Born in a cave by horned Norse demons
You never know if your baby will get a smackable face, that’s a cruel God’s trick
It’s Godzillas baby daddy, Matthew “Ugh really?” Broderick
Apparently he killed someone in Enniskillen in 1987. He got off by saying he didn’t remember. If you were gonna be famous and you missed out on the 80s you’d probably be pissed. Now all you get to do is have people on Twitter call you a “ginger pleb.” Extrapolaing out from my meagre experience.
So first of all I am a lazy slack-alley layabout. I took Christmas off from the blog without any announcement and I left you cold and alone. Shivering probably. Crying certainly.
Well I’m back… baby…? Never been able to deliver a convincing “baby.” Verbally or as an amateur midwife. The hospital staff are not good sports. I SAID it was a joke. And that I’d wear gloves next time. The court date is in April.
So what did I miss while I was away? Well I aged considerably, 30 years in fact. And no I didn’t age 30 years from babe to broken bottomfeeder in one night you crazy kook. It took about 7 minutes, commencing seconds after I had posted an instagram of me blowing a raspberry at a magazine cover of Putin. Someone accidentally dropped uranium in my tea and my fingernails fell out. It was real Raiders of the Lost Ark melty-faced Nazi stuff. Highly dramatic.
I had been hanging onto the line that I was in my mid-twenties as much to convey a very cultured and hilarious sense of faux insecurity at becoming a broken down old crust of a human as to distract people from the single tear hovering on my lash. It’s not crying unless the bugger gets out of the eye!
To commemorate my thirtieth orbit of the plughole, we went to gorge ourselves on hilariously shaped pork-portions (we call them por-pors, we’re disgustingly adorable) in Berlin. A really super city with as much serious pondery things to see as good wandery areas. In what ended being something we had to tell lots of people, we went to all the Christmas markets including one that had astounding levels of dickheadedness levelled upon by a weapons-grade prick.
The market in question surrounds the old bombed out church and is in the middle of the main shopping district. It’s the capital of German Christmas, making that guy the capital of arseholes.
Now that we’ve angered/saddened up our blood we deserve a peek at this guy. The world is a tough place. But look how sleepy and hairy his little face is?
Berlin was relatively quiet as the weather was quite bitter and most Berliners have the good sense to keep inside unless tempted out by hot Gluwein. First made in the 1800s by a horse farmer with an excess of stock and a dreadful Monday evening with his wife’s friends to struggle through, gluwein is a hot sugary treat adopted by the Germans in order to keep a baselevel of drunkeness throughout the cruel winter months.
It also serves a useful secondary purpose as a quick way to dissolve any troublesome teeth you might have into withered saccharine mush-stumps. Doctors orders and all that.
On one particular Berlin metro ride, one largely mad woman started screeching and running up and down the carraige in a aggravated state. It’s always the same reaction I experience in this situation, empathy to someone in tought times followed by a sincere hope the person doesn’t vomit on me and then punch me in the dinger. She was yelling about something in German of which there was only one word I could gather Weiß (=white). Given this, it was pretty likely her mutterage was focused on people who weren’t… weiß.
Whatever she was saying, it was making everyone deeply uncomfortable as evidenced by everyone squirming in their seats like eels in butter. As the old saying goes.
Later that same day we were on the far side of the city and needed to head back to the hotel. We went down to the metro and saw a familiar face.
Here’s a picture I took of the old woman on my smartphone before she got off the carraige. You can see the crazy in her eyes right?
We had about ten seconds as low-level clairvoyants as we alone knew the immediate future before she began treating us all to another choice example of why German is the only choice of language for the discerning maniac.
Later that evening we were searching for a restaurant of Turkey (the country not the bird, unless the country is the… TO THE LIBRARY!) As we rounded another corner onto another street of slowly spinning composite meat-sticks we walked past a pair of Germans and over-heard one say to the other conversationally “Das ist full-retard!”
Great lads I’m sure.
Our big night out was the final night when we decided to unleash the beast on an area we had decided was the main night-time hotspot of Berlin. I had decided we should come at it from the North (the last eight letters are sponsored by Sean Bean’s voice) as this was the sordid underbelly of 70s Berlin. Bowie’s Berlin. Naked butter-covered dwarf in a cage Berlin.
The evening was early so we were on the eye out for a place to stop and have a beverage. I saw an Indian restaurant with a happy hour at 6 so we pottered in
Time. Along with thirst and the brutal cruelty of the world we live in make up the triumverate of things that dictate when to consume fluids.
“Hi, is it happy hour?”
Waiter – “Happy hour is 6 and it’s ten past five.<we turn around back towards the door>”
Manager – “Ahhh… okay for you we can make it happy hour.”
We sat and drank ridiculous cocktails while waiters shuffled unused crockery on our table and entreated us to look at the menu. Initially Meg was a bit self conscious as to be fair we were getting some serious looks from a table over my shoulder, but she relaxed when after a few minutes the old girls giving us the eyeball were delivered their own platter of umbrella-pronged goldfishbowls.
They just didn’t look as fab as I did
After 4 preposterously decorated and multicoloured drinks we decided to get some food so left the confused waiters to clean our table and gave them a blue-toothed smile (I had been drinking something called a swimming pool that was heavily soaked-through with chlorine and made my turds green.)
We walked for 15 minutes looking for something that tickled our fancy. After realising there were no reataurants or bars in the area, we found ourselves woozily standing in front of a familiar doorway.
“We’re back guys!” The waiter looked at us quizzically and apparently not recognising us or our aquamarine gumlines sat us down again to await our bowls of delicious spicy slop.
Messy Christmas everybody.
In other news Meg and I are hitting our pre-wedding diet hard and are currently hoovering our way through every sugary treat in the house so that we won’t be tempted a few weeks out.
So far so good.
Berliner of Leek
He had the tie and was right time right place,
It’s Chevy “was that what passed for handsome in 1982” Chase
Jeanie, look at that hole in his chin! Maybe it’s where he kept snacks. Bombay mix. A refreshing handful of grapes. You could really fight a hunger with the space in that pit.
Well hello fancy festive folk! The second week of December is upon us like someone standing too close to us on a train (it’s called foreshadowing) rummaging in his (because let’s be honest with ourselves, we’re picturing a guy here and with good reason, we’re gross) little pants. We hope counting his change for the parking lot. Ick.
December is a scumbag.
In honour of the crucifixion of Santa, Meg and I played hooky for a day and wandered into Londinium to squander some money on consumerist expressions of emotion. When will comrade Corbyn rid us of these capitalist shackles and let us gift homemade lengths of sackcloth as was surely Friedrich Engels’ dream?
Actually we like this tradition and do this every year. Take a weekday in December off from work, sleep in like we’re coming down from a glue-sniffing bender and kill off our Christmas shopping list in the overheated hallways of the humanity-clogged department stores.
London does do Christmas right, with baller light displays, the Trafalgar Square tree, small platoons of amateur choirs, 12 days of Christmas pubcrawlers and the tousled suits of office Christmas parties out too long and half thinking they should tell Shirley in accounts what they REALLY think of her.
“I love you, but we’re both dreadful.” – for instance. If they’re being honest.
Why am I only finding about this now… it is ON!
It’s due in part to one of the manias that tends to afflict London and that is Oxford Street in December. The footpaths fill up with…. well bloody well everyone. Oxford Street is a bit of a weird one as on one side you have Selfridges (Jeremy Piven is suspended from the ceiling in a box filled with formaldehyde), House of Fraser, House of Niles (I’m hilarious) and several other super British sounding high street titans of retail.
Incidentally the row of department stores includes British Homestores which in classic British tradition was gutted for its pension fund by a guy with massive turkeytits that he likes to baste in butter and sun. The door is now closed on it which is for the best as it was a singularly depressing experience to pass its fetid threshold due to the whole place smelling like a old lady tights and looking like 1993.
God I’m such a pinko. Too much Corbyn on the radio that’s my problem.
I take it back dear leader. Lay your hands upon my evil head. Teach me the ways of tofu and repelling swing voters. And who did your “Corbyn” nametag? It’s so leadery.
After lunch in Ma Clucker (which I have called at various points Ma Plucker, Po Ducker and Chicken Bo) a fried chicken shack of some repute, we eventually called it a day just before a separate but similar mania took ahold of the city. Meg has never had to do the London to Weybridge battle that I suffer daily, but she did get a sense when after we got our seat and the aisles duly filled with professionally dressed cattle.
Then there was a clatter on the window like drunk pigeons bonking their heads on the glass. Bonk bonk bonk. BONK. MUCH MORE BONK!!
So started a rant for the ages. Some wienerless wonder had just realised that the train was full, as full as it was going to get in any case. This guy screamed at the windows, running up and down glowering at people and bellowing “MOVE DOWN! Make some room and move DOWN! Bonkbonkbonk. I am so bonk. Would you like a bonk? WHITHER SHALL WE BONK!?”
Did you know that William Ewart Gladstone’s father was also -BONK BONK
With every bonk he accessed all the terrible things that had happened in his life to make him the nightmare that he was. Maybe if Mommy hadn’t preferred BONK to me I wouldn’t be so BONK. That kind of thing. Eventually, it was like he was communing with the heavens with each BONK. Bonks themselves were proof of the divine and his way of joining, even making love to the whole universe and everything in it. BONK BONK BONK!
Now to be fair to the beleaguered Londoners who were not only looking at a standing room only journey in a roasting train but were being bellowed at for their trouble, they made a show of trying to shuffle even closer (they were already only two centimetres away from making babies) until he would realise this still meant he was missing his train and go for another round. Even the trainguard could see his Basil Fawlty incandescence on the platform and asked several times for people to move away from the doors.
You had to feel for the last guy whose little stink butt was hanging out the train door and was having to contemplate being pressed up against this feral poop-flinger.
Meg was agog.
Incidentally are you watching WestWorld? Jaysus now there’s a show. Anthony Hopkins acting like Grandpa Lecter and James Marsden gets murdered or cuckolded once an episode or you money back. Do yourself a favor, neglect your children and/or careers and pick up this show. I may be writing this while watching it. There is a distinct possiblity.
In other news myself and the boyos at 80DaysPodcast just finished off a Christmas podcast that will surely put you in the festive spirit. Though I do make a lot of racy jokes about Santa and his reindeer. The reindeer jokes are particularly racy. For example musing about the physiological reasons for Rudolphs red nose. The cold weather or an unwanted souvenir visit to a Thai brothel during the summer months? We can never really be sure. Anyway keep an eye on our feed for that and the first snibblings of season 2 which is also being recorded every time we can co-ordinate three schedules across a spread of continents. So fits and starts. Check the link below to find us!
Gladstoner of Leek
He kept on keeping on because his organs were built to last yo,
It’s pasty nasty Fidel “exploding conch shell” Castro
“And over there Commandante, you’ll see a to 20ft half-scale model of your massive balls.” Incidentally “exploding conch shell” in the above is a reference to one of the stupider ideas knocked about by RFK for killing Castro who really had more centimetres in his nut-circumference than you’ve had hot dinners.
Not to push my venerable blog to degenerate into total a plug-fest (partial is okay), my knowledge of Castro comes in large part down to the fact that we recently profiled Cuba for season 2 of our totally balling podcast for maximum pimp-people.
Well hello there me ole chickensalts. As the year chunders towards it’s inevitable gee-eyed conclusion, Christmas is finally being thrust at us like the dry heaves at the end of the vomit-binge that was 2016.
Peaceful and solemn seasons greetings you all.
You’re welcome. We need this this year of all years. Aw dang. I just found out the dog in the hat voted Brexit for president. Hope he chokes on a bauble.
The focus of our week was the wedding of Simon Greene and his now bride Shannon Coco. Like myself and Meg theres is a trans-Atlantic romance. Unlike Meg and myself they have now been unburdened of the million tiny agonies that come with wedding planning.
How many canapés per person? Well Bernie can really put away the cocktail wienies but girls are devils for leaving a plate pass them by. And how about the cake? How many tiers? Round? Square? Marizipan model of my face on top commanding the tides to turn their shameful faces and dampen my shores nevermore?
Some choices make themselves. My marzipan modellers are skilled but this one turned out a little less commanding and a little more like someone interrupted my number 2.
We did ourselves no favours by trying to get to this wedding the day of. We got up at the crack of nonsense and shovelled in caffeine and calories so we could get through the first half of the day without turning into crab-apples. There have been so many early morning flights from Gatwick to Ireland for us of late, I’m starting to recognise the dead-eyed drones that make up the Ryanair check-in counter. They hate me.
To be fair they also hate their jobs, themselves and the smell of freshly cut grass. The bastards.
Despite me suiting up from the morning, Meg had a much fancier sequined garment which would have gotten banjacksed by wearing it through the flight so she decided to change once we landed. Living with Mariah Carey like. Once she had glammed up we got our rental car. That is to say Meg did. I am too new and too testicled a driver to pay for a car rental without selling all my bone marrow and clean pee for the next 22 years.
Taking all reasonable bids.
We then picked up some boxed sandwiches (the lunch of the desperate and joyless alike) and scurried out to our sub-standard Nissan Micra (which given the relative pantheon of Micras is a crushing insult). After swerving through the now familiar succession of roundabouts and off ramps that bring you from the Budget carpark to the succession of refurbed houses and boutique hotels that make up the spidersweb of wedding venues across County Meath we headed off to another wedding (bringing my life total to 3).
Apparently that’s the only thing bringing money into the county. That might sound harsh until you go to the main town – Navan. Ireland’s only palindromic town that doubles as a Sliding-Doors style warning of how your life could have turned out if you had made every decision in your life incorrectly.
Say hello to that stranger on the train? Bad luck, they murder you with a hammer.
Soup or sandwich? Bad luck, they’re both filled with mercury.
Lead a life devoid of meaning or satisfaction? Bad luck, you’re in Navan.
<swallows hard> Navan… BABY!! <shoulders slump>
As we revved up the motorway in our wedding gear we apportioned out the dining to make it work. I savaged my Christmas Turkey and Cranberry Sausage sandwich in record time in order to free up my hands. A sandwich which I referred to hilariously as my Turkey Bryan Cranwidge.
Then I had the free hand required to pass Meg her first sandwich which she ate from her sequined lap. Then the following happened-
“Okay what needs to happen is ONE I’m going to need a sip of Diet Coke, then TWO feed me the meat out of that sandwich, no not the bacon just the sausage and THREE you’re gonna have to find me some music I like.”
All she wants for Christmas, is to be hand-fed slices of sausage on the motorway.
Isn’t that all any of us want if we’re honest?
In other news, a very genuine congratulations to Shannon and Simon on their new matrimonification. Theirs is a love that in the pantheon of great loves will be eternally defined as… the opposite of Navan.
Hurrah that all the world is not (entirely) fucked!
DiCaproner of Leek
If we judged people on how they understand theatre, we’d judge him to be kinda dense
It’s Number Two-rump squinting-makes-me-hate-ovaries, Mike “sword of Damocles” Pence
Ahh, how refreshing. I took a little weekend off from the blog which mean I was able to finally squeeze in my normally customary monthly teeth cleaning. You should see these chompers. As yellow as a ripe banana playing centre-back for Borussia Dortmund.
Though I partially jest, life admin does take a hammering when you have back to back (to back to back) weekends of wandering this scorched earth.
Last weekend I returned to the mütterland to both see Munster play some hardcore oval-ball and generally irritate my family with my presence. It might have been the hours spent outside or that toilet seat I licked, but as the weekend whiled on I could feel a familiar swelling in my throat.
And not like what I felt when I tried to complete the Chiquita “no-chew” challenge.
I was getting sick. Despite being in my youth a wheezy sickly little Tsar-child (great Rasputin reference there for the Russian history buffs <punches chest> I got you…) I haven’t been particularly sick over the past few years. Since once catching light hypothermia on a PARTICULARLY terrible date and almost losing my leg in India after getting human poop in my mosquito bites (not even my own poop, how embarassing) I have been pretty much illness free.
That said, with almost perverse regularity I get a 36 hours flu, complete with bone-aches and flopsweats once a year. I have missed one day of work for sickness in my life. This one occasion was because in the same job I had come in sick to work previously. This work was with autistic kids who in response to my sneezes and lack of ability to respond, would then go spare and start punching me.
They were pretty clear about me staying home.
Another choice flu workday was when I was in Japan and I fell asleep on a piano. It doesn’t make me a better worker, but it does not necessarily make me an absent one. This last week was no different, with one full day of me sweating through my thick sky blue sweater and at one point accidentally slapping my computer screen.
I have a good track record with Apple products. I genuinely just had this photo from my life.
I later found out that no one had realised that I was ill, which either speaks lengths of my ability to hide my suffering from a cold and indifferent world (also works for hiding more murderous impulses towards my fellow commuters on the 08:11 for Waterloo) or betrays much about my day to day levels of sweatiness.
The real low point of this bout of November speed-flu, came the night after a day of explaining away splotches on my sweater as careless beverage consumption rather than excess man-tit moisture. I set myself up on the couch and cooked up a bellyful full of fajitas… and maybe washed it down with an inebriating beverage that was not a what you use to whip eggs, but was like it.
Whisk-y. It’s my little reward for when I am totally banjacksed with illness. It did make me real emotional and this threatened to spill over into a full blown meltdown when I ate a particularly good chocolate cookie and felt overly grateful for the sweet ennervating sugar crust. It wasn’t a tear. It was like 1/4 of a tear.
God I want a cookie.
What’s that universe, I deserve 2? You generous F you.
The future travel itinerary is thick enough, with a commute to Brussels this Tuesday and a wedding in Ireland on Thursday.
The challenges of work travel are myriad but the baseline is getting up very early indeed and then sitting still while getting dehydrated and holding in a number 2 that you ran out the door without addressing because you wasted loads of time trying to find the tie with the fewest mayo stains. This much can be assumed.
We had a weekend visitor in the form of fellow #TraleeBoy Colin, who both gave us an excuse to shovel pizza into our gizzards and keep me company through the trying time of a latenight boozy movie doubleheader of Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot and and The Color of Night a piece of Bruce Willis erotica. Which I think we can all agree is the only genuine type of erotica.
Interesting thing about him, as well as an erotic artiste, he is also an accomplished dendrologist. Indeed Bruce Willis is the only former members of the Planet Hollywood ownership crew to have a tree named after him.
I give you- Spruce Willis. Are your legs sore? I had to bring you a long way for that joke.
The rest of the weekend was very grown up, including getting through a lot of life admin. I even drove us to the HomeBase. Like a baby deer that had cocaine injected into the base of its spine. But I did drive us.
As a little reward for doing something I’m less than keen on, we decided to basically empty Aldi out of their range of delicious boozes now that we had the boot to get it home. Note how I didn’t say “buy.” They will remember the day we darkened their door for some time. Even used their own off-brand Black and Deckers against them.
I wonder what the headline will be? “Budget Alcohol-Crazed Powertools Massacre Aldi Staff in Surrey (We Can Only Assume).”
In other news, Meg had some interesting thoughts on the rugby recently. We were watching the lead into the Ireland vs All Blacks game, when she seemed uncharacteristically interested in the Haka.
After finishing, she was silent for a moment, taking in the aftermath of the ancient and even mystic ritual she remarked “Wouldn’t it be awkward if you forgot the moves? <waggling her index finger> HOOKI HOOKI!”
Wouldn’t it be awkward indeed…
Oh and in a final punchline after writing a bunch on how I don’t take sick days, I ended up taking Tuesday off after being struck down with stomach cramps and vomming up a shepherds pie so hard that is splashed back up in my face and when I blew my nose after a chunk of potato came out.
Time doth make fools of us all. And shepherds pie.
Shepherd pie doth makes fools of us all.
The Color of Leek
On the offchance the US is freaking you out then,
In terms of public life, his record could have been cleaner
It’s court-appointed boner-owner Anthony “well done dummy” Weiner
Ah lads. This shitshow is going all Brexit on us isn’t it?
An FYI about the turdcicle above, he’s under investigation for sending pictures of his… surname to underage girls while calling himself “Carlos Danger,” after having been disgraced as a congressman twice for sending pictures of his bulge to random women. His wife at the time worked for Hil-dog and now the world is heaving chunks over the side of the boat as the polls level and Duncan’s horses eat each other.
Incidentally, I was going to use a far more insulting image but I’m trying to use less copyrighted material in case anyone litigious ever reads this. That said I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the hot nonsense I got when searching for said insulting photos. Here are the top 5 tabloid headlines I encountered-
- Stick A Fork In Weiner
- Weiner: I’ll Stick It Out
- Weiner’s Rise And Fall
- Weiner’s Second Coming
- Beat It
So how does one distract oneself from the noise of toilets being flushed on our collective bonces? Well I went some places. And now will say some things about the places I went.
For those among you with less than cascading waterfalls of interest in my travels, well I’m sorry but it’s this or I start sexting Donald Trump with pictures of seal’s penises. Actually I might do that too.
Steady on guys, I meant the arf arf kind. But as you’re so insistent I’ll tweet him and see if he’s up for it. Nothing ventured like.
So I left you with me in the Islamic Republic of Iran. A note on the name, it’s a bit on the nose, but naming your country is half the attraction of any revolution. When I took over Den-Mark, no one noticed my subtle rebranding of their country. But they’ll certainly find out the bad news when a portrait of my fuzzy arse is on the 10 Krone coin.
Incidentally why would our ancestors have evolved such hairy arses? Where is the advantage that I’m not seeing? It’s like sitting on a wig! I digress.
After arriving into my hotel from the airport I hoarsely got my room number off the receptionist and hobbled up to my room passing a who’s who of international arseholery. All the sycophanting burblers of international governments have been into Iran since the dropping of sanctions, including my own MP Phil Hammond who since the post-Brexit purge has been wedged into the Chancellor position. Apparently named by his colleagues “Box Office Phil.” Entirely sarcastically.
How does your humble narrator deal with such ratcheting up of pressure by comparisons with world leaders? By falling into a deep but short sleep apparently.
Intercontinental jetlag pre-meeting sleep is not the best sleep.
The following day I awoke, a bit more kill-me-now than zap-biff-pow but nothing that endless rounds of figgy cake couldn’t fix. The Iranians are a decidedly good looking bunch but how they avoid swelling up like Violet Beuregarde is beyond me. The next two days were a relentless march of meetings upon meetings, with a constant vein of low quality but mercifully plentiful coffee throughout. Most of the coffee in Iran came in single all-purpose sachets of instant coffee, creamer (I hardly know her… I’m sorry) and sugar (I hardly know, oh no that one doesn’t work does it?)
The food on offer was a mix of Iranian (delicious meaty savoury slops), local neighbour foods (the Lebanese have cracked this whole food thing lads) and a single portion of 4/10 lasagna.
Some observations from my 48 hours in Iran-
- The people are easy-going, friendly as feck and from my limited sampling a damn sight more worldy than the chickenheads that populate most other countries (eat it without salt The Phillipines… and everyone else)
- Though for sure they have rich and poor like every country I got the feeling that people are pretty much on a similar level without the weird Wetherspoon-populating serfdom that exists in the UK.
- Traffic is the sticky icky icky (as Snoop Dogg would say) that binds Tehran together as a city. Everyone mentions it and everyone’s plans are subject to it like being teabagged by your violent carbon monoxide producing cellmate. You just gotta let it happen and wear comfortable underpants, because you could be sitting them in for a long time.
Always better to have the rule be comfortable underwear everywhere because otherwise stuff like this happens. Behold, the DingALingSling. Then forget it immediately.
Once I found the monstrosity above there was no way it wasn’t making it into the blog. My whole trip to Iran was an excuse to get this photo in. Not entirely.
I finished my trip to Iran piling back into another taxi off to the airport after shelling out a wad of freedombucks to the hotel as they still can’t take international bank cards. After plopping into my ample seat I drifted between sleep, reading and rewatching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (a solid piece of tobacco stained John Hurt misery). As we approached UK airspace I heard the familiar jangle of the drinks cart.
“Would you like a drink sir?”
“What do you have?”
“Full bar sir.”
“Umm.. Huh. I don’t really know how to respond to you at this stage.”
Heroically, I forwent. Also it was 10am.
My time at home was brief because I was right back on a plane to Athens the next morning where after getting a taxi to the hotel, my cab was rear ended in front of police as we pulled up to the hotel. It was a dramatic entrance for sure, a bit of peril does wonders for sleepy MFers who haven’t had a proper kip in a week.
Athens was a much briefer lap but one highlight was dancing on stage with the Greek band flinging colleagues hither and thither like some mad cathartic Fight Club. Finally on Friday night I got to sleep ten coma-like hours which still only returned me to the stage of staring at people inertly as they walked slowly up to me in an empty foyer and then exploding with motion like an epileptic firework when they spoke to me. It was a few more nights before I was once again, the 8/10 ballbag you know and lo… that you know.
In other news, we also went to North Wales this weekend past, my first time driving on a motorway. Everyone who has ever driven should be chased off a cliff with a pike. Including me. That is all.
Tehroner of Leek
If he was the one flying the planes, we’d have to get pre-flight beery,
It’s scarey leery aero-capitalist Michael “FitzTrump”O’Leary
Micky O’Lah hasn’t been in the news lately but he might have been on our tube. He sat with a vigour that Meg and I felt three seats down the line. A vigour that suggested, “I am an entitled arsehole who has planes.” Then he charged us €20 for what he called “a mid-trip rump-massage.” Boom!
Oh yeah, a Ryanair joke, because in my head it’s 2006.
So this past week I was high on the transport hog and was spread across several countries. It didn’t do a lot for my normally youthful visage (at one point I was able to pinch the bags under my eyes and waggle them around like tiny grey face-scrotes) but it did allow me to renew my love affair with the tiny pellets of honeyed pastry called baklava. That stuff would make you spend a night with Jabba himself.
So Iran, Iran so far away… better not be gay. Because along with an exposed female noggin and going twenty minutes without delicious cakes it’s bally-well illegal in Iran.
Which is where I am as I write this.
“Why am I here?” you’re probably asking, especially those with an existentially curious bent. As with many of the strange and wonderful places I’ve been to over the past two years, this is a work venture. But of course.
Where I work, in your mind (probably)
I got the all clear for this trip only on the previous Tuesday as my Visa still hung in the ether until the crucial final step of getting it daubed into my increasingly ragged passport got sorted by some tremendous fellows in a non-descript house in Kensington. I decided to just rock up to the consulate, emailing people as I went, trying to sort it out with the only thing I knew for sure being they decidedly DID NOT process Visas the day I was there.
Incidentally, why are they called Visas? Why doesn’t Mastercard get any love? That’s not a 2006 joke. Just a bad one.
I was instructed to chill my gills in the waiting room under the withering glower power of the Ayatollah whose portrait makes him look a bit like Sean Connery but after he accepted he was bald and really started owning it.
God he’s magnificent. Connery. And maybe the Ayatollah too.
After some Irish charm (and a lot more effectively a phone call from the European Commission) they sent me on my way, utterly credentialed but now admittedly wondering how my irreverant (and irrelevant) humor would go down with the real-world cast of Argo.
Not to be seen by anyone under 15. Or anyone. I’m glad he’s not allowed do movies now.
Just Affleck, John Goodman get’s a free pass on everything after The Big Lebowski. And not Casey Affleck. He’s a dote.
Last Sunday afternoon I trundled off to Heathrow airport with the ringing endorsements of “be careful,””don’t do anything fucking stupid” and “I’m not going over there to dig you out of the shit” from my various family members.
I also studiously avoided any intoxicating beverages in the airport as I didn’t want there to be any reason for the Iranian Revolutionary guard (great bunch of lads) to decide my blood required some inspection and would be more conveniently located for this purpose outside my body.
The flight was a bit grim being as it was Iran Air. The Iranians can sure do a hell of a foil pouch of unseasoned chicken and rice, but their passengers would be mucho obliged if they soaked up some of the sloshy piddle that made the toilets a one and done occurrance.
The rest of the flight was spent imagining the above scene and arranging my napkins into a rudimentary adult diaper.
I landed in Tehran Ayatollah Khomeni airport in the wee (so much wee) small hours of the morning, with a terrible desire to see someone holding my name mispelled on an A4 piece of white paper. There was no such someone.
After walking up and down a bit some harried looking chap started flaking it towards me and held out some crumpled text. I have always felt more of a Martin Cole if I’m honest and never have I been happier to be recognised as such. We wandered around the car park for twenty minutes, as he jabbed at the button in his hand listening for a beep that wasn’t forthcoming. Parking lines in Iran as well as traffic signals are really more suggestions than anything to be taken seriously. Which brings me to… Shambling to and fro around through the chaotic car salad, the thought occurred to me that maybe he’ll bring me somewhere that isn’t my hotel. Maybe I’ll be… Taken!?
Even Liam Neeson couldn’t get into a decent car chase if he was stuck in what I was soon to learn was the “famous” Tehran all-day gridlock.
Apparently there isn’t a great black market for the out of shape, pasty brillo-pad body type that is now my category should I ever have to classify myself in some grim human brochure.
If you haven’t seen me lately, don’t worry I’m probably still in the back of some lads car on Axis of Evil boulevard. The traffic was easily the worst thing about Tehran, in fact it was the only substantive negative I encountered in my time there.
Food was delicious, people are sound out and most everyone was perfectly happy to ignore any stupidity or insensitvity I might have expressed. Assuming I acted like myself at any point over the two days.
A choice bit of Iranian trivia: to piss off the British, they renamed the street that fronts on to the British Embassy as….
Bobby Sands Street.
Top level mischief I hope you agree. Some more from the Islamic Republic next week.
In other news, Meg has been taken down with a bad case of sore chompers and can’t sleep lying down without her gum swelling up and throbbing like rude emergency dinghy. Downside is she is only able to eat about a half a cup of porridge before quietly weeping.
Other downside is as she is having to sleep on the couch to keep upright, I have started sleeping in a blanket fort like nature definitely never intended.
There are no upsides.
Ayatoner of Leek
He’s doing it voluntarily he’s not getting paid,
Being married to the man is apparently not “the shit”
It’s admittedly gar-geous but probs a ‘mare Brad “The Sweaty Arm” Pitt.
So I know I’ve been slacking on the blog a bit lately, but I’ve actually been really busy mainly with work.
The memoir will be called “Fur-tive Glances” if I ever move into a less controversial industry. Actually I might save that for my soul album. I’ll be holding a sax with a grapefruit on the end of it. No reason.
This weekend just past, Meg and I went on a mini-holiday to Windsor. The town where the Queen keeps all her ceremonial knickers and residents live in fear of being savaged by ferocious over-sized corgis.
We had been talking about going there for so long, my dear Mater got sick of hearing us yak about it so she got Meg a Christmas present of a night in a Windsor hotel. And guess who tagged along, ruining the luxury getaway vibe with trivia about the British Navy’s embarassing (but oh so invigorating) hazing rituals and constant references to the Queen Mother’s gusset?
This is the kind of classic crotch gag you can enjoy by following my Instagram feed. There’s also the odd photo of stuff I eat. Mainly pencaps and Tictacs. I understand trendy things.
So a bunch of little incidents to report from this.
On the way into Windsor, I looked up something on my phone. On a bit of a whim I had liked Cliff Richard’s Facebook page (also liked Daniel O’Donnell’s in the same session but Daniel has decided that his fanbase are a bit more analog than digital) but hadn’t really delved into his depths. Now the first photo I saw set me laughing, but as I kept swiping through it unveiled a whole series of bizzare mini-dramas that left me panting, weeping and indeed dribbling as Meg apologised to the others on the train for ruining the library in a vacuum ambience of the quiet-car. A big deal for the limeys.
Firstly Cliff has apparently bought shares in a vineyard in Portugal and is lacadaisically flogging his very orange brew to elderly women via his photo feed. In one amazingly restrictive promotional event, he was turning up for a tight two hours, where if you bought three bottles of his grog (€20, a total shteal) he’d write his name on a piece of card. Also a lot of the people who were commenting on Cliff’s inane updates had profile pictures commemorating the man himself and urging him NEVER to retire. And there’s a hell of a lot of saucy promotional images of Clifford himself for his albums (Just… Terrific Rock and Roll is on pre-order now) and his calendars.
Mister February 2015 here. His page is full of horrifying dream-invaders like this image. No way to know he’s wearing underpants here guys. No. Way. To. Know.
Just an idea for anyone looking for Christmas ideas for me, those calendars are in shops NOW.
As Meg and I walked down the main street of Windsor, we could see what in the distance and poor light looked like a group of men spread out across the otherwise deserted high street. Owing perhaps to our days in Manchester where stuff like this can go sideways fast and our own upbringings proximal to Limerick and Detroit we have a sensitivity to diceyness. Probably a good thing.
As it turned out, the large group of men was two small separate groups. One was a group of rotund midgets drunk off their arses and crammed to their tiny gills with Windsor fudge (probably a metaphor) and the other was waiters clearing the tables at an establishment called Madame Posh. Not the first or last time since moving down to the Thames Valley that we were the scum to be viewed suspiciously.
There was this flabby 7 year old lad in the station sucking on a Bounty bar (coconut is a fruit) and eyeballing all the other candybars in the vending machine in what could only have been a threat.
Our hotel in Windsor was lovely, but there was obviously something going on at breakfast as the staff were disorganised like 4 year olds at a birthday party. At one point a lady in denims stormed up to our table and dropped a bunch of brown bread toast on our table and quickly before she ran off I blurted “This isn’t ours <no response> um I don’t want this toast.” The penny dropped and she realied it wasn’t ours and her eyes darted around the room.
“Good morning. <no response from the guests>… GOOD MORNING!!!”
Some people actually awkwardly chorused “good… morning?” and one guy got his toast. A tale as old as time.
There was a lady on the train wearing shorts in 15 degrees to show off her varicose veins the size of tiny knuckles poking out of her calf and brown curled toenails like she had been trying to use her feet to find a penny in a pile of her own fecality.
What I did trying to avoid looking at those uncharitably uncovered hooves
Other tidbits from the weekend, I stole 11 soaps from the housecleaner’s cart, the hotel totally nailed the angle of the toilet mirror (100% view of the TV while sitting on the toilet) and Meg and I got smashed on Moroccan wine.
Also apparently there is such a thing as Moroccan wine.
We watched a TV show where obese people were literally publically weighed in front of their peers which included such gems as “I had a tough childhood, my sister was hit by a truck” and “your husband lost twice as much weight as you did and HE’S not even following my program!”
It was a rich full weekend.
In other news Meg called me excitedly with news from her work-at-home day. There had been one of those door to door meat salesman that we’ve all heard of arrive onto our road like a bacony Willie Lomond and Meg obliged him by signed us up to an £80 a month meat club.
When I heard that some travelling flesh-peddler had been taking the fancy of the local women with his fantastic line of thick juicy sausage, I was about fit to round up the village men and hang him from a tree like Mussolini. Then bang on time we got a box of admittedly high quality meat (the % of which orginating from the local morgue being undeclared) which has meant the whole thing has turned into a draw, but we decided to cancel anyway as we can’t have the neighbours knowing we have meat notions.
Still think I’d rather this cuckhold squadron didn’t know our address. I won’t be able to get to work in the morning with shady spivs plying me with pockets full of ground beef and their drawers full of tripe.
“Hallow me owld Choina salt, whadoowehav heeyah then, a lovely bit of kidnay foh da misses.”
Gotta go, I hear someone’s at the door.
Morroconer of Leek