The shit stops of Playdays

The shit stops of Playdays

On the way home the other day, I saw a lollipop sign casually leaning against a house.

Of course, it occurred to me to steal the lollipop sign. I am only human. But then I thought about all those poor starving orphans who wouldn’t be able to cross the road.

I also started thinking about Playdays.

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I remember three things about Playdays:

1. The Why Bird Stop

2. That northern kid who went “Where does it gerrr?”

3. The name of the show was always changing. I only remember three of the show’s 11,000 names – Playbus, Playdays and Playboy.

I had a Twitter conversation about Playdays, and most people agreed that the Whybird Stop was the place to be. All other stops were shit, and you might as well have been watching Spender.

Were they right about Whybird being the best stop? Are all my Twitter followers just weird morons? I don’t know, and yes.

Let’s have a look. Continue reading “The shit stops of Playdays”

Watching an episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

I’m quite late to the party with this one, but never let it be said that I have my finger on the pulse.

I never knew there was so much joy to be had in watching a squashed blonde man calling rice a bastard. But someone decided to make a whole show of this concept, and the result was Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

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Gordon Ramsay goes into people’s restaurants and tells them their restaurants are inedible. I think the people have invited him to their restaurants, otherwise it would be a bit weird. One time I saw a woman shouting in McDonalds that they were a load of shit, but the police arrived and took away her car keys. This doesn’t happen to Gordon Ramsay in the episodes I’ve seen so far.

Ramsay is in a restaurant owned by some builders. He decides to immediately test them by ordering made up food like ‘filet mignon’. These are not names of real food, real food is called burgers and stuff. He wouldn’t be able to pull this sass in McDonalds in West Bromwich, which is where the mad lady from earlier has the upper hand on him.

Gordon Ramsay doesn’t appear to like food very much. I think he might be on a diet. He keeps trying to eat food, but then he spits it out before calling everyone a fucker. I do this sometimes, but I think it’s rude to do it with other people’s cooking. Continue reading “Watching an episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares”

The various mental stages of an 18 hour Peppa Pig marathon

Recently I had to watch every episode of Peppa Pig that has ever been made. This was in order to compile a list of all Miss Rabbit’s jobs, for this article.

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To date there have been 213 episodes made, including a Halloween special, a 10 minute Christmas Special, and the 15 minute cinema special Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots.

1080 minutes, or something approaching 18 hours.

There isn’t a full IMDB list for Miss Rabbit, surprisingly, so I watched all the episodes while drinking 39,734 cups of tea. This is because I am a hard hitting journalist, and in no way an idiot and a div.

I thought you might be interested to share my gradual mental breakdown with me, so I made notes as I went along. It’s surprisingly hard to make notes while you’re stuffing food in your face, swearing at the TV, crying, and trying to put your legs behind your head out of boredom, all at once. But I managed, because I am good. You haven’t done this, stop judging me. Continue reading “The various mental stages of an 18 hour Peppa Pig marathon”

Zipman and Bungle Lannister: Geeky episodes of Rainbow

Spoiler alert: this post contains spoilers for Rainbow. If you’re not up to date with Rainbow, you should probably go back and catch up on all 37,000 episodes before reading. And you see Bungle naked a bit.

The following episodes aren’t really Rainbow canon (if there is such a thing as sodding Rainbow canon. I need to go outside). I imagine Rainbow canon consists solely of something like George can’t find his jigsaw puzzle. Occasionally, the Rainbow gang would break away from this pattern and give us a nerdy homage to something like Superman or Star Trek. No I’m not joking, and no I haven’t been drinking Cillit Bang again, these episodes are real things. Allow me to demonstrate:

Batman: Zipman And Bobbin

You know this episode is going to be good right from the start, because Zippy jumps out of a box and makes Bungle shit himself. How did Zippy get in that box?

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Whatever. George joins Zippy in the box, and we take a disturbing dip into their imagination as they become ‘Zipman’ and ‘Bobbin the Boy Blunder’. Although I would have called him ‘George the killjoy who doesn’t understand jokes’.

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In a surprising twist, Geoffrey makes a bloody awesome Joker, although Bungle has made less of an effort, choosing to just be naked apart from a newspaper.

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For god’s sake Bungle, can’t you even make an effort when you’re being a Batman villain? The fact that this is all Zippy’s imagination and you have nothing to do with it is a poor excuse.

‘Joker Geoffrey’ and ‘Sourface Bungle’ have stolen all the jokes in the world so no one has anything to laugh at. Really, they should just follow me on Twitter if they want to avoid jokes. This works a bit, but they are foiled when, in an unorthodox twist, Zipman orders Bungle to fondle Geoffrey until he laughs.

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Superman : Super Bungle 

I think they chose Superman over Spider-Man because A) can you imagine Bungle in that Spider-Man lycra thing, and B) the name ‘Spider-Bungle’ is possibly too terrifying for 3 year olds to cope with. Whatever the reason, 1990 saw Bungle donning the over-underpants and the red cape to do battle with the evil Zipoid and his henchman, Mr Geoffrey.

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Zipoid wants all the toys in the world. This is ok, because apparently there are only about 30 toys in the entire world. That window is painted on.

It’s not exactly the computer bit from Superman 3, but it’s scary enough when you’re a small child. This shit terrified me back then:

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Mr Geoffrey uses ‘Bungleite’ to freeze Super Bungle to the spot so he can’t interfere. However, this magically doesn’t stop Super Bungle being able to talk. He orders George to get rid of the Bungleite Mr Geoffrey left behind; George does so, once he’s finished repeating Bungle’s orders back to him infuriatingly slowly.

Naturally Super Bungle saves the day. He does this by threatening Zipoid with… with… well I’m not sure what he’s threatening to do, but if I was Zipoid I wouldn’t want him to do it until he’d washed his hands. Bonus points for “YOU FOOL!”

If you want further mature and academic discussion about this episode, go here.

Star Trek: Outer Space

Zippy and George are manning the Bridge, Rod, Jane and Freddy are dicking about in a crater somewhere, and Bungle is a fat hairy Captain Kirk. I think Geoffrey is Uhura.

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I don’t know where they got the money for all that hi-tech equipment, like tin foil. Oh wait, they don’t have money on Star Trek do they? Whatever they use to pay for things then. Ivory?

Look at all the fancy Trek gear they have. For a start they have transporters, meaning they can make Bungle go be annoying somewhere else.

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They also have those bicycle things you get at Butlins in the 80s (shown above), and a telescope. Which Bungle isn’t even using properly.

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The plot is that they go for a day out in space. A day out. During which, Rod Jane and Freddy get into an argument with an alien because they’ve been littering, Geoffrey and Bungle get a flat tyre, and George questions the ethical ramifications of teaching Vulcans to feel love.

Game Of Thrones: King For A Day

People who have trouble equating Rainbow with Game Of Thrones have clearly never seen Bungle doing kinging.

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In this episode, Geoffrey has travelled on foot to Bungle’s kingdom, to plead for the life of Rod Jane and Freddy, who have been found guilty of conspiring to hide the storybook. Zippy, playing Tyrion, sits there taking the piss. In the end, Bungle orders Rod Jane and Freddy to be torn apart by dragons.

Back in the real world, King Bungle has actually ordered Zippy to make him some jam tarts. Then Jane turns up, who for some reason is now obese. She wants to knob King Bungle and eat his jam tarts.

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Also, in keeping with Game Of Thrones lore, and also with Bungle lore, Bungle is mostly naked.

It is my considered opinion that George rrrr Martin got the idea for Game Of Thrones from this episode. If he wants to sue me over this point, he’d have to read this blog first. Let’s face it, I think that’s unlikely to happen.

80s and 90s doll adverts: magic piss and Travelodge Barbie

I’m a girl, and as such I only like miniature versions of myself that piss and shit. Given this information, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of adverts for creepy, dead-eyed Uncanny Valley residents were aimed at me.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love dolls. Dolls don’t answer back, unless I’ve been drinking. I also love doll adverts, even though the majority are unrealistic. Doll adverts should show the doll taking part in a re-creation of some episode of Brookside that you watched with your parents and didn’t fully understand. At the very least, they should show Barbies in their natural state – naked and scribbled on with all their hair cut off.

Whatever. Let’s have a look at children who are not me playing with dolls correctly, courtesy of a bunch of random adverts I found. Continue reading “80s and 90s doll adverts: magic piss and Travelodge Barbie”

Bras, Mr T and lighting farts: Rubbish PSAs

Hello. I hope you don’t fall into a silage pit while reading this, or climb up a pylon and get electrocuted. I would be sad.

Horror movies? Please. The seminal series 999 starring Michael Buerke? No, although that was shit-your-pants scary too.

These are nothing compared to public service announcements.

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PSAs back in the day made all manner of things simultaneously terrifying and tempting. As kids, we’d never have thought to do most of these things, but suddenly there were adverts announcing that pylon climbing or farm messing about were real things, which we could do, if we were so inclined. Of course, they went on to say that the outcome of these activities was DEATH, so they should never be attempted.

Balls to that; my friends and I took great pleasure in attempting to recreate these adverts to prove we were hard. Having said that, we also thought we were being hard by walking past the “haunted bungalow” on our estate. It was only haunted because the people had moved out and left some furniture behind. Continue reading “Bras, Mr T and lighting farts: Rubbish PSAs”

Rod Jane and Julian and Christopher: Musical groups in Rainbow

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Would it surprise you if I said I felt like writing about Rainbow? Of course it bloody wouldn’t. Have you met me? Actually you probably haven’t met me, but you get the idea.

Rainbow wasn’t just middle aged men dicking about. It was also full of music, performed by middle aged groups who liked to dick about. Where would we be now if we hadn’t been party to songs about shapes and the postal service? Probably in prison, that’s where. Continue reading “Rod Jane and Julian and Christopher: Musical groups in Rainbow”

The Shoe People and the mythical episode 4

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The other night, the mister and I decided to sit in bed watching 80s kids classics. Among the episodes of Trap Door and Bertha, we found The Shoe People. Fucking hell is what I will say for now.

There are lots of episodes available on Youtube, and the whole series can be found on Amazon Prime, if you’re mental enough to want to watch it. Incidentally, episode 4 costs £1.89 for you view it on Amazon Prime, and many people have. This makes me wonder what’s so special about episode 4:

prime episode 4 Continue reading “The Shoe People and the mythical episode 4”

Bertha: a lovely machine

Since I’m still getting the hang of WordPress, and have no desire to add to my stress levels, I’m going to stick to writing about something I actually like. So today I shall be looking at Bertha, who is a lovely machine.

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Running for 13 episodes in the mid 80s, Bertha also has one of the most passionate and heartfelt theme tunes ever written. The man who sings it is genuinely in love with Bertha, the massive weirdo. He summons up a level of enthusiasm normally reserved for singing about ladies who are maniacs on the floor.

It’s also worth pointing out that Bertha was the inspiration behind How It’s Made. I think.

Bertha is a show about a 3D printer that lives in a factory with a load of workshy, overpaid layabouts. Since the factory workers have a 3D printer, this somehow means they don’t have to do any work at all, yet they remain on the payroll for some reason. Lets have a look at the idle fops:

Roy

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I guess I can cut Roy some slack, as he’s the 15 year old work experience kid and general dogsbody, therefore the others make him do all the running around, which Bertha can’t do on account of not having any legs. Appears to be pissed out of his tree judging by his eyes. I do not blame him.

Ted

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Ostensibly a computer programmer, Ted is nothing of the sort. He just types “go” or “lol” or something into Bertha’s keypad, then sits back while she makes the wrong thing in the wrong size because he was too busy being on Facebook. Also pissed. Possibly shares his booze with Roy.

Nell and Flo

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The woman ones. One of them “packs”, the other one “stacks”, and I’m fucked if I can remember who does what. They also have a robot that packs and stacks for them, meaning they can sit around and make words come out of their fat lazy carcasses. And they drink tea. Actually no, they drink gin judging by the state of them. In fact, everyone in this factory drinks gin. They get free gin instead of getting paid.

Panjit

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Forklift driver and token ethnic minority. I’m not sure which country Panjit’s supposed to be from. I would have a stab at India, but thanks to Roy Kinnear doing the voice his accent is more Welsh than Indian, and that’s when he remembers to have an accent.

Mr Duncan

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I hate Mr Duncan. Out of all the nothing that gets done in the factory, Mr Duncan does the most nothing of all. He is the foreman, otherwise known as the supervisor, otherwise known as the man who stands there tutting to make it look like he’s doing something. Having a clipboard is no excuse. Also, he hides:

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I also hate Mr Duncan because he’s constantly looking for ways to make life worse for his worker drones. He does things like banning tea breaks and disapproving if anyone ever figures out a slightly fun way of getting their work done. Mr Duncan won’t be happy until all the workers are dead. DEAD.

Jarvis Cocker and Tracy

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I can’t remember Jarvis Cocker’s name, but he and Tracy work upstairs in the design office, meaning they have degrees and don’t want to associate with the riff raff downstairs. They use set squares. Tracy is the more talented of the two, because she designed TOM, who I’ll get to in a minute. Tracy is that woman with the UNIX book out of Wayne’s World 2.

Mr Willmake and Miss McClackerty

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Nominative determinism at work right there. The top bollocks boss and his typist respectively. It took me a while to get the McClackerty thing, mostly because I wasn’t paying attention until around episode 5. Also, I know she’s stood on the table with her fanny out, but that’s not normally what she does.

There’s a tea lady, but she’s boring and I can’t remember her name. Mrs T?

TOM (Talk Operated Machine)

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Tom is my absolute favourite character in this show. Bertha does not count as a character, because she is an inanimate 3D printer. Tom is a robot designed to ‘help’ around the factory (do everyone’s work for them). What Tom actually does is fuck things up then cheer. I love him.

The video below is one of many classic Tom moments. Others include shutting a garage door in Panjit’s face then cheering, attempting to have sex with a vending machine, and losing his shit and vibrating for half an hour because he got a magnet stuck to him.

A typical day in the Bertha factory involves making around 9 items, of which precisely 3 are any good. The rest are the wrong size, or are missing a piece, or they explode. The main plot usually revolves around trying to rectify this oversight. This can’t happen until everyone in the factory has stopped work for about an hour.

Personally, Bertha looks like she runs on steam and Windows XP, and if the factory had any sense they’d get rid of her. Harsh but true. However, it doesn’t really matter since the factory only ever has one order at a time, and that’s for something ridiculous like 14 inflatable bears. I don’t know how any of them get paid.

If you’ve never seen Bertha, watch it before you next go to work. I guarantee you’ll spend the next working day sat around doing nothing, claiming that “It’s ok, I sent Tom to do it.” Even if you work in air traffic control, or you’re the Prime Minister. The moral of the show is ‘Why do it yourself when you can make someone else do it, and sit around drinking gin?’ That’s an admirable lesson.