Avatar Shenanigans

Before Christmas seems like an age away now. Do you remember what you were doing in December? No? Do you remember what you did yesterday? That’s a worry. You should get that checked out.

It was a fairly relaxed afternoon in the office and I was on my own as the time ticked towards the end of the day. Being chief morale officer in our team, a role I assigned to myself, I decided it would be best for some harmless mischief. I cast my gaze in the direction of the helpful list indicating the correct terms for the phonetic alphabet. Within a few minutes I had come up with my own and replaced it, expecting it to be mostly ignored as nobody ever seemed to use it.

When we returned after Christmas, I had largely forgotten what I had done… that is until my boss turned to me and asked if I was responsible.

“Responsible for what?” I asked, playing dumb. She had, apparently, noticed immediately and because of my reputation for zany behaviour I was clearly the culprit. Luckily due to it being silly, nothing was said about it. Everyone had a laugh. Ha ha!

“You almost threw me because you don’t have a daughter and this one here mentions one,” she said.

This was the sticking point.

This was the focus of most people’s questions and not the fact that I had made up three new words, referenced an album by Steps and a TV programme with Jack Whitehall.

Avatar The ‘Ianiest’ thing

We’ve crept into 2023. I side-stepped in a few days ago, crimsonly of course, and it looks and feels very much like 2022. There’s a distinct 2022 sheen over the whole thing. I expect this is how most years will be now, a smear of what happened previously, everything looking awfully familiar with only a few choice moments to differentiate the two. Yes, I know that does sound awfully bleak for the first post of the year. I’m fine with it and you should be too, so deal with it.

The good news is that based on the comments from my last post it seems like a great time for a poll;

What is the most ‘Ianiest’ thing ever?

We all know that the years have been littered with a lot of ‘Ian’ stuff from things that I’ve said to things that I’ve done or even things that I said I would do. Here’s a few that immediately come to mind:

  • The time I decided to eat a raw red onion and asked Reuben to film me doing it. It took about four attempts because of the strength of the onion. I couldn’t taste anything else for the next three days.
  • Sending letters out as audio tapes on a Dictaphone (aka ‘the Mackford Files’).
  • The time you were both visiting and we took Reuben out to the park. When it started raining (I hate this, why did I do this?) I took off my t-shirt and used it to dry the slide so Reuben wouldn’t get wet.
  • After a night out, standing in the queue for the takeaway behind some policemen, throwing up quietly into a plastic cup because I’d drank too much.
  • Trying to bring back the “finger wiggle dance” from the 1920’s and 1930’s to the 21st century with very little success (which, after a very brief look on the internet, may be called ‘Truckin’ – “The right hand is held up (as in a right turn signal) with the index finger extended and wagging.”) I’m still working on the Lindy Hop.
  • Getting half-cut off three pints, catching an Uber home, cooking Reuben’s tea, doing the washing up and then hopping on a bus back to town for more drinks.

Given that our subscription numbers are decidedly low, it will not be a vote and instead all submissions will be judged by myself and assembled into a numerical list in a future post. I will have the final say on what is the ‘Ianiest’ of all time although I will allow some general input once the top five (or three, or two if the cupboards are running dry) has been compiled. This therefore guarantees me a future post which is a win in my book.

I’ve done too many things to remember so I need your help to recollect because, as we all know, “Remembering is fun”.

We definitely need to copyright that at some point.

Avatar Quack Shoes (shoes that go quack)

It’s a well-known fact
When your shoes start to quack
You need to buy a new pair.
Are there ducks in your shoes?
No, it’s time to peruse
Before people point and stare.
You can ignore the noise
Go back to your toys
Pretend it’s someone else’s feet.
Stick your head in the sand,
But heed my command, those
Ducks are bound to speak.

It’s a little-known fact
(Speculation to be exact)
That ducks have a hatred of shoes.
They can’t find a set
Whether dry or quite wet
To fit without making a bruise.
Their feet are so queer
No matter how they steer
They won’t fit any slipper or high heel.
So, they’ve all had enough
Thrown away all the stuff
And pretend it’s not a big deal.

Avatar Reacquaintance

It’s not too long before the bi-annual Pouring Beans shareholders meeting takes place in Bordon, France. Minutes will be taken, quiches will be shared, and pyjama trousers will be stretched. A fun time will be had by all.

In order to save some time with the introductions I thought it would be beneficial to include some information here so that we can forego the usual icebreakers (I always hated that one where you throw the ball and whoever catches it has to tell the group a personal secret and then do fifty laps of the courtyard) and move straight to the complimentary lunch:

Listen here!

My name is Ian von Drudle-McIver. I was one of the founding members, so I have been with the company for over fifteen years. I co-chaired the committee that reviewed the recommendation to revise the colour of the book that the regulation’s in (we kept it grey).

My day-to-day duties include staring wistfully out of the windows so that photographers can capture my likeness and putting it in leaflets and posters with inspiring messages for the other members of staff, finding anything made of cake and eating it and occasionally holding a cup of coffee and joining other people’s conversations to add the often useful and ultimately timeless response, “I know, right?”

When I am not slaving at the office and in board meetings, I enjoy riding manatees, laughing at belt buckles and pushing tinfoil through random post boxes.

In the next five years, I hope to introduce several changes to make work at the company much more enjoyable. It’s very enjoyable as it is, so what could I possibly want to change? Firstly, I would want every one soap dispenser out of four to dispense chocolate raisins instead of soap. Secondly, it would be hugely beneficial for productivity to have the song ‘We Close our Eyes’ by Go West play all day every day in every part of the office, so much so that you couldn’t escape it anywhere (including the basement). Lastly, every Friday would be ‘bird day’ where staff members can bring their own birds to the office so they can share in the fun. I do have other suggestions, but I wouldn’t want all my secrets disclosed here; I’ve got to keep some jewels to myself.

See you all at the buffet.

Avatar AI Knows you well…

Our robot overlords are coming, its only a matter of time, but they will come. For now though AI is still either used to sort through spreadsheets faster than a human, help robot dogs open a door or for titting about making pictures from text commands.

With that last option in mind, I headed over to a text-to-image AI tool and typed in our usernames, and I think you can see that the AI mind has synthesised us perfectly.

A request for images of “Chris5156” gives us the all familiar images of Chris going about his business as some sort of train, or as we often see him, adorning the cover of some sort of sports magazine.

Searching for dear old “Ian ‘Mac Mac Mac Mac’ McIver” brings us similarly familiar results. We all know Ian is a keen lover of football, ominous framed symbols and his ginger hair is the envy of many.

“Kevil” meanwhile returns results of bizarre bird creatures and bald businessmen… spot on!

Just to round-out the set, I checked in on what the computer brains had to show in its databanks for “Pouring Beans“. I wasn’t disappointed. It nailed the pouring rooms at the back of the beans perfectly, right down to the floating sieve and the denim uniforms…

Avatar Tracking Ian

I’d been wondering where Ian had got to lately. He hadn’t been on the Beans much and there’d been nothing on the Whatsapp group. Turns out he’s gone on holiday to Florida where, by all accounts, he is absolutely tearing the place up.

This lady has been tracking him since Saturday. She wasn’t entirely sure where his holiday would start but she clearly thought Tampa was quite likely. Maybe he was heading for Disneyworld.

Sure enough, a few days later, he’d been pinned down in Orlando.

We all need a nice holiday from time to time. If you’re feeling worn out it can really perk you up. This man thinks it’s done Ian a power of good.

I don’t know when Ian’s going to be back but hopefully we’ll hear from him soon. I imagine right now he’s busy getting autographs from Minnie Mouse and all that. Have fun, Ian! Send us a postcard!

Avatar A Question of Biology – what exactly is Ian?

The burning question that has been on all your lips since the beginning of the series is about to be answered. You know all Ian, you’ve seen him, smelt him (sadly, usually against your wishes), shook his hand and then wiped it on a towel afterwards for fear of what you may have picked up. He is a thing that exists, and you know this because he’s persistently annoyed you with stretchy pyjama trouser and fish mystery-based shenanigans for over half of your adult lives.

What is he though? What makes up an ‘Ian’ and how can we stop it happening again?

With the help of a team of scientists and through furious, various and meticulous scientific study, with the approval of the man himself, we finally have an answer. It would have been nice to display everything in a pie chart however that wasn’t in the budget (we blew the last of the money on a dash cam for Derek’s mother-in-law) so here’s a lovely list instead:

Components of the being known as ‘Ian’

43% – Castoreum
15% – Bells
12% – Sawdust
9% – Blood
6% – Laughter
5% – An inability to balance a spoon on his nose
3% – Teeth
3% – Beanbags
2% – Figs
1% – Jazz hands
1% – Cochineal Beetles

As you can see, here is conclusive proof that a lot of Ian is mostly filled with bits and bobs. His biology is a marvel to behold because, really, he shouldn’t still be alive given that the majority of his body is beaver sac excretions, wood remnants and hollow metal objects typically in the shape of a deep inverted cup widening at the lip that sounds a clear musical note when struck.

Further studies are encouraged and once we raise the funding via Stefan’s onlyfans page we should be set. His ‘NSFW Autumnal’ photo set is providing very popular with the usual internet weirdoes.

Avatar Batloholic

Dear Batman,

Hello, Mr Batman sir. I have heard a lot about you since I was a child. You’re the world’s greatest detective. You have lots and lots of gadgets. You’re in perfect physical shape and can do anything you set your mind to. You can beat any villain that turns up in Gotham City. When was the last time you ate?

Your exploits have been turned into comics, television series’ and big film adaptations. There’s not a piece of merchandise in the world that doesn’t have your face on it. I bet in some countries there are even Batman rubber gloves and Batman condoms with some funny tagline: ‘The caped crus-lay-der’ or ‘for when you want to inspect her dynamic duo’. I’m not in marketing so I’m not very good at this. Yeah, they’re probably unlicensed and hidden away in the corner of Brazil or something. I doubt I’ll ever come across them.

Holy room-spinning debaucherously good fun, Batman!

What I will say is that I have never seen you on the booze. You may have at some point, I mean who doesn’t like a drink every now and then? You don’t have time to get wasted at your local, the Penguin has escaped and, I don’t know, unleashed an army of penguin explosives at an orphanage.

I can only presume that this was done without your say so and that you had no involvement whatsoever. I expect you will need to pass this to your lawyers (or bat lawyers, because everything is bat-related) to start the lawsuit. You don’t normally associated superheroes with hipflasks so lord knows what the company that made them was thinking. “Dads are heroes, dads like snifters of whisky when nobody is looking, let’s combine the two shall we?”.

Anyway, keep up the good work. I’ll drop by if I’m ever in the area.

All the best

Unspecified fan