Things Ryan North Bought With My Credit Card

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-103.36 CHECKCARD 0926 LOBLAWS 4.2 TORONTO ON

Ryan and I have returned our credit cards to each other. As of now, our summer stunt if officially over. This is the second to last purchase he made with my card. But we both made one grand finale purchase before returning the cards. Posts about that will be coming soon.

But for now, I will describe his penultimate purchase with my money, which took place at a Canadian supermarket chain apparently named after Scott Baio’s character in Arrested Development. I am told that he (North, not Baio) was shopping for a feast to celebrate his bro Joey Comeau’s birthday. Comeau has made a cameo (comeo??) in the Things North Bought chronicles before, when he and North dined at a Swiss Chalet, and I for some reason wrote four pages about an unrelated burger chain.

Here’s a photograph of Ryan’s haul from Loblaw’s:




Let’s see… a pack of Oreos, some ice cream… uh… some jars of shit. Pita bread? An onion. You know, the fucking basics.

Turns out these ingredients would soon morph into this, a cake made of candy:



The other half of the groceries, not to be outdone, transmogrified into this decadent spread. I have it on good authority that the word “CHEDDAR” was spelled correctly on the first try, which is a relief. It’s nice to know Ryan didn’t totally ruin the party right out of the gate.



By all accounts, the party was a huge hit. Catastrophic cheese misspellings were virtually nonexistent, and almost nobody went into a diabetic coma from the cake.

Loblaws now has 103 of my dollars because of this party. What is there to unpack about this supermarket chain? Not much. Their site is pretty boring, although they do have a prominent recipes section, which I appreciate. I wonder if their recipes include “Make a cake out of candy.” and “Put a lot of delicious shit into small labeled bowls, spell cheddar correctly, and don’t forget the dog food.”

Really I should just cut the crap and go straight to their Facebook page. It would be a disaster to wind down this blog without one last triumphant gallop across a FB comments column as Steed McPainting. These people need to know what a great time Ryan and Joey had on my dime.



Sep 4

-429.01 CHECKCARD 0731 BEN NAVAEE GALLERY TORONTO ON

Ryan North had this stunning work of art framed, and paid for it with my money, as is the practice that is reasonable and customary among bros. It is a portrait of me, painted by my alt-universe Canadian bro, Michael Firman. (The alternate universe is the one where it’s possible to have more than one Canadian bro.)

-35.02 and -23.18 CHECKCARD 0716 MEDIEVAL TIMES DINNER TORONTO ON



"Lorde Northe!" thusly hade wailled his athirsten chivalrie pon his noble eaerres. "Maketh thine thee haste with ye libationnes!" Hath growen wearie of swich waymentynge from parched dronkelewes, ye Lorde Ryane brandished thou deyntee plaestic afforde’d by thee choise brotymes Duc Huss, and so swipeth did he at thine hosliteer til all debte was settle’d.



"Ful swithe, M’Loard! Ye Esthablishmente hath begun yon operation of the fogger just offstage, and thine roudy conteraptionne hath yeven mighty billowes of ersatz fog as swich pooles unto some sort of enchanted peaty moor." Thee Lorrde did swiggeth yon massive gulp offe his ale and undertooke a great kingly "Hmmmmmm" betraying how layme he thoughte what was going on actually was. "Loord, Avast Ye! Thine flyghtefooted pykepurs, how he faires fromm yon mysts!!! Tis surelley an elfe methynkes." As King Ryan dwelt pon his emptie flagon, consydering whethre to seize more of the Duc’s gold from afar, he wondered, "Isn’t Avast Ye a thing that pirates say? Pretty sure that’s only pirates."

/END FRIENDFICTION/

Before I wrote that intro to Ryan’s adventure at MEDIEVAL TIMES DINNER TORONTO ON, I thought about cribbing some Game of Thrones fan fiction from the internet, and just inserting the name “Ryan” into some places. But ok, I’m here to report to you that first of all it turns out that Game of Thrones fan fiction REALLY SUCKS. Second of all, much to my surprise, nobody peppers their GoT fan fiction with pointless, mostly bogus Middle English-speak??? It turns out everyone is just trying really hard to be G.R.R. Martin. You are all a bunch of posers and your stories are terrible. There, I said it.

So what is Medieval Times in Toronto ON all about, aside from beverage service, and on-stage effects designed to drastically reduce visibility? Their website has all kinds of information, most of which I won’t talk about or look at.

I do notice their front page uses one of those Flash-based rotating banners. But there are only two images in the rotation, and one is a horizontal flip of the other.



Diving right into their FAQ section, I noticed this one:

Is it true that we must eat with our hands?

Absolutely! Eating utensils were not used in the 11th century and we take you back! The King’s feast includes garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, spare rib, herb-basted potato, pastry of the Castle and beverages (may vary by castle).

Alright, I don’t mean to be a spoilsport, but are you going to frisk me at the door for utensils? Because if it’s all the same to you, I would rather you “take me back” with maybe just a few modern amenities. Are you going to suck the vaccinations out of my blood too? How about we compromise. Can I at least surreptitiously retrieve a straw from my breast pocket to slurp down your fucking tomato bisque??? If you agree to that, I will do my best to muffle my screams as I clutch your scalding hot herb-basted potato in my trembling claw, while I attempt to bore into it like a starving animal.

I don’t think there’s much more to say about this place, other than people and horses caper around while you try to eat hobo-style. What I am REALLY interested is what the PEOPLE have to say about it. I didn’t see a link to a Facebook page right away, but then I noticed waaay at the bottom:



The first thing I notice about this page is: horses are everywhere. This is a good sign, because I am about to get on my Steed and ride like the wind.



Aug 2

-1.32 CHECKCARD 0714 THE BEER STORE #2420 TORONTO ON INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION FEE

Aug 2

-43.89 CHECKCARD 0714 THE BEER STORE #2420 TORONTO ON

This purchase was made 16 days ago. You will note I am still pretty far behind on recording Ryan’s purchases due to being an otherwise busy professional, and also due to GROSS NEGLIGENCE. It turns out that shenanigans require a major investment of not only monetary dollars, but also time and dedication??? I will be caught up soon though. You’ll find his next purchase pretty exciting, and the one after that even more exciting, I promise.

Here it seems Ryan bought some weed beer from THE BEER STORE #2420 TORONTO ON, which was brewed by (upside down question mark) C’EST WHAT?.

Although when you click that link, it seems like it’s more of a restaurant than a brewery. I like North’s train of thought here though. This was about as close as he could come to letting me know he was using my money to get stoned as possible, since it’s not like many weed dealers swipe credit cards.

I couldn’t actually find much information on the weed beer except this:

Homegrown
Hemp
Ale
This
cream
ale-­?style
brew
has
the
nutty
flavour
of
toasted
hemp
seeds.
21
IBU,
4.9%,
C’est
What?,
Toronto,
Ontario,
550
mL
-­?
$6.64,
330
mL
-­?
$4.69

Which for some reason became formatted exactly like that once the text was copied from the menu to my clipboard. I didn’t change it to preserve the authentic experience of what it’s like when a guy drunkstoned off his ass on weed beer tries to turn his restaurant’s menu into a PDF. I can’t really tell from this what the exact marijuana content of the beer is, or how stoned it makes you. I do know it’s starting to make me feel a little high just trying to figure out what the deal is with that upside-down question mark. Is that how French works? My struggles with the French language are as brutally public as they are humiliating. Does French use the same upside-down question marks at the beginning of sentences that Spanish uses? Oh my God, I just caught myself asking the kind of question a DUMBASS wonders.

either that or someone who’s

  










-0.77 CHECKCARD 0711 HARVEY’S TORONTO ON INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION FEE

-25.51 CHECKCARD 0711 HARVEY’S TORONTO ON

17 days ago, Ryan spent about a quarter of one of my Benjamin Franklins at Harvey’s | Canada’s Best Tasting Burger. Or a quarter of the Canadian equivalent of Ben Franklin, whoever that was. I did not learn about him in school, because in America, they don’t teach us about guys like that.

Just go ahead and click that link to begin your journey into understanding this burger chain’s self-proclaimed DOMINATION in the arena of Canadian burger yumminess. Just be careful not to click on the French side of the site’s gateway, unless you enjoy reading INSCRUTABLE HORSE SHIT.

Hey, what gives? Google Translate says the English and French slogans are different. E: “It’s a Beautiful Thing” vs. F: “Each Has His Burger”. The latter seems like a pretty strange slogan to me, even after accounting for awkward translator parsing. The sentiment of the slogan is, “Everyone gets to have a burger. Yes, you there. The burgerless man. You shall have one too.” Uh… fair enough? Maybe there is a cultural divide between English speakers and French speakers when it comes to the linguistics of marketing? Maybe that slogan makes their dang mouths water in Quebec. Come to think of it, maybe the slogan “It’s a Beautiful Thing”, which to English speakers seems like such a generically corporate, quasi-inspirational junk phrase, actually sounds like a bizarre slogan to non English speakers? Maybe they’re wondering what the hell Harvey is babbling about. “Beautiful? EXCUSE ME??? Beautiful was the day my child was born, hamburger man. Spare me the poetry, I am HUNGRY.” Maybe that’s what they would say, is what I’m saying. Do our slogans sound like shitty spiritual aphorisms to a Frenchman? Does he wonder why our products are associated with beauty and freedom and redefining luxury, and all that sort of lofty nonsense, when more practical questions like “can each man physically obtain this product?” go infuriatingly unanswered? What sort of non sequitur do our slogans become when they hit French ears? Like Coke’s “Open Happiness.” They don’t want to hear that shit. I think the French would be more comfortable with something like, Coke: “Brown Liquid In His Mouth. It Can Happen.”

Well, now I’ve pretty much committed myself to clicking on the French section and telling you what I find there. Hang on.

Ok, I don’t really understand anything here, except like “CHEDDAR”, and also I guess… most of the words? Like “CONFIDENTIALITÉ” and “FRIDELLES” which is right next to a photo of fries. I think I was overreacting when I called French inscrutable horseshit. It turns out that maybe foreign languages are not a very big deal? Most of the words are just silly versions of English words. Anyway, there’s nothing very interesting there, except for a link I zeroed in on right away: Aimez-nous sur Facebook.

I clicked on that, getting pretty excited to hear what French-Canadians were saying about this joint, and if indeed “Each [Does In Fact] Has His Burger”. But I was disappointed not to find even a lick of French on their FB page. Nothing I could g-translate to perhaps take a closer peek into the curiously admirable utilitarian mindset they bring to the table when evaluating products and slogans.

I notice right away that people are much more mannerly on this page than they are in the comments section of Toronto Life. There are hardly any brutal flame wars here at all. But I couldn’t see the full comments unless I was logged into FB, so of course I dusted off my stupid old sock puppet account from like five years ago, which I made for this very reason, to be able to log in without actually “using Facebook,” due to the fact that Facebook is approximately the most horrible thing ever conceived. The FB account under my real name isn’t really me. It’s one of my weirdo fans squatting in that account, doing a really half assed job of pretending to be me. Good for him I guess? Someone was going to anyway, so he might as well be the intrepid dude to hold down that fort.

So I logged into FB under the old account I named after a painting of a horse, had to assure the system that the login attempts from Bulgaria which had accumulated over the years were not actually me, so that I could FINALLY read a few banal comments about a Canadian hamburger restaurant.

Right up top, Harvey’s got a huge black eye from the vicious left hook of a disgruntled customer named Julie. Naturally I was very curious about her ordeal, so I inquired.



I don’t know if she’ll get back to me about it though. Or for that matter, if I’ll even log into the Steed McPainting account again in the next five years.

As I scrolled through the comments, mostly populated by the remarks of happy, satisfied customers, I kind of got in the spirit of the media.



Wait then things kinda started getting ugly again?



Then things got cheery again.



Ok I guess I’m done doing that.

Oh but HOLD UP. I spent so much time messing around with people who chat about burgers on facebook for some reason, I completely forgot to mention Ryan’s ACTUAL TRIP to the establishment.

I notice on the map there’s one just down the street from PAULETTE’S ORIGINAL TORONTO ON, so I’m guessing that’s where he went. He sent me this photo on that day. It seems he had the courage to approach this insane vagrant, buy him a meal, and bring him back to what I am assuming is Ryan’s home? Ryan sure is a nice guy.



Actually I was just joking, that is his pal, Joey Comeau. To my knowledge, Joey and Ryan have not traded credit cards yet. Which is a shame, because I have a feeling Joey would be willing to take this game to a WHOLE DIFFERENT LEVEL. Ryan, for your next CC broswap, consider sliding your plastic over to Comeau while making piercing eye contact and grimly declaring…

"Let’s kick it up a notch."

I am pleased that some of my money was applied toward addressing the hunger of these two solid bros. Looks like they went to town on the ketchup packets there. What did they even get that comes in those elliptical plastic hulls? That doesn’t look like a thing you’d put a burger into. What is even going on here? I hope I didn’t just type all that stupid shit about the wrong restaurant…

-0.50 CHECKCARD 0710 PAULETTE’S ORIGINAL TORONTO ON INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION FEE

Ryan you are KILLING me with these international transaction fees. We did not factor this into account, I am going to be RUINED.

-16.60 CHECKCARD 0710 PAULETTE’S ORIGINAL TORONTO ON

On 7/10, North texted me this photo:



Which clearly was a boxed array of breaded miscellaneous organs, a cup of whipped macaroni, and a little thing of zesty guacamole, right? Think again. This is an order of fried chicken from Paulette’s Original Donuts and Chicken, Leslieville’s new house of indulgence.

Judging from that Toronto Life article, Leslieville locals have gone completely berserk for this new chicken shack.

[Owner Devin] Connell is truly blown away by the response. “We’ve been selling out—doing almost 300 covers a day—from the moment we opened.”

I’m not sure what a cover is, but I do know 300 is a huge number, as long as you don’t compare it to some other bigger numbers. I wonder if Owner Devin Connell considered the consequences of her reckless entrepreneurial endeavor? Did she really think it through when she decided to drop this atom bomb of battered, savory chicken, for which she “based her recipe more on Korean fried chicken than on the dirty bird of the American South” on this sleepy hamlet known as Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario, Canada? The locals are going apeshit for this chicken. Ms. Connell. Your townspeople’s jimmies have not merely been rustled by your new establishment. Their jimmies have been ROCKED.

So naturally Ryan wanted to see what the fuss was about, sauntered down to Leslieville to wedge himself right in the craw of a 300 cover-per-day clusterfuck, and flashed my plastic to the tune of $16.60. Judging from the menu, he grabbed a Combo Chicken: 2 pieces white, 2 pieces dark, dipping sauce or rub & one small side. (He opted for the sauce over the rub, and a small mac and cheese.) But was it any good?? Hard to say. Let’s see how the readers of Toronto Life rate the dining experience.

  • Too bad it’s not awesome :( The yelp reviews say it all. BOO. - by Sally

Sally kicks off the comment section by being a massive Debbie Downer. Way to shit on everyone’s good time, Sally.

  • I dunno, Sally, while the chicken would be a very once-in-a-while treat for me, I think their cake doughnuts are delicious. I can see myself grabbing one of them and a coffee on the regular. I hope she’s successful anyway, good luck to her. - by Dizzy

Dizzy counters with a measured, reasonable perspective on the fledgling donut and chicken outfit. Too bad it turned out Diz was just feeding a troll.

  • love this place. lol i trust TL over yelp sally…;) been twice for donuts but yet to try chicken. great flavors. nothing like it in the city. love how people annonymously hate on these comment sections lol - by james t

James “Sick Burn” T illuminates Sally’s blunder of outsourcing her critical thinking to the snarky, embittered hive mind known as Yelp.com. Notice his sly use of an ellipsis, a winking emote, and no less than two lols in his playful rebuke. Also, it seems James is becoming acquainted with the phenomenon of “anon hate” which is rampant on so many social media venues, including it seems, the comments section for bland reviews of local restaurants. James, you don’t even know the half of it. You and Sally are only a few contentious exchanges away from turning TL.com’s “THE DISH” section into a churning vortex of human dog shit. Others will leap into the fray to fight the good fight against Ms. Connell and her crimes against chicken. I hope you like hate speech, misogynistic slurs, rape “jokes”, and sentences constructed at a 5th grade level, strung together by a dude old enough to have a kid in 5th grade. Is this the battle you are prepared to wage, James? These are the fires you stoke with your mocking retort. You are opening Pandora’s Latrine.

  • I was going to check them out but too many “meh” reviews on Chowhound. And their prices are way too high for what you’re getting. - by cathie

Another jaded review-site urchin weighs in. What is Chowhound by the way? An even snootier alternative to Yelp? For the truly discriminating restaurant goer with nothing but time and crabby words to burn on the internet, but thinks Yelp is too pedestrian of an outlet. Yelp is too commercial these days, it’s not about the COMPLAINING anymore. Maybe Cathie checked a review-site that reviews review-sites, and Yelp got too many “whatever” reviews. Chowhound edged it out with a tepid chorus of “it’s alright I guess” reviews. Cathie’s acquiescence to the latter brand was absolute, and the rest was history.

  • Best doughnuts in town - by Al

Al is not messing around here, although I do suspect he may be engaging in mild hyperbole.

  • yeah. i get it. you (one person, obviously .. with 2 minutes between each comment!!!) love this place. gee, i wonder who wrote them. HAHAHAHAHHAAA!!! - by Sally

Sally, you are a fucking troll. Just GTFO.

-0.70 CHECKCARD 0706 CRITTER’S CASTLE PET SH TORONTO ON INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION FEE