Frank Flashback: Tits and Chong (2005)

Did she or didn’t she, the question was asked — in a more innocent age — of the Globe‘s permanent lite fixture, Leah “La Leche” McLaren.

The year was 2005, roughly the time of McLaren’s bizarro attempted feeding of Michael Chong‘s infant son. As two of her favourite self-obsessions, McLaren’s breasts were still objects of regular media overexposure, rather than twin tracts of puzzling stranger danger.

Who can forget that “Bikini or bust,” headline in the Globe? Or “Breasts of burden: On the utter, inane boobishness of boobs”–Globe. Or, “Boob job…finding the right bra can be almost as tough as finding the right guy”–Flare. Same tits, different deadline.

Even as late as 2013, Leah was still regularly whipping out the same sagging tropes in the Globe: “Breasts, bangers, mams, funbags, knockers, whatever you want to call them, are suddenly all the rage again (I’ll get to why in a moment).”

But in ’05, one question bedeviled a group of McLaren’s friends. She had long promised herself breast reduction surgery by the time she turned 30 and clock was chiming.

That February, she’d joined a pack of freeloading travel writers for a girls-junket-out to Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier for Winterlude.

Lindor Reynolds, one of Leah’s companions, described the weekend toot in the Winnipeg Free Press: It was a press trip for women “who travel often, but not always well [with] comfortable rooms, fabulous food every couple of hours, enough exercise to stave off guilt and the always-essential trip to a spa.”

The Babes on Blades, as they dubbed themselves, included McLaren, Reynolds, Liz Fleming, Michele Sponagle, Michele Peterson and Lynn Ferrin.

“Ply them with pastries and alcohol,” wrote Reynolds, “And, before you know it, there are no secrets. We should have probably apologized to everyone within earshot in all our bars and restaurants because, inevitably, we don’t have any secrets from them either.”

You got that right. Folks heard an over-refreshed Leah re-announce her infrastructure program for ’05, that for her 30th birthday, the knockers were finally going under the knife. But did she follow through?

Alas, in her last-chance-to-confess column of Oct. 29, four days before the Big 3-0, the Olympian over-sharer provided no further details.

All she could offer, as she balanced top-heavy on thirty’s threshold, was that she was “freaked about the prospect of being ejected from extended adolescence into the realm of bona fide adult responsibility.”

These fears would prove wildly overblown. But the mystery of the McLaren renovations persisted, and young Master Chong may well have been on the verge of solving it before pater busted in and queered the (admittedly plenty queer) deal.

Readers were left to parse later dispatches from the tireless north-of-navel gazer.

“I am standing naked in front of the mirror, taking notes,” Leah would write-to-fill in a 2008 Globe effort:  “Boobs not perky, plus too big for frame. Left noticeably bigger than right (resulting in high-school nickname ‘Biggy Small’).”

So, that’s a no, then?

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15 comments on “Frank Flashback: Tits and Chong (2005)
  1. Patrick60 says:

    Tit for tat, surely!

  2. Rosemary Rich says:

    Leah Rebecca McLareneckler is a meat by-product of the Single-Girl-Have-It-All myth of the 1990’s. It was served up — piled high and deep — by author Candice Bushnell of ‘Sex & the City’ fame. (Friends, Ally McBeal etc., same shit, different spoon.) Recycled Helen Reddy merde sold to them by their mamas. McLaren and Eckler, bless them, are the result. A fine, aromatic blend of vapid English major with notes of privileged hipster.

    I confess, I do read them on occasion. It’s like driving by a fatal accident. I can’t stop myself from looking. The searing regret thrusting itself upon me instantly like so much Don Meredith. Just wait ’til they start writing about the latest craze – “hygge” (pronounced hooga). Don’t Google it. It will make you stabby. Shame on you, Petfinder.

    The poli-equiv of the McLareneckler beast? Calgary Nose Hill CPC MP Michelle Rempel. Now that she has her CPC pre-frontal cortex microchip firmly embedded for life, she has mastered the art of dumbing down her dumb.

    Michelle was 28 in 2008 when Facebook was first on the scene. Two years later she was an MP and parliamentary secretary at the ripe old age of 30. (Wither Michael Sona?!) When the Harperites were turfed a mere five years later, she was “the youngest female cabinet minister in Canadian history” – so croweth the Wikiwank. She was a very prolific Facecracker before Rachel Curran braünhosed the Calgary outta her.

    “Michelle Rempel is hoping this squash doesnt explode in her microwave!”

    “Michelle Rempel is having ice cream for dinner! Again!”

    “Michelle Rempel says it’s on like Donkey Kong!”

    This Fee Fi Faux Femshtick of broads like McLaren, Eckler and Rempel is a well-rehearsed trope. Front helpless on all matters domestic. And body and boyfriend obsessions are the order of the day. McLaren? Strictly missionary. G’night, Dick.

    And Rempel needs a “tasty Malbec” in the noggin’. Not advocating violence Frankland censors. Just Jihad on Stupid Women™. I have a GoFundMe all ready to go.

    The lightening career trajectories of women like Rempel (and that NYT Porter lady) – and dimwits like McLaren and Eckler – are great examples of Cheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ writ large. Lean in alright. In and down. Ahem. Did I just say that? #DontSueMeGirls

    Here’s 02:24 of Michelle’s brill Facebook musings circa ’08. Dylan soundtrack renders it almost palatable. https://youtu.be/zC5iIv6EhoY

    • daveS says:

      And McLaren (Grope and Flail), and Rebecca Eckler (National Post-Yawn) were “created” or let-loose to copy the Helen Fielding (1958-) “Bridget Jones diary” clones of the 1990 to 1999s in England, where they were deemed responsible for an increase in readership/advertising.
      Fielding from The Independent, then to he Telegraph, followed by such appointed ‘authors’ as Jenny Colgan, Marian Keyes, Jennifer Weiner and Lauren Weisbeger.
      This was created by men, not understanding women, but feeling (not thinking) that a series of youthful adventures would bring in readers.
      Don’t let them near Toronto’s WattPad application.

      • Rosemary Rich says:

        I thought Helen Fielding got swept away in that Brexit tsunami? “Men not understanding women.” Sounds more like a case shit sells and stupid people having too much money. Paging Niki “Velma Dinkley™*” Ashton. She’ll fix that!

        *Trademark OJM bub!

        • OJM says:

          That’s not how it works, Rosemary! Besides, this is just a hobby for you but I support a wife and eight kids as a professional smart-ass…you’re taking the bread out of their mouths!

          • Rosemary Rich says:

            Frank? A hobby? For me? You got me there, Nostradamus. — I didn’t know Alexander Graham Bell AND Al Gore BOTH had crystal balls. Momma always said, be very careful with whom you choose to fill your satirical dance card. Although, you’ve eight brats already so I guess it just needs a pulse.

          • OJM says:

            Je rigole, ma chouette. Actually, I’m semi-retired, have no kids and my wife makes more money than I do…but, hell, this line’s worked for me before so I thought I’d give it a shot.

  3. OJM says:

    To be fair, the Globe & Mail could hardly call itself “Canada’s National Newspaper” without a regular column on tits.

  4. OJM says:

    Mams overboard!

    “Globe and Mail suspends columnist Leah McLaren after breastfeeding controversy”
    Toronto Star, March 30, 2017

    • daveS says:

      [and]”has been forbidden to comment on her controversial column or on her suspension.”
      …” McLaren told the Star by email on Thursday that she could not comment.”

    • Rosemary Rich says:

      NOTHING has filled me with this much joy since Jean Crouton throttled that heckler back in ’08 — FRANK pranking Ezra Levant last August would be a close second. And maybe Angry Earl flipping out about the CBC on Cross Country CheckUp a few months back. Holy shit that was funny. TREBLES ALL ‘ROUND FRANKSTERS! Maybe Leah can audition for the TV show ‘So You Think Can Mams’. I hear that’s where media careers go to die. http://frankmag.ca/2016/08/frank-pranks-ezra-levant/

  5. daveS says:

    “Sadly, the media has no photo to illustrate the Leah McLaren / Michael Chong story. So, I made them a recreation… in Lego! #cdnpoli”
    See https://twitter.com/PoliLego/status/847577087766548481

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