Avatar Everybody wants to rule the world… or do they?

In 1985 Tears for Fears released a song called ‘Everybody wants to rule the world’. It was a fearless, techno-infused death metal hybrid about the merits of being in charge of everything. That’s a big lie; it was a endlessly catchy pop song about the perils of being in charge. It does beg the question as to what would be the point in having the biggest chair of all chairs?

Lots of comic book supervillains are always desperate to take it over: Magneto, Dr. Doom, Lex Luthor and Darkseid to name a few. Looking at the state of the planet now, I’d say that it would be more of a chore than anything else to run the world. Earth isn’t fun anymore. It’s a dried up husk of a planet filled with dangerous morons outnumbering the sane, level-headed people by about fifty to one. We’re running low on resources, running out of space and now apparently plastic has been found in people’s blood. I don’t remember eating plastic, it must have been in a frenzy the last time someone put a box of Malteasers in front of me and I swallowed them whole, box, cellophane and all.

This all sounds very serious so before I completely step into my ‘Serious Ian’ shoes, let’s take a step back.

Imagine the paperwork involved; you would never leave your desk and certainly don’t even think about taking a full hour lunchbreak. You’d be running around 195 countries each with their own way of doing things. Sure, you’re the one with the big boots and flashy sash but you can guarantee someone is going to have a problem with your agenda or, even worse, your face.

“China wants a bouncy castle for its ten thousandth birthday!” shouts your secretary. Just before you pick up the phone to check what St John’s Community Hall can offer there’s an email in your inbox because Brazil called Peru a naughty name and now its sulking off the gulf of Mexico and it has to hand over the figures regarding its GDP before the end of the day. France has been in jail for nine days and no matter how many times you shock it with electricity it won’t tell you where your car keys are.

There’s a splat at the window. Poland is throwing eggs again. You’ve already cut off its pocket money and it still won’t respect your decision to hold the next Olympics in Australia.

Just when you think Thailand, Singapore and Qatar have their harmonies fashioned for your board meeting on Friday, Thailand sleeps in and misses the final dress rehearsal. Now you’ve got to go crawling on your hands and knees to Saudi Arabia in the hope that your fourth choice will forget the fact that you let them go in favour of the country with the slightly better baritone.

Even if you had superpowers and you could crush people with the weight of your toxic masculinity, where’s the thrill of being king or queen of the world? It’s not even something that would impress people anymore. The general public is impressed when a monkey rides a tortoise and someone films it. That’s an eight million hit on YouTube. Bragging rights for ownership of the planet Earth? Nothing. I bet all the other planets are always giggling about us because we still haven’t mastered space travel and Kanye West has now released eleven albums and still shows no sign of stopping.

No, I’m afraid if I was handed the keys to the globe I would turn and walk away. It’s just not for me. I’m out.

Avatar Bank holidays

There’s a serious problem that we have all been completely failing to address, and it’s been going on for too long now. I have decided to fix it. The arrangement of bank holidays across the year is inconsistent, unfair and stupid.

Just look at this chart showing where all the bank holidays fell in 2020. What a mess.

Just spacing them out evenly wouldn’t bring an end to this madness, because there’s only seven of them. That would mean a wait of 52 days between free days off work, a barely acceptable waiting time.

The solution is obvious. More bank holidays, sprinkled evenly throughout the year, so we get one about every two weeks. That’s a massive win. Here’s my suggested list.

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Blue Monday
  3. Pancake Day
  4. Box Set Thursday
  5. Spring Cleaning Day
  6. St Patrick’s Heavy Drinking Day
  7. Good Friday
  8. Easter Monday
  9. First T-Shirt Day of the Year
  10. Eurovision Day
  11. The Other May Bank Holiday
  12. Boxing Day (relocated)
  13. Wimbledon Finals Day
  14. Beer Garden Friday
  15. Barbecue Day
  16. Holiday Packing Day
  17. Summer Bank Holiday
  18. DFS Sale Day
  19. Steak Pie and Mash Day
  20. Winter Coat Day
  21. Wellies and Leaf Crunching Day
  22. Bonfire Night
  23. Pyjama Wednesday
  24. Christmas Shopping Day
  25. Christmas Day
  26. New Year’s Eve

This results in a much better spread of bank holidays through the year, as shown below.

Please consider this the start of my campaign to enshrine these new bank holidays in law, and also the start of my campaign to be Prime Minister. Thank you.

Avatar Newsboost – Worried Wizard Woes

The newest issue of ‘Magic Monthly’ has rated every kind or type of wizard in the modern world and it has left several feeling slightly embarrassed. The magazine had been threatening to do this for the last few months and it seems as if September, following a summer of misery for fantasy and everything else in general, was the best time to unleash it.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of the periodical that the usual crowd occupied the top five spots: magicians, mages, wizards of light, wizards of power and Dynamo in no particular order. In a shock turn of events though many that had previously rated pretty highly were left lurking in the lower numbers. This was the first time in twenty-five years that the novelty of Shit Wizards has not transferred into the popular levels of the top twenty.

“I don’t understand,” muttered Jack Hengly, leader of the Shit Wizard Collective, “everybody loves a shit wizard. I’ve made a career out of it. You go to pull a rabbit out of a hat and you accidentally spray mace in some kid’s eye. It’s a time-honoured tradition, especially in the UK. Quite what we did to earn number thirty-seven out of fifty is anyone’s guess.”

Lark Fonglebund, the representative of the Gangly Wizards, was also left similarly dumbfounded at their entry at number forty-four. “We’ve never placed anything lower than the late twenties. I was discussing this with my brethren last night via Skype and none of us could get our head’s around it. It feels very personal, I have taken this very personally. It’s practically bullying. They should feel ashamed of themselves.”

It came as no surprise to anyone when Chav Wizards hit number fifty straight away. There has never been any call for Chav Wizards, nor has anyone ever requested them, nor have they ever done anything deemed worthy by the magic community. In fact, nobody knows where they originally came from; it was as though they emerged during the night when everyone was sleeping and it was too late to do anything about them. This overall impression of those who can cast a spell to double their benefits in a matter of seconds hasn’t changed in decades.

“Look mate,” slurred Barry Scraggle, with a tab protruding from his mouth and a can of Newcastle Brown Ale in his battle-scarred hand, “we’ve had a bad reputation from day one. I don’t know why the f*cking f*ck cloud panty w*nkers have a problem with us. Yeah, all we do is drink cider and argue loudly in public places but that’s not against law. Well, part of it is. Some of it is. We know how to have a good time and those other hoity toity bookworm a*se cloggers are too busy making chapstick out of dragon’s earwax to notice.”

Not everyone hit the ground face first though. Animal wizards saw a surge in popularly, especially Weasel Wizards who landed the number nine spot a clear five places ahead of last year’s winners, the Beagles.

Avatar State of the Beans Address – 2020: The Write-Off

Friends. Now is a time of crisis and uncertainty, of complications and sullenness the likes of which have not been seen for half a century or possibly longer.

The Bovona Virus has a name. It also has a face. The face that it has does not have as many eyes as I do but they look upon all as a mess to clear up. Not one of those easy messes where you sort of sweep everything into your hands and throw it in the bin. I am talking one of those adolescent messes, a mix of beans and PVA glue, scattered all over your carpet, trodden into the fabric repeatedly and then somehow heated up into a solid, disgusting mass. Human beings are that mass. Bovona wants you and your family hiding in a bin or worse.

The good news is that there are people out there, much smarter people, who are desperately trying to find a cure to this madness. There is one somewhere and they will find it. Like a some cache of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs hidden under a nut bush, these men and woman, these scientists of the modern era, will sniff out these eggs and distribute them amongst the population. When we finally get our eggs there will be great rejoicing and celebration. I personally will be setting aside at least three weeks to sit in a tree and marvel at the outside world. I may have to grow feathers and adopt the mannerisms of an owl, possibly have myself adopted into an owl or owl-like family, in order to survive and I will do. We will all survive. Myself and my owls will ensure it.

So the question remains: what should we do with the rest of 2020? Should we give it a little more time, like the great one-eyed songstress Gabrielle, and hope that the Summer, Autumn and Winter months redeem it? Should we remain patient in the face of adversity? Or, as I would recommend, should we bin the rest of the year, go into suspended animation and all wake up in 2021 to start afresh? Given that all manner of festivals, gigs and other events have been postponed indefinitely until further notice we could have a slew of everything at the same time. We could gorge on tasty morsels of this and that. Perhaps the whole world should take a week off and indulge like chubby beavers trapped in an Oak Furniture Land, in a relentless barrage of hedonistic behaviour and uncompromising lust. How fruity.

I have spoken. We shall prevail.

We need three and, thank Bobby Costanzo, we are three.

Avatar The Petition

Some time ago now, it became clear that Monty Don was a famous ex-rapper who we all wanted to see back in the game.

I was proud to play my part in collecting signatures for a petition to get him back behind the mic, and I’m prouder than proud – keen, even – to share the petition I collected here.

It’s got its own page in the Things section, or you can just click on the big Monty Dons here.

Avatar Monty Don – Petition Update

Hi Guys

So, I believe that we are all in receipt of the petition, and when I say “the petition” you know fine well which petition I mean. Yes, it’s the one to get my main man Monty Don back up onstage with a microphone in his hand to rip the world in two with some phat beats.

The only way we are going to get this up and running is with the backing of the people. I know that all of his fans have been crying out for this for years and it was only recently that some brainiac had the right idea to start a petition, and get the ball rolling. We need to roll that ball quick and hard, like the effort needed to stretch a weasel. We have to put that weasel right in there, no pre-stretching or pre-preparation at all, and get it stretched like there’s no tomorrow. If that weasel is going, it’s going and there’s no going back. If that ball rolls back then we need to smash it into next week, whether using the weasel or not.

So, like the weasel, and maybe the ball, we need to get the word out to everyone. I want to see Twitters, people, I want to see a rip curl of emotion driving this down the throats of every single name in your list of followers. I want to see Facebook posts, Instagram instas, Linked-In┬ásausage link┬ánotifications and postcards sent to a PO Box address that doesn’t exist.

I have never felt so strongly about anything in my entire life. I feel as though I was put on this earth to make this happen, and the only way it can happen is with the support of people like you. Without you there would be no you, so keep you-ing and I will keep me-ing, and with any luck by the end of the summer we will have achieved our goal.

All of my eyes, and I do mean all of them, are on you to sort this mother out. Bless you and all your tiny hand socks of joy (what?).

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 Christmas Dessert War

Christmas is nearly here. The season of eating a bit too much and feeling very full all day and still somehow continuing to eat Celebrations all afternoon. The season of Many Desserts.

This is the Christmas Dessert War. Pick a side and choose your favourite. Only one can survive*.

The candidates are:

  • Christmas pudding (with brandy sauce or custard, don’t mess me about with a drizzle of cream, nobody wants cream)
  • Christmas cake (with icing AND marzipan, and ideally a slice of Wensleydale on the side)
  • Yule Log (don’t choose this)
  • Other (please specify)

I choose Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. And if you don’t want any I’ll have yours.

(* all the desserts will survive and continue to be available for eating)