thought"

"I am a practising member of the Jedi religion, and am personally responsible for the training and welfare of three younglings"

"I require three twenty minute breaks each working day to be breastfed"

"I spent my gap year after university as a hostage of aliens from the Sirius star system, where I was forced to partake in a number of experiments with Amazon women"

"Hobbies: Your mum"

"Marital status: Single. But if you're asking, why not dinner tonight? Then, if things go well, we can take a taxi back to your place, where I can pretend to spill coffee down your dress, and before we know it, we're locked in passionate embrace, tongues and hands finding parts that….(continues for twenty-seven detailed and eye-watering pages)… and then you'd be my WIFE"

"Previous Employers: Membership Secretary, British National Party. Duties: Tearing up application forms from people who sound too foreign"

"Personal website:"

"Education: First National University of Professional Assassins (Mail Order). Also, The Daily Mirror Book of Facts"

"Education: THE HOLY BIBLE (Authorized King James Version of 1611 ONLY), paying particular attention to Deuteronomy 22, vv13-30"

"Personal achievements: Was in the 1994 edition of the Guinness Book of Records - World's loudest measured fart. 117dB, hospitalising Record Breakers host Cheryl Baker in the process"

"If selected for interview, please ensure that no women are present. My parole officer and psychiatrist both agree that this would be for the best"

"Celebrities I'd like to see naked: Nigella Lawson, Carol Vorderman, the new bird on Countdown, Brian Blessed"
What, we ask, could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On Colonel Gaddafi and the enforcing of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 by any means necessary

On Colonel Gaddafi and the enforcing of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 by any means necessary

It's WAR. And war is HELL.

"Colonel Gaddafi could be a coalition target," says Foreign Secretary William Hague, "depending on the circumstances."

But, in the cut and thrust of international diplomacy where dropping bombs on your own people is considered at no-no sufficent to warrant a strongly-worded letter from the United Nation, what would be a crime so heinous as to incur the fatal wrath of the coalition?

As somebody on the Twitters told me: "Didn't pay his tuition fees back".

But, I pointed out, that could be years down the line as Gaddafi deliberately enrols as a mature student and has his salary paid into an offshore account so that he never meets the salary threshold.

So, we ask, what is Mad Dog Gaddafi doing RIGHT NOW that would bring down the wrath of a strike from a British aircraft carrier? If we had an aircraft carrier. Or, indeed, aircraft.

For example:

- Not separating the recycling in his rubbish

- Putting his bin out on the wrong day

- Smoking in his place of work without retiring to the shelter in the car park before lighting up

- Parking in the disabled bays at Tesco, swearing "but I'm only using the cash machine" before going off for his weekly shop

- Taking his dog for a walk, but not using a poop-scoop

- Protesting about the closure of village libraries in West Dorset, although he has never once set foot inside his local branch

- Speeding up if he sees an old lady about to use a zebra crossing

- Hanging round crowded pubs on a Friday night, drinking out of unattended pint glasses

- Having a loud mobile phone conversation on a train whilst seated in the Quiet Carriage

- Punched a kitten

- Scraping the letters N U R O F N off Nurofen tablets and selling them to kids as "E"

- Sitting in his car for five minutes in a crowded town car park after finishing a Saturday shopping trip, eating his Greggs sausage roll and leafing idly through the Daily Star when he knows there's another car waiting for his space
Things which would not make Gaddafi a coalition target:

- Paying himself £3m as a bonus for steering the Royal Bank of Libya to a record annual loss
Standard Disclaimer: Muammar Gaddafi is a murderous bastard who should be kicking his heels in The Hague on the way to answering for his crimes against humanity. And if you can't laugh at bastards, what can you do?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ode to the Weymouth Relief Road

Ode to the Weymouth Relief Road

Going a bit parochial on the blog today, in celebration of my first go on the Weymouth Relief Road, the single greatest thing to have happened to the town since Mad King George decided to go for a bit of a paddle; or the day poor, murdered Archie Mitchell out of EastEnders decided to move out of the town, taking Peggy Mitchell out of EastEnders with him back to the London Borough of Walford, where he would become poor and murdered.

As brand new roads carved through chalk down, woodland and housing estate go, it's BLOODY BRILLIANT. Up yours, tree-huggers!

So brilliant, I done wrote a brilliant poem.

Ode to the Weymouth Relief Road by S.Duck, People's Poet

Oh, three-mile stretch of heavenly tarmac!
That only took six decades to build!
From top of hill
Where Vikings found their grizzly end
For we still don't like outsiders all that much
To that roundabout next door to Morrisons which used to have the helicopter made out of flowers until they ripped it out
Opened in the nick of time
To save me five minutes on journey home
Which was lucky, to be honest
Because I was busting for a dump
For I didn't want do it in my car
And make a liar out of Gary Numan.
Why nobody's asked me to be the Poet Laureate yet, I just do not know.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend Video

Weekend Video

Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla

One of those songs with the ability to reduce grown men to tears

FACT: "Hoppipolla" is Icelandic for "Jumping in puddles", which may come in handy on your next visit to Reykjavik.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bachelor pad

Bachelor pad

Now that I'm renting a room from a friend for my midweek stays in Reading, I thought I'd do the decent thing and push the vacuum cleaner around for a bit. Yes, I confess, madness overtook me and I shall not do it again.

Eventually, I found the hoover, ran it over the coffee table as per The Rules of Bloke, but my search also turned up the following:

* Jerry can full of petrol
* Box of fireworks

* Set of golf clubs
* Life-sized cardboard cut-out of an Imperial Stormtrooper

* A box of genuine antique pizza menus
* DVD of Scooby Doo: The Movie

* A million unused vacuum cleaner dust bags
* Paul Gascoigne with a fishing rod and a bucket of fried chicken

Yup, it's a Bachelor Pad

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On standing meetings

On standing meetings

"It has come to my notice that meetings held in this establishment go on for far too long and are becoming a complete waste of time.

"To this end, this meeting will, for the sake of brevity, be held standing up.

"On your feet, the lot of you."

Say goodbye to a couple of hours' kip, then.

Two hours later...

"…and now we move to item thirty-two on the agenda – 'Trans-national links in the multi-cultural paradigm' in which we will be joined on the video conference circuit by our colleagues in New York. HELLO NEW YORK!"

"Boss," the office snitch whispers in a voice that can be heard at the other end of the company graveyard, "they're sitting down."

"Come on you guys - didn't you get the memo?"

"Yes," comes an American voice, "and we are authorised by our departmental head to tell you to - if you don't mind the language - bugger off."

A finger hovers over a button. It is large and red and has the word "EJECT" printed on it in large, black letters.

*click - SPANG*

"Item 33 - Bring Your Leopard to Work Day..."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Midsomer Murders

Midsomer Murders

Everybody's got into a tizz recently over the fact that one of the producers of ITV's fun-for-all-the-family murder mystery drama Midsomer Murders admitted the the programme hasn't got any characters from racial minorities, and he's going to keep it that way.

Then they suspended him. From a rope, off the church tower, with an anvil tied to his ankles.

For those of you who haven't seen it, or are safely residing in the colonies, Midsomer Murders is set in a twee English vllage somewhere in the Cotswolds, where every week some middle class white serial killer runs amok, killing other white middle class people until he or she is invariably caught, and it transpires the whole affair stemmed from an argument over a poor quality tea at the bowls club.

You know: People dying horribly. For entertainment.

It is all about is all about the scourge of white-on-white knife and gun crime, taking in the equal scourge of white-on-white inventive murder crime, most victims being decapitated by toasting forks and other everyday objects found in thatched cottages.

And now that they've been found out over the whole whiteness thing (not to mention the whole shitness thing, too), ITV's really got to get out there and up their game.

Firstly, there's the forthcoming blaxpolitation version: Shaft IV - Holiday in Midsomer, which is currently in post-production and will go some way to addressing the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant agenda that's wrecking tea-time viewing for millions.

But really, viewers have had enough of comfortable Sunday night viewing, and demand all-action adventure. I propose, then, the programme makers parachute in Sylvester Stallone and renaming it Midsomer Murder Death Kill.

Of course, in Midsomer Murder Death Kill, a blacked-up June Whitfield would have to play the Wesley Snipes role, or the shock value may prove too much for certain sections of the audience.

And if we can shoe-horn three old fellas hurtling down hill in a bath-tub, before impaling themselves on a plough that only a warped white middle-class serial killer could have thought to leave in their way, wired to explode on impact, that would make it the best thing ITV has ever done since the never-repeated Jeremy Kyle "To The Death" episode.

Actually, if the Jeremy Kyle Show could act as some sort of audition for Midsomer Murder Death Kill, that would give us the kind of product synergy that TV Execs fap themselves into a stupor over.

Next Week: Antiques Roadshow Death Race 2000

Tuesday, March 15, 2011



This week, we have been mostly enjoying the "Wonders of the Universe" series on BBC2, in which Professor Brian Cox springs from mountain top to to mountain top telling us that space is "BRILLIANT!" and that we're all made of dead stars, which is BRILLIANT!

Despite being rendered almost entirely incapable by the Wonders of the Universe drinking game, there is one inescapable fact about the programme: Professor Brian Cox knows EVERYTHING. Everything about everything, including a load of stuff that you wouldn't think possible, like a Mancunian Chuck Norris:

Professor Brian Cox knows all the rules of Mornington Crescent AND Fight Club

Professor Brian Cox knows that if he gets angry, he turns into a huge, green rampaging Patrick Moore

Professor Brian Cox knows that Area 51 is a hoax. All the secret UFO shit happens next door at Area 53. Area 52 is, in fact, the creche

Professor Brian Cox didn't appear when D:Ream played "Things Can Only Get Better" on Top Of The Pops because of his strongly-held views on entropy

Professor Brian Cox knows that the actual answer is 42.0000000000001

Professor Brian Cox knows where they're hiding the real Nick Clegg

Professor Brian Cox knows what's love got to do, got to do with it

Professor Brian Cox knows who was on the grassy knoll

Professor Brain Cox knows who'd win a fight between a baboon and a badger

Professor Brian Cox knows the names and fighting capabilities of all 6,932 Pokemon. And he's caught them all, even the seven that are classed as infectious diseases

Professor Brian Cox knows the airspeed velocity of an unladen African AND European swallow , and that his favourite colour is blue. No… red…
That's enough Cox.

Monday, March 14, 2011



"And another thing you'll need when you move house," said the financial advisor, "Is to pay somebody for a survey on the property."

I knew that, but she ploughed on regardless.

"I know that, but I expect you'll plough on regardless."

"I shall plough on regardless."

"Thought so."

"It's up to you whether you just have the basic survey to satisfy the mortgage lender; or to shell out the extra for complete piece of mind."

"Can you give me a 'such as'?"

"Such as if there's subsidence. Or boundary disputes. Or, perhaps if there's any urgent work that needs doing."

"Or," I chipped in, getting into the swing of things, "if the house is built on an old Indian burial ground. And old Indian burial ground that hides a dreadful curse."

"What? In Weymouth?"

"Especially in Weymouth. They found that pit full of dead Vikings recently, and Vikings were ALWAYS at war with the Indians. Didn't you learn anything at school?"

"I was more into numbers, but I don't think..."

"And let's not forget that (FACT!) TK Maxx is built on the old plague pits."

"Wait... what?"

"Indians AND Vikings AND shambling Undead Plague Victims. Just make sure no house we buy is built on the CURS-ED remains of Indians, Vikings or shambling Undead Plague Victims, or you'll be facing the Financial Ombudsman before you can say 'Hagar the Horrible'."

"Please leave."

"You don't - by any chance - sell Zombie insurance*?"


"That's a 'no' then."

* I've since been told that the correct term is "Unexpected Vitality Cover". Live and learn

Sunday, March 13, 2011



"Oh very good," people said of my recent pictures of Nicodemus Knob, "but where's Ceiling Cat?"

And these people are correct. Ceiling Cat is EVERYWHERE.

Happy now?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekend video

Weekend Video

The Divine Comedy - A Lady of a Certain Age

Now, pay attention, this one requires a little bit of concentration, but this is ultimately rewarded.

And yes, this is the person behind My Lovely Horse.

Friday, March 11, 2011



Just to prove that there is such a thing as Nicodemus Knob, here are a few pics I took of a recent trip on my bike to the very top of Portland. A trip in which I suffered - SUFFERED - for this website, finding out the hard way that Incline Road is called that for a damn good reason.

That's a new set of lungs you lot owe me.

An actual Knob, side view, with Lego man and dog for scale.

The Spanish Inquisition coming round the side of the Knob.

Knob, with HMP The Grove in the background, home to some of the region's least capable criminal minds.

Nicodemus Knob is a stack of Portland stone left by quarry workers. No one's entirely sure why, but it's probably to show how much stone they'd taken from the top of the island to hide the bordeom of digging a very deep hole.

Or simply, the guy in charge was showing off about having a VERY BIG ...err... pickaxe.

And, because I'm a dreadful show-off, here's a snap of Fortuneswell (Twin Town: Benghazi) I took on the way up the side of the Citadel, minutes after an unfortunate sick-inna-hedge episode. Click through the pic to enjoy big, because I spent actual time photoshopping l33t tilt-shift sk1llz into it.

Do it. Now. NOW.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Biscuit Top Ten ...err... Twelve

Biscuit Top Ten ...err... Twelve

Steven at the Enemies of Reason blog lists the top twenty of biscuits, along with lengthy reasoning as to his decision-making process.

He is, of course, wrong, with some of his selections crossing over into the wide-open fields of BLASPHEMY, where the only fitting punishment is to be fired out of a cannon straight at a cheese-grater, the pieces fed to ferrets, and the ferrets fired into the heart of the sun. And that's me being merciful.

As any fool knows, the top ten-ish of biscuits is as follows. PAY ATTENTION, there may be questions later:

1. Chocolate Digestives. Must be McVities. MUST be plain chocolate. All you milk chocolate heathens should go flush your own heads down the toliet until you either a) drown or b) see sense

2. Tim Tams. The Australian for awesome. They're a penguin bar! They're a straw! They come in flavours! They helped push my weight up until somebody asked me if I was pregnant! Australia may be shit at cricket, but they know their biscuits.

3. Bourbon. Named after the infamous 1830 Bourbon Revolution, when French citizens rose up against poor quality biscuits, these aristocrats of snack foods may only be enjoyed in a minimum quantity of six. For optimum enjoyment, build a small fort out of biscuits and eat your way out, just as the French revolutionaries did

4. Cheddars. The first savour biscuit on this list, slightly more flavoursome than their Mini Cheddar cousins, giving you the impression that a large enough dose may actually kill you. Mortal danger: That is exactly what biscuit-eating should be all about

5. Custard Creams. Too good to share with other people who do not appreciate the hard work that goes into manufacturing these marvels, the intricate decoration on these biscuity gods is applied to each one by hand by children in the Philippines, providing crucial child labour in an otherwise impoverished market. Give these kids a chance! Eat more Custard Creams!

6. The Tunnocks Wafer. "Over 37,000,000,000,000,000 of these biscuits are made every day", the wrapper boasts, most of which are fired into space to appease potential Alien Invaders with their tasty gorgeousness. Most of the others are then injected directly into the bloodstram of Scottish people. The remaining three are shared with the rest of the world on a timeshare basis. Pristine examples fetch up to 20p on the open market.

7. Hob Nobs. Lose points for being a tad too crumbly, but have replaced the otherwise praiseworthy yet structurally unsound Rich Tea as the biscuit of choice for tea-dunking

8. Arse. Think about it. If it were not for the human ability to lay arse biscuits, how would we be able to make room for real biscuits? That is why "Arse" is Number Eight with a bullet

9. Ginger Snaps. A well constructed ginger snap has the immense advantage of maintaining its structural integrity after a good dunking in a hot drink, and - dammit - this has to count for something in the cut-throat world of biscuit baking, Also make a good improvised mini-nunchuk if things turn nasty

10. Garibaldi. A biscuit named after a famous revolutionary. Calling them "squashed fly biscuits" is an excellent defence against thieving children. FACT: One Squashed Fly Biscuit in ten contains an actual squashed fly

11. Wagon Wheels. The official snack food of Premier League football for the last four decades. I remember my dad taking me to see a Chelsea match when I was nine years old, and eating a Wagon Wheel which was three feet across. These days they are the size of a postage stamp, and hence their inability to crack the top ten. Sort it out, you planks!

12. Malted Milk. Biscuits with a picture of a cow on them. A Picture. Of A Cow. HINT: Push four together, and see how a young Andy Warhol was inspired to take up art during a tea-break at the iron foundry
And, at the bottom of the pile, the sweepings of the floor of the biscuit factory:

1,734,915. Nice biscuits. Not nice. Hardly biscuits. When I become World President, my first decree will be to have these products re-labelled "Sun-dried Dolphin spunk"

1,734,916-9 Choco Liebniz / Bahlsen Waffleten / Amaretti: I want biscuits, not an evening class on Modern European Languages. You'll get Hob Nobs and like it, you worshippers at the Altar of Poncery. No wonder they lost the war if that's the kind of biscuit they produce.

1,734,920 Jammy Dodgers. FUCK OFF.
You will note that Jaffa Cakes are omitted from this list. And that is because they are cake. Number One in the list of Top Ten Cake. Anyone who says otherwise had better note my previous comments re: ferrets.

As usual, we welcome your comments and death threats, which we shall read out loud in a whiny voice for the amusement of biscuit aficionados.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011



One from the Suggestions Box:

"Dear Boss,

I understand that we have a Prayer Room in our offices, where people of a religious bent may go and pray to the god, gods, or many-tentacled soul-eating beast of their choice. I also note, in the way of political correctness, this room is actually called the Quiet Room.

As a deity-curious atheist, I suggest that you might want to provide a Non-Prayer Room where myself and other non-believers can go and do whatever it is we do. I'm not sure exactly what it is yet, but you might like to call it The Arsing Around On The Internet Room.

And on a similar vein, I notice that the smokers in this establishment have an outdoor Shelter Of Shame where they go, smoke cigarettes and waste literally hours of the company's time and money.

Being a non-smoker who once tried hanging around in the Smokers' Bus Shelter, but fled fearing for my life, I want some of this sweet, sweet skiving in the car park. So, can we have our own Non-Smokers' Smoking Shelter, featuring free fruit-based snacks, cake, internet access and a comfy sofa?

You might - and here's a real money-saving suggestion - want to merge the Non-Smokers' Smoking Shelter and the Arsing Around On The Internet Room into one EXCELLENT establishment featuring a nice lady that offers massages to select employees.

I can guarantee that I will spend no more than six hours of each working day in the Non-Smokers' Smoking Arsing Around On The Internet Shelter, and my productivity with increase by approximately 576%. I will also guarantee that I will not smell of either a) fags and b) smug self-satisfaction.

Stay Lucky

Your pal

Albert O'Balsam"

And, as if by magic, I receive a reply:

"Dear O'Balsam

Get on with your work.

Always lucky.



Tuesday, March 08, 2011

On taking leave of one's census

On taking leave of one's census

This coming 27th March marks the 2011 Census in the UK, and Census forms are already dropping through letter boxes up and down the country. Some people are even going to fill them in.

While millions flip a coin over whether to put themselves down as a Jedi or a member of the Holy Church of Don't Be A Dick, many more, however, have been perplexed by Question 17.

Or rather, the lack of a Question 17.

Everybody turn to Question 17. Colonials: You'll just have to share. There you'll see the words "This question intentionally left blank".

W T and indeed F?

The answer to this is simple: It's reserved for Scottish and Welsh forms and is about use of language.

In Scotland, the question is "How well do you speak English?" In much of Glasgow, the correct reply is, of course, "Help ma Boab!"

In Wales, it is about the use of the Welsh language.

So, what do we, the persecuted English majority put in the space provided?

After consulting with an ACTUAL OFFICIAL WELSH, I am told that you should write in "Nag ydw, dw i ddim yn siarad Gymraeg", which will earn you a million excellence points at the Office of National Statistics, and a knock on the door in the middle of the night from the dreaded Cymru Rouge.

Then, you can put on your best Max Boyce cod Welsh accent and say "I know, because I was there."

Or, draw a picture of a man's willy. Your call.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Mum's gone to Iceland

Mum's gone to Iceland

"ICELAND," said the sign on the side of a lorry owned by Britain's third skankiest supermarket parked in a layby just outside Dorchester.

"ICELAND - Because mums are heroes"

It's "heroines", you twats. Heroines.

Although, I can see their point. They've come up with a marvellous advertising slogan, that sounds great, and looks passable painted on the side of lorries, even when parked up in Dorset's premier transvestite dogging site.

But say it out loud, and it comes out like this: "ICELAND - Because mums take heroin", which is hardly the image that Britain's third skankiest supermarket chain wants to project, especially after that nasty business with Kerry Katona and the Bolivian Marching Powder.

Or maybe it is? Do they really want drug-addled mums staggering around the aisles, fighting over the £1 per dozen pizzas and begging passers-by for the price of a chicken tikka lasagne?

I would happily abandon my local Asda if that's the kind of thing that awaits me at Britain's third skankiest supermarket chain. In fact, I shall write to Iceland THIS MINUTE to ensure that this is the case.

It's not as though supply's a problem. After all, the people behind this monstrosity were clearly not on the same plane as the rest of us:

KIDS: Just say no.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Gadaffi Duck, and other bastards

Gadaffi Duck, and other bastards

That Colonel Gadaffi, what a bastard. It hardly seems worth wasting laughs on a man who thinks the answer to legimate protest is to drop bombs on his own people, but to laugh at these shits we must.

And through one over-used joke, it has come to my attention that he has one thing in common with some of histories biggest bastards: They're all animals. Look:

Gadaffi Duck

Kim Jong Krill

Robert Moo-gabe

Henry the Ape King of England

Adolf Hitlerpotomus

Pol Pot-bellied pig

Mouse Tse Tung

Josef Starling

Vlad the Impala

Fidel Cat-ro

Meerkat Ahmadinezad

Saddam Horse-ain

Napoleon Bone-a-giraffe
If this tells us anything, we must continue to eat these creatures. Stop them. Eat them now on a tasty, tasty barbecue with tasty, tasty barbecue sauce, before it is too late.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Bike Bore, Part II

Bike Bore, Part II

So, I went for a bike ride, and it didn't exactly go as planned. In fact, something happened that made me so angry, I wrote a letter. A letter filled with SARCASM. SARCASM and EBOLA.

Dear [Name of Bus Company redacted]

Congratulations on becoming the number one bus company in the Weymouth and Dorchester area! You run an extraordinarily good service, and I have never once been completely killed TO DEATH by one of your drivers.

However, this 100 per cent success rate nearly came to a premature end this last weekend as I took myself for a bicycle adventure around the Isle of Portland.

It being my life's ambition to clap eyes on the famed Nicodemus Knob on the island, I took myself across the causeway (without being killed TO DEATH), up through Fortuneswell (without being killed TO DEATH), up to the Portland Heights (without being killed TO DEATH) and started taking the scenic route round the isle (without being killed TO DEATH) in the hope of finding myself in awe of this colossal stone phallus at the climax of my ride (without being killed TO DEATH).

I think you can see a pattern emerging, for eg: My continued survival.

Perhaps it is my own fault for touring the island anti-clockwise (the way of SATAN), but as I emerged from Southwell on the way back to the seething metropolis of Easton and its incredible public display of hoodies, trogs, ne'er-do-wells and thieving tosspots, I found myself diving over a hedge and into a field, primarily to avoid the oncoming blur of one of your vehicles as it bore down on me and threatened my 100 per cent 'Don't get killed TO DEATH' record that had, up until then, been my pride and joy.

It pains me to say that my only response to this incident was to curse "I hope you get Ebola!" at the departing vehicle. Which, given the circumstances, was fair enough.

Despite my ordeal, I do not wish to see any of your drivers disciplined, for my only concern being their own safety. Could you therefore check your recent sick records and check that none of your drivers have died of Ebola? You may also wish to send out an appeal through the Dorset Echo and Wessex FM to check that none of your passengers have melted and shat out their intestines. These curses are dreadfully unpredictable, and I really don't what to kill off any innocent parties in a fit of temper.

And if you do find the driver, tell him he's a knob.

Stay lucky.

Your pal,

Albert O'Balsam
I can almost taste those free tickets.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Bike bore

Bike bore

Look, there's no other way of saying this: I am about to become a bike bore.

With an urgent need to lose some weight (after a pie overdose left me at 13 stone 7 lbs), I took up the running again. The final straw being asked when the baby was due.

And the problem with being a fat bloke is that running does your knees, shins and ankles no end of impact injuries. So, says my pal Big Alastair, why not try riding your bike? Seeing as he is now Not-as-Big-Alastair-As-Three-Months-Ago, I could only agree with him. So I have become a bike bore.

I've even signed up to one of those websites where you can map your bike ride, then annoy all your Facebook followers with the exact details of your ride to the shops and back.

It does lack, however, a 'sick inna hedge on this ride' tick box. But fair play, there's space for 'shat my pants on the steep bit' and 'told a taxi driver to fooking fook off before disappearing down a side road' which is everything the committed bike bore needs in a website.

"So then," you ask, "How are you getting on?"

I'm glad you answered that, because this gives me the chance to gloat over ten mile trips up and down the Isle of Portland, a half-stone weight loss (although it's tough riding with only the one arm, elective amputation being the one, true way to permanent weight loss) and a burn-up at a set of traffic lights that left a little old lady on a Raleigh Shopper EATING MY DUST.

Pissed off that she caught me on the uphill bit, though.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Happy Car/Sad Car (slight return)

Happy Car/Sad Car (slight return)

Some cars look happy.

Some cars look sad.

Consider, then, the Alfa Romeo MiTo:

Which, as you can see, looks exactly like a surprised owl.

And, coincidentally, here is a surprised owl that looks exactly like an Alfa Romeo MiTo.

What are the chances of that?