A word, Timothy.

It’s review time! Regular readers may be surprised to know how long it has been since our last review. Although not half as surprised as us on learning that we have regular readers. But the astonishing fact is that we haven’t reviewed anything since, oh gosh… let’s see now… um… ever. Yes, that’s it: ever. We never reviewed anything.

Well that’s all set to change. In our tireless (and indeed tiresome) bid to stay fresh and vital we hereby introduce our new review section, a handy guide to help you the bewildered consumer weave a sure-footed path through the zeitgeisty mire of modern living. Or something. You can expect piercing insight. A bold, independent voice. You can expect informed critical opinion. Actually, you can expect spiritual epiphany and a selection of fruit chutneys if it make you happy.

But enough preamble. Onward to the amble.

Berwhale t-shirt

Whoever the wilfully demented soul behind the creation of this t-shirt is, I could kiss them. Because despite its popularity at the time, and the subsequent success of its stars, A Bit Of Fry & Laurie is now a relatively unknown and woefully under-appreciated comedy show. (This writer’s favourite, as it happens – I suppose I should declare an interest.) So the fact that this t-shirt assumes knowledge of a lesser-known sketch from an obscure TV programme simply fills me with delight. Because it’s not in the manner of typical fanboy t-shirtery (shut up, it is a word). Perhaps I’m wrong but this doesn’t come across as in-jokey self-indulgence, or some sort of geeky one-upmanship. No, it’s way beyond that. Fry & Laurie have long professed a distaste for the notion of “cool”, and the sketch is too inately silly and gently mocking to be appropriated as a badge of geek cool. If there were any doubt about the designer’s motives she/he has thoughtfully provided some explanatory text:

“When the fourth moon of Trollack rises above the Cylinder of Eyelass then Pewnack will strike. His kingdom will be numberless and darkness will blight the land, all men shall be slaves and the time of weeping will begin. So it is written in the runes of Ollerman-Goth, so it must be. Only the Chosen One can stop him, and only Berwhale, the avenger, can pierce the armour of the beast.

Now take Berwhale The Avenger and go upstairs and wash your hands for lunch!”

This, pleasingly, is entirely unhelpful to anyone not already familiar with the sketch, or aware that it even is a sketch. I still don’t quite believe this is for sale. There must be literally ones of people buying it. And amusingly it’s available in “Ladies Baby Doll” fit too. Great stuff, I live for this sort of thing.

Oh okay then, here’s the sketch for the unfamiliar.

And oh you lucky people, you can pick up A Bit Of Fry & Laurie on DVD now! Go on, do it. You know you want to. Well I want you to. Okay how about we compromise: get the first three series at least (the fourth wasn’t as good) and we’ll leave it at that. There. Good. Well done.

Soupy twist.