Avatar Pointless Purchase of the Month – The Artist

Take a look around you right now and tell me what you can see. Can you see a shelf of shoes? Can you see a cat pawing at your conservatory door? Can you see two sailors quarrelling about figs? I expect that one or more of those things are within the reaches of your eyes (mental note: eye reach is a good thing) and I, for one, am very jealous that I cannot see them.

Jarrow does not have a lot of shops that one can peruse on a lunchtime. I have particular tastes so unless I’m in the mood for frozen food (Iceland) or ladies toiletries, or anyone’s toiletries really (Boots or Superdrug) I’m up a certain creek without a certain paddle. Thanks Jeebus then for Cash Convertors, peddling second-hand goods of a bizarre assortment and variety; it’s like having a carboot sale every day five minutes from work. Bliss.

I was most surprised then when, about to leave the shop, my noticing eyes noticed a peculiar sight. The stack of sad unloved DVDs and Blu-Rays sit on a shelf next to the cash register, close to the box of twelve inch vinyl records which I can guarantee have not been flicked through in years. There, in plain view for everyone to see, were copies of the film ‘The Artist’ on Blu-Ray. Not one, not two, not three but thirteen copies.

At that point I had never seen the film but remembered the Oscar buzz when it was originally released; a silent film about a silent film star struggling to cope with the transition to “talkies” after the advancements in technology and cinema but made in 2011. I left the shop however I returned a few days later. You may question my sanity and you would be right to do so. Why would one person need thirteen copies of the same movie? For 25p each I ask you, how could one person live with themselves knowing that they passed up on an opportunity to own thirteen copies of the same film? Exactly. I can’t justify it, deal with it.

As the member of staff scanned each Blu-Ray I was on the verge of asking how the store had come into possession of such a large quantity of the same film only he looked about as happy as a wet weekend in Bridlington so I came to the conclusion that it was better to not know. The reason would be lost in the sands of time. It was a blessing and I should not question it as such.

I watched the film and enjoyed it, it’s a lot darker than I expected it to be. There’s also a dog in it that’s way more impressive than most of the human cast because he’s clever and well-trained much like Eddie (or Moose if you will) from ‘Frasier’. Do I need thirteen copies of a great film? Of course not, yet I wouldn’t be able to write these words and possibly enrage Kevin by doing so without them. The best part is that eight of them are still sealed.

Happy trails!

Avatar Floor “saga”

Not a saga, not really. I tried to think of the right word and all I could come up with was ‘ragu’ and that’s definitely not the right one. Nobody wants a floor ragu.

Here it is in all its sexy glory. My new hallway flooring, floor hall. Look at it as it stretches off into the distance because, yes, it is quite a long hallway. It would take a few strides to get up and down there, even with Kev and his gigantic pair of legs.

The original planning phase begin in November of last year. Me being the ultimate slob I am decided to wait until Christmas was done before commencing any work. Then I temporary lost my hearing in one ear and had to wait until Boots was ready to suck out the various globules of wax hiding in my ear canal. Then some other things happened that stopped me from doing it. Then my installer got covid. It’s been one hell of a ride.

Don’t look too closely at the edges though because Council architecture, like most things, is not infallible and after sixty years there has been a bit of movement. How do I know this? Because when we were laying the floor from the front door down towards the living room the wall seemed to bend slightly to the right meaning the perfect symmetry we had going on at the beginning wasn’t present anymore. The further in we went a thin section remained uncovered along the edge. It wasn’t even a straight line too, the git. This then meant that muggins here had to use all the offcuts to try and wallpaper over the cracks (so to speak) to avoid spoiling the illusion of goodness.

Patience is a virtue. In my post-covid blues state, off work and with not much else to be getting on with, I cut the remaining pieces needed to finish the job. Similar to all great works of art, from a distance the integrity and the beauty remains intact. Get close though, dangerously close, and all its shortcomings will become apparent. I therefore ask that you only inspect the floor using your regular eyes, possibly from six feet away, wearing a pair of sunglasses and being distracted by genies.

I don’t think that’s asking too much?

When is a saga not a saga? When it’s a… ragu. No, it’s still not coming to me.

Avatar Floor Pasta – a short play

The scene reveals a man, a woman and a teenage boy in the kitchen of a semi-detached house. A television can be heard coming from the living room. Two or three dogs are roaming the kitchen floor looking for scraps.

S: Go on, tell your dad about the floor pasta.
I: The what?
R: It’s because I brought home a packet of spaghetti that I found on the floor. It’s still sealed, it’s not minging or anything.
I: I see. Dubious but still useful I suppose.
R: Oh come on, don’t tell me you wouldn’t because I know you would! It’s free food and it’s perfectly usable.
I: Whereabouts did you find this?
R: When I was walking home from school.
I: A lone packet of spaghetti just lying there on the floor.
R: In the street, yeah. I looked around to see if anyone had dropped it but I was the only one there.

Later that evening. Still in the kitchen.

I: We’re a little concerned about the floor pasta. Are you sure you didn’t steal it? Come on now, if you’re going to risk going to jail for a 50p pack of spaghetti then I think we need to get you to a psychologist.
R: I knew you would do this.
S: If you’re a klepto just own up to it, we won’t judge you.
R: This is nonsense.
I: You have to admit the story sounds a bit too convenient, a bit too farfetched if you ask me.
R: Yes it does but it’s true, well, apart from the bit about finding it on the floor.
I: Come again?
R: I didn’t find it on the floor I found it in a trolley.
I: Here we go.
S: So it wasn’t on the floor, you stole it from a trolley in Sainsburys?
R: The trolley wasn’t in Sainsburys, it was in an alley.
I: This sounds even less believable. Which alley?
R: You know the one that’s equidistant between Sainsburys and Dhillons fish shop?
I: No, surprisingly not. I’m not out measuring equal distances between two places near where you live.
R: It was a trolley there and it was full of pasta.
I: Full of pasta, a trolley full of pasta lying in an alley sort of behind a supermarket, just left there for anyone to take.
R: Yes. I checked and it’s in date, it’s not as if it was out of date goods or anything.
S: So with all that pasta available to take you only took one small packet of spaghetti?
R: Yes! I didn’t want to be greedy.
S: This is sounding less believable the more he says.
I: You’re telling me.
R: Look, I know you don’t believe me and that’s fine. This isn’t the first time it’s happened anyway.

The man and the woman look at each other with the same confused look.

S: So how many times has it happened?
R: <thinks> about nine or ten.
I: So nine or ten times you’ve been walking from school and you’ve come across a shopping trolley filled to the brim with pasta and this is the first time you’ve thought to mention it?
R: Like you would have believed me anyway…

Lights fade.

The End.

Avatar McIver ‘in the know’ newsletter – 2021

Dear all,

Gosh darn it another year has already passed. Where did the time go? What was I doing with my life? If you already knew the answers to these questions then there would be no point in this newsletter. Let me gladly waltz you through the BEST news from the family from the last twelve months.

Jeff, you remember Jeff right? The boxer? He had the biggest bout of his life in February. He was up against Cornwaller “Duck fat” Turner, a man so tall if you asked him for directions he could already see where you were trying to get to. I had a few nagging doubts yet thankfully Jeff took him out in the third round with the old 2-10-4. That would never had worked had he not wore him down with the 8-8-2 and a vicious 1-5-9 to the gut, ouch! I’d hate to be on the receiving end of that. Despite what his sister will tell you, I taught him that.

Uncle Tupperware finally returned from his travels in Vietnam in May. The family hadn’t seen him since mama c-word last made her gingerbread soul soup. He brought with him marvellous tales of lofty mountains, inner wisdom and getting tanked with a bunch of monks for eight weeks.

Cousin Plip-plop was released from prison as July turned to August and then forgot about August so it went back for a second round of July. She had used her time wisely and emerged not only as a free woman but also dragging three diplomas in feminist science studies and a hat made of time. I tried to get her to make one for me alas it was too late as she could stay for a few days before starting a job in Hollywood. I predict big things for her before we see her again.

Little Billy joined the circus because, as we all know, he is the sturdiest stilt walker we know. He is quite the prodigy if you ask me. At that age all I could do was scratch myself and tell jokes about kangeroos whereas Billy can juggle up to eight grapefruit, hang mice from his ears and perform tricks on a unicycle. When they see his piece de resistance, you remember, throwing up into the air and catching it back in his mouth, they will drop their trousers in gasp and awe.

Reuben (or Rude-Boi Throckers as he is known round these parts) finally passed his Pope exam and was crowned grand high Pope of Russia for the next four seasons. We had our fingers crossed for Minsk and thankfully we were not disappointed, with Rome and Doncaster as his (fairly predictable and pretty obvious, I know) second and third choices. On his first day of the job he blessed a crowd of thorns, created three new words and shouted scorn at a cloud until it watered a village’s crops.

Me? Well, there’s not much to tell. I can’t really compete with everyone else’s news. I opened a packet of custard powder, tried a new flavour of crisps, taught a dolphin about feelings, lived in a mushroom for a week, polished some cheeses, stretched some weasels, ate far too much shoe polish and watched two sailors arguing about figs. I know, I know, I should really get out more. I promise I’ll have more to tell next year.

All the best

Ian

Avatar Pointless Purchase of the Month – update

What I say may cause shock and distress. Viewer discretion is advised.

It is common knowledge that I am known to not only own several copies of the same thing but also sometimes to never open said copies of things. This has been well documented through my own hands over the years. It is a habit that I can see the problems with but very rarely choose to do anything about because I’m an adult and also fuck you.

That said, times are changing. The ‘me’ from many years ago doesn’t exist anymore (the less said abut 2007 ‘me’ the better) and has been replaced with a more sleek, streamlined edition with lots of bells and whistles. I am the go-faster-stripes model of Ian Bonobo Cupcake Mango Ice “Multiple Copies” McIver and I expected to be replaced again within the next few years.

Take a look at this:

Delicious steelbook action

Eagle-eyed viewers (none of you) may remember a post I made in 2014 (see http://pouringbeans.com/pointless-purchase-of-the-month-july/) explaining my reasons for my pointless purchase. Nintendo have seen fit to release an HD version of this game for the Switch. It is no longer a Pointless Purchase (TM) for the following reasons:

  1. I started playing the game on my Wii Mini a few months back before the re-release on the Switch.
  2. I now have the Wii Motion Controller meaning that I can actually play it.
  3. I have a Switch, I have opened the game and I will be starting again from scratch. I can play the game multiple times on two different consoles.

Therapy is no longer needed. Time, as it turns out, is not only a healer but a way of fixing your brain to more acceptable methods in today’s modern society. It’s also a lot cheaper and doesn’t involve telling a stranger why you get movement in your trousers when browsing the fruit and veg aisle at Tesco.

I can see Kevin’s rage dissipating the more I type. It brings me great job knowing that his anger has been abated through my selfless actions.

You’re welcome, everyone. And I even cancelled the order for the amiibo. How’d you like them apples?

Avatar InterSportball Euroleague 2020

At long last, football fever is here again! Come and join us on the Beans for the lowdown on this year’s best new last year’s footsporting tournament, the InterSportball Euroleague 2020!

How does it work?

All the countries in Europe, excluding some obviously European countries like Ireland and Luxembourg but inexplicably including several countries that are mostly in Asia like Russia and Turkey, are sending teams of footballists to a range of places in Europe and also some places outside Europe to go play footballs at each other.

Every single team of footballsters has about eleven men, and no women at all. The men are all good at kicking, running along doing little kicks to move the ball around without anyone else getting it, running at other men and doing kicks at just the right time to get the ball off them, and sliding along the grass on their knees. The point of the InterSportball Euroleague 2020 is to find out which team of footbollogists are the best ones.

What kind of footballs are being played?

All 24 teams are playing sportball according to the Queensbury Rules, which are:

  • It’s a game of two halves
  • No wrestling or hugging
  • A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered offside
  • The gloves to be fair sized boxing gloves of the best quality
  • No shoes or boots with springs allowed

At the start of the game both teams bring their favourite football to the sports arena and the referee chooses the one they like most to be used for the match. Most teams are bringing circular footballs with a black and white design on them, but England have chosen an orange one that reminds them of 1966, Wales are bringing an oval rugby egg and Germany have opted for a nice stripey beach ball.

Who is playing who?

Every team is playing every other team, making a total of 276 matches in the initial stage of the tournament. Three matches are played every day so this will go on until mid-September.

At the end, there will be the Grand Final, where all 24 teams play each other all at once, with 24 footballs on the pitch, at a specially built ground in Belgium that has 24 sides, 24 goals and a pitch that covers eight floors with escalators between them. The match will continue until one of the teams has scored a hundred goals.

The winners of the Grand Final will be declared the Best at Football and will pick up the Ian Botham Trophy for Best International Kicking.

Time to get out there and enjoy all the football! You can watch the football in every pub in the UK, all the time, or at home on the TV, and if you’re watching a game that’s being shown live from a hot country, don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

Avatar Newsboost – Blockbusters is back!

Sensational news today as it was revealed that 80’s stellar gameshow ‘Blockbusters’ is due to come back sometime in Autumn 2021.

A picture of the new set was unveiled on Twitter, Instagram, Faceplace and other social media sites for all to peruse with your various eyes, perusing or otherwise. Not a lot was disclosed but you can clearly see the memorable game board showing the letters in the background. There has been a change of colour, a lick of paint if you will, from the traditional yellow and blue colour scheme of the original.

The new set in all its glory

Yes, whilst follow-up versions were released with different presenters on different channels it was decided that nobody really cared about them. A poll last year showed that 87% of the viewers generally couldn’t give a fuck and so a massive two-fingered salute was erected in a warehouse in Coventry. You can read our article on this using the link below.

Sadly since the tragic loss of Bob Holness in 2012 it has meant that ITV Studios has had to recast and scout for a new presenter. The identity is still a closely guarded secret so we will all have to wait until September for the big big big reveal. It will be a big reveal.

Current odds show Gary Wilmot at 20/1, Sara Cox at 10/1 and our very own Smidge Manly at 100/1. I know where my money is going.

Stay tuned for more information.

Avatar Fundraising

Man has been raising money since the dawn of time.

It all started with Jesus being bet that he couldn’t be killed, buried AND come back to life. He took that bet and started going round the local villages asking for sponsor money, rattling down dem neighbours with his charm and natural-born charisma. Three days later, with a pocket full of sponsorship money, he walked away and donated it all to the burly orphans of the holy mother and disappeared. What a guy (I believe that’s how it went down, I don’t really remember much from R.E. at school).

Since then everyone has wanted a piece of the action. There are so many many MANY good causes out there. If you can think of something or someone having a hard time then there will be a charity in its name, winking in your general direction and hoping you will slip something in their back pocket. With this in mind, how could you ever choose which to help, which to slide the burden onto your manly shoulders? My personal advice would be to spin a wheel or flip a coin.

For the whole month of April I am walking for women.

*comedy voice* why can’t women walk for themselves?

Well, comedy voice, the fact is they can but I am also walking for them, with them. I’m stepping into their shoes and loaning my legs to do a good thing. It’s not all altruistic though because I get fresh air and exercise in return for my walking. It’s all for selfish reasons. All I was hoping for was a bunch of people staring at me whilst I walked and it is paying off big time. I wouldn’t do it unless I got something out of it. Call me a sociopath all you like but that’s how I roll and you’ll all have to deal with it. Oh, how I am such a good at the walking too. You’ve not seen walking until you’ve witnessed my awe-inspiring thighs crossing your path.

So stop your grinning and drop your linen, give me / they / them money now by using the link and being a good guy. I feel almost as inspirational as the time we did that exercise and I ate biscuits in ‘Nish 3’.

https://www.facebook.com/donate/845080713017722/