Avatar Shenanigans

Before Christmas seems like an age away now. Do you remember what you were doing in December? No? Do you remember what you did yesterday? That’s a worry. You should get that checked out.

It was a fairly relaxed afternoon in the office and I was on my own as the time ticked towards the end of the day. Being chief morale officer in our team, a role I assigned to myself, I decided it would be best for some harmless mischief. I cast my gaze in the direction of the helpful list indicating the correct terms for the phonetic alphabet. Within a few minutes I had come up with my own and replaced it, expecting it to be mostly ignored as nobody ever seemed to use it.

When we returned after Christmas, I had largely forgotten what I had done… that is until my boss turned to me and asked if I was responsible.

“Responsible for what?” I asked, playing dumb. She had, apparently, noticed immediately and because of my reputation for zany behaviour I was clearly the culprit. Luckily due to it being silly, nothing was said about it. Everyone had a laugh. Ha ha!

“You almost threw me because you don’t have a daughter and this one here mentions one,” she said.

This was the sticking point.

This was the focus of most people’s questions and not the fact that I had made up three new words, referenced an album by Steps and a TV programme with Jack Whitehall.

Avatar Damp saga

You’ve heard of tap saga. Now prepare yourself for… Damp Saga. The story of one man’s quest to conquer the Forces of Dampness that threaten to overthrow his way of life, turning everything slightly moist and, upon close inspection, slightly mouldy.

I am currently battling dampness on four war-torn fronts.

From the north, the paint on the bathroom windowframe and windowsill has worn away to a point where wood is visible. This is because, in their infinite wisdom, previous owners of the house positioned the bath under the window, so when you have a shower you spray the whole window area with water.

From above, the new loft insulation I fitted last year is keeping the house warm, but it’s also keeping the loft damp, with condensation forming to such a degree that in very cold weather it effectively rains in there. Everything we store in the loft is now under tarpaulins, except for the things we didn’t cover in time, which are ruined. I have fitted new vents to the roof to get some fresh air through it and eliminate this unwelcome indoor microclimate.

From below, the very high water table in this area (the whole housing estate might be built in what is technically a lake) means that in anything less than drought conditions the lawn is often under an inch of water. My neighbour has an elaborate plan to resolve this by digging big holes, creating new soakaway pits and laying pipes, though I can’t help feeling that his plan will only succeed if they are big enough to absorb all the rain in this area of Hampshire.

And from the west, water running downhill through a series of back gardens is now making its way through the wall of the garage, where it turns out the woodwork starts below ground level. This means that, now the monsoon season has arrived in the loft, we have nowhere to store anything that we wish to keep dry. A big damp patch is creeping across the floor and fixing it is going to involve removing a whole line of garden fence and digging up part of next door’s garden. I have made a half baked effort to deal with the symptoms using wood preserver and cutting holes in the garage wall to allow air in. I do not feel hopeful about this.

Unlike #tapsaga, there is no satisfying ending to this where, after a hundred frustrating steps, everything works out. This saga is just an ongoing list of damp situations. Thankfully the inside of my car is still dry, most of the time, so I have decided to live there instead. Please send towels and talcum powder.

Avatar Moosin’ Aroun’

Adventure unbound, shockin’ the groun’, he’s…

You’ve seen his HILARIOUS YouTube videos and now it’s time for Moose, the plucky dog, to take his show on the road.

He’s coming to your home town (or somewhere nearby, geographically speaking) with his patented over the top sense of humour.

Expect antics, japes, jokes, capers, shenanigans, pranks, larks, escapades, romps, frolics, high jinks and even a few special guests.

Tickets are onsale now. VIP passes are available but only while stocks last!

Book as quick as your fingers can type!

Avatar The ‘Ianiest’ thing

We’ve crept into 2023. I side-stepped in a few days ago, crimsonly of course, and it looks and feels very much like 2022. There’s a distinct 2022 sheen over the whole thing. I expect this is how most years will be now, a smear of what happened previously, everything looking awfully familiar with only a few choice moments to differentiate the two. Yes, I know that does sound awfully bleak for the first post of the year. I’m fine with it and you should be too, so deal with it.

The good news is that based on the comments from my last post it seems like a great time for a poll;

What is the most ‘Ianiest’ thing ever?

We all know that the years have been littered with a lot of ‘Ian’ stuff from things that I’ve said to things that I’ve done or even things that I said I would do. Here’s a few that immediately come to mind:

  • The time I decided to eat a raw red onion and asked Reuben to film me doing it. It took about four attempts because of the strength of the onion. I couldn’t taste anything else for the next three days.
  • Sending letters out as audio tapes on a Dictaphone (aka ‘the Mackford Files’).
  • The time you were both visiting and we took Reuben out to the park. When it started raining (I hate this, why did I do this?) I took off my t-shirt and used it to dry the slide so Reuben wouldn’t get wet.
  • After a night out, standing in the queue for the takeaway behind some policemen, throwing up quietly into a plastic cup because I’d drank too much.
  • Trying to bring back the “finger wiggle dance” from the 1920’s and 1930’s to the 21st century with very little success (which, after a very brief look on the internet, may be called ‘Truckin’ – “The right hand is held up (as in a right turn signal) with the index finger extended and wagging.”) I’m still working on the Lindy Hop.
  • Getting half-cut off three pints, catching an Uber home, cooking Reuben’s tea, doing the washing up and then hopping on a bus back to town for more drinks.

Given that our subscription numbers are decidedly low, it will not be a vote and instead all submissions will be judged by myself and assembled into a numerical list in a future post. I will have the final say on what is the ‘Ianiest’ of all time although I will allow some general input once the top five (or three, or two if the cupboards are running dry) has been compiled. This therefore guarantees me a future post which is a win in my book.

I’ve done too many things to remember so I need your help to recollect because, as we all know, “Remembering is fun”.

We definitely need to copyright that at some point.

Avatar The video is uploaded

That is all I have to say. It’s New Year’s Eve, my Christmas tree is already put away for next year and after a rather lengthy tidy up over a few days, the flat has never looked better.

You can now witness my unboxing of Chris’ mysterious package (not a euphemism)on the Tube of Yous and it will only take you less than a minute. I am making a list of items to purchase with all the revenue the video is going to generate. It’s going to be a huge winner.

I expect 2023 to be the best for everyone. Happy New Year to all.

Avatar A little help

Back in November, I sent Ian his belated birthday present. Film yourself opening it, Kev and I said, so we can see the joy and wonder on your face as you open the tat you’ve been sent. Ian said he would do this.

It’s now been nearly three weeks since Ian told us he’d made the video but hadn’t yet got it onto YouTube. We are still waiting with baited breath to see him open his present. Kev, of course, hasn’t seen the present yet and doesn’t know what it is. I have seen the present, because it was me that bought and wrapped it, but so much time has elapsed since the video was promised that I’ve honestly forgotten what it was.

As a genuine YouTuber, I have decided to do what I can to help, and have dedicated my latest video to explaining how to get a video onto YouTube and then put it into a post on the Beans. Everything then got a bit meta because I uploaded the video, showing you how to upload a video to YouTube and post it to the Beans, to YouTube, and then after that I posted it to the Beans. Anyway… here it is.

Avatar Great British programme pitches

Years ago, someone had a brilliant idea. They’d get a big tent from somewhere, fill it with ovens and home cooks, and then run a low-stakes baking competition where people put in a lot of wholesome effort to see if they could make the nicest cake. Some family-friendly presenters would make gentle innuendo and hug contestants who dropped things on the floor. It’s still on TV and it’s still doing well.

What TV executives really like is more of the same. If you find a thing that works, and pulls in an audience, they want to produce more TV exactly like that. So after the Great British Bake Off, you got the Great British Sewing Bee (pitch: like the Bake Off, but people are sewing things), the Great British Pottery Throwdown (pitch: like the Bake Off, but people are making pottery), the Great British Menu (pitch: like the Bake Off, but for main courses), Interior Design Masters (pitch: like the Bake Off, but for making rooms look tasteless), and now Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas (pitch: like the Bake Off, but with Christmas decorations).

I reckon I could have a go at this crap as well. First thing tomorrow I’m marching into Channel 4’s headquarters, demanding a meeting with the boss and giving him my snappy pitches for these shows, now in development:

The Great British Veg Patch

Like the Bake Off, but for growing vegetables. A really slow, relaxing watch, since a single challenge takes the contestants all year. Most of their time is spent sitting in their potting sheds waiting for the rain to ease off. In the showstopper challenge they have to present their most humorously-shaped root vegetable. Hosted by Scott Mills.

The Great British Drag Race

Like the Bake Off, but for racing noisy muscle cars over very short distances. Has nothing to do with drag queens. The grotty, macho world of drag racing will be made softer, cuddlier and more family friendly by having the drag races happen inside a big tent on a giant gingham tablecloth. Hosted by Matt Hancock.

The Great British Steel Works

Like the Bake Off, but for producing industrial grade steel from iron ore. Contestants race to turn out neatly shaped ingots of pure steel at white hot temperatures while trying not to set the tent alight. Before each challenge, lovingly-drawn colour sketches of the precise cubes of steel each contestant plans to make will be shown on screen. Hosted by Lorraine Kelly.

I’m pretty sure this is my path to fame and fortune. If you want in on it, pitch me your Great British rip off ideas in the comments and I’ll see if I want you in on the meeting.