Rainbow episode review: Debbie Does Rainbow

Since next week is the annual tossfest known as Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write about the one where Zippy has a crush on a woman and wants to have sex with her.

It isn’t only humans who enjoy the act of mashing genitals together then crying – puppets do too. I’m not sure how the mechanics of it would work, since Zippy appears to stop at the waist. However, this might just be a common misconception. For all we know, this could be Zippy any time he steps out from behind the table:


The point is that he wants to have sex with a human woman, and this episode explores the conflicting emotions created by a one sided human/puppet romance.

It also teaches the young me that it’s ok to have a crush on Fred Savage from The Wonder Years, and that it’s ok to write to him even if your big sister says your letter’s crap and he’ll hate it.

As a bonus, we get Rod being extra suave.

We begin with Zippy watching the object of his affection – Debbie off Children’s ITV. My first thought was ‘why is one of his hands under the table’, but then I remembered he’s only got one arm. Crisis averted, and now I’m ashamed of myself.


Debbie and the other one (Roger?) are showing off the drawings sent in by viewers. Zippy starts shouting at the TV, calling all the pictures “shit”. Exactly why he thinks 6 year old Timmy’s picture of a cat is a threat to his chances with Debbie is never explained. Zippy also hates Roger, and is convinced he’ll be boning Debbie as soon as they cut to Rosie & Jim.

Bungle comes in and turns the TV off without asking, the fat hairy fuck.


“Bungle I was watching that! Turn it back on!”

“No I want to play a game!”

“All right then, let’s play that game where I pull all the hair out of your crotch.”

Later on, Zippy’s making a card for Debbie, which he’s going to send in to Children’s ITV. Only Debbie is allowed to read it out – it’s got a special chemical on it that means if Roger touches it, he dies. Geoffrey thinks this is a smashing idea.


Zippy’s also written a poem for Debbie:

“My darling Debbie,
I’m glad you’re not plebby,
Not like that Jane
Who’s knocking off Freddy.”

Geoffrey helps him write it down and they get it ready to post, stopping only to include some of Geoffrey’s pubes because “he had some spare”.

Imagine feeling all romantic, and wanting to be in bed with the woman of your dreams, and instead you have to put up with this:


Bungle discovers that Zippy’s been keeping this in the bed:


Later on we’ll find out he’s also been making a life size effigy of Debbie using toenail clippings and soap. It’s a slow process, as I don’t think he has toenails.

Anyway, this leads to a session of general ribbing:

“Zippy’s in love!”

“Zippy’s a stalker!”

“Come on Zippy, what have you done with the body?”

When they get bored with that they instantly go to sleep, leaving Zippy to have a dream about Debbie.


In the dream, Debbie sits there like a North Korean propaganda machine, telling Zippy he’s wonderful. Zippy replies “Yes, I know,” making him the natural choice to take over when Jeremy Kyle retires.

My god, can you imagine that.

A few days later, Debbie’s reading Zippy’s poem out on TV!


But that’s old news, because now Zippy’s writing a song for her. I’ll be honest, it’s not very good. Songs normally have tunes.

Zippy’s going to need some help with this song. If only he knew some songwriters who lived in his kitchen.


Jane still looks mad about that poem he wrote.

As luck would have it, Rod, Jane and Freddy are able to instantly come up with a fully produced song, complete with Casio keyboard backing track.

I promised you Rod looking suave:


The next day, Geoffrey calls Zippy, George and Bungle into the living room. Whatever for?

Incidentally, I paused it on this bit that looks like Geoffrey has his balls out for no reason.


Geoffrey’s got a surprise for them (not his balls). Zippy’s not listening; he’s pissed off because Debbie’s not on TV at the moment, so he’ll have to fall back on that sock puppet he made of her. He launches into a heartfelt monologue about how Debbie would totally drop her knickers for him if she met him.

“You’d all see – she’d think I was wonderful…”


“…and I’d be so handsome, and strong, and I’d talk to her, and…”

“Hi Zippy.”


Oh, spoiler alert – Geoffrey’s arranged for Debbie to come round and meet Zippy.

Zippy’s reaction is 100% understandable. Way to go ruining his chances Geoffrey, you insensitive prick. When Zippy talked about meeting her, I assume he meant in a cocktail bar, with him being some James Bond type in a suit. Not as an act of charity, and especially not with Bungle looking on. The only thing that would make her less likely to go out with him now is if he was wearing a big badge with ‘COMPETITION WINNER’ written on it.

Bungle puts the final nail in the coffin by actively pointing and laughing at Zippy. Zippy – if you didn’t pull Bungle’s pubes out before, I strongly urge you to do so now.

But Debbie saves the day by saying “Just ignore that fat wheelbarrow of failure Zippy, no one likes him and he’ll die a virgin.” That’ll learn him.


Zippy gets it together enough to be able to sing his song for Debbie, which is a lot better since Rod’s intervention. And then, in a final mindfuck, Debbie invites Zippy onto Children’s ITV with her, and Zippy goes mental at the thought of getting to be on TV. This is despite the fact that he’s on TV five days a week.

To reinforce this point, we get to see a bit of Zippy presenting Children’s ITV with Debbie, where he says – “Don’t forget to watch me in Rainbow!” There is an advert for Zippy’s show behind Debbie. I don’t know what to believe any more.


Also, I never did send that letter to Fred Savage. I mean, I could do now, but it would be a bit weird and I don’t really want to.

Rainbow episode review: Apocalypse Now

In this episode, Geoffrey has finally lost his shit, and now he doesn’t care whether he lives or dies.

How do I know this? He’s letting Bungle do DIY.


Today’s pop quiz –

Will Bungle:

A) Create a black hole which swallows up the house

B) Accidentally piss off the Chinese

C) Travel back in time and stop himself being born

If you’re playing along at home, the answer will be revealed at the end.

Bungle has decided to wallpaper the bedroom. Geoffrey has agreed to let him do this unsupervised. Having Zippy and George in the room laughing at him does not count as supervision.


For now, let’s just ignore the fact that Bungle is about eight years old, and prone to bungling. You never know, he might not immediately set fire to the walls and himself. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bungle gets his shit together and prepares to start. That doesn’t look like the best place to keep that bucket. I’m sure he has his reasons.

Zippy, as usual, is the voice of reason:

“The fuck are you doing Bungle? Are you trying to get us all killed? This is a bad idea and you know it.”

As if to prove Zippy’s point, Bungle attempts to measure the wall and immediately falls over.


I know how Bungle feels – I once punched myself in the face trying to open a packet of crisps.

Geoffrey comes in to help. I’m not sure how he’s helping.


After 17 attempts to measure the wallpaper, during which Bungle hilariously lets his end of the paper go, the gang inexplicably haven’t killed him. Also, that bucket is still there. I know it’s going to fall over and possibly explode at some point. This is gripping.

To be fair to Bungle, it is going to be hard to paper those weird round walls.


Zippy manages to hold the wallpaper steady despite having half the amount of hands Bungle has. I’m not sure of the maths, but I think this doubles Bungle’s humiliation.

Bungle cuts the paper with ’round ended scissors’. The fucking state of it:


The cracks in Bungle’s veneer of ability really begin to show, however, when he realises that not only has he cut the wallpaper too short, but that it’s also the wrong wallpaper.

The wrong fucking wallpaper.

How did he not notice this before? And what is this other paper even doing here? Bungle’s wallpaper is supposed to be white with animals on it. The only explanation for this is that Bungle went to fetch his wallpaper, saw this roll, which looks nothing like the paper he’s meant to be using, and thought ‘Yes, this is my animal print wallpaper. It looks exactly right.’


Stop looking so fucking proud Bungle, you idiot.

Maybe Bungle’s blind and has just never thought to tell anyone. That would explain a lot of his bungling. It would also explain how he reads comics.

They get the right paper and try again. This time, Bungle decides not to bother measuring it, and to just make it twice the length of the wall. That will work.


Geoffrey goes to do some painting, leaving Bungle alone to start putting the wallpaper up. Geoffrey, how many times do you have to be told that leaving Bungle to do anything is inadvisable? If I were Geoffrey, I’m not entirely sure I’d trust Bungle to remember to breathe.

Bungle immediately forgets what he’s supposed to be doing and starts flicking wallpaper paste at Zippy.


I told you this would happen Geoffrey.

In an unorthodox move, Geoffrey declares that “Bungle’s going a really good job”. We can assume from this that the last decorators they hired actually killed people.

Now it’s time to stick the first bit of wallpaper up.

“Now Bungle, it’s not as easy as it looks…”

“Shut up Geoffrey, I can do it.”

“Are you sure?…”

“Yes Geoffrey.”


“No Geoffrey.”

Geoffrey does a face that says ‘Why didn’t I take that job handling nuclear waste when I had the chance.’


Geoffrey starts painting the door. When he wants to switch colours, he orders Zippy to pass him a brush with paint already on it, despite being half a foot away from the brushes. The lazy sod.

Zippy bollockses up this task, I suspect on purpose.


Serves you right Geoffrey.

Cut to later, and Bungle’s nearly finished wallpapering.


How has he not noticed that it’s upside down? Seriously. He’s being all proud and making sex noises because he’s so good, when he is no such thing.

Even when Zippy points out that part of it is upside down, Bungle tries to insist that it isn’t. I really should make a joke about ‘alternative facts’ here.

Anyway, Bungle seems to have done an ok job if you don’t count the upside down bit. Maybe he won’t cause the apocalypse after all.

The phone rings. Geoffrey goes to answer it, only to find the door isn’t there any more.


Bungle, of course, has papered over the door. I presume he did this while Geoffrey was out of the room, otherwise Geoffrey would have stopped him. But Geoffrey must have been in the room because how would he have got back in? Which means that Geoffrey stood there and watched him paper over the door. The universe is broken.

Speaking of which, did anybody work out the answer to the pop quiz? That’s right – that missed phone call was the Chinese calling to ask if they wanted to do a war. Since they didn’t answer, the Chinese took it as a yes.

I’ll leave you with this screenshot, which I couldn’t fit in earlier but looks funny.


Rainbow episode review: A plague on both your houses

This episode is all about having a shit day. It’s a good episode, because it teaches kids that ‘your life will be nothing but problems’.

Geoffrey is minding his own business in bed.


This is a good start to the day. I always find being unconscious is an excellent way to avoid problems. However, can any eagle-eyed readers spot what Geoffrey’s doing wrong?

That’s right, he’s forgotten to lock Bungle out of the house.


Because of Geoffrey’s mistake, he’s woken up by Bungle coming in and standing over him like a hairy sex pest.

“Hi Geoffrey.”

“Bungle what the fuck are you doing?”

“I thought I’d come and see why you haven’t been in to wake us up.”

“What? Well clearly I didn’t fucking need to did I?”

Geoffrey’s slept through his alarm. IT’S NINE O CLOCK! The gang are going to be late for sitting there doing fuck all like they always do. Bungle tells Geoffrey: “We were awake and heard the alarm but did nothing about it because you hadn’t woken us up.”


At this point Geoffrey is debating whether to just go back to sleep for the rest of his life.

What do you think? Should Geoffrey:

A) Pretend to be in a coma for the next five years
B) Get up even though he’s clearly cursed today

Whoops, Geoffrey selects B. He gets up and immediately pulls the curtain off the window. Also the stock market collapses and the Daily Express predicts the coldest winter for 500 years, which has something to do with Diana.


Maybe they’ll all feel better once they go downstairs for breakfast. Geoffrey’s got as far as putting some socks on before deciding that’s all the getting dressed he can be arsed with today. I don’t think the others are in any position to judge him for not getting dressed.


Ok, let’s have some breakfast. Holy shit, they’ve got a box of that Teddy Bix they’re always going on about. I always thought that was a made up cereal. But if Teddy Bix is real, why are they always going to the trouble of having ‘Rainbow puffs’, or ‘Rainbow flakes’, or some other stupid lying cereal?


Oh dear, the box is empty. George tells Geoffrey that he was supposed to get some more when he went shopping.

“Hang on George, you were supposed to remind me.”

“No Geoffrey, you were supposed to remind me to remind you.”

“Shut up George, I’m never buying any food ever again, how about that.”

After breakfast, Bungle is entrusted with taking all the stuff back to the kitchen. There is, predictably, a huge crash from the kitchen. I’ve put Geoffrey’s reaction in the form of a lovely photo montage:


Now then. As with any good story, there’s a massive event that causes conflict, and the hero’s quest, or something. In this episode, the big huge event is that Auntie’s coming round for tea. The way they’re all going on about it, I think Auntie has promised to break their legs next time she comes round.

Bungle decides to paint a picture for Auntie. Presumably his plan is ‘Auntie will see this picture and realise how shit we are at everything, then she’ll feel sorry for us and not break our legs’.


Also, Zippy’s broken his finger and has a massive bandage on it. He doesn’t explain how this happened, and it is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN.

And then, as if their whole existence isn’t cursed enough already, they can’t find the story book, which means they can’t have a story. Fucking hell.

Somehow they manage not to injure themselves, get sued or die while tidying up ready for Auntie. Still no word on how Zippy broke his finger.


Instead of Auntie, we get Jane wandering in uninvited.

“I’m looking for Rod and Freddy, have you seen them?”

“Try the kitchen, that’s where you three fucking live.”

Geoffrey’s face.


Jane goes away, and is replaced with Freddy, looking for Rod and Jane. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that we’ll also get Rod, looking for Jane and Freddy.

Boom. I shall dine out on this victory for years to come.


While all this has been going on, the gang have become increasingly worried about Auntie, who still hasn’t turned up. Since the Rod/Jane/Freddy thing only lasted 30 seconds, we can assume that Auntie is only 30 seconds late.

The phone rings. “Ooh, I wonder who that is?” says George. You know those ‘Scratch 3 symbols off then phone this 0900 number to see what you’ve won’ things? George is exactly the sort of person they’re aimed at.

Geoffrey plays the phone call like an Eldorado cliffhanger: “What’s that Auntie? It’s not my baby? Also she’s taken all the money and gone back to Leeds with Alan from the burger van? Madre de dios!”


In reality, it’s that they’ve all got their days wrong, and that Auntie is actually coming round tomorrow. Geoffrey blames this oversight on the house being cursed.

George drops another bombshell: “Have you forgotten Geoffrey? Auntie can’t come round tomorrow – we’re going out!”

Geoffrey’s face: “Oh this is getting fucking ridiculous now. I should have chosen the fake coma.”


Geoffrey tries to phone Auntie back, but it’s engaged. Ok Geoffrey, even I’m starting to think you’re being a bit melodramatic.


The gang all agree that this is just a shit day all round, and that the house is cursed. Then they just kind of sit around and laugh. Zippy’s finger injury is never explained.

So what have we learned today? Sometimes it’s better to stay in bed and fake being in a coma. Don’t bother doing anything ever because it will just go wrong. Zippy’s in trouble with the Mafia. Geoffrey’s been watching too much reality TV.


16 memories of old technology

Hello. The other night I couldn’t sleep, mostly due to my depression and the inevitability of death. So to cheer myself up, I compiled a mental list of old electronics and assorted bric a brac (mental as in ‘in my head’, not ‘insane’. To tell the truth, it was both).

Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

My dad’s Psion Organiser


I used it more than he did, because it had a cartridge with a game on it. In the days before having any friends or interests, I loved that game. A thing would move around the screen and you had to stop it, I think.

Also, endless fun to be had from the ‘Lang’, ‘Calc’ and ‘Diary’ functions. No one needed the fucking internet back then.

Bright orange headphones


Nothing says ‘I’m cool as hell’ more than having ginger biscuits taped to your ears while you listen to Five Star.

Wanting an electronic typewriter because I wanted to be like Snoopy


Never mind the fact that Snoopy never had an electronic typewriter. But fuck that, because I knew that if a dog could make a fortune writing ‘It was a dark and stormy night’, then I could make a fortune writing the shit I write now. I was very wrong.

Spelling out ‘BOOBIES’ on a calculator


Never gets old. Somehow, typing out ‘BOOBIES’ in MS Word doesn’t have quite the same rebellious appeal.

Bossa Nova button


See also: Marimba, Big Band 4, Clavichord.

My Discman skipping every time the car went over a bump


Or – my Radiohead albums being ruined by going over speed bumps near Worksop. Rock ‘n’ roll.

Video Library fake books


Who exactly were these people they were trying to fool? “Oh, You have loads of books! I love books, let me examine them. A ha, I see you have the entire works of Video Library, that well known author.” No. This was for people who were ashamed of the fact that they liked to watch loads of Minder.

Being desperate for a pocket TV


So I could watch ‘forbidden’ TV like American Gladiators, while hiding under the quilt. The fact that I had the black and white portable TV in my bedroom, and fell asleep at about 9 p.m., spoiled this sense of mystique.

People with ghetto blasters


If you saw one, you were to run away immediately, because they were hard and a ‘no good punk’. You never saw one though, because you lived in Doncaster.

Cassette carousels


For easy access to tapes such as ‘Baby Come Back’ by UB40 and Pato Banton, Gala’s ‘Freed From Desire’, and my dad’s Shadows albums.

Woolworths singles


See above. Also, I think we can all agree on how horrified we were to buy ‘Spaceman’ by Babylon Zoo, only to discover that the song was lying to us.

It is now safe to turn off your computer


It has never been safe since, which is why I don’t dare come off Twitter or stupid crap slots games. Ever.

Messing about with the video like you have a clue what’s going on


As if you dicking about with the ‘Dub’ and ‘Edit’ buttons did anything at all, apart from make the video recorder go off.





Surprisingly little exists about PlayJam, the competitor to Sky Games. I mean, it might do now, but I couldn’t be bothered to look. Contained brilliantly addictive games like ‘Outpatients’, ‘Nutz’, and ‘Bok’.

Honourable mention – Challenge TV red button games, which included ‘String ‘Em In’ and ‘Tactiles’. More information on Playjam/Challenge Games is always welcome.

Renting Mega Drive games


Every week a guy came round, and we’d rent Space Jam, Ecco The Dolphin or similar from him. My parents wouldn’t buy me any permanent games because I was rubbish at them. Take they typical conversation I had with my mum or dad every time the guy came to take the cartridges back and I hadn’t finished:

“Never mind, you might get that last jump next time.”

“No, because you turned the TV over to Brookside when I was just about to finally do it for the only time ever, you whore.”

“Bed. Now.”

Trying to see German porn on Sky


On channels like RTL, courtesy of the Astra satellite. Squinting enough always convinced you that you were seeing the sex going on. In reality, you had to make do with the European noises coming from the TV, which you couldn’t even fucking hear anyway, because you had the sound turned down to 1 because your parents were in bed.

Rainbow episode review: Mistletoe and Whining

Well, what fucking japes are we going to get up to this time? Let’s find out.


Zippy and George are drawing various occult symbols on paper and giving us an ‘as you know’ speech:

Zippy: “As you know, it’s nearly Christmas.”

George: “Yes. Geoffrey and Bungle are up in the loft, looking for our Christmas decorations, which I am also aware of.”

Zippy. I too am aware of that. Are you also aware that they are taking an unusually long time finding our Christmas decorations, which they are looking for on account of how it’s nearly Christmas?”

Wait, those occult symbols are actually their Christmas lists. I assume, then, that this is one of those episodes where Zippy and George aren’t old enough to write, but Bungle is somehow old enough to dick about in the loft with Geoffrey.


It also transpires that Bungle put the decorations back in the loft last year, all on his own. I’ve given up trying to figure out how old Bungle is. 37?

The point is that Bungle has somehow lost the Christmas decorations. “I can’t remember where I put them!” he tells Geoffrey. Can we all agree that none of us would really be surprised to discover he stuck them all up his arse.

A rare view of the Rainbow staircase, which looks dangerous, not to mention overgrown:


Geoffrey announces that the Christmas decorations have fucking vanished, and that Christmas is cancelled. George suggests that they could make some Christmas decorations. I suggest that this was all an elaborate plot device. The producers probably hid the Christmas decorations so the gang would be forced to make their own, and it would make for interesting TV. That’s assuming, of course, that Rainbow was some weird Big Brother prototype, rather than a show for 3 year olds.

Bungle gets to work straight away:


Can you guess what the hell Bungle is doing?

“I’m pretending to be a Christmas tree!” he yells, with the hint of mania you’d expect from someone pretending to be a Christmas tree.

Fucking good job Bungle. Just one thing – if this is your contribution to the decorations, does this mean that you are now the actual Christmas tree? As in, you’re going to stand like that until early January? You haven’t thought this through.

Meanwhile, George has cut some holes in the Daily Express.


Even better – apparently Geoffrey did that for him. Geoffrey, you’re so good.

Anyway, what I want to talk about is this:


This is Zippy’s banana snowman, which we can all agree is a genius idea. The others all laugh at him for this; Bungle actually goes as far as to say it’s the silliest thing he’s ever seen, thus proving beyond any doubt that Bungle has never looked in a mirror.

Speaking of which – while all this has been going on, has Bungle been standing in the corner, stubbornly refusing to stop being a Christmas tree?

Later on, Geoffrey is painting that loo roll Christmas tree thing like he’s Bob Ross. I want to know who did that painting of Zippy in a hat.


The doorbell goes.

“Bungle, get the door!”

“I can’t, I’m only 3, I can’t reach the door handle. And anyway, it might be a stranger.”

“For God’s sake Bungle, we’ve just had this conversation. You’re 37. Anyway, if it is a stranger at the door, then I feel sorry for the stranger. Now get the door.”

Oh look it’s their friend John, who just happens to have popped round with a load of old newspapers.


John tells them a story about (would you believe it) making your own Christmas decorations, and he makes them a paper bell garland thing, which shits all over George’s snowflakes covered in headlines about Diana.


Then John just sort of goes away. That’s a shame, I like John. Anyway, George reminds everyone that they’re going to be late for their “carol singing with Rod Jane and Freddy”.

He’s right, because we immediately cut to Rod Jane and Freddy doing a song without them. They are all Victorian. Maybe they’re all in a coma and this is a weird Rainbow/Life on Mars crossover, where they sell chestnuts instead of being the rozzers.


Hey, Freddy looks like he can do that weird thing with his hands where your fingers bend backwards. I can do that – I wonder if we’re related?

Ok, credit to them, the living room does look awesome now, although it would look better with a fat, passive aggressive Christmas tree.


Right, are you ready for the biggest ‘fucking what’ moment of your life?

The only thing missing, as George points out, is a fairy for the top of the Christmas tree (I assume they mean Geoffrey’s Bob Ross loo roll thing).

No problem, says Geoffrey, let’s just magic one out of thin air using Sooty’s magic wand!


As you can see, Freddy’s just had the ‘fucking what’ moment.


Facepalms all round.


Zippy has a sly go with the magic wand, and accidentally turns himself into a Christmas fairy.


“That’ll learn you,” says Geoffrey. “How many times do I have to tell you not to mess about with the occult.”

How they laugh.

I’m going to go lie in a dark room now.

17 out of context pictures from Jackie

The other day I spent a whole sodding morning scanning in some old Jackie annuals. Why is not important. What is important is the scary pictures I found in them.

Because I’m tired and I can’t be arsed to write captions, I present to you – a selection of Jackie pictures with zero context. In my opinion, this makes them better. However, if I were doing captions, I’d suggest ‘Tron for girls’, fanny kicking’, and ‘Steve’.