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

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