Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Fan of Fawlty Towers?

Constantly surprised that Britain's funniest Torquay-based comedy wasn't actually filmed in Torquay?

In the London area?

Have a car that deserves a damn good thrashing?

Why not try here?

The good people of Mentmore Close in Harrow would like to point out that while they have plentiful suppplies of tree branches, if you are planning to give your car a Damn Good Thrashing, please bring your own.


Here is a picture of the location taken THIS VERY MORNING by reader Ian Pearse to prove the area hasn't been wiped out in a firey nuclear inferno.

Note that if Fawlty tried the same stunt these days, he'd back into a bollard. It's Health and Safety GONE MAD ON ACID, people!


The voting for the UK's Funniest Blog competition closes at midnight tonight.

I am a finalist.

The winner gets nice things.

Please go HERE to vote.

Thanking you.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Awful Truth about the Reverse Cowgirl

"You DO know," asked Jane, "Why there are so many Westerns in libraries?"

No, I did not know, but before us stood a shelf full of cowboy fiction stretching off into the middle distance.

"Go on," she urged, "open a book at random."

And I do, grabbing a title called something along the lines of "Encounter at Silver Gulch", and the book flopped open to a well-fingered and suspiciously dog-earred page.

Brett ripped off his dusty waistcoat and leered dangerously at the naked figure of She-Who-Breaks-Like-The-Wind, his forbidden love of the Lakotah tribe. Before they knew it they were...
And again: Seven Riders in Dodge City

"Oh Quaid! She simpered, her naked breasts rising and falling, must you really ride out tonight?" Quaid ripped off his dusty waistcoat, and before they knew it...
And yet again, it being a wonder that they ever actually got round to doing any Cowboy stuff back in the Earlies: Cowboy Humpers III - The Adventure of the Rusty Sheriff's Badge

"Oh, Emmy-Jane, said Buddy, "You use your tongue purdier that a two-bit whore." Emmy-Jane was delighted, as the most she had ever charged a man was one bit, and she squirmed with excitement as Buddy ripped off his dusty waistcoat, and before they knew it...
And so on down the shelf, well past the large-print editions which were much the same only louder and battered beyond belief. All except Brokeback, which sat there, unloved and unread.

Behind us, the men in long, stained overcoats waited. Waited to make their move. Waited for High Noon. Waited for High Noon at Fleet Library. And for us to get out of the way of their free smut, obviously.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Commenting on a random blog post, I encountered a bit of trouble with the old Captcha word verification wossname.

Not sure if it was a quiz question or not, I answered as best I could.


"Hey, Scary," I was asked, "Where did you get that picture of the owl from Friday's post?"


No owls were punched until an egg came out in the production of this movie.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

On not visiting World of Birds

"Where are we going tomorrow?" I ask, the weather forecasters telling us it will be a reasonably pleasant day, "I thought we could go to World of Birds."

World of Birds is nearby, and may be - oh-ho! - "cheep". So, we look it up on the internet.

"Oh," says my beloved, "it looks like it's £14 to get in. Each."

"Fourteen of the Queen's Pounds?!" I say, incredulous, "Fourteen Pounds? Each? I'd fully expect to be able to punch an owl for that money. Punch it until an egg came out."

"And it looks like owl-punching-until-an-egg-comes-out is an extra twenty notes."

"The bloody crooks. Any online reviews of this place?"

She looks. She nods. She reads.

"Yeah... it turns out they're not even owls. Just chickens in owl masks."

"The bastards."

We do not go to World of Birds.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Mmm... noodles. Tasty, tasty noodles.

We all like noodles (unless they come in a tub and the word "noodle" is preceded by the word "pot" and suffixed by the phrase "Bombay Bad Boy", and features an ingredient list that reads "fear, loathing and the restless souls of the dead") because they are tasty gorgeous.

But wait a moment, turn the packet on the side and...

WHAT? They're called WHAT?

Noodles are off.

Somebody put the kettle on and get me a Bombay Bad Boy. At least I know what's in them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Please help me restore my faith in democracy and win me an iPad

Hot poop!

In fact: Hot hairy poop!

I have been nominated by those charming people at The Dog's Doodahs for their Funniest Blog in the UK competition, the winner of which gets the right to herd commuters across Waterloo Bridge, and an iPad. But honestly, it's the Waterloo Bridge thing I really want.

Please go HERE to vote.

And remember: Whoever comes out on top, laughter will be the winner. But I'd better win.


Two sets of FACTS in two days? Why, you are spoiling us!

Ross Kemp. TV actor. Personality. Hard as nails, and now star of the Ross Kemp Folds website. But what do we know about this most enigmatic of celebrities? Where are the Ross Kemp FACTS? Here, that's where:

Famed for his bald head, Ross was actually named after hirsuite artist Bob Ross. Brave Ross hides his heartache after an accident with a bicycle pump when he was a baby (see picture)

TV hardman Ross Kemp is double-jointed and the "Ross Kemp Folds" website comprises 100% untouched photographs

Sky TV still haven't aired the controversial 'Ross Kemp on Gangs' episode where he infiltrates Mumsnet

Ross's greatest regret in life is failing the audition for Right Said Fred. He's "Deeply Dippy" about them!!!

Ross has already been lined up as the next Doctor Who, writers hoping his "SHUT IT, DAVROS" catchphrase will catch on

According to Who's Who, Ross Kemp lists his hobbies as "Telling people to 'Shut It, Slag', and origami"

Ross denies accusations that he ever punched an owl until an egg came out, despite a procession of owls with Kemp-shaped faces

Ross played both Grant Mitchell and Ethel's 'Little Willy' in EastEnders. Clever writing meant they never appeared together

Kemp fell out with EastEnders producers after his list of demands for the Grant Mitchell character fell on deaf ears. "Get a washing machine", "Find a job outside Walford", "Have a relationship with someone who doesn't live in the same street as Grant" and "Start an Open University Social Sciences course" were all dismissed as "ludicrous"

Ross Kemp was eventually written out of EastEnders in 1999 after it emerged his Grant Mitchell character was not Millennium Bug compliant

Rumours that Kemp has mellowed in recent years have been dismissed, despite the airing of his new reality show 'Ross Kemp in Centre Parcs'
TV's ROSS KEMP, everybody!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Some more FACTS about SCIENCE

I bloody love SCIENCE, me. And if there's anything I like more than SCIENCE, it's FACTS.

So, it is only logical that I give you some FACTS about SCIENCE.

FACTS about SCIENCE, everybody!

- The human brain is made of two hemispheres. One sweet, the other sour

- Despite being half sweet, half sour, it's the human brain's cerebral cortex that gives the celebrated 'spicy' flavour

- After the discovery of the Higgs Boson sub-atomic particle, scientists are now able to move their research onto more pressing subjects, such as producing Licorice Allsorts without that horrible jelly one

- Also, an effective hangover cure

- Embarrassingly for Creationists, those people who are of the opinion that the Universe was created by God in the year 4,004BC, the earliest fossil of a Creationist is 10,000 years old, 4,000 years before they say the Earth was formed

- Those "Science of Pantene" TV adverts condensed for the hard of thinking: "It's soap that makes your hair clean"

- If you take a homeopath, dilute them, shake, dilute them, shake, dilute them, shake, dilute them, shake, dilute them, shake, dilute them, shake, dilute them, shake, dilute them, and shake, they'll drown

- Thanks to the wonders of the internet and hand-held communications devices, scientists have managed to make a Stupid Particle travel around the world in less than one second. Normal people are able to repeat this experiment simply by typing the words "Justin Bieber" into any popular search engine

- Seventeenth century diarist Samuel Pepys unwittingly invented the internet by sending rats down a series of tubes to his acquaintances carrying messages tied to their tails. Alas, he also propagated the first internet virus, when the rodents gave half of London the plague

Monday, January 23, 2012


So, I hear you ask, what's Supreme Leader of the Songun Revolution Kim Jong-Un been up to this week? And I reply: THIS....

Kim's been playing guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly and the Spiders from Mars, and he played it left hand. Young Kim's days as lead singer of North Korean pop sensations Jong Direction standing him in good stead.

And, wherever he goes, Kim finds that he'll always be mobbed by adoring Jong Direction fans.

(Alternative caption: Kim auditions actors for the starring role in his new film: Brokeback Mount Paektu)

Then, it's time for lunch, and Kim is so hungry, he'll eat an entire dolphin on toast. This is why he's wearing the shoplifting coat again.

Sadly for Kim, the store detectives are on to him. It's a fair cop, guv! Better luck next time, you light-fingered cove!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekend Video: The Wedding Present - Crawl

"There were some things I had to do / Say that I can and I'll kill you."

If there's any killing to be done, it might be Coldplay for the heinous theft of a bass rift

Friday, January 20, 2012

HOW THINGS ARE CONNECTED by S. Duck B.Sc (Hons) Social Sciences

Unless you are a banker, the world financial collapse which was caused by bankers has led to many, many bad things.

Amongst these is the lack of money going into households all over the country, meaning people having to rein in activities that they once took for granted.

One of these activities was Weymouth Wildcats speedway, which bit the dust for a number of reasons, chief amongst these being declining crowds, forced to stay in on a Friday night instead of watching their brakeless heroes going round and round and round on a cinder track, clutching their speedway clipboards to their chests.

With nobody in Weymouth watching speedway, local demand for clipboards plummeted to zero, taking the only independent stationery shop to the wall, plus a local bespoke clipboard company that employed several dozen people.

And with the stationery shop and the bespoke clipboard company gone, there was nobody left to provide bespoke clipboards to their other main customer: Bankers, who were forced to eat their own children in order to survive.

Bankers: You have brought this calamity on yourselves.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

A short list of things that are like Jesus, or the other way round

Jesus, I have been told by somebody of a God-bothering nature, is like a set of car keys.

"How has this clumsy simile come to pass?", I hear you ask.

Jesus is like a set of car keys because - I have been told - they help make your way through life.

"Ah-ha!" I replied to the God Botherer, "Driving a car is purely a lifestyle choice, and I may decide to use a bicicyle instead."

"Tits," said the God Botherer, realising that the game is up.

"And if I was really desperate to drive a car, I might just hot-wire one."


However, I am not entirely mean-spirited. I decided to give up several seconds of my time - WHICH I SHALL NEVER SEE AGAIN - and give God Botherer a short list of things which Jesus may be like.

Jesus, if you need him to help you through life (and you never know), may be like:

- Marmite

- Vibrating Cock-Rings

- That band you really liked before they became famous and sold out to corporate culture

- The A329(M) motorway between Reading and Bracknell

- Darth Vader (post killing TO DEATH redemption)

- Standing on one leg for as long as you can, then trying to break that record

- "Jebus"
He does not thank me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Saving the World on the Great Wikipedia Strike Day

It is 18th January, and Wikipedia is closing down today to protest against the proposed SOPA and PIPA laws in the United States which will suppress internet freedoms. If you let stupid people and corporations write law, this is the inevitable end point.

So, no Wikipedia.

Several things will therefore happen:

1. Parents will be forced to interact with their children as millions of voices around the world scream out "DAD! Wikipedia's down - do my homework for me!"

2. Journalists will have to cut-and-paste stories from somewhere else, which means actually having to get out and do some actual research
Both these things being the case, it is websites such as this one - alternative repositories of ACTUAL 100 PER CENT TRUE FACTS - which will bear the responsibility of keeping the world ticking over while Wikipedia goes dark. It is a responsibility I grab with both hands.

- Facts about Books

- Facts about Science

- Facts about Cheese

- Whole bally shedloads of FACTS

And because I'm earnest in my mission, here are a few few FACTS about Wikipedia

FACT: Wikipedia gets its name from the fact that founder Jimmy Wales was a keen cricketer in his youth, and was none happier when he was catching the ball behind the stumps. Literally: Wickie-paedia

FACT: "Jimmy Wales" doesn't actually exist, being just the name given to the cloud consciousness comprising some 3,006,400 Wikipedia editors - the exact population of Wales

FACT: Building up week-by-week, you can buy Wikipedia as a partwork magazine from your local newsagent, whilst simultaneously building a life-sized model of Jimmy Wales. This week: Aardvark-ABBA, plus Jimmy Wales's beard
Glad to have been of service.

Also, I got around the block by printing off the whole of Wikipedia yesterday, so if there's anything you need to know, just ask. Double-sided to save paper, because I'm not a mental or anything.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On building a new Royal Yacht for Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

In the wake of government minister Michael Gove's proposal to build a new Royal Yacht for Her Majesty the Queen to mark the Diamond Jubilee comes a certain amount of chest thumping regarding the cost. "Why," people ask, "Should the taxpayer be footing the £60m bill at a time when we are all tightening our belts in the face of unprecedented cuts to public services etc etc drone drone?

"Also,come to think of it, Her Maj isn't exactly short of a few bob herself, and let's face up to the fact that she hasn't exactly missed the old Britannia since it was laid up all those years ago, despite having to find a new location for a secret base for her SPECTRE operations.

"Why should we pay for it? Eh? EH?"

But these Moaning Minnies - or, as we like to call them, "TRAITORS" - are missing the point. We should be building a really really big ship for our head of state, because building really really big ships is what made this country great in the first place. That, and killing loads of foreign Johnnies who complained that they were there first with a civilisation going back thousands of years, and didn't need "civilising", thank you.

Also, we don't want the Queen to be sad and run amok with a Klingon bat'leth and have us all killed, or something

Build a ship we CAN and MUST do, before handing it over to a privileged elite to use as a play-thing. That is - you must realise - the BRITISH WAY.

Of course, we haven't got £60m to spare, but that is just the starting price, because nothing we ever build as a nation comes out on time and on budget these days. So, we must think of other ways to carry this project forward. And that's where one of my Facebook chums comes in. Build the ship we must - but out of good stout Danish British LEGO, supervised by a good, stout James May who has a proven track record in this sort of thing.

The trouble being that brand new Lego blocks are - along with gold and the mouthwash they use at private dental practices - among the most expensive substances in the world, and Gove's projected £60m would be small beer if the new Royal Yacht were put together out of the contents of a Toys R Us warehouse. And that's where YOU come in, reader.

If every citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were to donate one Lego brick each, we'd have well over 60m bricks and be well on the way to building our yacht. If every loyal citizen in the fifty-five nations comprising the British Commonwealth were also to chip in, we'd have a massive 2.1bn bricks, most of which fitting together in some sort of sense. It would be the work of mere days for TV's James May and a band of willing Scouts and Guides to build Her Majesty a new plastic palace which would be the envy of the civilised world.

Granted, some of these bricks may have been extracted from the orifices of small children, down the toilet or in the recent stools of a beloved dead dog. We will accept these bricks too (if suitably marked), and they will be reserved for the yacht's grand banqueting hall.

Get looking NOW, people! We can make this thing happen* and the Queen won't be sad, run amok with a Klingon bat'leth and have us all killed, or something.

Please send your bricks to:

James May
The "You Don't Know About It Yet But You're Building The Queen A New Royal Yacht Out Of Lego And We're Thinking Of Calling It HMS Pippa Middleton's Rear End Or Bottom" Project
Top Gear
Who says the internet is nothing but a talking shop? Look at us - getting things DONE**.

*If we leave it to other people to make this thing happen
**If we leave it to other people to get things done

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gone but not forgotten - the Little Chef of All Our Hearts

Here's my latest Huffington Post Comedy blog, on the ordeals of poor, dead Antony Worrall Thompson.

It is one of the moments in my life of which I am least proud: The time I spectacularly failed to recognise celebrity chef and cheese-lifter Anthony Worrall Thompson.

Ushered into the presence of a small bearded man who smelled of fresh veg, I greeted him much like the Queen might address one of her subjects: "So, what do you do?"

His reply was short, to the point, and that of a man who does not suffer fools gladly: "I'm a CHEF."

"Oh. Are you any good?"

Imagine, if you will, a very small volcanic eruption, and you will have some idea of the following minutes. Things, looking back, could have gone better.

If it was this obvious snub that drove Antony Worrall Thompson to a life of crime, turning like a trainee Sith Lord to the Dark Side, the antithesis of Wallace and Grommit's cheese-flavoured Jedis, then I can only apologise. For this was not the first time that my own less-than-acceptable behaviour drove a celebrity off the rails, and I humbly draw the jury's attention to an unfortunate mooning incident in 1988 involving Keith Chegwin.

A bad week for diminutive people in the catering industry then got worse with the news that roadside restaurant group Little Chef is to close dozens of its outlets with the loss of over 500 ...err... little chefs.

Large-scale job-losses are, of course, no laughing matter, but it illustrates the sad state of affairs in which a nation on the move changes its tastes from roadside restaurants to roadside fast food outlets; and in these trying financial times to its cheaper relation that is roadside road kill. For who hasn't, driving home after a long day at the coal-face, pulled over at the side of a country road for a quick nibble on a badger? And that, I am afraid, is why Little Chef is unable to keep up with the nation's demands for fresh, no-frills flesh.

The nearest Little Chef to me closed some ten years ago, rendering the A33 between Reading and Basingstoke entirely devoid of all-day fried breakfasts. In fact, not only did it close, but the entire building disappeared overnight, possibly ripped into an inter-dimensional void, much like the final scene in the film Poltergeist. The site has remained empty - apart from a folorn public phone box - for the best part of a decade, haunted by the cursed souls of the dead wailing "How much?!" and finding themselves quite unable to leave.

Little Chef, and its erstwhile cousin Happy Eater - it must be said - suffered what can only be described as an image problem. Such a problem, in fact, that Happy Eater customers decided that they were perfectly happy eating somewhere else; while Little Chef eventually followed the lead made by the police, and dropped their height requirement for kitchen staff. A sad end to the icons that made Britain what it is today: Slightly round, and stuck in a car.

As far as I know, Mr Worrall Thompson (who I now recognise to be a 100 per cent gold-plated proper chef of some repute) has never worked for Little Chef, and I would imagine he would come for me, cleaver in hand, should I even go so far as to even suggest such a slur.

Now, as any seasoned news-watcher will tell you, these things come in threes, and we are still one short. All we need now is for "Supersonic" Syd Little to perish in a bizarre cheese grater accident and the week's Miniature Kitchen Trifecta will be complete. Mark my words, get your death pool bets on now.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I repeat: Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un on a melon-farming horse.

I don't know about you, but I don't think much of the TV adverts on North Korean television.

Kim Jong-un gets into tank. Different tank blows things up. Kim Jong-un gets out of tank, looks at things.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekend Video: Human League - The Black Hit of Space

And seeing as we are dealing with YouTube here, I draw you attention to a derp-worthy comment: "this is about Katy perry." Herp AND Derp.

And just to make my older readers feel old: This song is now 32 years old, but still not as old as 1978's Being Boiled

Friday, January 13, 2012


A story with WORDS and PICTURES.

This week, Kim Jong-un (Dress: Casual, big black shoplifter coat left at the dry cleaners) dropped in on the Meat Shop in Pyongyang's Hero Street. Sadly, nobody hold told him they haven't finished building the Meat Shop in Hero Street and there is NO PIE. There will be NO PIE for quite some time.

NO PIE makes Kim Jong-un sad.

Happily, Kim Jong-un - in his role as Supreme Leader, has plans. Plans that involve pie containing the meat of at least one named animal. Thanks to the wise guidance of the Young Generalissimo of the Songun Revolution, days of NO PIE will end, and the Yankee Imperialists and the warmonger puppet clique in Seoul will gasp in wonder at Kim's juicy Juche Pie.

To make up for the lack of pie, they took Kim Jong-un to Pyongyang Model Village. But things there are not going exactly as hoped after Kim's plans (written on the back of a napkin at the People's Sacred Mount Paektu 1950s Diner) were misinterpreted by bungling builders, whose short-term future will involve addressing a local NO PIE shortage.

And things got worse when they tried to explain the entire "Model Village" concept to the Big Guy. Did Father Ted die in vain?

(Seasoned North Korea watchers will be intrigued to see a model of the Ryugyong Hotel in the background - recently dubbed the ugliest building in the world by CNN - which is only just appearing in official photographs after construction that had taken over 20 years.)

And things got even worserer when somebody mentioned THAT FILM.

Luckily... The bell went and it was playtime. Kim Jong-un likes playtime, Yellow Power Ranger and GODZILLA.

More Kim action as it happens.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On the appropriate use of Comic Sans

"What's that?" I hear you say, "The appropriate use of Comic Sans? APPROPRIATE?

"How can there ever be an appropritate use of Comic Sans, the font of champions?"

And I reply: "HERE"

"WE ARE CLOSED", and long may that state of affairs remain.

My case rests.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ten bands to look out for in 2012

A few bands you might wish to look out for in the coming year.

1. The Zombie Minogues. Neither Aussie, nor called Minogue, but a jangly four-piece from Leeds. The "Spicy Brains" on their gig rider is a joke that's going to wear very thin very soon, though

2. The Sa Turd Ays. Started off as a Saturdays tribute act, now a Genesis tribute act

3. Bigfoot and the Groincrushers. Eternal triers in the world of popular music. Will Bigfoot and the lads finally emerge from the shadows and hit the charts at last in 2012? Answer: No

4. The Spooners. They're grucking fate.

5. Spandau Balotelli. Half new romantic, half barking mad Italian footballer. Already letting off fireworks in hotel bathrooms the length of the country.

6. Jong Direction. Winners of the North Korean version of The X Factor, lead singer Kim Jong Un bravely carrying on as a solo act after the untimely deaths of Kim Jong Ron, Kim Jong Steve, Kim Jong Harry and Kim Jong Ringo in bizarre identical IKEA coffee table accidents

7. Voldemort'z Trouserz. Post-ironic art rockers, look out for their forthcoming album "Music whose name cannot be mentioned", 45 minutes of complete silence. Huge in the London glossy magazines

8. Retweet. Band whose lyrics are entirely comprised of postings lifted from social networking site Twitter. "RT this if you read it and thought of Justin Bieber" going large on commercial radio

9. Speednob. Previously Badly Drawn Penis until Badly Drawn Boy's legals got involved. Now in trouble with American hair-rockers REO Speednob's legals

10. Mein Strassenbahnhaltestelle is volle Hunden. Known to their fans as the "Canine Tramstops", this electronic four-piece from Munich is tearing up the bier kellars of Europe with their hard-edged sound. Lead singer Gary Hitler ("Yes, I AM related") heading for major stardom on the back of their debut album "Herp Derp a Herp-a-Derp", a telling commentary on the 2012 US presidential election campaign
I fully expect this list to be at least as successful as any put out my the mainstream music and culture press (For eg, not successful at all)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Final incontrovertible proof that THERE IS NO GOD

A Tale of Mirth and Woe

Saturday morning, ten o'clock, and like any normal person I am still in bed.

And - of course - the doorbell rings. Then, it rings again, for they are most insistent.

Ensuring there is no embarrassing morning wood, I answer the door to what is - I must confess - a vision of loveliness. All tight, white T-shirt, tight blue jeans, and the face of an angel.

"Yeah?" I manage, impressing her not.

"I wonder," she said in the kind of voice that would bring an entire civilisation to its knees, "If you have welcomed our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into your life."

"Buh?" I say, still waking from a nightmare in which the hottest woman on the planet is trying to recruit me into the Jehovah's Witnesses.

"If you haven't been saved by the love of Our Lord," she purred, "You will surely burn in Hell for all eternity."

I like to think that - at that moment - she ran one perfect hand across her breast and down to her thigh.


"Here," she said, handing me a perfumed leaflet showing a number of hot Jehovah's Witnesses in a number of scantily-clad poses, "Take a leaflet. Might I bring a friend later so we can discuss this in more relaxed surroundings?"

I slammed the door in her face, and left the temptress to her own devices.

And then, minutes later, from the flat across the hall, came the unmistakable sound of consenting adults having a deeply religious experience.

Final incontrovertible proof that THERE IS NO GOD.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Scaryduck, The Boy, and the Rite of Passage

The day after Boxing Day, I am with The Boy in Reading town centre, a large wedge of Christmas cash burning a hole in his pocket.

We pop into Game, where - with a chinful of bum-fluff - he is not asked his age as he buys Battlefield 3. Then, he drops the bombshell:

"Dad, I need to buy some shoes."

"Wait... you have to buy WHAT?"

"Shoes. Is there a sports shop near here?"

Thank fuckery for that - I thought he wanted to buy sensible shoes.

"And another thing dad. Can you wait outside? This is one Test of Actual Manhood I want to take alone."

I wait outside, whilst inside the dread portal of Sports Direct, my boy is becoming a man as he searches out a pair of velcro trainers that can also pass for shoes. My boy. Doing man shopping. I am so proud.

But I wait.

And I wait.

And he returns.

There are no shoes.

"Son, I am disappoint."

"Yeah, I saw a pair I liked. But mum can buy them for me tomorrow."


We went to Sainsbury's and bought a pint of milk and a potato.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Weekend Video: Ellen Friedberger - My Mistakes

In which your author delves further down the rabbit hole of female singer-songwritering.

See also: Ellen Friedberger - I won't fall apart on you tonight

Mmmm.... fried burger...

And while you're here - Here's my latest Huffington Post Comedy blog, which may sound like it's about football, but isn't really:

Thierry Henry, and the Philosophy of Never Going Back

"Never go back," they say, and I should know. After all, I made the dreadful mistake of going back to a previous employer, only to find that they'd upped the security and changed the combination on the safe. Also, nobody told me about the fat sweaty copper on the security desk having a gastric band, and he got up quite a decent turn of speed as I fled, my sack marked "SWAG" flapping in the wind behind me. Six hideous, terrifying miles I thought would never end.

Read the rest of this work of genius HERE

Friday, January 06, 2012

"There's nothing wrong with Reading, there's always the streets"

I have noted on these pages in the past how the local authorities around my current home town of Reading have a knack of giving inappropriate celebrity names to its streets. Some kind-hearted citizen may suggest a tribute to a famous resident, and somehow the planning committee throws their weight behind the first dead-end street that comes to hand.

Hence, Ayrton Senna Close, named after the legendary racing driver who lived in the town. All well and good, except for the speed bumps.

Then there's Winslet Place, named after Oscar-winning actress and accidental bosom-touchee Kate Winslet, which might have been a charming tribute to one of the town's movie greats, had they not knocked down a cinema to build it.

And now I discover The Bader Way in Woodley named after the famous World War II airman Douglas Bader.

"Ah-ha!" I hear you say, "What's so inappropriate about that? It sounds to me like a rather touching tribute to one of the nation's great warriors, marking his links to the famous Woodley Aerodrome."

And that's as maybe, until you consider the following: It was at Woodley Aerodrome in 1931 where Bader attempted a bit of ill-advised stunt-flying on a bit of a dare from his chums. The resulting crash resulted in him losing both of his legs. Hardly the kind of reminder you want every time you're heading from Woodley to the M4 motorway.

[Discussing this turn of events, Mr No Good Boyo tells me he always thought Reach for the Sky was perhaps not the best name for Group Captain Bader's life story, on account of the fact that he had a couple of feet further to reach. Mr No Good Boyo is a Bad man]

Heaven knows what they're going to do with Ricky Gervais, but there's a new housing estate going up on the local sewage works.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

2012: A year that will go down in infamy, if we live that long

Those jolly nice chaps at The Huffington Post asked if I would like to write a column for their comedy section, and I - of course - agreed. No money involved, but a chance to get out there doing teh funnay for proper grown-ups. So, here's my first published piece, a look ahead to what the coming year has in store.

2012: A year that will go down in infamy, if we live that long

I have just returned from the Post Office, where I witnessed with my own eyes a gentleman renewing the tax disc for his car whilst wearing trainers with toes on them. Trainers, with toes, looking like some sort of horrific human-reptilian hybrid. Now, I am certain that there is a legitimate sporting excuse for wearing trainers with toes in this second decade of the 21st Century, but popping down to a Post Office-cum-chemist shop is certainly not one of them, unless he was also going on to purchase powder for his reptile mutation problem. Whatever his excuse, my faith in this nation has been shaken to the very core.

But my undoubted conclusion from this experience is this: If this is a vision of life in Britain in the year 2012, then I want no part of this bold, dangerous future.

So, what, then does 2012 hold for us all? Obviously, we are already 12 years into the future and we still haven't got jet packs and monkey butlers, but I am willing to forgive the world of science for these hideous oversights if they come up with some way of skipping the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. Because, frankly, if I'm not invited to light the flame, I'm not interested.

I exaggerate. In actual fact, I am so excited about the Olympics, I may actually vomit on the Japanese Olympic sailors who have already set up digs on my street, and/or the Russian team who are darting around the Asda multi-storey car park in a van that once belonged to Scooby Doo and chums. However, the Rules of 2012 insist that I maintain an air of Charlie Brooker-esque cynicism, as this is entirely expected of columnists writing in this Third Millennium. In fact, new rules just come into effect mean that any article relating to the 2012 Games must also contain the word "Olympricks". And thussly, my quota is fulfilled.

Science has made brave strides in the last year or so in the field of time travel, but unless they happen to get their time machine working very soon, I fear - if 2011 is anything to go by - I shall be swept up in Diamond Jubilee madness, waving a small plastic flag on The Mall, welling up with tears for Her Majesty, God bless her. In other royal news, we can expect either a full-on media frenzy and unwanted parental advice should the former Kate Middleton fall pregnant; or a full-on media frenzy and unwanted you're-doing-it-wrong advice should the former Kate Middleton fail to fall pregnant. The stories are already written, as it happens, possibly by Paul Burrell. That is how things work in the news industry these days.

While we're waiting for the Royal happy event, we might as well resign ourselves to the knowledge that one of Edinburgh Zoo's pandas will probably fall pregnant first. Which will be a bit of a puzzler when it's revealed that they've actually been sent two females. Meanwhile, in the enclosure next door, there is a very smug-looking penguin sending a panda outfit back to a local fancy dress shop with a note of thanks. Mark my words, this can and will happen.

And while our collective heads are turned by the year-long festivities, the recession will bite harder on the High Street. As more and more well-known chains bite the dust, our shopping streets will become nothing but endless branches of Tesco Express, charity shops, plastic pubs and - of course - 99p discount stores.

And therein lies the rub. As soon as one 99p discount store opens, as sure as eggs, a 98p store will open next door, offering a double-the-difference money back guarantee, and the price war begins. Within two weeks, all that is left is a 3p discount store offering nothing but shattered dreams and used sawdust, which will then become a Tesco Express. Or a branch of Greggs, also offering shattered dreams and used sawdust*.

And then, on 21st December, the world's going to end. Not with a bang, but with a Mayan language title card saying "Th-th-that's all folks!" Still, you've got to laugh, eh?

* This is a lie. Greggs offer tasty, tasty baked foods with absolutely no sawdust in them, used or otherwise.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Christmas comes and goes, and contemplating the last slice of my Terry's Chocolate Orange, a thought strikes me.

Dear Terry's Chocolate,

Please hurry up and invent the Terry's Chocolate Banana. It'll be ACES.

Your pal,

Albert O'Balsam

PS Don't even think about the Terry's Chocolate Apple. Expunge the very thought of it from your mind.
The Terry's Chocolate Banana, the idea gift for any girlfriend, in milk, plain and - naturally - white chocolate, with a four-piece ready-to-peel wrapper. And like the real thing, a curse on any person who dares to store it in the fridge.

Health warnings:

1. Do not eat it whole on the bus

2. Men may like to look away when it gets smacked onto the table to separate the slices
Next week: A plea to Cadbury's for Dairy Milk with Bacon

Some people came up with LOLs for this. In particular: @lavieordinaire. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

North Korea Watch: The war against the Pyongyang United car coat has begun

Poor, dead Kim Jong-il. Hardly cold in the ground, and his feckless son Kim Jong-un is already unraveling his legacy.

As dedicated DPRK-watchers will already know, the Dear Leader spent the final months of his life promoting the use of the Pyongyang United car coat - light, convenient outer wear that looks good, but can be worn in the car without unsightly rumpling and discomfort.

That well-practiced catalogue pose, in that superb coat and those oh-so-comfortable stay-pressed trousers that you can only get from advertisements in the back of the Radio Times. All gone, in the blink of an eye as "The Birdy Song" plays to mourners at his funeral service.

But what's this we see? A man who shops at the Pyongyang Branch of High and Mighty. Cuts his own hair. The sartorial elegance of the deceased Dear Leader has been replaced by someone who salutes like he's watched far too many bad Hollywood war movies.

In fact, the backlash against the Pyongyang United car coat has been so great in the younger Kim's early public appearances, that the new Leader - a confirmed fan of United's local rivals Pyongyang City - has banned them altogether, on pain of ACTUAL death.

But why the big shoplifter coat? Is it - as analysts speculate - because it has voluminous inner pockets, just handy in case he happens to pass a buffet?

Don't let him near the buffet! DON'T LET HIM NEAR THE BUFFET!

Yes. That'll be it, then.

We shall, of course, be keeping you up-to-date with the adventures of the Supreme Leader, right up until firey nuclear apocalypse engulfs the Korean Peninsula, when it won't be funny any more.

Genuine North Korea Watch blog HERE. It's very good, if you're into that sort of thing.

Monday, January 02, 2012


Not just any old meeting - an all-staff seminar. Same old result, though.

"...and we're calling the launch date of this project 'Year Zero'."

"Strictly speaking," says a strained voice from the back, "Shouldn't that be 'Year One'? I don't see how you can equate the success or failure of this project with the work of Pol Pot."

Nobody likes a smart arse.

"You've got a point - he's done NOTHING since Britain's Got Talent. But, alas, the decision has been made. It's Year Zero. Only with less deaths."

"Fewer. Fewer deaths."

"If you insist. Fewer deaths."

"How many fewer?"

*** SPANG! ***

"Just the one for now. Any further questions?"

There are no further questions.

Sunday, January 01, 2012


New Year's Resolution: Offend as many people as I possibly can. Also: Don't be a Dick. The two, alas, may be mutually exclusive.