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 Crossword

Time to sit down with a nice cup of tea, and perhaps pull a rug across your knee to keep you warm like an old person, while you have a go at the Pouring Beans Crossword Puzzle. There’s no prizes, it’s just for fun, and possibly not even that.

Answers in a few weeks. Good luck.

Across

1: Morrissey’s typical remark on seeing some birds (8)
5: Fair description of former regular commenter Pete Doherty (4)
8: The Beans Massive wrote a book about a Magic one (4)
11: A Lego car of the right size (8)

Down

1: A Montessori school activity requires children to pour these (5)
2: Chris’s favourite brand of pesto. Making crosswords is difficult and sometimes you just have to go with whatever fits (5)
3: The location of Dr Rombobulous Combobulation’s hat in relation to his head (4)
4: What we store on the Magical Computers (4)
6: A Jewish priest. It has nothing to do with the Beans but, again, it fits, and beggars can’t be choosers (5)
7: The number we need and are (5)
9: A Smidge Manly impersonator stole this from the real Smidge (4)
10: Noise made by lions and also former regular commenter Brian Blessed (4)

Avatar War of Science

There is a war on the horizon.

If you squint for long enough you can see them, dressed in their white lab coats, wafting beakers and bunsen burners around like slices of cheese. Science is in the air, an unmistakable smell that burns and pleases the nostrils in equal measures. There are three factions battling for the lauded position of Kings and Queens of Science. It will be long and it will be bloody. Not everyone will make it through, oh yes, there will be casualties. You best call your loved ones now because you’re definitely going to be late home tonight.

Real science has no place here. That’s a whole different category of its own so it’s staying on the sidelines, cheering on the pretenders and secretly laughing to itself about the whole affair. It’s brought a bag of Haribo and it doesn’t plan on sharing it with anyone else. Behind a veil of thin mist, and a long black trench coat, it nibbles on fried eggs and cola bottles without the surrounding crowd realising what is going on.

So who are these people, these candidates of coercion and comprehension? Pull up a beanie and let’s get started:

  • We Are Scientists

    Not only making a bold claim in their band name alone, ‘We Are Scientists’ are also in the running for best album cover ever for their debut ‘With Love and Squalor’. It’s got so many kitties I lost my shit several times writing this post. So there’s a lot of moxie coming from these Californian power pop masters, the only problem is that none / neither of them are actual scientists. The name was chosen after being mistaken for scientists after taking a rental truck back to the depot. Pop music was never the place a ground for things that made sense. There’s no truth in any of this but, damn, can they write catchy as hell songs.

  • We Are Science

    I actually made a bit of a mistake here. I was under the impression that comedian Marcus Brigstocke had a short-lived science program called ‘We are Science’ which lampooned science for laughs. It was actually called ‘We are History’ and had nothing to do with it so they’re automatically disqualified for not being the thing that I thought it was. Bastards.

  • Nina and the Neurons

    Kids TV can’t keep up anymore which is why the BBC and ITV gave up on it in the afternoons and shoved it onto either early morning slots that nobody knows about or digital channels that you can stream at any hour of the day. When Reuben was small, we would occasionally watch ‘Nina and the Neurons’ because it had bright, colourful graphics and was educational in a non-boring way. It also had, because you cannot get past my troubled history of fancying women on TV, a very attractive host in the guise of Katrina Bryan who, with her Scottish accent and being in front of my eyes, kept my attention. After a very quick check on the good ole’ Google pegs, I cannot see any scientific qualifications to her name. This is further cemented by the fact that she played a pregnant lady in a banned advert for Irn Bru where the dad is slowly coming around to the idea of calling his daughter Fanny by drinking the aforementioned drink. She played a character who was a scientist; good actress, bad science. The only things here are japes and sex appeal.

  • Me and Kev

    I got a ‘D’ in my Chemistry A Level.

    Kev has a Twitter account called ‘Wrong Science’.

I think we know who won this.

Avatar The Award for Effort – August

You know, we don’t give ourselves enough credit. Here we are, each month, slaving away over a hot laptop in the hope of raising a chuckle here and there. We are creating nostalgia. This is a body of work that most people can only dream of. What a load of THINGS we carry on doing. How many humans do you know that can boast about a website, a series of podcasts, half a dozen award-winning albums, a web comic, two children’s book series and more booklets of nonsense than a weekend with Vic Reeves’ eyebrows?

Take a break from all that work. Let’s commend someone who needs commending. Let us chuck out a couple of accolades every now and then to really salute the best of the best. There are award ceremonies for practically everything these days so pull up a chair and we can take a look. This month it is quite clear who the award should go to and that person is…

KEVIN!

Congratulations Kevin, you win the ‘There was an Attempt’ award for effort. Having been nosin’ around the website in the back, I could see that a post was started and there was some interesting content. I only wish that you had the time in order to complete it as it would have made a fascinating read. As it happens, I am sure that eventually it will join the ranks of other fully-fledged posts and take it’s place amongst the greatest. Let’s gaze upon this marvel:

“How they find us: 2019

gghgdfghdfghdfghdfgh ddfgd ;lfkdgjh ;dflgkjh ;fdglkhj ldfkjgh df;lkj; lskfgj;hdflgkhjfd; ghlkjd f;glhkj d;lkfgj h;lkdjs;ldfkjg l;kj s;lkdfj goaijkfgdfn; gjklh;slkj ;slfkdgj ;sldfkjg ;slkdfjg ;slkfdjg ;slkjfd g

hdfgh

dfgh

dfg

hdfg

hdfg

hdfghdfgh”

Verbatim. Wonderful. It’s a thing of beauty. It needs its own stunning vista and inspirational poster. Although it may sound like the noises you hear in the toilet cubicle next you in the gents, it’s sheer poetry.

Well done Kev and keep up the good work, all of you! Next month you could be in line for something special.

Avatar Story time

Here’s a challenge that none of us will be able to resist.

You know what to do. You have the words. You can also use any other word you like, as long as the other words are no longer than four letters long. I also choose to permit the words “scintillate”, “bigamy” and “washing machine”.

There will be a prize. Probably.

Avatar King for a Day

Early. Bleary-eyed. Rummaging through emails before work and there it is.

Now I have my fair share of luck like everyone else. I’m not swimming in lottery wins yet occasionally the cosmos chucks me a bone and a I manage a few numbers in the Chunderball. It’s a balancing act no doubt due to my years of annoying people and general sanctimonious behaviour. Yes, me.  Look at me.

“Congratulations! You’re our Mastercard Competition WINNER!”

I’m your what the what now? This email sat in my inbox is telling me I’m a winner. It is praising me for winning more than anyone else. I am a winner. I have won a VIP trip for two adults to attend the UEFA Champions League Final Madrid 2019. I would rather stick my eye sockets in a paste of pepper and lemon juice than have anything to do with fucking football but even so, it does come with hotel accommodation and a £250.00 prepaid card so I can stick twos up at the final and go off to get hammered in some squalid Spanish bar, where the locals can pick my pocket when I am stumbling back to my hotel room around 7pm or however long it takes for me to get wasted these days.

This is pushed to one side by my acute distinct overwhelming sense of pessimism. “What do you think you’re doing? You actually believe you’ve won a competition? When did you enter this competition”

“I… I erm I don’t er… I didn’t?”

“Well done, genius! You didn’t. Why on earth would you have entered a competition to win tickets to the UEFA Champions League Final? It’s clearly a sham. It’s a fake. They’re trying to scam your sorry ass for a quick buck.”

Having checked the details, even though it looked like a genuine email I was inclined to agree with my pessimism that it was some hoodlums attempting swindle the last few pennies from my account. Like with all great phishing scandals, I sent a message to Zavvi saying that I had received an email that looked about as legitimate as a Smidge Manly Coco Loco advertisement from Spain, and asked them to verify if this was the case. I received a response a few hours later, two responses in fact. It seems as though a lot of people had received the same email I had because the first reply was a mass-produced email from Zavvi apologising for their error. This was further confirmed by the poor customer service adviser who had to message me back to say that I had not won the tickets, as well as several tweets from people on Twitter who had gone through the same highs and lows as I had.

So in one sense I have missed out on the chance of flying to Spain to live out a brief fantasy of downing alcohol in a foreign country. On the other hand though I have avoided a poxy holiday based around a shit game of football.

Hotter Otter out.

Avatar Seagull Competition: Results

It’s been a long time coming and the tension is almost too much to bear. A couple of months ago, we asked the Beans Massive to tell us what a Llandudno seagull was thinking back in May 2017 when he was photographed thusly.

It’s taken a while to select a winner, principally because of the difficulty of locating this exact seagull and then establishing a way of communicating a question about its internal thought processes from nearly two years ago that it could understand, and then interpreting its answer. It has also proven a bit tricky to get it to select a prize.

Read More: Seagull Competition: Results »

Avatar Seagull Competition: Entries

There’s been huge excitement across the Beans Network since the Seagull Competition was launched, and rightly so. Collating the entries, producing a shortlist and selecting a winner has taken a bit longer than expected, because of the difficulties of tracking down the exact seagull that was photographed in Llandudno in 2017 and then getting it to pay some attention to the competition entries.

Right now we have the seagull tagged, and all the entries laid out neatly on the pier, and we’re waiting for it to fly back down to a bag of chips we’ve enticingly dumped on the floor so we can get it to pick a winner.

Read More: Seagull Competition: Entries »