User avatar Pointless purchase of the month: Chris edition

Normally when we take a look at pointless purchases, it’s Ian who’s been pointlessly purchasing things, and I’m one of the smug onlookers who gets to decide whether to just feel superior or whether to mix the feeling of superiority with a bit of heckling. Today’s different. Today it’s me that’s spent my hard-earned London pounds on something useless.

Here we are, then. Thanks to the fan club mailing list, I offloaded some cash to pre-order this highly collectible limited edition picture disc vinyl of Flood, They Might Be Giants’ biggest album, which has been released to mark its 30th anniversary. It turned up in the post this week.

The B-side has frames from the music video for “Birdhouse in Your Soul” on it, so when you play the record it animates.

This purchase is particularly pointless because I do not have a record player. I cannot play this record. Nor do I need to; I’ve got Flood in my iTunes library and have had it for years. This is just for me to look at. I might even frame it.

Also, it’s yellow. I like yellow things.

User avatar Spoon Amnesty

This is an appeal by me on behalf of me.

As you are all (?) probably aware of by now, I have moved into my own place and whilst this is the best thing that has happened to me for absolutely ages it has meant a bit of a wake up call. No longer are all the THINGS at my disposal that most people take for granted. Occasionally I go to look for something and remember that I don’t have it, or it’s on the list to be gotten in the near future.

Gradually, I am getting there but there is something quite shocking that I need to bring to your attention. I need spoons.

You may laugh however I am in dire straits. Kev’s wife’s mother (tenuous link at the best of times) only gave me 34 spoons when I first moved in. When I asked for more they looked at me and laughed, like a set of common goons. I pleaded, begged for anything else they could give me. When they told me no I excused myself and snuck through into the kitchen in the hope of pilfering some of theirs. The drawers were locked though; no more spoons for me.

When Emma visited the flat she bought me a couple of items for moving in, one of which was a cutlery set. This very lovely yet very basic package only had 4 teaspoons and 4 tablespoons. I told her it wasn’t enough, that more were needed and she looked at me as though I was a crazed hermit, picking up empty tins in the hope of finding money. When I ordered her to take a taxi to the nearest late-night spoon vendor she pretended to take a phone call and hurried away.

Daily deliveries of spoons are coming in. It’s not enough though, I need more. More than more. If there is a bigger value than more then that is what I need. I went door to door, asking for more, from my new neighbours. Most of them slammed the doors in my face. “No spoons today”, they announced before giving me a face full of wood. Shocking to say the least.

Please, if you have any measure of kindness in your bare bones, give me all the god damn spoons you have right now. In your pockets, in your drawers, at your parents’ house, I don’t care how you get them but hand or send them to me before I run out. Who knows what will happen when I’m left spoonless, a mere shell of a man eating cereal with a fork

User avatar Ian’s horoscope

It took him long enough, and I had to ask virtually every day, but Ian has now finally told me his star sign. So now, just in time for the new year, I can give him his horoscope for 2020.

Sagi-taurus

Outlook for 2020

Your love of cake motivates you to accomplish up to three things this year!

Motto: if you can reach it, you can make it sticky.

Love life

King, the god of love and pride, is your ruler and as he starts the year out in Aquarius, your mind opens to new ideas and new sexual positions. A new postman will visit your house between November and December, when your focus will be to make intimate connections to something larger than yourself, like a Volkswagen Passat or a Nisa-branded newsagent.

Venus enters your sign in early March for about three weeks. Pleasure and passion will combine to help you enjoy the finer things in life. The one retrograde period is from mid-May to end of June, during Venus’s trip through Gemini, causing you to ponder the benefits of online dating. While you have a high ratio of kissing within lips, it’s interesting to consider the alternatives.

Fortunes

Uranus, the planet of innuendo, will be ramping your sign all year, causing upheaval. Your outgoing, annoying personality is backed by your power planet, Jupiter. That means your good luck is directly tied to your arms this year, ensuring that you make your own luck by working hard and actively shaping your own future, perhaps by drawing it or even by acting out your desires as charades when you think nobody is looking.

You’re ready to work hard for the pleasures life has to offer – you will get particular joy this year from hot, salty chips, walking the wrong way on an escalator and free online pornography. You don’t have to apologize for that, unless you try to enjoy all three at the same time.

Your senses are awakened, and you will consider launching your own range of salad dressings.

Progress

Winning is your main objective and you can be a sore loser. The sun visits your sign in the spring, but hates you and doesn’t stay for long. Frustrated, you will destroy anything in your path, ramming your way toward achieving your goals. Anyone who stands in your way now will get decked.

The B&M Home Stores sale, from early October to mid-November, helps you reawaken your underlying fire and understand why you’ve been running out of basic toiletries so often. Embrace opportunities for spiritual healing now.

User avatar Grapes – The Right Time

Put them down right now.

Take your lump of grapes and put them back in the fridge. Stop enjoying them. Do you realise you could be putting your life at risk by eating them at the wrong time?

I know that grapes may look very harmless but that’s what they want you to think. Vicious killers they are. Well, maybe not killers; vicious little things they are. If you start pushing them down your face hole then all manner of things could go wrong. Let me ease you into the potential minefield of grape eating by telling you what you need to know. Here’s a helpful guide:

  1. Make sure you run them under some rubbing alcohol, or possibly some chlorine, before putting them in your mouth.
  2. Only eat even numbers of grapes.
  3. Do not eat them after 8:30pm. The optimum grape eating time is between 7:30 and 8:00pm, with a tiny window of opportunity available shortly thereafter. If you try to eat grapes after this then no matter how much you chew them they will reform in your stomach and come out whole, like sweetcorn but bigger. Unless you want to start pooing out little green nuggets you check the time first, young ‘un.
  4. Do not eat grapes in the morning. You will look weird and wrong.
  5. When you are done eating the grapes put the stalk in the microwave for thirty seconds then throw it out the nearest window. This will appease the Grape Apes and they will not lay siege to your house.

Please listen to my advice as I have been studying grapes for years now, almost decades, and I know what I’m talking about. I am currently a ‘Food Botherer’ however it has come to my attention that certain people may be doing it wrong and I take great care in handing out useful information when I can.

User avatar 2020 State of the Beans Address

Good day to you all. Thank you. You’re very kind.

My name is Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE. It is a great privilege to join you here at Fairburn Ings visitor centre for the sixth annual State of the Beans Address. Please could I request that you do not feed the ducks until the formalities have concluded, and also please don’t feed any of the crispy Peking duck to the ducks. The RSPB are trying to avoid another Mad Cow Disease type incident with their mallards.

Continue reading 2020 State of the Beans Address

User avatar The More You Know – The Chris Explosion

It’s been floated around for some time now and there’s been an awful lot of confusion as to what happens. You know what I’m referring to; that urban myth that has been haunting this website for as long as I or anyone else can remember. Legend says that if Chris Marshall watches a film, any movie whether short, black and white, foreign or animated, he will explode.

You may laugh at such a premise but it is true. A genuine medical condition that only affects one in twenty million, ‘Brewster Explodius’ came to light during the middle of the twentieth century. The first recorded case was a Clarice Mucklesniff, a 26 year old waitress from North Dakota. She was going to the movies with her boyfriend and less than five minutes into the opening credits she exploded. Her bits were catapulted across the theatre, landing mostly in the aisles bar her arms which landed in the lap of an elderly couple towards the front. Since then there have been multiple cases all over the world of this unfortunate illness.

So we move to our current case, Christopher “Christopheles” “Sausage and Cheese Isosceles” Jimmy Jam-Jam Marshall. Poor Chris has been living with this for most of his life. It was lucky that a friend of the family, who is au fait with these kinds of medical conditions, was able to diagnose him before the worst could happen. In order for us to understand more, we need a hypothetical situation:

A HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION:

Chris has had a hard day at work. He’s taken off his feather boa and decides to relax on the sofa before making some food. As he picks up the remote to browse some channels, the TV opens on that bit in ‘Cocoon’ where the old people get in the pool with the aliens and have a pool party. 

  1. His eyes witness the film on the screen. The retinal pools record the information and turns it into some weird shapes and colours, possibly resembling cats. This makes it easier to send it up the pipe shaft.
  2. The information travels up the pipe shaft, past the nosal tubes, towards the front part of the brain, more commonly known as the Gluco-chaffinch. Here it is split into several nixtoglands and sent to the seven corners of the human mind.
  3. For a normal person this would be fine; the nixtoglands would reach their destination and everyone would feel great. Several people would do backflips. For Chris though this is the beginning of the end. When the seven corners are activated it causes the multo peak in the glorbo cells to light up. 
  4. Now it is only a matter of time. The blood pumps up into his face muscles which only accelerates the process. The glorbo cells chat to the peanuke rittles causing a chain reaction between the two, meaning a complex chemical implosion that reverses around the maypole and turns back into an explosion. 
  5. It goes off. His head catapults to the ceiling. His noses fires off into the kitchen. The eyes don’t make it that far and the ears flop to the floor. The body doesn’t move from the position, it’s still enjoying the film.

I don’t need to tell you that this cannot happen, ever, mainly for my sake because then it’ll mean I’ll be down one friend and will need to hold auditions for a new one to fill the position. Do you know how long that’ll take? Far too long. Please keep my friend safe and never show him any films.

User avatar A lesson learned

You know what you need to be careful with? Ian. You need to be careful with Ian.

You need to be careful because he’ll take something silly you say and he’ll see it through right the way to the end. Like – just for example – if you make a joke about wanting a bucket of Tunnock’s Teacakes for Christmas.

Like I say, be careful. Very careful. Otherwise the results could be devastating.

User avatar New Job – Food Botherer

The list of my previous professions is as long as any of Kev’s shopping lists from ‘B & Q’ when he was back in the glory days of daily updates to his house. It got so bad that rather than daily deliveries they just built a B & Q Warehouse next to his ever-expanding mansion and wheeled whatever he needed over the road. That’s service for you.

My new job was thrust upon me by someone else though. For once I have not chosen it for myself, it was a gift from a friend. Who was it? I can’t remember, either Tom or Kev. That part isn’t important, look at me will you?

So we are all sat around the local Harvester having a swell old time eating some free salad and swapping stories about how mental our respective kids are. When the main food arrives everyone, or mostly everyone, sets about stuffing the chow down their gullets. I got my chops around a tasty piece of gammon with both (controversial in some parts) egg and pineapple. Some of our party however were a little reluctant to indulge. How does one convince a child of a young age to stop titting about and start eating? There are a number of ways, some good and some bad. The best way, so it would seem, is to threaten the child with me.

“If you don’t eat your food up, Uncle Ian will start eating it himself and you don’t want that now, do you?”

Do I really want some lukewarm cheesy pasta, possibly scattered with a smattering of phlegm and sneezed upon? No. Do I like the fact that I am now being flaunted as some kind of food boogie monster? Yes, very much so. Whilst initially being a little hesitant to accept the role now handed to me like a hand grenade made of poisoned spikes, I am willing to take that box of beans and run the rest of the way. I can finally command the kind of respect I have been looking for all these years, through a mix of fear and abject misery. They will concoct a rhyme about my exploits. I will be looking over the shoulder of every stubborn eater, with my mouth open and a fork poised, ready to strike when they lean back to take a little rest.

YES! Hear my name and fear my shadow. I am coming for your half-eaten burgers, your shunned lasagne and garlic bread, your unhappy quiche and ignored leftover pizza. I am coming for you.

“You dare not leave your plate alone,
He’s creeping up like a silent drone,
With eyes of fire and stomach of steel,
He’s coming to take your unguarded meal!”