Avatar The last of the tang

I am a hoarder by nature.

I refuse to let go when others would be quite happy to throw those things away. I know this and in my own way I am doing my best to try and be a twenty-first century Womble of sorts.

There are times though when even I am powerless.

I wanted to finish it, I really did. I was going to get some custard and finish it off with dignity. In the end all it did was take up space in my freezer and now, many months later, if I tried to defrost and eat it then it would taste weird and probably give me some kind of stomach cramps.

Nonny no nay in my mouth-ay

I am sorry that I let you all down. I do like it tangy.

Avatar The Pernickety Dickhead turns a new leaf

Past Chris was demonstrably a nightmare: see his previous exploits, part 1 and part 2. But he wasn’t all bad. By 2007, there were emerging signs that he might have started to mend his pernickety ways.

On 26 July that year, Past Chris was disappointed to find a foreign object in a tin of custard, but – not being particularly annoyed about it, and his mood being positively influenced by exposure to custard – wanted only to help prevent any future customer from suffering the same fate. With that in mind he wrote what amounts to a downright friendly letter to Ambrosia, manufacturers of custard.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to express my disappointment in finding something unexpected in my custard.

I was nearing the end of a can of Ambrosia custard – in fact, I should confess, I had given up trying to find something to pour it on and I was just finishing the last quarter on its own straight from the tin – when my spoon emerged with a small brown object visible as part of its cargo.

It looks to me like a flake of brown paint, though I haven’t investigated it in any great detail. I have looked at where the can was kept, before and after opening, and I can only conclude it was already in there before I opened it. In any case, I have taped it to some card and included it here so that you might be able to work out where it came from and stop something similar landing in somebody else’s dessert.

I have not included the can itself, but the date stamp on the lid reads “04/2009 18:30 7 107 D”. It is the full-fat, maximum enjoyment variety.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Marshall

For his troubles, Past Chris received a £5 voucher to spend on more custard. It pays to be nice. Past Chris was a changed man, pernickety no more.

Avatar How to play ‘Donyket’

Ahh the card games. The classics, who doesn’t enjoy playing the old favourites like snap, Happy Families or Canasta? Well now there’s a ‘new’ game in town, brought to you by Changlish Chranslayshon & Sons Ltd.

DONYKET! A twist on the old classic, Donkey. DONYKET! Don’t forget to ‘off ers your cards’, you don’t want to be left with the ‘Dondey’ and get called Donkey!

DONYKET!

How to play 'Donyket'

Avatar The toolbox has arrived

It was my birthday, obviously, but as an adult man with his own bank account I very rarely have a list of gift-sized things that I want but don’t yet have. As a result, when Kev and Ian came knocking with birthday questions, the only thing I could think of was that I needed a toolbox because the house is littered with all sorts of DIY paraphernalia.

They sent me some money. I ordered the one I wanted. Yesterday it arrived.

It’s enormous.

In many ways, that’s great, because it has absorbed not just all the tools I own, but also a range of other miscellaneous things, including a set of 100 drill bits in its own heavy duty carry case, a picture hanging kit, several pairs of goggles, miscellaneous other items of workwear, and it still has room to spare. In other ways it’s a bit dispiriting because the measurements of this box match the measurements on the listing I chose (I checked them) and yet somehow I failed to appreciate that I was ordering a toolbox that is only marginally smaller than my car.

Still, there’s plenty of room to add more stuff in future, which is good, and if I ever go camping, I’ll just take this and sleep inside it. Win win. Thanks everyone.

Avatar No mangoes in the server room

You will remember, of course, that this was some excellent advice from Kev, who is an IT magician and retailer of high-quality wireless abbabs.

I have, therefore, put up signs enforcing this rule at work.

I was just going to take pictures of my new signage and then take it down, but when I actually put it up, I decided I liked it, so it’s now going to stay there permanently. It’s a good rule. Safety first.

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 Crab out of control

If you’re like me, and you sometimes remember things, and you find that remembering things is fun, then you might remember that about five years ago I took a crab mug in to work and announced this tremendous news with the blog post crab in control, which to this day is often quoted by students of the language as one of the greatest works of literature composed so far this century.

Last month I brought the crab home for a deep clean, because the kitchen at work is minging. Its annual overhaul revealed the crab mug to be in a dreadful state. Its current situation is illustrated in these three damning pictures.

  1. Around the brim, repeated cleaning with a scouring pad has worn away the glaze, leaving the top half of the mug, both outside and inside, duller and with a matte texture.
  2. A severe chip to the base or “arse” of the mug.
  3. Further scouring of the inside, particularly around the circular corner that surrounds the base and connects it to the mug wall, where the rougher surface has indelibly absorbed brownness from tea and coffee.

Given this irreversible damage, the crab has now regrettably been retired from active service and is now at the back of the mug cupboard here in Royksopp.

In its place, I have procured four new yellow mugs that I can use interchangeably and bring home more often to clean, on the basis that this is more hygienic, scouring pads will be unnecessary and I like yellow things.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the crab for five years of diligent and faithful service, and wish it well in its retirement, by which I mean an extended period in the cupboard where it doesnt get used much because it’s gone all brown inside. Thank you.