Good afternoon, everybody. Please leave the donkeys alone for a moment. My name is The Honourable Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE, QC (Junior). Thank you for joining me here in the stables at the Temple Newsam petting farm for the ninth annual State of the Beans Address.
Hello, and thank you, once again, for joining me. My name is The Honourable Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE, QC, and I am delighted to welcome you to the refurbished Great Hall for the eighth annual State of the Beans Address.
Hello, and to a certain extent, welcome. Thank you for coming. My name is The Honourable Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE, and it is with great pleasure and moderate smugness that I return again this year to deliver the annual State of the Beans Address.
It is a very different address this year, of course. For social distancing reasons, I am speaking to you from the top of the ornate clock tower that adorns the Beans, with my voice amplified using all the many shouters attached to the corners of the tower. And for you, the audience, this is a drive-in event. I must ask you to please remain within your cars, and choose between either opening your windows slightly for ventilation, or breathing. You cannot do both.
Good day to you all. Thank you. You’re very kind.
My name is Sergeant-Major Professor Lord Sir Elbert Louche, KBE. It is a great privilege to join you here at Fairburn Ings visitor centre for the sixth annual State of the Beans Address. Please could I request that you do not feed the ducks until the formalities have concluded, and also please don’t feed any of the crispy Peking duck to the ducks. The RSPB are trying to avoid another Mad Cow Disease type incident with their mallards.
Good evening. Gentlemen, please, be seated.
My name is Sergeant-Major Professor Sir Elbert Louche OBE, and I am delighted to have been invited back for the fifth consecutive year to deliver the annual State of the Beans Address, this year held for the first time here in the glorious humidity of the glass dome at the Center Parcs in Hebden Bridge. Please could I ask delegates not to use the water slides during the speeches.
My colleagues and I at the University of the Internet have been doing science at Pouring Beans all year long, and have taken cell samples from the inner membrane of the website which, by bombardment with gamma radiation, we successfully mutated into a genetically modified single-cell website that looked exactly like Pouring Beans but which generated its own blog posts several times a day. All the blog posts featured pictures of tabby cats. This promising line of inquiry will be pursued further in 2019.
In the meantime, we have collated some statistics on the Beans and I am pleased to announce that, for the first time since 2015, we are able to report an increase in activity. 2018 saw a total of 91 new posts, up seven on the previous year, and 1,870 comments – very nearly double the number posted in 2017. This is very pleasing, even if it is all just inane chatter between Chris and Ian.
There follows a breakdown of activity per member.
Ian wrote 42 posts, earning him a full 12 beans. This was a year-on-year increase by five posts, and he equalled his perfect bean score from 2017. My research team have nominated Ian for a special Commendation Award, which they printed off in colour and which features some snazzy WordArt.
A total of 48 posts in 2018 puts Chris seven up on his previous total, and he too earns a full 12 beans, beating his 2017 total of eight beans. He last had a perfect run in 2015 and he is feeling pretty damn smug.
As an “associate member” of the Beans, Kev is a second-tier user of the website and not seriously expected to match the post totals of his more committed counterparts. However, he did make seven posts, one more than in 2017, and my research team and I agree that this should be recognised as a Good Effort.
In summary, then, 2018 shows every sign of being a turning point in the fortunes of the Beans, arresting the decline in post and comment counts that had been accumulating since 2016. It is with delight that I can announce that all members are having full biscuit privileges restored in the communal kitchen areas. Chris, as the Winner of the Beans 2018, also takes home this stylish Blankety Blank chequebook and pen. Congratulations to him.
Thank you, thank you. You’re very kind. Please be seated.
My name is Professor Sir Elbert Louche OBE, and it is a great pleasure to return to the Beans for a fourth year to deliver the annual State of the Beans Address. As in previous years, the information I am about to share with you is the result of detailed scientific investigation that has been ongoing for the past twelve months.
We at the University of the Internet take this very seriously. We have all been wearing white coats and goggles, and there were absolutely loads of bunsen burners involved.
Unfortunately, for the second year in a row the news is not good and I have to report a decline in Beans activity. A total of 84 posts were made to the Beans in 2017, down ten on the 2016 total, and the comment situation is no better, with 989 comments made, a year-on-year reduction of almost 400.
This increasingly slapdash approach to blog posting has not gone unnoticed and the Home Office are threatening to put the website into special measures unless the situation improves during 2018. Nobody wants that. Standard procedure for “special measures” websites are to replace all content with cat pictures and open the comments section to cretins who can’t spell and always use emoji instead of punctuation. This is a situation to be avoided at all costs.
Here’s the breakdown for each member.
Ian made 37 posts, four fewer than in 2016. Last year he said he looked forward to “shitting over everyone again in 2017”. He will now be required to submit a written explanation about the lack of progress on this objective. However, he did score 12 beans.
Chris made 41 posts in total, more than Ian, but they were not consistently spread through the year, meaning he only earned 8 beans. His post count is also down by four on last year’s total. He loses the right to use proper glasses for fizzy drinks and from now on will have to use disposable plastic cups.
Kev made six posts to the Beans in 2017, fewer than the eight he made in 2016. This comes as no surprise to anyone, though if we wish to grasp at straws to find something in his favour, he came closer to matching his 2016 post count than Chris or Ian. We do not need to discuss Kev’s bean total.
In conclusion, 2017 has been an exceptionally quiet year and unless 2018 sees considerably more posts being made and comments being left, I am going to be quite cross. There is no commemorative goblet for anyone this year, and instead you will find that while you were in here listening to this speech all your cars have been keyed.
Good afternoon. Delegates, please, sit down. Thank you.
My name is Professor Sir Elbert Louche, and it is a great honour to have been invited back to the Beans to deliver this third annual State of the Beans Address.
I and my colleagues at the University of the Internet have analysed the Beans carefully throughout 2016 and subjected our findings to a number of scientific tests, including (but not limited to) dipping them in sulphuric acid, growing samples of them in petri dishes, and of course pushing bits of magnesium into the holes and setting fire to it.
Our findings are not good. A total of 94 posts were made to the Beans in 2016, two fewer than the previous year, and the total number of comments was also down by about 50, standing at 1,383. It goes without saying that this is simply not good enough. For this reason, you will find that there are no complimentary beverages or nibbles at this year’s State of the Beans Address, and the mandatory seminar following this talk will be an actual seminar this year, and not held on a bouncy castle in the main courtyard as before.
Here is the performance of each individual member.
Ian made 41 posts this year, an improvement of six on his total for both 2014 and 2015. For this reason alone he is the winner of the Beans 2016, and will be the only member not fined a significant amount of money. He also will retain access to the biscuit cupboard in the staff room. Other members will have their keys to the cupboard taken off them.
Chris made a solid start to 2016, but had a lot to live up to, having scored a bean for every month in 2015. The challenge proved too much for him, and he made only 45 posts, missing out on posting anything at all in December. His personal file has had the word “inadequate” stamped across it in red letters and he should expect to receive anonymous hate mail from myself and the rest of my team for most of the coming year.
In the early part of 2016 Kev wrote a long and emotional letter to the Beans management, explaining that he was about to spawn a miniature clone of himself and requesting paternity leave. Unfortunately there is no Beans management higher than Kev and the letter remained in the post tray in the office for most of the year. His paternity leave is therefore not considered to have been approved and his total of eight posts this year will not be forgiven lightly. A message has been sent to Changlet asking if he wishes to take over his father’s account.
In summary, then, 2016 was a disappointing year and everybody involved in the Beans has been in some way responsible for these disastrous results, but as Ian has been the least disappointing overall he has won this charming commemorative goblet.
Delegates, please, take your seats. The buffet and free hot drinks will continue to be available during the open seminar at the end of today’s session. There’s no need to push. Settle down, please.
Thank you. Good afternoon. My name is Professor Elbert Louche, and it is my pleasure to have been asked back to deliver this 2016 State of the Beans Address.
The New Beans has now been running for two years, a bold social experiment that has grasped the zeitgeist and undeniably transformed British culture. It has won several awards of its own making. In 2015, 96 posts were made by Beans members – an increase of 14 on the previous year – and 1,430 comments were made, almost double the number made in 2014. This is both impressive and delightful.
Let’s take a look at what each individual Beanist has accomplished.
This member made a total of 48 posts, precisely four a month, earning him 12 full beans and zero nasty dried peas. Chris continues to be the only member of the Beans pictured in a blue tie, something that he was hoping would catch on but so far hasn’t.
Historically Pouring Beans’ most reliable contributor, Ian has pus finger to keyboard on 35 occasions, timing those posts carefully to stay within the strict Bean Counter rules, and has also come away with an unbroken run of 12 tasty beans. His attempted catchphrase “sweet petunia!” has, again, failed to gain any traction in the last twelve months.
A look at the statistics shows that Kev made just 12 posts in 2015, but a more detailed examination of the facts revealed that from August 2015 onwards he has transformed himself from an idle, feckless individual, more interested in refurbishing his domestic environment than sharing the burden of running the UK’s most popular blog site, into someone who has earned the epithet “contributor” and is now a valued member of the team.
In conclusion, it is clear to everyone that Chris and Ian are joint winners this year, that the Beans is incredibly popular and brilliant, and the future holds many more awards for this website that will undoubtedly be bestowed upon it just as soon as we get round to inventing them. Well done.