Twatoner of Leek

If you’re looking for a place to fry your eggs, I’ve never seen anywhere cleaner,

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Than the buttered up Italian scalp of Pierluigi Collina!

I’m famous. I am in fame. Infamous.

Last week I mentioned that I had just been approached by my employers to go on live TV on the BBC. The BBC as the home of all that’s right and proper in UK society are legally bound to ask for both sides on any debate and that includes the use of fur.

God bless ’em.

After accepting my new position as national hate-figure I was told to expect a call that evening to have a chinwag with the producer. Simultaneously I was trying to cook dinner and was struggling with the desire to divest myself of a past meal. Via poop.

Eventually this desire overwhelmed me and I sprinted to the commode for a time-efficient session. I had just settled into the business at hand when…

Beep beep. Beep Beep. Mark!? Beep beep. Mark. Beep beep. Are you missing a call from the BBC to drop a deuce!?

giphy1Yes. Yes I am.

Eventually I did get on the phone and once they had asked me a few background questions paid me the most gruel-thin complement I’ve ever received.

“You sound like a real human.”

I had been aiming for the voice of a robotic chicken sandwich, so I fairly screwed that up.

As blasé as I may have been able to pretend to be about it the evening before, I had a night that was completely devoid of sleep. Zero sleep. Some sleep? Aren’t you listening you fool. NO SLEEP.

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Nothing like 8 hours of lightless silent rumination to really… calm yeh down.

The next day I needed more than a few minutes to get it together. Meg had identified the right train for me to take into London and told me when I would need to leave to make it. Fifteen minutes after this time she walked into the livingroom and there found me looking confusedly out the window with my shirt untucked.

Still managing to make it well before the allotted time, I was ushered into the 3rd level basement, which I’m pretty sure is where Dante stowed adulterers and people with a poor sense of airplane armrest boundaries. As it happens it was also the Newsnight studio, where Paxo spent years squeezing the necks of politicians as a cruel and unusual sport while the nation yucked it up. All great for my nerves.

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Paxo. He’s never met you, but he thinks you’re a dumdum.

The show was the Victoria Derbyshire programme, a mid-morning current affairs and debate show with an average viewership of 950,000. A missed opportunty for plugging the blog if ever there was one. I was preceded by a Baroness who when taking time off from the lyrics of a Queen song, was announcing a new maternity policy in the National Health Service and she was talking with a member of the public whose child had died as a result of failings this new policy was designed to address.

Real keeping-it-light stuff.

After Baroness Cumberlege CBE DL DSG (her full title, I kid you zero amount) tottered off I was ushered out to the side stage with my opponent who was a semi-nude protestor at London Fashion Week for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (otherwise known as PETA).

Having seen how the set was basically tiny and felt as much like one of the many crummy theatre spaces and venues I have done plays/gigs in, I started to feel more and more relaxed. Chatting to my opponent, also led me to suspect she might not have been the intellectual heavyweight I had argued against in my head instead of sleeping for 8 hours the previous night.

Trying to move conversation to an even territory, I asked what she thought of the UK potentially leaving the EU. “I don’t know what that’s all about. My boyfriend told me something about it.”

Ahh…

So we were asked out and though I do say so myself, things went pretty well for your darling narrator.

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Pictured: My not a normal job.

The whole thing lasted about 10 minutes and from the accounts of others I came off the more knowledgeable of the two of us, didn’t get flustered with any of her attacks and even managed to land a few barbed zingers e.g.

“Veganism is still only representative of 1% of the UK.”

“But it’s always on the rise!

“To 1.1%?”

Those watching from work seemed chuffed enough with my performance (I still work there at the very least) and I sauntered out with a strange sense of anti-climax back into the bustle of London’s Regent’s Street.

Little did I know that the Twittersphere was aflame at the audacity of a person to say a succession of factual things in a non-emotive fashion.

Twitter, where morons go to eat their own word vomit.

If you’re having trouble seeing the small text in the image above the full list of names I was called included:

  1. dush bag (spelling uncorrected)
  2. imbecile the idiot
  3. twat (simple if graphic)
  4. Irish cunt (veering into racist)
  5. smug prick (arguably the truest one?)
  6. (and worst of all…) ginger pleb. A tweet which included #pleb.

It was also suggested that I should be skinned alive, boiled alive and have my face turned into a bag. Assuedly while alive. Very charitable sorts.

I grant that some of you may find this perhaps a little shocking, but this is not the first nor shall it be the last hate-mail/threat-bucket I receive for working where I work. Sadly this is a worryingly mundane practice online, with little practical recourse and not much critical consideration of the correctness of one’s own position. I’m not going to prosletise to you here about my occupation or the ethical mechanics that I might use to validate it, but… I’ve never threatened to cut someone’s face off.

In other news wedding planning is going great. Meg and I have been discussing room allocations for the wedding (still more than a year out), but Meg didn’t feel I had taken a full enough part in it. I pointed out that we had in fact been discussing it at length for an hour.

“IT’S PART OF THE FUN DICKWAD!”

Then we agreed I was wrong and the wedding ledger with Napolean-like strategy notes got a little bit thicker.

Robin Thicker.

What?

I’m gonna cut your face off.

Twatoner of Leek

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Cypriotoner of Leek

She’s about to have on her, the political hurt-on

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It’s dreary stonehead, Joan “goin’ into Labour” Burton

The young, positive face of Irish politics there. On the up side she has a spare x chromosome and never ordered anyone to be shot in the knees. Our Marianas Trench of a bar that. Lowest point on Earth doncha know. Slightly above when Kramer from Seinfeld went off on that audience member.

I’m babbling. It’s been an odd day. But before we get to that…

So a story from last week that didn’t make the cut due to reasons of length. Or so was my excuse from being kicked off the synchronised swimming team. Penis jokes.

Babbling. I know.

Meg and I were returning from our second trip to Ireland in a week, scouting out wedding venues and placing them in to one of two buckets, “potentials” and “estrogen-smeared pink nightmares.” Think that one might have made it into Meg’s “potentials” bucket.

We boarded the plane and realised we were in different rows. We’re adults, we can take it. Meg sat down beside a girl from Dublin and an older South-Asian gentleman with nice shoes. I got a guy that was easily 280 lbs and picked his teeth with a business card he kept in his wallet. Digging in there like he was trying to find Cleopatra’s fossilised tampons, I would never have guessed what a dreadful seatmate he would very soon turn out to be.

Next came him watching talent-freezone NCIS: Los Angeles, a show basically conceived to keep LL Cool J in scalp-wax and moustache combs. And to say “watch” does such a poor job of explaining exactly how hard he was looking at this thing. He was concentrating on it like he was watching Skype of his mother undergoing open-heart surgery. Watching it like he was scouring the screen for clues of his own murder. Every single movement on the screen and line of crisp, obsessively-engineered dialogue he soaked up with laserbeam concentration.

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“How dare you ask me my occupation. I’m clearly in law enforcement. Ladies love me. I’m cool.”

But a show such as NCIS: Los Angeles is too sweet a dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One must take one’s rest. The dawn is ever more sweeter for the night. By which I mean he moved on to the Euro-Electro-Fiasco that is Anna Vessi.

She’s like the Greek-Cypriot Shakira. Say no more right?

Well since her early work, she apparently let her stuff get turned into triple-speed recordings of chainsaws gittin’ down on a speedboat. Only for adults of course. At maximum volume. On a plane. Beside me. Required.

The rolls of hot fat spilling over the arm-rest, the LL Cool J, the Cypriot chainsaws and the business-card rammed between his molars. I could have dealt with it all. If he hadn’t, while surrounded by kids and parents boarding the plane, sitting on the tarmac… if I hadn’t seen him send some of the most sexually explicit and perverted texts that I’ve ever seen in real life.

“I shall jolly well copulate the the fluids from you, me lad.”

Was what he said. Phrased slightly more tastefully. The response, we can do without the dilution.

“Tie me up.”

Things went downhill from there with some slang I wasn’t totally up on (and I refuse to look up on GoogleImages.)

This would’ve been my sole bit of news from a pretty chilled out week. Until 18:00 on Monday. Yaknow, there comes a time in a man’s life, when the designated media contact for his organisation is away in Hong Kong. As is his media-trained boss, the local national representative and the CEO in the biggest company in that market.

And thus at the bottom of a very specific barrel, they found this turkey. Who at 09:45 will be  broadcast via BBC2 to every hotel lobby and unemployed livingroom in the country. I’ve spent my evening trying to eat dinner, plan my outfit (I am considering wearing my seal-fur tuxedo) and quivering with… bleugh.

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I hope that’s shepherd’s pie in my knickers.

I generally prefer not to write about work, but have decided to make an exception in this case, as being on TV is a necessarily public thing. I am on the BBC I-Player for crying out loud.

After writing the above and catching up on the zero sleep I managed I may now report back on one of the weirdest experiences of my life. As I said, having writhed around in a sweaty knot all night, I stomped into the bathroom for a shower. The previous night Meg had taken me into the bathroom for strategic hair removal. Back of the neck? Buzzed. Tip of the nose? Plucked.

I was actually quite relaxed the evening before, managing to write most of this blog, cook a hearty and healthy dinner and have a pre-interview sesh (showbiz talk) with the producers so they could check as to whether I sounded like a human being. Indeed that was their quoted review.

“You sound like a human being.”

I was also told that I would not be alone on this panel. I would be joined by one of these chilled-out totally balanced lasses.

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Pictured: why my job is “not a normal job.”

Ya know what? There ain’t the space here to tell you about it. It’s gonna have be stowed in my little papoose for next week. This is some who shot JR, last week on Happy Days to be continued crap right here.

In other news, we are now fully locked in to our chosen wedding venue, deposit and all. It’s pretty exciting, but getting along with the planning  starts to show up all the other tiny costs coming down the track. We are also moving, to a small house outside Weybridge which continues to be one of the most expensive locales in the UK, deposit and all paid on that too. On top of that we’re getting a car, shower curtains and just for the f of it I am replacing my shins with gold rods and giving a Nigerian Prince a second chance at retrieving his inheritance from the ghosts in his attic. He didn’t even promise to cut me in.

In short, you looking for a kidney?

Cypriotoner of Leek

Votoner of Leek

Interesting Google Image results, he apparently had none,

William Gladstone

It’s glower-powered vinegar-tit, William Ewart “the bee-fart” Gladstone

Known as the bee-fart because of his prohibitively tiny sphincter causing his pant-gas emissions to be small, but frequent. Famously.

Hello there keen readers, air-needers, and chicken-fat feeders!

Assuming that reading these posts doesn’t have the same negative impact on braincells that writing them does, you may have noticed, like a big lazy pillock that I didn’t do a post last week.

The reason for this brazen dereliction of duty was a mixture of several pools of exhaustion, some from work-travel (Copenhagen fashion-week really took it out of my fashionista alter-ego, Marc Boulé) and also that we are currently doing laps over to Ireland doing wedding venue viewings. I’m writing this at 05:30 in the back of a cab with Meg strung-out beside me on our second trip this week to Meath, like she’s just done what is known in our house as “The Bolton.”A composite of our brief but memorable trip there, to do “The Bolton” is to down a bottle of vodka, snort a bag of cocaine, cut your nose off, crash your car into the town hall, murder someone with one punch and eat fish and chips with it’s obvious companion, a heavily buttered slice of bread. It was a really weird day.

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Not this Bolton. The city Bolton. Founded by this Bolton in 1622.

Having basically “done” the County Meath as much as is possible, without going full native and protesting the building of a motorway near a sacred mound (mounds being notoriously rare nowadays), we are facing our second such trip with some understandable concern over how to kill time between our flights.

At least that was until we discovered the M1 Retail Park, just outside of Drogheda. Need to access a motorway-adjacent German discount supermarket to stock up on essentials like pickled figs? Think M1 Retail Park. Want to sample the contemporary sandwich brand that gave Subway spokesman Jared Fogle the energy he needed for pederasty? Think M1 Retail Park. Want to stare into the empty eyesockets of the rotting corpse of Celtic Tiger Ireland while wondering who in the world would have so little imagination and so cold a heart to name a place, that is probably the single greatest professional achievement of their life after the serial number of the closest major road?

Think M1 Retail Park.

An added frustration with this trip is that we’re pretty confident we’ve already chosen our venue in the past week. They had a dedicated muffin lady and a secret pub under the stairs. It was off the dilch. Our potential wedding co-ordinator was a bit much though, trembling with matrimonial excitement at every uttered word and reminding one heartily of a toddler stumbling into their birthday party and then promptly pissing their pants merrily.

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And that doesn’t even cover what shot out the back.

She quivered her way through menus, colour schemes and the all-important table centrepieces before mercifully backing me up on my kybosh of the Canadian tradition of open-bar at weddings. I could see the horrific premonition pass behind her eyes of their lovely venue burnt to the ground as my fellow countrymen caroused drunkenly though the ashes and Megs family ambled about in parkas apologising to each other for stepping in the charred remains of the cake. There would be frigging scenes.

After our midweek viewings, we went into our mutually beloved Dublin for stiff drinks of our own locally-produced preferences, my own the iconic noir poop-dye itself and Meg an unseasonal cider. Then we met my two aunts for dinner during which we were regaled by my aunt Shena (who will not appreciate the direct mention) by one of the most Irish anecdotes I’ve heard in a while.

While sauntering (the preferred walking style for aunts) she noticed a couple putting up campaign posters, one holding the ladder for the other. After exchanging a pleasantry or two about the weather, the man of the pair climbed down the ladder and she realised it was the candidate himself, getting his hands dirty at the grass-roots of his campaign effort. Despite him holding a huge poster with his name and photo as well, she blanked having just realised his name was not Liam as she had inexplicably assumed. She smiled in panic for a moment before Irishing her way of the whole scene by declaring enthusiastically,

“Ah, tis yourself!!”

For background, it’s election season in Ireland and for every political party the message is the same. “Hey, remembers all that crap we did that you hated? Remember when we (select as appropriate) gutted social services / crashed the economy / abandoned our sparse moral raison d’etre / actually straight-up murdered people?”

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Not naming anyone in particular on that last one…

“Well we don’t do that so much anymore. So vote me your number 1!” Ireland has a voting system of proportional representation, allowing you to spread your personal culpability across several of the worthless meat-cones presented to you, to really lock down your feeling of guilt for the next 3-5 years.

As you may have gathered, I feel a visceral disgust at the prospect of Irish politics. To give you an example of the crucible of my revulsion, being from Kerry, we have a couple of nationally recognisable politicians. There was the former sports minister who became the worst speaker of the house in living memory (known in Ireland as Ceann Comhairle, which basically translates to head talk, not very dignified albeit accurate), the convicted gun runner, the former footballer whose main qualification was an unreasonably-sized head and the McEllistrims (names and genders vary over time, but their relentless irrelevance does not).

And <exhalesdeeply> there are the Healy-Raes.

The father:

The sons:

And the Healy-spirit is now acting through the youngest son who is now attempting to get elected and has put together a dangerously radical anti-teabreak, pro-paddycap agenda, communicated succintly in this… ditty.

They are knowingly cheap parodies of countryfolk that delight in making my county a national laughing-stock, with accents that fluctuate wildly depending on their audience and would probably erect a golden statue of their father North Korean style with an inscription detailing how he alone fought back an invasion force of snakes and British people that threatens our fair isle to this very day.

Please, do not vote for them.

In other news, Meg burnt off all my hair with a hardcore zinger a few days ago. When my phone died and I asked friends and family on Facebook to PM (short for private message) me, she retorted that I was a BM (bowel movement.)

This fiance thing is going pretty well.

Votoner of Leek

 

Almonder of Leek

His kebab of preference would be described as donner-y,

Zardoz

It’s unbridleable sexpot, Sean “Leap-onner-me” Connery

Thank god he agreed to wear at least that little amount in that photo-shoot. Or we’d all be dead from crotch rays right now.

You could fry an egg on that thing-sling, but I probably wouldn’t eat it. Probably.

Last week I came to you from a plane over central Europe, fishing through a baglet of dessicated high-calorie snacks trying to avoid the ever-present almonds. The prick of the nut world, they always turn up when you are at your weakest and in need of caloric sustenance, take a million gallons of water to produce and are erroneuosly considered to be a dessert food by jerks who would I am sure vote for a child-murderer to be President given half a chance. And not the respectable, even lovable George Dubbla/Tony Bear kind of child murderer.

The nasty kind.

This week, I am sitting cross legged in a Kerry jersey on the outskirts of downtown Copenhagen. Not an almond in sight, though in lieu of tea or coffee my room has both black salt and black sweet liquorice. I’m sure it’s a local delicacy or some guff but it’s about appealing as eating small squares of roof tiling.

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The Royal Grinkle knows what I’m talkin’ bout! Am I right?!

Tough room.

This is maybe my 7th or so time in Copenhagen and I still pretty much have zero experiences of the place to speak of. Haven’t seen the little mermaid, haven’t designed a futuristic glass and steel bank that is cooled by organic carrots growing in the walls and I haven’t had a grenade thrown at me by Hells Angels trying to prise away my control of the open-air drug mart. All stock Copenhagen experiences.

My representative experience for my many trips has been wandering around, under a gun-metal grey sky, shod in leather footbags with luggage. Often alone. Often to eat in the KFC. Though I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot for work and see some absolutely bananas places, Copenhagen has been a bit less James Bond and a bit more Willy Lomond.

Turkey on the other hand was a lot more glamourous. Istanbul, the little I saw of it was notable for cross cultural architecture (churches and mosques and synagogues oh my!), huge slabs of succulently cooked meat on spikes (as if it were suffering a medieval punishment for climbing into Buckingham Palace and stealing the jewels right off the Royal Grinkle’s… wherever) and massive horse-dong-sized rolls of baklava, (buttered honey-pastry, flaked with pistachio and the tears of angels).

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Everything that isn’t this, is crap. Sorry, small-pox eradication, Amnesty International & puppies. You are crap.

It hasn’t helped that the weather here is much like being caught in a nuclear blast, flesh being torn from your bones and flung around like so much errant herring. As it’s turned out, the crapola weather discouraged me from accomplishing the few unticked bulletypointys on my very short Denmark bucket list. And at this stage it is very unlikely as I am not wearing much bar a Greenlandic sealskin bracelet. It’s not a normal life, but it’s my one.

Weather has been a common issue in my business-guy life on the road as I have had an approximate 80+ decree centigrade spread on my assignments, from the Arctic to an African desert. Drinking litres of water and never peeing incidentally is a damn sight more agreeable than crystals forming in your lungs and one’s shmekel retreating into the recesses like Cornwallis.

My evening was spent at a fashion gala, with a considerable chunk of the Danish cabinet. The governmental top nobs, not some kind of elm furniture unit that you might use for storing bacon. As usual, the fashion style was totally bewildering but at least impressive to someone who doesn’t put a huge amount of stock in making sure my socks match. Nibbles were thin on the ground though (there was a nut selection… always at my weakest hour, the bloody almond) and I have retained my diet purity on a second work trip. Now I can marry the Sheikh!

That’s not what I call Meg… though I’ll admit, you may have just witnessed the birth of a nickname. I can draw on a beard. Relationships are all about making it work.

I am such a good boy indeed, I managed to hawl on my Kerry top and pottered down to the gym in the basement to grease up their machines and raise the odd titter by struggling to climb inside some of the infernal apparati. Have never loved the gym, but I love making noises when I run, particularly a nice loud “Woo!” as I speed up towards the end. Have scared the odd pedestrian and Meg thinks it’s more hilarious than that time I thought I had number 2’d myself on a bus, but in actual fact my nether regions had gone numb underneath me from an overly long journey and I had mistaken the unidentified mass as something alien in origin. Actually she didn’t really like that story.

Especially when I told her mother. Who reads this. Hello Janette!

In other news, me ole mukka, me ole China salt Colin is popping down from the gritty Nawf (say it like Ned Stark) this week from Manchester with tales of “nuttin’ wankahs” and “bacon bahm butties.” And the relentless crime. The locals who hate Scousers, Yorkshire and regard the entire south of the country as a place best ignored lest it attempt to feed them a vegetable. The woman we found in a bush one day at work. The small army of hookers who you’d find wandering around of a morning. The queue of jumpers (not clothing) from the multi-story car park outside our apartment. The three jobs that everyone in the city shared between them one day a year just so they could renew their dole. And the one in ten that STILL dresses like Liam Gallagher. Jesus.

We’re not going back Meg. I don’t care how you miss Bovril.

Almonder of Leek