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.

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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!)

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.

 

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).

4-orangina

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.

 

 

LIFE IN SCHOOL AS A GENIUS

September 1982 was littered with important moments in history, Debbie Maffet was crowned the 55th Miss America, the sitcom ‘Family Ties’ staring Michael J. Fox premiered, and Belgium experienced a one day strike by rail workers. Also in September of that year I first entered a school. Up until that point all of the learning I had done was all off my own back, devouring books at a rate of two a day. I knew so much, that Rome was named after the Romans that lived there, I knew that Hitler was bad, some turtles can breath out of their anus, butterflies use their feet to digest food, and that Barry Manilow did not write his hit ‘I Write The Songs’.

But despite all of the things I knew, and this will come as a surprise to you, when I started school I wasn’t sure if I actually was a genius or not. Sure I knew that the average woman used her height in lipstick every five years and insightful facts like that but when it came to things like basic mathematics I was lost.

So after one week of schooling I decided to leave.

You may think this was giving up but you would be wrong. I wanted to be a historian and the only thing you need as a historian is to know about things that happened a while ago. I didn’t need maths, if God had wanted us to learn maths then why did he invent accountants? Ah, got you!

So, instead of going to school everyday, I would make my way to the public library in Oxford and set about reading every single history book that they had. It felt wonderful to have lost the chains that had bound me in during that week at school and I was able to do what I wanted to do. I read books by all the great historians, Herodotus, Hume, Hegel and other historians whose surnames didn’t begin with the letter ‘H’ like Malcolm Howard.

During my many days at the library I began to become quit the fixture and was taken under the wing of some of the staff there, particularly one old lady, Elsie Roberts who would recommend certain books and authors to me and in doing so became a major influence on my life.

librarian2

One day we sat and talked about some of the things I had been reading about recently. At the time I was heavily into the history of Austro-Hungarian Empire, formed in 1867 and I asked her which countries had made up said empire. She looked confused and muttered something about salmon paste at which point I realised that Elsie was actually as thick as shit.

One of the things I noticed about history books was that a huge amount of them covered the same topics, wars, empires, countries and politics. There were very few books written about topics that I wanted to know more about, such as who invented the penguin, in what year did someone first sneeze and who came up with the idea of walls, and which came first, the wall itself or the name? These are the thoughts only a genuis would have. All of these questions needed answering and so I had found what I thought at the time was my life’s work….