User avatar Selling a car

Are you tired of being able to move around at speed with the radio on and feel like maybe you’d prefer staying in the same place and owning more money instead? Then perhaps you’d like to sell your car.

Before the fall of the People’s Democratic Republic of Great Britain, you could only sell your car to the National People’s Used Car Supermarket, where the secret police would beat you until you agreed to their low, low prices. But nowadays there’s lots of ways to sell a car.

All those websites that say they buy any car dot com

They’ll tell you on their website that your car is worth an amount that is actually slightly higher than what you paid when you bought it. Then they make an appointment for you to go in and sell it to them. When you arrive (at a dirty portakabin at the wrong end of a supermarket car park) a disinterested man will ask you lots of questions, photograph the car from all angles and then take it for a desultory test drive before phoning his boss in, I don’t know, Milton Keynes or Stockholm or Barbuda. They will then offer you £300 for it. You say you know the car is worth more than that and on the website their estimate said £45,000 and a gold tiara. The man sighs like you’re one of the difficult ones and phones his boss back and says OK, they can go up to £350. You leave.

Trade it in

If what you actually want is another car (seriously, what’s wrong with you, you’ve got a car, just drive that for god’s sake, what do you want a different one for, they’re basically all the same) then you might be able to give your car to the person who is selling you the new car. That way you give them a car and some money instead of giving them some money and some more money. When you do that they will look at it and nod thoughtfully and tell you the microscopic scuff on the paintwork that is so small you’ve never actually seen it before knocks a bit of value off the car, and then they offer you £450 for it. You leave, saying you’ll sell it elsewhere instead. Like, seriously, just keep the car you have and drive that, you cretin, what are you even putting yourself through all this for.

Sell it privately

The person who will pay the most for your car is some idiot off the street who knows no more about cars than you do and who isn’t aware that it’s worth either £350 or £450 depending on which professional shyster you ask. All you have to do is make them aware of it. To do that you photograph it from every angle and list it on a website that trades autos. They list a phone number on their website that connects directly to your mobile number and for the next few days you keep receiving phone calls from sullen, suspicious-sounding men with a range of intimidating accents who sound like people you would normally cross the street to avoid. They ask you questions you don’t think you’re qualified to answer and try to beat you down on the asking price before they’ve even come to see the damn thing. You hope one of them just buys it and goes away soon so you can take down the advert and end your time as a chat line for middle aged men who are obsessed with timing belts and vehicle tax bands.

Next steps

When you have sold your car, don’t forget to buy another car with the money so you can go through the whole exhilarating process again in a few years’ time.

User avatar Girly handwriting

In the office at work, my colleague Hal is looking at the equipment book and trying to work out who borrowed something without bringing it back. We write the name of the person and the thing they took and the date we expect it back, and normally we can just recognise the handwriting of the person who signed it out.

“I don’t know who signed this out,” says Hal.

“Whose handwriting is it?” says Annie who is sitting at the desk.

“I don’t know,” says Hal, placing the book on the desk and pointing at it. “Have a look. It’s in really girly handwriting.”

I walk over and have a look at the book.

“It’s my handwriting,” I say.

“Sorry,” says Hal, “but it is very girly.”

User avatar A Touching Message

Books, ah, books. Such curious, interesting things, aren’t they?

And if that was my post in its entirety then that would make for one boring entry in the Beans cannon. Let’s try again.

Books, ah, books. Weird lumps of shit, aren’t they? They are weird. They contain strange stories that come from people’s minds. Sometimes though stranger things can come forth from fiction. Take for example the messages people write in books; a lot of the time it’s a simple message such as, “Happy Birthday Sharon,” or, “Thanking you for your excellent pie, Dennis.” On occasion some people can take it a step too far.

I was browsing the vast and excellent selection of books in a local charity shop close to work when I picked a copy of ‘Wind in the Willows’ by chance. Inside was a message which must have made sense to someone at some point. My own viewpoint, some thirty years later however, left me wondering just who I was and what was going on. It was too good to miss, so here it is:

Barmy.

User avatar The most infuriating fruit

The survey results are in. The winner’s name is being carved onto the award. Pomegranate is the most infuriating fruit. It’s a fact. You know it’s true.

  1. Its name is clearly pronounced “pom-e-gran-it” but for some reason it’s spelled with the letters “ate” at the end. Ridiculous.
  2. The outer skin is designed to only come off in a thousand leathery flakes.
  3. The edible bits are approximately one million tiny bloblets of fruit. Before you can eat them you have to excavate them all in a sort of miniature mining project. This takes absolutely forever.
  4. When you eat the edible bits you find that the nice juicy tasty bit takes up only about half of it and the rest is a woody seed that gets stuck in your teeth.
  5. The edible bits are actually called “arils” which is just pretentious. Gaaaaah. I hate it.

On the other hand they do taste nice.

User avatar Stationary Harassment

I was the victim of a crime, a crime that mostly goes unnoticed.

As I returned the trolley to the bay in Asda car park I was greeted by the following sight:

Was this dog doing anything wrong? Not really, he was protecting the car until his owner came back.

Was I doing anything wrong? No, because I was returning the trolley to where it belonged.

So why did the dog look at me as though I HAD done something wrong? Where was the justification for the judgement in his eyes?

I did test this by clocking him on the way past the first time and walking slower on the way back. His eyes burrowed deep into mine, never flinching, never blinking. It was the longest five seconds of my life I’d ever experienced in a car park.

There was the chance that I looked like someone else or perhaps he was hoping I’d open the door and set him free.

Or maybe, just maybe, he was hoping I’d come a little closer so he could bark the fuck out.

I’ll never know what I did to that dog and, quite frankly, I don’t think I want to know.

User avatar Beverage news

Are you tired of drinks that are grumpy, uncouth or simply downright rude? Do you long to quench your thirst with a liquid that’s polite and mild-mannered?

Then look no further.

At last, a drink with manners. A tipple fit for gentlemen. Courtesy Water will give you the refreshing taste of water and the full package of pleases and thank yous in a single 2-litre bottle.

User avatar Loudermilk

Loudermilk. Loudermilk. Is it a request? “This milk is a little quiet for my liking; could I have some Loudermilk please?”

Is it a company? A Finnish crime drama?

It’s none of these things. Loudermilk is a surname. I recently caught the beginning of an episode of what seems like an endless stream of Power Rangers series’. The newest is called something like Mega Team Force Pencil Schnapps Eyebrows. One of the actors is the brilliantly named John Mark Loudermilk.

Then, just to seal the deal in a wigwam, if you type it into Google something else completely different comes up.

‘Loudermilk’ is an American TV comedy series about a recovering alcohol and substance abuse councillor with a bad attitude.

This morning I was not even aware of the word and now I know two very differing kinds of Loudermilk. Could there be more? As I once told Eamonn Holmes, “there’s only one way to find out!”

Unfortunately the library is closed today so we will all have to wait.

This just continues the theory that everything that should be invented has already been invented. Had I been in charge, however, I would have preferred the name ‘Shoutymilk’, and Brian Blessed would have had top billing.

User avatar Book news

Are you ready?

OK then, here it is.

The Book is finished.

I have finally, FINALLY, written the final page of the Book and the story is complete. I’m going to scan it in so you can read it to your children and share it with your friends, and you’ll have to wait until then to get hold of the thrilling finale. What will happen to Eric Bins? Will Dr. Rombobulous Combobulation succeed? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I’ve typed it up so that we don’t have to read handwriting in the online version, and I can present you with some statistics.

The finished book is 34 pages long, which means we all did eleven pages and I did one extra at the end.

  • Ian wrote 2,563 words
  • Kev write 2,505 words
  • I wrote 3,220 words and am therefore the winner

The first page of the book was written on 10 January 2009, and I finished writing the last one on Thursday, so it has taken us 3,226 days to write it, or exactly eight years and ten months. We have averaged one page every 94 days – less than four a year – or, if you prefer, two and a half words a day. I think we can all be proud of that.