Avatar One from the Archives – “Lyrics”

What do you do when you have a habit of keeping almost every scrap of paper that either someone wrote something on or drew a silly picture on? Eventually you have no choice but to sift through that paper and determine what stays and what goes.

As a parent, I was duty bound to keep a lot of Reuben’s pictures. Some were merely because they were cute and reminded me of simpler times, others were because they were downright weird and prompted referring to a psychiatrist for confirmation as to whether it was time to call the men in white coats. Shame you can’t call it a looney bin anymore because it’s not politically correct. It’s not a real bin full of loonies, how would anyone ever confuse a large building full of crazy people with a bin? Silly. I suppose looney building doesn’t have the same ring to it. “I’m going to put you in a looney office,”

Mixed in with some frightening scribbles of monsters ripping people in two and an invention of mine called the ‘Scuba Umbrella’, I found some hand-written lyrics for two of the Papples most played / most requested / best loved songs of all times: ‘Mincey Beef’ and ‘(Do it)’, the latter of which is a lot harder to type at 11pm at night.

Does it offer an insight into the collective minds at work? Does it share the rare genius hammering out the hits during a prolific time in their career? Not really. The top left-hand corner reveals what I think I was trying to crowbar into the song: mince, beef (obviously), nen tosh, Shergar (?), Aberdeen angus and no neddy beef. The rest is pretty much the lyrics of the song verbatim with the odd tweak here and there, no doubt as a result of hours of sweat and toil in the recording studio working out the best arrangement.

Let us not forget the immortal words: “Beef is back, meat attack.”

‘(Do it)’ is less interesting because there was only two strips of lyrics and nothing on the back. These were probably used as the starting blocks of the songs because they were transferred to somewhere more permanent, a larger piece of paper or a notebook, or maybe even a word document. It’s hard to remember the long ago times as we all know.

Avatar Dangle a dongle

A dongle is a gay wooden jigsaw puzzle designed to hang on the wall.

It comes with your own initials carved out of it.

And you can choose whether you have a bird, cat, dog, Christmas tree, train or flower motif at the bottom.

Directions: use paper and an envelope. Enclose 80p for each letter of your initial or name.

Ask for: a dongle. State the initials and motif that you want.

Write to: Dept FSFK, Puzzleplex, Stubbs Walden, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN6 9BY

Avatar Announcements

As we dwell on what it is to be human, how it is to act and treat others, and other big questions such as these, occasionally you sit down and decide that all of that can be pushed aside for the moment because there are more important things to consider. I mean, I could wax lyrical about the *checks* state of growing marrows in grow bags for hours on end, but who would really take the time to read it? Would you? I didn’t think so.

What you need is something to get excited about. What you need is a big ole’ bag of news that I can throw over you and you’ll drown in all my tasty, tasty titbits of information. I am doing it right now, as you read this; if you try to swim you won’t be able to from all the bumpy pieces of gossip I am using to weigh you down. You may be gasping for air and I am going to squeeze the life right out of you.

Actually, that sounds pretty threatening, so I’m not going to do that. Have a bunch of announcements instead:

  • Today is 22 June which means nothing but happiness and joy for the good people of America celebrating National Chocolate Éclair Day. Yes, it does sound completely made up and I would imagine that 99% of the population don’t even know that it is National Chocolate Éclair Day but who am I to stand in the way of our overseas cousins? Let them eat anything they want if it means that we can carry on receiving their Lucky Charms and odd flavours of soft drinks
  • Famous birthdays today include Meryl Streep, Cyndi Lauper and my personal favourite, Bruce Campbell. Keep on tooting, guys
  • For my personal announcements, I want everyone to know that I try to be as observant as I can be. I took the recycling out the other day and, crossing the street to the communal bins, I noticed a sock on the floor. Hmmm, that looks familiar, I thought, and carried on walking. A few days later with another bag of recycling, I noticed the sock was still there. It had been ran over by a few cars by then, flattened against the tarmac and grubby with muck. It was only then, striding past it clutching my bogrolls and cereal boxes, did I realise that it was my sock. How it got there, I’m not sure, but scientists are doing their best to reconstruct the series of events leading up to this using fancy sci-fi gadgets that I’m not allowed to touch.

If anyone else would like to announce anything then please do so.

Avatar V-Game Review – Imagine Girl Band

Can you? Can you imagine a girl band? I bet you can’t. I bet, when you try, all you have is a blank space and the feeling of hopelessness when your favourite steak knife (?) is out of stock and you have to settle for second best.

The ‘imagine’ games were a series of shovelware nonsense pushed out by Ubisoft to capitalise on the casual gaming market that was en vogue during the Nintendo Wii and DS era. Don’t fancy your kids shooting soldiers in ‘Call of Duty’ or smashing deities in the face in ‘God of War’? Get them into some harmless touch screen fun on a Nintendo. They covered a lot of bland topics and you can regularly find them taking up space in charity shops and lining the walls of CEX because parents and grandparents bought them in droves and now nobody wants them.

You start by choosing your name and what instrument you want to play. I went with Fluke, cos I’m cool, and bass guitar, because everyone knows that’s the coolest. You also get to choose one of three genres of music to specialise in so I opted for funk. After some perfunctory story about being in a band and looking for a new member, you start practising. When I say “practising” though I mean engaging in a basic version of any rhythm game from the past 20 years. My band is called The Oppress because funk music is very music about sticking it to “the man” and how much he’s holding us all back. Fluke and the Oppress. Yeah.

The song plays in the background and coloured buttons move across the top of the screen. When the button reaches the circle at the end, you tap the corresponding button with your stylus. The closer it is to being perfectly in the circle, the higher the score you get is. You can choose to practise with the rest of your band mates at home or you can perform… in the library?

This, to me, had “bar in the aquarium” vibes. Do music and reading go together? I get distracted when trying to do both but each to their own, I suppose. I was practising the whopping three songs our band had in the library and getting fairly good scores, however the game wasn’t moving forward so I took the girls to the mall instead.

You can buy instruments, new items of clothing and accessories at the mall like a real mall. As my character is a teenager and we hadn’t done any gigs yet I didn’t have a lot of money so I bought a new top and trousers to complement the funk style the band was going for. Still nothing. I went home to speak to what I thought was my brother but was actually my boyfriend who I never see because I’m either at school or with the girls trying to kick out the jams. Still nothing. With very little options, I went back to the library and performed each song until my score was off the charts.

Success! By smashing the songs, I opened up a brand new place to visit on the map; the park. I also earned some decent cash from performing at the library so I headed back to the mall to buy another bass guitar. I needed my instrument to match my new outfit, of course. It was then that my thirty minutes were up and I decided to stop.

It’s not an inherently bad game albeit one that’s so bland you wouldn’t be able to pick it out in a line-up some six months after last seeing it. If you aim for the lowest common denominator then you’re guaranteed to refrain from offending anyone. It blows my mind that someone will have paid full price for this once.

*5 out of 10 funk trousers*

Avatar Proto-Papples

I’ve been digging around my old boxes of nonsense again because new content doesn’t find itself and bringing old things you’ve forgotten about back into the light is a good process. Right?

FYI, expect more of this over the next month or two.

This page was lurking at the front of one of the many notebooks I used to keep. It definitely wasn’t the genesis of the name ‘Papples’ because Chris and I definitely came up with that when I was visiting and we tossed off the idea of continuing the music making antics of The Office and recording an album. I must have been musing on the mythos, considering the chumblies and trying to develop a chart for people who didn’t quite understand.

It takes a while to comprehend both the genius of the name and the music of The Papples.

I’m not entirely sure why I was developing a gun of sorts to turn good apples to pap apples, then again I am an inventor so it must have come naturally (?). Let’s go with that.

Avatar What can you see?

I was preparing a hot drink the other day over the mostly rainy Bank Holiday and, after pulling the mug out of the cupboard, noticed something strange.

I have seen that there was a weird mark on my crab mug and never bothered to look a little closer. Now that I have, well, look for yourself:

To me, it looks like a puppy with stick arms is facing off against a very angry Sonic the Hedgehog who may or may not have his own arms up in despair.

What can you see?