DiCaproner of Leek

He kept on keeping on because his organs were built to last yo,

Berlin, Fidel Castro an der Grenze

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.

Check out Season 1 of stuff on iTunes or if you’re the kind of degenerate who is not on an Apple device you can search it out however you get your podcasts e.g. Stitcher.

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.

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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.

Although the illnesses of last week that kept me out of the channel tunnel have since passed, I am still stuck with the remainders of a cough. Like a secret Soviet weapon, my cough is an immediate 1/10th of a second of ear bursting cacophony that actually heats nearby metal surfaces.
For her part, Meg too retains a fair degree of illness to the point that when she falls asleep she begins making mewing noises that approximate to sub-threshold cough-impulses until she hits the 3rd or 4th and wakes up like Leonardo DiCaprio spluttering up seawater after the lass who got her kit off in Titanic chucked him off that bit of driftwood.
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I know what you did Rose. Billy Zane is a-coming for you and he ain’t bringin you lunch!
Our sicknesses were particularly poorly timed for the week we had.

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?

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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.

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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.

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<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.”

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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

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The Color of Leek

If we judged people on how they understand theatre, we’d judge him to be kinda dense

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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.

Glorious.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).”

Print it.

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

Maccaroner of Leek

On the offchance the US is freaking you out then,

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Consider how every bloody country has their arseholes e.g. Marine “plus mauvais que Papa” Le Pen.
As fun as it is to draw the correlation curve between the invention of baconaise and the rise of fascism in the land of the free(-dom fries), pretty much every country is one lunatic away from getting flushed into flag humping immigrant-bashing frenzy. The U.K., my adopted home is genuinely fomenting panic about STD-riddled foreign ladybugs, which I really thought would’ve only been an issue if you were trying to crack into an arthropod in the Biblical sense. So now we know.
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Above: an image that would give the Daily Mail writing staff a ferocious pant-corn. As they say.
No more on that guff festival. Now to matters of substance. Matters like cake.
Meg and I were in the aul sod this weekend to get down to some of the more enjoyable parts of wedding planning. Wedding trivia- this my AND Megs first wedding. Hashtag meant-to-be right?
And no, no one uses # to mean hashtag anymore. I read it in Coolguy Weekly. There was also a useful guide to help your tailor hide your pant-corn with strategic deployment of a belt and handkerchief. Confession time, I’m the editor, graphic designer and target market for Coolguy Weekly. Mommy said it would make people be my friend.
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Why did you lie to me Mommy?!
We got up on Saturday morning and hauled our sleepy bones to Gatwick (of Londons five international airports, it is by some margin the one that is most in Gatwick). As we shuffled along like cattle with coffee breath we noticed some auld lass who was chatting up these 5 surfer brahs on the moving walkway.
From the looks of things it was a heartwarming scene where some golden locked young bucks showed a little bit of chivalric attention to a lady who was getting on in years but was entertained by their youthful japery and even perhaps flirtatious tone. Hey. You know how on every one of those moving walkways there’s a recorded voice saying something like “hey, watch out turkeys, in 3 feet this thing turns into normal stationary ground so keep your head on a swivel.”
You can see where this is going.
As I looked at the lady’s face and wondered about the passing of time and how it changes us as people her face suddenly dropped out of view behind the shoulder of surfer brah number 3.
Cue pandemonium and exclamations more akin to the sinking of some ocean-going vessel “SHES GOING DOWN!” and the like. After it was clear she wasn’t going to leap up like some 11 year old Olympic gymnast (probably fed up on… monkey glands and midget pills) someone at the front screamed “push the button, where’s the button!” I stabbed at the emergency stop panel to stop any more holiday goers from stomping on her like wet boots on a welcome mat. I know guys, I’m a hero.
Hey Gandhi, ever stop a moving walkway to save a clumsy old woman? Course not. What an arsehole.
01/00/1998. File pictures of Mahatma Gandhi
He was a saucy looking fecker though
She survived, with a mere grating of red scratches down her face and with a retinue of gawkers and well wishers providing her such vital advice as “I saw you fall” Meg and sidestepped the crowd and went for our plane.
We had cakes to taste.
After arriving and checking in we boarded the red line of the LUAS and headed for the appointment. For background, the LUAS is the tram system in Dublin and is divided into the green and red lines and because we are a sham of a country, these lines do not intersect at all. As the red line takes in a few of the more salty areas of the city (and I’m talking bacon in brine salty) it is known uncharitably as the “Bread Line.”
After wandering about a little we were ushered into an apartment on the outer edges of the city where for twenty minutes we proceeded to eat about three birthdays worth of cake. With each gooey morsel more intoxicating than the last we struggled to keep it together in at least moderating our critiques to nonsense like “maybe it’s too… obvious as a cake.” The winner was never a doubt as once I took my first bite my expression changed and I immediately looked over at Meg with sugar-fueled intensity.
Her expression was neutral like some kind of confectionary-obsessed assassin and I decided she must not share my burgeoning pant-corn that was forming for the cake in question. Indeed she simply hadn’t gotten to it yet, as when she took a bite she immediately looked at me, pant-corn in situ and decision made.
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We had our cake, ate it, had your cake and ate that too. We also ate some macaroons that could have been anyone’s.
In other news the other big wedding move was our meal tasting at the venue, where we sat down and drank every single wine that we could choose for the menu and tasted every single option available for the food.
This was the starter. It was almost the bloody finisher too.
The night was very pleasant as we had all our positive memories of the venue and staff affirmed and massaged by a free wine list 16 bottles deep. We stayed nearby in Slane in the only hotel in that insanely small village and decided to taxi over and back so we could really cut loose. Two small issues emerged from this.
One was we realized we were slightly tight on cash as there is no ATM in Slane. Barely any frigging people either. 2 butcher shops. Weird place.
The second was we got utterly gouged by our taxi driver on the way to the venue. The git charged us for his journey from his house and kept rabbiting on about how he was “doing a favor” for the hotel.
These two issues meant we were slightly tight on cash for our taxi from the venue back to the hotel. I mentioned this to the co-ordinator who had agreed to call us a cab that we only had so much in Merkel-bucks on us.
Meg left for the toilet and she came up to me again just to reconfirm our limitation and then walked off to sort our transport.
Meg sat back down and we were approached a third time. “So if you just wait a few minutes, John (the general manager) will drive you home, you’re on his way.”
Megs mouth dropped open like an overhead luggage bin full of rocks. “Mark! What did you say! <grabs the co-ordinator> We’re not poor, we can afford it!”
She apologized for the suggestion and assured us it was an easy fix and not trouble for us to take the lift. Meg was, to use a Dublin phrasing – “scarleh” like a bride-to-be shaped raspberry.
All I know is I saved myself a sum in the low 10’s of Merkel-bucks. In other words… result.
Maccaroner of Leek

Tehroner of Leek

In terms of public life, his record could have been cleaner

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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-

  1. Stick A Fork In Weiner
  2. Weiner: I’ll Stick It Out
  3. Weiner’s Rise And Fall
  4. Weiner’s Second Coming
  5. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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