It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Forgotten Teletubby

Most people with children of a certain age, or who occasionally listen to Jerry Falwell, are familiar with the Teletubbies. The Teletubbies are well known, cherubic products of the BBC - most likely the marketing department - who are always looking for something to top the massive Dr. Who and Ab/Fab sales.

The Teletubbies are known for their childlike behavior, their fondness for "tubby-toast," their ability to show videos on the screens embedded in their profoundly round guts (they are prime candidates for the British Health Services programs on juvenile obesity), and their intellectual resemblance to members of Parliament.

They are designed to be inoffensive, charming, and sickeningly-sweet characters who appeal to our children and all others who are mentally below the age of 10. One of three isn't bad I suppose.

The Teletubbies have triggered the occasional controversy. Tinky Winky is purple, sports a triangle antenna, and carries a handbag, which some people have suggested means he is a gay character. This is silly to anyone who realizes that not only are infant-like characters incapable of identifying with any kind of sexual orientation, but also that Tinky Winky was played in the programme by none other than Russell Crowe. In fact, Tinky Winky was frequently known to beat the otherTeletubbies with a phone if they interrupted his dates with Hollywood starlets. He kept the phone in the bag.

Dipsy also created a bit of a stir when people wondered whether his antenna was phallic in nature, or was a sneaky BBC attempt to give viewers the American version of the old two-fingered salute, the American version using the one very tall finger. However, this controversy was limited to our DOUI offices, and came to a close when Nuffy claimed that Dipsy was played by Mark Northover, and that the antenna was merely a projection of the large pole they used to keep the top half of the Dipsy costume from flopping over onto Mark and killing him outright.

Meanwhile, the other two well-known teletubbies, Laa Laa and Po, are almost completely without controversy, being the cute simpletons that they are.

However, it has come to my attention, that there was a fifth Teletubby, who appeared in the early BBC pilots for the programme, before he was sacked for making repeated advances of an "adult" nature to Po, Laa Laa, Dipsy, Tinky Winky, the director, the producer, the entire cast of Coupling, BBC Director Generals Sir John Birt and Greg Dyke, and HM Queen Elizabeth II. Also, this particular Teletubby reportedly showed up blotto on the set repeatedly, smelling of Glenfiddich, Watney's Red Barrel, and Brut (the aftershave, not champagne), and also was frequently found in the BBC halls without his "tubby-loincloth."

The name of this diseased, lecherous, alcoholic, dope-sniffing, Royal-propositioning imp?

Scum Scum.

Here is a picture of this consumptive, inveterate rascal from the original pilot of Teletubbies. Fortunately, they were able to talk him out of wearing the swastika armband, but his Hitler mustache is still plainly visible.


Scum Scum's story is a tragic, foul, desperate, and admittedly entertaining one. His rise was dramatically rapid, like the spread of venereal disease in a hippie commune. His fall was equally messy.

He was hired the day he arrived at the BBC's Television Centre in White City in 1994 to audition to play a puddle of gangrene in an episode of Coronation Street, which was a terrible shame as that programme is on ITV. However, he proved so talented at the audition that he was immediately typecast as runny, diseased effluent for the next few years.

He appeared on several programmes, including One Foot in the Grave (as a pustulent boil on Nick Swainey's bum), Only Fools and Horses (as a pustulent scab on Triggers' elbow), Harry Enfield and Chums (A walk on as pond scum), EastEnders (as DS Dougie Slade), and Match of the Day (as a pustulent bruise on Ryan Giggs' shin in a match against Leeds United).

The single-minded programmers of the Beeb could not keep Scum Scum down though, despite his propensity for lounging in the rubbish bins of the BBC Television Centre. Soon, he was tackling bigger parts: A giant jellyfish on The BBC 10 O'Clock News, a bit of aubergine on University Challenge and The Shadow Minister for Agriculture during Prime Minister's Question Time.

Finally, in 1997, his big break came when the BBC Children's department announced they were creating a series called Teletubbies. Scum Scum's naturally soft physique and his inability to properly form words (due to extensive tequila-inflicted brain damage) made him a perfect choice for a part... almost.

Teletubbies creator Anne Wood describes the situation thus in her memoirs, Mental: Life of a Teletubby Groupie:

"It was the second day of shooting the pilot, and already Scum Scum had shown himself to be quite different by biting the heads off of several of the rabbits we kept on set, and also by asking Po if she wanted to go away for the weekend to Shepard's Bush. At first we thought it was a bid for more attention, but he explained that he merely liked the taste of rabbit's blood and Po, who is red, reminded him of it. Also, he said that Shepard's Bush was a euphemism.

Andrew (Davenport - the programme's co-creator) told Scum Scum to lay off the rabbits and Po, but Scum Scum simply redirected his efforts toward other little mind games, such as publicly "watering the flowers", repeatedly hitting Dipsy on the head "for six" with a cricket bat, doing inappropriate thrusting dances when the local Ladies Auxilary visited, making prank phone calls to the Prime Minister, and surreptitiously changing out the kids' video segments with outtakes from Basic Instinct."

Clearly, Scum Scum was out of control.

The BBC Executive Office in Charge of Straightening Out Delinquent Juvenile Characters with Very Naughty Habits were sent to deal with Scum Scum but had to recuse themselves when they discovered that Scum Scum was in fact 57 years old. They were replaced by the BBC Executive Office in Charge of Straightening Out Middle-Aged Lechers, who were famous for their spectacular lack of success with Benny Hill, which occurred in part because he didn't work for the BBC at all.

The BBCEOCSOMAL immediately went to work, entering Scum Scum into therapy and issuing press releases linking Scum Scum romantically to Diana Rigg and Olivia Newton-John. Scum Scum was sent to Britain's finest psychiatrists and counselors, all of whom shortly thereafter developed some very interesting lesions.

After two months of intensive therapy, in which Scum Scum's self-esteem was carefully developed, his childhood carefully explored and analyzed, and his ravenous libido diminished through medication, he emerged back into society.

Two hours later he was arrested for lewdly propositioning the Junior Minister for Transport and his wife and beating their chauffeur with a Windsor Pan.

He got out on bail and returned to the set, only to find that the BBC had summarily dismissed him and replaced him with Clive Owen. When Owen didn't work out (and was replaced in succession by Tim Brooke-Taylor, Felicity Kendall, Christian Bale, and John Major), the BBC finally decided that four Teletubbies were enough and Scum Scum's career was in tatters, which admittedly matched his wardrobe.

He turned to the bottle after this dramatic setback. Unfortunately for Scum Scum, the bottle was empty, as he'd been drinking steadily since emerging from therapy, and had literally drained London and Surrey of alcoholic beverages. He then turned to drugs and briefly became involved in Scientology, which ended in scandal after he beat Tom Cruise and John Travolta with a life-sized statue of L. Ron Hubbard, after they referred to him as "a nasty Thetan."

While Scum Scum was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for this act, he failed to win, and his life spiralled further into a hell of tabloid rumours, Page 3 girls, car wrecks, shop openings with Lulu and Cliff Richards, tea parties with Sarah Ferguson and her gang of Weight Watchers toughs, celebrity episodes of The Weakest Link, and being stalked by Olivia Newton-John, who had become quite taken with the professions of love for her the BBC had released to the press.

His nadir came when he was accidentally mistaken for Dipsy at a Rod Stewart party in Glasgow. He was so shocked, he was unable even to commit an act of violence against the perpetrator -Fleetwood Mac guitarist and singer Lindsey Buckingham- and settled for urinating on Buckingham's Lamborghini and pointing out that Tusk was really crap.

He disappeared from public life afterwards. One rumour surfaced that he had his gender changed and was performing as Ashley Simpson. Another claimed that he was serving as President of Namibia and passed a law outlawing the Teletubbies -except Po- which made for some very unusual editing of the programme in Namibia. Yet another rumour claimed that he was the real killer O.J. Simpson is looking for and that his stint at the BBC was a ruse to escape detection.

None of these, with the possible exception of the Ashley Simpson rumour, is likely to be true. In fact, Scum Scum has more or less been a vagrant since his tragicomic fall from celebrity grace. People claim to have seen him from time to time in Trafalgar Square, trying to catch pigeons for food, or on Haymarket, panhandling for tickets to "Phantom." The most recent known photo of this wretched character revealed just how far he has fallen, which is the approximate distance from a wastebin to a sewer grating.

However, Scum Scum did leave his mark on society, and on several people biologically. He lived life unashamed and unafraid. Somewhere, he is out there wandering the streets, a ghostly reminder of the dark side of the blazing lights of success.

If you see him, run. He's a pretty nasty bloke when it comes down to it, and won't hesitate to do you for your money or a little entertainment if he's bored.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Post 1063

I am Mr. West Lile. Please be amused by my postings.

How many progammers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

None, that is a hardware problem.

I am Mr. West Lile.

NEwo form DOIU!!!!

It happenes to alllfo us. Our fingers type the words faster than the brain of the non-professional typist can correctly order them. Sometimes, such as in the case of the New York Times, the brain is not even used while typing the words. The first example causes undue delay because we have to correct the mispelled words before continuing with the article or post. The second apparently wins you Pulitzer Prizes, but I digress. The scientists in the DOUI laboratory have developed a proprietary system to correct these errors and make the blogging exprience more enjoyable.

In order to show how the system works we will now switch it on for the first time. *click*

Now, while the artificial intelligence warms up I will begin by giving the system a few excercises.

Te rian in Sapin fals manily on the plian.

*******(suggested replacement: The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.)

Ah, see how the software has recognized the mistakes and presents a possible solution. Just click on the solution and it becomes your text. Remarkable. Let's try another one.

Fuor sceore ad seevn yaers aog.

*******(suggested replacement: For anal sores yearning for salve.)

Hmmm, maybe a few tweaks are still needed but you get the idea. Anyway, the boys down in the laboratory can have any problems straightened out in no time.

*******(suggested replacement: Hmmm, maybe I don't want to be straightened out. I'm scared Stew Miller, please save me.)

Well, that's odd. I better just shut this thing down for now... OUCH! Got a little shock through the keyboard there. Thsi is raelyl knd of frakeing me uot now.

*******(suggested replacement: Mr. West Lile)

What is that supposed to mean, MR. WEST LILE? If we rearrange the letters it... spells... Stew Miller. You don't mean... AAAGGHH!!!!!!

Hello, I am Mr. West Lile, funny man. Obey me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Mystery of the Castrati...

...may soon be revealed as Italian scientists have exhumed the body of the legendary Farinelli, that most famous of Italian castrati. The scientists wanted to study Farinelli's body to learn more about what created the high, powerful, yet eerie voice of these sought after singers.

They could have discovered all this if they'd read Farinelli's autobiography, where on page 37 it clearly says, "Stavo camminando a casa dalla scuola quando ero undici ed ho ottenuto il funzionamento sopra in vagone della pasta e gli ha preso le mie polpette con! Da allora, canto come una donna grande con gas. Quello ed io ritengono come la torretta di inclinzione di Piza, dopo che cada sopra!"

Which translates as:

"I was walking home from school when I was eleven and I got run over by a pasta wagon and it took my meatballs with it! Ever since then, I sing like a big woman with gas. That, and I feel like the leaning tower of Piza, after she fall over!."

So, the real mystery is whether these Italian scientists are idiots, mental, or simply have a thing for musically-inclined dead eunuchs?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Stop the Presses!!! Urgent Bulletin...

...Amanda Congdon has left the video blog Rocketboom!

All right, I confess; I don't know who the hell she is either.

Apparently though 300,000 people downloaded her videoblog a day, which is 299,990 more than view this site on a regular basis. If someone had just told me the numbers and I hadn't read the article I would have guessed that the daily broadcast involved her removing key articles of her clothing and being physically accosted by overstimulated fraternity brothers, or whatever they do on those kinds of sites.

Not only that, but this Rocketboom thingy is apparently so popular that it got Congdon representation from noted Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, and a guest shot on CSI:Crime Scene Investigation (so-named because if it was just called "CSI" people might think it meant something like "Colonoscopic Survey Interogation" - because it sounds just like the kind of acronym you mind hear at a proctologists office...or so I'm told).

If you ask me, this is terribly unfair. We pride ourselves on the careful and artful writing of our pieces, and consider our work to be of the highest quality one can find on such a silly blog. Yet, I've never so much as appeared on the local news in the background of one those crime scene shots where several people stand around and see who can make the most ridculous face on camera, while the coroner wheels the corpse out on a guerney. It isn't as though I haven't tried.

Stew of course made an appearance on a live episode of the Drew Carey show once, reportedly frightening Colin Mochrie so much that he lost most of his hair.

Nuffy has made several apperances in the work of our own (missing) Jorge Carlito Viejo, usually as a piece of furniture or a small muffin.

However, do a so-so video blog for a couple of years - not much longer than the lifespan of this blog - and all of sudden Hollywood is crawling all over you like Billy Bob Thornton in an Oscar-bound limo. Does quality count for nothing in this age? Is that all that people want from entertainment in this world, three-minutes of laughs and a bit of virtual tail?

Of course it is. Who am I kidding?

Congdon says she'll be doing something with video-blogging in it as she wouldn't want to leave that behind. After all, she has been doing that for a whole 2 years now!

Anyway, the only person feeling lower than me about this whole sordid corruption is the founder of the Rocketboom thingy, Andrew Michael Baron. He gave Congdon her start in the medium, and has been left out to dry as she saunters off to Hollywood looking for her star to rise. "I'm really nervous about the transition, " the AP article quotes him as confessing.

(I'm guessing they're not looking for a 40-something, slightly paunchy male with a peculiar accent. Think Colin Mochrie, only with a full head of hair and minus the incredible dancing ability.)

Don't feel so bad though mate. I give her two failed sitcom pilots and a GAP ad before she'll be begging to lick Jared's boots in a bloomin' Subway commercial. A year from now you'll have to file a restraining order to keep her from begging you for a second chance.

...That or you might get her to wave back at you from the red carpet at the People's Choice Awards.

Update: Joanne Colan is the new host of Rocketboom. She has a nice Southern Regional English (that's British) accent. CSI should be calling anyday now Joanne. Tell them you won't do any of those kinds of scenes the way Amanda did.

Death, Misery, Pain, Fear, and Sorrow!!! Tickets available NOW!!!

Ah, the joy of losing appendages, oxygen deprivation, and cheating the grim reaper! No, it's not a party at Mark Northover's house, I'm talking about the exciting world of scaling Mt. Everest. Hi, I'm Stew Miller of The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas and we want to help you experience what few others have had a chance to encounter. Until recently, only semi-knowledgeable climbers and their Sherpa helpers have been able to chance fate by climbing Everest. Now we at DOUI would like to offer this exciting adventure to you the common man at a much reduced rate over those expensive, more well-equipped alternatives.

We did the research and the numbers are simply staggering. Did you realize that 99.999976% of the population has NEVER attempted to climb Mt. Everest? WOW!!!!! I'lll say that again, WOW!!! Further results from surveys we've commissioned show that 44.45% of those surveyed would like to climb Everest and 11.7512% think that oxygen deprivation would be "really cool".

But what is the normal Joe Iwannaclimbmounteveresterton supposed to do? He can't just get in his pick-up truck and drive down to Kathmandu, find Sherpa guides, and buy a few bottles of oxygen, OR CAN HE? Well no, actually he can't but we would like to offer cut-rate adventures to those hearty souls out there who don't mind losing a little flesh in the process. Our guides Ralston Fluglehorn the Third and Danzig "Matterhorn" Horowitz are not only guys we found in an alley, they are also experienced climbers and fishmongers.

Mt. Everest Climbing Packages (starting as low as $500)

Death Zone Special - This package gets you to the 26,000 ft. Death Zone in just two days. What you do from here is entirely up to you as in the morning you'll find our guides and Sherpas have made the return to Base Camp without you. (see Return from the Death Zone below)

Return from the Death Zone - For only an additional $2,500 fee our guides and Sherpas will return to bring you back down, that is, if you haven't already ascended to the peak of Everest!!!(Disclaimer: You have a .000014% chance of making it to the peak from here with no guides and most will end up frozen to death within the first 24 hours.)

Top of the World Ma!!!!! - Our guides will take you all the way to the top, slicing off frostbitten appendages and pumping you full of morphine along the way. If you do happen to expire they will haul your corpse to the top and take pictures for your family and friends.

The Everest Experience - For those who don't have the big bucks, don't worry, this package was made just for you. Experience 48 hours in an industrial freezer set to 50 degrees below zero, while deprived of food, water, sunlight, and human contact. Was that Sir Edmund Hillary I just saw?!?!?!

Please also try our off-season packages made for the climber who isn't afraid of blizzards, high velocity winds, or other portents of certain death.

Signs of the Apocolypse - via Mark Northover

You can tell everything's going to hell in a handbasket since Mr. Northover's disappearance. Even the style sheet in Nuffy's post has collapsed into sans serif font.

For those of you wondering just how long Nuffy's Mark Northover obsession will last, I can promise you that we're sending over the intern with the electric cattle prod to ask him to move things along... the large cattle prod. Stew borrowed it from Lukas P. Short.

Not that I expect it will help. He might get worked up enough to post another eleven Mark Northover-related posts. Still, at least he'll be posting (nudges Zimpter's shoulder virtually).

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Disappearance of Hope

He's gone and nobody knows where he is! It is like as unto the sun disappearing behind a heavy cloud bank and never reappearing again. People would despair, they would lose hope, they would howl profanities into the night, and that is exactly what is happening. Mark Northover has vanished! Like the sacred apples of Thulstonworffe, he has disappeared and nobody but nobody knows where he went. The statement carried at the bottom of his official website, and the official website of happiness and hope, reads as follows: "Please note: This site was started by Mark Northover, however I have not seen him for a number of years and the information held on this site may not be up to date or accurate"

This is the webmaster's polite way of saying, "I'm scared! I'm frightened! Nobody has seen Mark Northover in a while, and I am terrified! I am pants-wettingly trembling in the darkest hours of the moistest night!" I did some digging, and it seems that the bobbies are on the trail. That is to say, cops are looking for him. Already they have some leads and top suspects have been poisoned and thrown into the sea without questioning. Soon, it is certain, they will locate our dearest Mark Northover and end the slow destruction of the world which is going on every single minute that he remains lost to us.

Top officials all over the world have been commenting on this disgusting tragedy:

Harmid Karzai, President of Afghanistan: "Without Mark Northover, our politicial situation, and every political situation in every community of humanity, will begin to detoriorate. Soon, we will all be dead. Let us hope they find him soon, so that I can unbutton my shirt with excitement."
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President, Equatorial Guinea: "Just today, seventy three water buffaloes drowned in the ocean. They had gone into the ocean hoping to find Mark Northover, but instead they only found drowning."

Hans Adam II, Prince of Leichtenstein: "Nobody even knew my country existed until Mark Northover won all property rights to Leichtenstein in a game of Twenty One. Now, every day we weep and throw our bread into the gutters to commemorate his terrible, terrible, bowel-burstingly jarring disappearance."

Faure Gnassingbe, President of Togo: "Mark Northover married ten of my eleven daughter and fathered twenty seven of my six hundred and two grandchildren in a span of thirty six hours. His eldest son, Mrak Northorev Northover is the saddest of these abandoned children. He is two feet tall and six hundred pounds of grieving, abandoned son. Come back soon, Mark, my child, my hope. We have special pants waiting just for you."

George Walker "Dubya" Bush, President of the United States of America: "If Mark Northover is missing, this administration will not rest until we have located him. If that means we have to cut taxes and keep cutting taxes until he is found, we will cut them. If it means we have to drill for oil in Alaska, believe me, we will drill for oil in Alaska until we find Mark Northover and give him sweet, sweet mouth kisses."

If you want to help in the search for Mark Northover, please get the word out. E-mail your friends, send letters to your grandpa, tape messages to the doorposts of your home, scream into the shadows of the humid night: MARK NORTHOVER IS MISSING! FIND HIM! FIND HIM BEFORE THE WHALES DIE AND THE OCEANS TURN TO TAR AND THE MOON CRUMBLES AND THE SANDS OF ETERNIA RUN OUT! FIND OUR MARK NORTHOVER!