Avatar ‘Iansurance’

Modern life sucks. We all know this and it’s reached the point now where there’s no point saying it because everyone knows it. We all need a little humour in our lives to raise the spirits and keep the home fires burning. Given the recent decline in the state of the country, doctors are prescribing laughter more and more for curing most common ailments. I rubbed a chuckle on a bruise the other day and felt much better.

I have been toying around with ideas for sitcoms for years now. Chris and I even challenged each other to write pilots for sitcoms in unlikely places (remember that?) way way way back in the day. Now that I have taken the leap into a brand new place of employment it’s only right to use my skills to aid the rest of the human race. I need to show the world that even though things are pretty pants right now you can forget all your troubles for around 24/25 minutes each week with my sitcom, ‘Iansurance’.

The main character is some berk called Ian. He works as a service agent at the Clifford Makin Insurance company. He’s on the phone most days and, boy, does he get into some hysterical comical scrapes. The thing is that Ian daydreams so the time between phone calls his mind drifts into bizarre places: sometimes he’s a horse flying through the sky, sometimes he’s a clown handing out leaflets to cats about making sure they have a mouse pension for when they retire and sometimes he imagines that every time he speaks rainbows shoot out of his mouth and they explode into chocolate muffins when they collide with solid objects.

His boss, Gloria Cookiesnatcher, doesn’t know about Ian’s daydreaming and continually praises him as the best on his team even though he’s the most lackadaisical of the bunch. The times when he suddenly wakes up to take a call saying, “Eugh, I didn’t know peach trees were flammable!” are laughed off as part of his quirky personality. Tsk tsk, there goes Ian again, he’s such a zany character.

As a strange twist, the love interest is the coffee machine. Ian loves coffee a lot. It’s what powers him, gets him through the day, fuels his imagination. The machine in the corner of the kitchen area doesn’t have a name but he refers to her as Susan with two e’s i.e., Sueesan. He doesn’t remember why he started calling her that nor why he assigned gender to an inanimate object. Ian professes his love to Susan each and every morning for handing him the wake-up juice. She responds by handing him said wake-up juice.

We’ll fill the rest of the roster with some wacky office types, a snidely cleaner, a religious man, two cats that we can hear the thoughts of and, I don’t know, a wise old woman who lives in a cupboard.

I am in the process of writing the first few scripts and expect a lot of attention when I’m done. Best jump on the golden gravy train trip now, guys.

Avatar Gaming Historian

Look at me and be inspired. What have I done for the last 38 years of my life? Good question. Next please.

What I have done is devoted my life to the very simple practice of picking up a thing and playing an imaginary thing on it. Some people have chosen to call these ‘video games’. I refuse to adopt this because I do not believe it accurately describes the thing. I call them ‘gamebopolies’. Only the most hard-core and committed members of the gaming community follow my lead because, yes, I am a leader.

Today’s topic is something close to my heart. As a child I would spend hours upon hours upon more hours playing gamebopolies on this most sacred of systems. What am I talking about? Why, young scamps, of course I’m referring to the Gamestation. Pull up a Tiktok and I’ll spin you a tale:

Photos of the console itself are not permitted under the Geneva Convention

The Gamestation was released in April 1995 by the Icelandic tech giant, Pony. The Pony Gamestation was released as a direct competitor to Shintendo’s upcoming Shintendo 54 and Trega’s Shattern consoles. Nobody expected Iceland to be capable of manufacturing such a complicated piece of electrical equipment as prior to this they were only known for ice, ice cubes and the DNA double helix (both the physical structure that exists in the human body that contains the information for creating and operating living systems and also the bitchin’ sound system capable of producing 100 decibels of might that has caused the hospitalisation of over one hundred and fifty people).

The Gamestation hit hard. The games were cheap to produce as they used playing cards for games instead of cartridges tat the previous generations had adtoped. For example, if you placed an ace of clubs, you would be greeted with ‘Grand Theft Auto’ whereas a simple three of hearts farted ‘Bubsy 3D’ in your general direction. Shintendo’s choices during this era of gamebopolies was noted as being a little short-sighted and they lost the war for the moment. They would have to wait ten years before they regained the momentum of the previous decade. Trega had already been losing ground for months prior and the Shattern did nothing to persuade the casual gamers of the age to set sail from Pony’s hallowed lake of sweet, sweet goodness.

PC gaming at the time was expensive. Only billionaires could afford a PC and therefore what little gamebopolies were released could only be played by Bill Gates and whatever other billionaires existed back in the mid-nineties. Hugh Heffner? Yeah him. And the two women from the ‘Philadelphia’ adverts, they must have had a giant wad. For example, Doom II on the PC only sold fifteen copies. It was a brilliant game by all standards: brooding, dark, quick of pace and maliciously violent. The only way little Jimmy was playing some Doom II though was if his older brother was a rich Texan oil baron.

I remember coming home from school and reaching straight for my Gamestation control nodule. I would be lost in the realistic 3D graphics, amazing music and tight controls and gameplay. Sometimes my friend Chevin would come round and we’d play two player deathmatch on the Gamestation’s flagship title, ‘Carmageddon’, where you scored points for mowing down civilians and blowing stuff up. Occasionally we’d play ‘Grand Theft Auto’ where you scored points for moving down civilians and blowing stuff up. It’s a shame ‘Postal’ was never released on the Gamestation because it was so wildly different from everything else on the system at the time; you scored points for only moving down civilians, you couldn’t blow anything up.

It was a wonderful time in my life. If you have memories of these gamebopolies or any others, then do let us know. Let’s share and be together as one giant community (with me as the leader).

Avatar A Question of Biology – what exactly is Ian?

The burning question that has been on all your lips since the beginning of the series is about to be answered. You know all Ian, you’ve seen him, smelt him (sadly, usually against your wishes), shook his hand and then wiped it on a towel afterwards for fear of what you may have picked up. He is a thing that exists, and you know this because he’s persistently annoyed you with stretchy pyjama trouser and fish mystery-based shenanigans for over half of your adult lives.

What is he though? What makes up an ‘Ian’ and how can we stop it happening again?

With the help of a team of scientists and through furious, various and meticulous scientific study, with the approval of the man himself, we finally have an answer. It would have been nice to display everything in a pie chart however that wasn’t in the budget (we blew the last of the money on a dash cam for Derek’s mother-in-law) so here’s a lovely list instead:

Components of the being known as ‘Ian’

43% – Castoreum
15% – Bells
12% – Sawdust
9% – Blood
6% – Laughter
5% – An inability to balance a spoon on his nose
3% – Teeth
3% – Beanbags
2% – Figs
1% – Jazz hands
1% – Cochineal Beetles

As you can see, here is conclusive proof that a lot of Ian is mostly filled with bits and bobs. His biology is a marvel to behold because, really, he shouldn’t still be alive given that the majority of his body is beaver sac excretions, wood remnants and hollow metal objects typically in the shape of a deep inverted cup widening at the lip that sounds a clear musical note when struck.

Further studies are encouraged and once we raise the funding via Stefan’s onlyfans page we should be set. His ‘NSFW Autumnal’ photo set is providing very popular with the usual internet weirdoes.

Avatar The last of the tang

I am a hoarder by nature.

I refuse to let go when others would be quite happy to throw those things away. I know this and in my own way I am doing my best to try and be a twenty-first century Womble of sorts.

There are times though when even I am powerless.

I wanted to finish it, I really did. I was going to get some custard and finish it off with dignity. In the end all it did was take up space in my freezer and now, many months later, if I tried to defrost and eat it then it would taste weird and probably give me some kind of stomach cramps.

Nonny no nay in my mouth-ay

I am sorry that I let you all down. I do like it tangy.

Avatar A Question of Geography – how French is Chris?

When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar. This riddle has nothing to do with today’s topic but I wanted to open with something a little different.

Chris moved down South ages ago, decades even. People cannot place exactly when he disappeared to be a Big Man in a Big Pond yet there is irrefutable evidence that it did happen because he’s not here anymore. When faced with the facts, everything becomes facts. He then decided to move even further South, something that nobody expected was possible. In fact he moved so far South that there are now reports that he’s no longer in this country. So exactly how French is Chris?

We all know that Chris can speak the language and has been to France several times in his life. On more than one occasion I have witnessed him holding an onion, not necessarily a string of onions around his neck but still it’s a layer of proof. Even though he was playing a character there is a section of ‘Newsboost’ where he dons a beret and speaks in a French account (whilst holding a pipe, probably a French pipe) gesturing wildly with his hands between shots. An eye witness has confirmed that this was entirely Chris’ idea during the planning stages of the production.

All this is pointing to the fact that prior to his move, Chris was already French or in the process of turning into French. The move to Bordon (which sounds suspiciously similar to Bordeaux) merely accelerated this, increasing his love for cheese and wine.

You may argue that this is no longer a case of geography and is more to do with psychology; the psychological changes that Chris is undertaking should be the topic of this post. I would argue back (in a louder voice, preferably looking at you with one stern eye) that there was the possibility of Chris returning to normal had he remained in his hole in London. The Frenchness of a person is immediately halted when placed around the most English of places and we all know how English London is. All that Cockney was keeping it at bay and would have continued to do so.

Whatever you choose to believe, the latest statistics from scientists have suggested that a whopping 79% of Chris is French and we all know that once you cross that risky 70% mark there is no going back. You may as well hop on a bicycle and precariously carry some baguettes down a cobbled street whilst mumbling under your breath. We may no longer have the same Chris as we once did so we can only make do with the one we have now. Remember the Plymouth lady who suffered a stroke and afterwards could only speak in Chinese? It’s nothing like that.

Avatar Gull guile

Last week I was shocked to discover a seagull shopping for carpets

The agony of choice…

I watched for a while but eventually had to return to work. By the time I left he still hadn’t decided which shade of grey he wanted. Who knows how long he was stood there.

Avatar Superhero sale

Good afternoon, sir. You must be here for our big sale. Yes, it’s been running for the last month or so and it has been very successful especially considering the downward turn in brick and mortar shop sales. I’ve barely had a moment’s rest these last few weeks, the staff have been rushed off their feet.

I feel as though I must admit that the majority of the shall we say more desirable super powers have already sold out. If you were hoping for the top tier stuff then you should have come on Black Friday. I still think we have a plethora of decent enough skills that you can wow your family, friends and work colleagues with should the case may be. Let me check out the back and I’ll be back in a moment.

Jeremy has picked out the three best of what is left for you, sir. There’s something for everyone. Let me see…

Flaming Onion Man

Feel the rage of a thousand suns. Feel the heat of a million barbecues. With this power you can generate onions from your hands, set them on fire and throw them at least six feet into the distance. Villains with quiver in fear at the sheer ferocity of the burning vegetables you can produce. They won’t know what hit them. They literally won’t know what hit them, you’ll throw them so fast. You’ll be pitching flaming onions as though they’re going out of fashion because, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known a flaming onion to not be the hottest topic on the menu.

Here’s a Pen Man

Isn’t it annoying when you’re trying to look for something to write with and there’s nothing within reach? Here’s a Pen Man has two pockets in his trousers that will produce an infinite amount of pens. They’ll never run out. They will also never bleed from the temperature being too warm and will work upside-down in water in space for up to 500 feet. You will be everyone’s best friend in the bank, post office or whatever other environment has an obtuse lust for the use of pens.

Smell Time Man

What’s that smell? Can you smell it? No, right now you can’t because you don’t have the newest thing in town; the ability to smell time. Haven’t you always wondered what the past smelt of? Now you don’t need to wonder because for every photo and ye olde time show reel of people from the “before you” times you will be able to take in the smells of that era. Even better, you can smell time before it’s happened. You’ll always know when tomorrow is coming and when the day is coming to an end. The alluring scent of a new hour. It will all be at your fingertips or nostrils or something like that.

Avatar Batloholic

Dear Batman,

Hello, Mr Batman sir. I have heard a lot about you since I was a child. You’re the world’s greatest detective. You have lots and lots of gadgets. You’re in perfect physical shape and can do anything you set your mind to. You can beat any villain that turns up in Gotham City. When was the last time you ate?

Your exploits have been turned into comics, television series’ and big film adaptations. There’s not a piece of merchandise in the world that doesn’t have your face on it. I bet in some countries there are even Batman rubber gloves and Batman condoms with some funny tagline: ‘The caped crus-lay-der’ or ‘for when you want to inspect her dynamic duo’. I’m not in marketing so I’m not very good at this. Yeah, they’re probably unlicensed and hidden away in the corner of Brazil or something. I doubt I’ll ever come across them.

Holy room-spinning debaucherously good fun, Batman!

What I will say is that I have never seen you on the booze. You may have at some point, I mean who doesn’t like a drink every now and then? You don’t have time to get wasted at your local, the Penguin has escaped and, I don’t know, unleashed an army of penguin explosives at an orphanage.

I can only presume that this was done without your say so and that you had no involvement whatsoever. I expect you will need to pass this to your lawyers (or bat lawyers, because everything is bat-related) to start the lawsuit. You don’t normally associated superheroes with hipflasks so lord knows what the company that made them was thinking. “Dads are heroes, dads like snifters of whisky when nobody is looking, let’s combine the two shall we?”.

Anyway, keep up the good work. I’ll drop by if I’m ever in the area.

All the best

Unspecified fan