Avatar ‘Snakes and Lads’

You know what’s wrong with board games these days? They’re not tough enough. Whilst they are entertaining and enjoyable, informative and fun, maddening and frustrating at times there is nothing about them that gives the impression of tough.

Courtesy of my toxic masculinity, I have come with a new take on an existing idea that will blow all you soft willows out of the water and into the gutters. It will remove your eyes and replace them with hot coals of pain.

‘Snakes and Lads’ follows the same basic formula as its predecessor, ‘Snakes and Ladders’; you have a board with one hundred squares and the object is to get from the bottom to the top first.

You play as Tony, a right hard lad who whilst out drinking with his mates decides that they should place a little wager on who can get to the kebab shop first. His best mate, Tony, who has been sh*t-faced since 7pm is of course well up for this. His cousin, Tony, never says no to a bet and the same goes for Tony, Tony and his dad, Tony (I should mention that you don’t necessarily need six players in total but it does help).

So, as one of the Tonys, you wander through the streets trying to get to the kebab shop. If you land on a snake, you strangle it like the piece of savage meat you are. This however does mean that the time you spend boshing that sod into the next week causes you to fall behind and you go back down to the corresponding square below. If you land on a lad, you go right in for a fight with that sucker. You roll the dice and if you get an even number, you smash ‘im down. If you happen to roll an odd number he gets in a cheeky punch and you stay where you are.

The first to reach ‘The Quilted Slosh’ gets to call all the other players whoopsies and collects a tenner from each of them.

Extra points for those who sit on a steak whilst playing and eat a whole bag of sugar all at the same time.

I have never been more convinced of my genius until this idea.

Avatar Investment opportunity

For a while now I’ve been looking for my next big business idea that will expand my already substantial entrepreneurial portfolio and take me to the next level. I’m ready to be the next Jeff Bezos and I think I’ve come up with the product that’s going to get me there.

Now, excitingly for you, I’m offering you the once in a lifetime opportunity to get in on the ground floor with the biggest idea of the century. Throw your cold, hard cash my way and reap the benefits. No more work for you. Once this idea takes off the hardest you’ll ever have to work is when you decide which of your tropical beachfront homes you’ll visit next week. Will it be Bermuda or the Seychelles? Goa or Bridlington? The choice, and the gold-plated superyacht, will be yours.

Here’s the pitch. Brace yourself.

What’s big right now? What is everyone into? The internet.

Where are people spending their money? What’s right on the fashions? Internet-enabled objects.

But everything’s on the internet now. Cars, fridges, electric toothbrushes. What part of your life hasn’t been connected to the internet yet?

Easy. Grass.

Grass: worthless without Bluetooth connectivity

Introducing iGrass™, the internet-enabled lawn.

  • Webcams are embedded in your lawn, equipped for 4K video streaming and with nightvision capabilities
  • Microphones at soil level capture every glorious rustle and every growing blade
  • IntelliPoke™ probes infiltrate the underlying strata of leafmould, mulch and root systems to provide real-time feedback on moisture levels, nutrient balance and worm density

These key technologies connect to the iGrass HD app (available for iOS and Android) via Bluetooth, allowing you to monitor your lawn in real time, from wherever you are, and receive automatic push notifications whenever an unwanted weed takes root or a cat has a wee nearby. You can also share pictures, beautiful data infographics and animated GIFs of your digital grass on social media straight out of the app.

Everything is better once it’s connected to the internet and if your frankly mediocre lawn is ever going to turn into something you can be proud of you need to get it online pronto. iGrass™ is the product to help you do it.

Convinced? Of course you are. Quick, chuck me your life savings. You won’t regret it.

Avatar English Wine

What do dogs know that we don’t?

Spend any time with a dog, as I sometimes am privileged to do, and it’s immediately clear that there is some deeper mystery behind their eyes. There’s something else going on that you just can’t quite name.

Kev used to say the same, I’m sure: after a long day grooming one poodle after another, looking into those glassy eyes at the ever-present enigma of the dog conspiracy would wear him down, piece by piece, paw manicure by paw manicure, and he’d return home a shadow of himself to drink himself to sleep.

I think I’ve found a clue. A few days ago I met Digby while I was heading to the shops. Digby is a small dog. Digby was friendly enough, and he was also wearing a striking fluorescent waistcoat that said “follow me for English Wine”.

I feel like Digby’s indiscreet attire might give us all a clue about what exactly dogs are up to.

Are they operating vineyards? Do they press grapes when nobody is looking? Are they all perhaps members of elite wine clubs, secretly laughing at the unbelievable tastelessness of their owners who they see pairing a Beaujolais with fish? Or perhaps they are ruthless sales hounds, hustling for money here and there, tirelessly shifting units to make a secret doggy living?

Digby went in to a sort of shed, and I didn’t want any English Wine, so I didn’t follow him. I suppose that means we’ll never know.

Avatar Dear John

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.

Avatar Random Sandwiches

Let us address the elephant in the room. You are so predictable. You are so absolutely boring when it comes to food and you know it; each and every time you wander into a supermarket, a corner shop, a Subway you purchase / order the same thing. They have a full menu of sandwich fillings and all of them are ignored so you can eat the same dull slice of nourishment.

You need to buck your ‘chude up, sunshine. You think your good lady wife is going to stay with you and your sluggish Ham ‘n’ Cheese forever? No way. Both of you are teetering on the edge of a marital precipice and the only way to tip it in the direction of the future is to fill your plate with something different. Grab your raincoat and follow me.

Nestled in the wonderful corner of the world that is somewhere nearby, Random Sandwiches offers a world of culinary perfection unseen in the rest of the country. Their list of fillings would blow your mind if you saw it in person and so everyone who wanders into the shop must wear a blindfold, and have it read to them by a woman with a posh voice.

The most popular flavours at the moment are as follows:

  • Jagged glass and American irony;
  • Rubber dingy, yeast and sun-bleached afternoons;
  • Heron and scotch egg;
  • Two lemons encased in a pagoda of dreams;
  • Swordfish eczema on naan bread, smothered in forgotten dances from the 1920’s’;
  • A fresh pair of stressed socks under a splodge of elk light bulbs and mayonnaise.

I don’t know about you but my mouth is already watering as I finished typing this. I can’t wait for them to re-open after the lockdown so I can grab a patronising handshake on rye and crisps for lunch.

Avatar Now, more than ever

These are strange times, I know, and presumably the creative people who come up with ideas for adverts are a bit stuck for inspiration. (Not that they were brilliant at it before.) That might be why they’ve all come up with the same four words to use in their adverts.

Now, more than ever, companies are telling us that now, more than ever, is the time to buy their stuff, whatever it is. Once you notice it you can’t ignore it any more. It’s everywhere.

Here are just some of the now-more-than-everers:

  • Tesco, who tell us that now, more than ever, every little helps.
  • Nespresso, because now, more than ever, their coffee machine pods are technically recyclable (but not in your council recycling).
  • Barclays, where now, more than ever, their “digital eagles” will show you how to use the Internet.
  • Every single charity with a fundraising campaign right now.
  • Country Walking Magazine, who are running very strange adverts to tell us that now, more than ever, is the time to buy a magazine about something that has literally been illegal for the last two months.

There is no solution to this ongoing crisis. The only coping mechanism I’ve found so far is to repeat the words “now, more than ever” back at the TV whenever one of these adverts comes on.

That doesn’t help, obviously. It’s just something to do. But maybe that’s enough – because now, more than ever, we need a way to cope with this unimaginative catchphrase.

Avatar Newsboost – Withering Wasps now Wanted Windfall

New shock discovery by scientists set to change the world’s opinion of one of the most hated animals in existence; the wasp.

Wasps have somewhat of a reputation as a bit of a bad thing. What do they do? They get in your way, they sting you, steal your jam sandwich and run away laughing (or presumably, they don’t make a lot of noise). Now it seems as though the tide may be turning and their time in the sun is coming.

Scientists studying the animals in Bulgaria, in conjunction with ancient medical texts from Greece, have come across a startling revelation. It would appear as though the ancient Greeks actively used them in their daily routine and ‘face wasps’ were used to cleanse and tone. The book in question, ‘To anthrópino sóma: énas éfchristos odigós’ (or ‘The human body: a handy guide’) by Tony Agafya, details a recipe of clay, sand, ash and wasps which was apparently utilised to refresh on a daily basis. The user would cover a nest of yet more wasps in the concoction, transfer it to a small room (such as a cupboard), cover their face in honey and wait for the wasps to descend on them. Later advances in technology resulted in the ‘voúrtsa sfíkas’ or ‘wasp brush’, a small brush with around fifty wasps glued to it. The user would dip the brush in the mixture and apply directly to the face.

Originally when the text was translated in the 19th century it was thought to refer to ‘face wash’. This egregious error has put the human-wasp relations back several hundred years.

“It is quite an eye-opener,” said Melody Humbunkle, chief scientist at the Klonditch Klinger institute in Sofia, Bulgaria. “All this time we were using natural products to clean our faces when one of the main ingredients was missing. This will change everything.”

Since the report was issued, the major skincare companies have been scrambling to develop the first product to incorporate wasps as an active ingredient. Representatives from Lancome, Garnier and even Johnson and Johnson were seen desperately bidding for wasp farms on the open market, a market which was once seen as lucrative and pointless.

“The ancient practises of the Greeks are merely a starting point; we do not advise the public to start smothering their chops in sticky substances in the hope of attracting wasps,” remarked John Disspale, regional secretary for the department of Health and Social Care in the UK. “It would be best to wait for a safe product made by a professional company.”

Specialists predict that even with the lockdown in place, the first wasp face wash will be available on the high street within a month’s time.