The scene reveals a man, a woman and a teenage boy in the kitchen of a semi-detached house. A television can be heard coming from the living room. Two or three dogs are roaming the kitchen floor looking for scraps.
S: Go on, tell your dad about the floor pasta. I: The what? R: It’s because I brought home a packet of spaghetti that I found on the floor. It’s still sealed, it’s not minging or anything. I: I see. Dubious but still useful I suppose. R: Oh come on, don’t tell me you wouldn’t because I know you would! It’s free food and it’s perfectly usable. I: Whereabouts did you find this? R: When I was walking home from school. I: A lone packet of spaghetti just lying there on the floor. R: In the street, yeah. I looked around to see if anyone had dropped it but I was the only one there.
Later that evening. Still in the kitchen.
I: We’re a little concerned about the floor pasta. Are you sure you didn’t steal it? Come on now, if you’re going to risk going to jail for a 50p pack of spaghetti then I think we need to get you to a psychologist. R: I knew you would do this. S: If you’re a klepto just own up to it, we won’t judge you. R: This is nonsense. I: You have to admit the story sounds a bit too convenient, a bit too farfetched if you ask me. R: Yes it does but it’s true, well, apart from the bit about finding it on the floor. I: Come again? R: I didn’t find it on the floor I found it in a trolley. I: Here we go. S: So it wasn’t on the floor, you stole it from a trolley in Sainsburys? R: The trolley wasn’t in Sainsburys, it was in an alley. I: This sounds even less believable. Which alley? R: You know the one that’s equidistant between Sainsburys and Dhillons fish shop? I: No, surprisingly not. I’m not out measuring equal distances between two places near where you live. R: It was a trolley there and it was full of pasta. I: Full of pasta, a trolley full of pasta lying in an alley sort of behind a supermarket, just left there for anyone to take. R: Yes. I checked and it’s in date, it’s not as if it was out of date goods or anything. S: So with all that pasta available to take you only took one small packet of spaghetti? R: Yes! I didn’t want to be greedy. S: This is sounding less believable the more he says. I: You’re telling me. R: Look, I know you don’t believe me and that’s fine. This isn’t the first time it’s happened anyway.
The man and the woman look at each other with the same confused look.
S: So how many times has it happened? R: <thinks> about nine or ten. I: So nine or ten times you’ve been walking from school and you’ve come across a shopping trolley filled to the brim with pasta and this is the first time you’ve thought to mention it? R: Like you would have believed me anyway…
After a recent night of board game fun with my fake adopted family, Reuben took some time out between rounds to draw another of his award-winning designs. The fact that he can crank these out for fun whenever he wants emits equal levels of pride and jealously from my insides. He originally drew the pig with no legs. After a discussion with the rest of the table, it was decided that pigs do not have four legs in total. They have two upper legs and two bottom arms. That is how it is now and will forever continue to be, and anyone who says otherwise does not have the same high level of anatomical knowledge that we do.
Well, wasn’t that a nice May? It may (huh huh) have passed rather quickly but it’s fair to say that we all had a smashing time regardless. What did we learn?
We learned a lot about automobiles thanks to the super brain of ocular octogenarian Smidge Manly. Chris finally learned that he isn’t actually any relation to Kelly Jones and is in fact somehow part of the wind family. What kind of crazy reunion will he have later on this year? Can I manage to get past this section without a wind-based pun?
Kevin learned that continually not posting on the beans will leave him with a shameful string of dried-up peas. This kind of legacy is not a good legacy for loved ones, and the gif of the Changlet shaking his head in despair will remain at the back of his mind for decades to come.
I did not learn a thing. What I did was set myself umpteen challenges without properly considering the words that were coming out my mouth and through the tiny letters on my phone. It does mean that I have a full list, chocked full of nonsense, to keep me occupied during those warm summer nights.
Reuben learned that being hit with a cricket bat really sodding hurts. Audrey learned not to leave Reuben and I in charge of her flat when she goes on holiday, for fear of returning to pickle-based games with no clear end to them (which she did, for when she went away the second time this month she got her brother to keep an eye on it). At least one of us is learning.
Take a deep breath. By the time you let it out its already be June.
It is me re-imagined as a beaver. You can tell that it’s me because it looks like me, albeit with beaver characteristics. I am often caught with a Walter Matthau hang-dog expression on my face and five days out of seven can be seen wearing what resembles a suit, and pretending to be an adult.
This re-imagining was drawn courtesy of Reuben. This is officially the best drawing of me ever and is practically on the same level of dedication and excellence as the drawing my niece did of her dad with penises for hands.
So what happens when everything goes right? Everyone is happy? Thrilled that there hasn’t been any problems? Of course that’s what people want. If it goes right then you get an easy life.
What if you wanted more though? What if right was just plain wrong? What if wrong was exactly what you were looking for, then what? Then what indeed. In the absence of a drum roll I present to you…
I think if things need to go wrong then they should do within a controlled environment. The drawings above are the results of hours and hours of research into the phenomenon of what should be and what actually is. Myself and Professor Reuben took to the old pen and paper to try and explain to the world the concept behind Wrong Kittens.
On the left you will see a rather chunky feline performing a handstand wearing high heels shoes. The gender of the cat is not important, it is more that anyone who tries to perform such a dangerous manoeuvre should not do so adorning delicate footwear. That is wrong.
On the right you will see a much smaller animal with a look that could scare the sheep out of Lincolnshire. It is more like a devil, or some ancient cave painting, depicting a surprised yet potentially evil kitten. Its tongue hangs out carelessly. What is it staring at to the left of the picture? It’s much more wrong.
We welcome anyone else’s efforts at drawing Wrong Kittens. The sky’s the limit, and there are more to follow in due course.
Christmas is a time for miracles. It is also the time for blatant commercialism and funny hats. That said, which it just was, it is also the time for ingenuity and improvisation.
This year Audrey asked for a copy of ‘The Lady in the Van’ on DVD for Christmas, the film based upon the book by Alan Bennett. It was a bit of poor choice really because the film is being shown on terrestrial television for free on Christmas Eve. Nevertheless, prior to being in receipt of this important piece of information, I still went ahead and purchased a copy. Neither I nor Reuben have ever read or seen ‘The Lady in the Van’ and so we decided, based upon the front cover of the DVD, that we would guess what the story was and write and illustrate our own version as an additional present.
It is called ‘T’Lady in T’Van’.
The end result was, quite simply, amazing. I cannot for obvious reasons include a copy here for fear of spoilers for the intended victim, I mean recipient.
What I can include though is a piece of concept art that Reuben came up with during the development process. He decided that the story should involve 80’s martial arts hero and general good egg Chuck Norris and thus drew a picture of him. This was then improved by adding three dimensional eyes.
Traditionally in the UK, groundbreaking comedy has always been commissioned in series of six episodes. So it was for “Fawlty Towers”, so it was for “The Fast Show”, so it was for the revolutionary “Keeping Up Appearances”.
This is how we know that we have another world-changing format on our hands. “This Way Up”, the incredible sketch comedy from Newcastle-based comedy chumps Ian and Roo, reaches its fifth episode and the fans must surely be feeling just a little anxious that there is only one episode to go before it vanishes from the airwaves forever.
For now, though, let’s just be grateful for what we have, as we listen in to episode 5 of This Way Up, featuring the incredible sound of Ian rapping.
If listening is not enough, and you simply must own it for yourself, you can also download it.