Sunday 25 April 2010


I just managed to lift the hatch to the storm cellar, when the whole house shuddered and lurched. Through the hatch I could see the ground slip away into a maelstrom of flying debris. Then the floor tipped and I slid violently hitting my head on the stone fireplace.

When I awoke the house was still in the air and clearly encountering a spot of turbulence. The radio on the sideboard switched on. An announcer spoke in a voice somewhat reminiscent of the late David Niven. "Would you please return to your seat and return the standard lamp to the upright position. We are in a holding pattern and, in accordance to protocol, seeking a witch to land upon."

I did as I was asked with the standard lamp and sat down heavily in the armchair. I felt my head and fingered a large tender area on my temple. At least I wasn't bleeding.

The house plummeted and with a deafening crash hit the ground. A female voice came over the radio, "Captain Kangaroo would like to let you know that he has landed your house successfully and when everything stops bouncing up and down, you may disembark through the front door. Please be careful when collecting your luggage from the cupboard-under-the-stairs as the contents may have shifted during the flight, could fall and knock you the f*ck out," Charming, I thought.

I grabbed my coat, and stepped out of the front door. Outside was bright and sunny. All the people were somewhat short and were singing cheery songs as they went quickly about their business.

"What have you done to my sister?"

"Pardon me?"

She pointed to the legs protruding out from under the house, "Her legs. Over there."

"Oh my goodness, I'm really sorry. I had no idea."

She cut me off mid-apology, "Did you dress her in those hideous striped leggings? Bet she was wearing a leotard too."

"No, but it's my house."

"Oh, don't worry about that. We never really got on. She was allergic to my flying monkeys you know. I thought her fitness drive was silly. Especially leggings and a leotard. Black pointy hat, green face and long black cape - it's traditional."

"Would you like a cup of tea?" It seemed the polite thing to do, since my house had inadvertently squashed her sibling flat.

"No, but thank you. Must be flying. Left my broom with the engine running tied to a lamppost. Got to look after the environment you know." With that she went.

I looked my house up and down. There was no way I could leave it here. The local authorities would get a bit bent out of shape and demand planning permission or something worse. "Excuse me," I spoke to one of the diminutive men singing his cheery song, "Do you know someone who could help me get this back to where it came from?"

"No, sorry mate. You can use my phone if you want," He passed me a small brown cell phone.

I tried for a few moments to dial a number before realising the sad truth. "It's made of chocolate."

"Well, what do you expect? We're Oompa-Loompas. We do chocolate. Everything here is made of chocolate. That's why we're hyperactive and the phones don't work."

"Great. Just great. Do you know anyone who can help me?"

"You need a great wizard to help you. We think he's in Cupertino. We'd give you a map, but to be honest it'll melt in the sun and make a mess of your pocket."

"How am I going to get to the wizard of Cupertino?"

"There is a way. You need to follow the yellow brick road."


"That one."

"Oh, that one!" I step smartly forward, twist my ankle and fall.

"Mind the potholes. Rough winter here last year. Also don't stop, it's marked as an urban clearway. Oh yes, also, keep out of the bus lane."

I set off, muttering to myself, "Follow the yellow brick road. There's a song in that somewhere, I'm sure of it."

I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey. As I walk, the town falls away, the cloying smell of chocolate reduces and finally I am out in open refreshing countryside. Fields and woods as far as the eye can see. It sure doesn't look like Slobbering-under-the-Bed.

I find myself walking beside a huge corn field. In the middle of the field stands a man-sized scarecrow. Surprisingly he hops off his wooden stand and walks towards me in a somewhat wobbly manner. The scarecrow, upon reaching the edge of the field, speaks to me in a Lancashire accent, "It's turned out nice again!" He looks me up and down, "Hang on, you're not Do..."

I didn't hear the rest of what he was saying because at that moment there was a cry of "TIMBER!", then "Ohhhhh shiiiittt!" and finally, "ouch!"

A short man, with quite a flat head and a nearly non-existent neck steps out from behind a nearby tree. He staggers over to where the scarecrow and I am standing. The scarecrow says only what I was thinking, "Are they all dwarfs where you come from?"

The short man hits the scarecrow with a well constructed right hook and lays him out flat.

Scarecrow bounces back up to his feet and timidly says, "Never touched me!"

Hoping to prevent this escalating into something worse, I introduce myself. "Hi, I'm iDifficult," and then for some general interest add, "and I'm off to see the wizard."

The scarecrow speaks first and holds out a hand ready to be shaken. I grasp it and he says, "Call me George. By the way, don't you think you should hold off on second helpings occasionally?" I blink.

The short man speaks, "Hi, Call me Edward. I'm a tree surgeon." He thinks over what I was saying in his mind and then adds, "Did you mention a wizard? It's just I have this problem with trees."

"Allergic?" I ask helpfully.

"Nope, they keep falling on me. I used to be 6'5". I suspect I'm a little less than that now."

"I've got a problem too. He pats his chest. No tact. When the farmer made me he left out the tact. Do you think the wizard could give me some tact?"

"I'm expect in the end he will, but it'll be a rough journey. We'll probably have to throw a ring into Mount Doom. Anyway first things first, do either of you two know if there is a pub down this road? I could murder a pint of beer."

"Sod the road mate. I've got sat-nav."

Sunday 18 April 2010


Writing a blog is hard work. Sometimes I don't feel in the mood. Often there isn't enough silly in my blood to write something humorous.

So I've decided I'm going to employ a ghostwriter. Ideally someone with wit, charm and a depth of writing I could only aspire to. To be a proper ghost writer, being dead is essential.

I've started interviewing the candidates:

Casper. Friendly. Kept hiding behind computer and shouting boo.

Eolistpetite's ghost. Sat smoking a cigarette in the corner. Didn't write a bloody word.

Slimer from Ghostbusters. Wrote 'sfhsdfhsdhjdf hdsfh xxndjjsd'. Keyboard absolutely running with ectoplasm - probably never be able to use it again.

The Flying Dutchman from Spongebob. Wrote about putting a sock on his ghostly tail. Most promising candidate so far. Tended to use a lot of pirate lingo.

Pepper's ghost. Discovered he was a fake. If I wanted a piece of glass mounted at an angle and an actor, I'd have advertised for one.

Ghost of Christmas Present. Kept wrapping mouse in gaudy paper and giving it to me. Very annoying. More a talker than a writer. Dickensian English becomes tiresome after a while.

After this lot, I've given up on recruitment and decided to write the blog myself.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

I want to believe

"Mulder, You've been sitting on that fence for hours. What's going on? You got a furball again?"

"I tell you there is something out there, Scully."

She stopped walking down the fence and balanced carefully on a fencepost. It was then she noticed something strange about her friend. "I must say you look bloody silly with that take-away curry tin on your noggin."

"It keeps their thoughts out of my head."

"Why would they want to get into your head?"

"They want my dreams. The other night I was curled up sleeping in my basket. The bright light came and I was put in a cage I couldn't bite or claw through. It was made of a material unknown to cat-kind. Then they took me to a bright room and stuck a probe in the back of my neck."

"OK, you've got me. I'll bite. So what happened next?"

"They were poking about for that little metal thing they stuck in me last time." He stopped speaking for a moment, and when he started again, it was in a whisper. "Trust no one."

"Call me skeptical, but I just don't believe. There is nothing out there. Come on, where's your proof?"

"That dry stuff in the bowl next to my water? It's not of this world. Have you tasted it? It's weird!"

"Don't like it. Prefer fresh mouse. Sparrow is very nice too - quite crunchy."

"How about the wet stuff with gravy and carrots? It's meat but it doesn't taste like mouse or sparrow. It doesn't taste of anything. When I'm eating it I hear the word 'chic'-something."


"So, you've heard it too."

"Doesn't your food speak to you? Last mouse I cornered distinctly said 'bugger'."

"Come on, mice don't speak. That'd be unbelievable."

Monday 12 April 2010

Walking down the red carpet

I have been presented The Sunshine Award by the CatLadyWithoutCats. Me, a ray of sunshine! I'm quite shocked. Normally at home I am referred to as "that miserable git".

Like most award ceremonies I shall accept the award graciously, but slightly clumsily as I have been drinking champagne non-stop for seven days since I discovered I had been nominated. Obviously I was simply too drunk to write an acceptance speech, so being a man of words and learning I shall wing it.

Before I forget to show you all, here is the award:
Anyway, I'd like to thank the CatLadyWithoutCats for bringing the award. If the roles were reversed, I'd have probably accidentally forgotton it and left it at home in the 'fridge.

I'd like to thank my mother for giving birth to me. I have quite a big head and it must have stung a bit.

I'd like to thank my father for teaching me how to put up shelves and the like with such a level of cronic over-engineering they'll outlast the sphinx. Should judgement day ever come, we shall be able to hide from the Terminators behind shelves I've made.

Extra special thanks go to my wife, who has often put up with the very slurred line "I love you verrryyy veryyyy much. I written you a poem. Would you like a bit of my kebab?" before collapsing and snoring. Loudly.

My daughter has needed to put up with a father who is sillier than she is. Although, I am proud to say, I have taught her how to fart and blame it on the cat convincingly.

I'd like to thanks all my friends, but most especially Indigo Roth as he is the only one with a cool pseudonym. Between us we have taken on the world of curry and pizza and come out smiling.

I'd also like to apologise to my cat, Tinker, for getting sprayed with water for farting when she hadn't.

Pizza will prevail

Sunday 11 April 2010


Every so often I question my motivation behind writing a blog. Self-analysis is not the easiest thing. There's an expression: "He/she knows his/her own mind." I'm not at all sure I ever will - it's a slippery resourceful bugger that is always at least one step ahead of me.

Lots of things I do are devoid of one over-arching reason, but have lots of little part-reasons all pushing the same way. Sometimes there is a smattering of self-delusion but some things I do know.

I really like creating things. The style, presentation and content of my blog represent effort to put together something unique.

It's lovely to have readers, followers and, especially, comments. If I'm going to write something it's great when people enjoy it.

I have a huge love of comedy. The thought that sometimes, just sometimes, I can emulate my comedy heroes and make someone laugh is a delight. Often I try a bit too hard and miss the mark, but occasionally it flows. I hope those moments are enough.

Somewhere in me is, I suspect, a damn good book. I started writing it ten years ago. How many of my early scribblings will be retained who could possibly say? Likely as not, even the title will be re-imagined. Writing a blog forms ideas, builds up practice and hopefully irons out the wrinkles.

Anyhow, this has been a bit of a ramble with no funnies. I'd just like to say thanks very much to my friends who have taken the time to read this blog over the last few months. I'm sure more daftness will be along shortly.

All the best,
Keith aka iDifficult

Thursday 8 April 2010

Barking up the Wrong Tree

I met one once. Huge with long canine teeth, fetid breath, and a tendency to wee up lampposts. I am of course talking about werewolves, not Indigo Roth, who for the record does not have fetid breath.

This is the iDifficult guide to werewolves. It will not help with vampires, zombies, banshees, ghosts, poltergeists or bankers. To be honest, it will be sod-all help with werewolves, as I doubt you'll have time to sit down with your laptop and have a quick read should one be around.

When there is a full moon, werewolves run around remote Scottish moors biting and eating people. The people who get bitten become werewolves at the next full moon. Then they run around biting and eating people. Some of the time they spend attempting to blow down the houses of werepiggys. Werepiggys with straw houses tend to be especially vulnerable to this behaviour. Wood fares little better. Brick is definitely werewolf proof.

Killing the first in a line of werewolves, removes the curse from the bitten and their bitten and so on down. It also stops the eaten from being cursed restless ghosts and being annoying.

Beheading kills werewolves. It also works on vampires, zombies and bankers. Should you be a little myopic opt for the beheading approach. Try not to be too obvious whilst carrying around a huge broadsword.

Silver bullets are great. They do kill werewolves. Please check the hallmark as silver plated bullets will not do. You will also need a gun of some kind (although this does not need to be silver) as bullets, no matter of what they are made, will have little effect if you just throw them. Gold bullets do not work, as Scaramanga found out to his cost in the little known James Bond book The Man with the Golden Gun and a Huge Chunk Taken Out of His Arse.

Under no circumstances make use of regular dog training techniques. Werewolves do not fetch, roll over, play dead or beg. Without a huge broadsword or silver bullets you stand only a slim chance of survival. You will need a spot of luck to make use of the following techniques:

  1. If you are near a beach, werewolves love sand. There is a good chance the hairy fanged beastie may bury you and forget where.
  2. A werecat wanders by. Werewolves have to chase these up trees. It's in their blood. Run away from the trees.
  3. The moon goes behind a cloud. Run.

As always, here at the iDifficult blog, we bid you good night, don't have nightmares and be lucky, especially around the undead.

Thursday 1 April 2010


This is a blog that isn't afraid to discuss anything. All aspects of life, curry, the undead, Ford Edsel's and old London Routemaster buses are to be found on these pages. In this post we'll deal with the dead. Not your regular stuck in a box and buried six-feet under, or stuck in a box, burned to a frazzle and put in a jar over granny's mantlepiece type dead. We're talking the restless dead, ghosts.

Should you meet a ghost, be sympathetic. Ghosts have quite a lot to put up with. Like dying and, usually some unfinished earthly business. This can make them stressed and incoherent. What's worse is they can't take Prozac or Valium because the little tablets go straight through them and fall on the floor.

Imagine a ghost, or a little group of ghosts, in some dark and foreboding house. Nice night in. Chance to put their feet or ghostly tails up. Lounge in an old rocking chair, leave a person shaped imprint on the bedcovers, smoke a cigarette or two, laugh at the SMOKING KILLS label on the packet. Then there is a crash. The door opens and in comes a TV crew. They set up night vision cameras everywhere, put motion sensors on the rocking chair, and invite members of a studio audience to sit in the dark and scream. Yes, they've been visited by the Most Haunted team.

Ghosts find this most frustrating. The presenters are saying things like "Oh, over there an orb, or light anomaly as we like to call them. I mean, did you see that?"

Meanwhile our ghost is saying "I'm not over there, I'm behind you. And try cleaning your camera lens occasionally, it's filthy!"

Or, "Let's get out the Ouija board and try to communicate. Is there anyone there?"

"Give over, I was a peasant farmer, born in 1563. I can't even write, let alone spell!"

"OK everyone, put a finger on the glass, or planchette, as we experts say. Call on the ghost to spell out his name."

"Oh, I suppose I can try. Learned a little from the newer ghosts. 
S-O-D O-F-F."

The evening usually continues in much the same vein. Table tipping is tried, with squeals of delight. "Look the spirits are lifting the table up. Quick film under there, see the legs are nearly off the ground. Squee!"

"No, I'm over here. In the rocking chair, having a quick smoke. Might have a lie down in a bit."

No team is complete without a medium, who occasionally becomes possessed by an evil spirit or talks about subterraneans living in the London tube network. He'll pipe up and say things like "I sense an evil, angry spirit seeking revenge over his murder. I can see his face just in front of me."

"No, I'm still rocking and having a smoke. Besides I'm not angry. Horse backed up and pushed me down a well. Didn't have time to be angry. Bloody stupid animal."

"Does anyone else think it is getting cold in here?"

"Of course it's getting cold, you've left the front door open to get all the TV cables in, you complete pudding!"

I'm sure you can understand why a ghost might find this frustrating, and possibly just a little bit annoying.

If you want to be nice to a ghost, do some pottery. They love pottery. Something soothing about pottery. It's not as if they have any real use for the mugs or cups you make. A nice cup of tea goes the same way as the Prozac, straight onto the floor.

Goodnight, and don't be spooked. They're as shocked to see you as we are to see them. Traumatised ghosts often wander around saying things like "I see live people."