Today is a sad day, its the day we’ve had to say goodbye to the Metal Horse™.
For a while now I’ve been looking for my next big business idea that will expand my already substantial entrepreneurial portfolio and take me to the next level. I’m ready to be the next Jeff Bezos and I think I’ve come up with the product that’s going to get me there.
Now, excitingly for you, I’m offering you the once in a lifetime opportunity to get in on the ground floor with the biggest idea of the century. Throw your cold, hard cash my way and reap the benefits. No more work for you. Once this idea takes off the hardest you’ll ever have to work is when you decide which of your tropical beachfront homes you’ll visit next week. Will it be Bermuda or the Seychelles? Goa or Bridlington? The choice, and the gold-plated superyacht, will be yours.
Here’s the pitch. Brace yourself.
What’s big right now? What is everyone into? The internet.
Where are people spending their money? What’s right on the fashions? Internet-enabled objects.
But everything’s on the internet now. Cars, fridges, electric toothbrushes. What part of your life hasn’t been connected to the internet yet?
Introducing iGrass™, the internet-enabled lawn.
- Webcams are embedded in your lawn, equipped for 4K video streaming and with nightvision capabilities
- Microphones at soil level capture every glorious rustle and every growing blade
- IntelliPoke™ probes infiltrate the underlying strata of leafmould, mulch and root systems to provide real-time feedback on moisture levels, nutrient balance and worm density
These key technologies connect to the iGrass HD app (available for iOS and Android) via Bluetooth, allowing you to monitor your lawn in real time, from wherever you are, and receive automatic push notifications whenever an unwanted weed takes root or a cat has a wee nearby. You can also share pictures, beautiful data infographics and animated GIFs of your digital grass on social media straight out of the app.
Everything is better once it’s connected to the internet and if your frankly mediocre lawn is ever going to turn into something you can be proud of you need to get it online pronto. iGrass™ is the product to help you do it.
Convinced? Of course you are. Quick, chuck me your life savings. You won’t regret it.
Residents in the North-West part of England are under threat once again from the notorious local graffiti artist, Fat Ankles.
Photos obtained from a reliable source show the mysterious tagger going at various walls in the loveliest parts of Lytham St Anne’s. They had previously been spotted in areas of Preston, Blackburn and Kirkham, and seem to strike at random rather than following some kind of sensible pattern.
Members of the Local Authority are baffled by the exploits of the graffiti artist because no matter how many security cameras they put up they are still without any footage of the damage being done.
“It’s unusual to say the least,” rambled Audrey Rampart, head of the local police constabulary. “This person or persons leave no trace of ever being there apart from the aforementioned message of ‘Fat Ankles’. I mean, are they having a go at everyone with fat ankles or do they call themselves ‘Fat Ankles’? It’s not a great nickname by any stretch of the imagination. If it were me, I would use something much more imaginative like ‘Anal Jumper’ or ‘Florida Cottage Ski Jump’. Now those names are eye-catching.”
As well as the diverse locations of graffiti, there are no consistencies when it comes to font, font colour or punctuation. Sometimes they use capital letters, other times the message is entirely in lower case. Once it was even attempted with numbers with a ‘FAT ANK135’, written on the garage door of Barney Botham’s Limousine Rides and More, a profitable business from Blackpool, with no explanation for doing so.
It seems as though the rampage, if you can really call it that, will continue unless someone can step in and put a stop to the whole affair. You can bet that it won’t be Audrey Rampart. “I once did a stakeout and fell asleep five minutes in. Caffeine makes me sleepy rather than keeps me awake. I woke up the next morning with a coat hanger in my hair and glitter on my teeth. It wasn’t even really a stakeout, we don’t do those in this country. I was sat waiting for the drive-through at McDonalds to quieten down.”
If you have any information which may assist the police, please send it to the police.
The newest issue of ‘Magic Monthly’ has rated every kind or type of wizard in the modern world and it has left several feeling slightly embarrassed. The magazine had been threatening to do this for the last few months and it seems as if September, following a summer of misery for fantasy and everything else in general, was the best time to unleash it.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers of the periodical that the usual crowd occupied the top five spots: magicians, mages, wizards of light, wizards of power and Dynamo in no particular order. In a shock turn of events though many that had previously rated pretty highly were left lurking in the lower numbers. This was the first time in twenty-five years that the novelty of Shit Wizards has not transferred into the popular levels of the top twenty.
“I don’t understand,” muttered Jack Hengly, leader of the Shit Wizard Collective, “everybody loves a shit wizard. I’ve made a career out of it. You go to pull a rabbit out of a hat and you accidentally spray mace in some kid’s eye. It’s a time-honoured tradition, especially in the UK. Quite what we did to earn number thirty-seven out of fifty is anyone’s guess.”
Lark Fonglebund, the representative of the Gangly Wizards, was also left similarly dumbfounded at their entry at number forty-four. “We’ve never placed anything lower than the late twenties. I was discussing this with my brethren last night via Skype and none of us could get our head’s around it. It feels very personal, I have taken this very personally. It’s practically bullying. They should feel ashamed of themselves.”
It came as no surprise to anyone when Chav Wizards hit number fifty straight away. There has never been any call for Chav Wizards, nor has anyone ever requested them, nor have they ever done anything deemed worthy by the magic community. In fact, nobody knows where they originally came from; it was as though they emerged during the night when everyone was sleeping and it was too late to do anything about them. This overall impression of those who can cast a spell to double their benefits in a matter of seconds hasn’t changed in decades.
“Look mate,” slurred Barry Scraggle, with a tab protruding from his mouth and a can of Newcastle Brown Ale in his battle-scarred hand, “we’ve had a bad reputation from day one. I don’t know why the f*cking f*ck cloud panty w*nkers have a problem with us. Yeah, all we do is drink cider and argue loudly in public places but that’s not against law. Well, part of it is. Some of it is. We know how to have a good time and those other hoity toity bookworm a*se cloggers are too busy making chapstick out of dragon’s earwax to notice.”
Not everyone hit the ground face first though. Animal wizards saw a surge in popularly, especially Weasel Wizards who landed the number nine spot a clear five places ahead of last year’s winners, the Beagles.
I recently got a new computer to play games on, and filled it with all the games I like to play. The games I most like to play are the ones I used to play when I was about 15. This includes one of my all-time favourites, SimCity 3000.
SimCity 3000 is full of silly jokes and unexpected references, and when I was 15 I didn’t get all of them. Coming back to the game in the last month or two, having not really touched it for perhaps the best part of a decade, a joke popped up that made sense to me for the first time, and it made sense thanks to one Kevindo F. Menendez and one Ian “Hotter Otter” McIver, who had kindly introduced me to a song the teenage Chris had never heard, and my life was all the better for it.
Thailand has opened a brand new zoo and it is one that has garnered the attention of the world’s media for offering a different kind of experience.
The ‘Khop Khun Animal Sanctuary’ based outside of the city of Phuket is revolutionary in its approach to animal captivity, if you can even call that. The entire park is open with no walls or barriers keeping the animals in one singular place. Instead, in order to keep visitors safe, every member must wear their very own human cage, placed around their head, body and legs to prevent any unwanted attention from the most rambunctious of residents.
Originally the idea of billionaire John Cho, it was fully realised, albeit with the help of Cho’s money, by Anastasia and Lloyd Botham, a couple originally from Milton Keynes. It was these forward-thinking biologists who designed the layout of the attraction with the animals in mind, more than the people.
“We wanted it to be outside inside, or more appropriately, we didn’t want the animals to know they were being kept inside something,” wittered Lloyd, “Their sense of freedom is much more important than anything else. They need to believe that nothing is stopping them from living their best life and though it may not be the habitat they are normally used to, it is much more humane than tiny cages in dingy corners of draughty warehouses.”
Anastasia was the one who crafted the “human cages” as they have come to be known as. “I was inspired by robots. I love the movement of robots, the style and look of robots. It then occurred to me that when people get close to sharks they lower themselves into the water in a giant cage for protection. Why not do the same thing on land? Not with sharks though because they’d die, unless they were put in a giant tank. I reckon it wouldn’t be the same though.”
After ten minutes of waffling she returned to the point. “We have several cages available for use. The family cage (AKA the “Bernard Manning”) is our most popular, allowing two adults and two children to wander through the park in tandem. The couple cage (AKA the “Howard and Marina”) is another favourite, for those who don’t want to chance it on their own. The solo cages (the “Katie Hopkins”) are also available although you’d be surprised at how often they are not used. People would prefer to travel in groups.
The controversy surrounding the sanctuary was deepened when several of the animals took it upon themselves to try and eat the paying patrons by pushing the cages over and clawing at the people like they were trying to scoop the last of the Pringles from the very bottom of the tube. Mike Sore and his fiancee, Klara Onspott, barely made it out alive.
“It was the most terrifying experience of my life,” rustled Mike, his wife-to-be shaking nervously at his side, “you never expect it to happen to you. There we were, laughing at the marmots when these two gorillas pushed over our cage and viciously swiping at us. Had we not flattened ourselves at the very bottom and called for help we wouldn’t be here today. Thank God gorillas have never had a box of Tic-Tacs.”
It’s fair to say that once the animal kingdom does learn about shaking that last chocolate-covered raisin from the bottom of the packet into the mouth in one seamless movement, the human race is doomed.
I’ve been driving my car into London a lot since all this nonsense started (the global crisis, that is, not the Beans) and I’ve had cause to ditch my ride in a lot of pay and display parking bays.
Most of the time I’m parking in them when they’re free, but sometimes I need to pay for half an hour here or there if my stay overlaps with the premium parking hours.
The best way to do this is not to stand by the road, like a mug, pushing buttons on your phone to pay for something. No, the best way to do it is to park up, take a photo of the sign for reference, and then stride away like the important London man-about-town that you are, dealing with the parking admin later, perhaps while sipping an organic cappucino in a hipster café, or even better, delegating the whole problem to your PA when you arrive in your 93rd floor corner office.
I suppose what I’m saying to you is that I went back through my camera roll and, even though I usually delete them at the end of the day, I discovered that I am building up quite a collection of parking information for the streets of the West End. And, lucky for you, I am willing to share this for your entertainment and enjoyment.
In this, the final episode of Series 2, we talk about the things we’d be the face of. In the process we discuss:
- Crossing the Road