Avatar Four Word Reviews: Strike

It’s that time again. Time to slide another unwanted CD into the player and see what fate has in store. This time around we are meeting The Baseballs, who are presenting us with their debut album “Strike!” from 2009. I hadn’t heard of this album, or this band, before, but a look at it and a bit of cursory research suggested this Four Word Review wouldn’t be too bad. Some are painful, of course, and others are just a bit of fun. I was dismayed to find, however, that this was a genuinely unpleasant experience, and in this review I’ll be attempting to work out why.

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Avatar Owl threats

Earlier this year, I had a go at learning a new language on one of those language apps. It wasn’t very successful and started to feel like a bit of a chore, which isn’t the point, so I gave up after a few months.

I still have an account, though, and this particular app isn’t keen on letting you go. I occasionally still get a jolly email from them asking whether I’m going to come back. I don’t mind that. I do my thing and they do theirs, and everyone’s happy. Things are OK.

Until now.

Suddenly it’s not OK. Now the little cartoon owl is angry.

The message just gets worse from there. “Keep Duo happy, do your lessons” it says. Then it tells you an ominous parable about your feckless ways: “Every year, learners say they’ll learn a new language and Duo gets excited. Then they almost forgot their lessons, and Duo gets sad. That won’t happen this year, right?

Then there’s some other distracting guff, before it finishes with an outright threat. “I’m going to make you do your lessons… by any means necessary. No one wants to see Duo when he gets upset. A few minutes of daily practice can keep Duo smiling in 2024. And a happy Duo means a safe and happy you.”

Screw you, Duo. I’ve unsubscribed.

Avatar Excuse me!

Typical. You need to use the payphone and some idiot decides to jam a collection of old storage boxes folded into the tight space along with packing material thus taking up all the area I need in order to make my phone call. I mean I can hardly use the phone on the street, everyone will hear my conversation.

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me.

Avatar Disappointment squared

What does disappointment look like to you? Is it a flaccid (easy now) aubergine that hasn’t managed to grow fully in your allotment? Is it a shiny new 50p coin with a huge dent in the edge? Is it learning that Claire Richards from Steps is coming back with a new solo album? It comes in many shapes and forms and sadly there is no escaping the silky, wet glove that is disappointment.

I recently went on a ship and sailed to a different part of the world. It was excellent all the time (whispers, “all the time”) and even though I must have eaten twice my weight in steak and burgers a good holiday was had by all. The ship was swimming in luxury. If you wanted to sit in a hot tub all day sipping champagne and eating tiny desserts you could. If you wanted to go to their cinema and watch four films back to back you could. If you wanted to watch a questionable stage production by one time flatmate of Robbie Williams, Jonathan Wilkes, then you could (the only time we went to the theatre was on the last day when we were leaving and there was no more time for japes).

Families with children were also catered for on a higher level. In addition to the various play rooms and activities there were pools, swimming pools, pools with pizza stations next to them and some kind of sports facility on the very top deck. I would have investigated however we all know I am allergic to 85% of sports in the general population. Did I mention the pools? They even had a night time nursery service so if you wanted to leave little Billy with a responsible adult so you could go get shit-faced in the bar and then return around 1am to pick him up then you could. You really, really could.

As two adults with no small people there was little chance that we could take advantage of any of these facilities. Not that we wanted to but, hey, nobody likes being left out. When the holiday was being booked there was the hint made by the company that some celebrities who would be onboard for a meet and greet. I heard ‘Wallace’ and ‘Gromit’ and I knew that I had to get involved in this kind of action. For four days there was no mention of them anywhere in the leaflets they left outside your day to inform you about the daily activities going on. Nothing whatsoever. Finally on Wednesday morning, cowering towards the bottom and wedged between something called ‘Jukebox Hero’ and ‘Pilates’, was the following:

Wallace & Gromit Special Appearance – A special appearance from Wallace and Gromit. Come and say hello to the cheese-loving inventor and his faithful four-legged friend.”

We had to go. There was no way we could miss such an event as this. The queue was very long and started snaking through the whole of the atrium; clearly this was a big event for all. We decided to keep back and watch from afar rather than getting too close. Our location meant we could see everything. Like a couple of divas they were ten minutes late. What then happened can only be… well it needs… look at the damn photo:

Not even two people in suits. We’ve got a fully-sized Wallace and a tiny Gromit that he can fully pick up with one hand, no doubt sewn to his hand because he never put him down. I don’t know if the organisers of this even have ever seen ‘Wallace and Gromit’ but they’re fairly even in height due to the latter walking on his hind legs for a lot of the time. The kids that were hugging and posing for photos were fine with the arrangement; not a single one asked to speak to the manager or had some quiet words with a member of staff. It was clear that we were in the minority so we slipped away and discussed our respective disappointment over coffee and cake.

Avatar Newsboost – Marauding mash mutilation mandate

Conservative politician Tub Barsley unexpectedly hit out at mash today in an unprovoked attach critics are calling, “spineless”.

In this morning’s edition of the ‘Daily Porker’, in conversation with political correspondent Felicia Nonstop, Mr Barsley steered very clear of the fence and sat on a rock at least a hundred miles away when expressing his overwhelming disdain for the squashed potato wonderstuff.

“Mash is nobody’s first choice at a pub or restaurant,” explained Mr Barsley, “if you’re given the options you’ll always go with chips because they’re infinitely better. If you’re choosing mash then you need to get your head examined.” It should be pointed out that later on in the article he also compared the act of mashing a potato with dusting your living room in that both activities are completely pointless. Barsley has never been one to mince his words especially when it concerns either food or politics; we all remember his controversial housing plan from September 2020 which was universally panned and vetoed by the House of Commons.

Second in command at the British Mash Council, Christopher Marshall, fought back after reading the egregious comments.

“What kind of a world do we live in when people are allowed to say fragrant lies in the press? I personally have nothing against Tub Barsley,” quipped Mr Marshall, “but he needs to keep his attitude in check. Mash is a beloved addition to any meal and we have statistical data to show that it is a clear 50/50 split between chips and mash at the dinner table. We are hoping that this will slide in our favour given the recent advertising campaign however we are quite happy with where we are right now. Damaging, childish words should be kept under wraps and if Mr Barsley continues with this line then we will be forced to take legal action.”

Tub Barsley, who once set fire to his own mother when lighting candles on her 60th birthday cake, has not commented any further.

Avatar Leave me be

Didn’t we already go through this, Chris?

I feel as though I’m repeating myself. It would take too long to go through the website to find the post I’m referring to but I specifically remember when you did this previously asking you to stop with this nonsense and yet when I was looking through my junk emails last week, what do you think I found?

There you were, nestled lovingly between some other guff of the highest order. Do I want my free Elvis Presley ’68 coin? No thanks. Do I want a loan of £5,000.00 from someone who couldn’t even get past the spam filter in my inbox? Definitely not. You’ve got something very important to tell me. Something very important is going to happen to…

To you, Siobhan. You can’t even get my name right. How long have we been friends? It’s not the longest name to remember. Three letters and you’re done unlike your full name which is a whopping eleven letters. Do you see me complaining every time I have to write out a card to you? That is, quite frankly, ridiculous. I am not a petty man though so I am willing to let these matters slide. Let me put all of my grief to one side and view with a fresh pair of eyes (and I do have a fresh pair of viewing eyes, they were needed after viewing so much this year so far, the most viewing I’ve done since 2020) the wonders that you have in store for me. It states that something very important is going to happen to me in this…

Autumn 2022. Are you joking? What do you think you’re playing at, sunshine? Are you telling me that your email sent in April 2023 about the magic of Autumn 2022 is supposed to be legit? I gave you the benefit of the doubt and now I’m not sure what kind of sick person you really are. On the surface it’s all wood smothering and horse bothering, a quaint village life with cups of tea and otter sharpening, but underneath that is the kind of repugnant filth that only the Daily Mail would care for.

You make me sick, sir.

Avatar Sink “Saga”

I don’t have a saga.

I checked, all over in fact and there’s nothing there that constitutes as or has the brevity to be classed as anything close to a saga. With this in mind then I have injected a brief sojourn into annoyance with 100% pure drama to jushe… to shudje… to make it much more appealing.

I turned the tap on and the hot water wouldn’t go down the plughole. Nightmare. It wasn’t so long ago that I’d poured a bottle of something or other down there to clear the pipes and now the pipes weren’t playing ball. I needed to turn up the heat on this and I wasn’t going down without a fight. This fight, however, would have to wait until morning.

The next day I took a short trip over to the B&Q website to secure some supplies. All I wanted was a sink plunger and some more sink un-blocker, preferably a different make from the one I’d already used (you ain’t countin’ me out as a fool twice in the same year, sucker). The plunger I wanted, however, was an online purchase item only, delivery in five days; that ain’t helping anyone because this mother needed unblocking today. Nightmare. I’d have to go with my second choice. Wham, bosch, straight to the checkout and my click and collect would be ready in an hour.

Ten minutes later though my dog and bone was ringing off the hook from a local number. I pick it up and the more important of the two items, the plunger, is out of stock at the store I chose. Nightmare. Did I want the other thing? Nah pet, cancel the whole thing. Cancel it all. If I’m sorting this mother out then I guess I’m doing it on my own.

What about my £12.65 though? I had to wait a whole some hours before it arrived back in my bank account the same day. I don’t have time to waste, I’ve got a blocked sink here!

Time to use my initiative, which is dangerous at the desk of times. The only tool I had at my disposal which was likely to get through the holes in the plug strainer thing was a cable tie. With trepidation I lowered the tie down the hole not expecting anything to happen. Wham, bosch, suddenly the blockage was gone and the water drained away like a champ. Whatever was down there could not take the strain of my force and it was gone daddy gone. Wham.

I’d wasted a good 45 minutes on this whole affair and I am glad that it’s chuffing over. Nightmare.

Avatar Youtube promo fail

I received the birthday parcel. I recorded a video of me opening the parcel. I tried half a dozen times to upload the video and the bon of a sitch website wouldn’t let me. It kept getting to either 80% or 93% and then it would stop.

I am going to keep trying however for now you will have to make do with the “amazing” thumbnail I have made.

What a marvel.