FACT OF THE DAY

In Cuba, Christmas is celebrated by throwing old light bulbs at sea lions while shouting  ‘Lionel Richie is not going to save you!’

 

michael-jackson-3
Lionel Richie

 

Advertisements

Henry Theroux: Mr Lover Lover

Henryvon

Women love me and I in return love them. I like sexy women and sexy women seem to find me irresistible. I think it’s my confidence and huge talent that attracts women to me like moths to a flame. I’m not saying women are moths, it’s a figure of speech. I like figures of speeches like a dog likes a Tesco meal deal or like a radio DJ likes a newly fitted kitchen. There I go again, using figures of speech, I bloody love them! But I digress.

I was quite a late developer when it comes to affairs of the heart, despite the fact that I met and married my first wife when I was 17 years old. She was from Peru and her name was unpronounceable so I refer to her as Agatha. She was a bit older than me and this was one of the reasons our marriage collapsed within 3 weeks. In hindsight I was stupid to marry someone 58 years older than me but I was young and had been traumatized by the loss of my mother (To this day I can’t look at a lasagne and not think of dear mother).

But despite things not working out with ‘Agatha’, those four weeks (one week courtship and three of marriage) were some of the happiest of my life up to that point. I’ve had loads of happier times since then (like the time I got so drunk at George Best’s funeral and threw up over Bobby Charlton’s shoes) but when I met ‘Agatha’ I was 17 and didn’t know what happiness was or indeed what ‘love’ was. ‘Agatha’ showed me what love was and how it was something pure and precious, she also showed me how a sex swing works and how to gut a fish.

I should explain that I met in her (‘Agatha’) in Peru, in the Peruvian rainforest in an area called Manu to be exact. I had got lost whilst trying to find myself and wandered into ‘Agatha’s’ village. I was starving and disoriented but ‘Agatha’ took me into her hut and after a few sips of water and a quick snack which was basically the root of some kind of small tree, we began to make love. The love-making was wild and intense but at the same time very slow and careful due mainly to the fact that ‘Agatha’ had terrible arthritis and because the tree root I’d eaten was making my stomach do cartwheels and giving me hallucinations. After roughly 23 minutes we collapsed in a pool of sweat (ours) and I began to smoke the left overs from the tree root I’d nibbled on 30 minutes beforehand. As my mind began to relax ‘Agatha’ showed me how to skin and gut a cow, her blood covered face and saggy breasts shining in the moonlight.

Sadly, like many love affairs in my life, things began to go wrong very quickly. The day after our traditional Peruvian wedding which involved me smoking a 12 foot cigarette and punching a horse, Agatha gave me a spear and pointed at the river and said ‘fish’ 20 times until I realised she wanted me to go and catch a fish. I tried in vain for 7 or 8 minutes to catch something but it was no use, my skills were no match for wily Peruvian fish and I sank into a deep depression.

Things between myself and ‘Agatha’ came to a head 5 days later when she bludgeoned a wild boar to death with an ironing board I’d bought her as a wedding gift. I didn’t mind that she wanted to kill a wild animal with it, that’s survival in the forest, I understand that, but she had refused to use it to iron my shirts and I snapped. I was 17 years old but I appreciated a crease free shirt and I wasn’t getting them in this marriage.

Things ended bitterly between ‘Agatha’ and myself but I wish her well and hope she is ok (let’s be honest, she is probably dead by now), and I want to thank her for showing me what love was, because without her I don’t think I would have ever been happy in the other 5 marriages I’ve since…but more on that later.

FACT OF THE DAY!

In 1977, after eating 12 cupcakes in under 3 hours, Mark Knopfler came up with the concept of wooden swimsuits.

1080x720
Knopfler, 35 minutes before cupcake binge. 

The reason behind his thinking was how to enjoy swimming while having a stomach full of cake. The wooden swimsuit idea never took off and 3 months later he formed the band ‘Wooden Swimsuits’. After three months of gigging in disused swimming baths and no sign of his big break, Knopfler disbanded Wooden Swimsuits and formed Dire Straits and the failed swim wear idea died forever.

Being Born (My Birth)

What is ‘Being Born’? Is it when an idea comes into your head one afternoon as you’re unblocking the lavatory? Yes. But it’s also how we come into this world. I was ‘born’ roughly 9 months after what can be best described as ‘intercourse’ between my mother and father. The relationship between my mother and father was a complicated one exacerbated by their deep distrust and hatred towards each other. Mother complained that father was a thoughtless, arrogant, deluded, violent philanderer while my father said my mother often smelt of  lasagna, a dish that would make my father violently sick, (you will have noticed that I’ve used ‘violent’ and ‘violently’ in the same sentence, I don’t know if this is acceptable in literary circles but I don’t play by the rules. Well, I do play by rules but my rules!)

Lasagne
A LASAGNA

But despite their utter hatred towards each other they were forced to remain together. Father remained with mother for financial reasons (mothers father, who coincidentally was also my grandfather, was a big hitter in the tortoise breeding world) and mother remained with father because of her lasagna stench problem making her deeply unattractive to any man. This situation led to a tense household which for a young child such as myself was very unsettling and led directly to me rubbing cocaine onto my eyeball at the age of 19 while staying at a B&B in Weymouth. But I digress…

I was born into this world on 25th December (also known as Christmas Day) 1974 in Harare Central Hospital, Zimbabwe at 5.30 am and weighed a very satisfactory 7 pounds 1 ounce, which is the same weight as about three-fifths of a can of soup. According to my father, who while not being present at my birth would phone the hospital every two hours for progress updates, my birth was rather easy for my mother and the labour only lasted 23 hours – a cinch! People have asked me if I was disappointed that my father wasn’t present at my birth to which I reply ‘No’ and the reason I answer ‘No’ is for two reasons. Firstly, it was a different era, many men didn’t go to the birth, in fact, 40 or 50 years ago many men positively hated babies, even their own. Secondly, my father was a very busy man and at the time of my birth was close to making a crucial breakthrough on his invention, ‘Bacon Bottles’. The idea behind Bacon Bottles is frankly, genius – replacing glass bottles with bottles made from crispy pieces of bacon. Bacon is cheaper than glass, easier to produce and if you eat the bacon after using it as a bottle, you cut down on waste. See, genius…or at least something very close!

Once I was out of the womb I quickly adapted to my parents routine, my mother spent her days cooking lasagna and instructing my au pair on how to raise me while father locked himself away in the shed, working on his many inventions. As time went on I grew older and began to spread my wings (a metaphor) and embarked on many adventures such as the time I fell in the River Dee after sniffing too much glue and when I ate a yoghurt that was a month past its sell-by date! But more of those and many other stories in the future.

 

Henry Theroux: Explorer

There are 195 countries in the world, 196 if you include Taiwan, and I have travelled to over 7 of them in my lifetime, (8 to be exact). This number doesn’t sound very high but considering I misplaced my passport for roughly 10 years it’s not too shabby. I’d heard someone in Oxford public library say one time that travel broadens the mind, my initial thought was that my mind couldn’t be any broader but after watching a programme on TV one evening I decided that I had to travel and experience new cultures. That TV programme was Wish You Were Here with Judith Chalmers.

 

ju
Judith Chalmers Wish You Were Here

 

For those of too young to remember Judith she was the Marco Polo of modern society, discovering new places and regaling the nation with tales of wonder from far off distant lands. At her peak she travelled to distant shores such as Spain and Italy. On one occasion she travelled to Greece!!

As well as losing my passport for 10 years, the other reason I haven’t travelled too much is if travel really does broaden the mind then I worry as to how broad my mind will get. Will it get so broad that it can no longer be contained in my head? Will it start to come out of my ears and run down the side of my face? When I lay dying on the floor with my mind pouring out of me will people say, ‘His mind was just too broad for his head, poor guy’. Basically my mind is already very broad, metaphorically AND literally. Take an x-ray of my skull and you’ll see that my mind is abnormally broad.

Anyway, like I say, I’ve been to eight countries (apart from my own), USA, Poland, Switzerland, Columbia (5 times), Mexico (4 times), Thailand (138 times), Afghanistan and Peru. I would like to tell you more about my travels but it’ll have to wait until another time – all this talk of how broad my mind is has taken it out of me and I feel quit tired. I’m going to lay down to try to get my mind under control again.

FACT OF THE DAY!

Many historians agree that the first spy, as we know them today, was a man called Sir Francis Walsingham, (born 1532), who worked for Elizabeth I during the war against Spain. In order to gain top-secret battles plans of the Spanish Armada, Sir Francis boarded a boat disguised as a paella.

spanish-seafood-paella-recipe
Sir Francis Walsingham or a paella???

Walsingham was successful in his mission and retired to the countryside where he wrote his famous novel, ‘Jaws’.