Born in a cave by horned Norse demons
You never know if your baby will get a smackable face, that’s a cruel God’s trick
It’s Godzillas baby daddy, Matthew “Ugh really?” Broderick
Apparently he killed someone in Enniskillen in 1987. He got off by saying he didn’t remember. If you were gonna be famous and you missed out on the 80s you’d probably be pissed. Now all you get to do is have people on Twitter call you a “ginger pleb.” Extrapolaing out from my meagre experience.
So first of all I am a lazy slack-alley layabout. I took Christmas off from the blog without any announcement and I left you cold and alone. Shivering probably. Crying certainly.
Well I’m back… baby…? Never been able to deliver a convincing “baby.” Verbally or as an amateur midwife. The hospital staff are not good sports. I SAID it was a joke. And that I’d wear gloves next time. The court date is in April.
So what did I miss while I was away? Well I aged considerably, 30 years in fact. And no I didn’t age 30 years from babe to broken bottomfeeder in one night you crazy kook. It took about 7 minutes, commencing seconds after I had posted an instagram of me blowing a raspberry at a magazine cover of Putin. Someone accidentally dropped uranium in my tea and my fingernails fell out. It was real Raiders of the Lost Ark melty-faced Nazi stuff. Highly dramatic.
I had been hanging onto the line that I was in my mid-twenties as much to convey a very cultured and hilarious sense of faux insecurity at becoming a broken down old crust of a human as to distract people from the single tear hovering on my lash. It’s not crying unless the bugger gets out of the eye!
To commemorate my thirtieth orbit of the plughole, we went to gorge ourselves on hilariously shaped pork-portions (we call them por-pors, we’re disgustingly adorable) in Berlin. A really super city with as much serious pondery things to see as good wandery areas. In what ended being something we had to tell lots of people, we went to all the Christmas markets including one that had astounding levels of dickheadedness levelled upon by a weapons-grade prick.
The market in question surrounds the old bombed out church and is in the middle of the main shopping district. It’s the capital of German Christmas, making that guy the capital of arseholes.
Now that we’ve angered/saddened up our blood we deserve a peek at this guy. The world is a tough place. But look how sleepy and hairy his little face is?
Berlin was relatively quiet as the weather was quite bitter and most Berliners have the good sense to keep inside unless tempted out by hot Gluwein. First made in the 1800s by a horse farmer with an excess of stock and a dreadful Monday evening with his wife’s friends to struggle through, gluwein is a hot sugary treat adopted by the Germans in order to keep a baselevel of drunkeness throughout the cruel winter months.
It also serves a useful secondary purpose as a quick way to dissolve any troublesome teeth you might have into withered saccharine mush-stumps. Doctors orders and all that.
On one particular Berlin metro ride, one largely mad woman started screeching and running up and down the carraige in a aggravated state. It’s always the same reaction I experience in this situation, empathy to someone in tought times followed by a sincere hope the person doesn’t vomit on me and then punch me in the dinger. She was yelling about something in German of which there was only one word I could gather Weiß (=white). Given this, it was pretty likely her mutterage was focused on people who weren’t… weiß.
Whatever she was saying, it was making everyone deeply uncomfortable as evidenced by everyone squirming in their seats like eels in butter. As the old saying goes.
Later that same day we were on the far side of the city and needed to head back to the hotel. We went down to the metro and saw a familiar face.
Here’s a picture I took of the old woman on my smartphone before she got off the carraige. You can see the crazy in her eyes right?
We had about ten seconds as low-level clairvoyants as we alone knew the immediate future before she began treating us all to another choice example of why German is the only choice of language for the discerning maniac.
Later that evening we were searching for a restaurant of Turkey (the country not the bird, unless the country is the… TO THE LIBRARY!) As we rounded another corner onto another street of slowly spinning composite meat-sticks we walked past a pair of Germans and over-heard one say to the other conversationally “Das ist full-retard!”
Great lads I’m sure.
Our big night out was the final night when we decided to unleash the beast on an area we had decided was the main night-time hotspot of Berlin. I had decided we should come at it from the North (the last eight letters are sponsored by Sean Bean’s voice) as this was the sordid underbelly of 70s Berlin. Bowie’s Berlin. Naked butter-covered dwarf in a cage Berlin.
The evening was early so we were on the eye out for a place to stop and have a beverage. I saw an Indian restaurant with a happy hour at 6 so we pottered in
Time. Along with thirst and the brutal cruelty of the world we live in make up the triumverate of things that dictate when to consume fluids.
“Hi, is it happy hour?”
Waiter – “Happy hour is 6 and it’s ten past five.<we turn around back towards the door>”
Manager – “Ahhh… okay for you we can make it happy hour.”
We sat and drank ridiculous cocktails while waiters shuffled unused crockery on our table and entreated us to look at the menu. Initially Meg was a bit self conscious as to be fair we were getting some serious looks from a table over my shoulder, but she relaxed when after a few minutes the old girls giving us the eyeball were delivered their own platter of umbrella-pronged goldfishbowls.
They just didn’t look as fab as I did
After 4 preposterously decorated and multicoloured drinks we decided to get some food so left the confused waiters to clean our table and gave them a blue-toothed smile (I had been drinking something called a swimming pool that was heavily soaked-through with chlorine and made my turds green.)
We walked for 15 minutes looking for something that tickled our fancy. After realising there were no reataurants or bars in the area, we found ourselves woozily standing in front of a familiar doorway.
“We’re back guys!” The waiter looked at us quizzically and apparently not recognising us or our aquamarine gumlines sat us down again to await our bowls of delicious spicy slop.
Messy Christmas everybody.
In other news Meg and I are hitting our pre-wedding diet hard and are currently hoovering our way through every sugary treat in the house so that we won’t be tempted a few weeks out.
So far so good.
Berliner of Leek
On the offchance the US is freaking you out then,
In terms of public life, his record could have been cleaner
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-
- Stick A Fork In Weiner
- Weiner: I’ll Stick It Out
- Weiner’s Rise And Fall
- Weiner’s Second Coming
- 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.
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.
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.
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
If he was the one flying the planes, we’d have to get pre-flight beery,
It’s scarey leery aero-capitalist Michael “FitzTrump”O’Leary
Micky O’Lah hasn’t been in the news lately but he might have been on our tube. He sat with a vigour that Meg and I felt three seats down the line. A vigour that suggested, “I am an entitled arsehole who has planes.” Then he charged us €20 for what he called “a mid-trip rump-massage.” Boom!
Oh yeah, a Ryanair joke, because in my head it’s 2006.
So this past week I was high on the transport hog and was spread across several countries. It didn’t do a lot for my normally youthful visage (at one point I was able to pinch the bags under my eyes and waggle them around like tiny grey face-scrotes) but it did allow me to renew my love affair with the tiny pellets of honeyed pastry called baklava. That stuff would make you spend a night with Jabba himself.
So Iran, Iran so far away… better not be gay. Because along with an exposed female noggin and going twenty minutes without delicious cakes it’s bally-well illegal in Iran.
Which is where I am as I write this.
“Why am I here?” you’re probably asking, especially those with an existentially curious bent. As with many of the strange and wonderful places I’ve been to over the past two years, this is a work venture. But of course.
Where I work, in your mind (probably)
I got the all clear for this trip only on the previous Tuesday as my Visa still hung in the ether until the crucial final step of getting it daubed into my increasingly ragged passport got sorted by some tremendous fellows in a non-descript house in Kensington. I decided to just rock up to the consulate, emailing people as I went, trying to sort it out with the only thing I knew for sure being they decidedly DID NOT process Visas the day I was there.
Incidentally, why are they called Visas? Why doesn’t Mastercard get any love? That’s not a 2006 joke. Just a bad one.
I was instructed to chill my gills in the waiting room under the withering glower power of the Ayatollah whose portrait makes him look a bit like Sean Connery but after he accepted he was bald and really started owning it.
God he’s magnificent. Connery. And maybe the Ayatollah too.
After some Irish charm (and a lot more effectively a phone call from the European Commission) they sent me on my way, utterly credentialed but now admittedly wondering how my irreverant (and irrelevant) humor would go down with the real-world cast of Argo.
Not to be seen by anyone under 15. Or anyone. I’m glad he’s not allowed do movies now.
Just Affleck, John Goodman get’s a free pass on everything after The Big Lebowski. And not Casey Affleck. He’s a dote.
Last Sunday afternoon I trundled off to Heathrow airport with the ringing endorsements of “be careful,””don’t do anything fucking stupid” and “I’m not going over there to dig you out of the shit” from my various family members.
I also studiously avoided any intoxicating beverages in the airport as I didn’t want there to be any reason for the Iranian Revolutionary guard (great bunch of lads) to decide my blood required some inspection and would be more conveniently located for this purpose outside my body.
The flight was a bit grim being as it was Iran Air. The Iranians can sure do a hell of a foil pouch of unseasoned chicken and rice, but their passengers would be mucho obliged if they soaked up some of the sloshy piddle that made the toilets a one and done occurrance.
The rest of the flight was spent imagining the above scene and arranging my napkins into a rudimentary adult diaper.
I landed in Tehran Ayatollah Khomeni airport in the wee (so much wee) small hours of the morning, with a terrible desire to see someone holding my name mispelled on an A4 piece of white paper. There was no such someone.
After walking up and down a bit some harried looking chap started flaking it towards me and held out some crumpled text. I have always felt more of a Martin Cole if I’m honest and never have I been happier to be recognised as such. We wandered around the car park for twenty minutes, as he jabbed at the button in his hand listening for a beep that wasn’t forthcoming. Parking lines in Iran as well as traffic signals are really more suggestions than anything to be taken seriously. Which brings me to… Shambling to and fro around through the chaotic car salad, the thought occurred to me that maybe he’ll bring me somewhere that isn’t my hotel. Maybe I’ll be… Taken!?
Even Liam Neeson couldn’t get into a decent car chase if he was stuck in what I was soon to learn was the “famous” Tehran all-day gridlock.
Apparently there isn’t a great black market for the out of shape, pasty brillo-pad body type that is now my category should I ever have to classify myself in some grim human brochure.
If you haven’t seen me lately, don’t worry I’m probably still in the back of some lads car on Axis of Evil boulevard. The traffic was easily the worst thing about Tehran, in fact it was the only substantive negative I encountered in my time there.
Food was delicious, people are sound out and most everyone was perfectly happy to ignore any stupidity or insensitvity I might have expressed. Assuming I acted like myself at any point over the two days.
A choice bit of Iranian trivia: to piss off the British, they renamed the street that fronts on to the British Embassy as….
Bobby Sands Street.
Top level mischief I hope you agree. Some more from the Islamic Republic next week.
In other news, Meg has been taken down with a bad case of sore chompers and can’t sleep lying down without her gum swelling up and throbbing like rude emergency dinghy. Downside is she is only able to eat about a half a cup of porridge before quietly weeping.
Other downside is as she is having to sleep on the couch to keep upright, I have started sleeping in a blanket fort like nature definitely never intended.
There are no upsides.
Ayatoner of Leek
He’s doing it voluntarily he’s not getting paid,
He beat up his schoolmates when they called him a girl-man,
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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