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 Sugar Lumps

It started with a casual remark in a conversation and, as always, it leads to stuff you didn’t know you wanted arriving in the post.

I’m talking of course about sugar cubes. Who knew they were still a thing?

I for one thought that they had been relegated to the winds of time by things like good hygiene practices and little paper packets, but how wrong I was. Imagine my ‘delight’ as two whole boxes of the things arrived at my door, accompanied by the now customary ring of the doorbell by the postman too lazy to actually push things through the previously acceptable flap.

I believe Chris’ package arrived first, in what can only be described as ‘inadequate’ packaging, (a plastic postage bag) looking mostly like a box of sugar, with some cubes left in it. Ian’s exotic brown sugar came next wrapped nicely in bubble wrap and in a box. (I’m assuming it was Ian as it was addressed to Kevin ‘Sweet San Hose’ Hill).

When I explained the arrival of these to Sarah, she declared that Ian was the winner as she used to sneak eat the brown sugar cubes at ‘Auntie’ Betty’s house when she was little.

following on from this, anyone who ‘pops round for a cuppa’ should now expect to find tea served on an overly flowery tray, with a little bowl of mixed sugar cubes ready and waiting.

Not that anyone puts sugar in tea these days.

Avatar Burakkas (everybody loves)

2021 is turning out to be a right sad-sack of a year. It’s currently trailing behind 2020 with a forlorn look on it’s mug, a napsack of woe and wearing a pair of soiled pants. We need to electrify this mother into next week, then bring it back into this week so we can knock it back again. Tennis.

What the world needs right now is a call-back the likes of which has not been seen before. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, what the world needs is a large steaming plate of Burakkas.

Kevindo Menendez knows what you’re pondering before you’ve had a chance to ponder it. Burakkas are back and they’re bigger (?) than ever. They’re the thing that does the thing that you need them to do but faster and possibly a little bit better. They’ll clean up that thing that shouldn’t be there, they’ll email that other thing that you should have emailed last week and then blame someone else for the delay.

Thought you forgot that thing? Well you didn’t because your Burakkas put a note in your phone or something similar, like a diary.

Where’s that thing that you lost? Ha, well it doesn’t matter because now you’ve got Burakkas and they’re much more versatile than whatever it is that you’re looking for. They’ve got your back.

I don’t know how you expected to get by in the post-2020 world without a friendly pair of hands by your side, handing you breath mints and stress relievers when life thrusts at you an unbuffed, wrongly-sized kitchen worktop straight through your front window and into your living room. What were you thinking?

The best news though is that for the next twelve months if you buy one pair of Burakkas you’ll get another pair for the same price, or maybe even a little bit more. How about that? Buy now and lots.

From Kevindo Menendez – a name that’s a name and it’s a name you can trust!

Avatar Travels with the Pernickety Dickhead

It is unfortunate but true that, for about two years between the ages of 21 and 23, I was an absolutely insufferable tool who would send snotty, condescending letters of complaint at the slightest provocation. This fact was recently brought to light when I raided my correspondence folder for material for a Virtual Winston Pub Quiz and found that almost everything in there was a shameful tirade to one company or another dating from the years 2005 to 2007.

Due to popular demand, I will now open up this archive of horrendous antisocial behaviour to the public for your enjoyment.

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Avatar Storytime

Gather round children for I have a story to tell you.

The ratio of men to women is currently around 1:10 in my office. We used to have two gents toilets but it was decided to turn the smaller one into a ladies, for obvious reasons. The remaining gents toilet is umm quaint but not perfect: the light takes around 10 seconds to turn on (not ideal when you’re busting for a whizz wazz wongle), the hot water tap doesn’t work so they had to get an extra one with a heated unit and the dryer is so poor that it’d be quicker to blow on your hands yourself.

Due to the hand dryer being as effective as a car made of wet cheese, I started putting paper towels in the gents so that we had options. There was a small bundle stacked on top of the dryer and a spare lot in the (broken) cupboard above the urinal. I had started doing this before the Bovona virus took hold and every so often the same thing would happen; the paper towels would vanish completely. There one day and gone the next. I thought it was the cleaners moving them or something else. Baffled but thoroughly British, I said nothing and merely replaced the towels. This happened at least half a dozen times over a period of about twelve months.

When I came back from furlough, mainly working from the office, I did the same for what few men remained in the building. To my astonishment the same thing kept happening; a few weeks would pass and the half-used stack of paper towels would be gone with no explanation. I finally decided to do something about this so I mentioned it to the office manager, who was just as puzzled as I was. There was absolutely no reason for anyone to remove the towels. She said that she would mention it to the cleaners and get back to me.

The next day I entered the gents to put my contact lenses and smiled as there was a newly opened pack of paper towels waiting to dry my moistened paws. After putting the lenses in I walked over to the office manager’s office and thanked her for sorting it out. She looked confused, “sorted what out?” I mentioned the towels. “I haven’t spoken to the cleaners about it yet though.”

I asked if she was winding me up, an elaborate prank which I had completely fallen for. Given how grim the world is right now anything light-hearted is very welcome, even at my expense. She swore that she knew nothing about it. There was nobody else in the room when I asked her about it the day before. The towels re-appeared out of nowhere.

There is talk of a ghost who haunts the office at night. Colleagues working late have mentioned hearing noises and bumps after dark. The building is over a hundred years old so it has gone the rounds, so to speak. Do I think that a ghost is playing a trick on me? Do I think that this spectre is yanking my chain by throwing away paper towels?

I don’t have a foggy froggy fog fog fogey Phileas Fogg the foggiest idea.

Avatar More old news

Here we are again, starting a whole new year with the unnerving feeling that if we go outdoors for any length of time we will cause the immediate and irreversible end of all life on earth. Staying in and doing nothing has its charms of course, not least the fact that I can wear the same pair of pyjamas all day long for a whole week. But there’s not much to write about.

Back in May I posted a series of photos taken on that day in previous years, and it was so well received, and I was showered in such huge volumes of adoring fan mail, that I decided to do it again. So, let’s find out: what was Past Chris doing on this day in history?

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Avatar The Pouring Beans intellectual property portfolio

It occurred to me the other day, when Kev trademarked the name “Metal Horse™”, that we’ve trademarked quite a few terms over the years, and the terms that make up our intellectual property must now be quite substantial.

I have, therefore, conducted several exhausting days* of research to discover just how wide-ranging our various trademarks are, and I can present the results to you now for the first time. So here are all of the Pouring Beans trademarked terms, every last one, in chronological order.

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