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Norman House.Norman House

Mr. Norman House talks about his wife Wendy, their flatlet in Ipswich and being abducted by aliens.

Often compared to EL Wisty, I feel this character is more similar to "Pete" from "Not Only. . . But Also".

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Norman House

Clive AndersonCLIVE ANDERSON: Now it's, err, my pleasure [LAUGHS] now it's my pleasure to welcome a man who in 1993, shot from obscurity, to being very much one of the men of the year, following his extraordinary claim to have been abducted by aliens to another planet. So for another out of body experience, please welcome Mr. Norman House.

Norman HouseEnter Norman House (Peter Cook) stage right. He wears an awful blue/red/yellow/white striped & patterned jumper (the sort of thing a maiden aunt might give at Christmas). He carries with him a metal detector. His silver hair is swept forward and he wears large brown-rimmed glasses. He speaks in a nasal tone, similar to that of "Pete".

Wild cheering and applause from audience as Norman House joins Clive Anderson.

Clive Anderson TalksbackCA: Right, well. Errm, please take a seat. Errm, right, errm, obviously I'm . . . obviously I'm going to ask you about the alien experience -


CA: But first of all I'd like to establish, you know, who you are, and where you're from. What do you do for a living?

NH: I'm a, err, quality controller, in a leading biscuit factory.

CA: Oh, right

Testing for comestibility.NH: It is my job to test biscuits for comestibility -

CA: Yes.

NH: And, and I do this by biting into them -

CA: Yes.

NH: Tasting them for flavour and texture -

I allow another four million to go byCA: Fair enough.

NH: And if the biscuit is satisfactory, I allow another four million to go by.

CA: I see.

[Norman House selects a biscuit from a plate on the table]

NH: I haven't tested this one.

Environs of Ipswich.CA: No, no. I'll take that one on trust. Now this, where do you do this biscuit testing?

NH: Ipswich. Ipswich area. Environs of Ipswich.

[Single shout of "Yeah!" from audience]

CA: Oh, well, it's a popular area apparently.

NH: It's very quiet. It's nestled in a little valley. Where we live we're surrounded by, err, countryside. And we err, have a small garage.

It's a fascinating area.CA: Yes [laughs] -

NH: It's a fascinating area, Ipswich. Because it's where the, err, the Romans first put down their, errm, their Roman baths were put down in Ipswich.

CA: Yes, alright. I wasn't really going to ask you about the history of Ipswich. It's more to do with your astonishing experience of, errm being abducted by aliens. Now where, where were you when this err, happened.

NH: I was out errm, with my wife Wendy -

CA: Yes

We have a little flatlet.NH: Who also lives in the Ipswich area.

CA: Yes.

NH: Just above the garage, we have a little flatlet.

CA: Yes.

NH: And, err, we were out of an evening. I was out metal detecting -

CA: Yes. Is that a hobby?

I borrowed a friends metal detector.NH: Yes, I like to, I've got this, errm, [picks up metal detector from beside seat] actually I found this metal detector years ago. I was very lucky because I borrowed a friend's metal detector -

CA: Yes.

NH: And I was out detecting, and suddenly I felt there was a strong feeling that there was something metallic under the ground -

CA: Yes.

NH: And sure enough I dug away, and lo and behold, there was this metal detector. Almost as brand new.

CA: Oh right. I suppose that's true. Metal detectors are made of metal.

A friend of mine had a detector which detected itself.NH: They are. They are made of metal and one of the problems with a bad metal detector, is that if it's really poorly made it'll start detecting itself. And a friend of mine had a detector which detected itself, and started just curling up and trying to eat the handle.

CA: But this is a good one?

NH: But this is a good one. Yes. And we were out in the car and err, and then I got out of the car and started detecting -

CA: Yes.

Strange glowing object.NH: And err, suddenly I saw this, err, strange glowing object hovering about one and a half feet above the ground.

CA: Right. Wasn't headlamps, was it? Or anything like that?

NH: No, no. It was an unearthly object. Non-metallic, otherwise the detector would have -

CA: Immediately -

NH: Detected it. And I felt strangely calm, but at the same time horribly terrified. And err, I err, I didn't know what to do and it just stayed there glowing eerily [uses hands to demonstrate a circle shape]

About that size. Yes.CA: What sort of size was this?

NH: [emphasises shape made with hands] About that size. Yes, about that big. It was just hovering there, and I felt something beckoning at me -

CA: Yes.

NH: A mental beckoning, more than a physical beckoning and I suddenly saw a creature getting out of the orb and begin slowly to suck me into, into it's orbit -

CA: Yes.

NH: Mentally -

Mentally suck you.CA: Mentally suck you.

NH: Mentally suck me into the orbit, and I fell into a trance, and the next thing I knew, I was elsewhere.

CA: Right. [picks up two photographs from the table. One is black one white, the other in colour. Each shows a glowing sphere.] I know we've got some pictures in. Did you take these pictures?

NH: No these snaps were taken by my wife, Wendy -

CA: Well that's jolly lucky. You've got two pictures -

That one's upside down.NH: That's the better one, the black and white one. That one's upside down [turns black and white pic up the other way].

CA: I'm sorry. Yes.

NH: [points to black and white pic] It was more colourful than that [points to blurred colour pic] but not as misshapen as that.

CA: What did these creatures look like? Err, have you got a -

Otter-like shape.NH: Well, they're, they're, they're rather like, errm [picks up clipboard and pen from desk], otter-like. Otter-like. Otter-like in shape. They look rather like this, [draws otter-like shape on clipboard] you see. [Adds two "slit eyes" to drawing] That sort of shape.

CA: Right.

NH: That was one of them. And there was another one like this [draws identical otter-like shape].

CA: Oh, I see.

The one that took me.NH: - the one that took me.

CA: That was the one that took you [laughs] Now how long did you spend on this planet?

NH: I was there for approximately four years -

CA: Yes.

NH: Or seemed to be about four years, but in fact was only three minutes of our time.

CA: Yes, right. And which planet were you on? Mars or Venus -

Ikea!NH: Ikea! They are people who arrived millions of years ago in cardboard boxes, and were forced to assemble themselves.

CA: Yes. Well, I see. It accounts for the strange shape I suppose.

NH: Oh yes. They had no instructions.

CA: And why were they interested in you? You in particular, or us at all?

NH: I think they shared my love of metal -

CA: Yes.

Museum devoted to rock 'n' roll.NH: But it was mainly because they have a museum up there devoted to rock 'n' roll.

CA: Yeah. Our rock 'n' roll?

NH: Our rock 'n' roll, and the only rock 'n' roll they've ever heard was Manfred Mann -

CA: Yes.

Doo-ah-diddy diddy-dum-diddy.NH: And they were unsure of the lyrics of one of his hits. And that was "There I was a-walking down the street, going doo-ah-diddy diddy-dum-diddy". [Pause] And that bit of the lyric was missing.

CA: Oh right.

NH: So they only got up to "Dum-wah-diddy diddy-dum-diddy" and they wanted to know what, what came after that.

CA: And were you able to tell them?

I didn't know that lyric at all.NH: No, I didn't know that lyric at all. So they were most dissatisfied with me, err, err, and they are dissatisfied with everything really, up there on Ikea.

CA: Well how could they communicate with you? Could they speak English?

NH: No they, they, they, they think they can speak and they communicate through thought waves.

CA: Yes

And you could pick this up, could you?NH: Through vibrations. Timeless aeon vibrations.

CA: And you could pick this up, could you?

NH: I could tell they didn't like what they'd got.

CA: What's the atmosphere like on the planet?

NH: Well, it, it, it's very thin. Very thin atmosphere. If I hadn't had some air in my jumper, and err, in my socks with me, I would have probably been stifled. It's just what I imagine being in Mexico City is like.

They've been on a diet for two million years.CA: Yes. So what do they do like, for air, for breathing . . . for food? Do they eat?

NH: They, they, no, they've been on a diet for two million years because, err, they don't eat. They have no stomachs or no mouths. They just have err, well I showed you the pictures -

CA: Yes.

An experience like that.NH: They just have the shape of an otter and two slit eyes. So they . . . it's a good thing don't eat as there's really nowhere for them to put the food.

CA: Well quite. Has this experience changed you in anyway?

NH: Yes. An experience like that. In fact that experience [pause] made me realise just how insignificant they were.

Thank you.CA: Well thank you very much indeed, Norman House.





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