Avatar Twenty years on

This September we take a moment to pause and look back on a major world event. In September of 2001, Ian and myself helped to found a new country.

Filled with youthful hope for a brighter tomorrow, we joined forces with Chuckie and George, and – deciding that the spirit of the Office would serve as a perfect basis for a nation state – declared independence for a small area of Leeds suburbia. Through a complex system of writing down random letters, we named it Zyurisizia.

Geographically, it faced certain challenges, with its capital city located inside an office in a school building. Most of Zyurisizia’s territory lay across the path between the music block and the sunken playground, and its vast rural hinterland took in the wildlife area, a small field, and a slightly bigger field that we didn’t really go in much.

Moving on from the sixth form in 2002, the four of us bequeathed this fledgling nation to the youth of tomorrow, hoping that it would serve to bring them enlightenment and liberty as it had us, and hoping that one day its boundaries would extend to a worldwide empire where equality, justice and silliness would be shared by all humankind.

Let’s see what became of Zyurisizia in the two decades that followed. Here are the borders of the nation superimposed on modern-day satellite photography.

Satellite imagery © Google. We were unable to source pictures from the Zyurisizian Space Agency for some reason

As you can see, the rapidly developing country has been completely urbanised. It’s delightful to see that the wasteland we left behind has been turned into this sprawling metropolis, known to its inhabitants as “Scholars Gate”, stretching in every direction to meet the borders of the nation. The name of the settlement is a clear indication of a society that prizes education and enlightenment above all else.

One can only assume that the proud citizens of Zyurisizia are continuing to uphold the traditions of free-spiritedness, self-determination, and occasionally writing unsolicited letters to Tony Blair. As a founding father, and a former passport holder of Zyurisizia myself, I could not be more delighted.

Here’s to the bright future of Zyurisizia. If I could remember the national anthem, I’d sing it.

Avatar ABOFB 26: Sex & Sandpaper

A episode that’s a month late, but guaranteed not to disappoint*, we take a very quick detour from the starting question to discuss:

  • How to attach sandpaper
  • Dog kennels
  • Double dipping chips
  • The merits of various sauces

*Guarantee valid only for residents of care homes and Finland.

A Breath of Fresh Beans
A Breath of Fresh Beans
ABOFB 26: Sex & Sandpaper
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Avatar Culture in the workplace

Flushed with success at my recent foray into workplace safety, I decided to take more steps to improve the lives of my colleagues.

I noticed a long time ago that one of the bathrooms I regularly use at work has a small A5-sized frame with a glass front that faces you as you enter. I assume it was out there to hold notices from our facilities department – maybe a sign saying “we clean these toilets regularly” or “if you’re unhappy with the state of this bathroom you should see some of the others on this floor”. But as far as I know, it’s always been empty, possibly for years.

What this frame needs is a picture, and I have just the thing. I printed one out and stuck it in the frame. Now, instead of a joyless beige bathroom, toilet-bound staff members are greeted with the sight of one of the world’s finest artworks, placed there by me to lift their soul.

I don’t know how many of them have noticed it yet, but they are very welcome.

Avatar Shoe FM – the return

“… and we’re back, back for another hour or so of the best boot-y-licious tunes you’ve heard since yesterday. Shoe FM is here for you and yours, and maybe even your neighbour too. Crank up that dial for the best in shoe and shoe-related music all day, every day.

As ever I am your host, coast to coast, Jazz Bungleton, ready and willing to satisfy your need for tweed. After all those flip-head bangers this morning I think it’s time we slowed down and indulged a little. There’s no need for the pace to fully drop though, we’ve gotta keep pushing through to the afternoon; that’s when things get shoe-per good.

This is your friendly reminder to check out our most recent podcast where martial arts actor Robin Shou picks out his top five desert island shoes. Even I was surprised with what was at number one and I can guarantee that shoe will be too.

Get cosy with your loved ones because we’re schmoozing out of the gate with a double bill of ‘All I Want is Shoe’ then ‘With or Without Shoe’ both by U2. Whilst I’ve got you in a vulnerable position take a little bit of ‘Shoe Got It’ by Roy Orbison with a pinch of ‘Miss Shoe’ by the Rolling Stones. Then as we’re approaching the hour it’s time to hold onto your brown brogues because Bryan Adams is going to ‘Run to Shoe’ before Bon Jovi needs to tell you that ‘Shoe Give Love a Bad Name’.

Edge of the seat stuff I can tell you.

If you want to be in with a chance to win a year’s supply of shoe polish courtesy of our superb sponsors, Kiwi, the world’s number one, then you need to call or email the station with the answer to this question: “who was trying to dress shoe up back in 1984?” Only by getting the answer right can you potentially qualify for our game ‘Shoe Do You Think You Are?’. Call or email now.

Sandra Qwango has a fresh platter of news laid out towards one o’clock, Bernie Boxfresh is here after two o’clock but to perk up your buns before they can get comfy George Harrison has a confession to make because he’s got his mind set on shoe. Take it away, George…”

Avatar Fundraising

Man has been raising money since the dawn of time.

It all started with Jesus being bet that he couldn’t be killed, buried AND come back to life. He took that bet and started going round the local villages asking for sponsor money, rattling down dem neighbours with his charm and natural-born charisma. Three days later, with a pocket full of sponsorship money, he walked away and donated it all to the burly orphans of the holy mother and disappeared. What a guy (I believe that’s how it went down, I don’t really remember much from R.E. at school).

Since then everyone has wanted a piece of the action. There are so many many MANY good causes out there. If you can think of something or someone having a hard time then there will be a charity in its name, winking in your general direction and hoping you will slip something in their back pocket. With this in mind, how could you ever choose which to help, which to slide the burden onto your manly shoulders? My personal advice would be to spin a wheel or flip a coin.

For the whole month of April I am walking for women.

*comedy voice* why can’t women walk for themselves?

Well, comedy voice, the fact is they can but I am also walking for them, with them. I’m stepping into their shoes and loaning my legs to do a good thing. It’s not all altruistic though because I get fresh air and exercise in return for my walking. It’s all for selfish reasons. All I was hoping for was a bunch of people staring at me whilst I walked and it is paying off big time. I wouldn’t do it unless I got something out of it. Call me a sociopath all you like but that’s how I roll and you’ll all have to deal with it. Oh, how I am such a good at the walking too. You’ve not seen walking until you’ve witnessed my awe-inspiring thighs crossing your path.

So stop your grinning and drop your linen, give me / they / them money now by using the link and being a good guy. I feel almost as inspirational as the time we did that exercise and I ate biscuits in ‘Nish 3’.

https://www.facebook.com/donate/845080713017722/

Avatar ABOFB 24: Free/Not Free

A Breath of Fresh Beans returns for its monthly instalment with what is possibly our longest ever episode!
Inside we discuss:

  • Borrowing
  • Love in Greggs
  • Exciting books
  • Theft
  • Plungers

A Breath of Fresh Beans
A Breath of Fresh Beans
ABOFB 24: Free/Not Free
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Avatar Burakkas (everybody loves)

2021 is turning out to be a right sad-sack of a year. It’s currently trailing behind 2020 with a forlorn look on it’s mug, a napsack of woe and wearing a pair of soiled pants. We need to electrify this mother into next week, then bring it back into this week so we can knock it back again. Tennis.

What the world needs right now is a call-back the likes of which has not been seen before. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, what the world needs is a large steaming plate of Burakkas.

Kevindo Menendez knows what you’re pondering before you’ve had a chance to ponder it. Burakkas are back and they’re bigger (?) than ever. They’re the thing that does the thing that you need them to do but faster and possibly a little bit better. They’ll clean up that thing that shouldn’t be there, they’ll email that other thing that you should have emailed last week and then blame someone else for the delay.

Thought you forgot that thing? Well you didn’t because your Burakkas put a note in your phone or something similar, like a diary.

Where’s that thing that you lost? Ha, well it doesn’t matter because now you’ve got Burakkas and they’re much more versatile than whatever it is that you’re looking for. They’ve got your back.

I don’t know how you expected to get by in the post-2020 world without a friendly pair of hands by your side, handing you breath mints and stress relievers when life thrusts at you an unbuffed, wrongly-sized kitchen worktop straight through your front window and into your living room. What were you thinking?

The best news though is that for the next twelve months if you buy one pair of Burakkas you’ll get another pair for the same price, or maybe even a little bit more. How about that? Buy now and lots.

From Kevindo Menendez – a name that’s a name and it’s a name you can trust!

Avatar Newsboost – Hill Ham Hurrah

Here at Newsboost we have been granted exclusive access to Kevin’s new kitchen worktop and, in my humble opinion, especially one which knows sod all about quartz, it’s a bit of a something special.

We were also granted an exclusive interview with the man himself.

News berk: So what do you think?
Kevin: I think it’s the most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Ian had to loan me some of his spare eyes so I could gaze at the glaze a little bit more.
News berk: After all the time you spent getting it right, was it worth it?
Kevin: Absolutely. 105 days it may have taken, I may have lost most of my hair and destroyed the neighbouring village in my frustrations but it’s over now.
News berk: What do you intend to use the kitchen worktop for first? What’s top o’ the worktop to-do list top?
Kevin: I’m going to lay out a chaise lounge of cheeses for the kids and some very sensual cakes for me and the wife. It’s going to be a great night.
News berk: What advice would you give to any other aspiring kitchen worktop enthusiasts out there?
Kevin: Don’t do it.