Friday, December 30, 2011


On thing leads to another and I get a letter from my insurance company:

Dear Mr O'Balsam

Ref: Your recent claim

Suck it.

Your pals,

Bastard Insurance Limited
All that money spent on moose-bite insurance (because moose-bites can be pretty nasty, you know), and the small print says that moose-bite insurance is not valid in Sweden. What a rip-off.

Then, to my dismay, I find my Morris Dancer insurance is immediately invalidated within half-a-mile of any village fete, and my life insurance runs out the minute I hold my breath.

Broken Britain, people, broken Britain.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Martin Luther King FACT

FACT: The very last line of Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 - lost in a thunder of applause and cheering - was "Then I woke up and my pillow was gone".

Embarrassingly, King subsquently found his pillow later that night.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Painful Death to Comic Sans

Another new computer system, another training day:

"And this is the tab where you change the display font. Any questions so far?"

" Yeah... Where's Comic Sans?"

"Beg pardon, Mr Hunt?"

"You've got this tab where I can change the font, but it won't let me change to Comic Sans. What's going on?"

"Err... We only had room for six fonts and we decided..."

"What? WHAT?! I can only work in Comic Sans - it reflects my happy-go-lucky, oh-so-whacky lifestlye, and all my colleagues love me for it."

"Sorry, Colin, it's Times New Roman and like it. Any other questions? Sensible ones?"

A hand goes up.

"And another thing. Where are the bloody Wingdings?"

"Advanced users only."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Witch's Tit


Cold as a witch's tit.

I swear this place is built on an old indian burial ground.

In fact, I'm certain this place is built on an old indian burial ground.

I'm certain of this because of the ice on the windows.

And the name of the housing estate: Curse-d Moccasin Hill

And the leaflet left by the previous tenants: Evil dead indians and how to deal with them

And not to mention the low moans I hear in the night: "WoooOOOooo… WoooOOOooo… Scalpum… WoooOOOooo"

Why can't I get a poltergeist that turns on all the heaters?

Monday, December 26, 2011


I get email!

"Dear Freelancer", says the client's pitch in comic sans, the font of champions, "We are producer's of homeopathic remedy's and other New Age and Alternative treatment's. We are looking for somebody who can design an e-commerce website so we can market our product's online. If you are interested, please email us with detail's of your solution and a quote for the finished website.

"Boomshanka!* West Country Alternative Bollocks Limited**"

* The original may not have ended with 'Boomshanka'
** May not actually be called West Country Alternative Bollocks Limited

So I reply:

Dear WCAB Ltd,

We note with interest your recent request for a design/publication solution for your corporate web presence. In view of the subject matter, and the enormous amounts of actual, proven SCIENCE that will have to be poured into our proposed solution, we are happy to provide you with the following quote:

One website, plus hosting, plus VAT, plus damp course:

You may be somewhat alarmed at the unexpectedly large sum quoted; but you will be encouraged by the fact that it will leave your bank account diluted to homeopathic levels, and therefore stronger than it has ever been.

Granted, we have no proof for this hypothesis, but - frankly - you started this.

We look forward to your reply.

Be lucky.

Your pal, Albert O'Balsam Website Design PLC
Wow. I can just taste the 2,700,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,097 penny chews already.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A few 100% true FACTS about Christmas

Terrifying FACT: Santa's chatting up my sisterHo, ho and indeed HO for Christmas Day, which I shall be spending in the loving bosom of my wondrous work place, whilst forcing you - dear reader - to look at this picture of Santa bothering my sister, the no-good cur.

But did you know:

- The Secret Santa tradition commemorates the 1971 arrest and death by firing squad of the original Santa Claus by the Soviet Union for spying for the CIA

- Since his death by firing squad in 1971, the role of Santa Claus has been filled on a job-share basis by Ronald McDonald

- Heaven help you if you get on Santa McDonald's Naughty List. If he gets caught short on his annual round, a crap down the chimney is the only language these curs understand

- Santa's brother Satan Claus looks after the Naughty List, and will often swap it for the Nice List, for shits and giggles

- "Christmas comes but once a year, thank God I'm not Christmas!" goes the joke. In fact, like most people, Christmas is a committed masturbator

- According to Einstein's Really Really Special Theory of Relativity, the more relatives you invite to your Christmas dinner, the higher the likelihood of a fight before the Queen's Speech

- In the first draft of Dickens' seminal Yuletide story "A Christmas Carol", the anti-hero was to be named Ebeneezer Spoodge, who only came once a year. Nobody knows what became of Carol, who was written out for reasons lost in the mists of time

- "Do They Know It's Christmas?" sang 1984 charity group Band Aid. The answer is now a big "YES", after Calendar Club recently opened a branch in Addis Ababa

- Unless you've been sold a dud, squeeze your Christmas turkey and next spring's Easter egg should pop out. When Easter comes round, squeeze the Easter Bunny and you'll get the raisins for your next Christmas Pudding. It's the circle of life, people!

- A newly-discovered first draft of the New Testament has revealed that the name of Our Lord and Saviour was - in fact - Ted Winterval. Seems like all those local councils were right after all
Christmas, everybody! Let's hear it for Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Video: Cocteau Twins - Frosty the Snowman

If this song doesn't make you feel festive, then you ARE DEAD INSIDE.

This song was released as a Double A-Side with Winter Wonderland in December 1993. DEAD INSIDE warning also applies to this song.

And bugger it, this is aces as well:

Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler: Home for the Holidays

Friday, December 23, 2011

Samuel Pepys and the Story of the Prince's Fortune

I expect you're wondering how things are going on the Sameul Pepys front. You'll be pleased to hear that a finished manuscript called Sameul Pepys: Lust for Glory is being prodded around the book publishers of London, and once they've all told me to fuck off, I'll be offering for sale on Lulu and the Kindle Store in the new year.

In the mean time, he's been up to no good, as usual...

June 13th 1663: Office Day. Up betimes and to myne ofices whereI finde a letter await'ng me of one Prince Bartholomew Abacha, once of a kingdom on the western coast of Africa, now sadly befall'n on hard times.

"Dear Insert Name Here" his missive starts. "I was until very recently a member of a not'd royal family, but have been unjustly banish'd by my cousin Sameul and his wicked Grand Vizier. At the moment, I find myself impoverish'd, but have a chest full of gold and treasures in a secret location, to the value of FOUR MILLION ENGLISH SHILLINGS, and I seek your assistance in repatriating this fortune to your country.

"If, by the kindess of your heart, you choose to assist me, I will share three-tenths of the sum with you, keeping six-tenths for myself and the rest for fees &c. Please reply with all due despatch with your name and banking details, but - pray - do not divulge the contents of this letter to another living soul as you will place both our lives in the great'st peril.

"Your new best pal, Prince Bartholomew Abacha."
Who cannot fail to be mov'd by such a terrible story of woe? I immediately pen a reply, and send it by messenger to Prince Bartholomew's local agent, one Reginald Kray (no relation) in Bethnal Green. My act of charity will make us both very rich indeed, and I celebrate my good fortune with a slap-up rook pie and a two-shilling slattern.

Several weeks later:

July 25th 1663: Office day, or would be if I still had an office. Sent my last groat to Prince Bartholomew, in order to bribe a petty official so that a bill of lading be alter'd to read 'Dead camel: For export only - do not open' on his trunk so that it be load'd onto a ship to these shores. This after pay'ng bribes to many other petty officials and pay'ng fees for all sorts of ship's captains and export documents. Have sold my priceless collection of wigs to ensure that the trunk is brought up from Weymouth without the custom men find'ng out; and my second best pantaloons to cover the dental insurance of the coach driver in case - I am told - "some cur should punch him in the teeth, totally by accident, these things happen you know".

Cld not afford a slattern, and will have to resort to the joys of Madam Palm this evening. Am beginning to think that Mr Kray may not be all that he appears and might actually be some sort of villain.

July 26th 1663: I am indebted to Mr Kray for allowing me to complete my diary as I teeter on the edge of London Bridge with an anvil tied round my ankles. Alas, who will pay the 27,000 pounds I owe him for the unexpect'd Acting As Middle Man For My Pal Prince Bartholomew Fee that has suddenly aris'n. Luckily, I am to be let off the debt if I agree to have my head nail'd to a coffee table, which is the very least I dserve for the lack of respect I have shown him. Lovely chap, that Mr Kray. Lovely.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Following the death of our arch-nemesis Kim Jong-il, the eyes of the world fall on his son, Kim Jong-un.

Little is known of the young man North Korean state media have dubbed "The Great Successor", who will take the reins as the living head of state of one of the world's least stable nuclear powers; a country with crushing poverty, absolutely no freedom of speech, and an unfinished 105-storey skyscraper in the centre of Pyongyang.

With so little known about the younger Kim - already being groomed to follow into his dead father's cult of personality - we made it our mission to find out what we could, and present our readers with 100 per cent true* Kim Jong-un FACTS.

- Kim rose to fame as the winner of the North Korean version of the X Factor, the lead singer of the boy band Jong Direction

- Sadly, all of the other members of Jong Direction died in absolutely identical accidents, nailing their own heads to IKEA coffee tables the day before their first record was due to be released

- Kim Jong-un is a noted fashion designer, turning his hand to the Pyongyang United car coat, almost ubiquitous in Pyongyang society

- Despite finding fame as the designer of the Pyongyang United car coat, the young Kim is, in fact, a fan of arch rivals Pyongyang City. Commentators speculate that United's 48-year run as North Korean champions has come to an end, particularly after all their players were found dead in absolutely identical chocolate Hob Nob accidents

- The most popular sex position in North Korea is called "Doing it up the Jong-un"

- Kim Jong-un has a mortal fear of barbers following a childhood "Something for the weekend" trauma, and cuts his own hair

- His first executive order as North Korean leader is to have the 300-foot statues of Kylie and Dannii Minogue in the centre of Pyongyang torn down, and replaced with a 500-foot erection in honour of Tulisa out of N-Dubz

- A big film fan just like his dad, just ask Kim Jong-un what number he is thinking of, and he will reply "69 dudes!" He is due to finance a Korean-language remake called "Kim and Ted's Juche Revolutionary Adventure"

- Unkind commentators have remarked on Kim's portly figure in a country where food shortages are rife. Even more unkind commentators say he might have actually caused it

- As a precocious youth, Kim Jong-un was the North Korean Youth Cadre Songun Hide-and-Seek champion eight years in a row, all the other competitors dying in absolutely identical space hopper accidents. His prize each year was a great big pie

- The teenage Kim was educated in an exclusive English-speaking school in Switzerland. His stay in Europe coincided with the Great Swiss Kinder Egg Famine

- Kim Jong-un possesses the world's largest collection of Kinder Egg toys, including the fabled "Back Door Intruder" which was withdrawn after a number of accidents

- At last, the mysterious new owner of MySpace can be revealed

- According to Who's Who in North Korea, Kim's hobbies are shopping in IKEA, winning, looking at things, and pie

- Kim's father Kim Jong-Il once famously kidnapped a film-maker and actress wife to force them to shoot a remake of his favourite movie Godzilla. In a completely unrelated development, Jamie Oliver is just about to receive a Pyongyang-postmarked letter asking him to sort out school dinners in the DPRK
Other Kims are available.

* May actually be lies

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On Christ not being on a bike

"Christ on a bus!" the man said.

"Don't you mean Christ on a bike?" I say, hoping to correct this obvious blasphemic error.

"No", he replied, "Christ on a bus! Just like when Christ arrived in Jerusalem on a bus all those years ago."

Another basic error.

Our Lord did not arrive in Jerusalem on a bus. Not did he arrive - as the scriptures worngly assert - on the back of a donkey.

As any fool know, Jesus had impeccable green credentials, and arrived in the Holy City in his 14-seater minibus, which was ideal for himself, his twelve disciples, and, of course, Mary Magdalene for those 'special' duties. Such as cooking, and changing tyres.

Touring the Holy Land, solving mysteries and unmasking evil caretakers who were scaring all the locals away so that they could have the only book shop in Nazareth, He called his bus the In Mysterious Ways Machine.

And He would have got away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling Romans.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On accidentally encouraging a celebrity to poo through his neighbour's letterbox

Stuart Baggs. Businessman. TV personality. Bloke.

And by way of a guilty pleasure, I have been following the living legend that is Stuart "The Brand" Baggs on Facebook. Alan Sugar's arch-nemesis from The Apprentice genuinely funny, and - as they say - excellent value for money, even if you may not agree with some (most) of the things he says. He is also, according to a recent update, having problems with his neighbours:

A special mention this morning to the twat living above playing Slade - Merry Christmas Everybody on repeat, all. Night. Long. FFS.
It is only right - as a loyal follower of The Brand - that I offer my new pal a bit of advice based on my years of experience acting like an enormous nobber. I think you know what's coming:

Me: Poo through his letterbox, it's the only language these curs understand

Baggs: Going to pay him a visit now, wish me luck!

Me: Good luck Stuart. Don't forget to take something to stand on if the letterbox is quite a way up the door.

"Stuart Baggs likes this"
And then, remembering that Baggs is a successful businessman, always with an eye on a profit, I offer him this unique business opportunity:

Also, you might need your R&D people to design some sort of letterbox-holding-open thing that also doubles as a poop chute. Once tested in the field, take it on Dragon's Den to further increase your media profile. It's a win-win!

"Stuart Baggs likes this"

Also also, if this poop chute idea really takes off we might want to buy a hefty bunch of shares in Carpet Right and Dyson. We're making a bad thing good, people!
This time next year, Baggsy, we'll be millionaires.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong Dead

"See? I told you I was Il"

(Click on pic to embiggen)

The campaign to eliminate Powerpoint presentations from workplace meetings


A necessary evil.

A necessary evil, until Powerpoint becomes involved, making them just plain EVIL.

We here at the THINKIUM INSTITUTE, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scaryduck Labs (Motto: "We say what you pay us to say") are of the opinion that Powerpoint presentations in meetings are an unconscionable WAR CRIME that should be punished by DEATH.

Being mindful of the Geneva Conventions and other so-called Human Rights laws, we find that it is not entirely practical to execute Powerpoint criminals completely to DEATH. Therefore, it is the THINKIUM INSTITUTE's mission to discourage these curs from perpetrating their vile practices upon us in the only legal ways available to us.

For example:

These simple steps - the THINKIUM INSTITUTE argues - will effectively purge our work places of the dread curse of the Powerpoint Presentation. If we - as a civilisation - work together with a unified strategy to eliminate this scourge, we estimate that Powerpoint will be eliminated within a matter of months. Join us.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I've not been well recently, and the only thing that has made me well (apart from all that medical science mumbo jumbo) is regular exposure to the "Soft Kitty" song. And - hey - it can help you too.

"Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr"
Bookmark this page, and next time you are ill come back here and have Soft Kitty sung to you. No need to thank me. Really.

WARNING: Soft Kitty is only for people who are ill. Do not listen to Soft Kitty if you are not ill. Results may be unpredictable.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011


Football! Get a kick! Done a goal! Kicky kicky foul ref! It's the planet's favourite and full of actual FACTS. For eg:

1. Under new FIFA rules, any player sent off must look after the referee's guide dog for the rest of the match

2. Eighties New Rom band A Flock of Seagulls comprised the entire back four of the 1978 Brighton and Hove Albion squad. Despite being confirmed "Seagulls", they still managed to find fame after recruiting a former Crystal Palace reserve goalkeeper as their drummer

3. Ironically, A Flock of Seagulls frontman Mike Score never once scored in his entire Seagulls career

4. Much unkind press has been aimed at Tourette's sufferer and goalkeeper Tim Howard, but he knew what he was getting into when he signed for Manchester Fucking Twat Fuck United Cock in the first place

5. In an effort to make themselves more marketable on the internet, several teams are to change their name to appeal to the more savvy web user.
- Tottenham LOLspurs
- FAILchester United
- EPIC WINbledon

6. People who incorrectly refer to AC Milan as "AC" rather than "Milan" are doing themselves no favours at all, "AC" being Italian for "I'm a massive bellend and spend my weekends blowing goats"

7. Female? Don't understand the offisde law? Calm down and make me a cup of tea while I explain: Women are genetically pre-disposed to finding this most complex of Hawkingsian eleven-dimensional theories beyond their comprehension. The same genetic defect applies to the male understanding of the appeal of Sex and the City

8. Good news for David Beckham fans - Goldenballs himself has joined Twitter to give the world a peek at his take on the world of football. Unfortunately, his stream consists only of the words "Done a kick" and variations thereof

9. Coolio's classic rap anthem "C U When I Get There" describes an epic road trip to see his beloved West Ham United play Middlesbrough for a Tuesday night League Cup fixture, only to find the game called off due to a frozen pitch

10. Football teams named after drugs. Just say NO, kids!
- Crystal Meth Palace
- Crack-burn Rovers
- Heroinverness Calendonian
- Ecstasy City
- Bristol Rohypnol
Let's hear it for football!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Existential Crisis of the Solo Rail Traveller

I am on a train.

A train to nowhere, calling at Reading, Didcot Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads and Your Mum.

"We would like to apologise to passengers in Coach B," the train guard announces, "There is no Coach B on this service."

Well, that certainly taught me for travelling with Schroedinger Railways.

In fact, on most occasions, I buy tickets for Sigmund Freud Transport, but their train was stuck in a tunnel.

I am on a train. But am I?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


MEN! Always leave the toilet seat up when you finish your business, just in case the next person to use the toilet is another man.

Also, this gives vital relief to otherwise thirsty pets and/or small children; and gives equally vital seat-lowering exercise to any subsequent female toilet users.

This advice is particularly useful if you are taking advantage of the superior 'Enough room to swing several cats' facilities offered by the disabled cubicle.


LORRY DRIVERS! Make yourself pots of extra cash by following these simple instructions:

1. Set up a £2.00 per minute premium rate phone number terminating in the Cayman Islands.

2. Stick the number on the back of your truck with the words "How's my driving?"

3. Drive like a nobber


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


One thing led to another and we came to actual fisticuffs* over which is the best out of octopuses and squidses.

True, the squid wins on the number of legs (ten vs eight), but the octopus would triumph easily on intelligence. High IQ society MENSA has several octopus members, whilst squid are often invited to sit the entry exam, but spend hours outside the hall trying to push the door open when the sign clearly says "Pull".

This leads to the question: Who would win a fight between a squid and an octopus?

Clearly, the advantage is with the squid, managing ten boxing gloves to Inky's eight, but the octopus would be the only one smart enough to pull the old horseshoe-in-the-glove trick.

Academics are divided on the subject, with a letter in a recent edition of the scientific journal Nature from a noted zoologist and calimari lover saying "Who cares? They're all suckers."

The winner, of course, goes through to face the victor of Baboon vs Badger.

* sexy slang

Monday, December 12, 2011

You Are The Ref

Travelling on the London Underground during the morning rush hour, the passenger next to you is composing an email on his Blackberry device. Curious as to what and to whom he is writing, you discover that his phone is set to Comic Sans, The Font Of Champions.

Do you:

a) Do nothing. This clear mental aberration is none of your business

b) Stand up, point to the blasphemer and shout "COMIC SANS KLAXON!" at the top of your voice

c) All of b) but with added stamping on the offender's phone

d) Employ your ninja tracking skills to follow the Comic Sans Criminal throughout his day, noting his place of work, his circle of friends and - eventually - where he lives. Then, crap through his letterbox, it being the only language these curs understand
If you have answered d), you have passed the Royal Serious Comic Sans Crime Squad. Welcome to the team.

The Royal Serious Comic Sans Crime Squad: "Making Britain a safer place to live and work".

Ninja Edit, 13th December: Readers may be disappointed by the fact that the scientists at CERN are using The Font of Champions in their presentation on the discovery of the Higgs Boson.

However, I have been assured that it is a newly-discovered font called COMIC CERNS.

"And on this slide," said the CERN chief, "Next to the smily face wingding, is final proof of the Higgs Boson"

"Any questions?" the CERN supremo wraps up, "Click on the animated mail box on our [blink] new webpage [/blink]"

"I'm sorry," says one of the press pack at the CERN presentation, "I can't read your presentation. Can you stop it from scrolling? The bold pink text is hurting my eyes."

Friday, December 09, 2011

On the Great Patriotic Struggle of Kim Jong-Il and his Pyongyang United car coat

Kim Jong-Il, smooth devil that he is, has bought himself a new car coat from the club shop of his favourite football team: Pyongyang United, who have won the North Korean Soldier-Worker Juche Football League and Cup double for a record-breaking forty years in a row.

He likes it so much, all his mates have bought one as well.

And the ladies just can't keep their hands off Kim Jong-Il's Pyongyang United car coat.

And Kim Jong-Il and his Pyongyang United car coat just can't keep his eyes off the ladies.

In fact, the ladies like it so much, they wrote a song about it: "Oh Great Leader and Your Pyongyang United Car Coat, Its Thread Plucked By Patriotic One-Worth-One-Hundred-Enemy Soldier-Workers From the Slopes of Divine Mount Paektu, Our Hearts Explode Like Human Bomb As You Ran the Puppet Dogs from Seoul Wanderers"

It sounds much better in the original Korean.

But what - we asked - if you went down the pub, and everybody was wearing the same Pyongyang United car coat, but some people had FAR BETTER HATS. I'd flounce off in a huff, too.

Let's hear it for Kim Jong-Il and his Pyongyang United car coat!

Pictures from KCNA

Thursday, December 08, 2011

In which I knew that they were going to advertise a job on a psychic phone line

A wild job advert appears!

Psychic Telephone Reader: Hamilton

William O'Connor, renowned medium, is currently recruiting for Psychics based in the Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire areas for a new psychic telephone service. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MUST HAVE DEMONSTRABLE PSYCHIC ABILITIES. THIS IS A LEGITIMATE OPERATION AND SKILLS WILL BE ASSESSED BY WILLIAM O'CONNOR.

If you are successful you will not only have the ability to earn uncapped earnings, you will also be trained and mentored by William O'Connor, one of Scotland's top psychics as part of an ongoing support program [sic] ...

If you are interested please supply a cv or a summary of your psychic experience to (Apply now) or call (Apply now) as a first step in the process. Please note your details must specify your disciplines
Damn right I'm interested. In fact, I'm sending him my CV now - BY THE POWER OF MY MIND

*grasps temples*

Om! Ommm! OMMMMMMM!!!

Receive my CV, oh magnificent one


[receipt requested]


There. That's saved me a stamp.

Being a brilliant psychic myself, I know I'm not going to get the job, but a man's got to show willing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

My Ood Nightmare, and a nice poem

I am forced to write a letter to the council.

Dear Reading Borough Council, I write, Thanks for putting up a streetlight 18 inches from my bedroom window this week.

Although I never need to ever switch on a light to see what I'm doing, it poses a few problems on the whoe going-to-sleep front. Here is an actual, hardy photoshopped picture.

Get a grip, you nobbers.

Your pal

Albert O'Balsam
Then, on closer inspection, I see SOMETHING TERRIBLE. (Click to embiggen)

As you can see, I am being spied on by The Ood from Doctor Who, which poses a whole new set of problems, because nobody can go through life knowing a fictional alien races can see you in the nudd.

Can't sleep. Ood will eat me.

Ninja edit: Thanks to an exchange of emails with Reading Borough Council, the enigmatic Customer Service Adviser 10067 promises that the light will be fixed by the end of the week. In fact, me and 10067 got on so well, I wrote my nameless saviour a lovely poem:

To Customer Service Adviser 10067 at Reading Borough Council

Oh, Customer Service Adviser 10067
I'd like to - some day - take you to heaven
Because you showed me the light
When my room was too bright
Unless you are a bloke, then forget it. Not that there's anything wrong with that kind of thing. Also, something that rhymes with -even.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011



Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened the first window of my Cats Protection advent calendar the other day, to find an actual feral cat, who I have, despite his murderous nature, since named Fluffy.

The second day of December brought another equally furious ball of fur called Tiddles, with the promise of a further 22 cats, including an actual leopard behind the big window on Christmas Eve. I know. I peeked.

However, as the month wears on, I begin to wonder that unless each door is a portal to a parallel Cat-Space universe, it is highly likely that cats in the latter part of the month may actually come out - not to put too fine a point on the whole Christmas experience - in a state of deadness.

One cannot tell if this is Schroedinger's Advent Calendar or not. Frankly, a dead leopard is not going to be on any child's Christmas list, unless they have plans to grow up to be a serial killer.

Ninja edit: Behind today's window was a large, well-fed dog. I can't help thinking I might have bought a factory second.

Also, my 'Save The Whale' advent calendar's beginning to whiff a bit, and I don't think juices should be coming out this early in the Festive Season.

Monday, December 05, 2011



One Mohamad Abdul Rahaman has sent me an email via a Yahoo email address:

Subject: Compliments of the day to you,

Hello ,

Compliments of the day to you, I am Mr Mohamad Razaly Abdul Rahaman, I’m sending this brief letter to solicit your partnership to transfer the sum of $19.5million US Dollars. I shall send you more information and procedures when I receive a positive response from you. Please respond to the following email:

Best Regards,

Mr. Mohamad Razaly Abdul Rahaman.
I get dozens of these emails, and 99 times out of 100, they go straight in the trash. But something about this one irked me: It's lazy, there's no effort, no attempt even to draw me into his little web of greed and despair.

In short, he's annoyed me. I reply:

Dear Mohamad,

Thank you for your email and your interesting offer, viz 19.5m US dollars.

I'd like to say I'm interested, but frankly, where's the backstory? It's almost as if you haven't bothered, and this laziness, my friend, will be your downfall. Every online crim worth his salt is banging out emails saying they're officials from Libya's Oil Ministry and are trying to get their funds out of the country now that Gaddafi's been knocked on the head. And frankly, you don't even give me that.

Where's the urgency? Where's the pulled heart-strings? Where's the link to an almost plausible news story? Where's the appeal to my sense of charity and its evil twin brother that is greed? Nowhere, that's where. FAIL, my friend, FAIL.

Write it again, and I expect your reply on my desk by end of school today. No excuses.

Your new best pal

Albert O'Balsam
He does not reply.

Sunday, December 04, 2011



Of course, I'll be blacking out Shaggy and Scoob's eyes. Don't want to drag innocent parties into this debacle.

Friday, December 02, 2011




They're like the internet, only they're made out of paper and ink and glue and stuff, and live on shelves instead of Google. Let's hear it for books!

Some facts about books, which are excellent:

1. All Penguin books are written by actual fish-guzzling penguins, otherwise falling (oh-ho!) "fowl" of the Trades Description Act

2. Salman Rushdie was initially published by Penguin, until the awful revelation that he was a fish

3. The world's best-seling book is - of course- The Bible. However, the sequel "Jesus: My Life in Pictures" soon found itself in the remainder bins

4. Coming soon: Dan Brown's The Rembrandt Puzzle, in which Tom Hanks saves the world from an evil religious sect by solving a number of mind-bendingly simple puzzles, or something

5. JK Rowling is to make her literary comeback with an original and hard-hitting series of adult novels set in a university, where all the students have magical powers. And the Professor from the Faculty of Dark Arts is possessed by one Lord V. Oldemort.

6. Russia's greatest literary work, War and Peas by Leo Tolstoy tells the epic tale of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, set in the restricted confines of a vegetable farm

7. The world's best-selling horror book for children is The Very Hungry Human Caterpillar

8. Shakespeare initially tried his hand as a science-fiction writer, and only turned to the theatre after "Space Hamlet" was turned down by all the major publishers

8.5 Any book can be made 125% better by adding the words "in space" to the title, and setting it in space. For eg: Germaine Greer's feminist classic The Female Eunuch in Space.

9. George Orwell also changed genres to find fame, and original and extremely rare editions of his "Nineteen Eighty Porn" can still be found by collectors

10. Romantic author Barbara Cartland earned a few bob on the side writing the instructions in the popular Haynes Manuals. A signed, first edition of 'Ford Escort 1974-79: Complete strip-down and re-build' can command up to £500

10.5 This is because - due to a printer's error - the book featured a complete strip-down and re-build of Barbara Cartland. Niche market.

11. Terry Pratchett's first attempt at fantasy writing was Dick World - the tale of an entire society living on the back of Richard Nixon's head. However, an accident with a cream cake changed a couple of letters, and the rest - as they say - is history

You might wish to read more FACTS about BOOKS courtesy of those BOOK-loving scamps at the Waterstones Oxford Street Branch. MORE BOOK FACTS

Books, everybody! Let's hear it for books!

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Yes, that time of year again, when an expensive-looking Christmas card with a none-too-discrete charity logo comes through your letterbox. And out of the card falls that folded sheet of paper that you dread: The smug Christmas Round Robin Letter from those distant relatives that makes them look like they are living the life of Riley.

Dad's been promoted. Mum's running the school committee, and Tabitha and Tarquin are already on their way to the top of the Young Conservatives. These people should been fed to baboons, the baboons sand-blasted to death, and the remains displayed in the Tate Modern, being the only language these curs understand.

Luckily for the rest of you,I'm not in much of a position to write a smug Christmas Round Robin letter this year, so I thought I'd just send out the highlights of the letters I've already received.

Ayman Al-Zawahiri: "Then they made me the head of Al-Qaeda, which was nice."

Mu'ammar Gaddafi: "Spent an amazing year travelling, the research for my upcoming book "Great water pipes of Northern Libya" is really coming along. Sayf Al-Islam watching the fort back home!!!"

James Murdoch: "I have no recollection of doing anything at all in 2011, or any other year for that matter"

Kim Jong-Il
(Pre-death, the inconsiderate git): "My lad Kim Jong-Un's come on leaps and bounds since I made him the Minister of Bacon Production back in March. I can't tell you how proud I am to see his lovely, round beaming face of the morning as he tests the latest output from the P'yongyang No.1 Worker-Soldier Pig Farm Collective. The servants look so emaciated these days, despite their hearty choruses of 'We will utterly destroy the US-backed puppet regime, our hearts burning with desire for the Great Leader and his Military First policy of self-determination!'"

Ryan Giggs
: "Then we won another game and I shagged ****** ****** and we won another game and I shagged ****** ****** and then we won another game and I shagged ****** ****** then had a big fight with my brother then we won another game and I shagged..."

David Cameron: "And then Samantha went roller-skating with some poor people and didn't fall over at all, and she came home and we laughed and laughed and laughed over the quails' eggs because it proved we really are all in this together. Went to Tuscany for hols, leaving Nick in charge. Took the plug off the photocopier just in case he got any ideas."

Lady Gaga: "Looking forward to moving into my new mansion made entirely out of meat, just as soon as my people have killed it"

God: "Looked downstairs, people still worshipping me despite all the wars, earthquakes and destruction I send. What a bunch of mugs!!!! My lad Jesus keeps asking me about that "second coming" gap year trip I keep promising, Mary and I might actually let him go next year, providing he does something useful with it, such as a bit of Old Testament smiting. Shame I wiped all the Midianites, he might have to take on the Welsh instead."
Yeah, that's nailed it.