Avatar Trips Outside – Jarrow

Out in Covid Town, they still don’t like you moving around too much. If you ever think of crossing county lines or hopping on a plane to go and record an album with Jimmy Buffett, because he wants to write a follow-up to his wonderful ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ song, then eyes are most certainly raised. Thankfully, having recently changed jobs, I now have a brand new section of the North-East to explore on my lunch breaks.

I would like to welcome everyone to the breath of fresh air that is Jarrow.

I have only been within the vicinity for approximately two weeks and yet since then I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge that would put some locals to shame. Some may call that pitiful boasting, some may call it an outright lie and to those people I ignore anything they say and hand them a banana in the hope that they drop their line of questioning.

There are lots of things to know but given the time and my limited word count there are only four things you (that’s YOU) need to know about Jarrow in case you ever want to take a trip there:

  • Vikings – when the world was young and wireless abbabs were but the stuff of dreams, a large collective of Norse warriors decided they wanted a piece of Britain, hopped on some boats and decimated the coastline of North England for several years. Their only opposition was effeminate priests using gold crosses for weapons. These murderous heroes have been encapsulated in a statue displayed proudly in the town centre. They also got a shopping centre named after them to commemorate all the blood spilled.
  • Shopping – if you want shops, you’re going to get them. There’s a Viking centre full of them and, boy, are you going to be spoilt for choice. There’s a Wilko, a Morrisons, a B & M, a Home Bargains, Greggs, Boots, charity shops, butchers, more bakers, some kind of cafe I haven’t gone in yet but takes up a lot of space, I think a shop that fixes phones or laptops or maybe both and hiding towards the back a Dominos. They have a lovely PA system that forces you to listen to music as you shop so whether or not you want to listen to ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ by Ricky Martin is not up for debate, it’s happening baby.
  • Pronunciation – look at the name, it all looks so very simple, doesn’t it? Don’t be wandering into Jarrow thinking that it’s pronounced, “JAR-ROW” though, that’s wrong. Grit your teeth. From the back of your throat, it’s, “JAR-RAH”. If you get it wrong, you’ll be thrown out and never allowed back in. I once worked with a posh lash who said, “PRUD-HOE” instead of, “PRUDDA” and where is she now? I’ve no idea, probably sitting on a throne barking orders at lowly cronies. Or in jail.
  • Walking – there are several monuments around the town explaining about the contribution to the war effort back in 1917. The most famous thing Jarrow is famous for though is when, famously, 200 men marched from Jarrow to London to protest against unemployment and poverty because The Man had closed down the primary place of employment, Palmer’s Shipyard, and things were all bad. This is almost a three hundred mile trek. They would have had to trundle down the A1 which would have been very hazardous given all the long haul lorries driving down to London to drop off soaps or whatever it is people down South eat. There wasn’t even a Little Chef on the way that they could stop in for drinks and snacks. It’s bravery like this that makes me feel inspired.

Even though you may have never, and possibly may never, visit the sacred grounds betwixt the Tyne Tunnel, Hebburn and the tunnel under the Tyne that leads back to Willington Quay where I used to live, I hope this very brief tour is enough to explain and display the majesty of the South Tyneside town.

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 https://www.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 Words of advice

William Cobbett knows more than you do. It’s a fact and there’s no getting round it. Lucky for you, though, he has written down what he knows so that you can benefit from it. He wrote it down in 1829 but I don’t see why that makes it any less relevant.

You’re still young, aren’t you? Good. Let’s see what advice he has for young men. I have divided the advice into five logical categories to keep things simple. Simply direct your attention to the heading that most closely relates to the area in which you need advice.

Trammels

In all situations of life, avoid the trammels of the law. Man’s nature must be changed before law-suits will cease… One good rule is to have as little as possible to do with any man who is fond of law-suits, and who, upon every slight occasion, talks of an appeal to the law. Such persons… are, therefore, companions peculiarly disgusting to men of sense.

Abatements

Nothing is much more discreditable than what is called hard dealing. They say of the Turks, that they know nothing of two prices for the same article; and that to ask an abatement of the lowest shopkeeper is to insult him.

Sotting

There is such a thing as your quiet ‘pipe-and-pot-companions,’ which are, perhaps, the most fatal of all. Nothing can be conceived more dull, more stupid, more the contrary of edification and rational amusement, than sitting, sotting, over a pot and a glass, sending out smoke from the head, and articulating, at intervals, nonsense about all sorts of things.

Divers

By reading the single Act of the 23rd year of EDWARD the THIRD, specifying the price of labour at that time; by reading an Act of Parliament passed in the 24th year of HENRY the EIGHTH; by reading these two Acts, and then reading the CHRONICON PRECIOSUM of BISHOP FLEETWOOD, which shows the price of food in the former reign, you come into full possession of the knowledge of what England was in former times. Divers books teach how the divisions of the country arose, and how its great institutions were established; and the result of this reading is a store of knowledge, which will afford you pleasure for the whole of your life.

Pimps

I hope that your taste would keep you aloof from the writings of those detestable villains, who employ the powers of their mind in debauching the minds of others, or in endeavours to do it. They present their poison in such captivating forms, that it requires great virtue and resolution to withstand their temptations; and, they have, perhaps, done a thousand times as much mischief in the world as all the infidels and atheists put together. These men ought to be called literary pimps: they ought to be held in universal abhorrence, and never spoken of but with execration.

Avatar A moment from history

“Oh dear, English hearts are broken the world over. Mrs Goggins has missed her penalty meaning that England are knocked out by Germany. They will not make it past the semi-finals and Germany will go on to play the Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium.

Goggins looks gutted, a world on her shoulder and nothing to show for it. Our thoughts are with her at this most trying of times. There was nothing more she could do. I expect everyone in Greendale felt that.”

Avatar From the archives: Constantly Falling, the series

Back in about 2005 we thought we were brilliant at writing scripts and making videos, and presumably sooner or later someone from, I don’t know, Paramount Pictures would be along to tell us they’d seen a bootleg VHS of NiSH and they wanted to commission us for a five year run at a million dollars an episode or something.

That never happened. What actually happened was we kept having half-baked ideas in which we all played basically ourselves, wrote two pages of script, and then lost interest.

Let’s look at another of those stupid projects now.

Read More: From the archives: Constantly Falling, the series »

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 Changing the past

No, don’t look at me like that. I am not retconning anything so you can put your tut books away and save them for something else on the internet.

Now look at me a different way, in a more pleasing manner. There, that’s much better.

‘Innerspace’ is a 1987 film by Joe Dante, the guy who directed Gremlins. It starred Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Martin Short. In it, Dennis Quaid gets shrunk down (“shranken”) for scientific reasons and accidentally injected into Martin Short. This then continues for approximately two hours with gleeful comic elements a-plenty. I even believe that this is one of my sister-in-law’s favourite films. I have fond memories of watching this as a child and believe it still holds up today (it also includes everyone’s fondest actor’s actor – Robert Picardo a.k.a the doctor from Star Trek: Voyager).

So what’s going on then? What am I trying to change? A friend recently told me that he had never seen it so I decided to treat him to the blu-ray. That said, when it arrived in the post there was something amiss. The title didn’t quite fit with me so after a few modifications using paper and glue I believe I have fixed it.

I’m not asking for every single copy to be changed only that sometimes it should be referred to by its “correct” name.

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.