Avatar 2019 State of the Beans Address

Good evening. Gentlemen, please, be seated.

My name is Sergeant-Major Professor Sir Elbert Louche OBE, and I am delighted to have been invited back for the fifth consecutive year to deliver the annual State of the Beans Address, this year held for the first time here in the glorious humidity of the glass dome at the Center Parcs in Hebden Bridge. Please could I ask delegates not to use the water slides during the speeches.

My colleagues and I at the University of the Internet have been doing science at Pouring Beans all year long, and have taken cell samples from the inner membrane of the website which, by bombardment with gamma radiation, we successfully mutated into a genetically modified single-cell website that looked exactly like Pouring Beans but which generated its own blog posts several times a day. All the blog posts featured pictures of tabby cats. This promising line of inquiry will be pursued further in 2019.

In the meantime, we have collated some statistics on the Beans and I am pleased to announce that, for the first time since 2015, we are able to report an increase in activity. 2018 saw a total of 91 new posts, up seven on the previous year, and 1,870 comments – very nearly double the number posted in 2017. This is very pleasing, even if it is all just inane chatter between Chris and Ian.

There follows a breakdown of activity per member.

Ian

Ian wrote 42 posts, earning him a full 12 beans. This was a year-on-year increase by five posts, and he equalled his perfect bean score from 2017. My research team have nominated Ian for a special Commendation Award, which they printed off in colour and which features some snazzy WordArt.

Chris

A total of 48 posts in 2018 puts Chris seven up on his previous total, and he too earns a full 12 beans, beating his 2017 total of eight beans. He last had a perfect run in 2015 and he is feeling pretty damn smug.

Kev

 

As an “associate member” of the Beans, Kev is a second-tier user of the website and not seriously expected to match the post totals of his more committed counterparts. However, he did make seven posts, one more than in 2017, and my research team and I agree that this should be recognised as a Good Effort.

In summary, then, 2018 shows every sign of being a turning point in the fortunes of the Beans, arresting the decline in post and comment counts that had been accumulating since 2016. It is with delight that I can announce that all members are having full biscuit privileges restored in the communal kitchen areas. Chris, as the Winner of the Beans 2018, also takes home this stylish Blankety Blank chequebook and pen. Congratulations to him.

Avatar The Kitty Committee – update

“Brothers and sisters…

… When I woke up one morning, the sun’s rays met my whiskers and gave me a smile that could not be broken. When I awoke another morning, I felt these joys amplified because another one of our lost brothers has been found. Another kitty has been returned to the fold. Though he may flop more than the others, though he may not be as robust as those who sit above me, he is still one of us.

May you take this moment to love and understand the newest member of the Kitty Committee. May you speak fondly of him to your closest work colleagues and occasionally send him fan mail.

As always, we are always recruiting so if you wish to join for the pursuit of naps and purrs do get in touch.”

Avatar The Kitty Committee

“Brothers and sisters…

… take your seats for now is the time.

We three cats of the kitty committee hereby wish to speak to you about the joys of what you are missing by not being a part of our collective.

The first life was born in the seas. Through evolution, through great patience and time, they sprouted legs and set forth onto land. They changed gills to lungs. They swapped fins for paws. They grew fur to protect themselves from the harsh weather and the cruel landscapes.

What our ancestors did for us, without knowing it, was create a world full of life. Now we must embrace what we have been given.

Friends, whatever persuasion you may be, we wish you all to join the kitty committee. We promote frequent naps, frequent feeding and all the petting you may require.

If this sounds like the life for you then sign up now.

Avatar The BEST plate you’ll EVER see

Sometimes things speak for themselves.

Other times, it is best to put words in their mouths for your own amusement.

 

“I feel it’s only fair to say, Jim, that I’m the one who’s sleeping with Marilyn.”

I know, Alistair. I’ve always known.”

 

“Forgive me?”

“Forgive you for what?”

“For everything. For meeting you, in the first place. For taking the piece of grit out of your eye. For loving you. For bringing you so much misery.”

“I’ll forgive you if you forgive me.”

 

“I want to believe you Kenneth, I really do, but none of it would make sense unless you knew the location of the pharaoh’s eye shield. Which is why I slipped the strychnine into that lemonade you’ve been sipping for the last five minutes…”

 

“Linda, would you do me the honour of giving me your hand in marriage?”

“You’re not Barry! What have you done with my boyfriend?!”

 

“Hi, my name is Mandy. I’m new to the neighbourhood and I was looking to borrow a cup of sugar?”

“Sure, come right in.”

Sexy saxophone music plays.

Avatar Official Beans

WE NEED THREE. WE ARE THREE.

We are, indeed, three. Nothing is more recognisable with the Beans brand than our shapely, oddly blank faces. This has been put on everything from lunch boxes to dinner jackets to tiny boxes of matches. We have whored ourselves out for every manner of item available on the market.

Some might say that we have stretched ourselves too far. Others may say that we haven’t stretched enough. I would say that bag of crisps I just ate wasn’t large enough.

What we need is someone else to shoulder the burden, or uncomfortable responsibility, of having to promote ourselves repeatedly. We need someone who is willing to do absolutely anything to spread the word of our masters, to go above and beyond, to increase the profit margin and appease the shareholders.

This is Beans.

He was originally called Yukiko, because that is a nice name, but since his birth he has taken on the name ‘Beans’. This is also a good name and it also means that he can now be the new poster boy for our website moving forward into 2018.

I will be commissioning small, cheaply-made soft toys based on his likeness and these will be sold in certain branches of Booths supermarket in the North West of England. They will be limited edition and highly sought after so demand is more than likely expected to exceed the supply, and the second-hand market will soar higher than an eagle strapped to the back of a Boeing 747.

If the toys work then perhaps some jazzy socks may be on the cards.

Avatar Competition Time

It’s that time again. I am sure we have had competitions in the past so why not crack off a new year with a new competition?

What do you see with your eyes?

As I have many pairs of eyes, I have chosen to look at this particular picture with my looking eyes. I was going to peer however I changed my mind at the last minute.

What you can see is previous Pouring Beans / Nish star Flat Kitty who has gone up in the world. Not only is she now one of the most fashionable, flattest cats in the world but she is also leader of a proto international underground organisation, who mainly rule through fear and terrifying oppression. They have invaded a tiny province in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and have set up camp in the middle of the town. It was bound to happen; she has been lining this up for the last decade or so. The only surprise is that she did not achieve this any earlier.

So, onto the competition. What you need to do is to come up with the funniest, strangest or most downright rudest comments to go under, on top or in both parts of the picture. The winning entry will have their efforts formally approved, laminated (maybe) and possibly even stretched onto the side of a building.

Entries must be submitted by 12:00am on 9th February 2018. Good luck!

Avatar Kitty Chang

Last night I met this kitty.


(The photo shows the cat in motion because it didn’t stay still for long.)

I wanted to share this cat with you because it is the first time I have ever met a Chinese cat and what with one of our members being Chinese I thought they might know each other. 

This particular cat lived for the first six years of its life in Beijing, and its owners brought it to London when they moved here. About a year later they moved to a new flat where kitties are not allowed and the Chinese cat was rehomed with my friend Andy.

The cat has a Mandarin name that means “Little Black” and which is very hard to pronounce so these days it is generally addressed as “mate”.

Avatar Bad Day

So, after faffing around in the dark for five minutes, I sit down again on the floor and realise I’ve forgotten to get the scissors.

Rewind to five minutes prior to this. At the entrance to the kitchen I forgo turning the lights on, because I’ve lived in the flat over ten years and I know where everything is, and blunder in. In my haste I flap my arms and accidentally knock over the half-filled cup of tea sitting on the side. The tea quickly streams along the kitchen top and filters down through the drawer and the cupboard, before resting peacefully on the floor in a heap. I already feel warm, now my face is positively beaming with embarrassment.

Half an hour prior, Reuben is heading off to bed. As he slips under the covers, I reach over to grab some bags from the floor that need sorting. Something though is amiss; my hands feel wet. I look up and nothing has leaked through the ceiling. “Did you spill your drink?” I ask. “No dad,” he replies. I raise the hand to my nose and sniff. Oh joy, it’s cat piss. The cat has snuck into my room and decided to piss over my stuff, oh, and a brand new pair of school trousers too. Excellent. I’m so glad I had nothing planned for the rest of the evening, now I can put another load of washing to get rid of that oh so beautiful kitty urine aroma. Splendid.

It was not a good day.