Meet Team Smiley 3/5 – Garen McLaren

Continuing with this week’s celebration of the World Men’s Curling Championship and the spotlight on Throwing Stones (Glasgow Lads on Ice Book 1, currently on sale through Sunday and also available in paperback).

Young man with sandy hair and beard wearing a knit cap. Text: "It's a penis, Luca, not an alien." - Garen McLaren, Team Riley vice-skip

If you’ve read Throwing Stones, you know Garen is the offbeat author of the occasionally snarky chapter headings, the ones that double as curling-term definitions. Like this:

Chapter X – Vice

VICE or VICE-SKIP: Second in “command” after the skip. Usually throws third and is often the best all-around shooter. A vice does several important jobs the skip can’t be arsed to do, such as writing definitions to introduce book chapters once His Excellency has finished the glamorous bits.

Garen is also a bit superstitious. He leaves a bit of whisky behind at the Mad Tea Party “for the faeries.” He tells his friend/Team Riley fan Ben to use the same battered old “RILEY ROCKS” sign from the previous tournament, which they won. He and his teammates agree not to shave before and during this competition, for good luck. Unfortunately, Luca doesn’t comply 100%.

“But we all agreed not to shave,” Garen said.

“I didn’t shave,” Luca said. “I trimmed.”

“Can I shave too?” Ross asked.

“No!” Garen turned back to Luca. “Trimming counts, mate. The good-luck magic is in every hair, like with Samson. Why did you need to trim?”

“Vanity, of course.”

Garen gave him the side-eye. “Big plans tonight?”

“No plans.” Luca stroked his jaw again, hoping he’d left his beard symmetrical. “Just possibilities.”

“Fantastic.” Garen flipped his banana skin. “We’re now doomed, thanks to your ‘possibilities.'”

Throwing Stones, Chapter 12

Other fun facts about Garen (some of which I guarantee you don’t know because they’ll be revealed in his upcoming book this November):

  • He is Luca’s flatmate, ex-boyfriend, and occasional source of dubious advice (see above quote graphic regarding whether Oliver, as a North American, might be circumcised).
  • He has a sister named Karen, because their parents had extremely poor judgment.
  • He’s terrified of commitment and responsibility.
  • He is bonkers about Christmas.

I cannot WAIT to write his book! *dances*

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