Avatar The tragedy of gimmicks

This is Bri4n.

Bri4n is a gimmick with only one main purpose in life, to sell insurance. He was created by some person, probably in a suit or a skirt, to steal people away from their insurance providers and their price-comparison websites, and lure them into the domain of the “look at this” and “you can get a free pen with this one, Nigel”.

When I found Bri4n he was hiding in a bag of charity shop clothes, right at the bottom in the hope that nobody would find him. At first I wasn’t sure if he was aware of everything so, cradled in my arms, I took him from the bag and placed him back in the real world. The light was bright in his tiny, robotic eyes, and his gaze shifted away towards the dark corners of the room.

Within a few days his temperament was more stable or, at least, stable enough to carry on with the conversation that had been dangling from my tongue. I told Bri4n that he was a gimmick and that the days of being a fixtures on television were long gone. I even told him that he was no longer a collectable and his brothers and sisters were being sold for nothing more than the price of a toaster on Ebay. This upset him greatly, I knew it would, but I needed to tell him the truth. It would sting like a bee in a hipster jacket, trying to convince his friends that baked potatoes smothered in strawberry jelly tasted better than it sounded. It was the only way he could move past this though and onto the next part of his life. I wanted a new start for Bri4n as it is something we all deserve when staring down the barrel of a downward spiral.

His recovery was carefully monitored over the next week. Bri4n remained silent for most of it, humming to himself in his lighter moments. I don’t believe that he will ever truly get past the facts that haunt his existence. I can see a great despair in his eyes that all the robot pornography and robo “road juice” can’t wash away. He is a great companion and, as a flat mate, other than not contributing anything towards the rent, nor attempting any of the various cleaning and cooking chores, he is ideal.

If you’re passing by my way you may see him, arms aloft, pupils blazing like the astro moons of Jupiter, cursing the world, lamenting his life, asking all of the important questions at the same time like a crazy old man shouting at a cloud.

Avatar Free to a good home

As you probably know, for the time being I am shacked up in a different flat a long way from home. There are many things about these temporary arrangements that are new and different, but probably the newest and differentest is the windowsill by the front door.

In this little block of flats, you see, there’s a windowsill next to the main door leading out to the car park, and the residents here seem to use it as a kind of informal swap shop. Unwanted items occasionally appear here, with no indication of their origin, and disappear a day or two later.

In the past week, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of items up for grabs, including a whole host of cook books, a coffee table book of photographs of chocolate, and one of those books that only really existed in the late 1980s and early 1990s that had a beige front cover and was specifically about microwaving things.

Here’s the current offer as I write this.

  • Four dishwasher tablets
  • Three potatoes in a basket
  • Three packs of lard, one of which is in a sandwich bag
  • A small Breville slow cooker
  • A CD compilation of traditional Christmas songs

The bad news, though, is that this week’s real bounty has already been taken. Here is what the windowsill held yesterday.

Yes, it’s hard to hear, I know, but the Ricky Martin album has already gone. I’ve missed my chance. Someone else in another flat is now Livin’ the Vida Loca, and I’m left slow-cooking my lard and potatoes in silence.

Avatar One for the Doggos

I’m so lazy. Look at me and be uninspired. Just look at me, one big ol’ slobbery mess. I haven’t looked this bad since that stage in my teens when I was gelling up my fringe; a tidal wave of greasy hair fixed in place. God, what was I thinking? It was aggressively bad. Now is worse though. Since the lockdown all I have done is indulge in everything I can get my chubby paws on. I find myself daydreaming about desserts. You know in cartoons when hungry characters start hallucinating? Last week I looked over and where Reuben should have been was a roast ham. It is time for a change.

As Kevin has confessed that he has a soft spot for the doggos, I have done a thing and signed up for a sponsored walk. In May I will be raising money for guide dogs by walking up and down my flat. Yes, it sounds insane and I reckon that by the end of it I may have finally crossed the line, gone through the looking glass. Is it worth it for the doggos? Of course it is. I plan to walk 100,000 steps to get some much needed cashola / dough ray me / fresh bread for Guide Dogs. In order to keep it realistic, I have set a target of £100.00 which would be enough to buy a kit for one guide dog trainer.

It takes 52 steps to walk from the front door to the window in the living room and back again. Based on my poor grasp of maths, I will have to do this 1,924 times in order to accumulate the aforementioned total of 100,000 steps. I have a full week in order to pin down this sucker, which means if I can manage about 275 times each day that should be enough.

If I had Kevin’s legs, which we all know are thrice the length of a normal person’s legs, I would be able to get from front door to window in a handful of leaps. I believe that would make the process a lot more tiresome so I am grateful for my small leg span and smaller step count.

Nobody is rich at the moment. The world is in chaos. I say this sat wearing an Adventure Time hat to keep the hair out of my eyes (my fringe has seriously lost the plot, it needs a chop). Am I still in my pyjamas? What day is it again? The point is that if you can, please sponsor Chesty at the link below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/walkyoursocksoffindivduals1005

Remember: the doggos have noggos and without the training they cannot help the peopoggos.

Avatar Isolation – North-East Edition

You will never believe what just happened to me! The short version is that I am currently being paid to not work. I am at home right now not working. If I try to work I will be shouted at profusely so I am sat not working on a beanbag listening to the radio.

The year 2020 has been a strange one so far and it continues to get weirder the more we slide through it. The outside world is still there, I can see it, through the big windows in the living room, and it looks fantastic. I reckon that for the moment I am going to stay here and admire it from afar. Besides, it looks a little chilly and I’ve got this patch of dry skin on my hands that the low temperature will not do any favours for.

I have decided to try and do one drawing, sketch or doodle a day for something to look forward to and possibly upload on Twitter (the Book of Faces does not deserve my “talents”) for the world to admire. I hope to have a wall of my efforts with which I can look back on and laugh slobbily, possibly sell to some passing rich aristocrat (they’re always using the footpaths round here) and then retire to the country, doing the same thing I’m doing now, but with a little more style, panache and some hot ladies in a hot tub serving hot drinks.

Look at me and be inspired.

Avatar Mrs Miggins is up to no good

Back in April, we learned that Mrs Miggins was redeveloping the heart of her enormous property empire. 75 Farringdon Road, the fine property where either Ian or I fell head over heels in love with the lucrative old crone, had the builders in.

I’ve been back to see what she’s done with the place, and I have to say I’m shocked. Take a look for yourself.

A respectable office building, you think to yourself. A fine example of the tasteful architecture and prime locations that have made Mrs Miggins the property magnate she is today.

I thought so too. But then I noticed something. Have you seen it? Look closer.

There it is. Miggins has handed her shiny new building over to Richard Sisskind of the Crossland Otter Hunt – the only UK hunt that chases otters across land and, presumably, then kills them in horrible ways.

Otters don’t deserve this. Otters are lovely. And I demand to know why Mrs Miggins – once the love of my, or maybe Ian’s, life – has taken on this brutal new pastime.

One thing is for sure. We will not be moving the Pouring Beans office to 75 Farringdon Road. No need to send me those fivers.

Avatar Are you Common?

Look at you.

Who are you? What do you do? Are you common? I know that it is not very politically correct to ask this question however it needs to be asked. I know that I am common, mainly from the state of my shoes, but also because I eat like a duck with two mouths and I’ve never paid more than £20.00 for a plate of food. I am safe in the knowledge that I am common.

How can I be sure of this though? Is there a test I can take?

Of course there is. Following on from the raging success of my Cake ‘Appropriate Girlfriend (short skirt, long jacket)’ questionnaire now comes the ‘How Common are you?’ questionnaire, mainly based on the lyrics of the popular song ‘Common People’ by Pulp. Depending on how many of these metaphysical boxes you tick (because I don’t know how to ‘do’ boxes on here) dictates how common you, as in you, are. Take a squint at these.

Have you ever:

  • Rented a flat above a shop?
  • Cut you hair?
  • Got a job?
  • Smoked some fags?
  • Played some pool?
  • Pretended you never went to school?

Based on these, I can tick five out of the six boxes. I have never officially got a job and instead make my money by spinning pennies for sailors down at the socks. Do we still have docks? Yes, we still have docks.

That’s what I do. How common are you?

Avatar Mrs Miggins thinks big

What’s that crafty (and also hugely desirable) old property tycoon up to now?

Last we heard of Mrs Miggins, some years ago, she was fitting out her properties with those chrome fittings and understated (yet ostentatious) gardens. But the other day I was in Farringdon when I stumbled across the fateful property where we first encountered her.

75 Farringdon Road: 25,000 Sq Ft of Exceptional Office Space

It looks like the house where I, or possibly Ian, it was never really made clear in the lyrics, first fell for Mrs Miggins, has been pulled down and is going to be replaced with some stylish offices instead.

My first thought, of course, was sadness: sadness that a place that meant so much to me, or possibly Ian, had been swept away in the blink of an eye to further expand the Miggins real estate empire.

But then I thought no, let’s embrace the change. I propose that we immediately put in a bid to rent some office space there for the official Pouring Beans offices. We’ve been working from home much too long; it’s time we established a base for ourselves. And there could be no more appropriate address than 75 Farringdon Road. I’m ready to chip in my fiver.

Avatar Colour chart

Just in time for Kev’s annual Whole House Redecoration (start date 1 November 2018; completion due 25 October 2019), Pouring Beans Chemicals Ltd. are delighted to announce their new home decor paint range.

All our new paints are lovingly hand-made at the large chemical refinery down by the docks.

Whimbrel
Neither too yellow, nor too sad, Whimbrel is the colloquial name for the traditional butcher’s apron which this haughty colour embodies. It’s the perfect contrast to our slightly lighter Musty White and Smoky White, creating a trio of colours that sit perilously close together in modern and traditional homes.
Third Degree Burns
The deep blackened pigmentation gives a smug burgundy finish with a wonderfully sore feel. This, our most angst-ridden red, reads almost like a disingenuous purple if you compare it to our more painful looking Internal Bleeding Crimson.
Dipsomaniac
This quietly desperate blue feels wonderfully hopeless, and could be suitable anywhere from a service riser to an airy frotting room. The exact shade is rooted in a despondency palette. Like denim, its blue hue is ultimately worthless and yet always feels tipsy.
Churlish Bile
This takes its name from the old English expectorations of simple peasants with a poor diet. With its highly pigmented yellow base, this mid green creates a totally unique look by not actually being green at all. It’s a statement colour when contrasted with shades as repellent as Titchmarsh Brown. It is also fabulous when used with furtive glee.
Ocean Drowning
This rich teal takes its name from highly fashionable show-drowning in pre-revolutionary France. Sitting between Punitive Green and Biliousness, its subtle blue undertones work particularly well in modern aquatic spaces. Slop onto industrial processing units alongside Huguenot Fishwife on pipes and valves for a clean finish that is conducive to modern industry.

Other shades are also available. Please ask your stockist to mix two cans together and see what they get.