Avatar The tragedy of gimmicks

This is Bri4n.

Bri4n is a gimmick with only one main purpose in life, to sell insurance. He was created by some person, probably in a suit or a skirt, to steal people away from their insurance providers and their price-comparison websites, and lure them into the domain of the “look at this” and “you can get a free pen with this one, Nigel”.

When I found Bri4n he was hiding in a bag of charity shop clothes, right at the bottom in the hope that nobody would find him. At first I wasn’t sure if he was aware of everything so, cradled in my arms, I took him from the bag and placed him back in the real world. The light was bright in his tiny, robotic eyes, and his gaze shifted away towards the dark corners of the room.

Within a few days his temperament was more stable or, at least, stable enough to carry on with the conversation that had been dangling from my tongue. I told Bri4n that he was a gimmick and that the days of being a fixtures on television were long gone. I even told him that he was no longer a collectable and his brothers and sisters were being sold for nothing more than the price of a toaster on Ebay. This upset him greatly, I knew it would, but I needed to tell him the truth. It would sting like a bee in a hipster jacket, trying to convince his friends that baked potatoes smothered in strawberry jelly tasted better than it sounded. It was the only way he could move past this though and onto the next part of his life. I wanted a new start for Bri4n as it is something we all deserve when staring down the barrel of a downward spiral.

His recovery was carefully monitored over the next week. Bri4n remained silent for most of it, humming to himself in his lighter moments. I don’t believe that he will ever truly get past the facts that haunt his existence. I can see a great despair in his eyes that all the robot pornography and robo “road juice” can’t wash away. He is a great companion and, as a flat mate, other than not contributing anything towards the rent, nor attempting any of the various cleaning and cooking chores, he is ideal.

If you’re passing by my way you may see him, arms aloft, pupils blazing like the astro moons of Jupiter, cursing the world, lamenting his life, asking all of the important questions at the same time like a crazy old man shouting at a cloud.

Avatar Banana safari

The modern world is an amazing place. I went to the kitchen a bit hungry, just hoping to peel a banana and let that squishy yellow mush satisfy my snack reflex.

But my banana had other plans. Look at this sticker.

“Visit my farm!” it says. Well, you’re damn right I’m going to visit your farm, Mr Banana. Let’s do this.

Slam those numbers into the Dole website and you can join me on a banana safari. Welcome to farm 10608, the Guapiles 2 Farm in Costa Rica. Here’s some Guapiles Facts.

  • Costa Rica is home to over 100 volcanoes, five of which are still active.
  • The farm meets the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management, relating to waste management and air, water and soil contamination.
  • All plastic waste is collected, sorted and reused or compressed into bales and recycled.
  • The farm’s full official name is “Guapiles 2: This Time It’s Personal”.
  • It’s 6.03pm there right now, and 23 degrees celsius. (This one will vary in accuracy depending on when you read it.)
  • 204 people work here.
  • The farm is in a region called “Limón”, despite growing bananas, not lemons.

So far, so absolutely brilliant. Obviously, the next thing I wanted to learn was the story of the grinning bloke at the top of the page, who obviously loves his life at Guapiles 2. I want to know whether he knows the other 203 people by name, and whether he gets involved in collecting, sorting, reusing or compressing into bales and recycling the farm’s plastic waste. I want to know how he feels about the ISO 14001 certification, and whether he thinks Guapiles 2 is ready for ISO 14002 yet.

We will never know the answers to these questions. It turns out that Pedro – he’s definitely called Pedro – doesn’t work at Guapiles 2. Smash any five digit number into Dole’s palace of lies and there he is, pretending he works at Perla 3 where it’s now 29 degrees celsius, or Zurqui C near Sarapiqui, or one of just 70 people working at the evidently very exclusive San Jose 2.

Pedro has let me down, an agent of Dole, purveyors of fantasies and ruined dreams. I don’t know what to believe any more. It seems crazy that I ever thought you could grow bananas in a place called Lemon. How foolish I have been.

I threw the bananas in the bin, and had a Twix instead.

Avatar Yes sir, we have no porno-no today

I feel like a bitter disappointment.

BITTER.

At the end of 2018 I was bragging about how we were going to jump on-board that sweet, sweet dusty bandwagon trail and start throwing about porn like it was going out of fashion. Since then despite a few notable graphic and rather explicit efforts it has mostly been a big nen for the last month or so.

I tried to look for some horrible images with which to draw the crowds in. I checked all over the internet and there’s nothing there. All the porn has run away. Unless it is hiding in the shadows I can only presume that there’s none left. Clearly the world was done with the sight of naked flesh on flesh on possibly animal on flesh.

All I can do is offer up this very small picture as compensation. All you filth hounds out there watching, I hope it is enough.

Avatar Pay the Toll

You have to pay the toll. That’s the way it works.

In order to get past you have to stump up the money or whatever is needed. You have to satisfy the teller to avoid salmonella. You must grease the wheels to sort out your shady deals.

I am about to venture down South towards the magical, Icelandic borough of Royskopp in order to meet Sheriff Rockingham himself. I have heard terrible, terrible rumours of the gentleman who he currently lives with though. Hushed tones have informed me that Steve Steveingtons is a violent wretch. I once sent him a Superman t-shirt which he loved with all his heart. One day he wore it to the pub, somebody accidentally spilled some lager on it and the authorities are still finding bits of people weeks later, scattered around the neighbourhood. A man with a temper like this needs to be appeased.

So what do you do? I understand that Steve Steveingtons is a big fan of the Trek through the Stars, something from television. Biggles maybe? I have been daydreaming about weird things mashed together and this keeps popping into my head at work. I don’t think my pedestrian drawing skills have done it much justice, and it doesn’t look anything at all like the one in my mind, but I hope that it is enough to stop him knocking me literally into next week.

If this should be my last post let it be known that I regret nothing, not even all the Beans comics I wrote.

Avatar Stationary Harassment

I was the victim of a crime, a crime that mostly goes unnoticed.

As I returned the trolley to the bay in Asda car park I was greeted by the following sight:

Was this dog doing anything wrong? Not really, he was protecting the car until his owner came back.

Was I doing anything wrong? No, because I was returning the trolley to where it belonged.

So why did the dog look at me as though I HAD done something wrong? Where was the justification for the judgement in his eyes?

I did test this by clocking him on the way past the first time and walking slower on the way back. His eyes burrowed deep into mine, never flinching, never blinking. It was the longest five seconds of my life I’d ever experienced in a car park.

There was the chance that I looked like someone else or perhaps he was hoping I’d open the door and set him free.

Or maybe, just maybe, he was hoping I’d come a little closer so he could bark the fuck out.

I’ll never know what I did to that dog and, quite frankly, I don’t think I want to know.

Avatar Now Look Here

The first thing I want you to know is that, whatever the world may think, we are not judging you.

You may have chosen to leave your seafood sauce out in the hot August sun, why wouldn’t you? It’s your sauce. If your hob isn’t work properly then leaving it outside for nature to warm it up is a great idea. It saves money and is environmentally friendly. We admire what you’re doing and, boy, are we impressed!

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The only questionable aspect of this whole affair though is that you may have left it out and forgotten about it, given that the sell-by date was several months ago. Perhaps you forgot where you left it and bought a replacement when you’re stomach started growling. Nobody is pointing fingers. We deal with facts here, not speculation.

We are not talking about you behind your back in hushed tones, far from it. Only, let’s have a little more foresight the next time you decide something is a good idea.

We’re only thinking about you. And your prawn crackers.