Gwen Stefoner of Leek

He beat up his schoolmates when they called him a girl-man,

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It’s granite-faced grumblepuss Ron “rent-a-toughy” Perlman

That photo is a bit less Dr Frankenfurter and a bit more Professor Hogroast.

So the last bit of info-broth I ladled out was that Meg and I had been bumped up into the lower echelons of aerial luxury on our way to Canada. We arrived into Toronto as we have many times before, knowing several things.

One was that the border guards, though looking and sounding much like their humourless, twitchy US counterparts were much less likely to prong their guns in my face and accuse me of being an Al Qaeda if I passed some well-deserved post-flight gas at the desk.

Those lads in JFK are too much. “SIR, PLEASE SUCK BACK IN YOUR FART!”Thank God Agent Orange is building that wall eh? Pfff.

Another thing we knew was that Meg’s parents would have soft drinks (which in Ontario is referred to as “pahp”) in the car. A very welcome habit of their’s and much like mothers internationally, Meg’s mom is highly attuned to the preferences of guests. Thus she had noticed some time ago I was keen on Snapple so she had filled their garage with cases of every flavour of the delicious sugar-wet from Kiwi Dream to Kumquat Ebola and everything inbetween.

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She didn’t exactly pull my Snapple-love out of thin air to be fair to her.

The following day we stormed down through central Ontario, bellies filled with all-Canadian sugarballs (aka “TimBits,” aka “Timothy’s donut rinds” aka in some US States due to orders of the Surgeon General, “Diabits.”) We were attending a rooftop wedding in Windsor, just across the water from Detroit. Apart from a brief thunder storm forcing the ceremony indoors and the occasional spattering of small arms fire from across the river the whole thing went swimmingly.

There was however a dude in the foyer who had vomited his mother’s spaghetti on his sweater and kept threatening to “drop bombs.”Meg assured me he was just a local lad who was struggling with his life as a nutless pheasant.

I think I officially have a “Rap Beef” now. Call up Drake. Tell him his songs all sound like he doesn’t open his mouth all the way and Rinnana needs to put on a hoody or she’ll catch her death.

Might say something about me but I’ve only been invited to two weddings, both via Meg so I’m probably not an expert but they had prime rib, a pasta bar where all the pasta was al dente and more meaty sausages than the 1974 Buffalo Bills.

That sounded like a real reference didn’t it? But nope, just nonsense.

Anyway, the food was boss. Oh also, the local high school hotty from 2002 was mixing the drinks, Meg was super excited. Tony Bean. Chet Lighthouse. I dunno some North American garbage name. Hey Meg, what’s his name?

Jonny Bratt. His name is Jonny Bratt.

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And this is my North American cousin. Tuck… Napsack. I don’t mention him much, because he’s awful.

Anyway Meg and I were storming it on the dancefloor, with me whipping passers by with a hail of briny sweat as we jammed it to a selection of Motown hits (Detroit is only a heavily polluted river away after all) and probably less predictably, Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani.

Sidebar. I really like several of the songs from that album and frequently sing Rich Girl but where I change the lyrics to be all about chicken dishes. Meg has to deal with a lot.

Original Lyrics-

Come together all over the world
From the hoods of Japan, Harajuku girls
What, it’s all love, What, give it up
What (shouldn’t matter [Repeat x4])

Yes ma’am, we got the style that’s wicked
I hope you can all keep up
We climbed all the way from the bottom to the top
Now we ain’t gettin’ nothin’ but love

Changed by me to-

Cup of gravy all over the bird
If you want a chick make chicken sando girl
What, it’s sando, What sando
Chicken sando [repeat x4]

If you want to have some chicken
You can eat it in a pie
You can eat a wing of chicken
Or you can even eat a chicken thigh

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G-Stef and me are peas in a pod. Sidebar #2, peas go great with chicken.

After the wedding we went back to Toronto and prepared to receive my dear mother who was flying in to meet Meg’s parents for the first time. Sorry to say there were no major anecdotes or serious mix ups that were worth reporting, all was fine though there was a topless woman just kicking it sitting on a pile of dirt as we went in for pre-dinner drinks. Bit of a conversation starter that one. Free the Toronto two and all that.

Then Meg went home with her folks for a few days and Ingrid and I flew to Newfoundland for a trip that Meg would have hated.  There was a lot of overcast skies. A lot of light drizzle. A lot of walking up hills just to see what was at the top. Meg has a famously low tolerance for an incline. Any more than 2° and you’ll see a side of her you don’t like.

I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean everything she’s said on those occasions though. The Koreans had a rough time of it when we visited the quite hilly city of Seoul.

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They’re still looking for her after the hand gesture she made after hiking up to the border though

Newfoundland was lovely as it happened, though bizarrely like home. Accents, landscape and even music were basically like being in West Cork. That said I’ve never heard radio stations in Cork complain about how Quebec is stealing their hydroelectricity and they should just tear up the contract and if those goddamn jokers up in Ottawa have a problem with that they can get off their little soft three-ply quilted toiletpaper wiping asses and come here and tell us so!

They’re not so keen on being Canadian. Curious why? Well some arsehole you know has just done Newfoundland for series 2 of 80Days Podcast. Which brings me to my new section- Plug This Arsehole <waves> I’m the arsehole.

Just to underline how I’m now an internet sensation (just like, please pay attention to me but totally casual cause I’m cool about it like George Clooney or Kanye) I will be devoting these final lines of the blog to plugging my various online nonsense receptacles.

Firstly there’s the biggy, 80daysPodcast (the aforementioned)that’s where we look at a poorly-known area of the world, the other two (Joe and Luke) research it and I make rude noises in the background as they attempt to discuss genocides and funny hats.

I’m also on Instagram as I’ve previously mentioned, mainly taking photos of pictures with rude implications and occasionally doing the photos-of-my-own-food thing. Just to prove to my mother that I’m not only taking in calories through beer and microwaved tubs of Nutella like I did in college. A packet of Hobnobs in milk was another one. You’re welcome.

I’m also on Twitter and you can just search me out on Facebook. I’m not gonna put a link in for that, just follow the smell of curry powder and BO.

And now after that hard sell I bid you adoo…

<sound of flapping> Caw CAW!

Gwen Stefoner of Leek

Tyler of Leek

When I asked him how things were going, you could say he was an over-confider

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It’s movie-toxin omni-twerp, Rob “The Nob” Schneider

I just say Nob because anybody called Rob (the only name more popular in my year of birth than Mark) was immediately called The Nob. Even if they were nice. Thank goodness my name didn’t rhyme with anything.

Though Mrs. Boyle was probably cruel enough as a nickname.

BerppahdeBERPPP! And like a particularly buoyant turd, I’m back baby.

After almost a month on hiatus the Toner of Leek has rid himself of all the filthy trappings of relaxation. The baubles of sloth. The frippery of his atrophied idle hands which embarassingly sinks below the pant line at your aunts birthday party for innappropriate but well-deserved scratch.

Just to be clear these are things I am no longer associated with, though Meg will still anyone that listens I have the shrivelled cabbage-eating hands of a carny.

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“Now I know you’re not looking at mah chicky. Buckwheat, peck his eyes out.” 

So what’s been the fly juice since last we spoke I hear you bashfully ask. You’re absolutely adorable you know that? But if you cross me…

The summer only really kicked off three weeks before it ended as I travelled to Finland for workboy times. I had decided to stay near the airport as Helsinki is in actual fact quite far away from my house so my time exploring the city would have been minimised to a quick perusal of the recycling bins at the train station before turning tail and heading back.

So I went along to a work barbecue. There were huge slabs of deep marinated skirt steak. Pig middles. And a barrel full of flame-roasted shrimp the size of Don Cheadle’s man-parsnip. He calls it Dong Cheadle.

The next day was workmode but once I was done I was all set to luxuriate in my crapulence in the airport lounge. Look it up, it’s kosher. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to fully enjoy my Finnish wine and bulk-bought minipretzels in the style to which I have become accustomed. Stressors included a last minute phone call, writing up a final draft of a report and a highly autistic kid who was happily smashing his head into a wooden panel as I tried to dampen the intensity of my concerned glances at his mother. She was getting into the soup. Can hardly blame her.

Soup like.

soupwshaqAs a young boy I often dreamed of being a cup of soup. This cup. 

I feel like they would have been well-served by acknowledging that soup can function as a snack. The tagline writes itself. Christ even have a meal deal with Shaquille O’Neal.  Cop a feel and make him squeal. That’s the soup competition in prison.

My talents are wasted.

So I flew back the three hours to London, arriving with just enough time to have a full and hearty evening of packing. For verily, the next morning Meg and I departed for the True North Strong and Free. With a national currency known as the TimBit and the Head of State recognisable by their Canadian Crown of hockeyplayer’s molars studded into a maple syrup-lacquered moose antler, Canada is a nation of contrasts.

This was my third time in Canada in about 18 months, so I’m a real dab hand at… that. I’ll admit I just wanted to say dab hand. Because it’s weird.

This is normally where I might include an image illustrating my point. But apparently Dab Hand is quite a common name for both fake penises and bongs. So just imagine that here.

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Or if you’ve got a crummy imagination, just enjoy a brief reprise for R-Money.

Meg and I got to the airport in jig time and we wandered straight through security like Drake or Bonnie Tyler or one of them other celebrity arseholes. As it happened I could sneak Meg into the airport lounge much like a grubby Leonardo DiCaprio street urchin, up from steerage with all the Guiness swigging wastrels to the Captains table with Billy Zane.

She kept reaching out to pick something up and then pausing hand hovering in the air while she looked for me, waiting for the inevitable nod. She had a light pre-flight lunch of M&Ms and Baileys, like a rockstar.

I sampled some Drambuie without ice and regretted it more than the time I asked a lady with a potbelly in a Japanese bar, “Baby… in stomach?”

We then walked out, filled with chocolate and sweetened boozes onto the plane when we got the best surprise you can get when getting onto a plane. “Please turn left.”

UPGRADE! Like finding a bucket of fried chicken under a pile of dirty pants, we happened upon a real tasty meat-treat. In the shape of premium economy. Not quite Business Class. But definitely not cattle class.

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Not that cattle aren’t the hero of their own story. They just don’t get the leg room we do.

That seems an obvious point at which to leave our boozed-up heros, hurtling through space with our heads on cushions on a chemical toilet wall on 10,000 ft of North Atlantic air.

Poetry ‘n’ ting.

In other news Meg and I have been battering it with the life admin. The washing machine has been whirling like a stanky wet dervish since we came back and bar a bit of jetlag (and associated conciliatory curry) we have been going to bed at good Christian hours of the evening and eating more thick green leaves than a Californian cult leader. Cult leaders eat healthy. Anything as fun as leading a cult, they want to stick around as long as possible to see how good it gets.

the-wicker-man-6DO THE HUSSLE! Also, no more bras, we’re done with them.

I have also started running again and as well as a blog, podcast, facebook page and twitter account, I am also now the food photo-taking owner of an honest to God Instagram account. And boyos, I’m bloody hooked. Not a scabby pigeon goes by with out me taking a photo, dawbing a filter over it and thinking I’m all deep and soulful.

I’m a real fancy boy now. You wouldn’t believe I’m the same guy that used to soak his runners in Dettol.

Well you would. You’ve always hated me.

Typical you.

Tyler of Leek