Henry Theroux: Mr Lover Lover

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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.

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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!)

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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.

 

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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.

Henry von Stifle: Music and Me

I’ve always been very musical and music has played a big part of my life ever since my father threw an oboe at me when I was 6 years old. Up until 2006 I had never thought of performing music but after being so cruelly overlooked as a backing singer for Martine McCutcheon’s UK tour I decided to prove her and all my doubters wrong.

I started by forming a band and placed an ad in Melody Maker looking for like-minded people. Within two weeks I had my band. I was on vocals, Nigel was on cello, Tucker was on the glockenspiel, ‘Mad’ Dave was the kazoo player and we had Sophie on another cello. After much debate I decided to call ourselves Bon Jovi but two days later I found out that another band from New Jersey in America already had that name – where are they now?! After another lengthy brain storming session we agreed on the name Dexy’s Midnight Runners but that too had already been taken. Eventually we got it right and we were known as Abandoned Sandals.

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Abandoned Sandals

 

We started rehearsing with gusto and I managed to get us a tour of the pubs and bars of Torquay (the English Riviera). At first everything was as I had imagined being in a band to be, adoring fans packing out pubs such as The Bull and Bush and Ryan’s Bar, free bottled water, sandwiches and sex! Not that I was having sex but some people who came to the gigs or just lived in Torquay were having sex and I rode the wave. But slowly musical differences and tensions within the band began to emerge. Nigel and Sophie began to argue who was lead cello player. Then ‘Mad’ Dave accidentally dropped his kazoo into a toilet. The loss of the kazoo was too much for me to take and we disbanded later that day – no more Abandoned Sandals.

But I wasn’t ready to give up on my dream of being a successful musician just yet so decided to strike out on my own. Working on my own meant playing all of the instruments myself so I gathered anything I could play and set about recording. After a few hours I noticed how brilliant it sounded! Who would’ve thought that finger cymbals, a tambourine, a maraca and some spoons would have sounded so modern and  so full of vitality!

I called the piece ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout Them Blues (Sad Face)’ and the critics hated it. But the public, well they absolutely despised it. I’d never experienced venom like it.

With my confidence shot, I was about to give up the musical dream but fate was about to take a twist like the way The Sixth Sense ends with Bruce Willis turning out to be a decent actor. ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout Them Blues (Sad Face)’ was used for an advert on Romanian TV for a herbal nipple cream and BOOM! the song was suddenly being played everywhere! Bucharest bounced to the bass line, Vaslui vibed to the tambourine and Cluj cried to the sheer beauty of the finger cymbals. The song began to climb the singles chart eventually selling over 800 copies!! I toured Romania extensively and it became hard to walk down any street without being recognised, people would see me and say ‘Nipple Cream’ – I felt so alive!

I quickly recorded a follow-up single, ‘Hey, Hey, No, Put It Down and Smash the Melon (Rub It On)’ which was also used in an advert for Romanian TV but this time for a rival herbal nipple cream company. The country again went wild for this new cut and my place in Romanian pop culture was sealed. The Romanian people took me to their hearts and in return I took them to mine and I stayed in Bucharest for 8 months and became fluent in roughly 25 Romanian words.

But like all good things in my life, it came to a grinding halt one day. The repetetive use of the finger cymblas was starting to make my fingers a bit sore and sensitive. Eventually the constant friction caused my fingers to start bleeding and become infected. I was told I had a choice to make – stop playing them or risk losing my fingers. I empolyed other musicians to play them for me but none could ever match my intensity with them and I sadly lost my ‘sound’.

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Finger Cymbals. Cymbals for fingers

Henry von Stifle: World Record Holder

I am a great human. Like all great humans I have tried and succeeded in pushing myself to the limits of human endeavour. One of the ways I do this is by attempting and often setting new world records.

BUT WHY DO I DO IT?

I don’t do it to cover myself in glory, I don’t do it to massage my own ego and I don’t do  it to attract the attention of the opposite sex, (women already find me irresistible, more of which I’ll reveal at a later date)

I set new world records to inspire children, communities, countries and, in most cases, the entire population of the planet we call Earth. I do it to push the boundaries of humanity, to show all of us that if we dream big enough we can all be better people, YOU can be like me!

So here is a list of world records that I hold

  • Longest time spent sitting on a shoe – 12 days, 6 hours and 33 minutes
  • Longest time spent sitting on a penguin – 4 days, 2 hours and 6 minutes
  • Most packets of Scampi Fries eaten in 1 hour – 54 packets
  • Most cats thrown at a wall in 1 hour – 23 (For Children in Need)fallingcat_jpg_560x0_q80_crop-smart
  • Longest time pretending to be a Ninja in a Marks and Spencer’s Food Hall – 3 days
  • Most impersonations of Bruce Forsyth in a week – 786
  • Largest collection of Wooden Ties – 2
  •  Longest time anyone has had a snail in their underpants – 16 days
  • Most spoons thrown at aeroplanes at Heathrow Airport – 84 spoons at 67 planes
  • Longest journey on a train with a live horse – 2 hours

    I could go on but I don’t wish to sound arrogant.

 

  • Most occasions anyone has accidentally electrocuted themselves whilst trying to make toast – 43
  • Most Llamas insulted in Spanish – 88 (and counting)
  • Longest time spent standing on a roundabout – 2 days, 2 hours and 2 minutes

So there you go. Now, don’t feel intimidated by all of my success, use them to spur you on to greater things.

My Time as a Spy

Before I became a world-class entertainer I worked, for a short while, as a spy for the British Secret Service. I will share some of my experiences as a spy later in this blog but what I want to share with you today is an extract from a one man show I did a few years back which was based on my time working undercover. A few years ago, (I can’t say exactly due to the official secrets act), I was sent deep undercover into North Korea on a reconnaissance mission. I discovered many things during my five-day mission but one that stuck in my mind was the North Koreans lack of Orangina (See picture below if you are not sure of the drink I am mentioning).

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The following conversation is from my hit solo show and is based on real events. The conversation took place between myself and the head of MI5 one day after I landed in North Korea, so strap in!

Henry: Hello

MI5: Hello

Henry: What?

MI5: HELLO!

Henry: Speak up, I’ve got a bad signal.

MI5: HELLO!

Henry: Hello.

MI5: Are you in North Korea, Henry?

Henry: Yes.

MI5: How’s the food over there?

Henry: I don’t know, I’ve not eaten yet.

MI5: Are you eating ok?

Henry: Pardon?

MI5: I said, are you eating ok?

Henry: Yes.

MI5: What did you have for lunch?

Henry: I ate on the plane.

MI5: What was it?

Henry: It’s a big aerodynamic machine that flies people to different destinations.

MI5: No, I know what a plane is, I was asking what you had for lunch.

Henry: Salmon.

MI5: Oh.

Henry: Look, they don’t have any Orangina here.

MI5: How was it?

Henry: What?

MI5: How was the salmon?

Henry: It was fine. Look, they don’t have any Orangina here.

MI5: Did they give you some lemon for it?

Henry: Instead of Orangina?

MI5: No, for the salmon.

Henry: No. Look, they do not have any Orangina in North Korea.

MI5: Pardon?

Henry: I said, they don’t have any Orangina here.

MI5: Yes, I know.

Henry: Oh

MI5: Oh.

Henry: But don’t they know that since Orangina’s inception in 1936 it’s had the perfect blend of citrus fruits and orange zest. And that at only 42 calories per can it’s great for your waist?

MI5: No, not many North Koreans know about that. Anyway, I’d better go now as I have a moussaka in the oven

Henry: Is that a code?

MI5: What?

Henry: Moussaka in the oven. Is that a code for something?

MI5: No, I’ve really got a moussaka in the oven.

Henry: I love moussaka but I hate aubergines.

MI5: But aubergines are the main ingredient in moussaka, so how can you like it?

Henry: What?

MI5: I said, aubergines are the main ingredient in moussaka, so how can you like it?

Henry:…Ok

MI5: Pardon?

Henry: Ok…bye.

MI5: Be careful, Henry.

Henry: Ok

(They both laugh)

So that’s the scene and it’s pretty tense stuff I’m sure you’ll agree. I will share more of my spy exploits and the hit show about that time at a later date.

 

 

MY CHILDHOOD Part 2

It was a warm, sunny day in June, 1982. I was eight years old and my life was in a mess. My imaginary girlfriend, Beverly D’Angelo had left me for another man, apparently I wasn’t ‘fun anymore’. I was devastated and the trauma of that period has left a scar in me that is still sore to this day, in fact  I can pinpoint the break-up from Bev as the point in which I lost all trust in relationships, real and imaginary ones. Looking back, I don’t really blame her, the imaginary video rental store that we were managing together was running up debts and I was under a lot of stress due to many things, one of which was my fathers increasingly erratic behaviour. Since accidentally murdering my mother he had changed a lot. His drinking was out of control and as for his work, his inventions were becoming more and more deranged. In the six months of 1982 he had invented, among other things, the TieStraw which was an ordinary suit tie but with a rigid plastic lining which could be put into a glass and used for drinking, the paper sleeping bag, a coal powered bicycle, LSD Slippers (slippers made out of the hallucinogenic and designed to enter your blood stream via the pores in your feet), and the Solar Powered Cigarette Lighter.

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We would occasionally set some time aside to have frank discussions about my interest in world history and in his interest of wanting to transform into a salmon and swim the great rivers of the world. His determination to mutate into a salmon was to ultimately prove to be his downfall. In his efforts to speed along the transformation he took to lying under water in the bath which tragically led to him drowning himself.

So there I was, an eight year old whose father had accidentally drowned himself, a mother who had been accidentally murdered and an imaginary girlfriend who had left due to my inability to run a small imaginary video rental shop. I was alone in the world…or so I thought. Unbeknownst to me, I had an uncle on my father’s side and due to me having no other legal guardian he agreed to look after me for a small fee.

Three days later I had moved in with my uncle at his home in Oxford the centre of learning, the perfect place for a young genius such as myself to broaden his knowledge. My uncle was a cold and distant man (I don’t mean his body temperature or that he was always far away, I’m talking about his personality) and the reason I just keep calling him ‘Uncle’ was and still is because he never told me his name. He thought it would be a sign of weakness for us to know each others names so ‘uncle’ it was. But I instantly fell in love with Oxford and I spent all of my time roaming its ancient streets and libraries. It was during this period that I really became interested in world history and found myself devouring history books on a daily basis. The two books that had the biggest impact on me in 1982 were Jane Fonda’s ‘Workout Book’ and a book about the Romans which were a sort of large, perverted group of Italians.

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The Jane Fonda book really helped me to learn a lot more about myself and the book about the Romans cemented my determination to become a historian. I should say at this point that a lot of you will be thinking ‘but Henry, you are a world-class entertainer with a series of hit shows, the most recent of which was a musical version of ‘Enter The Dragon’; with you in the role of Bruce Lee, (see picture below) what’s all this history stuff and wanting to be a historian?’ Well, even though I am a genius on the stage, I have only been performing for five years. Before which I was a highly acclaimed history author with (self-published) books such as ‘The History of Walls’ (which I also adapted into a musical but more of that later), ‘The History of Huey Lewis and the News’ and ‘The History of The Dramatic Pause’. But again I jump ahead in this, my life story. Despite my huge intellect I had never stepped foot inside a school and so on the 6th September 1982 I attended my first day in school and I think it’s safe to say without sounding arrogant that the English school system had never seen the likes of me before and the whole English schooling system would never be the same again…

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Promotional poster for my musical version of Enter The Dragon.