Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Scurferens

Scurferens is taking a break due to nervous exhaustion. Back on April 1.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Venetian Snares

Ask Aaron!
Venetian Snares (aka Aaron Funk) solves your domestic dilemmas

Aarachnophobia! Aaron, help! I have a spider infestation. They've been coming in in their thousands since last summer, they've taken over my house and refuse to leave. They have the TV on full blast at all times of day and night, they leave the lights on even when there's no-one in the room, they don't flush the toilet... The neighbours are complaining and threatening to call the Council if I don't get rid of them. I considered getting a court order, but a friend told me that spiders have special rights. Is this true?
Tim, Utoxeter

Aaron says... Hi, Tim. The bad news is, your friend's right - the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 conferred special status on spiders, meaning, if they do get into your home, it can be costly and time-consuming to evict them, even if they're nightmare tenants. However, there is good news! It's a little-known fact that spiders love salt, and this is what usually draws them in. Does your house have a high salt content? In any case, the solution is simple: just put a lot of salt in your garden, or out in the street. Basically, you want there to be more salt outside your house than there is inside. Do this, and your spider trouble will soon be a thing of the past!

It's Curtains! Hi, Aaron. Hope you're well. Can you tell me the best way to get bloodstains out of white drapes?
Trish, Ulverston

Aaron says... Hi, Sandra. I'm feeling great, thanks. Hope you are too. Bloodstains are, of course, notoriously difficult to shift. But there is a simple remedy. Blood is red, and the opposite of red is blue, so just dab the stain with blue dye, ink or hemocyanin (oxygenated mollusc blood). If you've already tried to remove the blood, the colour may have become desaturated, meaning blue won't work. But don't worry if this is the case - simply coat the stain with more blood, then apply the blue.

He's (Not) In Hot Water! Hey, Aaron, can you help us? My wife and I moved into our first house a few months ago, and found on our arrival that the boiler wasn't working. We called out an engineer, who told us the reason it won't work is that it's actually a ghost. We thought this would be easily remedied, but apparently not. Due to our boiler's non-corporeal form, the engineer was unable to repair or replace it. He suggested an exorcism, but when we enquired about that, the priest told us that he wasn't Gas Safe-registered and that we'd need a heating engineer! To make matters worse, our 5-year-old daughter is terrified of the boiler. Do you have any ideas?
Tom, Usk

Aaron says... Tom, it sounds like you're having a spook-tacularly bad time of it! Tell me, do you know if this property was previously let out? Ghost boilers became a problem in the 1980s, when unscrupulous landlords discovered it was cheaper to invoke the spirits of broken boilers than it was to repair or replace them. This practice was banned under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994, but some landlords continue to flout them and, as most tenants simply don't know their rights, keep getting away with it.

Unfortunately, Tom, there is no way to repair or replace a boiler once it's become a ghost. Even worse, as the owners of the property, you and your wife will now be held liable if your house becomes a portal to the Spirit Realm. I'm afraid you'll have to talk to that priest again about casting the whole building from this dimension into that of the Demons, with whom it now belongs. You will then become the proud owners of a smouldering hole in the ground, but you can rebuild on the land once it's properly consecrated.

Did you purchase the house before last May? If so, the ghost boiler really should have been mentioned in the HIP, and you should've been made aware of this by a reputable surveyor. If you weren't, then you must register a complaint immediately with the firm that carried out the survey, with a view to recovering your losses. If this doesn't work, contact the Surveyors Ombudsman Service.

And please do tell your daughter from me that there really is no need to be afraid of the ghost. It's only the ghost of a boiler. It doesn't do anything, as you've discovered.



UPDATE
Never let it be said that Aaron Funk doesn't own up to his mistakes! Since this column was first published, I have been contacted by a number of Gas Safe-registered priests who regularly exorcise ghost boilers like Tom's. Unfortunately, this news came a little too late for Tom and his wife, who had already had their house damned and have since discovered they have no claim for compensation. Sorry, Tom!

I would also like to offer my condolences on the tragic loss of their young daughter, who became trapped in the Spirit Realm after befriending the boiler. She will, of course, never find peace in their world, but at least we know her soul will live on until the end of time.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Saul Williams

1, 2, 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock, Saul Williams. 5, 6, 7 o'clock, 8 o'clock, Saul Williams. 9, 10, 11 o'clock, 12 o'clock, Saul Williams. Where am I going with this? Fuck knows.

Dad! Can you help me with my homework?

Friday, 4 March 2011

Public Enemy

In 1998, Public Enemy were arrested following a drunken brawl in a Lancaster takeaway with happy hardcore legends Hixxy and Sharkey. MC Sharkey was reported to have disparaged Chuck D's style, although some witnesses claim that the altercation was actually provoked by an earlier incident, in which Professor Griff groped DJ Hixxy's bird's arse in Revolution. Both parties have remained tight-lipped about the whole thing ever since, prompting the inevitable slew of conspiracy theories.

Here are some of our favourites:

The Stepney Wad The woman reclines on her back and brings her knees up to her chest, whilst the man kneels at her head and places both thumbs and forefingers at either side of her neck. Now, using his hard junk like a hydraulic base, he stretches out both legs, being sure to maintain eye contact (albeit upside-down). If this is done correctly, the couple will achieve temporal stasis.

Meat Dreams If you take water immediately after imbibing something milk-based, the effect is unpleasant, like French-kissing a wet dog. To avoid this, the man should lie face-up and at full stretch, and balance the woman (lying the same way) on his hard junk, making a sort of table, ideal for drinks and nibbles, and a fabulous conversation-starter.

Elbows Reversed Another theory is that Hixxy and Chuck actually engineered the whole episode as a publicity stunt. If you're not convinced, listen to Bonkers Vol.28 - released just months after the fight - and skip to 47:16. You'll hear some rhymes by a suspiciously familiar-sounding MC. Both camps strenuously deny the allegation, and in July 1999 issued the following press statement...
The man kneels and leans back, placing his hands on the floor just behind his feet, whilst the woman stands to one side of him, grabbing on to his hard junk as he extends it like a telescopic pole. This is a great way to get at those hard-to-reach places:
  • Light fittings on high ceilings
  • Guttering
  • Newsagent's top shelf
  • Tibet

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys were a set of aesthetic principles laid out in 1876 by M Bistro et Jean-Pierre Canard as a reaction to contemporary design. They were:

1. 3"

2. 4"

3. [Verboten)

4. Wash thoroughly with warm, soapy water

5. Steady... steady...

8. Cream finely

2. Serve, and eat