Avatar Frothies

I recently discovered something I didn’t know, which is that there is a word in the English language that breaks my brain. I can’t process it. Something about it just doesn’t fit inside my head.

The word is “froths”.

This came up the other day when I needed to describe something frothy to someone. I attempted to say that it “froths up”, but every time I tried to say it, my head got stuck and the word that came out was “frothies”. I made four attempts to say “froths”, all of which were “frothies”, and then I gave up and started a new sentence that avoided using the word altogether.

I don’t know why this is. I don’t know how long this has afflicted me. I know the word “froths” exists, of course. I can sit here and type it. But each time I’m approaching the point of typing it, my brain first suggests “frothies”, and even now – even knowing that this is a problem, and that the word is coming up, and being conscious that I might get it wrong, I still can’t say it right on the first attempt.

I have decided that, from now on, I’m just going to stay away from any bubbly, foamy or otherwise aereated liquids as a way of avoiding the problem completely. That’s definitely the answer.

Avatar Newsboost – Withering Wasps now Wanted Windfall

New shock discovery by scientists set to change the world’s opinion of one of the most hated animals in existence; the wasp.

Wasps have somewhat of a reputation as a bit of a bad thing. What do they do? They get in your way, they sting you, steal your jam sandwich and run away laughing (or presumably, they don’t make a lot of noise). Now it seems as though the tide may be turning and their time in the sun is coming.

Scientists studying the animals in Bulgaria, in conjunction with ancient medical texts from Greece, have come across a startling revelation. It would appear as though the ancient Greeks actively used them in their daily routine and ‘face wasps’ were used to cleanse and tone. The book in question, ‘To anthrópino sóma: énas éfchristos odigós’ (or ‘The human body: a handy guide’) by Tony Agafya, details a recipe of clay, sand, ash and wasps which was apparently utilised to refresh on a daily basis. The user would cover a nest of yet more wasps in the concoction, transfer it to a small room (such as a cupboard), cover their face in honey and wait for the wasps to descend on them. Later advances in technology resulted in the ‘voúrtsa sfíkas’ or ‘wasp brush’, a small brush with around fifty wasps glued to it. The user would dip the brush in the mixture and apply directly to the face.

Originally when the text was translated in the 19th century it was thought to refer to ‘face wash’. This egregious error has put the human-wasp relations back several hundred years.

“It is quite an eye-opener,” said Melody Humbunkle, chief scientist at the Klonditch Klinger institute in Sofia, Bulgaria. “All this time we were using natural products to clean our faces when one of the main ingredients was missing. This will change everything.”

Since the report was issued, the major skincare companies have been scrambling to develop the first product to incorporate wasps as an active ingredient. Representatives from Lancome, Garnier and even Johnson and Johnson were seen desperately bidding for wasp farms on the open market, a market which was once seen as lucrative and pointless.

“The ancient practises of the Greeks are merely a starting point; we do not advise the public to start smothering their chops in sticky substances in the hope of attracting wasps,” remarked John Disspale, regional secretary for the department of Health and Social Care in the UK. “It would be best to wait for a safe product made by a professional company.”

Specialists predict that even with the lockdown in place, the first wasp face wash will be available on the high street within a month’s time.

Avatar Ditching the snifters

As close friends of mine, you’ll know I have been battling a devastating addiction for many years now. A horrible, destructive dependency on snifters, which has alienated my family, cost me my livelihood and brought me to the very brink of financial insolvency.

The good news is that I’m making progress on kicking this disgusting habit. Unfortunately, as every addict knows, weaning yourself off will only take you so far. Sooner or later you have to go cold turkey. But if I try that, I might just never breathe again. I need some other breathing aid to see me over the difficult transition to snifterlessness. I need snifter methodone.

The recommendation I got from a professional medical person was a saline sinus swasher (possibly not its official name, I can’t remember). I gave it a go yesterday. Let me tell you what it’s like.

  • The first thing that happens is you get some warm water in a squeezy bottle, and then you add the sachet of powdery stuff to it and give it a shake. Then you tip your head forward over the sink, plug the bottle up your nose, and give it a squeeze. A steady stream of warm water is shoved up your nosel.
  • The next thing that happens is that the sensation of the water heading up your breathing holes gives you the instinctive feeling that you might be drowning and you panic a bit. Then you swallow, which opens up the tubes between your nose and your ears, and all the warm liquid goes into your ears.
  • You stop squeezing the bottle and have a small coughing fit. The warm watery stuff is coming out of your nose and your mouth and your ears and probably your eyes. You can’t see. Everything is awful.
  • Deciding it can’t be all that bad, you compose yourself, stick the bottle up your other nosel, and have another squirt. The same thing happens, but in the other direction, and this time you resist the urge to swallow. Jets of warm, snotty water ooze from all areas of your face. You feel soiled.
  • Having done all of this you wipe yourself down and wait to see if the new treatment has rendered your nose breathable without resorting to the wicked temptation of the snifters.
  • You spend the next three hours barely able to breathe.

There are 60 sachets of weird powder stuff so I can use this thing several times a day, but so far, I haven’t yet had a second go. Ditching the snifters is going really well.

Avatar Designer diseases

I’m starting a new business venture and this is your chance to get in on the ground floor. Here’s the pitch.

Designer diseases are going to be the next big thing. Here’s how it works: influencers are everywhere now, filling up Instagram with their poses and getting lots of sweet corporate sponsorship on Youtube. What they’re missing is the human angle, something to pull on people’s emotions. Enter the designer disease.

We will offer a full 360-degree customised bespoke personal consulting service where we will offer a choice of designer diseases and infect the influencer with their choice of ailment. We then provide the tools and resources for the influencer to splash their horrible illness all over the ‘gram, soak up the sympathy and massively up their likes.

Already, Kendal Jenner (is that one of them?) has signed up for a package we’re calling “The ‘Roids”: painful hemhorroids form a distinctive grape-like package that’s visible through lycra and gymwear. We suggest using pile cream as a stylish but challenging form of face paint.

Are you in? I’m going to need $15,000 for a 5% stake. This is going to be huge.

Avatar The transformation

On Sunday I turned 33 years old. I was expecting the grey hair, the wrinkles and the sudden loss of control over my bladder, of course. Incontinence comes with the territory.

What I wasn’t expecting on turning 33 was a rather sudden transformation into a dinosaur. Green scales, yellow spikes down my back, the works.

I’m not sure what all this means for my career or my personal life, but I’m certainly enjoying getting to grips with my new-found skills in roaring, stomping on things and basking on warm rocks.

Avatar Robert Koch – The Musical

I’m not very into musicals. The whole idea of spending two hours watching people burst into song every five minutes, quite frankly, gives me palpitations of a rocky and unnerving manner that no amount of marshmallows can settle. It seems as though a lot of subject matter has been turned into musicals, both in the theatre and also in cinema.

Even Spiderman has been turned into a musical. My friend Steve took a trip to New York a couple of years ago and paid a hefty price to watch ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ which, apparently, has music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge. Which is just unbelievably crazy. I mean it is. Without even dwelling on it, that’s bonkers.

So what next? What will people look at and think that choruses and choreography can improve, that falsettos and furnishings can dazzle? It got me thinking though which, as most people will know, that’s generally a bad thing. Why not turn the spotlight on someone who I personally believe requires a bit more attention? One of those underdogs who never quite got the recognition that they deserve? Cast your mind back to Year 10 history, pull up a chair and listen to the story of good ol’ Bob Koch.

Robert Heinrich Herman Koch. Born 11 December 1843. The guy was so smart he taught himself to read and write before he started school. His research helped to identify the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera and anthrax. I may be copying these details direct from certain wiki I mean certain websites but I deal in facts and not speculation. The man did a lot for medicine and microbiology and yet other than a statue in Berlin his name is relatively unknown.

Enter me. Amateur script writer and overall champion of the unappreciated. I think I’ve got the moxie to write a full play based on his life, with a dash of songs sprinkled generously over the three hour running time. I’ve been working on one this afternoon and I think you’ll agree that it has got something going on. I give you ‘Great Postulates!’:

Great Postulates!

It’s very simple, it’s on your tongue
I’ve got the recipe for an evening of fun
Down at the lab, test tube in hand
No time to dance, put down your jams

My report is imperative you see
It sets out what is necessary
To identify cultures, disease causing organisms
Those dark little things that mess with your rhythms
I’ve put pen to paper so read it loud
Something to make my country proud

I’ve established criteria
Erect your posterior
Cholera, tuberculosis
Here’s my prognosis…

I’m clearly onto a winner. If you would like to buy some shares in the production then please put some money in a brown paper bag and leave on my doorstep. Shares will be posted to you within 30 days.

Avatar Soul Stop

This morning I went to an establishment called the Soul Stop Café.

I ate breakfast there and had a cup of coffee and then, enjoying the ambience, I stayed a while longer to drink some tea.

It was only after leaving that I realised the terrible threat in the café’s name. Presumably, as a result of visiting and consuming their food and drink, which must have been treated in some way, my soul is going to stop.

If there is anyone here with a medical background, I urgently need to know what will happen when my soul stops and whether it’s possible to restart it. I am pretty worried here and I’m not sure if I should call an ambulance, so please respond as soon as you can. Thanks.

Avatar Baby advice

Many of us will be aware that Mr Chang, one of the regular Beans dwellers (you may take “regular” to be a fairly loose term in this case), has recently made a baby. At this early stage we should assume its name is “Changlet” until there is firm evidence to the contrary.

I have never made a baby, or looked after one for any significant length of time, so I am ideally placed to dish out some useful advice on the upkeep and maintenance of this new baby.

  1. Try to keep the baby upright. Babies held upside-down for long periods can begin to leak and will not fit baby seats properly. The correct end to keep at the top is the one that makes most of the noise.
  2. Feed your baby regularly. New babies do not come with skills for foraging, hunting or microwaving pre-installed. Until your baby reaches an age where it becomes compatible with these modules you will need to manually carry out these tedious tasks.
  3. Involve your baby in family life. Babies are small and warm and it is tempting to use them in place of a hot water bottle or book-end. As much as this may seem a good idea, it can cause your baby to get the wrong ideas in later life, and nobody wants an adult man trying to climb into their bookshelves in thirty years’ time.
  4. Do not offer your baby hot drinks. Most people in your household will appreciate the polite and civilised question “tea or coffee?” when they are ready for a drink. However, babies will not develop a taste for the finer things in life for the first fifteen or twenty years, and offering a baby a hot drink in this manner may cause offence.
  5. Buy elastic clothes for your baby. Babies are famously indecisive about their size and will change their physical proportions almost continuously. Procuring clothes of a fixed size will, therefore, be a costly mistake and a source of regret and bitterness for years to come. A stretchy but stylish Lycra garment that will fit your baby now, and when it is a fully grown adult, will avoid that problem.
  6. Do not overestimate the taste of modern children. Your baby probably passed most of its time before it was born playing with a tablet computer or games console. Today’s children are seldom interested in old-fashioned toys that do not have touchscreen interfaces and copious simulated bloodshed. Do not waste your money buying toys such as Lego for your baby – they will not appreciate it. Keep these toys for yourself instead. 

I believe that’s more or less everything there is to know about babies, but in case I’ve missed anything out, I’d like to invite other Beans contributors to suggest their own baby maintenance tips below.