Avatar Further travels with the Pernickety Dickhead

We’ve already discussed, back in February, that I spent a number of years in the early 2000s where my single most prominent personality trait was that I was absolutely insufferable.

It’s not really necessary to go any further to prove that point, but flogging a dead horse is one of the pillars of this blog and its rampant popularity, so flog a dead horse we will. Please enjoy this further example of my absolute arseholery towards innocent people working in customer service jobs, and please also believe me when I say that I am truly sorry for everything I’ve ever done.

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Avatar Yes I can hear you Clem Fan-microwave

We own a microwave. Big deal right, who doesn’t? Ours was far too expensive. I’m not bragging, this isn’t beacuse we wanted a fancy brand microwave oven combo thing from a fancy brand, but because we wanted one that didnt ‘explode when you use the cleaning setting’ (Hotpoint/Whirlpool/Indesit) or ‘frequently burn your arms on the metal posts on the door’ (Siemens/Bosch/AEG)… and also because we had the cheek to try and get a kitchen fitted during a brexity pandemic, and all (some of) the other ones we could have bought were unavailable.

The device itself is excellent, it cooks food the way you’d expect it to and it looks nice in the cupboard above the oven it matches. The problem is that THE DAMN THING NEVER SHUTS UP!!!!1!!1!1!!!!

I would say its safe to say that almost all microwaves (even ones combined into an oveny thing) give some sort of audible alert to let you know its finished. From the humble ding of a bell, to the frankly unnecessary tune of a midi melody. That said, ours makes a little “bee-boop” noise when its finished. Fine. That’s enough, I know you’ve finished. So why does ours insist on beeping every 15 odd seconds until you open the door?!? It’s a microwave, when it stops doing its thing the cooking is no longer happening, not like an oven where leaving the thing you’re cooking in there will cause it to dry up and burn due to residual heat or whatever. The only danger is that the thing I was cooking/warming will go a bit cold. Shut the hell up! Just stop.

I know this sounds like a non-issue, but I often use the microwave whilst cooking to part-cook things, or cook rice before frying etc etc. I don’t always need the thing I’ve microwaved ‘right now’. Its fine for it to sit there for a bit…. STOP SAYING “BEE-BOOP”.

I’ve looked in the settings… twice. I’ve even emailed the customer services team who say it cant be changed, and then checked the settings a third time anyway.

Whatever, queue the derision…

Avatar Cruel, cruel irony…

In my time, I’m well aware that I’ve been known to be an annoying pedant:

  • I’ve been the guy to point out when people have flags upside down.
  • I’ve been annoyed that people don’t cook toast properly (justifiably in your case Ian!)
  • I’ve been someone who re-arranges people cutlery draws to put them in the correct order.

Anyway…

Last week we bought a new cutlery set. Our old one was getting tatty and the shiny bits were starting to wear off, so we popped down to Freeport and bought a new one.

Sometimes life just conspires to give you a metaphorical middle finger…

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Avatar Not number one

Occasionally, over the years, I’ve found myself in a conversation about what was at number one in the charts when I was born. These conversations come up from time to time, probably more often than they deserve to, usually prompted by a DJ on the radio talking about it.

For a long time my answer has been “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie, number one in the UK charts in early May 1984. That’s quite a fun song to be at the top when I was born and usually gets a laugh. Great. Everyone’s happy.

Yesterday I looked it up to see what else was in the charts that week, and was dismayed to find that I had somehow got it wrong.

“Hello” was a UK number one single, and Lionel Ritchie with his blind student making a creepy clay head had a run of six weeks at the top of the charts in spring 1984. But that run ended in April, and by Sunday 5 May Lionel’s informal greeting based ballad was only just in the top ten. The number one single when I was born was actually “The Reflex” by Duran Duran, which is nowhere near as much fun. As you can imagine, I was distraught.

To cheer myself up, I decided to see if my birthday number one was better than yours.

Kev

Let’s hope Kev is a fan of Frankie Goes to Hollywood because they were apparently everywhere in late July 1984. They were at number one with “Two Tribes”, and also at number three with the famously banned orgasm themed classic “Relax”. The rest of the top ten is mostly forgettable; at number two is a novelty single spin-off from The Young Ones, and the rest include Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper and Shakatak. I feel like I’m on safe ground here.

Ian

Well, this is disappointing. Number one in mid-November 1983 was “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel, a massive singalong smash hit. Adding insult to injury is the rest of the top ten, which contains at least another five stone cold hits: “Say Say Say” by Paul McCartney (and Jacko, but we’ll skim over that); “Love Cats” by the Cure; Men Without Hats’ ridiculous “Safety Dance”; “Karma Chameleon”; and even “All Night Long” by the very same Lionel Ritchie who callously abandoned me on my birthday.

In summary, then, I am disappointed that my birthday number one turns out to be a Duran Duran single, and not a very good one at that, and thanks to the fact that he basically cheated by being born in 1983, Ian wins.

Avatar The trouble with tyres

What you sometimes forget about your car is that, as well as a whole universe of complicated machinery and electronics, one of the things it needs in order to work properly is air. Your tyres are designed to imprison the right amount of air in exactly the place it’s required. I advise you to do your best to keep it there, and I will tell you why.

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Avatar Episode 23: Hiding Things

A Breath of Fresh Beans returns for season 4: The Skype Year(s).
In this glorious return the three of us discuss:

  • Secret blankets
  • Blanket mockery
  • Schrodinger’s Picture
  • Bed porn
A Breath of Fresh Beans
A Breath of Fresh Beans
Episode 23: Hiding Things
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Avatar Travels with the Pernickety Dickhead

It is unfortunate but true that, for about two years between the ages of 21 and 23, I was an absolutely insufferable tool who would send snotty, condescending letters of complaint at the slightest provocation. This fact was recently brought to light when I raided my correspondence folder for material for a Virtual Winston Pub Quiz and found that almost everything in there was a shameful tirade to one company or another dating from the years 2005 to 2007.

Due to popular demand, I will now open up this archive of horrendous antisocial behaviour to the public for your enjoyment.

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Avatar Thank you

So, what was 2020 to you? Was it a unique opportunity to develop your skills in a new working environment? Was it a chance to take some time off, away from the humdrum 9 to 5, by sitting at home and scratching yourself in places you forgot were there whilst being paid 80% of your usual wage? Could you remember a time before this when standing in line at the cinema or your train being ten minutes late was the biggest inconvenience in your life (or 30 seconds late for some people given that they don’t exist in the real world)?

Let me pull back the blistering skin burn that we call this year to highlight the people and mostly inanimate objects that have helped this bag of meat and bones get through the last twelve months:

  1. Wappy the robo puppy – if bowing and slightly turning your head to the right was a skill then Wappy would win 2020 paws down. With his sleek futuristic blue and white design, his blank expression and limited move set have seen me through some difficult times.
  2. Flat (Tiger) Kitty – the fun-loving prankster has been up to all kinds of hijinks. For the last few months he has remained perfectly still wearing a baseball cap and pointing his Nerf gun at the door to the living room, ready to protect my flat at any costs. That crazy orange and black stuffed animal.
  3. Mr R. Brek – despite expiring four years ago (wait, no, five years ago… ten years ago?!), Mr Brek still continues to fill my life with warmth and love. He’s the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and last thing before the lights go out at night. A constant inspiration to prolonging a joke that was never funny in the first place, there will always be a place for him in my heart.
  4. Bri4n – a recent addition to the crew, the novelty robot has spent his time staring out the window at various passers-by. Whether raising his hand to salute dog walkers or keeping his arms aloft like a raging looney, there is still a lot of mileage left for this gimmick of gimmicks.
  5. Ted – though his physical presence was a hundred miles away, Ted was the only person (from memory) who actually sent me a letter this year. I also got some socks which was a cheeky bonus. I may still be puzzled as to whom Messy Monster is, and why I should share my socks with them, nonetheless his heartfelt message was one of the best things this year. Hopefully 2021 will provide the means of sending sausage rolls though the post safely.

Runners Up: Daisy the cow, the small collection of toys in the corner of my kitchen (who may have been acquiesced by a spider now they’re covered in webs), my tattoo of Archie the Badger from ‘Grandville’, my Pop Vinyl of Bob Ross and a tiny raccoon.

Oh and some other guys whose names I forget, Keith Harrup and Chas Millington maybe? You know who I mean.