Avatar Beans: questions and mysteries – ‘Kevbeard’

It’s a new year and it’s time for a fresh ‘chude too. There has been a lot of fan mail recently asking questions about us, inquisitive and rather personal questions, so rather than respond to each and every person I have decided to answer the letters on here because it also gives me a scrumptious post towards my bean count. THAT and you know there were letters with duplicate questions so I’m not going to be a hack and start photocopying letters like some cheap so and so and then sign the bottom as if they’re all original, genuine articles. There are standards to be upheld, you know.

People (and by “people” I mean the two people who somehow managed to obtain my personal address) keep asking me, “what’s the deal with Kevin and his facial hair?”

“Where is it?”

“Does it live in a shoe by the back door?”

Calm down, I said, then pummelled a glass of Bichon Frisé and two slices of toast. Let me set the record straight before all you conspiracy nuts chase me down.

It’s all very simple and wholesome when you know the truth. Yes, it does exist. Kevin has the most wonderful, most bountiful, more buxom beard out of all three of us. He has been growing it since the late 90’s and to this day refuses to pass on his cultivation techniques. Many a time have I plied him with brandy and sought the secrets of his grooming (steady now) abilities and no matter how many bottles I tip down his throat he will not relinquish the goods. Though I may be a little sour of note, I do appreciate the moxie shown by this young man to keep steadfast his confidentialities.

Kevin chooses not to wear his beard in public because it would attract unwanted attention. In the early days when beards were still scorned by the general population he would occasionally bring it out on a lovely summer’s morn. If it were quiet the sun would glow and it would pulse like a rabbit in a hutch filled with alfalfa. His little face would fill with delight to feel the rays, the cool breeze blowing through his bristles, he looked like a young Grizzly Adams. The modern world has taken a shine (no pun intended) to a man’s face candy so there is no chance for any such displays anymore. When the heat got too much, Kev put his beard on a barge to Malta and there it lives in a stunning villa on the West coast. He visits thrice a year, sometimes more if his schedule will allow it.

To catch a glimpse of Kev and his beard would be a rare treat indeed. I get several lucrative offers from the paparazzo every year to disclose the location of the villa so they can but for one moment capture the beauty of the beard and each time I turn them down. Holster your wallets, I say, I cannot be bought. There are more important things than money. We could all learn a lot from Kevbeard (not a pirate however could also be a pirate name).

Avatar Chair finder

The sun was out. The weather was fine. What a lovely day for a drive (and various other old man things).

As I pondered these thoughts my eyes started scanning the horizon line for something to catch my attention. There’s always something out there:

  • Simply Dutch – the home furniture shop in Northallerton that I always see when driving home to Leeds and still in 2023 have yet to visit (possibly always has a sale)
  • The Amazon Depot (around the County Durham area on the A1) – you can see it a mile away, the greyest, dullest building you’ve ever seen. It’s about as fun-looking as a machete through the face
  • Any sign with the village name ‘Shilbottle’ on it – if you know, you know

I was almost home driving North on the A1 when I came across a sign that I hadn’t seen before. There was no chance for me to take a photo so I made a mental note of the name and decided to come back to it later.

When later came about, after putting it to the back of my mind, I decided to see if I could find it. I expected to have it buried under a bunch of similar-sounding business names or other things. It shows what I know. Top o’ the list it was:

Chairs – Chair Finder

Chair Finder is an antiques store in Durham (and to a lessor extent London). They believe every chair as its own character and story to tell. They also have a range of curated interior pieces that they find along the way and simply cannot resist. Not only can you peruse a bunch of chairs but you can also get your nose into a other acquisitions such as stone owls and paintings of men riding donkeys. It’s a plethora of things to delight the senses. No wait, the donkey rider has sold. You’ll have to make do with the ‘Portrait of an English gentleman’ instead.

Now whenever I hear the name I can’t help but add ‘general’ to the end of it so it sounds more like Witchfinder General. There are a bunch of dangerous, drooling men scouring the world, ready to offer you good money for your chairs. They’ll take them away and make them look better or whatever it is antique people do. Something involving Pledge? Maybe.

If Chris had looked on Chair Finder maybe he wouldn’t have spent seven hundred years trying to find the foot rest, foot stool, foot hanger (?) that he needed to match his chair. They would have sent him one in a few hours. He could have saved himself a boatload of trouble.

Perhaps you’re in need of some chairs. Perhaps you need the guidance of a more experienced pair of hands. If you have a problem, if no-one else can help and if you can find them maybe you can hire the Chair Finder.

Avatar Action Ian

Earlier this year I posted about an emergency bean grab, prompting a comment thread in which Ian accused me of telling the worst fairytale ever; we went on to work up a much better one that might work as a graphic novel. I then drew the fairytale as a very short comic graphic novel and got a post out of that, achieving the rare but satisfying feat of having a Beans post spawned organically out of the comments on another.

Well, in an unprecedented move, I’m rolling it over a second time, because this post has been spawned by the comment thread under the fairytale comic. Winner!

The point of all this is that Ian liked the way he was portrayed in his first cutaway, the one where he was showing how brave he is, and suggested he should appear that way in some movie posters.

And lo, it was done: here’s Brave Ian in two of this summer’s biggest action movie hits.

Avatar Paging Lord Winklebottom

Excitement! Isn’t it exciting?

That tingle of anticipation that courses through your body when something is going to happen. Modern life hasn’t given us a lot to be excited about (yes I would like to pay more for my weekly food shop, yes I do love it when trains I’m about to get on are cancelled for no apparent reason, it’s probably for the best there’s a shortage of ‘X’ because I was enjoying it far too much and needed a bit of a break) so you have to grab hold of these moments whenever you can and cling them to your bosom.

Sometimes it doesn’t even take that much to be excited. For me, it was three words in an email and I was sent into a wide-eyed frenzy of sorts. “Lord Winklebottom Investigates” said the email, “coming soon”. That technically is five words but I wasn’t focusing on the last two so much. ‘Lord Winklebottom Investigates’. Beautiful. Simple.

It’s so ridiculous and so ‘me’ that I had to know more. It is a 1920’s murder mystery, point and click adventure (inspired by Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie) featuring a dashing giraffe detective. It has full English voice acting (with everyone probably sounding posher than a Duke with an afternoon tea set shoved up his backside) and an original 1920’s inspired soundtrack. Given that I have an anthropomorphic badger tattooed on my left arm it’s not too surprising that this has tickled my fancy. I have also played a game called ‘Chicken Police’. I am not an adult.

It is already out and available digitally on Steam, PS4, X-Box 1 and Switch so you can all play this now if you wanted to, however I am waiting for the physical version to come out so I can proudly display the game for all to see, possibly next to ‘Chicken Police’. I want Lord Winklebottom on my shelf so people know just how ridiculous one person can be although deep down I expect they are already aware of this.

Get excited. Be excited.

Avatar Youtube promo fail

I received the birthday parcel. I recorded a video of me opening the parcel. I tried half a dozen times to upload the video and the bon of a sitch website wouldn’t let me. It kept getting to either 80% or 93% and then it would stop.

I am going to keep trying however for now you will have to make do with the “amazing” thumbnail I have made.

What a marvel.

Avatar Shoe

Oxford Circus late at night
Crowds of wankers, lights shine bright
Down below the crowds that mill
Sits a sneaker calm and still

Who would drop you in this place?
Who has joined the unshod race?
Who would think their grand night out
Is better with one bare foot out?
I see you, shoe, and I see beyond
I see how great you’d be if donned
I see potential through the grime
I see the reason and the rhyme

Oxford Circus late at night
One lone trainer shining bright
The key to one foot’s endless roam
I envy the toes that take you home.

Avatar The Pompadoose Moose

In my long and illustrious career as, well, pretty much everything and everyone I have achieved a number of accolades to my name. I’m not going to list them all here because we don’t want it turning into one of those back-slapping exercises that other people seem to indulge in. I’m far too shy and retiring for that.

That said, I suppose 2020 was the worst time to change my career. I decided to be an animalogist just as the Bovona virus took hold of the world and squeezed it like a sad lemon to make a tiny droplet of lemonade so lacklustre it would fail to quench the thirst of a dung beetle.

For those not in the know, animalogists are those people who look like they got dressed in the dark / with their eyes closed and go out into the world to record all the different types of animals living in the world. All of them from such famous ones as the Alaskan mountain nut boar and the wig herons to the common ‘o garden hassle mice, they all need to be documented as many times as possible so that when you meet one of them you know what their star sign is and how they take their coffee.

When I was (secretly) roaming the more uninhabitable parts of Northern Russia in the later months of the year I came across a species of moose that was yet undocumented. It was tall and graceful, with a large volume of hair that took up most of the horizon line. I could see many nests of birds hiding in there. Worn high over its forehead, it was the most stylish moose I have ever seen with my moose-viewing eyes (they were commissioned especially for this expedition). After a general introduction I started asking it all of the pertinent questions starting with shirt size, favourite astronaut and whether or not their rivalry with raccoons had been blown out of proportions over the last few decades.

The information I acquired was priceless. In my bag I had reams and reams of paper filled to the brim with a veritable cornucopia of details. I was going to offer the definitive take on this new breed, coupled with one of my award-winning and best-selling books to boot. The only downside is that the pompadoose moose would not allow me to take its photo. I could ask all the questions I wanted but the world was not ready for its beauty and so I left pictureless.

To gaze upon its pompadour and its grace was a treasure like no other. I only hope that when the world is ready for it, that I am there at the front, pushing everyone else out of the way, ready with my trusty Kodak Ektralite to record that wonderful moment.