Cronkoner of Leek

Born in a cave by horned Norse demons

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It’s elemental whitefro maniac Richard “erotic glance” Simmons
Once saw him on a train platform (could be true, you don’t know). Oozes a raw animal magnetism that makes me want to sweat to his oldies by which I can only assume I meant something hilarious.
Chim chim chicken limbs! Another week of this crazy helter skelter (had to labor to convince my phone to not autocorrect that to “belted smelter”) gauntlet we call life. Life is calling will you accept the charges? The charge is MURDER! Murder most foul? Murder most fowl. Back to those chicken limbs.
And breathe.
As you might have gathered, I have nothing to say. Not a damn thing. You can show yourself out. Take a pocket full of jellybeans from the big bowl on your way. They’re there for visitors. I’m trying to watch my figure.
You’re still here?! I thought I told you to leave! Get out! I don’t care if the bus is on strike. Get out and walk, princess.
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I’d call you a worm, but Terry here would get offended. And he’s already been pretty off with me since I told his kids about the Tooth Fairy. Now they feel like they’re missing out.
If you’re still reading, you passed the test and good on you. You will now receive your reward. With my writers wand I shall weave for you a tale that will let your emotions soar like the noble kestrel and bring to mind such sorrow and tragedy as hasn’t been seen since fair Juliet cleft her bosom in twain at the slumbering frame of her beloved Ro-ro. Which was her nickname for him.
Also I got a bunch of coupons for unlicensed beauty treatments down at my gym. They will wax anything no questions asked. They can do it so cheap because they hire all these young karate students as interns.
Wax on wax off. Proper belly laughs there. See? Aren’t you glad you kept reading.
Now to the meat of our tale. It’s veally good. Veal is a meat.
For this past Yuletide as well as dropping the routine of relaying Christmases between Ireland and Canada, we instead flew to France with a decent (and occasionally indecent) portion of my dear familia.
As well as eating our way towards having a story to tell every time we went to the terlet, we generally swanned about achieving little to nothing and standing out like a D minor 3rd in Mozarts Concerto number 7.
I listened to some classical music in the week and I’m getting ideas of my station. I don’t even know if any of that crap I said is real. What the hell’s a Mozart? Is it that little stick the fancy butler waves around in the music place? When he makes the guys with musical instruments make squeak boom swoosh noises?
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Cronk no know name of thing good like you smart people. Cronk sorry. Teach Cronk to love. Cronk will cook you lima bean casserole. Cronk see on Jamie.
Cronk’s the best.
One of the most significant ways we stood out from the Frenchies was by taking part in a Christmas Day swim. Meters from the Croisette, the A1 promenade of the Cote D’Azur I and several of my kin disrobed and shuffled miserably into the grey surf like so many of our country(wo)men were doing at home and absolutely zero French. Shivering, lobster-pinkened gams are not the Cannes way of celebrating Christmas apparently.
To be fair there was one lad far over the way who got a bit nude, walked towards the water and then pissed off, but I think he was hoping the water contained someone else’s wife with whom he could adulterate. On discovering the smell was seaweed and the squawking was not female humans but vomity seagulls, he packed up right smart.
While unlike him, my folks and I shuffled around in the water for a good 20 minutes. Swim 5 strokes. Do a wee. 3 back in the other direction. Float. Spit. Check if nutcutlet number two has receded. Stub toe on rock. Little more wee. Swimming!
It was so pleasant in fact and the water so relatively warm I went back the second day for another awkward shuffle in the… spume (one of my top ten words there). On both occasions I was imbued post-float with a hearty satisfaction that I had ticked off a solid amount of accomplishment for the day, which left me the rest of my diurnal cycle for cheap rose, eating mustard flavor crisps (you haven’t been BORN until you’ve got into those bad boys) and collecting paper sweating bags of pain au chocolat from the bakery under our apartment.
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There was also some spinning logs of heaven four doors down, including one which was stacked with veal. As you may have gathered from my earlier veal joke, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
Unsustainably delicious geography.
After achieving quite the nothing for several days we returned to bleak old Blighty where Meg and I started the laborious task of forcing ourselves through the house repository of chocolate, macaroons and several things we had bought new forgetting that we were about to go on a diet. The cruelest bite. As they say.
Before that though we had then birthday girl (she is now furious with me), my dear mater on our doorstep for New Years. She was adamant that she would not spend New Years day, her birthday waking up on our couch after over indulging on my paint-thinner margheritas so I had to walk her back to the hotel in the first minutes of the new year while both of us struggled to digest a Patron’s ransom in tequila and lime.
In other news, Meg is convinced that I peeked at her wedding dress because I knew about some feature that she had previously told me about. Well if had ever considered taking a peek, I could never do it now. Smart money is she’s booby trapped the fecker and two teeth down on the zipper to the bag it’s in, I’d find myself covered in fire-ants soaked in cat piss. She has means that one.
Cronkoner of Leek
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Berliner of Leek

You never know if your baby will get a smackable face, that’s a cruel God’s trick

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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

Ayatoner of Leek

If he was the one flying the planes, we’d have to get pre-flight beery,

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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.

gorgeous-fantasy-worldWhere 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.

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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.

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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!?

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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.

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Beeeeeoootiful

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

Belly Buttoner Of Leek

He’s doing it voluntarily he’s not getting paid,

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It’s Goggle-eyed robot maniac Randy “on Dennis’s couch” Quaid
So I almost welched on this weeks blog, but you know I had a long look in the mirror, took a gaze at the guy on the other side. Kissed him on the mouth. Took a nap.
After all my troubling tribulations  (one for the Star Trek fans there) I decided in the end, YOU the reader deserve a new dollop of creamy nonsense, dribbling over the edge of the bowl because you overfilled it you greedy galoot. You deserve it
You might have a bit of buyers remorse at this stage. That’d be fair.
The past week has been busy but fairly regulation. Meg and I are bighting the biker (I drafted this on my phone and autocorrect chose the image for me, highly appropriate) and finally decided to buy a car. Over the past two years Meg has been getting to work in a rickshaw pulled by a man who’s actual name is Richard Shaw.
No word of a lie, but read together as a sentence…
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“I never killed your daughter. The rebels turned themselves into the military re-education council. A salad would be just as good.” Pinocchio = lying bollocks.
So we went to the local car buying house (I’m a total natural as you can tell) and blitzed about 8 different dealerships including somewhat foolishly some swish German ones. “No we will not accept a baggy full of belly button lint and a horsechestnut for this S-Class. Acorn or better Sir, otherwise you waste both our time!”
Considering how we’re so obviously a pair of rubes, it was hard to believe how resolutely ignored by everyone we were in the dealerships, like the shy little girl at the prom sitting on her own, eating oily, stinking mackerel from the tin that she brought from her home in the sulfur mine.
Sidebar, my girlfriend at the prom (called a debs in Ireland) didn’t eat mackerel from the tin however she did lock herself in the toilet, possibly because it was such a magical night (more likely because I went with someone else). Almost entirely her idea.
We were so desperately trying to get attention out of these car jerks, I was one frustrated moment away from taking my top off and bouncing around a little. Like they like.
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And I thought I had the whole attention-seeking thing down pat.
Eventually after I had alienated the staff at the second to last dealership pointing at a mahogany jeep (actual quote) “who chose shit-brown for the for the floor model eh?” we got serious. Had to, my charm wasn’t really winning them over. Surprisingly.
“We don’t arrange the colors sir. Now here is a picture of a wreck in another dealership filled with garbage, richer than Christmas pudding and smaller than a seahorses danglers. You don’t want it. Leave.”
Larks. Eventually we sat down with a chap in Toyota and after entertaining buying a different car that one could accidentally inhale should one gasp with surprise next to it we eventually settled on a hoor-red Yaris with enough space for a talented blogger to have a tantrum in and still not break any windows. Before deciding to purchase we had a bit of a testdrive to make sure we weren’t purchasing a puce lemon. It was my first time driving automatic and indeed my first time driving since finally driving safely for 25 consecutive minutes and passing my test 6 or so months ago.
There’s no way for you to know I didn’t pass my test by just teaching Herman my tester how to kiss properly. Lots of teeth, that’s the key.
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Okay Herman, you and I are about to break down some boundaries.
Joking aside I am still haunted (not to mention Meg loves bringing it up) how my first instructor Zsolt would in a panic grab my hands and swerve us away from traffic and after the emergency subsided he would lean back over to his side of the car and mutter “…sorry to…touch you.” Yeesh.
I hopped into the business end of the first automatic car I was ever to drive and as it was a new-fangled button-start car to boot (the boot was regular-fangled mind), I was instructed to just put my foot on the brake and press the button to start.
Then I planked my hoof squarely on top of the accelerator and kept prodding the button until the salesman’s embarassment was outweighed by his desire to get going and the error was pointed out to me. As I struggled further he had to advise me to take my left foot off the brake as it’s apparently not the done thing. More bloody rules and etiquette than a hot-tub party with the Queen of England!
Rule 1 – there are no rules
Rule 2 – Prince Philip gets to watch.
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Okay Prince Philip is all done. Send in the corgis…
Ever the canny businessboys, we decided to head home to pretend-think about the purchase in case he threw in a punnet of goose-eggs extra to sweeten the deal. Meg’s Canadian. She thinks all eggs are goose eggs.
As the salesman stewed like a bag of sweaty giblets in a roast chicken (it’s called foreshadowing) Meg and I got to prepping for Canadian Thanksgiving as we do most every year.
Regular readers will know Meg was recently flummoxed into some purchases by a wandering meat man (apparently she produces the readies to any stranger willing to give her a flash of beef) and most went straight into the freezer. Among these items was an organic chicken we decided would be the flagship meat pile of this year’s calorie-drive.
After struggling to defrost the sucker in time I was gratified to see it good and floppy as I banged it into the oven. Oh and should you have missed it, there was an opportunity for a crude intercourse joke there, but I dunno, Trump has kinda ruined genitals for me for the foreseeable. Yours. Mine. Burn it all down and start over.
Anyway, I assumed the extra blood and general oily gore was down to the organic-ness of the chicken. Indeed it was because I had left a plastic bag of frozen guts inside the offending fowl and had roasted that bird all the same. I’d be lying if I said the next morning wasn’t a bit touch and go belly-wise but that’s why they put windows in toilets.
In other news I have recently been told I am going to Iran. On Sunday.
I have nothing controversial to say on that issue and I for one am welcoming this opporuntity to shut my dirty mouth.
Silencio!
Belly Buttoner Of Leek

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