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.

Avatar Dating Profile

Hello

It has been several years since I was last on a dating website so I am not sure if the same rules apply or if things are exactly the same. Let’s start with the basics:

  • I am definitely single. I check every single day and not once has there been someone lurking in my flat, claiming to be my girlfriend or significant other;
  • I have been single for a while. The last time I was in a relationship you could step outside without needing to fight a pensioner for bog rolls or drive to seven different types of Tesco, looking for any kind of pasta available;
  • I have two arms and two legs. My third leg I left outside to dry in the sun and someone took it. I do have a spare fist which I keep in kitchen cupboard; it’s quite handy.

What I am looking for in a girlfriend is nothing out of the ordinary, in fact you could even argue that my tastes are quite plain. I want nothing more than a ten out of ten (out of ten out of ten) stunner the likes of which would make my friends and anyone else who catches sight of her drop to their knees and weep with joy. She should have long, rich, chocolate hair that I can nibble on when snacks are scarce. The kind of car she has is fast; I get to use it whenever she’s away in her glamorous job of testing theme park rides. She is well-known and well-respected in her field so we can go on any rides we want whenever we want. Even if they’re already being used. I can prise whatever kid is in my seat on the Nemesis at Alton Towers, throw them to the ground and laugh at their misfortune without any consequences.

What can I give you in return? I own three pairs of shoes and you are welcome to borrow one of them whenever you want (one shoe, not a full pair). I can cook two different types of cuisine: jam and brown. I usually opt for the latter as there are much more options available to you. I have had several compliments from friends and family that I cook the best brown they have ever tasted. If you have a sweet tooth though I am more than happy to “jam” it up. Have you ever tried Jammy Bolognaise? Sit down and let me astound and amaze you, my candied lemon eyes.

My achievements include two swimming certificates (10m and 25m), runner up in the Cotswold Olimpicks shin-kicking contest 2013 and I once accidentally dropped a caber on Russ Abbott’s toe. We’re still firm friends to this day.

I look forward to meeting you all; I have already acquired a broom to keep you all at a safe distance. Gone are the days of beating women off with a cricket bat, it is no longer seen as a safe and PC pastime. Please form an orderly queue, two metres apart, of course, and I shall sex you all up individually.

Avatar Easter Done Right

Easter is on the horizon and you are going to get smothered in talk of chocolate, eggs, bunnies and all sorts of plastic paraphernalia whether you like it or not. As businessman with a fifteen year old son, he no longer wishes to chase the imaginary rabbit in the hope of procuring an immeasurable pile of confectionery; all he cares about is cold, hard cash. There are, however, others who will have to fall in line. When I say fall in line I mean buy as many trinkets as possible for your children and possibly also your significant other. I know what you’re thinking though, there is something missing and you can’t quite put your finger on it.

What you need is something to seal that deal in that wigwam, you know the one I’m referring to. How do you keep the family appeased in this most confusing of times? You need Kevindo Menendez’s Bonny Egg Baskets.

‘Bonny Baskets

Hand-crafted from the most sensuous part of the pig, the eyelids, Kevindo Menendez’s Bonny Egg Baskets are what are missing from your extended Easter weekend; a dozen mouth-watering spheres of sweaty, meaty goodness generously licked with the mystery of our seventeen individual spices, and covered in chocolate. Guaranteed to lighten and brighten up the most nauseating of weekends, you can prepare them any way you like.

‘Bonny Baskets’

With one or two of these in their mouth, your children won’t be tempted to throw a tantrum and destroy your sense of peace and tranquility. He or she won’t believe the taste sensation going down his or her throat. It is the perfect accompaniment to whatever bobbins you plan to screen on the TV in the hopes of keeping them subdued.

‘Bonny Baskets’

You will be the king or queen of the Easter parade with these under your belt, or in your hand. Your kids will lose their shizz ten times over once they get a taste of the good life. Crack off a couple of these and you won’t need to break the bank, and their teeth, by ordering a lorry-load of inferior eggs to your doorstep. Do us all a favour and purchase Kevindo Menendez’s Bonny Egg Baskets.

‘Bonny Baskets’ ‘Bonny Baskets’ ‘Bonny Baskets’ ‘Bonny Baskets’

Fill up your trolleys and your stomachs. It’s got the Kevindo Menendez guarantee! Available in both the freezer and seasonal aisles at all good local supermarkets.

Avatar Flexible workspace

We’re all on the lookout for a flexible workspace these days. Somewhere you can just sit down, maybe order a latte, open your laptop and, I don’t know, edit a podcast or grow a hipster beard or something.

The other day, while exploring an area I hadn’t visited before down in the sub-basement of the 1930s part of the building at work, I found an excellent flexible workspace and wanted to share my find with you. Here it is.

As you can see, it’s pleasingly raised above the general floor level, offering a sense of superiority and a view over all the people working nearby (or water heating machinery; I think it was mostly water heating machinery and sewage pipes you could see from here). It also has many useful features:

  • A light, so the workspace has excellent all-over lighting levels
  • A railing, so it’s very safe
  • A calming white/grey colour scheme
  • A red pipe

Obviously I’m claiming first dibs on this, and will be moving in there first thing Monday with my laptop to grow a podcast and edit my beard. But if you want to book a slot yourself, just get in touch.