User avatar The Award for Effort – August

You know, we don’t give ourselves enough credit. Here we are, each month, slaving away over a hot laptop in the hope of raising a chuckle here and there. We are creating nostalgia. This is a body of work that most people can only dream of. What a load of THINGS we carry on doing. How many humans do you know that can boast about a website, a series of podcasts, half a dozen award-winning albums, a web comic, two children’s book series and more booklets of nonsense than a weekend with Vic Reeves’ eyebrows?

Take a break from all that work. Let’s commend someone who needs commending. Let us chuck out a couple of accolades every now and then to really salute the best of the best. There are award ceremonies for practically everything these days so pull up a chair and we can take a look. This month it is quite clear who the award should go to and that person is…

KEVIN!

Congratulations Kevin, you win the ‘There was an Attempt’ award for effort. Having been nosin’ around the website in the back, I could see that a post was started and there was some interesting content. I only wish that you had the time in order to complete it as it would have made a fascinating read. As it happens, I am sure that eventually it will join the ranks of other fully-fledged posts and take it’s place amongst the greatest. Let’s gaze upon this marvel:

“How they find us: 2019

gghgdfghdfghdfghdfgh ddfgd ;lfkdgjh ;dflgkjh ;fdglkhj ldfkjgh df;lkj; lskfgj;hdflgkhjfd; ghlkjd f;glhkj d;lkfgj h;lkdjs;ldfkjg l;kj s;lkdfj goaijkfgdfn; gjklh;slkj ;slfkdgj ;sldfkjg ;slkdfjg ;slkfdjg ;slkjfd g

hdfgh

dfgh

dfg

hdfg

hdfg

hdfghdfgh”

Verbatim. Wonderful. It’s a thing of beauty. It needs its own stunning vista and inspirational poster. Although it may sound like the noises you hear in the toilet cubicle next you in the gents, it’s sheer poetry.

Well done Kev and keep up the good work, all of you! Next month you could be in line for something special.

User avatar I am Bruntingthorpe

I have been a lot of things over the years: fashion icon, washing machine repair man, sock journalist and lots of other jobs that we have all forgotten because it was nonsense. What I mean to tell you all though is that deep down I have only ever been one thing. I am Bruntingthorpe.

Yes, all those family holidays you spent down in Leicestershire were actually on top of me. I was and am that village and civil parish in the Harborough district. You know St Mary’s Church? Remember that time you lit a candle for Gary Wilmot? That was me. Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, formerly RAF Bruntingthorpe? When you flew a whizzler through the spine net at four thousand kelvins? That’s me. The hamlet that is Upper Bruntingthorpe, where you learned sanskrit and made a paper mache paprika hut? Also me.

It feels good to be able to tell you all of this because it has been weighing on my mind for so long. You are never quite sure how people will take this kind of information. I am not expecting an immediate response so do take all the time you require in order to process this stark and shocking revelation. It may not be as quite as shocking as the time Chris found out he wasn’t actually Kelly Jones from the Stereophonics (see https://www.pouringbeans.com/may-review-a-review-of-may/) yet it will still take a bit of getting used to. People may openly mock you in the street or call you names because of your association with me.

“Oi, your mate is that village isn’t he? You’re such a Bruntingthorpe dork! What a Bruntingdork!” they’ll say. “Look out it’s the Brunter Boy Crew! You’re a jar of lemon clementines!”

I can only apologise for the abuse you may receive for this. They are clearly jealous because they do not wield (WIELD!) as much power as someone such as myself. Have you seen the size of my aerodrome? It really packs the crowds in, especially during the summer months.

You may be wondering how it is that one person can be a small village in the Midlands and you can go on wondering, sunshine, because I am not at liberty to be divulging secrets such as those. All you need to know is that I am doing a grand old job and will continue to do so as long as I am needed by the world.

Also check out their website www.village-web.co.uk because it is a scream from start to finish.

User avatar Seductively readable

I mean, I’m as horrified as you are to discover that something we thought had come directly from Ian’s brain is actually real, so I apologise now for having to make you aware of this, but it has to be done.

Penny Vincenzi!

She’s out there, not just real but actually writing books. Presumably it’s the same publisher as Ian’s, turning out neatly-bound stacks of highly flammable product without regard for literary quality.

I searched the shelves of the bookshop in vain for anything by Sweet Petunia, but now I think about it, I didn’t check the gardening or self-help sections.

Please can we all be on the lookout so we know what we’re dealing with here. If characters from Ian’s brain are now real and writing books, there’s no telling where this will end.

User avatar Lord of the Rings – The Game

As I have wallowed in video games for the last thirty years or so, it would be prudent to describe me as some kind of a master or genius. I have devoted a large portion of my life to putting blocks in place, shooting demons in the face and running around two dimensional landscapes dressed as a plumber; I am sure we are all aware of the delights of Italian Stereotype Brothers – Deluxe Edition. So what’s all this about, Ian? Why are you wasting one of your valuable posts with this bin bag of erudite chunder? There are tons of video games about Lord of the Rings. Go look for them you sad sack!

And you’d be right, there are, but none like the one that I am proposing. What the world needs is another rubbish one-on-one fighting game and I plan to elbow my way into the market using J.R.R Tolkien’s celebrated characters. I’ve seen the films a few times and I’ve read the graphic novel (sorry, adult comics) of ‘The Hobbit’ so I know what I’m talking about. I don’t even need to change the name because the title includes a bad pun that I can use for hilarious comedic effect.

Rings. Lord of the Rings. You have fights in rings and they’re fighting to become the best of the best i.e. the Lord, that Lord of all the others. And they may get a ring to celebrate the fact that they’ve won and they’re the Lord of the Rings. You get me? Shall I go through it again?

So we nick some fighting engine from another game, slap together some rubbish drawings of Frodo and the like, throw in some backgrounds near a castle and a volcano and then sell it on steam for £50.00. Steam. Steam? Steam. Who wouldn’t want to see Gandalf decking a tag team of hobbits? We can pretend that the ring has made them all go crazy and on the way to the Crack of Doom they stop for a bit of a punch up. Yeah. See? It all makes sense when I’m in charge. This is the right thing to do because kids can only connect with stories if they’re in some kind of media. The books are way too long and the films are decades (!) old now, nobody wants that. I can re-educate the nation through my shonky video game idea.

Chris, I know you’ve never played one before but a video game is similar to a board game but on a screen and there’s no dice.

Also if anyone wants to invest in my idea I’m going to need six million pounds.

User avatar Airports

It’s 6.33 in the morning and I am in an airport. This seems to be a good time for me to tell you some things about airports that I don’t like.

I don’t like having to take my belt off when I go through security because the shorts I’m wearing for this flight are a bit loose and at risk of falling down while I walk through the scanner.

I don’t like exiting security and passing directly through a massive duty free shop before I can do anything else, assaulted from all sides by strong smells of perfume that my nose can’t deal with at this time of day.

I don’t like having to be here two hours before my flight, only to find that having cleared security they won’t even announce the gate number for another hour and a half.

I don’t like spending that hour and a half in a departure lounge that is basically a windowless shopping mall, all brightly lit stores and flashing screens. I don’t like that my entertainment options are a choice between looking around designer boutiques I’d never normally go in, or sitting in an uncomfortable chair in ranks of seats surrounded by screaming children and looking at the same designer boutiques because I’m literally surrounded by them.

I don’t like that all the food on offer is served by places that are chain restaurants that serve sushi or craft beers or sourdough pizza, and that here they also have to serve breakfast, and none of them know how to do that.

In summary, the basic point is that I don’t like this. But in another few hours I’ll be on holiday and too far away for you to hear me complaining, so it’s OK.

This post was sponsored by Heathrow Airport.

“Designed with the passenger in mind”

User avatar The Last of You and Your Orb

Yes, you read correctly. I cannot keep handing out these dainty morsels for free. I have enough material for severalz volumez and will be on some kind of world tour of books soon enough. I’ll call it ‘The Very Soon Tour of Books Around the World’ and everyone will buy a ticket.

Until then let’s return to the gentle, simple world of orbs. I expect by now your orb will be ruminating around solid food. What on earth should you start with though? There’s only so many times you can discharge an electrical current into a glass of water and throw it at your orb. Eating together should be just as much a bonding experience as reading a book, watching television or stretching some weasels. If you believe your orb is ready, why not try them on a couple of watch batteries? You should not, repeat, not go straight to the C2 or the D2s because both of you are not ready for that. Slide a couple of lithium 2032s their way, let them sniff them and see what their general impression is. If they’re still a little cautious mix a few in with some mashed up strawberries and bananas so they get a taste of the good stuff.

By now I expect you’re used to locking all Velux windows and doors to ensure that your orb does not float out of your house. Should they be wanting to have some space you may wish to move them out of your bedroom and into a room of their own. Even if it is only a storage box in the cupboard under the stairs, their independence is as important as maintaining closeness. Encourage them to decorate their room as they see fit. Help put up posters of their favourite scientists: Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton and other such cool dudes. Perhaps a hammock would be more appealing then a bed? That way they can still hover and be in comfort at the same time.

Your little orb is growing up so fast. What started off as a minor observation whilst over at a friend’s house has been stretched into, at least, four posts on this loose sack of shambles we call a website. You have everything you need now; live your lives as best you can.

You’re totally orbular!

User avatar God Damn Lips

It’s here! The #mysteryweekend Newcastle 2019 Book is now online! Of course, you might know it by its proper title: The Time that Three Friends Went Away for a Spiffing Adventure. And Everything Was Fine.

You can read it, along with all the other silly books, on the Books page.

Highlights of this particular literary work include:

  • Words?
  • Ian blowing vape ships outside my nightclub
  • Kev’s Wemslip Bib
  • Filthbraham Bacon
  • Sugar Pillows
  • The Legend of Stabby McKenzie
  • A drawing of a raaeeeeeeuurgh

User avatar Luck be a Musician Tonight

I am one of those people who secretly doesn’t know how lucky they are.

That’s a lie, actually.

I am one of those people who occasionally is convinced that luck completely passes them by but, in actuality, it washes up like waves on a beach more often than not. For every instance of not putting one of those new five pound notes in my wallet (everywhere else they jump out and I’m a fiver down) there is something else waiting round the corner, be it a clear run into work on a morning or a one in a mil find on eBay.

Let me tell you about the 23 June 2019.

I am invited by a friend to go to a gig in case someone drops out. I am officially on the ‘waiting’ list so to speak. The closer it gets to the gig it is quite clear that the other person is not coming so the ticket is offered to me, and despite my pleas it is given for free (no, I’m not spitting rhymes over a hot beat, the sentence came out that way). The gig in question is Nick Cave in Conversation at the Sage. I have dabbled in wor Nick and the Bad Seeds over the years with mixed results. This is not the kind of evening that you say no to; you grab it with your sweaty hands and you run away screaming like a frantic, happy loon.

So I turn up and meet the rest of the friends group, who are all rallied round drinking wine, and everyone seems really nice. The usual polite tidbits of conversation are floated round although that doesn’t last for very long because out of the corner of my eye I can see a man approaching. He is coming directly for us.

“How many are in your group?” he says. We all look at each other, we need someone to volunteer as spokesperson. I don’t remember who but a few people stumble up that there are six of us. “Great,” says the guy, “how would you fancy sitting on stage with Nick? You have to be by this door at exactly 7pm (11 minutes time!) and wear these special bands. I’ll run you through the rest of the rules when you’re led to your seats.”

We all look at each other again; what just happened there? There’s not much time to lose though so we all rush to the toilet and head to the door. More stagehands lead us right onto the stage: there are tables set aside with candles on, creating a kind of arc around the middle, which contains a beautiful piano and nothing more. The rules are pretty simple; shut the fuck up, don’t go near him and don’t bother him. Even I, with my primitive brain can handle this.

Nick Cave talks and plays music for almost three hours. He is roughly ten feet from where I am sitting. Nobody is allowed to take photos of him when he is performing meaning that the only memento I have, apart from the ticket and the special band, is a picture of an empty piano with no-one playing it taken about half an hour before it all started. He was amazing, a voice still raw and strong, a plethora of songs all hand-picked on the night, right there and then, whatever people suggest or he feels like playing is done. I have never seen anything like it and I doubt I will ever again.