Friday, May 31, 2013

In which North Korea unveils a terrifying new weapon

And that secret weapon is CLOSE HARMONY SINGING GROUPS

But who are the current pop faves in North Korea these days? And what are they singing?
  • Kim Il-Sonny Boy
  • Jong Direction
  • Kim Jong Un-break my Heart
  • The Stone Roses: Songun for my Sugar Spun Sister
  • Sandy Shaw: Seoul-based US Puppet Stooges on a String
  • Juche-stin Bieber
  • Sacred Mount Paektu-lips from Amsterdam
  • Run DMZ
  • Chitty Chitty Pyongyang
With thanks to my excellent colleagues No Good Boyo and Col N M E Adthy-Gates for their shockingly puntastic contributions

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Smug Jesus

Jesus said: "My Father's house has many rooms"

The poor bloke's always being mis-quoted, and this one that's a firm funeral favourite is no exception.

The full quote - which changes things completely - is this:

"My Father's house has many rooms - he bought it from David and Victoria when they moved to LA.

"You really ought to come round for brunch and see it - the kitchen's been in Hello! magazine."

Smug git

(I realise this is my second Jesus post this week. Sorry Jesus.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rubbish Clocks

There I was, sat in a major high street jewellers trying on wedding rings for the forthcoming nuptials, my attention was dragged away from the job in hand by a collection of the worst taste timepieces I have ever seen in my life.

And I've seen a few.

Twee little bells and cherubs, flashing LEDs, and - of course - the on-the-hour performance, which drives the poor people in the shop up the wall and to the brink of murder.

People, I am led to believe, actually buy these things and PUT THEM IN THEIR HOMES.

I want one.

Just checking out the cost and... OH MY BUGGERY! They're Four Hundred of your Earth Pounds, All Capitalised.

The one above is called "Petals and Pixies". And of course you want to see another one don't you?This is "Melodies in Motion Ballroom Dancers"

Like a fairy tale: GRIMM.

Apologies for the poor grammar and use of random capitals. The shock of this discovery has left me quite unable to type properly.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jesus - Your Disciples Are RUBBISH

As a deity-curious atheist, I've done my fair part of Bible study. In fact, there was a time in my youth (probably because the parents wanted us out of the house for a couple of hours) that I went to Sunday School every week for a bit of churching up.

But now I'm older and more cynical, I've got one or two issues with the so-called Good Book.

Never mind all the contradictions and instructions on genocide, my big problem is with all-round nice guy Jesus and his pals.

And it's this:

One thing that's always bugged me about the Feeding Of The Five Thousand. All of Jesus' mates were fishermen, so how come they only had two fish between them?

Rubbish. Utter RUBBISH.

I also direct the jury toward Our Lord and Saviour's job title of "Shepherd".  You would have thought the sheep would have got a bit of a mention, wouldn't you?

Poor show all round.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Weekend Video: Alison Moyet - Changeling

So, why didn't the internet tell me that Alison Moyet's got a new album out?

And why didn't the internet tell me that it is excellent?

Thanks for nothing, internet.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The joys of parenting

So, I made this terrible mistake: I accidentally went to Asda in Farnborough at 4 o'clock on a Friday afternoon, where every parent in the district takes tired kids shopping before the weekend rush.

Hell is not the word for it.

Lost among the little cherubs running amok on a sugar rush gleaned from breaking into packaging before reaching the checkout, and mums screaming "COURTNEY! GET ERE YOU LITTLE SHIT!", I hear this charming exchange:

There's a small child seated in a trolley, packets of nutrition-free calories already piled on top of him, engaged in a shouted conversation with his father. Mum tries to flee, but she cannot.

Kid: You're a retard

Dad: No, mummy's a retard

Kid: Daddy's a retard

Dad: NO! Mummy's a retard! AND THAT'S THE LAST WORD

Kid (sotto voce): ...retard...

Poor mummy.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On meerkats. And bottoms. But mostly meerkats

Another of those catalogues you get in magazines, aimed squarely at the granny market and containing whole pages of items solving problems you didn't know existed.

And for £25 of your Earth Pounds comes this charming little statue of three meerkats reading a book, because twenty-five quid is the going rate for anthropomorphasised garden oranaments.

But wait a minute... That little chap at the front doesn't seem to be concentrating on the page. What could it possibly be that has caught his attention?

Is it some sort of meerkat predator, like an eagle or a hyena?

Has that annoying bastard Aleksandr Orlov come over the hill yelling "Simples!" to anybody who still gives a flying one?

Or is it David Bloody Attenborough again with another film crew?

Let's look.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A bush that looks like Mario Balotelli


Or Sloth from The Goonies. Your mileage may vary.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Day Out in Basingstoke

To the Transport Festival in Basingstoke – bustling south-central metropolis that brought the world Liz Hurley, Burberry and ...err.. some other famous stuff in Basingstoke.

We arrived in this little beauty, a supremely rare Austin Seven Speedy. And I can tell you what it's like driving in one of these things on a beautiful sunny morning: Bloody freezing.

However, it wasn't terribly wrong before things took a turn for the weird.

I spy with my little eye something beginning with bollocks.

Then, once the kid's been suffocated, you beat the hell out of it with the cricket bats provided.

And with little else to do, the locals dressed a meerkat up as Lawrence of Arabia, then lynched the bastard.

It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

Then it rained and we went home. What's it like to ride the Speedy in the rain? Wet and bloody freezing.

Monday, May 20, 2013

On Short Term Memory ...Err... Thingy

I've joined the gym.

I've paid out forty of your Earth pounds for the privelege of using torture equipment so that - one day - I won't be a fat bastard.

For those of you with a gym contract, that's forty quid for the year. The. Year.

My gym is the work place gym, and my place of work is excellent.

So, I'm still keen, and only just getting to grips how dull twenty minutes on an exercise bike can be.

However, this is not the point of this post. Oh no, it is about short-term memory loss, for one of my trips to the gym resulted in this: woe.

Twenty minutes on the bike. Half a mile on the rowing machine, some half-hearted posing with the weights and I was done.

Then, showered, dressed, and leave.

I was halfway to the car with my gym kit in my Co-op shopping bag when I got the sneaking feeling that I had forgotten something.

It was only when I  went to put my hand in my pocket for my keys that I realised what it was.

For there was no pocket.


I was in public, in my place of work, sans pantaloons. Shoes, but no trousers.


Then I didn't wake up and my pillow wasn't gone BECAUSE IT WAS ACTUALLY REAL.

The end.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weekend Video: Daft Punk - Get Lucky

Holy crap - new album Random Access Memories is out on Monday.

You have my permission to get vaguely excited.

And while I have your vaguely excited attention, you may sometimes find me here writing for the esteemed chaps Socked Journal

Friday, May 17, 2013

On early mornings and having nice legs

BAD JOKE ALERT: The first sign of Madness is Suggs walking up your drive.

This is a lie. I am not mad, and we've got a communal car park.

However, I have to question my own sanity when driving to work for the early-early-early shift. That's the one that means I have to get up at 5am to make the office at 0630. Let me tell you something - you never feel more alive at that time in the morning.

Unfortunately, the early starts are not good for the brain, and you eventually end up having conversations with yourself. It was during one of these in-car exchanges with myself that I caught myself saying the following:

"I've got nice legs."

I don't even know what the context of this outburst was and why I told myself I have nice legs. I caught myself saying -for no reason at all - that I have nice legs.

But it's true. My legs are excellent.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Who knows where lost things go?

I was heading for a meeting the last Thursday, when something familiar caught my eye on top of the small stationery cupboards at work.

Bang! Only my bicicycle repair kit wrapped in a Soviet hammer and sickle, lost a good five years previously.

It being Victory Day in Russia, a celebration of the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, I can only see this as a sign from Josef Stalin himself.

Or somebody just found a bundle of rags and left it on top of a cupboard.


*Thank shit you're dead Joe Stalin

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You know it's time to change doctor when...

You know it's time to change doctor when...

  • You go along to the surgery with a long standing foot injury, and you don't even get your shoe off in the consultation

  • When you wait two weeks for an appointment and you're back in reception within two minutes wandering why Dr Spaceman has a revolving door on his consulting room, asking yourself if he even actually listened

But most of all...

  • Getting the locum, who asks "Did Dr Spaceman give you the result of your blood test?"

"Yes he did, he gave me the all clear"

She sighs, and points to the rash of bold red text on her computer screen.

"So he didn't tell you that your cholesterol is sky high and you're a borderline diabetic?"

No, he had not.

Goodbye Dr Spaceman, slowly coasting your way to retirement. Hello low fat diet and fitness regime.

And Dr Masood, I think I love you. In a purely professional manner, of course.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Conspiracy Theories and Chemtrails, Again

Apropos of last week's piece about conspiracy theories and the kind of nut-laden fruitcake who thinks passenger airliners are spraying us with mind-control drugs, reader Paul sends me this photograph which proves EVERYTHING:

Not only are chemtrails real, but they appear to be the work of Gandalf.

Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (All hail His Noodly Appendage)

Or an owl.


Monday, May 13, 2013

In praise of Crimer Show

In the entire history of the internet, there has never been anything quite as ridiculous, mystifying and downright hilarious as Crimer Show.

For those of you that don't have the Twitters, Crimer Show is a blow-by-badly-spelled-blow account of a TV cop prgramme, in which exactly one criminal (the eponymous Crimer) pits his wits against exactly one detective (The forever on the edge of a nervous breakdown Detetcive).

In his own words: "Im do crimes . Crimeing. Detetcive cant stopme."

Crimer is coole, has an endless supply of sunglasies, is pubil enemy numper 1, and has a habit of talking directly to camera

 Detetcive, on the other hand, faints at the drop of a hat, has terbil draems, and is addicted to melk, which comes out of cows. He is not coole and say "CrimERRRR!" a lot

Chief says "Heckit!" a lot.

Pupey says "Wuf"

VOISEOVER: This is true.

You're right. Crimer Show makes no sense at all out of context, but put it all together it makes perfect sense. It is every TV cop show and police action movie you've ever seen, written by somebody with only the merest graps of the English language. All it's missing is Detetcive's ageing partner just one week away from retiring and that would be a complete set of cliches.

The work of Irish comic writer @AstonishingSod, Crimer started as a show-within-a-show for his already cult FrientsShow feed. The difference between the two being that you need some knowledge of Friends for it to make sense. Everybody, on the other hand, knows where Crimer is coming from and understands Detetcive's slide into insanity. Read this stuff long enough and you'd probably join him.

Mr A Sod has now gone out and expanded the franchise. Fans of angsty west cost comedy can now follow @FrasserShow wit the Frasser, Kniles, Mortoin, Dampy, Razz an Edy

Crimer Show certainly needs to be celebrated. While Jane won't let us have a Crimer-themed wedding later this year, I am already pressing the local authorities to change the name of the venue for us. What was once Heckfield WILL become Heckit-field by the end of the year, even if we have to (puts on sunglasses) DO CRIMES

VOISEOVER: This is true.

If you don't have the Twitters, every Eppasod is available on the Crimer Show website

Alternatively, just type the words "I don't get it" in the comments and agree to be mocked.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Weekend Video: Introducing the Moranbong Band

Want to see North Korea's top music act, the all-girl Moranbong Band perform the theme from Rocky? Why, of course you do.

Just wait until you see the full horror of the Moranbong Band Foreign Songs Medley.

ROCK. And ROLL. This is all Kim Jong-Un's idea, by the way.

Yeah, that's one brain I owe you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Words That You Should Never Trust

So, I fell into discussing my morning drive to work with a neighbour who has a similar commute.

I really ought to know better, but I accidentally took him to his word when he said the fateful words: "Oh, you go that way, do you? I know a short cut."

His words still ringing in my ears as I approached the fork in the road between tried-and-tested-slow-but-it-gets-you-there and "I know a short cut", I went against every single fibre of my instinct and took the short cut.

I say "short cut", but I actually mean "forty-five minutes of my life I won't see again", for I have never been stuck in a traffic jam on a country lane until that morning, as the whole world and their dog tried this alleged short cut.

On the plus side, I got to write a blog post in my head as I waited to pull out at the distant mini roundabout.

You're reading it.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Two Minutes' Hate: People who wear onesies in public

Not terribly long ago one major supermarket caused a few ripples by banning shoppers who turn up wearing their pyjamas.

Fair play to them. If you can't be arsed to get dressed, you shouldn't be allowed out in public. And that includes driving your offspring to school and kicking them out of the car at the school gate. Every other bugger's got clothes - why not you?

However, the recent trend for onesies - one-piece zip-up suits popularised by the orange-faced Satans at The Only Way Is Essex* means that this ban should not only be widened to include all public places, but should be enforced by fatal force if need be.

Now, I'm not advocating lynch mobs going out and stringing up some onesie-wearing buffoon who made a fatal error of judgement by deciding to hang around the shopping precinct in what is essentially novelty nightwear. That's a job for the forces of law and order, who are able to open fire once a reasonable number of warnings** have been issued.

But when your sanity is shaken to the core by running into an entire family of Onesies in the Fleet branch of Waitrose, some of whom being actual adults who ought to have known better, you know it is time to write to your MP.

People who wear onesies in public: They're fucking pyjamas. Get dressed you slobs.

* Sometimes I miss poor, dead Jade Goody. Whatever her faults, she would have wiped the floor with these TOWIE and Made in Chelsea dullards

** One warning, mumbled, from at least two miles away

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

On Conspiracy Theories and Chemtrails

I'm a huge fan of conspiracy theories.

Not because I'm into them or anything, but for the sheer lunacy and brass-necked ignorance that drives the believer onward in their certain knowledge that somewhere, somehow, THE MAN is out to get them.

Why, yes, I've got favourites, and they are a never-ending source of glee as very committed and (sometimes) otherwise intelligent people tie themselves in knots over whether George Bush organised 9/11. Here's a truth, Truthers: George Bush couldn't organise a toddler's birthday party, let alone stage a terrorist attack that killed thousands without leaving any evidence whatsoever.

And that's where conspiracy theories fall over: Shit happens. Princesses die in car crashes, bad people set off bombs, men walked on the moon, and - believe it or not - aircraft contrails are just water vapour.

I've only just discovered that the "Chemtrails" conspiracy theory is An Actual Thing. According to tinfoil hat-wearing maniacs, THE MAN keeps humanity obedient by spraying us with mind-controlling drugs released from aircraft at altitude.

Other chemtrail truthers claim it's all a US plot to poison us all with toxic metals all in the name of profit. I've even seen petitions on the internet about them (because if there's one way to tell THE MAN you're really on their tail, it's through a petition signed by yourself and 29 others). All use long, scary words like "geo-engineering" because THE MAN is trying to change the planet and he doesn't care if you live or die.

Even though THE MAN is also poisoning himself while doing it.

Damn you, logic.

For your delight, here's an actual quote:

"The planes that do this always seem to be entirely white, they do not follow the normal flight paths of most commercial airliners, if this is some sort of geo-engineering then surely the population of Earth have a right to know just what is going on exactly. This is only a modern phenomenon, I have always been the outdoor type and can definitely confirm that the skies were never like this 20 or more years ago. Please, please will someone find some answers to this apparent spraying. An angry and concerned citizen of this planet."

White planes? Whatever next.  Ah yes - Black Helicopters.


Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Making online supermarket shopping more fun and possibly dangerous

Online supermarket shopping's a bit sterile.

Point and click. Point and click.

What supermarkets need to do is to make their online shopping experience more like the real thing. For example, have your view of the produce blocked by a sharp-elbowed granny pushing in front of you, and your concentration broken by random bursts of small children throwing a tantrum.

My big idea is this: A "Rummage through the Reduced To Clear Shelf" button, in which the online shopping drone uses their skill and judgement to bring you something at random from the short-dated products.

It brings excitement, it brings the unexpected, and - in the case of meat products - a massive element of danger.

And then I realise they do this anyway - that's why they have comedy substitutions where you get a packet of panty liners when they've run out of cake.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Album Review - Public Service Broadcasting: Inform Educate Entertain

In a year that has already brought us superb new music from Bowie, Suede, and ...err... OMD, and with the promise of Daft Punk yet to come, I don't think I've been more excited by an album release than that of corduroy-clad geniuses Public Service Broadcasting.

The slightly less fashionable but bang-on-the-money descendants of Paul Hardcastle, they take public information films from the archives and nail them together in such a way as to be excellent. And have they succeeded? Why, yes. Yes they have.

PSB are the insanely talented duo of J. Willgoose Esq. on guitar, banjo, things with big flashing lights on the front; and drummer Wrigglesworth who sometimes also plays things with big flashing lights on the front. Having exhausted the first Wrigglesworth, the band are now on Wrigglesworth II, and I fear for his safety. However, from what I hear coming out of my radiogram (or, measured in British Imperial, my Radio 0.04oz) the sacrifice of Wrigglesworth I was entirely worth the cost in blood and entrails.

ROYGBIV – an exploration of the arrival of colour television through over-excited American newsreels – was a fine debut that brought the delights of the banjo back into public discourse; followed up by the breakthrough War Room EP that featured the very fine Spitfire. These were just mere appetisers for an album that delights, excites, and other superlatives to complex for my tiny mind.

Despite the wonders of ROYGBIV and Spitfire, my particular favourite is the understated "Lit Up", based on the BBC's ill-fated radio transmission from the Spithead Review in 1937 where commentator Thomas Woodrooffe had enjoyed the liquid refreshments provided by friends on HMS Nelson rather too freely before taking to the microphone. The result is a delightful track, and a warning to the otherwise sober 2012 Queen's Jubilee River Pageant that was hideously ignored.

FACT! The three-note motif in Lit Up is based on the BBC World Service pre-broadcast interval signal that allowed listeners to tune into its signal. Those of us who have worked in public service broadcasting know them as "C's", complete with the unwanted apostrophe on the control panel that we could do nothing about. The rhythm was specifically designed to sound like a sung "B B C". The interval signal also comes in a second flavour: V's.

If there's one criticism to make – and it's a tiny one – it's wondering where the duo can take the project from these lofty heights. A friend likens Inform Educate Entertain's endless cascade of delights as living on birthday cake made entirely out of icing. Utterly wonderful, but there'll come a day when you just want cake. To this, I say "Pshaw!" – enjoy the wonder now, PSB know where they're heading, and it's toward a brave new world were corduroy trousers, crumpled jackets and bow ties are king.

 Inform Educate Entertain is possibly the most unique release of the year from a unique recording group. Buy, beg, borrow or steal* (5/5)

* Don't steal. Stealing is bad, m'kay?

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Weekend Video: The Stranglers - Duchess

I'm a dope. I only just found out that it was "Rodneys" that were queueing up, God forbid. Makes total sense now.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Two minutes' hate: PULL THEM UP!

Driving past the skate park in Fleet, I see a grown man not only standing with his BMX bike (already officially the worst thing in the world), but also wearing his trousers a la Justin Bieber, with his arse hanging out.

Unable to contain my fury against this affront to everything in the entire road, I leaned out of the window of my sleek, stylish Nissan Micra and gave him both barrels:


Then, I was immediately stuck in the queue for the traffic lights while Arse-out-of-his-trousers-BMX-man looked at me with foul intent.

I presume his lack of action could only be explained by an inability to waddle over in my direction without his trousers reaching his ankles.

Men who wear their arses out of their trousers: PULL THEM UP

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Choco Pie vs vs Duck (Scary) vs Kim Jong Un

The other week, we ran a story on our work Facebook page about Choco Pie, and its pivotal position in the North Korean economy.

Choco Pie is rather like the Wagon Wheel much loved of football ground snack bars and school lunch boxes in this country. Originally from the Us, they've become outrageously popular in Russia and the Far East.

They are sent in their thousands to workers in the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a sprawl of factories straddling the border between North and South Korea that gives the North vital hard currency and South corporations access to dirt cheap labour. Workers from the North take home £42 per month, but also a handful of Choco Pies in their daily lunch boxes which sell for up to £4 each on the North Korean black market.

Choco Pie inflation, reportedly led to factory go-slows as workers discovered the joys of capitalism and demanded ever more quantities of cake. However, that's all gone down the pan after the North's nuclear stand-off led to a spectacular cutting-of-the-nose-to-spite-your-face by Kim Jong Un, who ordered the Kaesong complex closed, losing an already impoverished Pyongyang millions in much-needed trade. The move also cost the thousands of Kaesong workers their jobs and cut off their access to their vital Chocco Pie supply.

So, we did what any bloated western capitalist would: We bought some off Ebay from a nice chap in Bradford. After a lunch-break unveiling, let's see what they're like:


No, really, they're small.
Small. When it grows up it's going to be a Wagon Wheel.

Actually, when it grows up and goes a bit stale and crunchier, it's going to be a Wagon Wheel.

If any North Korean factory workers or black marketeers read this: I've got Choco Pie. In the light of the current shortage, yours for a tenner. Each.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

As Seen on TV

So, we bought some doggie nail clippers in the 99p Store, at the eye-watering price of 99p.

They must be good, because they are AS SEEN ON TV

That's AS SEEN ON TV (in some countries)

But which ones? Are they good countries with fully-evolved infomercial rackets like America, Germany and Britain?

Or are they shit countries like North Korea, Eritrea and a small roped-off area next door to Russia with not enough vowels?

And we're done.