Tag Archives: Thailand

Chris Dangerfield – detained with a quarter ounce of heroin in his mouth

Dangerfield – a man, a mouth, a shining light

A few days ago, I posted a blog about performer Chris Dangerfield getting ‘clean’ from heroin by spending time in a Thai brothel. Our chat was shortened for length. Below is part of what I cut out. It refers to a time before he was ‘clean’.


“There is no heroin in Patong,” Chris told me.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because Thai people don’t have a lot of money and heroin is really expensive.”

“But,” I asked, “aren’t there lots of tourists in Patong?”

“Yeah, but how many tourists use heroin? They don’t say: Oh, let’s go to Patong and buy some smack. Anyway, I went up to Ko Samui a few times and was coming back through Customs with a mouthful of heroin and…”

“A mouthful?” I interrupted. “What would happen if they asked you questions?”

“Well they did,” said Chris. “But the mad thing is that, when you’re like that, you don’t give a fuck. I remember thinking: I could end up in a Thai prison but…

“You were off your head?” I asked.

“Yeah. I just thought: I’ll take the distraction. There’s a real self-loathing thing about drug addiction. You’d rather end up in prison than deal with Life on Life’s terms.

“Samui Airport is kinda like Tenko(A famous 1980s BBC TV series set in a Japanese POW camp.) It’s outdoor indoor. There are bushes. It’s not like a normal airport. You can run and you will be on the runway.

The open plan Departure Gate at Samui International Airport (Photograph by Binderdonedat)

“Anyway, I got to the bit where you put your bag in the box and the box goes through the scanner and I’m not shitting myself, but I am aware I have a quarter of an ounce of white heroin in my mouth and, if a dog turns up, I’m in a Thai prison – I’m in the monkey house that afternoon.

“So I put my hand in my pocket to check there’s nothing there before I go through the scanner and – Oh shit! – I’ve got a money bag with about ten used syringes in. My mate had won a holiday on a pack of crisps and he was in Samui, so I had been round his holiday house and I couldn’t leave all my spikes there – that would be unfair – or even in their bin. So I kept them on me and had forgotten because I was smashed out of my head. I had been injecting Xanax and heroin all morning.

“I feel the syringes in my pocket and the guards are waiting for me to go through the scanner, so I just throw them in the bushes casually, like it’s something I don’t need. Not a word is said.

“They always look in my bag when I go through cos the bag has my vape in it with loads of batteries. But they’re fine once they see what it is.

“So it’s OK and I walk off, thinking: Fuck, man, that was a bit stupid. And then she calls me – this female guard – Mistah! Mistah! And I think: Just keep walking! And then there’s another Mistake! Mistah! and then the sound of running feet and I think: This is it! You’ve taken the piss once too often. You can’t keep landing on your feet like the last 40-odd years…

“Then there’s this man’s hand on my shoulder and I turn round: Yeaeaahhh???…

“And I have the quarter ounce of heroin in my mouth.

“He marches me back up to the scanner and I’m thinking: OK. I need to think quickly. How much money have I got in the bank? How much is it going to cost me to get out of this?

“And then they tell me I had left my watch in the box… That was it… I mumble thanks: Mmmm, bmmmm, th… mmvmm… but I was shaking.”

“And now,” I asked, “since your stay in the Thai brothel, you’re clean of heroin?”

“Yes.”

Chris Dangerfield’s attractive YouTube Channel

“And you have a YouTube channel…”

“Yeah. Two months in, I had three-and-a-half thousand subscribers. And they donate money. through Patreon. And enough of them subscribe to make it possible for me to publish my novel.”

“You’ve finished it?” I asked.

“Well, I done 110,000 words. It needs copy editing and line editing. I’d like it about 90,000.”

“What’s it about?”

“My first Thai brothel detox.”

“That’s not a novel,” I suggested. “That’s documentary.”

“But half of it is about me growing up,” said Chris.

“That’s still non-fiction,” I told him.

“It’s autobiographical,” he told me, “but it’s a fucking story, alright?”

“What’s your novel called?” I asked.

Life By Vagina.” He laughed. “It’s a working title. It’s a re-writing of Death By Vagina by Blaise Cendrars. Have you read that?”

“No. What is the elevator pitch for Death By Vagina?”

Death By Vagina: inspiration for Chris

“A psychiatrist has a patient who is a psychopathic sexual maniac and, rather than treat him, he sets him loose on the world. My novel’s beautiful. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m very very proud of it.”

“Have you,” I asked, “approached a mainstream publisher with it?”

“Yeah. And I’ve had interest. But fuck them. What? For 10%?”

“7½% for a paperback,” I said.

“I’ve got three-and-a-half thousand YouTube subscribers,” said Chris. “By the time that novel comes out, I’ll have about 10,000. If half of them buy it…”

“When will it come out?”

“Maybe August?” said Chris.

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Chris Dangerfield – ‘clean’ from heroin after brothel visit – but now called Nazi

Chris Dangerfield had afternoon tea with me

What do you do if people start calling you a Nazi?

Well, if you are Chris Dangerfield, you send me an email and suggest I write a blog about it.

What do you do if you have a heroin habit and want to stop?

Well, if you are Chris Dangerfield, you go to Thailand and live in a brothel for a while. He has done it before.

“So,” Chris told me when we met two days ago, “I went to Thailand for eight weeks and did my Thai brothel detox.”

“Is this the third time?” I asked.

“Well, I done it four times. First two times was mild: a little codeine, a little Valium problem. So I go out there, nip it in the bud. And I nipped a few in the bud while I was there, I can assure you. I deflowered many.”

“Well I can’t put that in the blog,” I said.

“No. You can,” Chris told me, “Use anything. I don’t give a fuck any more. I’m done with humans. This is ‘next stage’ Dangerfield… Second time I went out there, I had almost a proper mild smack habit…”

“Chris,” I told him, “you have never had a MILD smack habit.”

“No, no,” he insisted, “it takes a while for me to get back in properly. That second time I thought: Nip it in the bud again. But the third time, yes. Big smack habit. Wall climbing, black foam coming out of my arse, the full…”

I interrupted him: “Black foam coming out of your arse?”

“Yeah. Smack really fucks up your gastro intestinal tracts. Some literal and figurative and metaphorical dark stuff comes out. But this time, man, new level. I’d been using a lot for the last four years.”

“That’s as long as I’ve known you,” I said.

“No, John. It’s been eight years.”

“Oh God,” I said. “Anyway, you are now Mr Clean, are you? When did you get back?”

“About three weeks ago. But I’m going to go back out there in a couple of weeks.”

“To the brothel?”

“Well no, but yes. Not to stay.”

“The same brothel on all four occasions?” I asked.

“The same madam. Different locations, because her enterprise is growing. She was a streetwalker when I first met her.”

“So you,” I asked, “have made that woman the entrepreneurial success she is today?”

A Chris selfie taken in Thailand back in 2014

“A part of me likes to think that when, weirdly, the truth is she saved my life at least twice. An amazing woman. She instructs all her girls – about 40 of them spread over the three shops. All the working girls come from Isan, north east Thailand. They all speak Thai, but Lao is their first language. In Isan, they are working in fields or factories for 10-20 baht a day. In Patong, they’ll take 6,000 baht a day. What would you do?”

“So you are totally clean now?” I asked.

“Let’s not jump the gun,” said Chris. “I’m off smack.”

“So anyway,” I said, “why did you want to talk to me?”

“I like you, Fleming, because comedians read your stuff.”

“And?” I asked.

“People keep calling me a Nazi.”

“Well,” I said, “you do seem to have decided to go Breitbart and become a British Steve Bannon. Anti-Islamic and all those things.”

“I am 100% anti-Islamic, yeah. I’m anti-religion. I’m anti-theist.”

“You can’t attack Islam en masse,” I suggested. “For a start, there’s Sunni and Shi’ite.”

“There’s kind-of one set of books, though,” countered Chris. “The Hadith, the Sunnah and the Koran.”

“But,” I said, “there’s only one lot that want to chop our heads off.”

“Alright then, I’m anti-Sunni,” said Chris. “I’m anti-Sunni and I’m anti-Wahhabi. But, hold on, how does me being anti-theist make me a Nazi?”

“Who’s saying this anyway?” I asked.

“Comedians,” said Chris. “Where do they get that from? I went out to the French House (pub in Soho) the other night. People I’ve known for twenty years. Five of them called me a Nazi!”

“Why?”

“Well, this is my point. If you’re not sort of militant Left now, there’s only one option left for you. You get called a Nazi.”

“Your postings,” I said, “do sound like you’ve gone a bit Alt-Right, whatever that means.”

“It means white supremacist. You’ve just casually called me a supremacist, a separatist! I’m not!”

“So you are not Alt-Right,” I said. “What are you?”

“I’m a conservative Marxist.”

“What is a conservative Marxist?” I asked.

Christopher Hitchens: a Conservative Marxist? (Photo by Fri Tanke)

Christopher Hitchens?”

“What,” I said. “Not who. Define it.”

“I’m not a conservative Marxist. But I was Marxist for most of my adult life from about the age of 19.”

“Do you not think,” I asked, “that it’s a circle? If you take extreme Left wing and extreme Right wing, they end up in the same place?”

“Well, it’s not a circle, John, it’s a horseshoe.”

“So what happens,” I asked, “in the gap of the horseshoe?”

“I just think it’s strange I get this accusation. I get it a lot.”

“I have to admit,” I told him, “that I’ve not read the Koran. But most religions are OK. It’s organised religions – churches – that are often a bad thing, not religions.”

“You haven’t read the Koran,” said Chris. “You can’t go more than three pages without it telling you how to torture and kill infidels. It’s a vile, barbaric book.”

“What you are saying,” I told him, “is not going to look good in print.”

“I don’t give a fuck, John.”

“So how are you going to persuade people you are not an Alt-Right neo-Nazi?

“I’m not. I don’t give a fuck about what they think, really, I will carry on putting Pepe memes up so they think I am.”

“Pepe?” I asked.

“You seriously don’t know Pepe?”

“No.”

“You have got to include a picture of Pepe in the blog,”

“Pepe’ a green frog. It’s Lord Kek of Kekistan.”

“Are you sure you are off the smack?” I asked.

“Don’t you understand,” said Chris, “that Kekistani meme magic won Donald Trump the election? He was the chosen one of the Kekistani people.”

“I have no idea what you’re on about,” I said.

“Do you know about. 4Chan?”

“No.”

“4Chan invented the internet.”

“I thought that was Tim Berners-Lee. Or the Web, anyway. What is 4Chan?”

“It’s an image board. It’s very famous, John. Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet but these people invented the content. They weaponised autism.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s how people on 4Chan track people down.”

“What’s 4Chan?”

“What do you do all day, John?

“I fantasise about Lewis Schaffer becoming a mainstream success.”

“Well, there’s a militant anarcho-communist violent – I dunno what you’d call ‘em – gaggle of cunts? They protest anything that they think is Nazism and Fascism. They ‘bash Fash’. That’s why they call it. They bash Fash. They’re middle class idiots and they turn up with banners and sticks and they’ve been smashing up property in Berkeley, de-platforming speakers and all that. But the other day they got the shit kicked out of them at a Patriots’ Day Rally in Berkeley.”

“Are you trying to shut down Islamic free speech?” I asked.

“There is no Islamic free speech,” said Chris. “It’s a religion. Come on, I’m not trying to shut down anyone; I’m trying to keep free speech alive.”

“Who are you going to be voting for in the (UK) General Election?” I asked.

“Oh, Tory. I will be taking a photo of that ballot paper and sticking it on Facebook with a big Up Yours and a picture of Pepe.”

“Have you always voted Conservative?”

“No.”

“If you were a Marxist earlier in life, you couldn’t really vote Labour back then, could you?”

“Didn’t vote,” said Chris. “When you want an armed revolution, voting for Tony Blair doesn’t really cut it. I am not a Tory, though.”

“So why will you be voting Conservative?”

“I’ve probably made myself look a lot worse”

“I don’t want a Socialist in my fucking country. They’re incompetent. There are literal Rivers of Blood behind Communism that make the Nazis look like a flash in the pan. We are talking hundreds of millions of people die when inevitably Socialist/Communist states become dictatorships and then everyone gets murdered and starved.”

“It’s a horseshoe?” I asked.

“If they want to bash Fash,” suggested Chris, “they should be punching themselves in the face.”

“So,” I said, “you called me in to the middle of London to make yourself look better…”

“I think I’ve probably made myself look a lot worse, though, haven’t I?” Chris laughed.

“Well,” I said, “That’s a good blog ending, then.”

… CONTINUED HERE

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Comic Chris Dangerfield, the serious heroin problem and a new wonder drug

Chris Dangerfield at home in his bath yesterday, thinking of getting clean

Chris at home in his bath yesterday, thinking of getting clean

It is no secret that comedian Chris Dangerfield has a heroin problem. He has talked about it on stage. When I met him yesterday, he was sweating a lot and he had  just broken up with his girlfriend.

“You can say in your blog that I’ve just come out a relationship,” he told me. “Just mention that I didn’t leave her because I didn’t love her. I left her because I’m not well.”

“If you get clean, though,” I said, “then maybe…”

“I’m not going to get well and get back with her,” he insisted. “That’s a step backwards. It doesn’t work like that, because I’m a different person when I’m not using.”

“But you told me you’re going to try a new way to get clean,” I said.

Ibogaine,” said Chris. “It comes from a West African root called the taberthnathe iboga and it’s full of psychoactive alkaloids but they’ve isolated one which is called ibogaine. It will never get used medically because it’s a one-shot medication, so there’s no money to be made from it. If you give a junkie methadone every day for ten years, someone’s making a fortune.”

“But with ibogaine?” I asked.

“Ibogaine,” said Chris, “makes your withdrawal last an hour instead of two or three weeks. Most junkies won’t get clean cos of fear of the detox: it’s so unbearable.

Chris Dangerfield photographed in Thailand last month

Chris trying to get clean in Thailand in April

“When I done that withdrawal in Thailand when we talked for your blog back in April, I still couldn’t walk after four weeks. I didn’t sleep for nine days – and I only knew that because I kept a calendar because I was going out of my mind. With ibogaine, the withdrawal lasts an hour.”

“With just one jab?” I asked.

“It’s not even a jab. It’s like a pellet… Ibogaine has been around for a few years now, but there’s been a resurgence of interest in it recently. There have been a couple of fatalities but, because it’s been done in people’s bedrooms and things by hippies…”

“So someone might have a weak heart,” I suggested, “and…”

“Yeah,” said Chris. “When you do it in treatment centres, you’ve got to have a full body check like heart, blood pressure, CT scan. They give you a test dose to make sure you’re not allergic and then, if that’s OK, they give you four more and then you vomit and there’s a lot of nausea – about 60% of people vomit for an hour or two. They tend to top you up with a bit more if you do that.

“And then you go on a very introverted trip for I think it’s about ten or twenty hours. They put an eye mask on you and you stay wired up to a machine to measure your heart and blood pressure and all that.”

“A trip?” I asked.

“Yeah,” said Chris, “like a DMT kind of ayahuasca sort of LSD kinda trip.”

“So you hallucinate?” I asked.

Chris taking the chaise longue view yesterday

Chris taking the chaise longue view yesterday

“Yeah. But you hallucinate your past. You confront your past as a third person and what they’re saying is it re-sets your addiction. You get to see all the things that led up to the reason you’re happy to jab heroin in yourself all day long. So not only does it get rid of the withdrawals – I mean, three weeks down to an hour is incredible – but it also has an effect on your addiction.

“You come out of it 24 hours later a bit physically weak because you’ve been lying on a bed not eating and apparently you can’t drink much on it… but the desire to use any drugs has gone in about 80% of cases.”

“But,” I asked, “isn’t a lot of the desire to use drugs psychological? This sounds very physical.”

“But they’re saying on top of that,” Chris told me, “it removes the psychological desire to use drugs. Addiction’s a weird one. It’s like it’s been turned into a disease, which I don’t go with.

“With someone like me who has been using since they were a teenager (Chris is 42), there’s a certain amount of hard wiring. They’re saying ibogaine re-sets all of that. So you don’t get a bit of fear in your life and think Oh shit, man, I want some Valium! or Oh, I’ve had enough of this! I want to get on the heroin! Instead, you actually deal with the fear and pain in different ways because of what ibogaine has done with your brain.”

“They are surely,” I said, “going to charge a fortune if it’s a one-off treatment.”

“If I wanted to do it alone,” said Chris, “I could get it on the internet for about £20. But I will do it in a medical clinic. There’s one out in Thailand.”

“Not in London?” I asked.

“They are doing it in Britain,” said Chris. “But, if I go to Thailand, I can get clean and have a holiday.”

“I still feel,” I said, “that I’m going to go to Thailand to get off heroin is a flawed concept.”

“Well,” said Chris, “it has worked several times. It just doesn’t last because I have to come back here. I’ve got clean in Thailand countless times.”

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Chris Dangerfield says he has some Will Self help for Fringe Sex With Children

Chris Dangerfield talked via Skype yesterday

Chris Dangerfield via Skype yesterday

In yesterday’s blog, comedian Chris Dangerfield – currently in Thailand trying to kick heroin addiction – talked about his disinterest in himself and in performing. He told me it’s all ego and ambition. He also told me the title of his planned Edinburgh Fringe solo show this August.

Sex With Children,” he said. “It’s a good story, man. It’s a good story.”

There was a pause.

“I was fucked loads of times. There’s some good stories where I go round and try to get a bit of revenge. I take this pit bull terrier round to some magician’s house, but the thing turns round and shits itself when there’s a bit of chaos. I’d been lively on this bloke with a house brick and the fucking pit bull turns round and shits on his doorstep. It’s an alright show. I’m trying to say we’re all paedophiles.”

“You might be wrong there,” I suggested, “but at least you’re trying to make a statement to make people think and that’s a good thing. You told me you’d written novels but never published them. How many have you written? Three?”

“No, loads more than that. The last three were about coming to Thailand and trying to get off smack. I’ve been here three times to do this.”

“So why haven’t…” I started to say.

“Because I’ve been busy jacking heroin,” interrupted Chris. “This is the problem. This is the only problem. It’s very difficult to do anything else when you’re doing that. I can work, cos I need the money for the smack, but I can’t be arsed doing much else.

“Weirdly, having said that, I’ve done a bit of TV work this year. I’m on Channel 4 in a couple of weeks time with Rupert Everett and Russell Brand. Russell’s a cock but Rupert’s a great man, he really is. I read his autobiography and realised he’s a very, very intelligent man.”

“So are you,” I said. “So why do you not want to do more creative things?”

 Chris says this is a picture “of me just holing my works in my mouth as my hands gave up"

Chris last month was, he says, “just holing my works in my mouth as my hands gave up”

“I do,” said Chris. “But life is a problem, John. I was thinking of jumping off the balcony five days ago. I just feel that I’ve been doing what I’m doing right now… I’ve been doing this – On-Off On-Off On-Off – for 25 years.”

“That’s the fault of being on heroin,” I suggested, “not the fault of not being on heroin.”

“It’s not the fault of the fucking heroin!” said Chris. “You think it walks up the stairs and jumps in my arm? I’ll be honest with you. I reckon I’m a pretty good comic and a pretty good writer and I reckon, if I had a few years clean, I could probably make a nice living out of it. But I am honestly – and I mean honestly – weighing that up with just fucking off to Laos, getting myself a little hut somewhere and just… That’s it over. Finished. Just on the gear.”

“Look,” I said, “you’re a highly creative person. You should do something with your novels. If you write a novel and don’t publish it, there’s no point in doing it because you’re not communicating anything. You’re just wanking off.”

“You want me to wank it into people’s faces?” Chris asked. “Is that what you’re saying? You mean There’s no point losing it on the duvet when there’s mouths open all round the world,” said Chris.

“You are a man with a good turn of phrase,” I said, “but the smack is stopping you doing creative things. It’s not helping you. It’s stopping you.”

“But sometimes it feels like such a relief,” said Chris. “It also calms the penis. I’m not fucking, I’m not thinking about sex all the time, I’m not worrying about my poxy career. It’s a nice rest. Because, when I’m off the heroin, it’s all about Do something! Make Something happen! Get a fuck! Make something happen! Get a fuck! When I’m on it, it’s a nice rest. I don’t want sex, I don’t want to do anything.”

“Well,” I said, “I always tell comedians, if they want to do a 60-minute show, they should figure out what they’re angry about and shape the show round that. What are you angry about?”

Chris Dangerfield’s 2014 Edinburgh Fringe show

Chris’ image for his 2014 Edinburgh Fringe stand-up show

“How long have you got?” laughed Chris. “This Sex With Children show is pretty angry. I mean, I really did not appreciate being bummed when I was seven eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve years old. That was pretty unpleasant. All my friends who’ve died on drugs because they were raped as kids. That’s kind of unpleasant. That’s what the show’s about.

“The point of the show is we don’t talk about this shit. There’s no place for it. We live in a paedophile culture. We fuck our kids. We’ve got laws against it. You don’t have laws against painting yourself blue because no-one does it. We do have laws against fucking kids, because everyone’s at it.

“It started off with incest. Don’t fuck your own kids. They made it illegal. So everyone starts fucking everyone else’s kids. And it’s not talked about. Incest and child abuse comes from the family. The family comes from the creation of capital. I don’t want two people’s opinions. I want a community. We live in little rooms of two people full of vodka. Why do we have two people look after us?”

“Well,” I said, “two people look after you because two people created you.”

“No, no, no, no, no,” Chris said, his voice rising. “That ain’t how it works! That shouldn’t be how it works! You should have a community looking after you. Two people is not enough. The family unit is a disgrace. It’s a violent little situation that creates hatred and Oedipal hell. It’s a horrible thing.”

“The family unit exists,” I suggested, “because they’re all related by blood.”

“Not it’s not,” said Chris. “The family exists to create workers. Viva la Communista!”

“Anyway,” I said, “this is getting off the subject of you actually doing something about your life. It sounds to me that your Edinburgh Fringe show is exactly what you should be doing – getting that anger out of you and making other people think, even if they don’t agree with you.”

“I’ll be carrying a pair of brass knuckles on stage, though,” said Chris. “I’ve already bought them.”

“When are you back in Britain?”

“Probably 4th or 5th of May.”

“Then you’ll have to think full-time about Edinburgh,” I said.

“Well, I got Will Self on the firm, haven’t I?” said Chris.

“Do I mention this?” I asked.

Will Self had words on yoghurts

Will Self advised on consumer choices, lady boys  & yoghurts

“Yeah, you can now,” said Chris. “He came to see me and wrote me a cracking review and he told me if I wanted a bit of help developing the material… He said he thinks I’m fantastic but that I perform better than my material. He said fucking and having a fight with a lady boy was just another consumer choice; I might as well be talking about yoghurts. It’s a good point. But that show – Sex Tourist – was three years old when he saw it.

“He said: I’m only going to help you if you get clean, because a using addict is useless.”

“So Will Self would help you with the writing?” I asked.

“Yeah. He said he’d help me develop my material.”

“And have you started doing that yet?”

“No. I’m only twelve days clean… I told him I was clean and living in a brothel in Thailand and he said: Good luck!

“Indeed,” I said.

“Listen,” said Chris, “I’ve kinda run out of energy now. I’m going to go upstairs and have some Xanax.”

“What’s Xanax?” I asked.

“It’s a short-acting benzo. It’s a brand name for alprazolam. But, if you really want to know, you can add that to the diazepam, the intravenous Valium… It’s a bit benzo-heavy at the moment.”

“So you’ve stopped taking drugs, then?” I laughed.

“Tablets aren’t drugs,” replied Chris. “They’re medicine. Listen, when you ain’t slept for nine days, you’ve got pins-an-needles all over your body. You can’t walk five metres without your legs caving in. My injecting site is through my groin. I’ve got no veins left anywhere else, so I have to go in that femoral one which is like a hose pipe.

Chris Dangerfield in Thailand yesterday morning

Chris laughed in Thailand yesterday morning

“When I got here, I wasn’t looking at getting clean and I kept buying any old shit and I was banging stuff in there. My calf muscles solidified and I went to the hospital and they said: You’re probably going to lose your legs. If you carry on like this, they’re off! And I quite like my legs.

“Now I can only walk about ten metres before I fall over and shit myself. So I need to go upstairs and lay down for a minute now. This is the longest I’ve spoken to anyone in about a week.”

“Well,” I said. “Keep clean, keep your legs, be creative and come back to work with Will Self.”

Chris laughed.

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Comic Chris Dangerfield in Thailand has not taken heroin for twelve days

Chris Dangerfield photographed in Thailand last month

Chris Dangerfield shot in Thailand last month

Comedian Chris Dangerfield has made no secret of his heroin problem when I have chatted to him previously in this blog. He is currently in Thailand ‘getting clean’. I talked to him via Skype this morning.

“So,” I asked, “are you Mr Clean now?”

“Well,” he told me, “I’ve been off the smack for 12 days.”

“That’s good,” I said.

“It’s fucking horrific,” said Chris. “I used to do this for a laugh. Even the withdrawals used to be quite good fun. But I’m 42 in three weeks time and I just shit the bed and puked rivers of dayglo yellow puke till it was about an inch deep in the whole room and I didn’t have the strength to move and then it went under the door and ran down the stairs and then the bloke who runs this place came in and said: Yeah, this needs cleaning up.

“I’ve come over to this place three times now. They know what I’m going through and are kinda used to it. I’m over the worst but Jesus, man, I just worked out this time I didn’t sleep for nine days. That’s a long time to not sleep when your mind’s racing.

“I used to think I hated myself and that was the core of my problem, but it’s actually a bit worse than that. I think I’m indifferent to myself. Love is not opposed to hate. Love is opposed to indifference.

“If I hated myself, I’d have a real engagement in myself. I’d be engaged in myself as much as I would if I loved myself. But it ain’t that. I just don’t really give a shit. I quite like doing a few things, but this thing Life – I’m just not that into it. Sometimes I just prefer taking drugs to doing anything else.”

“But,” I said, “last time I talked to you when you were off smack, you told me how wonderful it was to be off, how clear everything was.”

“To be honest,” said Chris, “I’m not sure I was off then.”

“When you’re on,” I suggested, “you’re not thinking clearly.”

Chris talking to me on Skype this morning

Chris talking to me via Skype this morning

“It’s wonderful to be off when you’re on,” laughed Chris. “Every interview we’ve done over the last couple of years, pretty much, I don’t remember. I read it a few days later and I think Wow! That’s quite an interesting bloke. I like him.

“There you are,” I suggested. “When you talk about yourself, you’re an interesting bloke.”

“Exactly!” said Chris. “I had five years… No four years… I’m such a good liar to myself… It’s not a lie if you believe it, is it?… I had a few years clean and I done what I had to do and went to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and it was fucking dull, man. It was a hard time – What do you do? – Fuck women and eat cakes. In meetings, I find I just exaggerate my story to fit in with their version of my events.”

“But you’re actually very entrepreneurial,” I said. “Your lock-picking business is doing really well, isn’t it?”

“It’s making millions,” said Chris, “but that’s because I was doing a gram a day of Burmese No 4 and that shit don’t come cheap. The thing is, now I’m clean, I can’t be arsed to work. What do I want money for? It means nothing to me.

The table in Chris room in Thailand last month

The table in Chris’ room in Thailand photographed last month

“I’m being honest with you. The last two years, I turned over £4 million on my lock business – because I needed it. I was using a gram a day intravenously. That’s expensive gear. Now I’m not, I need money for rent and a bit of food, but what else do I want? I’ve got no other pleasures in life.”

“But,” I argued, “if you need fewer things, you need less money so you can work less and you can…”

“But there’s no reward!” interrupted Chris. “There’s no target. When I’m using, I wake up in the morning and I’m shaking and it’s like Man, you have to find £200 pronto! and then you’ve gotta find a score and then you go out and then you’re on the estates and you’re causing trouble, you’re running from the police, you’re having fights and I know that’s all bullshit but, without that, what have I got? I don’t know what I like doing.”

“You’re a creative person,” I said. “You write shows. Your aim is to make yourself a bigger name in…”

“How ugly is that?” Chris interrupted. “You just said to me: Put down the drugs and you can have ambition! – I’ll take the drugs over ambition all day long.”

“It’s not about ambition,” I said. “It’s about creativity, about creating something that other people can…”

“No it’s not!” said Chris. “It’s ego-driven nonsense! – I sit in my flat writing novels; that’s creativity. Standing up in front of people going Oooooh-oooooh! Aren’t I funny! – that’s just my ego going Feed me! Feed me! – I hate it.”

“So you can sit in your flat and write novels,” I said.

“Yeah, about me taking drugs,” said Chris.

“Which other people,” I said, “may read and which, for them, may be life-changing. When Janey Godley wrote her autobiography, she got literally hundreds of messages from people saying how it had changed their lives because they’d realised they weren’t alone and how they could survive just as she had.”

“And Janey’s a fantastic woman,” said Chris.

I’ve read Junkie, I’ve read Queer, I’ve read The Naked Lunch. None of it’s real! It’s bullshit.

Chris Dangerfield photographed in Thailand last month: “It’s all bullshit, John. I’ve read Junkie, I’ve read Queer, I’ve read The Naked Lunch. None of it is real! It’s bullshit.”

“There’s William Burroughs,” I said.

“It’s all bullshit, John!” said Chris. “I’ve read Junkie, I’ve read Queer, I’ve read The Naked Lunch. None of it is real! It’s bullshit.”

“Well,” I said, “yours won’t be.”

“Well I dunno if that’s a fair exchange,” said Chris. “I dunno whether swapping drugs for ambition… Ambition is an ugly thing…”

“Being on stage might be ambition,” I said. “But writing novels is not necessarily ambition. It can be art.”

“Yeah,” said Chris, “but there’s the bit about people reading it, which means publishing, which is ambitious.”

“Am I awful for posting a blog?” I asked.

“Yeah, but I’m not you, John,” argued Chris. “You got humility.”

“But you can’t” I said, “claim I’ve got humility AND publishing something is ego.”

“I’m not talking about you,” said Chris, “I’m talking about me.”

“So why am I writing the blog?” I asked. “And why is that a bad thing?”

“I’m talking about my world,” said Chris.

“Well,” I argued, “if you wrote a blog, would that be a bad thing?”

“I tried writing a blog. It was bad,” said Chris, wriggling. “It was about a football player.”

“That’s not a blog, that’s a novel,” I said.

There was a long silence. Then Chris laughed. Then he said:

“Anyway…”

“If you create something,” I said, “that’s not necessarily bad. If you want to be famous for creating something, that might possibly be bad. But the actual act of creating something isn’t bad. Creating a beautiful painting isn’t bad in itself.”

“You’re right,” said Chris, “but what is different here is that YOU don’t involve yourself with performing.”

“Performance can be a bit egotistical,” I said, “but the writing of a play isn’t bad. There’s nothing wrong with ego provided it doesn’t hurt other people. If, by boosting your ego, you’re actually helping other people… Janey Godley performs and I know other people have been helped by watching her performances.”

Sex Tourist poster

Chris’ 2012 show at the Edinburgh Fringe

“In this year’s Edinburgh Fringe show,” said Chris, “I’ve tried to be a little bit more humble.”

“Has it still got the same title you told me last year?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Chris. “You can publish it now.”

“You say the title?” I asked.

Sex With Children,” said Chris.

“This possibly isn’t a life-affirming title,” I said.

“It’s not a play on words,” said Chris. “Make that clear. It’s about fucking kids.”

… CONTINUED HERE

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Odd news of enemas, buckets & Bitcoins from Germany, Sweden and Canada

BERLIN, GERMANY

Cabaret performer Matt Roper in Berlin - the home of Cabaret

Cabaret performer Matt Roper in Berlin – the home of Cabaret

Comedian Matt Roper has been forced to sleep in a doorway holding music legend Morrissey in his hands.

Matt is currently staying in a flat in Berlin which belongs to a musician friend of his who is on tour.

As there was a spare room, Matt had asked me if I wanted to stay there too.

It sounds like I was lucky I did not go. I got an e-mail:

“When I arrived here,” Matt told me, “I collected the keys from the neighbours, threw my bags into the hallway, then went out for the night to explore. I was kidnapped by two journalists from the Bild newspaper (the German equivalent of the Sun) who took me to various bars, ending up in a place where an exotic dancer performing onstage finished her act by sitting on a large bottle of Becks beer and opened it by bending over.

“When I got back to the flat at 2.40am, I realised I had been given the wrong set of keys. Well, the keys to the flat were fine, but I had not got one to the main door from the street. I had to spend the night in the doorway until somebody from the building left for work in the morning at 6.45am. I had trouble convincing him I was legitimately staying there. I do not speak much German and, in the intervening four hours, I had been sipping beer from a bottle and reading Morrissey’s autobiography so, by this point, was looking quite dishevelled.

“The next day,” Matt told me, “my card was cloned by some bastard in India who has plundered my current account of all its funds. And now I can smell gas coming from the flat below.”

“Well, gas and Germany tend to go together,” I told Matt when I Skyped him yesterday.

“The neighbours just said to ignore it and it has gone away,” he confirmed, then continued: “Listen. There’s an enema spa in Thailand I know very well. We should go one day next year. After the Edinburgh Fringe. Next September. You fast for ten days straight and take silium husk. I met Hermann Goering‘s niece there. You can have ten days of blogging with interesting characters talking about what they’ve passed that morning into a sieve. How can you resist?”

I told Matt I had put enemas behind me and was not interested.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Bob Slayer (right) met a man with drink in Sweden

When baldies collide: Bob Slayer (right) met a man on a bus

Shortly after talking to Matt Roper, I got an e-mail from comedian Bob Slayer.

“Yesterday,” it started, “I found an artificial leg in a park in Stockholm… There were signs of a struggle and half a broken step ladder. What can this all mean?”

I could not help Bob with any sensible explanation.

“This morning,” the e-mail coninued, “I was woken up in a closed shopping centre (also in Stockholm) by a security guard called Linus. Neither of us knew how I had got into the closed shopping centre and he complimented me on my sleeping place but – sadly – he told me that he had not seen my artificial leg… So that is now lost again.

“It would be lovely if you could blog about my new book Bob Slayer: The Happy Drunk. I have written it and Rich Rose has illustrated it. The pre-order via Kickstarter closes on Sunday.” (This means tomorrow to rapid readers of this blog.)

Bob’s Kickstarter target was £666 and, at the time of writing, he has raised £1,008, so I think it is likely the book may well appear.

Later, I got another message from Bob.

“I get a ferry to Aland for a gig,” it started. “Aland is an island between Sweden and Finland which is Finnish but they speak Swedish. The two countries argued over it for years and sorted things out with a treaty that made Swedish the main language and gave the island a high degree of autonomy. The first thing they did was get rid of all tax on booze. I love this place. It is a schizophrenic island full of piss heads…

“I have been to Aland several times before with bands. My gig is promoted by a man called Grulle. When I was managing the Japanese rock band Electric Eel Shock, we once took Grulle to the Hultsfred Festival. When we picked him up, all he was carrying was a bucket. It turned out to be his portable toilet complete with a seat. Grulle spent some very happy moments with his potty in the woods that weekend.”

Even later yesterday, I got a text message on my phone from Bob who, bizarrely, is a former racehorse jockey.

“I have met an old man called Björn on the bus to the ferry,” the text said. “He was a race horse trainer but, more importantly, he has wine and vodka. An important feature is that the booze is in bottles of vitamin water.”

I have heard nothing from Bob since.

VANCOUVER, CANADA

Anna Smith ignores the BBC in Canada

Anna Smith has some fishy yet true stories

When I told Anna Smith – this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent – that Bob Slayer was in Stockholm, she unexpectedly suggested I should immediately tell him that Sweden now allows public masturbation.

Sure enough, Time magazine and the UK’s Independent newspaper have both reported that a 65-year-old Swedish man was acquitted of sexual assault after “pleasuring himself” on a beach in Stockholm in June.

The district court of Södertörn tossed out the charge on the grounds that he did not look at anybody while fondling himself. Public prosecutor Olof Vrethammar told the Mitti newspaper that he had no plans to appeal and called the ruling “reasonable.” When asked if masturbating in public was now acceptable in Sweden, Vrethammar said public fondling was “okay” – as long as it was not directed towards a specific individual.”

Anna Smith lives in Vancouver, where the world’s first Bitcoin machine has now been installed in a branch of Waves coffee shop. Anna tells me:

“The coffee shop is opposite the British Columbia Supreme Court. I wonder if it will come in handy for criminals who are about to be sentenced to lengthy terms or ones who have just won their cases and need to convert currency or pay off people. I have noticed that men about to be incarcerated sometimes have absurd amounts of cash in their motel rooms.”

Anna has other things on her mind, too:

“I have started part time work in a used book store,” she tells me. “The place is always good for a laugh. The owners grumble about business, customers come in to rant and the elderly men are funny, trying to outdo one another with anecdotes. One elderly Indian man was crowing from the top of a ladder: I was there when Khrushchev stepped off the train in Bombay!  to which another geezer, who is blind and too unsteady to climb ladders but sings filthy doggerel, replied: My mother was an Irish nurse who marched with Mao across China!

Respected Italian politician La Cicciolina

The respected Italian politician La Cicciolina

“Directly opposite the bookstore is the Marble Arch Hotel, full of mentally-ill drug addicts, who used to fire projectiles at the store windows from their rooms. Fortunately, the City of Vancouver is renovating the hotel, so the whole building is enveloped in scaffolding and blue nets, making it temporarily impossible to shoot ball bearings. In better days, the hotel had a striptease club which featured such famous performers as La Cicciolina, the popular Hungarian-born Italian politician.

“I recently went to a Celebration of Life for Fijian princess and actress Freda Perry, which was held at a Ukrainian Orthodox Church. A banquet including extremely delicious curried lamb was served, Fijians sang prayers and there was a Kava ceremony, though I missed that bit.

“When I saw the Kava bowl I thought it was holy water, so I steered clear and was a little surprised when I saw a man scoop a mug of liquid out and drink it. Fijians are obviously a superior culture as their holy water is drinkable, and mildly intoxicating, whereas our European holy water functions mainly as a transmitter of influenza.

“Big news at the moment, though, is that Vancouver Police are being run ragged in their hunt for rogue dentists who are operating with impunity in secretive subterranean clinics.”

Sure enough, a piece in yesterday’s Globe and Mail newspaper reports that “British Columbia’s College of Dental Surgeons says there’s still no sign of rogue dentist David Wu, though it is proceeding with legal action against two other unlicensed practitioners and investigating even more… Illegal dental clinics tend to be underground and secretive, which the college has said makes them difficult to shut down.”

Vancouver continues to be high on my list of interesting places to be, although Matt Roper continues in his (frankly doomed) attempts to persuade me of the attractions of enema spas in Thailand.

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Why Chris Dangerfield’s new Edinburgh Fringe show is not the true story of him being a Lady Boy of the Khmer Rouge

(A re-titled version of this piece was published on the Indian news site WSN)

Chris Dangerfield: addicted to strong stories

Chris Dangerfield with a suspiciously sweaty forehead

“There’s two interviews I did with you which I don’t remember doing,” Chris Dangerfield told me yesterday in London’s Soho Square. “When we had scones…

“There’s a photo of me with my forehead just sweating and I know I was really hitting the crack hard then. I look awful. And – I don’t know if it’s the same interview – there’s another one when I talk about my mate and his gun.

“They’re the two. I don’t remember doing them. Someone said to me: Why do you keep getting out of your head and doing interviews with John Fleming? and I said I haven’t talked to John for months and they sent them to me and the weird thing about them is that someone’s driving , someone’s doing the talking.”

“George the autopilot takes over,” I suggested.

“When you read an interview that you don’t remember doing,” explained Chris, “and it’s not like 20 years ago – it’s six months ago – it’s like haunting yourself, it’s like you’ve become your own ghost, it’s kind of… Freud calls it ‘oceanic’, like when you stand at the beach and the vastness of the ocean is something you can’t grasp. There’s a photograph of you; there’s words and sentence structures that you know you use. In a court of Dangerfield law, I’d say Yes, that is me, but I don’t remember anything about it.”

“It’s strange,” I said. “You’re actually very responsible and together. You turn up on time. You talk fluently. If you’re off your skull, you should be all over the place.”

“What you’ve got to remember,” said Chris, “is I set up my million pound company when I was taking 2 grams of heroin a day.”

“What million pound company?” I asked incredulously.

“You know about my lock-picking business!” Chris replied, equally surprised. “It’s worth a million pounds if I was to sell it. We manufacture and retail tools to pick locks. In the second year, it turned over more than £1 million and now I’ve got staff – three full-time, a couple of part-time, a couple of consultants. UK Bumpkeys Ltd. We’re the biggest lock-picking retailer in Europe at the moment. There were people on a level with us, but they no longer are.”

“Remind me why this is legal?” I asked.

“Remind me why is shouldn’t be!” said Chris.

“Picking locks is…” I started to say.

“I used to rob houses,” interrupted Chris, “and I never used a set of lock picks. They’re the wrong tools for the job. They’re non-destructive. Lock-picking is non-destructive entry.”

“But, if you’re burgling somewhere,” I asked innocently, “why would you want to be destructive? It’s noisy.”

“Because it’s quicker,” sighed Chris. “If you sit down at two locks and pick ‘em, you could be there a half hour. But if you put a foot through the door… Look, the only times I ever used lock picks for criminal activity – and this is going back 10-15 years – was chemists.”

“So,” I said, changing the subject, “you lured me here under the pretext – and I can quote the text message you sent me exactly – Yes, sweet tits, I have two exclusives for you – biggies – and now you tell me we can’t talk about either of them in print…”

“I’ve got an hour’s TV documentary,” Chris said.

“But we can’t say what?” I asked.

Chris Dangerfield in Soho yesterday

The self-confessed millionaire lock picker in Soho, yesterday

“Not in detail. But I’m writing and presenting an hour’s TV documentary about the usual Dangerfield palate of experience of activities on the margins of society.”

“You should be a copywriter,” I told him. “People get paid thousands of pounds to write things like that.”

“We got the green light this morning,” said Chris. “That’s happening. That’ll be on telly in November.”

“Probably,” I cautioned Chris. “This is a TV company. Things change.”

“Don’t say that, John,” said Chris. “It’s a respected terrestrial TV company. Respectable.”

Stuart Hall!” I said.

The veteran TV presenter Stuart Hall had admitted 14 charges of sexual abuse that morning.

“Who’s next?” I asked. “Sooty having a threesome with Mr Methane and Sue Lawley? It’s the Rule of Three… Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall… Who’s next?”

Ken Barlow, innit?” said Chris. “He’s got arrested, didn’t he?”

“I’m not sure I believe it,” I said. “He’s a Druid and he’s always been a bit holier-than-thou. But then, you think, what sort of man dresses up in robes and walks round Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice?”

“But you hit the nail on the head there,” said Chris. “That is over-compensating. They always do it. All the paedos I knew were like… As a kid, I joined a magic club. I got there early; no-one else was there; it was in their house; this bloke called Xxxxx Yyyyy; and he got out what he said was a magic magazine. To an 11-year-old kid it was like Wow! No way! and the house had magic tricks everywhere: it was like an Aladdin’s Cave. I could only afford little £1 tricks and they had expensive props.

“Then he put this magazine in my lap and I thought Wow!!! and, in my head, I thought I’d be a professional conjuror the following week. And this ‘magic magazine’, when I opened it, had pictures of all blokes. I just felt awkward. I put it down on the floor and he picked it up and said You can look at THAT one and I said No, I’m alright and there was this to-and-fro-ing with the magazine and then, when he’s finally forced the magazine on me, he just started wanking. And the hideous thing about that story is I don’t know the end. I don’t know what happened.

“I don’t remember leaving the room. The story ends there for me, in my head. How did we get onto that?”

Putting the past behind him in Soho yesterday

Putting the past behind him outside Soho shop

“A respectable terrestrial television company,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” said Chris. “My mum is almost going to look me in the eyes now. When she found out I had two celebrity chefs following me on Twitter, she told me: You have MADE it!”

“Getting back on track,” I said, “What’s the second thing I can’t write about?”

“The second thing you can’t mention yet,” said Chris, “is the sponsor for my new Edinburgh Fringe show.”

“Which is called?”

Chris Dangerfield: How I Spent £150,000 on Chinese Prostitutes.

“So,” I said, “after last year’s show Sex Tourist, when you were sponsored by an Edinburgh escort agency…”

“The criteria for choosing a sponsor last year,” said Chris, “was that I wanted a certain level of  inappropriateness. I wanted people to think: Oh! You horrible bastard! Last year, punters got a discount on the sponsor’s services if they had one of my flyers.”

“So,” I prompted, “this year, you originally thought you couldn’t equal the level of last year’s sponsor…”

“Yeah,” said Chris. “But this year there will again be the opportunity to get some free products from the sponsor. You know who the sponsor is, John, so you know why that’s funny…”

“Have you got a full gig diary?” I asked.

“I’m in a position now,” explained Chris, “where I don’t have to punt for work. My diary has drawings of naked women with wings and I’ve got a giraffe picture. I set myself the task of drawing something that was half-giraffe, half-tank – but sexy. Not comedy sexy. I wanted it to be erotic.”

“Did you succeed?”

“Depends on your tastes.”

“Ah!” I said, remembering. “Ah! Originally we were meeting up because you were going to talk to me about your gig at the Comedy Cafe Theatre next week when you’re doing the last-ever performance of your Sex Tourist show.”

“The tickets sold out three days,” said Chris. “A record selling-out for that venue.”

“That’s a level of success, “I said. “So what’s your goal?”

“I’m there,” said Chris. “I’m doing what I want to do. I wanted to be able to do stuff that I found funny about subjects that I know people like to brush under the carpet and I wanted people to laugh at that. And I’m doing that now.”

“And your next goal?”

“To live in South East Asia in the winter and be a comedian in Britain in the summer. The Edinburgh Fringe show this year about Chinese prostitutes was originally going to be a true story of me being a Lady Boy of the Khmer Rouge.

“Up in Laos and over the borders, there’s this big fight going on between the Chinese Communists and the Lao guerillas, basically over the heroin market – and now the crystal methamphetamine market – there’s the Burmese guerillas and the Marxists as well. And the Khmer Rouge are still in the jungle in Cambodia. It’s a massive fight. You can make the stuff for like £50 a kilo.

Chris’ bottom: he says it is called in Mandarin

Chris’ bottom, as seen on Twitter yesterday

“I was going to go out there… go to Phnom Penh,” explained Chris. “I had all the clothes. I had stuff my girlfriend had left. If you looked at my Twitter page this morning, there was a picture of my arse in some stockings. Amazing. I’ll send it to you for the blog.

“Pair of heels, little mini-skirt, bit of make-up, some electrolysis, get a Kalashnikov, get a Chinese No 4 habit – it’s the finest heroin in the world – and give it a go. Meet the Khmer Rouge and come back and tell the story at the Edinburgh Fringe… if I wasn’t dead.”

“And how did this tragically not happen?” I asked.

“I booked a flight to the wrong country,” said Chris.

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