User avatar Four Word Reviews: Eyes of Innocence

Do you remember the 1980s? Do you like 1980s music? Are you keen to hear all the many sounds of 80s pop music on a single album? Yes, yes, yes and yes: the album for you is Eyes of Innocence, the 1984 debut from Miami Sound Machine, better known as Gloria Estefan plus her husband and some guys who would be quickly forgotten about as her solo career took off. Me? I like some 80s music, yes, but I generally don’t require all of it to be performed on a single album by a single band. And yet that is what I got when the postman pushed this through my door.

Continue reading Four Word Reviews: Eyes of Innocence

User avatar Umbrellagate

I was very angry about it, I can tell you. I swore liberally and at considerable length.

Wait. Let me go back a bit.

So, last night I went to some birthday drinks for Robin, a friend of mine and a fine upstanding citizen. We met in a pub on the south bank in London. Rain was forecast all day, so I took my new umbrella. I love my new umbrella: it’s black and very stylish, and it’s got bright green trim so it looks very cool, and it’s got a push button on the handle that makes it open right out all on its own with a satisfying fwump noise. I kept it leaning against my seat all night.

Just before I left, I went to the toilet, leaving the rest of the party around the table. When I got back, and picked up my jacket, my umbrella was not there.

I asked other people if they’d seen it. I searched behind furniture and under chairs. I looked around at other tables. I asked behind the bar. Nobody could explain it. Nobody had seen it. It had gone. Clearly, some light-fingered Cockney wideboy had seen it leaning there, unobserved, and nabbed it, and was now strolling casually along the south bank with my umbrella in his filthy, criminal hands, probably whistling “Knees Up Mother Brown” as he did so.

At this point I was angry, as described earlier.

Anyway, on the train home, about 40 minutes later, Robin sent me a photo of some people at the party with my umbrella. They’d all been leaving as the pub was closing, and they’d found it leaning by the table – not the table I’d been sitting at, but another just next to it. I’d checked all the tables before I left – in fact I’d checked the whole bloody pub – and it hadn’t been there. Nobody had noticed its mysterious return. So presumably the Cockney wideboy’s misfiring conscience had got the better of him and he’d returned his ill-gotten rain apparatus.

My umbrella is now safely stored in Robin’s flat in Penge, and my anger has subsided.

I will now take questions from the floor. Thank you.

User avatar The Kitty Committee – update

“Brothers and sisters…

… When I woke up one morning, the sun’s rays met my whiskers and gave me a smile that could not be broken. When I awoke another morning, I felt these joys amplified because another one of our lost brothers has been found. Another kitty has been returned to the fold. Though he may flop more than the others, though he may not be as robust as those who sit above me, he is still one of us.

May you take this moment to love and understand the newest member of the Kitty Committee. May you speak fondly of him to your closest work colleagues and occasionally send him fan mail.

As always, we are always recruiting so if you wish to join for the pursuit of naps and purrs do get in touch.”

User avatar Dear Beans… Terrific Tasty Terrier Tribulations

Dear Beans,

I’ve got a problem that I can’t tell anyone about. Only the anonymous helping hands of casa de Beans can save me. I am sweating like a scamp just typing these words. I will have to use a fake name so it cannot be traced back to me for FEAR of besmirchment. Besmirching? For the possibility of a bad smirch.

My dog, Lavish Kibbles, passed away a few weeks ago. He choked on a sausage mouse and never recovered. I cried for several days after and eventually I got my stuff together, and sorted him out. In order to save on costs and vets bills I buried him in the back garden. The only thing is after I dug the hole I lost all the mud (I think my neighbour may have stolen it, he’s building his own Hawaiian mud shack) so I needed a substitute. With only my wits about me, I turned to the contents of my kitchen cupboards. Thankfully I’d been to Costco the other day to stock up on essentials and I’d picked up a 600lb bag of Bisto. Using the gravy granules I covered up Lavish Kibbles and retreated to the sanctity of my living room.

The crazy Summer weather conditions continued. A hot rain fell towards the end of the week. With it came the tastiest smell, wafting up from the bottom of my garden. I knew what it was and I knew I needed to control myself in case anyone discovered my disgusting yet mouth-wateringly frugal ways.

From my window I can see a river of gravy starting to flow. In my dreams I’m walking towards it, arms outstretched, a gigantic breadbun in each hand, desperate to dip. I’ve tried making my own as a way of appeasing my tastebuds but it doesn’t smell or taste the same. Only the raw, disturbing aroma emanating from my back yard will quench my thirst.

What should I do; give in to temptation and chow down on my now ex-dog or look the other way?

Yours excitedly

Turbot Bojangles

User avatar A celebration of the many Kevs

I was rummaging in the extensive Beans Archive today, looking for inspiration, when I stumbled across this post, made ten years ago today. It marks the occasion on which Mr. Kevin Head turned 24 years old. Well, as you can imagine, I immediately got my calculator out, and blow me if that doesn’t mean that today is very likely to be Mr. Kevin Head’s birthday again. He will be older than 24 today, though I’m not entirely sure by how much.

What better day, then, to celebrate our acquaintance with the Beans’ resident DIY expert and master Giant Magical Computer Appeaser, Kevin “Kevindo Menendez” Menendez?

Continue reading A celebration of the many Kevs

User avatar Lemon’s Day Out

What makes a great day out? Smashing weather? A choice picnic? Celebrity endorsements? Whatever you think is right is probably wrong. The thing that makes a great day out is lemons.

There is nothing more satisfying than chucking a lemon up into the air and catching it. There is nothing better than taking a photo of a lemon doing something a lemon should not be doing (waaaaaaaaaaaaay!). Wherever you look there are millions of people out enjoying their summer holidays yet they’re doing it without the benefit of lemons. Our scientists predict that holiday satisfaction levels would increase sevenfold should people choose to include a lemon, or multiple lemons, in their activities.

As a test run I recently took a lemon into town when my sister came to visit. My lemon joy levels peaked higher than previous lemon levels have ever reached. It was quite a day. Given how cost-effective lemons are, I am hoping to start a kickstarter campaign to supply lemons to the poorer regions of the UK IN THE HOPE OF… sorry, in the hope of upping the ante in the lemon department, which sounds like it should be rude but it’s not.

When is the last time you took a lemon out? Respond below and share the joy of the citrus fruit that is… Lemons!*

*has clearly said the word far too much and thus attempts to remove it from his vocabulary

User avatar Smidge on Science: Wind

You can feel the wind, can’t you? You can hold up your hand when you’re outdoors and feel it. But you can’t see it. Have you ever noticed that?

If you haven’t noticed that, then don’t feel bad. It’s just that you and I don’t have the keen scientific mind of Smidge Manly. He did notice that, and what’s more he tracked down a couple of experts who could help him, and you, the ignorant public, to understand why.

Rejoice, for the third episode of Smidge on Science is with us, and it contains an unexpected appearance from an old friend!

User avatar The secret life of Chris

My past is a shady, murky place. Little is known by the general public.

A while ago, it came as a surprise to everyone when I revealed that I was once jilted at the altar by a bear. But there are more secrets to be revealed, and today I am finally ready to share one with you. For a long time I wasn’t sure I could ever tell anyone about this, because to be honest I don’t remember it, but apparently – many years ago, longer ago, in fact, than I thought I had ever been alive – I was a stylish Edwardian lady.

It all seemed quite improbable until the evidence turned up: this lovely portrait, hanging up in my local Wetherspoons, that undeniably shows me in my previous form.

What hasn’t come to light yet (and I’ve asked the landlord about it, but he said he didn’t know, and he had other people to serve so I had to stop asking him) is what my name was in those days. I doubt it was Chris. It would have to have been something more delicate and ladylike. If your research produces any results on that front I’d be glad to hear them.