User avatar Four Word Reviews: ‘Til Their Eyes Shine

I started these reviews when I got sent a Wang Chung album as a joke, and Kev and Sarah had just reviewed a Papples album in this format, and I thought it was a fun thing to do with a CD I’d been sent. Then more CDs started arriving. But I never thought we’d end up here. The CDs that arrived were just crap albums, and I would write reviews of how amusingly bad they were. Until now. Now I’ve been sent… I mean, what is this? It’s called “‘Til Their Eyes Shine: The Lullaby Album”. It’s a 1992 charity compilation of slow, snoozy numbers by female artists that will supposedly put a child to sleep, though for my taste half are too lively for that and the rest are too disturbing.

Am I being punished, somehow? Is this horrendous mush the price I pay for some indiscretion I committed? I don’t know. I just know it was awful.

Continue reading Four Word Reviews: ‘Til Their Eyes Shine

User avatar Tom’s Sausage Lion

“What is this?” you may ask yourself, whilst sitting next to a roaring fire with a brandy in the your hand. I know that this is the way that Chris normally spends his evening and, thus, I assume everyone does the same. What you are staring at is a book, one of those things with words in that people store on shelves to look intelligent. It’s a book by a man and it was written some time ago. You can tell that because the picture on the front looks like it was from the 1970’s (although according to Wikipedia it was written in 1986).

Now it’s not that it is a bad story. It’s a very short story and interesting enough to keep your attention for the hour or so you will spend reading it. It is, however, not worth reading a second time. Here’s the plot:

Tom is a boy. One evening he comes across a lion eating sausages in his back garden. Nobody believes him (a la The Boy who Cried Wolf) and so he tries to track the lion down so that he can prove everyone, including his parents, his peers and the teachers at his school, that he is telling the truth. The lengths that Tom goes to to prove this are quite remarkable; in this most modern of nows right now, as in now 2018, he would have given up and gone back to playing Puzzle Blox or whatever bollocks was currently trending at the time on his I-Pad. That said, the ending is pretty flaccid. Despite what a comment on the back of the book says (hilariously “the climax is breathtaking!”) he finds the lion, parades it around in front of everyone to show he isn’t a liar and then the owner turns up to take it back. That’s it, about seventy odd pages. It is a kid’s book so nobody expected it to be the length of ‘The Stand’ by Stephen King.

The reason Kev bought it for me was due to the ridiculous title. It would be easy to think that it was some kind of porno without the picture of the child trying to entice a lion, tucking away on a string of sausages. I read this while I was donating platelets at the blood clinic. The nurse who was keeping an eye on me couldn’t believe that such a book did exist and, as I pointed out to her also, I did not know it existed until it arrived in a padded envelope through my front door.

Would I recommend it? No. Would I read it again? No. Would I say it’s a bad book? No. I give it a hearty two stars out of five; it loses a third star for not including a lion made of sausages. The title is very misleading. One of these days I may write a book called Tom’s Sausage Lion which will include a lion made of sausages. It’s a work in progress.

User avatar How to use a cash machine

Many of us Millennials (I think we’re Millennials, are we Millennials?) have trouble using old-fashioned things. We do everything digitally now. Personally I get all my sleep done using an app and I have a monthly subscription that delivers all my food through my Smart TV. So it can be a bit of a challenge for us Millennials (Jesus I think we actually might be Millennials) to get to grips with the analogue world.

Old people and market stall traders use “money” in place of digital bank transfers and contactless payments. If you need some “money” you can get it from a cash machine. They can be bewildering if you’re under the age of 60, but don’t worry, they’re quite easy to use once you know how.

Here’s the correct procedure.

  1. Locate a cash machine. It will look like a sort of retro 80s video game machine embedded in the wall of a bank.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the layout of the machine. Designs can vary but they will all have some common features: a screen with control buttons down each side; a numeric keypad; a heavily fortified metal letterbox; and a little slot with a flashing green light.
  3. Insert your contactless bank card into the flashing slot. The machine is old and needs to actually make contact with it, but will give it back later.
  4. Look at the screen. It will usually ask you to wait, because it’s old. Eventually you’ll be asked for your PIN number. Try to remember this. It’s what you had to use before you had a contactless bank card.
  5. The screen will now ask you how much “money” you want and whether you want a receipt. Use the buttons next to the screen to appease its desire for information.
  6. A beeping noise will announce the return of your contactless bank card. Retrieve it from the slot when it is slowly regurgitated.
  7. The machine will now make whirring noises and, after an interval, the quantity of “money” you requested will be thrust out of the fortified letterbox.
  8. You need to still be standing at the machine if you want to actually claim this money. If you have absent-mindedly walked away as soon as your card is extruded, you will not get the money.
  9. If you stupidly walk away before the money appears, you will hear a loud beeping sound coming from the cash machine as you walk away, and you will spend a few seconds thinking it sounds like the sort of beeping sound a cash machine makes, and wondering why a cash machine might be making a noise like that.
  10. You will only realise when the beeping noise stops that it’s the sound of a cash machine trying to tell you you’ve got it to dispense some of your hard earned cash, £30 to be precise, and then idiotically absconded before the cash dispensing happened, leaving thirty of your precious sheets wafting in the breeze in a crowded shopping street.
  11. As the horror of your stupid, moronic actions finally dawn on you, you will turn around, just in time to see your thirty quid being removed from the machine by some middle aged woman whose face is a picture of nefarious glee, scarcely able to believe her luck that some brainless fool has just put three shiny tenners in her hand.
  12. You begin to run back to the cash machine, but the crowd of shoppers slows you down, you can’t get through, and meanwhile the woman has melted into the crowd, anonymous in a black coat in a sea of black coats, a bit shorter than average, lost below the heads and hats, and – probably wary of the fact that whoever just used the cash machine can only be a few paces away – is more than likely now darting for cover to make a getaway. She could have gone down a narrow alley on the left, or into one of the shops.
  13. By the time you get to the cash machine, she’s gone, and you’re £30 down, you absolute tool.
  14. You absolute tool.

User avatar Unexpected

I was at someone’s leaving do last night.

I’ve only been in this job a little while so I don’t know him very well, but a works leaving do is a thing everyone goes to regardless of who it is or how well they know them. You turn up and have a drink and laugh about people you work with who are currently out of earshot at the other side of the bar, and then at some point you get 30 seconds with the actual person who’s leaving so you can say things like “good luck” and “it’s been really great working with you”. You know how it is.

At about 11, not long before he left, I bumped into Jon (who is leaving) and got 30 seconds with him before he was whisked away by someone else. “Good luck”, I said. “It’s been really great working with you”.

The normal thing at this point is for the person who is leaving to say something like “yeah, you too” and “I’ll probably see you again at someone else’s leaving do before long”, and then you laugh heartily, and then your 30 seconds are up.

That’s why I was very surprised when Jon went completely off script and said “keep writing those Mr Smith books, they’re fucking hilarious. You’ll have to send me the next one if you do any more.”

I didn’t have a reply ready for this highly improbable situation, so I floundered for a moment without knowing what to say, and then my 30 seconds were up and he was whisked away to another little group of people, waving and enthusiastically thumbs-upping me as he went. Presumably it was their turn to say “good luck” and “it’s been really great working with you”.

I doubt any of them had ever read the adventures of Mr Smith. But then, I didn’t think Jon had, so maybe they had. Maybe everyone has. I don’t really know what to expect any more.

User avatar Interlude

Ladies and gentlemen, we have now reached approximately the mid point of this website, so this is a suitable time to take a short break. Please feel free to take this opportunity to visit the bathroom or step out into the foyer to avail yourself of our wide range of beers, wines, spirits and snacks.

Part two of Pouring Beans will begin in a few minutes. In the meantime, please enjoy five minutes of gleeful silliness that everyone of sound mind ought to have in their lives.

User avatar ‘Janu-Hairy’

What does winter bring you? Christmas? Inner peace? Chilblains and a bad case of the sniffles? Whatever it does bring you, you can guarantee it doesn’t bring you respect.

Winter does not respect you. It will blow you over, blow you down, freeze your chinchillas off and then demand a thousand pounds. Try as you might, there is no easy way to appease winter unless you’re hiding indoors under a blanket hoping it goes away. Wouldn’t you like to give the harshest of seasons what for? Don’t you want to stick twos up at winter and laugh in its cold, dank face?

Look at you; you’re covered in hair. What you need to do is get more of it. ‘Janu-Hairy’ is the newest thing to ever be a thing. In line with other charity-based events, such as ‘Movember’ and ‘Decembeard’, ‘Janu-Hairy’ plans to raise money for people who don’t have hair. Wigs and hairpieces will be distributed amongst those in need, like a wiggy Santa Claus.

How does one help then? By being sponsored to grow as much hair as possible between 1st and 31st January. It’s the easiest thing to do because your body does it anyway, and the more unnecessary hair growth in all your sick and disturbing places the better. That means more cha ching for worthy causes.

Being Hairy on the go, of course I will be participating because I’ve got more hair than all three of the Beans Team put together. I will grow the shit out of my hair for thirty one days in the name of good will toward men and women, whomever needs my hair.

It would be nice if we could use seminal Papples classic ‘January’ as the theme for the event, possibly changing some of the words to fit the occasion. It’s playing in my head now and it’s still lovely.

If you would like to participate then do let me know.

User avatar Mysterious Hand Man

On March 13, 2014, something important happened. What that something was, though, is a mystery.

Here are the facts of the case.

At an unknown time on that day, a registered user logged in to The Beans and – using their privileged access to this sacred dominion – perpetrated an act of digital flytipping. An image was uploaded to the web server which was not included in any post and which, until today, occupied server space without performing any useful function. That image can now be revealed for the first time in four and a half years. Let’s hope its owner will one day face justice. (Ideally chunky justice, but let’s not be picky.)

Here it is. The Police are referring to it as “Mysterious Hand Man”. Please call Crimestoppers if you have any leads.

User avatar Mackers – International Trendsetter

Hello.

When I get given a job to do I ensure that I do it to the best of my abilities. Yes, this sound like a job application but I will have you know that as IP McMackers, 2018’s most stunning new trendsetter, I take my role very seriously. People are relying on me to tell them what the new things (THINGS!) will be not only now but in the very near future. If you are going to stay ahead of the other sheep then you need to know what’s happening on the street, and if that were a little bit snappier than it would be my motto.

Check it. So what’s new? What’s in? What’s out? Do they still shake it all about? Here’s the rundown for all you clowns:

  • Fashion – built-up domingo trousers are out and red felt jumpers are in. If you’re seen wearing a crimson woolly pull over then you will be in seventh heaven, baby. Catch two sock akenfolds round the ankles and it’ll seal the deal in a wigwam. Chas Henry was caught trying to sneak into a club in a skin-tight elephant bold trio top and was snapped by the paparazzi; how embarrassing!
  • TV – the latest now is actually yesterday. Repeats of old television programmes are flying under the radar however soon to hit the top of the schedules. An episode of ‘Follyfoot’ from 1972 last week received thirty five million viewers, mainly because people got confused and were tuning in to watch the ‘Bellew vs Usyk’ fight and instead were treated to a gentle children’s drama about horses. Risqué comedy ‘Calamity Trousers’, banned for the last twenty years or so due to questionable jokes about men’s genitalia, has also seen a rise in viewing figures;
  • Art – he may be known mainly for his poetry but Arthur “Lemon” Lemonson has strode well and truly into the 21st century with his art emporium ‘Wicked Snakepipe’, located in the more fashionable section of Hampstead Heath. Along with works of his own, he has recently displayed a number of stunning pieces by etiquette lesbian Jemima Quandry, foible godfather Ronny Biglake and genius water feature Romily Snaft. The current gallery hosts an exhibition about the struggles of cleaning a sieve and why pineapples struggle with karaoke;
  • Film – look away into the distance as the pull of New Zealand cinema is strong during the latter half of 2018. The seminal three hour documentary ‘Loincloth’, winner of three Sundance awards already, about the demise of the one fashionable item of clothing, is about to hit key cinemas around the country in the coming weeks. You are strongly advised to book your tickets now because this is going to be an onslaught of a film. Critically acclaimed drama ‘Your Fingernails are Uncanny’, following the slow degeneration of an office worker and how she struggles to cope with typing at 50 words a minute or more, will be sweeping down in the UK just this side of Christmas. Finally shock comedian Bawdy Moonpacket’s fifth foray into cinema, ‘Saucepan Solar Eclipse’, will be edging its way towards you like a woodlouse on a mission at the beginning of December. Following a full 40 minutes being removed from the original director’s cut, it has been able to secure an 18 certificate to allow it to be shown in UK cinema. You’ll thank me for this one.

So there you go.

As well as this, to get ahead of the crowds, perhaps you’ve got this weekend free? If so, dip down to Doncaster where the latest sport, sheep flipping , is taking place. Can you turn a sheep 360 degrees in mid-air and have it land on its feet? Would you like the opportunity to find out?

That’s all you need right now to show how much you are right on the fashions. I will be back again soon to lead you up the garden path of trend, like the angry daschund I am.

Good night.