Avatar Drive-By Rapping

It’s important to remember that truth will always be stranger than fiction. I’m living proof of this.

When I first saw him, first heard him, I wasn’t really paying attention so his presence drifted past me without any kind of moment to speak of. It was only when I encountered him a second and third time that he began hard to ignore.

Picture this; a cool Autumn day, the leaves blowing through the streets, people hurry past clutching under their coats. There I am doing the same as everyone else. I’m not going anywhere in particular because I need a little fresh air on my lunch break before I head back into the jungle. The air is crisp and fresh, a lightness on my tongue. Coming towards me is a man on a bike so I make sure to keep to the far right so he can get past. He’s wearing a hi-vis jacket and his mask is covering the entirety of his face; were it not for COVID-19 you would swear he was some kind of thief. He doesn’t say anything as you approach, only when he’s cycled past you does it happen. He starts rapping.

When absurdity hits, it is quite disorientating. That’s why I brushed it off to begin with thinking that this guy was shouting at someone or something else in the street. Only when it happened again about a fortnight later did it stick in my mind. I can never make out what he’s saying or at least not yet anyway. Usually by the time I’ve realised who it is, he’s already starting cycling off in the opposite direction, spitting rhymes like the best of them.

Does he do this all day? Is this his job, drive-by rapper? Is he practising for some kind of poetry slam tournament, one held where the people are on bikes and constantly move about? It wouldn’t make it any less interesting than your usual poetry slam tournament but hey it’s a little bit different. Does he only do it at me or does everyone feel the brunt of his lyrical wordplay? I can’t imagine he’s saying nice things, nobody ever walks past me and says a nice thing. The last time that happened was only a fortnight ago; a friend and I were walking back to his house and some kids on the corner, who were using their time wisely to twat a metal fence with a stick, voiced, “Melons!” as we walked past. Then they started laughing. I don’t have any melons so I can only imagine what kind of voracious insult that youth was hurling in my general direction.

It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be wandering around where I work however if you do and you see a tall, gangling-looking youth in bright yellow and navy blue tracksuit bottoms riding towards you, make sure you’re listening to what he has to say.

Avatar Where is Chris?

Back in 2018, on a website called Beans, a young man named Chris informed the world that if you ever needed to find where he was all you needed to do was write for a free factsheet to the following address:

Where is Chris now?
PO Box 100
Pouring Beans
The Internet

As he has recently changed addresses and disappeared somewhere where horses and drinks cabinets litter the streets and, quite possibly, the stables and corner shops too, I do wonder if this is still correct when trying to look at him?

The only reason I ask is because a recent internet quiz asked me if he was still “marketable” and I decided that the only way was to look at him and thus the only way to find him was using this fool proof method listed as a throwaway comment on a post three years ago.

If anyone can help then do let me know. I tried rigging up a GPS using a pulley system and very surprisingly it didn’t work.

I’ve got geese to feed.

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 The Ballad of Johnny Bobbins

The time is ticking on,
The passengers rustle and bustle,
The late-night hustle is winding down,
In his box he makes no sound.

There he sits, poised and ready,
A ticket machine in hand,
For those that missed the conductor,
He’s always in demand.

They queue up for his gains,
Without it no exit they have,
The gated gates where heaven waits
A ticket takes for “thems the breaks”.

The punters don’t appreciate
What Johnny does for them.
The abuse he gets for helping,
A champion among men.

No parade is held for him,
No day to cheer and smile.
A lone warrior with a barrier,
Our humble, faithful terrier.

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 Wrong Lectures – Chairs

Hello and welcome to a new series where we invite guest speakers to come into the hallowed halls of Beandom to talk about interesting and varied topics. We hope that by doing so it will create a rich slunge of conversation between all members and denizens of the public.

Today’s guest needs no introduction but thankfully I have prepared one anyway because I like the sound of my own voice. Please welcome to the stage to stand at the beautiful lectern I made with my own small man hands, noted customarian and three times winner of the sexiest man in Cross Gates, Pop Giegel.

“I was ten when I first sat down on a chair and, boy, I can tell you that was a day to remember. The way you didn’t have to stand anymore, it was a massive eye-opener. Shortly afterwards I told my friend, Jill, and she said that she had been sitting on chairs for most of her life which made me embrace a deep melancholia because there had been so much chair-sitting that had been absent from my life, so many hours passed without sitting.

The chair was invented in 1842 by Grandalf Miscus, an Austrian professor who had grown tired of the choices of standing up or lying down. He theorised that there must be some kind of go-between and set about looking for that alternative. After ten years of research he finally built the prototype chair, the Oxi, which is still on display at the Hofburg museum in Vienna. It may look crude by today’s standards however without it you would not be able to sit and watch television, sit and read a book, sit and flick through nondescript advertisements on overbearing websites.

Grandalf’s “chair” or mikrowellenpizza in his native language revolutionised the world and how we approach it. He saw through the mire and decided that perhaps standing and drinking a cappuccino is not as relaxing as it first sounds, and perhaps there is something a little cushier available. There have been many other variations of this such as the leg chair, the head chair, sofa maze, office chair, waiting room bench chair and the still popular Halloween mask chair.

Since my first life-changing sitting experience I have spent most of my adult life sitting or trying to sit down. When I went to see U2 at the 3Arena in Dublin a few years ago, standing room only, I let off fireworks until someone brought me a chair to watch the concert from. If I have to get on a crowded train I have a travel chair or Schnursenkel which I keep with me at all times. It is also useful when waiting for the bus or if there is a long queue for the Oblivion at Alton Towers.

I hope you all do not underappreciate the long-standing effect and influence that the chair has had on the human race. In fact, it’s influence cannot be understated. Wars have been fought over the positioning of chairs in the dining room. Religious leaders have publicly spoken to millions of people from chairs, possibly. Imagine trying to eat an omelette with one hand because your other hand is holding the plate or, maybe even worse, having to bend down to the table to reach your omelette because there is no other way of eating it. Tragic.

Praise the chairs.”

Avatar Lost and found

Found: one miscellaneous item (pictured)

This item and/or apparatus has recently been found on the Pouring Beans estate. We would like to return it to it’s rightful owner. If it is yours, please let us know in the comments, and include proof of your ownership by mentioning something that only the owner of this item would know, such as its serial number, commemorative inscription or a description of its bizarre smell.

If it’s not yours, but you can tell us what it is, we’d be equally interested. Thank you.

Avatar How to park in London

I’ve been driving my car into London a lot since all this nonsense started (the global crisis, that is, not the Beans) and I’ve had cause to ditch my ride in a lot of pay and display parking bays.

Most of the time I’m parking in them when they’re free, but sometimes I need to pay for half an hour here or there if my stay overlaps with the premium parking hours.

The best way to do this is not to stand by the road, like a mug, pushing buttons on your phone to pay for something. No, the best way to do it is to park up, take a photo of the sign for reference, and then stride away like the important London man-about-town that you are, dealing with the parking admin later, perhaps while sipping an organic cappucino in a hipster café, or even better, delegating the whole problem to your PA when you arrive in your 93rd floor corner office.

I suppose what I’m saying to you is that I went back through my camera roll and, even though I usually delete them at the end of the day, I discovered that I am building up quite a collection of parking information for the streets of the West End. And, lucky for you, I am willing to share this for your entertainment and enjoyment.

You’re welcome.