Trascript of #2

 

Abnormally Funny People Podcast 2 Boys Toys

 

Presented by Simon Minty and Steve Best

 

 

intro

Welcome to the Abnormally Funny People Show, sponsored by Barclays. For further information please visit abnormallyfunnypeople.com. We hope you enjoy the show.

[playing music]

simon

Hello, and welcome to the second Abnormally Funny People podcast. My name is Simon Minty.

steve

And I am Steve Best. I can’t believe we’ve made it to the second podcast, that’s great.

simon

I always had confidence.

steve

Did you? I did as well actually. So did we learn anything from the first one?

simon

We did, we’ve tweaked the second show, you will hear a little bit later on we’ve got a couple of fantastic guests, we’ve reduced that down from the three, that got a little bit unmanageable at times on the first show, go back and have a listen. We have nearly hit 600 listens and that’s fantastic.

steve

It is good.

simon

That’s a standing start, we haven’t really gone big time…

steve

We haven’t pushed it, we haven’t pushed it, it’s there isn’t it, yeah.

simon

And you, the lovely listeners, most of you are coming in through Audioboo which is fantastic, stream it away. iTunes is also great because you can subscribe and it’ll automatically come to you. We’re going to release the show on a Sunday so it’ll be ready for you when you go to work or whatever you do on a Monday morning. And weirdly, I find this a bit weird, people are listening or watching via YouTube, we’ve had nearly 50 listens or views.

steve

What, they’re watching via YouTube or they’re listening? But what are they watching on YouTube?

simon

Well, there’s just a picture of us.

steve

That’s a lovely picture.

simon

It is a picture, but 40 minutes, would you watch that?

steve

I would actually.

simon

Maybe they’re doing other things.

steve

Yes, yes and come back to the picture, it’s a lovely picture.

simon

Whichever way you want to do it, it doesn’t really matter.

steve

And our website, we’ve got a dedicated podcast page on the website, you can listen to the show via that, and there’s information about the show, the products, how to enter the competition.

SIMON

Yes, we had the competition. I mean in terms of contact from listeners have we had people contacting us? Have we had competition entries?

STEVE

It was a brilliant competition, Mr Minty.

SIMON

And three prizes.

STEVE

It was three great prizes and we’ve had, how many entries did we have?

SIMON

Well I was asking you that.

STEVE

Oh, you did ask me that. Well the answer is one. We did have an entry.

SIMON

So they’re the winner?

STEVE

No! The problem was, they didn’t actually answer any of the questions that we put to them, so it’s very hard to give a prize out because they didn’t answer the question.

SIMON

So, although our rules we really try to keep really simple, as in you just answer the question, or make up an answer…

STEVE

Yes.

SIMON

If they’d answered and made up something they would have won wouldn’t they?

STEVE

They might have won, we could have given them all three prizes maybe. But I did write back and say, “what is your answer?” and they didn’t respond to that email, so I’m not sure what’s going on there, maybe I should investigate a bit further.

SIMON

Well yes, if you were the one who contacted us, thank you so much, and good luck with the competition this month. We’d love to hear from all of you, we want some reviews of the shows. I feel a bit guilty, I listen to podcasts but then I never comment or kind of give them a rating or anything and…

STEVE

You listen to loads of podcasts.

SIMON

Yes I do.

steve

Yeah.

SIMON

Particularly this one, quite a lot of times.

steve

Have you?

SIMON

Yes, well not that often.

steve

Oh, you’re the one are you? 600 times.

SIMON

The thing is, if you, the lovely listener, has not actually reviewed a show maybe this is your chance, we would love you to do that for us. I mean in all honesty though does it make a difference besides making us feel a bit better?

STEVE

You know what? It does make a difference, it does. I think that if people put some stars on there then it pushes up the ratings, minimum I think five stars and I think maximum, what’s the maximum you can put? Five stars?

simon

Okay.

STEVE

And anything in between that. If you spot something interesting this month as well or useful or about to happen let us know. You can email us, our email address is podcast@abnormallyfunnypeople.com. And we’re of course on Facebook and Twitter too. Twitter too.

SIMON

And on this month’s show we’ve got two fantastic guests, we’ve got Don Biswas who is a comedian from the circuit. You know him?

steve

Don Biswas, I know him very well actually, a very funny guy, he’s on our Abnormally Funny People crew as well isn’t he, he does a lot of shows for us.

simon

Absolutely. There’s also Geoff Adams-Spink who I knew when he used to work at the BBC, he’s moved on now, but an interesting guy, lots of stuff going on with him.

steve

We’ve also got the products that have come in, they’re going to review the products which is our normal thing on the show.

simon

Absolutely, yeah. We have the moment of the month where they start thinking or telling us about something that’s really kind of caught their attention in the last month disability-wise.

steve

We’ve got the added beat as well of the product, is we’ve got a mystery product that nobody’s seen. You haven’t seen it have you?

simon

I’m excited about this.

steve

I’ve actually seen it because it came to me in the post, I don’t really know what it is, but…

simon

I’m looking forward to it.

steve

It’ll be great.

 

[playing music]

steve

Welcome to our guests on this month’s Abnormally Funny People Show. First up there’s Geoff Adams-Spink. Did I say that right?

geoff

You did.

steve

Geoff Adams-Spink, who was a BBC journalist for some years reporting in technology for older and disabled people, he’s now freelance on that. He’s a trustee of Disability Rights UK, chairs a European federation of limb difference organisations. I’m just reading this off here, I should have rehearsed that a little bit.

simon

Very natural.

steve

Was that very natural?

simon

Our second guest is Don Biswas. Don is a comic who talks about having dyspraxia, which if you don’t know is coordination and organisational difficulties, and mild Asperger’s Syndrome and the effect it has on him whilst coming from a middle class Indian family. He was brave enough to go on the Gong Show at London’s very famous Comedy Store. Not only did he survive it, in fact he won it, and see, we should put a link up on our website because it’s an awesome bit of stand up.

steve

That is very good. Don, that was a great bit of stand up.

don

Oh, thanks for that. Can I just say one thing? Since the credit crunch we’ve become working class now, so.

simon

Have you?

don

Yeah.

simon

Oh, your family?

don

Yeah.

simon

Okay, well we need to revise our…

don

And there’s not enough money in comedy, so…

steve

So let’s kick off with our regular feature called moment of the month. Geoff, your moment of the month.

geoff

Well, my moment of the month was on board BA flight 851 from Heathrow to Warsaw, and you know, anybody who reads my blog, a bit of a publicity slot there, but anybody who reads my blog will know that air travel is something I’m really, really interested in, and getting it right for disabled passengers, and it just struck me that I was dealing with a member of the cabin crew who had been in the business for 29 years so you’d think in that time she’d know a thing or two about helping disabled passengers and what they needed and so on. She said not only had my request for assistance in Warsaw not been onwardly transmitted so she would have to do that for me, but she said, “I’ll get your wheelchair sorted out for you.” And I just thought, come on, it’s 2014, wheelchair does not equal disability and if somebody that experienced in BA is having that level of difficulty around not realising that, you know, I actually walked onto the plane so why couldn’t I walk off it? It just kind of stuck in my mind as being symptomatic of a huge problem that the airline industry generally has. And when I said to her, “Look, I don’t need a wheelchair,” she said to me, “Yes, but it’s the only way you can get any help.”

simon

Ah!

steve

Simon, you’ve had a lot of that.

simon

Yes, one day we’ll do a whole show dedicated to travel and the stresses of it.

geoff

Please invite me back for that, please.

simon

But I mean for the benefit of the listener, your nature of impairment, you say you can walk and so on, so for someone that had never met you would they think, oh you might have difficulty walking or do you think this was just this weird system that they’ve got, they’ve got to tick a box about wheelchairs to…?

geoff

It’s about wheelchairs, it’s just about disability equals wheelchairs.

simon

It’s terrible.

STEVE

But you’ve done some work with the airlines and they’ve kind of moved on, I thought.

simon

Yeah. I mean I think your point’s right, Geoff, in the sort of 29 years, although I kind of think it’s probably only in the last ten or 15 years that transport’s been taken a lot more seriously and there’s some regs, European flight regs for disabled people, so it’s got better. But that sounds like a problem with whoever sub… It’s also contracted to other people and there’s three or four parties involved, but the fact that nobody gets paid unless a wheelchair is trotted out. I mean some people obviously do need a wheelchair but not all the time. I should say I’ve just come back from the States and I flew with United, and that was partly because of the routes that they took and it worked better for me, it was a joy, Terminal 2, I use a little mobility scooter, but I had six different flights and every time it was up at the gate, or sorry, the plane door within five or ten minutes of landing.

STEVE

But there is a difference there isn’t there because you bring your own scooter?

SIMON

Yes.

STEVE

So you’re saying to them, yes I want this here when I come off or…?

simon

My problem for years and years is the reverse of Geoff’s where I wanted my own stuff and they would never bring it back to me and it would just go through as baggage and then it would get smashed to bits, but that really has started to dissipate now, thank goodness. And it’s the first time probably, because every time you come in to land and I start getting anxious because I’m like are they going to do it right, and I cannot bear that, travelling’s stressful enough but then to have to worry.

STEVE

So Geoff, did they actually ask you what you wanted or what you needed or they just presumed that was it?

geoff

Well, BA have revamped their assistance booking, it used to be that you’d call somebody who was in a call centre several continents away, you’d say, “I’m disabled, I need to book assistance,” and they’d say, “Yes, you want a wheelchair,” and I’d say, “No, I don’t want a wheelchair, I’m registered blind, I need guidance through the airport and a bit of assistance to pick up my bags from the luggage belt.” “Oh well, we don’t do that.” And in the end you kind of get beyond that and say no, actually you do. Anyway, BA have now revamped it, you can book it online. So it says, are you blind, do you need a wheelchair, can you transfer in and out of a plane seat by yourself, you know, so you can tick all these boxes, so in theory it should all be fine. So everybody at every stage of the booking should know what you need because you’ve already told them what you need.

STEVE

So it’s just not getting through. That seems a very small problem but it’s obviously a big problem but that shouldn’t be hard.

GEOFF

It’s totally nuts, I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why… I think we need to revamp the logo for disability actually, maybe that’s what we should do, we need a new logo.

SIMON

Okay, thanks Geoff, well keep us posted and if we do do a little bit more about that we’ll let you know, or maybe we’ll have some travel items on. Let’s have a little move on. Don, do you have a moment of the month?

don

Yeah I do, I’m just quite annoyed by what Geoff went through, that really annoyed me actually.

geoff

I do tend to annoy people.

don

No, not Geoff. Maybe they knew Geoff was coming, oh it’s Geoff again.

steve

We’ll have some fun with him.

don

My moment of the month is I went on an ILF protest, Independent Living Fund protest, I saw Liz Carr there, another comic who was on last month.

simon

Yes, she was on our podcast last month.

don

And it’s just really annoying that, I’m just absolutely frustrated that they’re cutting away benefits of the 18,000 of the most disabled people who need care and assistance to live an independent life and they say they’re going to ring fence that money and not spend it elsewhere, but what’s the point of cutting it in the first place? I mean with these austerity measures we’re just penalising disabled people or poor people who haven’t done nothing with the credit crunch, it’s nothing to do with them, they never created it.

simon

How did the demo go do you think? I mean what was it like when you were there? Were there a lot of people?

don

There were loads, yes, there were even more police officers and that’s the state of the demo today, but it was near Westminster Abbey, a lot of people got over the gates and camped outside.

STEVE

Were there police officers on the demo?

geoff

Yeah, more police officers, that’s the way it is these days.

steve

They weren’t supporting the demo, they…

don

They were probably community support police officers. Yeah, but some people tried to camp outside Westminster Abbey but the church eventually chucked them out.

steve

As in gay protestors camping, or…?

don

No! But the reason why I also believe in the Independent Living Fund is because I’m 31 years old and I’m a low wage comic so the Independent Living Fund is the only way I can move out of my parent’s house. It’s really annoying.

geoff

And it didn’t get a lot of media coverage did it, that was the other thing?

don

No, hardly anything with any of the protests recently on the BBC.

simon

There was a little bit I saw on sort of BBC website stuff and I think the protestors were trying to get mainstream media to come down and talk and it was just a real struggle.

steve

Maybe we should do a protest against that.

simon

We could do a protest against the media not reporting on the ILF. I agree with you, the ILF is a scary thing in the loss of it.

don

Yes, 80,000 people, people who need assistance.

simon

Yes, and it was a great scheme, it was deliberately set out to do that. But well done you.

steve

Simon, your moment of the month. The first podcast your moment was very funny, we got lots of correspondence from that.

simon

That was when I went to the Thai restaurant and as I left the manager suddenly randomly came out and she kissed me.

STEVE

She did kiss you.

simon

This month I went to a French restaurant, oh my goodness me.

steve

What? What a kiss that was.

simon

I didn’t, I didn’t. No, I feel a bit bad because Geoff and Don’s are quite political and serious, mine’s a little bit more, I don’t know, a bit more upbeat. I’ve just come back from what they call the Little People of America Convention, that is 2,000 people who have to be under four foot ten, and we all went to San Diego for a week. It is mind-blowing, I mean I don’t know if either of our guests, Geoff or Don, have you ever watched something that’s called the mirror image where you suddenly meet a whole load of people that are exactly the same as you or very similar to you?

GEOFF

Oh yes.

don

Yes.

simon

Well, does it do your head in a little bit or you’re kind of I’m finally at home?

don

It annoys me because I don’t want to meet any other slightly dyspraxic Indian or Asperger’s comics because there’s too much competition. So if it ever happens to me I’m going to quit.

simon

Yeah.

don

Well actually I looked in my basement.

GEOFF

And I remember going to a thalidomide convention and I’d kind of studiously avoided for several years hanging out with thalidomide people and I actually went there to make a programme for Radio Four so I had to go there, and it sort of did my head in, seeing all these people who looked a bit like me and sort of doing things in weird ways, and I thought well that’s probably how I look doing that as well. And halfway through the evening I have to say I had to repair to my room and smoke an illegal substance for a while and then I felt much better.

simon

Nice! I think it probably is legal, that sort of stuff in San Diego although I didn’t see any of it. I had a bit of a, 20 years ago was the first convention I went to and I really struggled with that first mirror image and it was exactly as you say, Geoff, you know that people therefore look like you but you don’t look like that, or you don’t think you look like that.

geoff

Exactly.

simon

So there’s a whole load of kind of head turning. But now going back it’s a joy, it’s an absolute joy. Of the 2,000 people I don’t know that many, but because I’m English suddenly you’re really interesting because you’ve got an accent which is great and then your accent goes up a little bit more because you want to sound more interesting.

geoff

I shouldn’t really take the mickey, I think that’s why Steve Best is here to do that because when he goes outside in the real world everyone’s like him!

simon

So it’s a reverse convention?

geoff

Yes.

steve

A convention every day.

simon

So yes, it was a joy, they have them every year, they move around the States, and it was great fun. The one thing that was more revelatory to me was they had a whole bundle of American doctors who were specialists in various types of dwarfism which I have – I don’t have various, I just have the one, but there’s lots of doctors – and they’re just really cool, they know about it and they have a great bedside manner, it was almost like I was ready to go for surgery straight away because they were that good.

steve

And any of the doctors, were they all average sized people?

simon

There are a couple of short doctors, yes, but the ones at this convention were all average size, although there is a very cool bit. They have this dance every night and they also have a kind of slightly older entertainment room, sorry that sounds weird doesn’t it?

steve

It doesn’t sound weird, it sounds quite nice.

simon

But they have what they call the Little Big Band and this is made up of doctors who are average size who are specialists playing, I don’t know, the guitar or whatever it might be, and then they’ve got short people who are playing drums or singing, so there’s this band made up of the doctors and short people doing the other parts. I get a bit emotional about that.

geoff

Can we catch it on You Tube? That sounds awesome actually, I’d love to see that.

simon

It may well be, although there’s something quite cool they do which is, I don’t know how to say this properly, the media want to come to this, they want to see it, they want to really get involved, but deliberately the organisers really restrict it and one of the bits is you say this is the one time we’re not looked at because we’re all a bit… I mean you look at people but you look at them in a sort of different way, but because we’re all short there’s no surprise, I would get in the lift and there’ll be three kids there and they don’t even care about me. So we deliberately restrict media because it would be a joy for them but we don’t want to suddenly be on show anymore, this is our kind of week in utopia for a little while.

don

It sounds like my mother’s utopia as well, being Indian, there’s a lot of doctors there.

simon

Steve Best, do you have…? We should explain, Steve Best is the non-disabled person as Don alluded to, so is it a bit harder for you to find a moment of the month, Steve?

steve

I suppose it is, I didn’t think it would be, but…

simon

But your moment of the month, our podcast last month, that could be one couldn’t it?

steve

That’s true, I’ll do that one then, every month the moment of the month is the…

simon

You’re covered.

steve

Yeah. No but this one is more about words, it was the BBC Ouch, they do this thing, Ouchlet I think it’s called.

simon

They’re our friends, yes.

steve

Yeah, and it’s a nice little thing and just the wording of… I’d never heard of it before, I don’t know why, but able-ist. There was sexist, racist, now is there able-ist?

geoff

Isn’t it disable-ist?

steve

Well that’s what I thought, but I think it’s able-ist isn’t it?

simon

Maybe able-ist.

geoff

Well Scope talked about disable-ism didn’t they in 2005, I remember, they said that they had this campaign to end disable-ism.

simon

Did it say where it came from? No, actually I think I spoke to Ouch, yes.

steve

You did, I think you were quoted in that, Mr Minty, yes.

simon

That’s very kind of you to reference me, thanks very much.

steve

You’ve got to reference people.

simon

Where? I’m trying to remember, where did it come from?

steve

I think it came from the US maybe?

simon

Okay.

geoff

A-ha.

simon

Yeah, go on Geoff…

steve

And they were much more on the case way before us Brits.

simon

What was your little “a-ha”?

geoff

Well, I think sometimes the American political correctness lobby can go a little bit far with sort of various things that are challenged and differently abled and all of those kind of things. I think we take a much more kind of pragmatic approach to language here, I mean I’ve been taken to task by American disabled people for saying, “Do you know where the disabled toilet is?” and they say, “Well you can’t have a disabled toilet, it’s an accessible toilet.” You know, I think come on, let’s just move on.

don

I have to 110% agree with Geoff, because I did a comedy night and the guy said who ran it, because there’s a load of different people in the night and they said you can’t be homophobic, you can’t be transphobic and so forth, and all these words, which is fair enough but the main thing is just don’t be rude or an idiot or be a dick, that’s it. It’s political correctness gone mad I think so don’t be an idiot to your fellow humans.

simon

But you mentioned Liz who was one of our guests last week, she uses the word ‘crip’, it just sort of naturally flows. This is my topical joke. Do you remember South Park in the late ’90s? They had a character who was handicapable.

geoff

Oh lovely!

simon

But I liked it because they went so far they came out the other side. I mean yeah, I do think it’s important but okay, as a non-disabled person, Steve Best…

steve

Yes.

simon

Or as an able-bodied as they used to say, did you kind of think what a great concept or did you go, do you know what, this is confusing me? Would you use this naturally?

steve

I think the idea of if someone’s being sexist or racist or someone against disability you could use it, I think it’s fine to use a word, I have to go back onto the article I think I would say disable-ist if you were going to use a word rather than able-ist because it sounds like it’s the other way round.

simon

Had you ever used it before this month though?

steve

That word?

simon

Yes.

steve

I don’t recall ever using that word.

geoff

Actually I have a question for you, Steve.

steve

Oh no!

geoff

As a non-disabled person, do you…?

steve

Yes!

geoff

When you confront language do you think with disabled people it’s like don’t mention the war, like there’s this whole sea of words that I know I can’t mention and I know there are some words that are good and some words that are bad and I’m treading on eggshells and I think I’d just shut up and go away because I don’t want to land myself in it, you know.

simon

Does that happen?

Steve

I suppose not so much because I’ve known Simon since I was, how old? Ageist, ageist.

simon

I can’t believe how disable-ist you are.

steve

Yes, and so I think I’ve been mixing with disabled people for a long time, I’m not too sure how I would think about it otherwise but I get your point, it would be good to ask someone else that.

geoff

But in your comedy are you comfortable around disability?

steve

Yes, I think I am.

simon

If you see Steve’s act quite a lot of people think he has a disability, he’s quite manic. I’m not even being sarcastic, we’ve done Abnormally Funny People shows and they think we’re the non-disabled and Steve, there’s something interesting going on I think is the phrase. Okay, thank you very much for your moments of the month. Now those of you who have listened before you know what we do, for those of you who are new we are sort of essentially a review show. With Geoff and Don you were both sent each an item recently and we’ve asked you here now to talk about it. We should say to the listener, neither of them knew what was going to be sent to them, we don’t send any instructions or labels or anything like that, and what we did ask both Don and Geoff to record is their initial reactions when they first open the package and take out this item. So let’s have a little listen to what Geoff’s initial reactions were.

geoff

Okay, so I’ve just opened this package from Mr Steve Best and it looks like a cross between a pen and a pair of pliers, it’s a pen but then instead of going to a sort of single end at the other end of the biro bit it’s got two handles. I don’t know whether it’s disability related, it clicks nicely for those people who are obsessed with clicking their pens and I can only imagine that the top bit is for somebody who has dexterity issues and needs to grip the pen in a different way, or in fact somebody with some sort of prosthetic hook-like Abu Hamza type claw on the end of their arm who needs to grip the pen in a slightly less conventional way.

simon

Thank you very much, Geoff, you’ve got the item in front of you, you’ve had a few days with it now, that was your initial reaction, clearly it is a pen so well done. What do you think of it?

geoff

I can’t imagine that I would ever use it. It’s kind of convex on one side as well which is interesting, but what the blazes is it? Please put me out of my misery.

simon

So go back, when you say that you couldn’t see that you’d use it, is that because of the nature of your impairment? You said in your intro you could see some people who might benefit from using it.

steve

People who like clicking.

geoff

No, it’s pure pen snobbism, I mean I almost never write anything apart from my signature but I insist on always signing everything with a Mont Blanc pen. This pen’s too cheap.

steve

Nice. Oh!

simon

Clearly your freelance business is going ever so well now, Geoff, you’re living the dream.

geoff

Well, it was a redundancy present from my girlfriend.

simon

And when you fill in the complaint form for the BBC do you whip it out and say, “Listen, I’ve got my Mont Blanc pen.” Not BBC, BA dammit.

geoff

Absolutely, I mean I have to get the Mont Blanc pen out for those kind of special occasions. This is just weird, it’s just weird. Can you please tell me what it is?

simon

You were spot on, Geoff, it clearly is a pen. It’s called the PenAgain.

geoff

PenAgain.

simon

Would that be the name you’d give it? Essentially it’s an ergonomic no grip pen that requires less hand strength than traditional writing instruments thanks to its unique wishbone, which is a very good sort of description, shaped design. It works with both left or right handers, which I think most pens do though don’t they? Yes.

geoff

I think they do. Actually my PA, Lauren, thought that it looked like a cross between a pen and a catapult. If you put an elastic band across the two bits at the top you could make it into quite a nice, you know, make paper pellets and flick them around the office.

don

Take it on Dragon’s Den.

geoff

Yes. I wouldn’t buy it, I wouldn’t buy it.

simon

We haven’t even told you how much it will cost yet.

geoff

All right, well if it’s less than £400 I won’t buy it.

simon

That’s because of your Mont Blanc, plonk did I say, Mont Blanc snobbism.

geoff

Is there a Mont Blanc version?

steve

We could enquire. I doubt it.

geoff

If there was I might be interested.

simon

So I mean, these are chosen at random, did we pick the wrong person because you very rarely use a pen because of the nature of your own impairment, you’d much rather use presumably electronic or dictation sort of stuff?

geoff

Yes absolutely, I mean I don’t see the point to write anything other than your name these days.

simon

If you could improve it, you’re the designer, what would you do to make it a little bit better then?

geoff

Put a Mont Blanc logo on the front.

steve

Are you actually sponsored by them?

geoff

No, actually I’m not, I would like to be though, so if you’re listening, Mont Blanc, I’m available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, whatever, after dinner speeches. I would make it in a more attractive colour for a start, I mean it’s black, it looks a bit boring. If you’re going to sell something like this I would make it in pop-y colours, I’d make it in Day-Glo green, orange, that kind of thing, maybe a nice purple.

steve

Does it come in any other colours?

simon

I don’t know.

geoff

It doesn’t feel heavy enough for me either somehow, I would like it to feel heavier in my hand. Do you want to…? Well you know what it’s like.

steve

No, I haven’t actually… Oh, it’s very light, very light.

geoff

It’s very light yeah. It feels like it came out of a lucky bag actually, that’s how it feels.

steve

I get your point there.

simon

But I’m not quite sure, that sort of wishbone bit, what do you do?

steve

It gets in the way doesn’t it? On the instructions it does say it requires less hand strength.

geoff

No, it requires a weird hand, that’s what it requires.

simon

Well, is that not a bit disable-ist?

geoff

Yeah, but I’ve got weird hands so I’m allowed to say it you see. I’m owning the whole hands thing now, come on.

simon

But your hands are the wrong sort of weird by the looks of it.

steve

Hey, Don’s gone for the clicking.

geoff

The wrong kind of weird? Mm-mm.

don

This is just for disabled people who can’t afford computers.

geoff

Love it! Absolutely, that’s what it’s for.

don

This is what the Con/Dem government are handing out, not computers now because they can’t afford it, due to cutbacks. They’re just handing out pens.

geoff

Yeah, instead of getting a laptop on your DSA you now get one of these for free instead.

don

Exactly.

Simon

What’s DSA for those who have never heard of it?

geoff

Disabled Student’s Allowance.

simon

Thank you very much. Okay, so ironically last week or sorry, last month, we had something called this Giddy Bowl which was a product that self-balanced all the time. The colours were sort of green, red, blue, yellow and we were saying it was a good product, the problem was the colours were a little bit childish and we wanted some more mature colours like black, so the product was good, it was the colours. But you’re saying that needs to be a bit more lively, you want a bit more fun with it.

geoff

If it’s going to be that cheap looking yeah, you’ve got to make it look more fun.

simon

Okay. I’m sort of slightly dreading asking you this now, but would you recommend it to anyone? I know the answer don’t I?

geoff

I would recommend it to anybody that’s got weird hands that aren’t the same as my weird hands. And I would recommend that you try it before you buy it.

simon

Yeah, that’s always a good idea.

geoff

Yeah. How much is it actually? Tell me that.

steve

You tell us, you tell us.

geoff

50p maximum.

simon

Seriously though.

geoff

No more than that, come on.

simon

Really?

geoff

All right, £1. As you push me, £1.

steve

Is that how much you’d pay for it or is that how much you think?

geoff

That’s how much I think the market would stand.

simon

Okay. Don, you’ve only had a few minutes looking at it but if you had to have a guess how much it would be?

don

I don’t know, £10?

simon

Well, may I just say, Don…?

geoff

You’d pay £10 for that? Okay, you can have mine for a tenner.

simon

I think it was slightly misleading, we said how much do you think it costs, not how much are you going to pay. I can’t believe you’re trying to sell it, Geoff. It is £9.99.

geoff

No way.

simon

It sounds like, Geoff, you’re and I don’t know enough about it but we do know that sometimes products for disabled people, there’s a whacking great mark-up…

geoff

Oh yes.

simon

We’ve had it on certain products, and we know they’re quite cheap to produce but by the time they get to us they cost a lot of money.

steve

So just quickly with Don, would you think about using this if you were writing? You write jokes. You’ve got to write more though, Don.

don

Yeah. I’ve got to earn some money from comedy to write. I wouldn’t use it no, it doesn’t look that nice, it doesn’t look very appealing and it’s not made by Mont Blanc so…

simon

I’m looking across at you, Geoff, and your left hand, I’m going to get in trouble, it has a similar shape, so do you think it’s a couple of your fingers? Oh yes, there we go. That’s really rubbish for the listener again, but there is an element, we should take a photo of that if that’s all right with the pen, and I can’t believe how similar, clearly it’s like a double negative or something, they cancel each other out, it's the wrong shape. But as you say, some people with different shaped hands it could work. Well thank you so much, that was the PenAgain, we will do some little scores later on and see how we rate it but yeah, the PenAgain, £9.99 which Geoff thinks is a little bit too much.

steve

So Don? We gave you something and again we’ve asked you to record something when you first saw it, so if we could hear the recording of Don Biswas.

Don

I’ve literally just opened this product and all I see is sort of two pieces of bright orange elasticated string. For me it looks like some kind of shoelace maybe for visually impaired people because it’s very bright orange, it’s quite as I said elasticated, very stretchy, so it could be definitely for visually impaired people, that’s what I think on initial thought.

steve

So have you changed your thoughts on your initial thoughts?

don

I can’t think of anything else, I think it is for maybe visually impaired people because it’s bright orange. I might be completely wrong but it looks like shoelaces.

steve

So you think that’s what it does, that’s shoelaces?

don

Yes.

steve

And any idea what it’s called?

don

Shoelaces!

simon

There is the irony, the other product, too black and too boring, this one’s bright blooming orange.

don

Bright orange yeah, you can see it from space.

steve

There’s a nice feel to it as well. Do you want to pass it around? We can pass one around each because there’s two of them. I think the brightness actually doesn’t really come into what it does.

don

No, I thought it did but…

steve

So you’re right, they are shoelaces.

simon

Can I have a little look?

don

I actually tried to see if they glowed in the dark or something.

geoff

I’m thinking more like some kind of accessible BDSM restraint device for kinky blind people. Or kinky people with low vision.

don

Did you get that from Ann Summers? Disability section.

steve

I think we’re going down the wrong line here.

don

Sorry!

simon

Is it plastic or is it woven, when I’m looking at it very closely?

don

It feels like fabric doesn’t it but the ends have got those kind of plasticised ends like on a shoelace.

steve

I’ll tell you what it is, it’s patented technology here.

geoff

Wow.

steve

These knots, they’re kind of rubber core apparently and they’re shoelaces and they turn your shoes into slip-ons so you can adjust the tension, I think that’s what it is.

geoff

You know what…

don

That’s brilliant.

geoff

When I was a child I had elasticated laces, there’s nothing new about elasticated laces.

Steve

No, but…

simon

Oh hang on though, so I’m making a little knot, so the point being you tie the knot and then you never have to tie it again because it just stays but you’ve got a bit of give when you put your feet in. So for short people like me who’ve got very high insteps this is a dream.

steve

If you want comfort, support and a custom fit that’s what it is.

simon

That sounds like the advert…

geoff

I was going to say, that sounds like the blurb to me.

simon

What did you think of them, Don? I mean would you use these, do you think they were good?

don

I’m dyspraxic so I can’t tie my shoelaces.

simon

Ah.

steve

But if somebody tied them for you you’d never need to retie them.

don

Yes, I can just about but if somebody did it for me, yeah.

steve

So do you generally wear slip-ons?

don

Yeah, I wear slip-on shoes.

simon

Did you say slippers, you generally wear slippers?

don

No, I wear slippers as well.

simon

Also, bending over and things like that, not you, I meant other disabled people bending over is a bit of a nightmare.

steve

You’re not going down the Ann Summers route again are you?

simon

No, I’m quite keen on these.

geoff

I don’t like the colour but…

steve

Well the colour, we should look into it, I’m sure they must do other colours in this.

geoff

These would be for trainers, somebody without any street cred would put them on their trainers.

don

Or hipsters maybe.

simon

Well no they would have street cred, we wouldn’t because I think we’re probably the wrong demographic here but I like the principle of them.

steve

So Don, in actual fact they are quite good for you.

don

Yeah I think they’d help me, I’d just need someone to help me tie my shoelaces.

steve

Just for the first time.

don

Yes.

simon

We are so glad that we’ve changed your life, Don. Just a small little moment, although you are saying the colour’s not quite right, I can see that.

geoff

But they do come in a range of colours I hope.

steve

I’m sure they do, I’ll look into that. So any other improvements other than colours could you see in this?

don

No, I think it looks quite nice. I don’t know, a little bit, depending on what shoe you get, they’re like fabric.

steve

The bit round the little knotty bits.

don

Yeah, it just looks a bit weird, but if it helps dyspraxic people or people with worse coordination then it can’t be a bad thing.

simon

I bet when they made them they hadn’t quite thought that broadly. Geoff, where are you at with these? What do you think?

geoff

Well, I mean of course being a short armed person I never tie my shoelaces, I almost never wear shoes that have to have laces because once my feet are sort of locked into a shoe with laces on… I’m always using my feet as my hands so I need to get my shoes on and off all the time to do stuff. So if I’m wearing kind of walking boots or trainers they’re a bit of a nightmare for me. Would I put these on my trainers? Possibly I would actually, I would give them a go, yeah.

simon

You know what, there’s always that bit as well, that whole disability bit that we always start having Velcro shoes, you know with the Velcro straps?

don

Yeah, I used to have them.

simon

I’ve got some children’s shoes from Zara and they’re really cool, I really like them, they’re kind of a blue sort of suede and they do lots of different ones, and they’ve got Velcro on them. And I’ve spoken to people and I’m like I’m really worried these look like really disabled shoes.

geoff

Crip shoes, yeah.

simon

But because of the design and they’re cool and they’re kids’ I can just about get away with them but…

steve

Do you like the flashing lights on them as well?

don

And the wheels!

steve

Sorry, that is your joke, I just got it in.

simon

No, it’s good to be reminded of my joke from nine years ago. They clearly need to have black ones as well though because you couldn’t wear them into the board room could you? Not like that.

steve

So do you know what they’re called? That’s something I might recommend a change on is that I still don’t know how to quite say it, it’s spelt X-T-E-N-E-X, so ‘Stenex’ or…

don

That’s a terrible name, they just need better marketing don’t they?

steve

So costings? Anybody? What do you think, Don? You had it first.

don

£12.99.

steve

£12.99 from Don. Geoff?

geoff

Well given that it’s a niche market I’d say you’ve got to be looking at 15 quid a pair.

steve

Well, I’d like to tell you this, you’re going to get these for £10.49.

geoff

Gosh.

Steve

£10.49, that’s just for one though so it’s £20. No, it’s £10 for two and all the knots on there as well, free of charge. That’s not bad is it?

geoff

Do they come pre knotted?

simon

I don’t know what normal laces cost, presumably a couple of quid?

geoff

I’ve no idea.

simon

Yeah, well none of us use them, that’s the whole point. Steve, as the non-disabled one?

steve

I don’t know when I last bought laces, the laces don’t break, technology of today.

geoff

You don’t need to buy shoelaces anymore do you?

don

No you don’t really.

simon

Just a bit of clarity, I think slip-ons look smarter with a suit.

don

Yes, definitely. Loafers.

simon

But a girlfriend of mine always thought lace ups were better, more appropriate. Is it just…?

steve

I don’t know, I don’t wear suits.

simon

Great, okay.

geoff

Always slip-ons with a suit.

simon

So the non-disabled guy has never worn a suit and the three disabled people have all worn suits which is just a revelation. Okay, well that got a little bit more positive thought, let’s have a little rating of them, so again I’m scared to ask you this, Geoff, but your PenAgain, one being…

steve

By the way, it’s called PenAgain, we don’t say your pen again.

geoff

No, my PenAgain again.

Don

Or no pen no gain.

simon

Thanks everybody. So the PenAgain.

geoff

Again.

simon

If you were to rate it, Geoff, one being it is the worst thing that you’ve ever seen.

geoff

On a scale of what to what?

simon

One is really awful and ten is unbelievably fantastic. What score would you give?

geoff

Half.

simon

Half a point?

geoff

Yeah.

simon

Oh for crying out loud.

geoff

Not even as good as one. Sorry.

simon

I’ve got to add these up really quickly at the end. Don?

don

I’d give it about four out of ten.

simon

Okay, four.

don

Unless I get to keep it and then…

simon

Well, don’t forget if you are the lovely listeners and getting very excited about this there will be a competition where you can win all of this. Steve Best?

steve

I was going to go Don’s, I was going to maybe go about four.

simon

I’m going to give it six because I just think we might have got the wrong sort of people, like I do think it looks a bit strange but…

geoff

Well we’ll go now if you don’t like us!

simon

I just think it could be useful for people, this is the risk of the show, we send random things to random people.

steve

I think you’ve got a point there, Simon, it could be useful yes.

simon

You look like you’ve just worked out how to use the blooming thing.

steve

Yes.

simon

Your index finger through it.

steve

I have done that and actually that rest there, there’s a little indent there, you put your finger on top of it.

simon

So shall we go through and rate it again now we know how it actually works?

steve

Ten!

don

Ten!

simon

Geoff?

geoff

Half.

simon

Brilliant. Okay, and the Xtenex laces. Don, as they were yours?

don

I’d give it about six.

simon

Oh great start. Geoff?

geoff

I’d give them about seven.

steve

I would give that, if it came in other colours I would give it eight.

simon

Yes, there is a proviso of colours.

geoff

Yeah, with a range of colours, eight definitely.

steve

And if you could write with it as well.

simon

If the pen came in other colours would you give it three quarters of a point?

geoff

Seven eighths. I’d even give it as much as seven eighths.

simon

I wish I hadn’t asked that either. Okay sorry, Steve, you said how many if it had different colours?

steve

Eight I think.

simon

Wow, look at this. I’ll give it one, just to keep it even. No, I’m going to give it seven.

geoff

And just to be clear, so first prize is a PenAgain and the second prize is a box of PenAgains, is that right?

simon

The joy when we get to the competition, whichever they want is the one that they enter the competition for, and we are getting a bit smarter about it and we don’t sort of randomly give it to the wrong people.

steve

Okay, so we have actually got a mystery product so I’ll bring it up now.

simon

I haven’t seen this, none of us have seen this. So this is something that we didn’t send to anybody, but we’re going to do a quick review now.

steve

It’s got the name on there actually, it’s called a Muggi. A Muggi.

simon

Could you describe it to the listeners, Steve?

steve

It’s a red plastic Muggi. No, it’s red plastic and…

simon

Very helpful.

steve

Yes, there’s like four indents like cup holders in there so obviously, well not obviously, but I would put cups of coffee in there or any kind of liquid and that’s kind of it, it’s square shaped and these are round bits that you put your mugs in.

simon

I’m trying to think of like fast food restaurants or coffee shops or whatever.

steve

Yeah, it’s like a cup holder, if you went to one of the coffee shops and you said I’ve got to take four coffees to somewhere and they’d give you a tray wouldn’t they, like a cardboard tray.

simon

But would you say, “Thank you but I bought my own.”

steve

No, I wouldn’t, I’d say, “I’ve got a Muggi.” Yeah, I’ve got a Muggi. It’s quite bulky, that’s the thing, so shall I pass it around, do you want to have a quick fondle of my Muggi?

simon

Yeah, I’ll have a look. Any thoughts, Geoff?

geoff

Yeah, I keep wanting to say that it looks like something that you’d use for, I don’t know, I think it’s quite useful for pets, I think my cats would like it for something, I don’t know quite what.

steve

It’s kind of a four piece potty.

geoff

Yeah, or a four piece potty for guinea pigs.

steve

It’s quite plastic and solid.

simon

I’m reading the blurb here and I think one of the tricks of it is that you could carry four drinks with one hand. So there’s little slots isn’t there which I presume…

geoff

I reckon though, if you got four china or ceramic mugs full of tea, carrying that with one hand, that’s going to be bloody heavy.

steve

But their selling point is that it is exactly that, you can carry it with one hand. But you’re right, Geoff, that it could get heavy.

simon

It would be all right with kind of Styrofoam cups or paper cups.

steve

So where’s the slots to put your hand in? Or do you just hold it with one hand?

simon

You just hold it, yeah. And the thing is with the other hand you could write with the pen again.

steve

Yeah, and do your laces up at the same time.

simon

Except the laces are already done. We are taking care of your whole lifestyle needs. And there’s something in that, I mean in a way it’s not too bad, I’d still be a bit scared but I’d be scared I’d just trip over it.

geoff

And if it was hot drinks as well.

don

And if you’ve got shoe laces.

simon

But I mean I don’t like trays because they make me unbalanced because I’ve got my two hands out in front of me and I have very poor balance anyway and that makes it even worse, that I’d much rather have it in one hand.

steve

Actually you could get two of these, you could have eight drinks couldn’t you, two Muggies, one in each hand.

geoff

Is there any way you could stack them up as well?

steve

Just to store, I don’t think you could stack them up otherwise.

geoff

No, let’s say you’ve got four cups from one of the big coffee places and then you put another Muggi on the top and then another four on top of that.

simon

It is unique apparently, the only design like that in the world.

steve

Yeah, but they’re just going on the fact that you can carry it with one hand, but there doesn’t seem to be a massive design in this, is there?

geoff

But we should say for the listeners that there’s a sort of slot, each of the circular cut outs has a slot. I think this is kind of the patented bit probably.

simon

Hang on.

geoff

And that’s probably where your mug handle goes, no?

simon

Yes exactly, I thought that’s where you put your finger or your thumb.

steve

No, I think that’s, they’ve got a little indent on the top here as well where I think you maybe put your finger. Look.

geoff

Ah!

simon

Got you. Can we put the waters back in and we can try it again.

steve

You need mugs though.

simon

Okay, it’s a Muggi.

steve

Any improvements you could see on this?

geoff

Again it’s the colour.

steve

Well we could check that.

simon

It’s bright red. What’s the problem with the colour?

geoff

No, it’s fine, like we were saying about other products but no it’s fine.

steve

It’s red for danger, Don, if you’ve got four mugs in here of steaming coffee.

don

Make it luminous orange so…

simon

I think there’s a business idea for us that we just can make anything another colour for disabled people, because everything comes in the wrong colour doesn’t it?

don

Yeah. But the thing is it’s something that able-bodied people can use as well.

simon

That’s the joy you see, that’s the point, most of the stuff we have, it can be used for disabled people but it should be useful for everybody, that’s exactly it, yeah.

don

But charge them more.

geoff

I’m not sure this has a disability specific application does it really?

don

Yes, so there.

simon

But we know a few people who have got one arm and to suddenly bring four drinks in, if you had a tray, a standard flat tray, that would be quite hard work, this would be much better.

don

Just laziness, can’t they just take it in two trips or something?

simon

Yes, you could do that.

geoff

Keep fit.

simon

Okay, price? What would you pay for this? Don?

don

Well I think what I’d pay for it is I’d pay about a fiver.

steve

What do you think it’s marketed for then?

don

I think it’s about £8.99.

steve

£8.99. Geoff?

geoff

I think it’s worth a couple of quid and I think it’s probably selling for about a tenner.

steve

Well, you’ve got the price there, £9.99 seems to be the price people go for, £9.99.

don

That’s what I was meant to say!

steve

Was it? Okay, and so marks. Marks out of ten on this one. Don?

Don

Actually I think it can be quite useful and I’d use this so I’d say I’d give it seven out of ten.

steve

Geoff?

geoff

Three.

steve

I would give it a good six.

simon

Okay, a good six.

steve

Yeah.

simon

Okay. And me, I’m doing the adding up and this is getting a bit complicated, I don’t know, I do quite like it, I think it could be good for me so I’m going to give it eight.

steve

Oh, I think it’s a close one here isn’t it? I think the pen might win.

simon

The final scores, in third place with, we should verify the points after this, just because my adding could be a bit shocking, PenAgain 14 and a half points. In second place was the Muggi with 24 points and by far out in the lead by another four points was the Xtenex laces. Your product won, Don. Congratulations.

don

Thanks.

 

[playing music]

steve

Thank you again to our guests, Don Biswas and Geoff Adams-Spink. So before you both go what are you up to right now, Mr Don Biswas?

don

Right now I’m going to try and find a tube station because I’m dyspraxic and then, well I’m just gigging, I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I’m doing a show called Political Power Chords with a musical comic called Gwilum Argos and I’ll be talking about disability there as well and a lot about politics, so that’s what I’m up to basically.

steve

Is that for the whole run?

don

No, it’s only from 2nd to the 12th.

steve

Okay, of August?

don

August. It’s part of the Free Fringe Festival but if you want to pay to get in that’s fine by me.

steve

But that’s where you pass the hat around at the end or bucket around?

don

Yeah, if you can give generously.

simon

Do you want to take the Muggi? You could get a bit more money in there.

steve

Pass the mug around.

don

Yeah, there’s four lots.

simon

Our show’s going to come out on 6th August so about four days into your run but with a bit of luck some people will come and see you.

don

Hopefully the Edinburgh audience, just come to the festival it’s great, and you get to see other comics like Laurence Clark and the Lost Voice Guy who are the great comics on there.

geoff

And Juliette Burton.

don

And Juliette Burton as well.

simon

What’s the name of your show again and what’s the venue?

don

It’s Political Power Chords, it’s upstairs at the Opium bar.

simon

Brilliant. Thank you, Don. Geoff, what are you up to?

geoff

Well I’d love to say I’m going to Edinburgh but I’m not unfortunately. I am doing two principle things I think in the next month or two. Firstly I am cracking on with my autobiography which is going to be called ‘Making Lemonade’, I’ve just about finished chapter two, in fact I did finish chapter two, I’m just about to start chapter three now, that’s a milestone moment for me because I know to get agents and publishers interested I’ve got to have three sample chapters plus a book pitch so once I’ve got chapter three under my belt which will be probably end of next week I will be hassling publishers and agents to get somebody to pick that one up. And it’s basically an autobiography.

steve

Do you want the pen to write it?

geoff

Do you know, it’s tempting but I think I’ll pass on that. I think I’ll pass on that. The other thing I’m doing, my organisation is launching a campaign on 1st September called ‘What if your baby has a limb difference’, and the thinking behind the campaign is a lot of people these days, when they get an ultrasound scan they are rushing to termination or they’re being rushed to termination without a second thought. Now there’s a massive risk with this campaign which is that it kind of gets hijacked by pro-life groups and while we’re absolutely not pro-life we want to start a campaign to create resources to inform people so that they can have a choice but make an informed choice about whether to have a child with a limb difference. And to do that we’re asking lots and lots of people with a limb difference to record one minute videos answering this simple question: What would the world have missed if you hadn’t been born?

simon

Where can people find out about that online?

geoff

Well once we’ve launched the website they can go to whatifyourbaby.org and all the information will be there.

simon

Well thank you very much to both of you, that’s Don Biswas and Geoff Adams-Spink, thanks very much for being our guests on our second show.

don

Thanks for having us.

steve

Thank you.

 

[playing music]

steve

As we mentioned at the top of the show we are running a competition this month to win the featured items. We have all the items as prizes.

simon

We’re going to offer each as its own prize, so to win you need to decide the one that you really want and then contact us with your answer to the following sentence: I want the, and whether it’s the laces or the PenAgain or the Muggi, I want the, because.

steve

We’re not going to change it this time, we’re going to keep it at that, we’re going to give it one more last chance, so writing to us I think that’s a good idea actually.

simon

Yes, because of the competition entry that didn’t answer the question is a bit of a…

steve

And a lack of competition entries generally I think.

simon

Yes, they’re good listeners, they’re going to like some of those products surely.

steve

I think so, and I know Geoff gave the pen a bit of a, oh a bit of a shaky one, but I think it’s okay.

simon

For some people, yeah.

steve

And the laces definitely, and the Muggi, I think they’re prizes worthwhile to be won.

simon

Okay, so we’ll keep the competition as it is and even if you’re not entering the competition it would just be lovely to hear from you. Write to us, say hello, and here are the different ways you can contact us. You can email us on podcast@abnormallyfunnypeople.com. Tweet us via Twitter, search for Abnormally Funny People, or leave us a voicemail, send us a text, we’ve got a telephone. It’s 07756 190561. That’s O7756 190561. If you didn’t get it all down just go to our website, abnormallyfunnypeople.com, all the contact information will be there.

steve

And unfortunately at this point we can only send the prizes to people in the UK so if you’re listening overseas, welcome to the show!

simon

Hey!

steve

But sorry, we can’t send you the items. The closing date for this month’s competition is Sunday 24th August. Due to technical reasons we won’t be able to announce the winners until the September podcast.

simon

Technical, as in we’re on holiday.

steve

Technically, yes.

simon

Okay. Drop us a line with your thoughts and your comments, we’d love to hear from you. Do it now, straight after the show, do that rating thing. You know our email, podcast@abnormallyfunnypeople.com.

steve

Visit the website, abnormallyfunnypeople.com. For all the social media links, the telephone number etc, everything’s on there.

simon

A big thank you to Really Useful Stuff who supplied the items as they always do. You can check out what they do via their website, reallyusefulstuff.co.

steve

That’s still dot co isn’t it?

simon

It is, just dot co.

steve

I can’t get my head round that. So you don’t miss a show subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Audioboo and you can stream it too if you prefer. A final big thank you to our producers, Leanne and Anne.

simon

Thank you very much for listening, we’re going to play you out with our theme tune, ‘Colour Me Groovy’ by the Rich Morton Sound.

[playing music]

 

 

 

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