It is always hard to know where to start when writing about one’s life but after much deliberation I have decided it best to start with my birth. I was born on the 25th of December (the same day as Christmas) 1974, almost two thousand years after the birth of Jesus Chris, the son of God. But I wasn’t the son of God, I was the son of Geoffrey and Maude von Stifle. They didn’t know it at the time but they had just given birth to a genius, me. My mother and father were hoping for a baby girl and so they were initially disappointed when their baby girl came out with a penis attached to its groin. I obviously didn’t know about the disappointment that they felt but it soon became clear over the course of the next 16 years, but I jump too far ahead…more of that to come.
My father was an inventor and enjoyed success with his invention of the tin opener with bottle opener attachment but also suffered some major disappointments with inventions such as top hats designed specifically for horses, the 7-wheeled push bike, the electric comb, apple and coal toothpaste, the air-conditioned shoe, bacon soap and the shoe umbrella (see below).
My mother was the real bread-winner working as a professional singer in pubs and clubs in and around Canterbury. My mother had a truly unique voice, a sort of mix between Simon le Bon and Johnny Cash. With Mother bringing in somewhere between £40-£50 a week and the royalties from my fathers tin opener we had a pretty good standard of life in Canterbury and I never went without anything during my early years apart from regular meals and warm clothing.
My routine as a baby was pretty much like any other baby’s, up early everyday, lots of crying and regular shitting but even though I didn’t know it then, something was different about me. My parents were staggered at how quickly I was learning new things, by the age of 14 months I could say the name of 8 different shapes (rectangle etc.) , 17 colours (green etc.) and by the age of 4 I was almost walking unaided. I just seemed to pick things up in an instant, my brain working like a sponge, soaking up information like a sponge soaks up water and by the age of 3 I had designed a new patio for the family home. I quickly moved on from patio’s and by the age of 6 I was making plans to redesign the Whitefriars Shopping Centre in Canterbury.
But being a child prodigy brought with it draw backs of which I will tell you next time…