Avatar Trips Outside – Jarrow

Out in Covid Town, they still don’t like you moving around too much. If you ever think of crossing county lines or hopping on a plane to go and record an album with Jimmy Buffett, because he wants to write a follow-up to his wonderful ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ song, then eyes are most certainly raised. Thankfully, having recently changed jobs, I now have a brand new section of the North-East to explore on my lunch breaks.

I would like to welcome everyone to the breath of fresh air that is Jarrow.

I have only been within the vicinity for approximately two weeks and yet since then I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge that would put some locals to shame. Some may call that pitiful boasting, some may call it an outright lie and to those people I ignore anything they say and hand them a banana in the hope that they drop their line of questioning.

There are lots of things to know but given the time and my limited word count there are only four things you (that’s YOU) need to know about Jarrow in case you ever want to take a trip there:

  • Vikings – when the world was young and wireless abbabs were but the stuff of dreams, a large collective of Norse warriors decided they wanted a piece of Britain, hopped on some boats and decimated the coastline of North England for several years. Their only opposition was effeminate priests using gold crosses for weapons. These murderous heroes have been encapsulated in a statue displayed proudly in the town centre. They also got a shopping centre named after them to commemorate all the blood spilled.
  • Shopping – if you want shops, you’re going to get them. There’s a Viking centre full of them and, boy, are you going to be spoilt for choice. There’s a Wilko, a Morrisons, a B & M, a Home Bargains, Greggs, Boots, charity shops, butchers, more bakers, some kind of cafe I haven’t gone in yet but takes up a lot of space, I think a shop that fixes phones or laptops or maybe both and hiding towards the back a Dominos. They have a lovely PA system that forces you to listen to music as you shop so whether or not you want to listen to ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ by Ricky Martin is not up for debate, it’s happening baby.
  • Pronunciation – look at the name, it all looks so very simple, doesn’t it? Don’t be wandering into Jarrow thinking that it’s pronounced, “JAR-ROW” though, that’s wrong. Grit your teeth. From the back of your throat, it’s, “JAR-RAH”. If you get it wrong, you’ll be thrown out and never allowed back in. I once worked with a posh lash who said, “PRUD-HOE” instead of, “PRUDDA” and where is she now? I’ve no idea, probably sitting on a throne barking orders at lowly cronies. Or in jail.
  • Walking – there are several monuments around the town explaining about the contribution to the war effort back in 1917. The most famous thing Jarrow is famous for though is when, famously, 200 men marched from Jarrow to London to protest against unemployment and poverty because The Man had closed down the primary place of employment, Palmer’s Shipyard, and things were all bad. This is almost a three hundred mile trek. They would have had to trundle down the A1 which would have been very hazardous given all the long haul lorries driving down to London to drop off soaps or whatever it is people down South eat. There wasn’t even a Little Chef on the way that they could stop in for drinks and snacks. It’s bravery like this that makes me feel inspired.

Even though you may have never, and possibly may never, visit the sacred grounds betwixt the Tyne Tunnel, Hebburn and the tunnel under the Tyne that leads back to Willington Quay where I used to live, I hope this very brief tour is enough to explain and display the majesty of the South Tyneside town.

Avatar Changing the past

No, don’t look at me like that. I am not retconning anything so you can put your tut books away and save them for something else on the internet.

Now look at me a different way, in a more pleasing manner. There, that’s much better.

‘Innerspace’ is a 1987 film by Joe Dante, the guy who directed Gremlins. It starred Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Martin Short. In it, Dennis Quaid gets shrunk down (“shranken”) for scientific reasons and accidentally injected into Martin Short. This then continues for approximately two hours with gleeful comic elements a-plenty. I even believe that this is one of my sister-in-law’s favourite films. I have fond memories of watching this as a child and believe it still holds up today (it also includes everyone’s fondest actor’s actor – Robert Picardo a.k.a the doctor from Star Trek: Voyager).

So what’s going on then? What am I trying to change? A friend recently told me that he had never seen it so I decided to treat him to the blu-ray. That said, when it arrived in the post there was something amiss. The title didn’t quite fit with me so after a few modifications using paper and glue I believe I have fixed it.

I’m not asking for every single copy to be changed only that sometimes it should be referred to by its “correct” name.

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 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.

Read More: Travels with the Pernickety Dickhead »

Avatar Job Search

It would be quite fair to comment that I have done a bit of everything in my time on earth. Everything from washing machine repair man to fashion guru, I’ve been there, I’ve certainly done that and quite frankly I not only bought the damn t-shirt but procured the whole rack of clothes and displayed them in front of a multi-national crowd full of bigwigs and industry types.

So, what now? Where can someone with my set of skills possibly go except into space? It truly is the final frontier. I don’t know, it seems a bit too final to be shooting myself off into the unknown in the hope of finding a line of employment that could possibly compete with my bustling CV of “endless success”.

Last night I was trying to think about what else I could do, something that was within my grasps on planet earth which would negate the requirement for interstellar space travel (I’ve seen the figures and it is a smidgen too costly for me coppers) and do you know what my best idea was? What surged to the front of my mind to take centre stage, all my attention?

Ant mechanic.

I was going to use my tiny man hands to fix tiny ant vehicles. I would put those years of “experience” fixing washing machines to help our friends, the ants, to get back on the road after serious accidents and engine failures. I’ve got discounts and payment plans set up for regular customers. There’s Bonbon in the back, he’s good with people and ants, and looks after the place when I have to make deliveries. Running a successful garage isn’t just about fixing stuff after all, it’s about customer service, a friendly face and lashings of car air fresheners.

I can’t tell what’s a good idea anymore. I may have finally *finally* gone over the edge in a barrel. That is, unless one of you could suggest something new that I could try?