The Adventures of One Fancy World-Traveling Bon Vivant (with a jaunty hat)

Last week, Ken went to Berlin, and took the whole internet with him, because he’s kind of the best. But we are not here today to talk about Berlin, no no no. That’s for another day.

Today, we are here to hear a tale of intrigue and skullduggery and hell, possibly even CHICANERY. I know. I KNOW!

So when he was in Berlin, Ken mentioned something about going to London. Now, listen. Ken lives this international life of mystery. This is a well-documented fact. He’s super-duper posh. He visits places that have names like Poing, he goes to castles, he gets to hang out in morgues, he gets his photo taken with goats. He’s kind of like the fanciest person I know in real life. Or on the internet, which I suppose is kind of MY real life, so same thing. (Oh, by the way, Dad’s latest thing is KEN DOESN’T EXIST. Not even that he’s an assassin, but that he isn’t even a real PERSON. When I asked who would have made Ken up, he replied, “Someone who is trying to scam you.” My question of, “If they are scamming me, there must be a reason; what, pray tell, could that reason be, as Ken, or this imaginary pretend cardboard cutout they’ve named ‘Ken,’ has neither asked me for money nor attempted to show me his ding dong on the interwebs?” was answered with “You’re a smart girl. I’m not going to tell you. You’ll feel better about this if you figure it out yourself.” So of course now I’m trying to figure out what scam “Ken”‘s running that doesn’t involve telling me I won the Ugandan lotto or sending me photos that make me scream BAD TOUCH, you know? It’s all I can think of. WHAT ANGLE IS KEN – OR THE PERSON WHO INVENTED IMAGINARY KEN – PLAYING????)

That needs a new paragraph. Like a palate-cleanser. Like a nice sorbet. Oh, anyway, for the purposes of blogging, let’s just pretend I don’t know that Ken’s imaginary and go along with the ruse he’s real. It makes it easier than typing “imaginary Ken or the people attempting to scam me by inventing someone then taking the time to befriend me but not asking me for anything” every time I write his name, you know?

So I asked Ken if his next fancy-ass international jaunt was to London, because I totally wanted to virtually go to London with Ken, and he said he couldn’t just GO to London. He needed a REASON. (Yes, I realize this is where I should have responded “One does not simply walk into Mordor” but I haven’t read those books or watched those movies because I like being the only human on Earth who hasn’t done a thing so I’m not allowed to reference that meme.) Well, shit. I make things up ALL THE TIME. This seemed like a damn CHALLENGE.

Then yesterday, Ken tweeted the following:

So THIS was curious. Not only was there a “why would Ken go to London” challenge on the table (ok, I put it on the table, no one else cares what’s on my damn table, except Dumbcat, I suppose, whose life goal is to knock everything off my table and then meow triumphantly over his work), then there’s this whole “who the hell puts this kind of language in a contract, and why would they do that?” mystery. So I decided BAM I’m totally combining the two into the MOST EXCITING MYSTERY EVER.

Ready? Ready for the most exciting mystery ever?

The Mystery of The London BFFs (AKA Not for All the Tea in London)

Once upon a time, there was a man named Ken. HE TOTALLY EXISTED NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE SAID. I mean, I don’t know what you’ve heard about PLOTS and shit, but he was totally in existence, seriously.

Ken was fancy. He did many fancy things in many fancy places. Hey, who’s that guy on top of the pyramids? Oh, just Ken. Hey, check that out over there, who’s that helping to repaint the Sistine Chapel? Oh, that’s Ken. Oh, did you see the new piano player at the Moulin Rouge? Ah, yes. Ken. Whoopsie, sorry, sir, didn’t mean to step on your toes as I leaned over to take a photo of the last white tiger in existence! Quite alright, ma’am. Wait, aren’t you… Yes, ma’am. It’s me. Ken.

Ken ALSO tweeted and blogged about his adventures, so people in small towns all around the world could giggle and squee and aw. Also whenever there were penguins, he sent photos of them to this insane person he knew who lives in New York who writes these psychotically long blog posts that seem like good ideas at the time of coming up with them but then at 11pm they seem kind of cuckoo-bananas.

Oh, ALSO, you might be wondering, when Ken was doing all this traveling, was he assassinating people? Because we’ve all heard that rumor. No. Ken was not assassinating anyone. Someone started that rumor because they were jealous of all the bon vivanting. That’s what people do. Try to bring bon vivants down with stories of assassinations. That’s where the saying “haters gon’ hate” came from. No, seriously, it is. What do you mean, you can’t find proof of that on the internet. I just told you that’s the case, why do you need to go research it? It’s like you don’t even trust me or something.

(Now, I know some of you are wondering, what was Mrs. Ken doing during all of this? She was there, too. She was very helpful on all of these adventures. She made sure Ken wore sunscreen, and didn’t drink tea that smelled questionable, and was very kickass in her own way, I’m sure. However, the person writing this story knows very little about Mrs. Ken and does not want to risk pissing her off because she is QUITE SURE if they were to meet they would TOTALLY BE BFFs so Mrs. Ken will not be much maligned in this story like Ken is because the person writing this story knows Ken won’t mind but has no idea if Mrs. Ken would, so just to be on the safe side, is leaving Mrs. Ken right out of the story other than to tell you she was totally the most helpful and also there. OH, also Ken’s dogs came along, because they are awesome and the person writing this loves them and couldn’t leave them out, seriously, it would hurt her heart if she tried.)

But Ken had a problem. He could go anywhere. He could do anything. But he could not go to London. Not without a reason.

See, many years ago (cue sad violins and a misty flashback scene) Ken was in London. It was his favorite place to go. He’d gad about town, all footloose and fancy-free, bon-vivanting with style, panache, and verve. People would see him and say, “Hey! It’s Ken! You’re back, Ken! Oh, how we’ve missed you!” It was like a real-life episode of Cheers, being in London if you were Ken. And the whole city was the bar. THE WHOLE DAMN CITY.

But one day, a man came up to Ken. A man who hid his face and talked quite low. Ken thought he had no enemies, so knew no fear. Ken was wrong.

The man took Ken to many popular drinking establishments and they drank many beverages of a dubious nature. None of the beverages were tea. This should have been Ken’s first clue something was amiss. At the end of the night, Ken was sure this man was his best friend. Hell, after all those beverages, Ken was sure the following things were his BFFs: a urinal, a tree, a small dog being taken for a walk, a sign that said “No Trespassing,” and a Tesco bag blowing down the sidewalk. When the man asked him to sign a paper to celebrate their BFF-i-ness, Ken did not hesitate. He signed with flair. The man laughed and secreted the paper away into one of the many pockets in his voluminous jacket. (Never trust a man with a voluminous jacket, ladies and gentlemen. It can only lead to trouble.)

Ken didn’t remember how he got back to his flat that night, but the next morning, when he went out and about, quite headachey, he realized that people were not overcome with joy to see him. There were no shouts of “Ken!” as he walked his beloved London streets. What was wrong?

The man selling papers on the corner accosted him. “Issue? Issue?” he whined. Ken gave him a pound just to make him stop, as his head was aching and this was all very confusing. The paper-salesman thrust the paper into his hand and ran away, cackling. Ken looked at the paper. On the front page, he saw the headline. THE HEADLINE THAT WOULD CHANGE HIS LIFE.


What? Ken leaned against a quaint postbox to get his bearings. The man last night was…L. Ron Hubbard? Of Scientology? Who died in 1986? What strange alchemy was this?

It was true. The man, his supposed friend, had plied him with alcohol and had him sign paperwork claiming his alliance. L. Ron Hubbard had faked his death. All of London was miffed with Ken. Ken was no longer allowed in London. Unless – because Londoners are actually very, very nice and super-polite – he had a VERY GOOD REASON.

So Ken traveled the world. He spent weeks in the desert; months on the Riviera. But as much as he enjoyed his travels, his heart was empty. He missed London, and the fog, and the rain, and the excellent and easy-to-navigate tube system.

One day, when Ken was waterskiing with the Pope, a man rode up to him on a Jet Ski. “Ken!” the man said. It was international superstar Fabio!

“Fabio!” said Ken. “What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you since we rescued that princess from that undercover sheikh back in Minsk!”

“No time for silly reminiscing, old friend,” Fabio said, and brushed back his luscious locks. “I have a message for you. It’s from Kate Winslet.”

“Kate Winslet?” Ken said. “But I haven’t heard from Kate Winslet since…”

“I know, I know,” commiserated Fabio. “Since the…Hubbard imbroglio. She needs help, Ken. Help that ONLY YOU CAN GIVE. Please! You must away!”

Ken spent a moment thinking about Kate Winslet. They were good friends, he and Kate. The best! Until L. Ron Hubbard tore them apart. Then she could not be seen talking to him, or communicating with him, or the British people would turn on her, and she would not win any more BAFTAs. She would lose her career. He’d told her he understood. But he still missed their long talks and how she said the word “schedule.” And oh, the tea they would drink! Tea was Ken’s kryptonite, you see. And Kate Winslet loved tea like no other. Oh, the tea-soaked conversations they’d lost. All because of that evil L. Ron Hubbard.

Back on land, Ken read the note.

Dear Ken:

All of London is in trouble. L. Ron Hubbard has resurfaced. He’s holding all the tea in London hostage on top of the London Eye. He’s demanding undying fealty or he will throw it all into the Thames. It will be the Boston Tea Party all over again. Only, in London. So, then, the London Tea Party. Only on a much grander scale. Please, Ken. You’re our only hope.

Most sincerely hoping you can fit us into your schedule,

Kate Winslet.

Ken was very put out. All the tea? ALL THE TEA IN LONDON? On top of a VERY FANCY FERRIS WHEEL?

It didn’t hurt that Kate Winslet used the word “schedule.” She knew it was his secret British-pronunciation weakness.

“Let’s go, Fabio!” Ken said, getting his best travelling hat ready.

“Oh, Ken. You will have to go this alone. I’m too afraid, Ken. Too afraid of what might happen, were I to enter London.” Fabio quivered in fear. His locks shook alluringly.

Ken shook his head sadly. “Oh, Fabio. I always thought you were braver than this. You seemed so brave on the cover of the book ‘Thrusting One’s Way into Pirate’s Cove.'”

Fabio began to weep as Ken left for what would be, he was sure, the most difficult task of his life.

When Ken arrived in London, he wore his most incognito hat. (Ken has many hats. It’s part of his charm. I think it’s what fancy world-travelers do.) He also spoke in a deep voice like James Earl Jones. This was so people would not recognize him and then kick him out of London.

He made it to Kate Winslet’s house and tricked her many butlers and maids and such into letting him in to see her by pretending to be a Hollywood agent. He knew that Hollywood agents said things like “blockbuster” and and “Oscar-winning” and “treatment” and “ingenue” so he used these words to his advantage.

“KEN!” cried Kate Winslet, who looked amazing and kick-ass and like she totally could be the person who is writing this’s BFF like, right now, if they were only to meet. “I KNEW you would come! You must help us, Ken! All the tea is at stake!”

“Kate Winslet,” Ken said (he always called her by both of her names, because the person writing this does, and that’s the way this story rolls), “I will do what I can. For our friendship. For the love I bear for the fair city of London. As revenge against L. Ron Hubbard, who tricked me most heinously. And, most of all, Kate Winslet, for the tea. For all the tea.”

Ken stole along the backstreets of London, hiding his face from the denizens of the town he so loved, feeling a little like Jack the Ripper, only without the prostitute murdering. When he got to the London Eye, he saw, at the very tip-top, L. Ron Hubbard, with many large boxes.

“Dammit,” thought Ken. “That must be all the tea. Damn you, L. Ron Hubbard. Damn your tea-thievery!”

Ken’s years of bon-vivantery had trained him well. He rappelled up the London Eye like a boss. No one saw him. Their eyes were too tear-soaked, looking up all all of their precious tea.

He snuck up behind L. Ron Hubbard, who was cackling and rubbing his hands together like Mr. Burns and talking to himself.


“Well, Ken, we meet again at last,” L. Ron Hubbard said, as he slowly turned. “I wondered when our paths would cross again. How are you, my good friend? As you ARE my good friend. THIS PAPER PROVES IT!” L. Ron Hubbard pulled the paper Ken had signed while under the influence from his highly suspect voluminous jacket. The people down below noticed what was happening and gasped.

“It’s Ken!” one said.

“Has he come to save all the tea? Ken always did love all the tea,” another said.

“Or has he come to hang out with his BFF L. Ron Hubbard?” a third groused, very put-out that Ken was not HIS BFF, as he’d always thought.

“L. Ron,” Ken said, “that paper was signed under false pretenses. I am not your BFF. I am Kate Winslet’s BFF. For the love of all the tea, man, think about what you’re doing.”

“Oh, I HAVE, Ken, you foolish, foolish man, without even a voluminous jacket to call your own,” L. Ron Hubbard crowed. “Either all of London tells me they are my minions forever, or I throw this tea into the Thames. It’s all quite simple, really.  Think about how quickly these people turned against you, Ken. You owe them nothing. Stand with me, and you can rule all of London with me. And you can have as much tea as you’d like. ALL of this tea, if you want it. Are you with me, or against me?”

Ken thought about it. L. Ron was right. London had turned its back on him, and he’d loved it so. It had hurt. And…all that tea. All the tea IN LONDON.

But…he was Ken. And Ken didn’t deal well with bullies, or crazy people.

“I can’t stand with you, L. Ron,” Ken said. “You know what they say. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME. And I don’t like to be shamed.”

L. Ron’s face grew very red. “You’ll pay for this!” he growled, and rushed at Ken.

“NOW KATE WINSLET AND FABIO!” Ken called, and the London Eye, operated by Ken’s loyal friends who had trickily been there all along which is totally allowed and not at all a deus ex machina because the person writing this is getting SO EFFING TIRED SERIOUSLY, started turning just as L. Ron started running toward Ken. Caught off-balance, L. Ron went flying off the ferris wheel, through the air, and hit the ground with a very satisfying thwack. The paper Ken had signed under impaired circumstances flew out of L. Ron’s pocket. Ken’s loyal dogs, Ella and Louis, ran up, caught it in mid-air, and ripped it to shreds with their teeth.

“Not even his voluminous coat could save him, in the end,” Ken mused.


Ken realized the tea was about to go over the side and into the Thames. “What will I do?” he thought, a moment of panic, much unlike him, crossing his mind. Then he realized there was only one course of action.

“Sorry, old friend,” he said, taking off his trusty hat. “Sometimes those we love most must be sacrificed for the greater good.”

He quickly jammed his hat into the gears of the London Eye. The ferris wheel attempted to turn, but was quickly jammed by the sturdy German workmanship of his stylish chapeau. (YES, I know chapeau is French. The person writing this researched the German for hat. It is “hut.” That’s not as fun to say as chapeau, now, is it? No, the person writing this didn’t think so.)

The cheers from the people on the ground were deafening. A helicopter was sent in to lift and carry off all the tea. Ken rode the helicopter with the tea to the ground, even though he could easily have rappelled down, as fancy people can do.

“Ken!” said Kate Winslet and Fabio as he landed with all the tea. “You saved the day! And the tea! And all of London loves you again! Hooray for you!”

“All in a day’s work, my friends,” Ken said. “No kudos needed. As long as the tea is safe, I can sleep easy tonight.” Then Ken and Mrs. Ken and Ella and Louis went to a hat shop (it didn’t normally allow dogs, but it made an exception for Ella and Louis) to buy him a new hat that was not all chewed up by London Eye gears, and the Queen gave him the key to the city and a little piece of paper that entitled him to free tea in London for life, as long as he didn’t lose that little piece of paper. I know, you’d think she would have given it to him engraved on a coin or something, right? That seems super-cheap of the Queen. Who knows what she was thinking. Cost-saving measures, I guess. We’re tightening our belts all over the world these days.

Ken was a very happy man. Most of all, he could chat with Kate Winslet about tea again. Also, he could tell her about this crazy-eyed blogger in New York that he knew that would TOTALLY be her BFF if they would just meet IRL, seriously.


(No, probably it was, I mean, L. Ron Hubbard was smashed to a smashy pulp, but probably Ken had a lot more adventures with Kate Winslet and Fabio and Mrs. Ken and the dogs and the world traveling and the free tea and such. I don’t mean to imply that Ken’s adventures are over. I’m sure they are not.)


(I think it is quite obvious that the person writing this is the best at storytelling. The person writing this also is ready for a long, hot shower, a popsicle, and bed.  Because that’s how famous writers do it, you guys. THAT’S THE MYSTERY OF VERY FAMOUS WRITERS.)

(Also, Ken, you totally have to go to London now. I’ve given  you your reason. YAY WE’RE ALL GOING TO LONDON!!!)

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

43 responses to “The Adventures of One Fancy World-Traveling Bon Vivant (with a jaunty hat)

  • pouringmyartout

    Try to say bon vivant 5 times very fast.


  • elaine4queen

    ALRIGHT, i don’t think i can post this picture, but i do think that if you put the link in a browser you can see it. it’s a LOL i made half way through reading this, so excited was i.


  • Mister Doctor Professor Susurrus M. Chiaroscuro, Esquire

    While it is a diverting story, I do not feel you’ve deftly wielded Occam’s Razor in the telling.

    1) The “contract” is obviously a hit.

    2) The stipulation guarantees that Ken will follow through on the murder. As Scientology is the last bastion of morality remaining in all organized religion, had he been affiliated his employers would know the jig was up and they’d have to hire a Catholic hit man.

    3) Both your father’s backgrounds for Ken are accurate: 1) he is a contract killer and 2) He doesn’t exist (in any government database).


    • lucysfootball

      Man, Jim, you’re totally awesome at this. Why aren’t YOU writing stories?

      It never crossed my MIND what the contract was for. I don’t ask such things. I figure it’s none of my business. I’m totally un-nosy. Like, if someone wants to tell me something, kickass, but otherwise, that’s their business. SHIT. It was totally an assassin contract!!!

      “Last bastion of morality.” HA! Love that.

      Also, you totally have my dad figured out. Do you think we might be related? I think on my dad’s side of the family, somehow. You remind me of my cousin Brent. Are you secretly my cousin Brent?


  • anirrationalratio

    What an amazing story! Especially if you consider how much tea there must be in London and the size of the London Eye.
    The Tesco bag added a touch of realism, I thought though. That and the Big Issue seller. It was almost like I could smell the Thames!

    Does Fabio have a real name? I can’t say I’ve always wondered, but I’m wondering right now. Also, why are all his shirt buttons broken?

    Please never mention my name to your father, I don’t like it when people say I don’t exist. Because I do and I’m really not good with that particular existential crisis.


    • lucysfootball

      I was SO PROUD of the Tesco bag and the Issue seller. I remember those from when I was in London. And I was SO HOPING they still existed and I wasn’t dating myself and they’d gone out of business! (Fun fact: there was a totally creeptastic Issue seller by the school I attended in London. He’d stalk all around saying “EEE-shoe! EEEE-shoe!” and pop up like out of NOWHERE waving that thing in your face. My roommates and I would stalk each other and pretend to be the Issue guy. “EEEE-shoe! EEE-shoe!” That STILL makes me laugh!)

      I think Fabio’s real name is something like “Everett McGillicutty.” Right? That would make sense.

      DONE. You will remain unmentioned to Dad. Scout’s honor.


  • sj

    I love this story. I’m also a bit jealous because I never get to do anything awesome like Ken’s adventures and will therefore never have such an amazing tale penned about me. :(

    So very sad. Ken, why do you get to do all the cool stuff AND have awesome stories too? It’s so not fair! [foot stomp]


  • Rich Crete

    This tale is destined to be a classic because all tales which include the sentence “You must away!” are destined to be classics.

    BTW Chicanery defeated Skullduggery one/nill in their last match.


  • Roz

    This left me breathless!

    Someday, when you have time, I’d love to hear about how Ken and Fabio rescued the princess from the undercover sheikh in Minsk.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    This was an awesome tale! The plot! The intrigue! The twists and turns!

    I too found the empty Tesco bag a nice touch – it really brought the milieu to life. And I could really hear Katie’s clear British accent in that note she wrote for Ken.

    (Although there is no London fog; the thick pea soup fog of the old days was actually a coal dust smog.)


    • lucysfootball

      Yay, Andreas! Thank you so much!

      It’s a damn good thing I lived in London for six months. This tale would never have been written, otherwise.

      I remember it being a LITTLE foggy a couple times I was there! No, not pea-soup foggy, though. You’re right. Just normal fog-foggy.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    P.S. This post wasn’t all that long? I was expecting a 300 page monster or something..


    • lucysfootball

      My posts are usually between 1,250-2,000 words. This one was a little over 3.000. HOLY CRAP!!!! For me, that was long! :)


      • Roz

        “My posts are usually between 1,250-2,000 words.”

        One of the reasons why I’m such a fan of your blog is because you break so many blogging “rules.” One such hard and fast rule is that anything over 300-500 words is suicide. A thousand words is headache-inducing.

        I’m usually in pain about 300 words into one of your average posts. I cannot believe that THIS particular post was 3000 words long; it felt as those it moved at 300 mph, the windspeed of an average EF-5 tornado.


        • lucysfootball

          Thanks, Roz! I didn’t know there WERE rules when I started (obviously) and then I was having so much fun I thought, eh, what the hell, people seem to like it, I’ll just keep doing what’s making me happy.

          Would I have more readers if these weren’t so long? Probably. But would they be such QUALITY readers? Most DEFINITELY not! :)


  • lahikmajoe

    Reblogged this on lahikmajoe and commented:
    I don’t know where Amy at comes up with this stuff, but it’s hilarious.

    She takes snippets of reality, and weaves her spidery web of fantasy and madness.

    And this piece is all about my favourite character of all: me. Your sometimes less than humble lahikmajoe.

    And without further ado, here’s The Adventures of One Fancy World-Traveling Bon Vivant (with a jaunty hat).


    • lucysfootball

      This just made my whole day. Ken! I am SO HAPPY you liked it.

      As to where I come up with it: opinions vary. Some say it’s because I refuse to be medicated as I should be! Some say GENIUS! Some say anything can happen, when a person doesn’t get enough sleep! WHO’S TO SAY.

      Your favorite character is one of MY favorite characters. Damn good thing, too, or else I’d get so tired of writing about him all the time, right?


  • jbrown3079

    You absolutely rock at storytelling. Very well done, Amy.


  • Bronwyn

    the Adventures of Ken, Mrs. Ken, Ella, and Louis needs to be a recurring theme, i think! i’m totally hooked!

    i think that story was so funny and full of awesome it actually throat-punched my migraine into the background!!

    #betterthanZomig :D :D


  • Aleks (@yeksovic)

    This felt like a Doctor Who story! You should apply for writing for Doctor Who. Your science fellow Andreas could do all the sciency background stuff, so you wouldn’t have to worry about that. He might have to read up on time travel.
    Also, I was away from the internet for a few days and am now catching up on all your posts – my mind is a bit wobbly right now. Eight more stories to go. Also I cried when I read the story about your friend from twenty years ago. Beautiful.


  • Jame Zelinski

    Awesome read, thanks for sharing


  • Munich: the city of ‘We don’t need all of those newfangled things’ « lahikmajoe

    […] to hand deliver the print edition to your doorstep, do you? I will, you know. Because, according to The Adventures of One Fancy World-Traveling Bon Vivant (with a jaunty hat), I’m the sort who just might do it. Show up and shove a copy into your waiting […]


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