Tractoner of Leek

When the divorce was finalised all she left him was his famous clump,


It’s the first first Mrs TheDonald wife of the apocalypse, Ivana “Humpalot” Trump!

She’s looking pretty got-her-shit-together right now ain’t she? He’s very divorceable.

This past week we were largely in Ireland, bothering my family and travelling the west coast.

We flew into Shannon Airport on Wednesday morning, a site of some controversy in Ireland as the US military has been flying secret prisoners through there since the Noughties. Flying AerLingus is marginally better than flying Air-CIA where you do get to have food if you have some spare change on you but you miss out on the physical abuse and sexual degradation. Which I guess could be seen as a bad thing.

Dealers choice.


Pictured: A real Saucy Sue

Incidentally, a big hello to the CIA assuming you’re reading, your romantic other-halfs are all deeply unfulfilled (FYI).

We travelled from the airport in our trusty steed. Sorry. Autocorrect.

We travelled from the airport in our crusty turd.

It was (and maybe still is) a Seat Mii. Mii oh my it was a bad car. Bare metal on the inside of the doors (can a brother get some plastic panelling?), unelectrified windows, unelectrified sidemirrors (there was like a weird button that if you worked it like a prom date you could make them wobble a bit), no park setting in the automatic gearbox (you just had to utter “stay put you bitch” under your breath) and a 95 year old Filipina woman under the bonnet, organs failing en masse if it hit 35 miles an hour.

First on the trail was County Clare. The Banner County. The County between… nicer and objectively better counties. To quote top chum of mine Ladies Love Cool Ivan (as Meg refers to him) “all Clare has is hurling and limestone.”


Hurling form comes and goes, but the limestone. Lads, the limestone’ll keep.

Meg was driving as we climbed the coast, my full and blemishless licence is apparently not good enough for Thrifty. Gits. Anyway, Meg was readily frustrated with the surprises that Irish rural driving had in store. The roundabouts that she swerved wildly through, provoking hoots and beeps from the normally docile fellow road users. There was an auld fella hiding behind a a corner who was leaning his head so far into the road it looked like he was trying to get a high risk but low cost haircut. There was a small hatchback with two bales of hay that almost pushed Meg into the ditch. Finally, a guy just pulled out into oncoming traffic and gave Meg a rare earful, for one must assume, the funzies.


It’s pretty high-octane stuff out on the Clare roads. One guy was towing a dinghy.  

Something else that struck us both while we crawled up amongst the static monoliths and swervy tractors was the interminable nature of Irish radio. The DJ’s are allergic to music. You will average maybe one song per 14 minutes, the rest of the time is filled up with inane waffle, intros for other, better songs that you won’t get to hear and adverts for low-key local businesses.

“Welcome to the Wick Hut, for all your candle-making supplies and paraphenalia. We’ve got candle wicks. A DVD of the Witches of Eastwick. T-shirts in extra small and extra large with the words “It’s wick to be square” and three other items. While stocks last.”

So some things that actually happened while we were listening to the radio.

A guy spent several minutes discussing the background of the recording of Gloria Gaynor’s classic, I Will Survive. “She was literally recording with a back brace on. It was completely make or break for her.” Then he played a completely unrelated song.

In the most long-winded way possible a DJ excruciatingly discussed a keynote work of MeatLoaf.

“Do you remember that song. I’ll be doing anything for love, but I wouldn’t be doin’ that meself. Ya see, the thing is about it like and this is always what got me thinking. He never did, in a clear way like, come out and say what the that was. It  coulda been anything. Maybe one day we’ll spend a bit more time on it and try and get a clear answer to this one. Always wondered.”

While a DJ was chatting about a local festival someone on the line in another part of the country interjected loudly to tell about a fight that erupted between a bunch of militant vegans and German circus carnies.

“There’s three of them. They’re hitting her with a broom.”

“Uh… is she okay?”

“There’s three of them… they’ve got brooms!”

It went back and forth like this for ten minutes, while the chickenhead on the scene kept repeating the same information in a different order. “There’s 2+1 of them, they have a brush.” And so on.


“We know your nightmares. We find them… unimaginative.” Don’t mess with carnies.

Once we were done we shifted back to Kerry and had a couple of days with my side of the family. Ingrid’s work was quite high tempo so she wasn’t as relaxed as she might be at other times of the year. She sent us into the supermarket to buy ten bottles of gravy browning for work (“and no fucking about!”). As we came out after a long search (no one knew they stocked it) she swerved up to us, blocking a wheelchair access spot and honking furiously. Later I innocently commented on the stereotypically Scandinavian-sounding design brand she had purchased a new piece of furniture from.


“<under her breath>… fuck you”

I’m also pretty sure she may have referred to a GAA player as a “bullshit pony.”

In other news, my aforementioned dear mother was in Belgium last week and missed being in Brussels during the attack by hours.My vexation on this was increased by the fact that I go to Belgium pretty frequently (like 5-6 time last year) and I have colleagues there. Belgium is quite dull. The weather is no better than the UK. They don’t produce any wine as far as I know. It’s like a 5.5/10. But to do what they did (or as was done in Lahore, Paris, Beirut…) they are dummies. They are pricks.

Also, independent of that, don’t bomb my Mom. Cause I’ll run for office and make Pol Pot look like Trump. Or the other way around. I dunno. You’ve met me. It’ll be bad.

The Easter Rising though and all the civilians they shot. That’s obviously all great.


Tractoner of Leek




Jersey Shoner of Leek

He’s had so much Nescafe, he’ll never get to bed,


It’s that English bloke from Buffy, Anthony Stewart “Giles for miles” Head

That’s him alright, a real fancy boy. I once saw him in Heathrow as I was in full business-guy mode and he was wandering around bereft with a Virgin Atlantic minder who kept apologising to him for something and holding his shoulder bag while he took a piddle.

Because that’s what men do.

I am a sashaying nonsense-sayin blog-delayin fool and I needed to go dark (internet media speak for laziness, not an insensitive Al Jolson reference) again last week for largely reasons of jetlag. Last week I was in these United States for work and to break my diet as hard as my python-like detatched lower jaw would allow. My flight out on the company dime (premium economy, slumming it with the shiphands and the hoards of Irish emigrants doing endless interminable jigs) was straightforward. Straightforward unlike my conversations with border guards, “So you’re here on business, what do you do?”

All it would take is me joining the wrong queue and some vindictive passport-jockey would have me on the no-fly list with that Subway guy and Gerard Depardieu. He drunkenly messed his man-panties on a Ryanair flight. It was a whole thing.

After getting through I realised I was going to have to take a shuttle bus to the nearest metro station. This perturbed me slightly because Washington used to have a bit of a shooty-injecty kind of reputation and despite it now having been overtaken by places like Detroit and Baltimore I was slightly pertubed by the prospect of, while laden down with luggage and cash negotiating my way past Avon Barksdale and Kurtwood Smith from RoboCop.


Eric and Kitty will be devasted.

I emerged from the bus station into the bleary Maryland afternoon with stalls serving artisanal coffee and Welsh-Indian meat-pastries. Now relaxed, my predominant thoughts shifted to “this little snowdrop is gonna be AAAAAALLLLLlright… I wonder if I have enough arm room free to carry my luggage AND a stack of baked meatpockets.”

Incidentally, “Meatpockets” was my prison name back in the 80s.

So DC, is really nice. It’s super European with a proper Metro that goes everywhere, parks, museums but on the other hand a mad dictator level of monuments and enough cholesterol to give an elephant arrythmia. I’m keen.

The next day was my tourist day in DC as the rest of my trip was locked in with work commitments so I hit it early and hit it hard, which is also my policy with regards toilets on planes. DC has a massive cross-shaped area through its centre with all the famous stuff on each of the 4 spokes and the Washington monument stone-boner proudly impregnating the clouds with its patriotic fervor.

It’s a strange feeling going around there as I, at least was quite aware I wasn’t getting the same feelings that many of the other largely American tourists were. Example, overhearing a burly tourguide explaining the Vietnam conflict to a bunch of junior high kids, “…this was to stop the growth of Communism. In Communism if you don’t like the government, you’re not allowed to say it.”

That’s not what Communism is. Indeed sometimes, it’s what America is. September 12th 2001 and on for a quite a bit for example.


Remember when we thought this was the worst President America could ever have? Those were the fucking days

Walking around the war memorials, in particular the Vietnam memorial it was… communicative. The memorial is a just a list of names on marble of all the people that were killed. It’s a big monument in a small font. It’s tough to look at.


Awww… unlike this liddle feller. He makes you feel okay about things. He says 58,220 US soldiers died in the Vietnam war, more than 13 times the Iraq war. Snerp snerp!

Ain’t no puppy in the world is going to make that not look like a combine-harvester bin filled with human skulls.

The next day I was on the clock and was shipped out to Georgetown (such a local) for work-times and that evening I was shkooted out towards New Jersey. By which I mean Noo Joisey.

Don’t. It’s a kip.

The saltwater leeches into the inlands of the “Garden State” and has turned the whole hole into a marshy methaney fart-fest. The area I was in has been conquered by developers who have erected plastic uninhabited leisure monuments up and down the coast, for the likes of Snooki, J-Woww, The Dilch-uation and all the other Jersey Shore wannabe turdcicles that turn up for a few weeks a year.


Honest to God, I could look at these guys for hours. They’re like a tanned lava-lamp with a questionable interpretation of consent.

After 72 hours in New York’s crumbum neighbour it was back down to DC for some Paddys Day pints with a former Maynoothian chum under a fittingly slate sky. While sauntering around the city ladened down with luggage I passed a girl wearing a sash with the word  “Rose” on it. It was indeed the DC contestant in the Rose of Tralee, the International lovely-girls competition run out of my home town. Her Dad clearly thought I was a vagrant pornographer until I explained where I was from, at which point he documented the whole thing with a photo (probably in case I abducted her).

That man had a grip on him boy. Word to my network of fellow vagrant perverts (I know you’re reading). Leave that one alone.

In other news Meg and I have been gittin’ down to business. Nasty business. Wedding admin. We spent a fraught hour discussing stationary until she got angry and we just went with her idea which we both agreed was the best choice going forward generally. In retrospect my suggestions may not have been as positive as the tone within which they were delivered. I suggested a lot of turkey-themed ideas, a London bus (for an Irish wedding) and this cow skull thing I thought was pretty nifty.

There was a time that Meg wasn’t so keen on me travelling for work. Now I feel she would prefer I travel more. Much more.

Jersey Shoner of Leek

Irritoner of Leek

The crack in his bike, he attempted to try and weld,


It’s airplane food hating Jerry “what’s the deal with” Seinfeld

Yee gads, that’s a big picture of Seinfeld. What the hell happened there!? I can assure you I wouldn’t have included that photo if it had I had realised it was going to be so bloody big. He looks like he’s about to attack frigging Tokyo with a mix of radioactive eyerays and jokes about authoritarian soup chefs. Terrifying.

I have fully recovered from the excitement of being raised up from completely anonymity, to be fully scorched by hateful Twitter trolls who have nowhere better to be at 10:12 of a morning than watching me on the British Broadcasting Corporation drawing a big target on my forehead. The cameras, the lights, the monogrammed toiletseat cover (for the hygiene-conscious but brand-loyal commode user). What a thrillride! But fame hasn’t changed me. Ask Meg. I still put my pants on two legs at a time just like anybody else.

Just me? I just don’t like to discriminate between left and right. Which makes me a good guy to have in a political consensus-finding effort, but a blatant hazard on the roads.


I would argue I’m not so much unskilled, more…  unlucky.

Much to Meg’s irritation (and if she admits it, partial relief) work has me on the road more often than not at the moment. Last week, I was mainly in Milan thoroughly giving up on my last screed of diet-control willpower to the ham and cheese edifice of Italian on-the-hoof dining.

The old hang ‘n’ chaze is something that I had never quite realised was such a fundamental part of the Italian chef’s repertoire. Even those famously dairy+pork crazed Deutchlanders vary it with the odd wad of pickled guck. Italian cuisine. Quality off the dilch, but 80% of any menu. Hang. And for a change, chaze.


Put those hands together baby…

Milan is usually more towards the fashiony side of my manifold workly duties and definitely makes me wonder about the Zoolanderfication of my life. It’s not everyday you translate Japanese for the editor of Vogue Italia concerning the process of creation for a one-piece garment declaring the wearer to be a “Worthless Screamer” in large neon yellow letters. It’s a long way from when I was a night porter at the Lancaster Lodge in Cork and the most interesting thing that happened was that I forgot to turn off the milk tap while preparing breakfast.


It really was a lot of moojuice, but anecdotes like that at best fall into the “you had to be there” variety

By the time I had returned from Milan, I was down a lot of sleep. This was due to mixture of factors, a very early start on the Tuesday and Wednesday and on the one day where I had a chance at a full eight hours, the window in my hotel room blew open in a storm. This doubly sucked because it was not the kind of window that was meant to open, meaning my attempts to close it, shivering in my tiny pink pantys were doomed like a marriage between hang and not-chaze. I channeled my teenage self to get me through the night.

Irish households generally regard heating as a sign of moral weakness and thus I had become adept as a youngster at falling asleep with my face under the covers both to retain breath-heat but also to starve my brain of oxygen enough to get to sleep. It was a similar story in my college years but that was more down to the discovery of my housemates and I that heating oil could be boiled into a fortifying if dizzyingly pungent alcoholic soup.

Nutrition is for fascists.

On Tuesday I saddle up again and scoot out to the US for most of the week. First on the agenda is Washington DC where I shall assumedly get a FBI file opened on me by failing to salute a Trump-brand manhole cover with the due reverence and vigour (gold-plated for maximum luxury you boring idiots.) Another big aim for this particular chickenhead is to soak up some semi-Southern US foodstuffs while Meg powers through the last week of Project Cucumber in an attempt to starve off her final few milligrams of bone-density.


It’s not necessarily that their food is better, it’s just that they make everyone else’s terrible food look lazy in comparison.

Something else that has emerged is that the second leg of my US trip will be to the coast. Of a state South of New York. One could say it’s the shore of that great state. That happens to be Jersey. The Jersey Shore, I’m going to the Jersey Shore. And not like a normal town that happens to be by the sea. The actual boardwalk with the terrible people that shoot spray-tan and reproductive fluids at each other like they’re on a corporate team-building paintball range. They may have t-shirts tighter than an ant’s anus, but they ain’t never seen a bump and grind like the… Mark-ess of Queensbury. I may benefit from a more macho nickname before auditioning for the sociopaths at MTV. Or maybe I’ll just have to come up with a better way to spend my time there.


Great news Meg! From now, I’m shtupping Snooki. Alert the tabloids.

In other news, Meg got a little sensitive when I may have questioned (in an admittedly concerned tone) whether she was going to wear a pair of leggings to go and do the groceries. Normally I wouldn’t have questioned this, but she clambered into them while talking about going, so the order of events invited the question, or so I thought. She then loudly questioned whether I thought she was “trash” and whether she had ever besmirched either of us with an outdoor expedition in said leggings. The answer to both of course was no, but that still didn’t sooth her jangled nerves.

The scars of Manchester run deep. They are garbage there. Sub-human garbage.

Irritoner of Leek