I recently got a new computer to play games on, and filled it with all the games I like to play. The games I most like to play are the ones I used to play when I was about 15. This includes one of my all-time favourites, SimCity 3000.
SimCity 3000 is full of silly jokes and unexpected references, and when I was 15 I didn’t get all of them. Coming back to the game in the last month or two, having not really touched it for perhaps the best part of a decade, a joke popped up that made sense to me for the first time, and it made sense thanks to one Kevindo F. Menendez and one Ian “Hotter Otter” McIver, who had kindly introduced me to a song the teenage Chris had never heard, and my life was all the better for it.
Good morning to you wherever you currently are in the world.
It is a shame when things have to move on. Times change for all of us and I don’t know about you but I always struggle to cope in some way, shape or form. You have been the presenter of Newsround, the presenter of Countryfile, you’re a household name and you never once seem to have given in to the excesses of wealth and fame. That is a shame because everyone needs to let off steam every now and then. Have you never felt as though you had more to give the world, like there was a career waiting in the shadows for you to do something about it?
Have you ever given any thought to a career in rap music?
I believe that you have the raw talent to succeed as Britain’s newest / oldest rapper. You may not have had any experience whatsoever which is fine. Did you ever seen that episode of Louis Theroux where he went to America and tried his hand at rapping? Anyone can do it. I put my hand firmly in the air to be your second in command, your “hype man” as they call it. What this means is what I will start every song by telling everyone how great you are at what you do, setting the stage for what rhymes you start spitting. I reckon that you have a viewpoint which is unique in the world of rap. We can rap about whatever you want: countries, files, antiques, rounds, news, ravens, whatever you like.
I’ve even been thinking about names and even though it could be a cartoon character desperate for a cigarette, how about Craver Crave? Or even Kraver Krave if you really want to knock it out of the park? I will be MC I because everything is a play on words, and it’s kind of like my name but not. It doesn’t have to make sense, nothing makes sense anymore when your’re in a world of giant clocks, money and lurid sex.
If it would help, because I know that you are a happily married man, I can take all the excess that you’d rather not deal with (mainly the groupies, I suppose) and put it in a box away from you. This means you can focus on the important part; the words. I bet you know all the words, I do mean ALL the words, and you’re going to hammer them down like concrete hailstones. This is going to be the best thing you ever did and it would be a supreme honour if you let me help you achieve your goals.
If you are happy to jump right into this I shall include a stamp addressed envelope with this letter so you can write back straight away. You may be a little nervous about this, you may have doubts about your rapping prowess but trust me, you were born for this. You are ready for this. We are ready for this. Now, more than ever, the world needs heroes to shoulder the burdens the others are not prepared for. You’re a good man, John Craven, and I know you’ll make the right decision.
Childhood, ah, such a bewildering time to be alive. For one, you have no responsibility and so much potential. You have no money but everything you actually need is provided to you for free. If you want to spend the entire weekend sat with your face in the television with a mouth full of marshmallows then you can, or at least until one or more of your parents objects to this. The point is that, as everyone is aware, life is so very different as a child.
I could bore you to tears with stories of my time as a tiny Ian. You may or may not have heard them already and the ones you haven’t heard are just as tedious. Believe me, I am doing you a favour by keeping my mouth shut. I haven’t quite reached the age of telling every single person I meet in the street (not that they would given how bovona has given everyone carte blanche to ignore you even if you have a leg hanging off or knife at your throat) of the time I found £1.10 in the front garden in the snow and became so excited you would have thought I had discovered the Turin Shroud hanging off the bin.
Do you remember those… things that you used to make? I want to remember the name and I don’t want to have to Google it like everything else. The power of words (Words!) don’t fail me now. You folded it up and asked someone to say a number. Then you would use your hands to move it the appropriate number of times and ask for another number, repeat, and then open one of the panels to reveal some mystifying piece of knowledge. It looked a little like this:
No, I haven’t lost my mind and made one I did something much more reasonable; I found one on the floor and brought it home. A scruff I may be and nothing more because there is no other way of finishing that sentence. I wanted to remember a time that was much more innocent, of whistle pops and candy whistles, running around the park until your lungs bled with Tizer (you know, before they changed the formula and made it taste like a shark’s coldsore). I am not clever enough to make a fully functioning version of this, nor an interactive snazzy one on a computer. I do want you to know this though:
If you pick 0 or 1: You are a banana If you pick 2 or 3: I am in love with you If you pick 4 or 5: You are in love with me If you pick 6 or 7:
Shock news today as it was revealed that the two old people in the UK road sign are not actually two people, it is one person and her ventriloquist puppet.
The sign, which warns the general public of the impending danger of the elderly, has been in use for over 70 years and only now has it been revealed by the UK government that the second person is a puppet. At the time it was intended that two people be present in the picture only when it came to paint it one of them took a longer nap than intended and didn’t show up. Luckily the original model, Constance Felling, was an avid marionette aficionado and had her puppet, Swallow Thard, fill in the gap.
Constance has since passed on but we did manage to speak to a surviving relative, her daughter Rosemary. “David never arrived. They waited over an hour for him and he never emerged. His house phone rang and rang with no luck so the team divided into two; one set went to check that he hadn’t died and the other carried on with the sign. Mum was ever so resourceful and whipped out Swallow so the work could progress. They had to make the legs look less lifeless so they drew mum’s legs twice and put a set under Swallow. David was fine, a little drowsy from his sleep and nothing more. He was too late though as it was all finished by the time he arrived.”
She took a sip of her Special Brew and carried on, “That’s why it looks the way it does, as though the woman at the back is squeezing the bum of the guy in front. Everyone has been laughing at it for all these years and it’s nothing to do with sexual harassment; mum actually had her arm up his arse.”
The ‘Elderly People’ sign was voted the fifth most popular in England and Wales after a poll in 2011.
This follows on from February’s news when it was revealed that the person in the ‘Caution: Pedestrian Crossing’ the road sign wasn’t crossing at all, he was punching an Irishman in the stomach for sleeping with his wife.
It’s hard to know what to say, these days, when you talk to people, because nobody has any news. What do you talk about when nobody has anything to talk about? How do you fill a blog post when you haven’t done anything worth remembering?
Luckily for me, I am now quite old, so what I’ve decided to do is go back and see what past Chris was doing on this day years ago.
Way back, many moons ago, there was a suggestion from myself that Chis and I had written to the RSPB to complain about the lack of dinosaurs. The conversation can be found in the comments below the post An Admission of Sorts, a summary is included here:
“It is a letter that needs to be sent. I imagine that much like the one me and Chris wrote to the RSPB about the lack of dinosaurs at Fairburn Inngs, it will be ignored, but it must be sent nonetheless….”
“Two things are needed here… The second is more information about the letter to Fairburn Ings, which I have no memory of.”
“Is the letter mentioned on here, Kev?”
“I’ll have a chumble[sic], it feels like it should be.”
It wasnt. There was no mention of it which led to comments such as…
“Maybe the right thing to do now is ask whether it happened at all, or whether it’s some sort of weird dream.”
Well today, I have BIG NEWS. I found it. Just the letter mind, sadly the enclosed drawing must have been a one off and is lost to the mists of time. It’s a doozy let me tell you.
Sadly Mr. Steven James never received a reply to the RSPB, it’s almost as if they didn’t take us seriously.
In a side note, the little bit in the comments below the throw away bit about a letter that might not exist, is an excellent little ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ riff from Chris and Ian. Well done chaps, it made me lols all over again.
I will admit to being both surprised and vaguely horrified that we have clocked up a full decade and a half on this silly website. It seems a bit over the top to regard this as an achievement, especially since we have achieved literally nothing: 14 years in, we still have no audience beyond ourselves.
But I will allow a moment of pride and back-patting for the minor achievement that, 14 years in, we are posting far better and more interesting stuff than we did at the beginning. This is not a project that ran out of steam, it’s one that has developed and grown. Well done us.
I was hoping, at this point, to see how close we are to overtaking the Old Beans with the New Beans, because in my head the Old Beans ran for millions of years and the New Beans is some cheeky young upstart that’s barely old enough to be in long trousers. But that’s not true.
The Old Beans ran from 17 May 2006 to 23 January 2012, a total of 2,078 days.
We will ignore the comic strip era and step ahead to the New Beans, which began on 6 January 2014. As of today, it has been running for 2,324 days.
The New Beans actually overtook the (Duration? Longitude? Lengthiness? Vastness?) length of time the Old Beans had been running back on 15 September last year, a day on which we celebrated this milestone by making no new posts at all.
Anyway, the point is: the Beans has now been running for 14 years, making it one of the longest-running and greatest achievements of my, or anyone else’s, life. And for that we should be thankful. Let’s all raise a glass, or at least an eyebrow, on this momentous occasion.
Look at you. How old are you? You’re very old. You have done lots of things in your life and more often than not someone will have been there to make a note of it or possibly take a photo.
Nostalgia is what sells lots of old crap in that you remember how it was “back in the day” and then you want to get that feeling back by, I don’t know, buying your first car again, playing that Atari you had up in your uncle’s loft or investing in Microsoft shares. When I was looking for a photo for my brother I found a few photo albums, most of which were filled with sentimental (i.e. pointless) photos of my bedroom when I was 9 and other guff. I did, however, stumble upon several re-discovered gems of what used to happen when Kev and I, and sometimes Tom, would get whammed.
Now don’t get your hopes up, dear people. If you’re looking for sordid, filthy accounts of unscrupulous behaviour then you’re really on the wrong website (you took a wrong turn at boobpedia.com). What I’m talking are polaroids (easy now) of us all looking young surrounded by drinks bottles and cans. If you ever wanted to know what Kevin looked like with a bog roll on his head, holding one of those plastic separators you get with cans of lager, then you’ve come to the right place. If you were “desperate” to see a photo of me fake passed out on the floor then go no further.
I don’t remember ever looking that young but I know it happened. Here’s the proof: