Avatar Expert analysis

… and in the end we had to chuck the fridge and finish the race in second place. I think it was worth it overall, especially considering the state of the floor.

Well, I can’t you lovely people here all night. I would like to thank you all for coming and listening. It’s not often that I get to speak on such a specialised topic, especially for a large group of people. We all need to remember that being an expert doesn’t always required three degrees and ten thousand hours of practise, sometimes it can be done without knowing, unwittingly even.

I trust you will take my words to heart and carry forth the message to those who couldn’t make it. There’s a plain black joggers wearing people in all of us. Thank you and goodnight!

Avatar H-A-L-L-U-M-I

Back in July 2020, Ian was carrying out some gentle archaeology among his possessions, which had begun to settle in accreted layers like sedimentary rock. In the midst of a rich stratum of shopping lists and half-finished song lyrics, he stumbled upon a miniature Sacred Book, and reported this to the Beans.

The booklet runs only to four pages in a bigger book that is otherwise full of other tat, and records the events that took place in the Magic Lantern pub in Whitley Bay (which later became a Harvester, and is now, of course, a Miller and Carter). In-depth scientific analysis of the occasions on which all three of us were in Newcastle, cross-referenced with the visits that had not produced a full Book, suggests that this was likely to have been in 2009.

We begged Ian to scan in these pages so they could be added to our collective store of wisdom on the Beans. We implored him. We offered him trinkets and prizes and financial incentives in discreet brown envelopes. But he resisted, and no scan was ever made.

Well, I don’t know about you, but my patience ran out, and it ran out at about 6.30 this morning. So I took the dodgy photos he had posted to the Beans, straightened and corrected them, and produced decent quality images of all four pages which I have now added to the Beans, bypassing the whole sorry business of Ian having to scan them. I have titled this new book “H-A-L-L-U-M-I”, that being the first thing written in it.

Its four pages contain an amazing number of in-jokes that survive to this day:

  • Wexford and the cheeses
  • Chris’s scrodsack of change
  • The science of warms per air

So, there it is, a lost slice of history, saved for the benefit of the nation. You can find it in the Books section.

Avatar Beans flashback: Chris gives blood

Can you believe that one of the defining moments of my life, and probably of yours too, was ten years ago today? The New Beans didn’t exist back then, so I didn’t record this for posterity as a blog post. The ten year anniversary seems like a good time to put that right.

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Avatar Fame at last

My job sometimes involves me being awake in the middle of the night and doing strange things.

One strange thing I’ve had to do lately is find ways of making phone calls to Australia on behalf of some people at the other end of the country. Normally, you see, OJ Borg does the overnight show on the wireless, and he has a mobile phone in Australia that he rings every day at 2.15am. He then has a chat with whoever answers it, and he asks them to give it to another random Australian in time for the next show. Lately, though, his phone system has not been allowing him to call Australia, which is a real disadvantage for a feature of this kind.

Our involvement in this madness – making phone calls to Australia in the middle of the night – has escalated steadily over the last month until it reached a point where they wanted to explain what was going on to their audience. So I was asked if I would mind explaining.

I didn’t mind, though I was very tired and not sure I was making much sense. That is why this happened.

Then, half an hour later, it was time to make the call. I didn’t say a lot because it wasn’t connecting and I was busy pressing buttons and checking things because I was very worried I’d done something wrong, but I hadn’t, it was just that the mobile phone in Australia had no signal.

My agent will handle all requests for signed photos. Also, I am now taking bookings for the panto season.

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 You can spell that word…

For years now the scholars behind the scenes at beans HQ have been trying to work out how to spell two of the English languages’ favourite spoken words but without success. We are talking of course about casj/cazsh/caj and the ever lovely (to quote Ian)  “jush… juxch… jgusssh”.

Well the time has come to make an announcement, this has been researched, checked and casually googled at least twice, and we can now confidently write down those two words correctly for the first time in history…..

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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