Avatar A song for Morten

Hello there. Chris here, from the chart-topping band The Papples. Thanks for joining me.

Years ago, when we were hard at work writing and recording songs for our third album, Pop Squared, we made a start on a song about the lead singer of Norwegian pop sensation A-Ha that never saw the light of day.

Well, lucky for you, every dog has his day, and every tired old half-baked Papples idea has its day too. I can now present to you the finished lyrics to a lost classic: “Everybody Fancies Morten Harket”.

Read More: A song for Morten »

Avatar Dating Profile


It has been several years since I was last on a dating website so I am not sure if the same rules apply or if things are exactly the same. Let’s start with the basics:

  • I am definitely single. I check every single day and not once has there been someone lurking in my flat, claiming to be my girlfriend or significant other;
  • I have been single for a while. The last time I was in a relationship you could step outside without needing to fight a pensioner for bog rolls or drive to seven different types of Tesco, looking for any kind of pasta available;
  • I have two arms and two legs. My third leg I left outside to dry in the sun and someone took it. I do have a spare fist which I keep in kitchen cupboard; it’s quite handy.

What I am looking for in a girlfriend is nothing out of the ordinary, in fact you could even argue that my tastes are quite plain. I want nothing more than a ten out of ten (out of ten out of ten) stunner the likes of which would make my friends and anyone else who catches sight of her drop to their knees and weep with joy. She should have long, rich, chocolate hair that I can nibble on when snacks are scarce. The kind of car she has is fast; I get to use it whenever she’s away in her glamorous job of testing theme park rides. She is well-known and well-respected in her field so we can go on any rides we want whenever we want. Even if they’re already being used. I can prise whatever kid is in my seat on the Nemesis at Alton Towers, throw them to the ground and laugh at their misfortune without any consequences.

What can I give you in return? I own three pairs of shoes and you are welcome to borrow one of them whenever you want (one shoe, not a full pair). I can cook two different types of cuisine: jam and brown. I usually opt for the latter as there are much more options available to you. I have had several compliments from friends and family that I cook the best brown they have ever tasted. If you have a sweet tooth though I am more than happy to “jam” it up. Have you ever tried Jammy Bolognaise? Sit down and let me astound and amaze you, my candied lemon eyes.

My achievements include two swimming certificates (10m and 25m), runner up in the Cotswold Olimpicks shin-kicking contest 2013 and I once accidentally dropped a caber on Russ Abbott’s toe. We’re still firm friends to this day.

I look forward to meeting you all; I have already acquired a broom to keep you all at a safe distance. Gone are the days of beating women off with a cricket bat, it is no longer seen as a safe and PC pastime. Please form an orderly queue, two metres apart, of course, and I shall sex you all up individually.

Avatar Four Word Reviews: Footprints

Whenever a little CD-sized padded envelope arrives in my postbox, it’s like a time capsule. Where will we go? Terrible cartoon cover versions of the 90s? Forgotten Gospel from the 60s? Or perhaps, like today, we’ll find ourselves transported to a world I’d almost forgotten: the very early 2000s, and a branch of pop music that I mostly tuned out was big in the charts. It was heavily RnB influenced and it gave us “No Scrubs” and Gwen Stefani’s second wind and lots of songs with hi-hat and a whole, horrendous wave of misogyny, from “Thong Song” to “Hot In Herrrre”. And, at the lighter, poppier end of this best-forgotten spectrum, it gave us Australian soap star Holly Valance, and her 2002 album Footprints.

The lead single and the most memorable thing to come off this album was “Kiss Kiss”, a cover version of a song that had been big in the Middle East already, and which was sort of interesting because it had that RnB sound but it also had lots of floaty, Disney’s Aladdin-style fantasy-Arabia instrumentation. It also had a weird kissy sound as its chorus line instead of words, which was a bit embarassing.

If you thought “Kiss Kiss” was a pretty brazen “come and get it” song for a 19-year-old to be singing then you should hear the rest of the album. Put aside the bang-on-trend production – which I am happy to do, that trend being 16 years old and not something I cared for even at the time – and you appear to have an album conceived and directed by male middle-aged record company execs with their trousers around their ankles excitedly working out what they can get a 19-year-old girl to sing without it actually being pornography. And I might be getting old but I was starting to find it creepy by about track 5.

Anyway: let’s see the shape of this thing.

Track Title Word 1 Word 2 Word 3 Word 4
1 Kiss Kiss Kisses instead of words
2 Tuck Your Shirt In Detailed dress code pop
3 Down Boy Quick yet queerly quiet
4 City Ain’t Big Enough Desperate to be TLC
5 Cocktails and Parties Smugly not seducing husbands
6 Whoop “Kiss Kiss”, but “Whoop”
7 Hush Now Eternal meets Leg Jazz
8 All in the Mind “Massive explosion, magic emotion”
9 Harder They Come It’s no Jimmy Cliff
10 Help Me Help You Helplessly slushy twinkly bobbins
11 Naughty Girl Breathily dubious sexiness attempt
12 Connect 2000s RnB harpsichord action
13 Send My Best Sensual acoustic guitar finale

Track 2 is, like “Kiss Kiss”, very Middle Easty, and I wondered whether the whole album would be like that, but the answer is no, it’s just those two tracks. The other 11 could be Eternal, Destiny’s Child, TLC or maybe Cleopatra songs if you weren’t listening too closely. It’s been produced to death, all twinkles and vocoders, and a lot of songs have that stuttery effect in the bridge where it sounds like the song is skipping in time with the beat. You’d know it if you heard it. All those songs did it in those days.

And it really is all very sexual. Here’s some of the lyrics I scribbled down, though this list could have been much, much longer. I don’t need to go into the insinuations that “Harder They Come” is making.

  • “I can be your fantasy, give you what you want”
  • “Keep you up all night”
  • “I’m proud to arouse”
  • “I’m a naughty girl, I can dance what you want me to dance”

In summary, my favourite thing is that, because it was made in 2002, it’s an “enhanced” CD featuring the videos to “Kiss Kiss” and “Down Boy”, and a special feature about the making of them. I didn’t watch them, obviously. I’d heard enough of this by the time I reached the end of track 13. I’d just forgotten that video extras on CDs used to be a thing and it made me feel a bit nostalgic for a few minutes. My least favourite thing about this album is that I’m not sure whether listening to it means I have to go on some kind of register now.

Avatar Stop your life! Everyday solutions

What do you do when you want to talk to girls? Do you have a manual that you refer to?
WRONG. Books cannot help. What about some chat up lines?
WRONG. They never work, they’ve been heard a million times before and you’ll sound like a cheese ball. What you need is the Smoochies Inc patented Incense Talk to Girls System*.

In order to cope with the crazy world of women you need a foolproof method. We have your back and we have your method. All you need is the Smoochies Inc Incense Talk to Girls system in your back pocket. Whilst it may look like a picture of incense sticks from the shop I wandered into this weekend, it’s actually the secret to talking to the ladies.

Picture this: you can talk normal people proper but when it comes to the opposite sex you struggle. Whip out the ITG system and you’ve got everything you need. Assimilate the names into any sentence for instant sex appeal. For example:

“Hey Sweet Fig, strap on your Lavender Blue and we’ll be Just Peachy.”

“Oh French Vanilla, you put the Fizzy Pop in my Nag Champer.”

“Girl, when you take me to your Butterfly Garden I am gonna Black Love your Mango.”

There is no way you can go wrong. You’ll be winning with women before you know it. Clear out your diary because you are booked for the next few months, Casanova. And so on. Smoothies Inc – guaranteed (ish).

*Not to be confused with the Smooches Inc patented Girl Talk System.

Avatar Romance Lives On

Let nobody ever accuse my family of being the beautiful budding bouquet of romantics that we clearly are.

For proof you need look no further than the words in my mouth. They’re right there and you can look at them whenever you like. For further proof, however, take a look at the smooch-tastic read below:


It contains as much passion as seven passion fruits which as any passion fruit enthusiast will tell you is a lot of passion. It’s brimming with bosoms. It’s erupting with enchantment. It’s arresting with amour.

Yes, the surname may be a slightly different spelling but you can tell whom the inspiration was, regarding of what the English language says. I only hope that they’ve got enough copies to satisfy the general public’s thirst for my scintillating life.

Avatar The Wit and Wisdom of Big Dave

Ah, wisdom. Not everyone has it and those that do have it more often than not will refuse to share it. Not so Big Dave. Why, if wisdom was a pie he would be handing out slices every minute of the day. It would have to be an infinite or infinity pie to accommodate such a large selection of knowledge.

Having spent approximately four days in the Lake District with him last week I think it’s fair to say that I am currently the best placed person to pass on the wisdom to the rest of the world. Strap yourself in because your life will change dramatically as a result of reading the rest of this post:

(on trying to teach Reuben how to whistle) “Just imagine you’re kissing a girl with a very small mouth.”

“The pigeons are spooning! Spooning I say!”

“I’m itching… because I’m cold…”

“It’s a book about a man being a seagull… I think…”

“No, I don’t watch Brookside. It doesn’t appeal to me.”

It’s fair to say that Quack-dad, as he is sometimes known, has enriched our lives so much that things will never be the same again.

The fact that he tried to feed us mince for every meal should also go on record.

Avatar New words added to dictionary

Every year we see in the news the list of the latest words that have been officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary. 2015 is no different, and in the last few days it’s been announced that the following all-too-familiar slang terms have finally made it into the English language.

sixwide (adj.)
Indicative of something which is not favoured or fashionable. Derived from the fact that Lego vehicles four studs wide are inherently better than those that are six studs wide. sixwider; sixwidest; sixwiddity. Opp: fourwide.

minwah (n.)
A unit of time equal to one earth minute.

totoro (adj.)
Descriptive of a state of completion or finality. When something is completely over and the matter is closed, it is totoro. Originally a contraction of the familiar phrase totally totally Romeo which is self-explanatory.

ramp (v.)
To copulate; to sex; to sire; to tup. Ramping refers to the most intimate act between two creatures and is usually employed to refer to the act being conducted either between animals or in the manner of animals. Generally any successful act is referred to as ramping [sthg] dry, e.g. “I totally ramped the hockey team dry”.