Rainbow episode review: Lemon and McCartney

Have you ever tried to do anything, ever? I have, which is why I sympathise with poor crap Zippy in this episode.

Let’s begin.

There’s a strange noise in the Rainbow house. Bungle, George and Geoffrey all wonder what it could be. It doesn’t occur to any of them that it could be Zippy. Even though it sounds like Zippy and is Zippy. Instead, Geoffrey thinks the noise might be coming from the sky they can somehow see from the middle of their living room:


It’s nice to see that Geoffrey’s wearing the opening credits from Saved By The Bell again.

They have to wait for Zippy to appear and solve the mystery of the noise.

“Zippy, why are you making noises like you’re being bummed?” asks Geoffrey.

“That is not me being bummed,” replies Zippy. “That is the song I am writing for the talent contest.”

i am writing a song

The others are all suitably impressed, apart from Bungle, who needs Geoffrey to tell him what a talent contest is. Then they start trying to hijack his song, offering to help with it. George offers to help by tapping on the table with a pencil. Geoffrey and Bungle offer to help with the words, by actually adding some.

Zippy rebuffs their kind offers, which means they all get in a strop with him and leave the room. Zippy gets back to his song:

sheet music

Is anyone else quite surprised that Zippy can write music? I mean, considering he can’t write words in most episodes and has to get Geoffrey to do it?

Also, his pencil is tied to the table with string. I think this is so Dawn can’t come round and steal it with her big hairy fingers.

pen 1

Anyway, Zippy’s song isn’t coming on too well. Here are his lyrics so far:

“If you have a friend,
who is friendly and kind,
don’t ever lose him…
or else…”

Zippy decides he might need some help after all, even if it is from Geoffrey, George, and a syphilitic bear. Unfortunately, the others are all too busy to help him now. Geoffrey is reading, and George is busy doing something or other.

Bungle, meanwhile, is busy doing this:

reading 2

For fuck’s sake Bungle get some glasses – I know they make glasses for men in bear suits, because you own a pair of sunglasses.


The point is they’re all too busy to help Zippy now. Zippy has fallen into a pit of despair and regret. It’s a bit like when you start writing a blog post about Rainbow, and you want to give up because it’s crap because you’re writing it, but you can’t give up because you’ve been doing it for half an hour already and you won’t get that half an hour back.

writing a blog post

Zippy’s lyrics version 2:

“Friends come in all sizes,
some are big and some are small,
the ones that are big
are much bigger than the ones who are small…”

I don’t think Michael Bolton of Michael Bolton fame has anything to worry about.

Never mind, let’s move onto the music instead. Zippy tries out different sounds for the enjoyment of his friends.

trying out song

They don’t understand his genius, so he goes into the kitchen, where Geoffrey threatens him with a pan.


Geoffrey, shitlord that he is, suggests writing a song called “Quiet friends are lovely people”. Unfortunately, Zippy’s interpretation of these lyrics causes Geoffrey to threaten him with a pan and his fist.

pan 2

Zippy is now shunned and banished to the garden by his jealous div friends.

Zippy’s lyrics version 3:

“Friends are what you have when you’re a nice person!
Friends are nice people really even if they’re jealous!”

There doesn’t seem to really be a tune, but I’m imagining it being set to the tune of “Aquarius”, and I suggest you do the same.

Sadly, their intolerant bastard of a neighbour decides to throw one of his boots at Zippy. That’ll learn him. Since their neighbour is a deep-voiced cockney man, I’m assuming it’s not Dawn, unless she’s having a really bad day. Also, I don’t think Dawn would throw her boots at Zippy.




We cut to about three weeks later, judging by the state of Zippy. Zippy has been solidly working on his song all this time, and hasn’t had time to do anything like eat, sleep, or not mysteriously get covered in soil. The others have been too busy just standing there to notice this.


Poor Zippy.

“Doesn’t anyone know how hard it is to be clever?”

Sorry no, not a clue.

Zippy fucks off, and the others stand there worrying about him. My ‘three weeks’ theory is confirmed when they all start talking about Zippy not washing or getting enough sleep. If that’s the case, it’s nice of Geoffrey to wear the same shirt again. He must know I like that shirt.

Also, Geoffrey’s just remembered those drunk emails he sent to Dawn.


Zippy clearly needs some help with his song, but he won’t ask for it, probably because the only people available to ask are Geoffrey, George and Bungle.

God damn it, if only they knew some singers who lived in their kitchen.

Sadly they don’t because Rod, Jane and Freddy have now moved out of the kitchen, and into their own show. However, they do know Christopher, which means they won’t have to summon Dawn and her Bossa Nova button.

With a sense of relief that he won’t have to face Dawn after those emails, Geoffrey phones Christopher to tell him about Zippy’s shit song.



What’s the betting that Christopher comes up with a song in about 10 seconds, complete with backing track and reverb.

“Hey Zippy, I know your song’s probably brilliant and everything, but will you allow me to do something on it just so I can feel wanted for a bit?”

Well played Christopher.


Unfortunately, Bungle has to go and ruin it by wading in and going “Yes! And then we can all sing it with you!”

Fuck off Bungle, stop trying to hijack the song. Zippy doesn’t want your fat voice drowning him out and making sure he gets last place at this talent contest.

Zippy and Christopher go off for 10 seconds, and come back with a fully written song, complete with music and reverb. I love it when I’m right. If only ‘being able to predict the plot of Rainbow’ were a marketable skill.

I know you’re all dying to hear the finished song, so here it is:

And here we leave the Rainbow gang for another day. Hopefully Zippy tricks Bungle into thinking you can only take part in this talent contest if you wax your nipples beforehand.

The moral of the story: If you have to do anything ever, get someone else to do it and then take the credit for it.

Diary of an 80s teenager part 14: THE FINALE

Diary of an 80s teenager part 14: THE FINALE

Well, this is an quite emotional moment. It’s been a hell of a journey for me, your humble narrator, our brave heroine, and my 8 readers.

We got there in the end lads.

mr myagi

I’ll be honest, there isn’t much plot in this bit. I’ll be more honest, there isn’t any plot in this bit. But we do have some interesting and mental scribbles to look at.


If you’ve been doing the crossword at home, you might want to go back and not have seen this page. Spoiler alert. Anyway, Paul Bateman makes a welcome return to being ace after a notable absence while our heroine was distracted by perm kits.

Sadly, we’ll never know how the Paul Bateman saga turned out. Maybe she married him? Maybe she eventually rode off into the sunset with Tony, the third point in this love triangle? Or maybe she just went off him one day because he’d had his hair cut too short? I did that once. Do let me know how you think S’s love life turned out.

Over on the other page, we have a mixture of The Jam, The Beat, The Specials, Ska, Mod, and more Paul Bateman. I think S is being very forgiving here, considering Paul Bateman told her to “piss off”, then “fuck off”. We also have a couple of lesser-spotted Brocks.


In the time it’s taken S to turn the page, she’s gone from loving Paul Bateman to loving Brock. As everyone knows, your love counts for double if you write it on a Tube map.

S has also decided to be completely against war, and completely for peace:


Also of note is the unexpected return of Tony, although he’s obviously displeased our heroine again, probably by being a gimp and a div.


To finish, posters of Kate Bush, Ultravox and Spandau Ballet and an article about TV:


My favourite part is the following optimistic but wrong line:

“Will your school yearbook for 1991/2 still look like this – or will it be the size of a credit card, which you play in your portable TV?”

Thanks for reading guys. I hope one of you finds a Jam comb at some point.

Diary of an 80s teenager part 13: God this is boring

Diary of an 80s teenager part 13: God this is boring

We’re nearing the end lads. S certainly seems to think so anyway: her once carefully crafted prose about Paul Bateman and going to Bangor has now degenerated into a bored kind of scrawl, on those days where she remembers to exist.

But we’ve come this far, so we’re bloody well going to see it through to the end.



“Packed things to go. Aunty Ann and Uncle Tom came. Saw Minder.”


“Went to (No idea – see below). Saw Aunty Gaenor and Uncle Brian (How many of your relatives are on this fucking holiday? Have you actually rented Devon?), had supper.”

I cannot for the life of me work this out. I assume it’s North something, but Google Maps doesn’t throw up any likely suggestions. I did find somewhere called ‘Cockington’ though.

Anyway, what do we think?



“Went to Kents Cavern and around on bus.”

On the 19th and 20th, our heroine was once again put into suspended animation.


“Went to Torquay. Had spending spree.”

She’s a high roller.



“Went to Trago Mills. Uncle Brian came home.”

Why? Did he fall out with everyone? Or wasn’t there enough room in Devon for all of you?



“Went to Plymouth, got kylt. (I assume she means a kilt, since Googling ‘kylt’ comes up with ‘Kylt Products for Veterinary Diagnostics’.) Went on Hove (This makes fucking zero sense. I think she means something else. I also think she’s overdosed on Sanatogen or something.) Raced with Daffyd around statues.”


“Came home.”


“Woke up 1.55. Didn’t do anything all day.”


“Woke up 11.30. Copied up needlework. Aunty Eleri came.”


“Went to Kwiks, got perm kit. Saw Gail & Dewi. Aunty Eleri not well.”


“Went to Rhyl. Went to F. Fair. Bought Jam comb.”

Wow, she bought a comb with The Jam on it. Why? I wish I could find a picture of it, but I can’t so I’ll use a picture of the Charles and Diana comb I got in North Wales, proving that North Wales is a hotbed of shit combs:



“Went to church.”

I wish I could say “Whew, what an exciting ride eh lads?” But I don’t have the lying skills for that. Never mind, we’re almost there, and we can’t abandon it now just because it’s utter shit. This applies to most of my blog posts by the way.

Anyway, join me next time for our spectacular finale, featuring the return of Paul Bateman (sort of), some Teletext, and a tube map.

Diary of an 80s teenager part 12: chicken and jeans

Diary of an 80s teenager part 12: chicken and jeans

Welcome back people. Last week’s entry saw our heroine getting to grips with salad and exercising. Have her efforts paid off? Let’s find out…



“Woke up 10.30. Went to Bangor, had dinner. Went on holiday, was a long journey. When we reached (The Lake District), went down to the lake, and went on cruise along it. Was very tired.”



“Woke up 8.30. Had a lovely breakfast, orange juice, bacon & egg, and toast & coffee. Went to Dove Cottage where Wordsworth lived, and went around Grassmere. Went back to Bowness.”


“Woke up 8.20. Had a lovely breakfast again. Went over Kirkstone pass, had dinner there. Went to Ullswater, I sat in car. Had ice cream. Went to get chicken, went round shops in Bowness.”




“Woke up 8.30. Had lovely breakfast again. Went to Ambleside. (PLEASE STOP GOING TO PLACES YOU CAN’T SPELL AND I HAVE TO GOOGLE THEM) Had dinner there, then went to Grassmere, and then went round Bowness. Had toasted sandwich for supper.”


“Woke up 8.30. Had lovely last breakfast. Went round Bowness, went riding, had Pablo. Went home, went to get Winkle from Auntie Enid’s. Watched Cagney & Lacey.”


“Woke up 11.50. Went to Bangor. Went to Deiniolen.”

Sigh. Even the chicken was nail-biting compared to your usual routine.


“Went to church. Went to Auntie Joan’s on bike.”



“Woke up 10.20. Had dinner, did my embroidery. Watched telly. Had salad for tea. After, watched C. Street. Went to Nain’s to stay, saw Gail & Paul & Dafydd. Stayed the night.”


“Woke up 7.30. Had no breakfast. Started stripping Nain’s walls. Played with Dewi Puss. (Insert your own jokes here, I’m not your mother.) Had tea in Auntie Eleri’s, salad again. Went to bed 8.30, was very tired.”


“Woke up 8.30, had no breakfast. Went to Caernarvon, bought many things. Saw nasty girls. (?) Played with Dewi. Went to see Pedro. (Wait, wasn’t Pedro your horse in the Lake District? What’s going on?) Saw telly till 10, the went to bed.”

I don’t know if ‘nasty girls’ is any sort of movie, or if she literally means some bitches she knows. I’m not going to Google that one anyway.


“Woke up 10.30. Played with Dewi. After dinner Mam came, went to Auntie Enid’s. Came home, watched Fame & Top Of The Pops, went to bed.”


“Woke up 11.30. Had dinner, went to village, did some knitting. Watched Film Fun. Recorded all Maggie’s singles. Watched Magnum, Third Time Lucky, and On The Line.”

Me right now:



“Woke up 10.30. Went to Bangor. Watched telly.”


“Went to church. Went to bowling green. Went to stay in Nain’s.”



“Alan stayed.”


“Elfryn and Russell came.”

No idea why she’s suddenly decided to scrawl this in giant writing. She’s even stopped painstakingly noting her waking-up times. Something is afoot…

On the 11th and 12th, our heroine failed to even exist.


“Managed to get old blue jeans on. Saw Bonnie and Manon.”

Something about the way she says “managed to”:



“Went to Beaumaris. Saw U. Downstairs. (S)”



That’s your lot for now. Could it be that our heroine has suddenly decided to get herself a whirlwind social life, and no longer has time to record more than a cursory scrawl for posterity? Or is she just getting a bit bored of writing down the fact that she woke up at 8.37?

I’ve just realised as well – the really strange thing about this part is the lack of Tony and Paul Bateman. Has she renounced their affections on account of the fact that they’re divs and not interested in her? It’s a mystery.

Anyway, join me next time for the penultimate part, where S goes on a spending spree, and buys a perm kit.

Stuff from the 1994 Argos catalogue

Stuff from the 1994 Argos catalogue

The other week I spent actual money on old Argos catalogues from Ebay. I do not regret this. I also don’t regret doing a really bad fart that time, pouring the leftover vodka into that day old glass of wine to make a ‘cocktail’, and eating that Hula Hoop I found under the settee.

Now then…

1. Brooches

p 72 brooches

Brooches don’t seem to be a thing any more, unless you also like £10 cups of ‘coffee style chicory drink’ and ‘street typing’. But back in the day, brooches were a serious way to show off the fact that you had a lapel, jumper or any other item of clothing.

This display features a wanking teddy, and a clown crippled with arthritis.

2. Our Price offer

p 85 offer

Buy a Sekonda watch, and get a £5 Our Price voucher. This was not to be sniffed at: in 1994 you could buy up to one single by UB40 featuring Pato Banton.

Then simply spend another tenner and be entered into a super fun prize draw to nearly win a holiday to the USA!

3. Watches

p 90 watches

I would kill for that Troll watch now. Do you hear me? Kill. Other watches include a My Little Pony watch with free comb (not sure if human sized comb or comb for the miniature My Little Pony, since it has hair. I wouldn’t put it past them), and a Forever Friends watch, worn by all the popular girls at my junior school who didn’t like things like hair dye and listening to Pulp.

4. Wall clocks


I can’t see that bear as anything other than “Help, I’ve got balloons sticking out of my arse!”. Meanwhile, we have some classic 90s ware, such as “L’enfant”, other assorted Athena crap, and ‘Gladiators with their bums out’.

5. A guide to typewriters and word processors

p 124 guide to word processors

Advertising features like:

Justification: You now have to justify why you’ve written “People who can’t use cashpoints must be killed”.

Autospell: For example, if you write “I would like to do sex with Patsy Kensit”, Autospell will handily change it to “I would like to think of anything else you negator”.

6. Horrible suite

p 178 suite

I’m pretty sure we had this when I was a kid. We definitely had one with tassels, because they were an awesome forest/row of guards substitute when you were playing He-Man.

7. Duvet covers

p 235 duvet covers

Gladiators duvet cover (for more Gladiators crap see here), some stupid Mickey Mouse thing which no one ever wants, and Noah’s Ark, which is great for when you’re in bed playing ‘save all the animals from the flood that just happens to be all around your bed’. I must stress that I haven’t played this since I was about 7. Nowadays we just play ‘duvet tug o war’ and ‘how long can you read TV Tropes without dying’ in bed.

8. Weird toilet mat things

p 254 toilet mats

The thinking behind these: these lovely mats will catch all my stray piss, and then I can just piss like a modern man.

The reality: They get kicked a lot by people going to the loo. As a result they end up crumpled in a corner somewhere, and of no use to anyone. Piss goes on the avacado carpet.

9. Gifts

p 355 stress stuff

Including that pink stress buster that everyone’s had a go on at some point, and if you haven’t you shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Also a Pepsi can that is more fiendish than it looks. Since the picture looks like it’s about 5 pieces, it fucking better be.

10. Women’s shit

p 370 womens shit

That sink tidy has me on edge. All it’s going to take is someone slightly nudging it, and the whole thing comes crashing down. Also, only women love ice packs, and stupid scented butterflies that mean there’s less room for their flowery skirts, which is what all women wear.

11. Net

p 413 golf goal wrong sport dickhead

Wrong sport, dickhead.

12. A guide to camcorders

p 452 guide to camcorders

“Lux Illumination”, “Intelligent Auto Iris”, and “Flying Erase Head”.

Come on, keep up, everyone knows what ‘Lux Illumination’ is.


flying eraser

Join me in part 2 for hot chefs, swearing Teddy Ruxpin, and dolls with adult hair.

Rainbow episode review: An idiot abroad

Warning: this episode contains Dawn and her Bossa Nova button.

This episode is called Going Places, and it’s about having to go to Australia to get away from Bungle’s stupid face for a bit.

We begin with Bungle, George and Zippy wibbling around, having panic attacks and general menopause:


“Where is he? It’s ever so late! He said he’d be home by teatime, and that was ages ago!”

It’s fucking twenty past fucking five.


“Calm your tits,” says Dawn. “After all, he is coming back from Australia or somewhere.”

Turns out Geoffrey’s been on holiday without them again. He does this sometimes. Once he went on a narrowboat holiday, and left Bungle in charge. Amazingly, an international crisis hadn’t been declared by the end of the week. And there was the time he went to the fair without them. There was no reason given for this, so we can assume it was for one of the following reasons:

1: They don’t allow nudity at the fair
2: Bungle’s still banned from the Ghost Train after “the incident”
3: Geoffrey just wanted an hour away from having to look at them

Anyway, at least this time he’s got a babysitter in, even if it is Dawn and her Casio keyboard.

Dawn explains that, since Geoffrey is coming back by plane, it was irresponsible and wrong of him to say he’d be back at exactly 3.18pm, and if he wasn’t back by that time to assume he’d died.

dawn explains

“Ooh, aeroplanes!” yells Bungle. “I wish I was an aeroplane!” Then he runs round pretending to be what I assume is an aeroplane (a hairyplane?) and runs straight into the table like a div.


“And don’t forget,” says Dawn, “after he gets off the plane he has to catch a train, then a bus.”

And there was me thinking he’d just jump off the plane as it flew over their house.

Where is Bungle’s other eye?

wheres his other eye

Bungle suggests singing a song to pass the time until Geoffrey gets home. “That’s funny,” says Dawn. “I just happened to have my keyboard set up in the corner of the room, like I always fucking do. Don’t worry, I’ve got it set to Bossa Nova.”


They sing some nursery rhymes or something, and then Geoffrey’s back! Turns out he hasn’t been to Australia at all, he’s been on a business trip in the 1930s.

business trip

Geoffrey goes upstairs to unpack. Everyone immediately follows him and starts going through his dirty underpants. Geoffrey wishes he’d stayed in Australia.


After tea, Bungle, Zippy and George want to play ‘travelling’.

“Come on Geoffrey, you’ve been back from your round the world trip for 27 minutes now, that’s plenty of time to get over your jet lag. Build us a coach out of the half a dozen giant boxes we just happen to have lying around.”


Dawn comes back in. “If you’re going on holiday, you’re going to need someone with a Bossa Nova Button.”

“Fuck off Dawn, there’s no room for you. You can run behind the coach and push us if we get stuck at Knutsford services.”

“Don’t be like that,” says Dawn. “You might need someone you can sell for a camel.”

“Fine, you can come with us, but one sniff of Casio keyboard and we’re turfing you out.”

coach 2

“How long’s it going to take us to get to the seaside Geoffrey?”

“In this coach? About an hour and a half Zippy.”

Are they seriously just going to sit in those boxes for an hour and a half?

“Can’t you drive any faster?” asks Bungle, in a rare moment of sanity.

“No, it wouldn’t be safe.”

I’m pretty sure that Geoffrey could make his pretend box coach go at a million miles an hour, and they wouldn’t crash. He’s just being awkward.

“If you want to go faster, we’ll have to turn the coach into a train,” says Geoffrey. “But I’m just going to audition for Dexy’s Midnight Runners first.”


Then that bit stops, because it’s been over an hour since Dawn got her Bossa Nova button out, and she’s fucked if she’s going to put up with that.

Hang on, I’ve just noticed the table’s back. Where the hell did they put it while they were doing their pretend coach thing?

keyboard 2

They sing a song about… wait for it… travelling. There’s probably a “choo choo” or something in there, I don’t know, I wasn’t listening properly.

And here we leave the Rainbow gang for another day. To finish, a screenshot of Geoffrey realising he could have stayed in Australia but didn’t. And now he has to be back in the UK where people don’t know how to use cashpoints.


Diary of an 80s teenager part 11: The biggest loser

Diary of an 80s teenager part 11: The biggest loser

In last week’s instalment, A MAN DIED AT SCHOOL, but S was more concerned with going to Bangor and buying shoes. This part carries on with the ‘Let’s only concentrate on the quite dull stuff that happened’ theme, and our heroine gets a suntan, but only on her hands…



“Woke 12.40 (ridiculous). After dinner, went to Menai Bridge, got my Guy comic. Came back, watched film, ‘Rose Of Washington Square’. Started knitting waistcoat. Watched Coronation Street & Minder.”


“Woke 10.40 (better). Had salad for dinner again. Went to library. Watched telly. After tea, salad again, went on bike with Maggs and Daren. Watched Simon & Simon, and Dallas Or Bust (F).”


“Woke up 10.40. Had dinner, salad again. Went to Bangor, got Madness single, Kim, and bag. (I have no idea what Kim is.) Maggie left me in Bangor. Knitted waistcoat. Auntie Ann and Uncle Tom came. Watched C. Street, Falcon Crest, and Butterflies.”

This is what a salad looked like in 1982:

80s salad


“Woke up 12.10. Had salad for dinner. Did some needlework catching up, went to Sharon’s, saw her kitten. Washed hair, went to Milburns disco, saw Brock. (!) Bethan went out with a bloke on C.B.”

C.B.? Please mean one of these, because they’re mega:



“Woke up 10.00. Went to Kwiks. Had pork pie and banana yoghurt for dinner. (Infinitely better than salad.) Went to Nain’s, used Quick Tan on my hands. Watched funny film. Tan turned out lovely. Went out on bike, watched Fall Guy in Maggie’s. Went 35 times round green. Watched Cagney & Lacey.”

“Tan turned out lovely.”



“Woke up 11.40. Went to Bangor. Got top. Went to DEINIOLEN.”

Please stop going to that place I can’t spell! And why are you now shouting it?


“Went to church, had Sunday dinner. Went to Maggie’s garden to sunbathe. TRAIN STRIKE OVER.”



“Woke up 8.30. Went to Rhyl on train. Went rollerskating. Went on beach to sunbathe, then went round shops. Got 5.50 train home, changed in junction. Watched C. Street. Started doing exercises. Watched Minder.”


“Woke up 10.40, went out on bike. Recorded One Step for Daren. Did exercises all afternoon. After tea went to Mandy’s to get her needlework books. Then went to Maggie’s. She put make up on me. Saw Tony in Beaumaris.”

TONY! Can’t remember if we’re supposed to like you or not by this point, but oh well.


“Woke up 11.30. Had tomatoes for dinner. (What, just tomatoes?) Did exercises all afternoon. Had chop & spaghetti for tea. Did exercises again. Mam didn’t feel well. Watched C. Street & Butterflies.”

How does someone even do exercises “all afternoon”?

2015-06-19 11.56.51


“Woke up 9.30. Mam surprised me by saying we’d go to Llandudno. Had a lovely day, got shoes & wool. Mam felt better. Went to Milburns. Lent Maggie’s clothes. Had bath.”


“Woke up 9.30, went to vet with Blackie, saw gorgeous vet. Went to Kwiks, and Nain’s, was on Lon Mor all afternoon. Went on bike 50 times round green, watched Magnum, and On The Line.”


“Woke up 10.50. Went to Llandudno with T.C.”



“Went to church. Packed to go on holiday. Had a bath.”

Join me next time for a special holiday edition, followed by a marked drop in the quality of our heroine’s output.