Avatar Dear Beans… My Car Is Cursed!

Dear Beans,

I have a problem I need your assistance with.

As previously mentioned in a previous post, I haven’t been driving very long. Even so I attempted to remember how to correctly to perform the reverse bay park manoeuvre and it kept me awake last night for at least 25 minutes. I think I got it in the end. That is not my concern though. What concerns me is the alarming rate of ambulances that I come across when driving in my car.

I don’t think I would be exaggerating by saying that every single journey to and from work I come across an ambulance, whether just driving around or pushing its way through traffic with its sirens blaring. In fact, it is a common occurrence that when driving with Reuben we are more inclined to see the latter, which brings us to the obvious conclusion that my car is in some way cursed. “How can it be cursed,” I hear you say, then I wonder how I can hear you when my hearing has been damaged for the last 16 years or so.  The fact is I can’t hear what you say so I’m pretending that I can.

Do I have a cursed car? How else would you explain it? Whether or not my vehicle is directly affecting the mortality rate in the North East, it’s still particularly worrying that one is constantly in my rear view mirror. There are days when I ponder whether to take public transport instead to avoid the consequences of my actions. I don’t want to be responsible for accidents, for deaths, for common misdemeanours ending in tragedies. If all of this is on my head then what should I do? Would the same thing happen if I had a different car, or a different vehicle altogether?

Please offer your advice in a thrilling manner.

Kind regards

Ian “Mac Mac Mac Mac – Adam – Liam – Neil” McDougal

Avatar Choose Your Own Adventure – Bean’s Edition

You awake in a large room. You don’t have a pillow under your neck so it has that stiff feeling that takes a couple of hours to disappear.

There is nobody else in the room except you and a large red button on a table in the middle. With no idea where you are nor what you are doing there you have no choice but to press the red button.

In doing so a loud voice begins to talk through the small hatch in the ceiling. Yes, it’s a small hatch: “GOOD MORNING ADVENTURER. YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO EMBARK ON A MIGHTY QUEST, THE DETAILS OF WHICH WILL BE EXPLAINED SHORTLY BUT FIRST… YOU MUST CHOOSE YOUR COMPANION…”

The wall immediately in front of you reveals four separate containers containing four separate people. You walk forward to look closer at the individuals and are shocked and surprised to see:

1. Jimmy Somerville circa 1986 – ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ has just reached number 1 in the charts so he is giddy as a kipper. He is clutching a signed photo of Sarah Jane Morris and holds a portable microphone in his belt.

2. Patrick Stewart – dressed as Danger Mouse. Whilst he may not have the same prowess he commands on the stage he can still kick yo ass if you cross his path. He has a mace covered in blood strapped to his back.

3. Glenn Hoddle’s mullet – fresh off the back of his thrilling football career in Tottenham Hotspur and his number 12 hit with Chris Waddle, this mullet has seen more action than a revolving door. It’s nicely permed at the top and smells minty fresh.

4. Blossom – not the actress Mayim Bialik but the character ‘Blossom’ from the 90’s TV series ‘Blossom’ about some girl called ‘Blossom’. She’s a teenager so she’s concerned more about boys and, I dunno, spots but she’s also got a ton of brains and can offer you fashions tips.

You can only choose one; which companion do you choose?

Avatar Plopp

As a serious artist, a lot of people question my integrity when it comes to certain projects. Just because I see the world in a different light, from a different angle, does not necessarily mean that my work is any less important than others working in the same field. Art is defined by interpretation; what means “life” to someone may mean “death” or possibly “tin foil” to another. It is an open world environment where anything and everything goes. It is the bag for life, full of life, packed with death.

So when it came to my current ongoing situation I decided to try something a little more obtuse. Of course I was never going to please the mass market, the traditionalists, the modernists, those with eyes. But to them I ask them one question: “when was the last time you witnessed a piece of art that really challenged you both emotionally and subconsciously?”

I give you Plopp. When you look at Plopp you could see a myriad of images. You don’t only look at Plopp though, you feel it deep within your bones. It’s a feeling sweet as a yoghurt-covered lollipop. I’ll say no more though as the scene speaks for itself.


Avatar Driving Observations

So it’s been about four months since I passed my test and steadily I have gotten used to the bizarre idea of driving around without someone criticising every mistake I make, at least not inside the car. There are several critics in other cars desperate to point out my shortcomings. It has come to my attention though that the five gears of an automobile have their own personalities and it wasn’t until I started driving on my own that my mind could comprehend the uniqueness of each.

It’s only fair then that I compile a list in numerical order:

First Gear (the Angry Gear)

First gear doesn’t like you. It makes this very apparent seconds into driving. It’s loud and shouty and if you don’t stop using it and move into second it’s going to do something VERY BAD to you. So you change up to…

Second Gear (the Confused Gear)

You’ve made it past the short tempered one and into the gear that is never sure whether it should be slow or fast. You try to tempt it one way, not happy. You put your foot down to speed up, not happy. The only way to bring it a shred of contentedness is to move on.

Third Gear (the Boring Gear)

Your “best friend”. I seem to spend a lot of my time cruising residential streets in third gear. There’s not much to it. Once you push it into third you hear yourself tutting because it tries too hard to please you without any success. Nobody likes a try hard.

Fourth Gear (the Smooth Gear)

Slip into fourth and things seem much better. You’ve got some speed now, you’re building it up, you feel like some progress is finally getting made. It’s a good gear to be in. You cream around curves like a crab covered in custard. But uh oh, you’ve accelerated faster than you should have and need to prepare for…

Fifth Gear (the Couldn’t Give a Toss About Anything Gear)

Stepping into fifth is mostly good. You’re there at the top of the spectrum. You can only go faster now, and faster you will because you can. Shame then that if you happen to hit something at this speed you’ll more than likely die. If you had an accident in third it would call an ambulance and put you in the recovery position. Fifth wouldn’t even take off its headphones to check if you were still alive, and it’d spit on you as it drove off into the horizon.

When you’re driving look out for these character traits. For a fun car game why not give them names and draw cartoon versions of them on napkins? Not you though, you’re driving. It would have to be someone else. If you have friends, that is.

Avatar Newsboost – National State of Emergency

David Cameron was pulled out of a meeting with Slovak prime minister Rovert Fico earlier this week to address the worrying concerns of a growing number of residents in the North of England. Mr Cameron has yet to comment on the crisis but it has been confirmed that he has cancelled all subsequent engagements for the remainder of this week to focus on the problem. His worried face and damp forehead were enough to confirm just how serious the matter was; the Gasgoignes in Garforth was practically empty on a Friday night.

Our two correspondents who were there on 19th June quickly passed on the information which filtered through to No. 10 in the early hours of Monday morning.

It was approximately 11pm, a time which should have seen drunken youths and self-tanned middle-aged locals swarming around the place like locusts over a corpse. Previous evenings have seen up to ten minutes passing without service at the bar. This particular evening was so quiet the lights were already on and bar staff were cleaning up for the day after. The four aged women in the corner left shortly after. The remaining patrons were a small party near the dining section, including children, and our intrepid reporters. The situation was so dire only one round was bought before exiting.

The last time was also particularly worrying as the entire establishment was closed before they even arrived.

Mr Cameron is expected to address the media before the weekend with a disaster management plan which will more than likely set up a three stage recovery system, possibly beginning with cheap shots up to 10pm and a free adult bouncy castle until closing.

Speculation is rife as to the reason for the lack of business. One can only hope that the disaster management plan reacts quickly enough to prevent any further catastrophe.

Avatar Father’s Day

I’m not really one for days of celebration; there are far too many to keep up with. For every distinct, sincere and sensible one there are seventeen other silly ones that some berk in a beard in a boardroom decided was a great idea such as Spinning Teatowels Day or Tap Someone on the Shoulder and Wink at a Vegetable Day. These continue to regularly appear on my Twitter feed as though I should give two hoots. I wouldn’t even give one, barely half.

So when it comes to Father’s Day I suppose I should offer up both hoots, and I do. I load up both barrels of the hoot rifle and let rip with all the riposte and energy I’m known for. It was to my complete amusement and amazement then when the following item was placed in my hands by Reuben approximately two days before it was even Father’s Day. He was that excited he couldn’t wait until the correct day:


What does one say when presented with a set of marshmallows containing one’s son’s face in various different guises? We took the piss out of my brother for wanting a cake with his own face on, which he eventually managed to obtain thanks to Asda, and this is essentially the same technology. So why is it different? John did always love himself and this was something more honest, more wholesome and less narcissistic. The boy had come up with the idea all on his own. Where he had heard that someone could scan an image of his face onto confectionary I don’t particularly want to know, but what a present!

I’m almost hesitant to actually eat them. Luckily you’re also given a scan of the individual photos so that once you do pop them in your face hole you can remember them forever and always. You will forgive me then if I do disappear in a timely manner to attend to an unconfirmed previous engagement…

Avatar New Addition

It was on a warm summer’s afternoon some time ago that I chanced upon the marvel that is Flat Kitty in a charity shop down main street. I knew instantly that I wanted this cat and nothing was going to stop me from getting her. Since then, well, we’ve all heard the stories before: the rising star, the claim to fame, the eastern European sitcom (previously available on the triple disc NiSH box set, currently deleted) and the multitude of fans in every corner of the globe.

There has always been one problem though; she was the last of her kind. No matter where I looked another of her ilk could not be found. For years she has wanted but only for the soft, warm touch of a friend or a partner to watch the sun set over the River Tyne, and it seemed that this was about a likely as a NiSH reunion (as the three members are still going through legal wranglings).

Fear not no more for last weekend Madge was scouring the decks of the Tynemouth market only to find this shining beacon of hope:


Tiger Kitty, for this be his name, may be from a different time and a different place but his unquestionable thirst for wuv could not be satisfied until he met Flat Kitty.

Early reports suggest a big, celebrity wedding could be on the cards as early as Spring 2016.