So You Wanna Be a Henchman

Has your childhood been traumatic? Did you come up with a brilliant idea, only to have people laugh at you and tell you it would never work? Has your life become boring and you’re looking for a fresh change of pace? Perhaps you’ve considered your options, and came across the option of evil.

Evil is a lot like show business–it’s a tough field to get into. Unless you’ve got contacts, are the relative of a super-famous villain, or have exceptional skill and are in the right place at the right time, you’re going to have to work very hard to become even remotely notable in the villainy community.

If that’s the case for you, then you might consider trying out the business of henching for a while. By becoming a henchman, you’ll have the invaluable opportunity to work with a professional villain and experience the evil business first-hand. And if you’re a diligent worker and manage not to get killed in your first year of henching, you just might make something of yourself.

But you gotta start at the bottom of the totem pole, so here are a few tips for surviving your career as a henchman.

Rules are for Everyone

I don’t care how brilliant you are, how great your schemes are, or how much eviler than your co-henchmen you are. The fact is, you’ve been hired by a villain who doesn’t care much about your personal career. She would just as soon smite you on the spot as give you a second chance, so you need to be as careful and subservient as possible. Your boss asks you to wear the stupidest uniform you’ve ever seen? Wear it. He asks you to be the guinea pig and step into an experimental machine? Do it. It won’t kill you to obey (probably), so if you want to continue your job as  a henchman, you’d better do everything you’re told. At the very least, you can prove how much better you are than everyone else by being the most obedient to your villain.

Manners Matter

I understand that you’re an aspiring villain-to-be, and I’m not expecting you to say please and thank you like you’re some kind of goody, but it seriously doesn’t hurt to be courteous to your villain. When he punishes you for something you didn’t do, don’t argue it. When he gets your name wrong, don’t tell him that it’s actually Margaret. From now on, you’ll be known as Nancy, if that’s what he wants. Keep out of trouble and you’ll keep your job longer. And if your boss has a bad day and all her doomsday weapons blew up, ask her if you can do anything to help her calm down–back rub? coffee? a CD of children screaming? She’ll probably be so wound up, she’ll yell at you for your efforts, but I guarantee she’ll remember that you tried to help while the rest of the henchmen just stood there wasting space. She’ll remember–and favour you for it.

“Getting By” Doesn’t Cut It

Just because your villain was willing to hire you because you took three weeks of karate classes when you were four, doesn’t mean that’s good enough if you wanna become a full-fledged villain. Villains don’t care much if their henchmen die in battle, so to them, your limited experience is acceptable. But you’d do well to go above and beyond. Get yourself some real training. Martial arts are great, as well as weapon skill and tactical combat. You should be taking as many classes a week as you have time for (depending on your henching schedule, of course) so that you not only survive fights, but excel in them. And while you’re at it, make sure you keep track of how many good guys you defeat per battle. With your advanced training, you should be bringing home impressive numbers that are sure to catch the attention of your villain.

Friendship is for Kindergarten

The whole point of being evil is to be heartless and cruel, so don’t go making besties with your co-henchmen in the break room. Sentiment will be your downfall in the long run. By making friends, you’ll have less of that “every henchie for himself” attitude and you’ll lose your edge. Allies are great to have, as long as they benefit you, but don’t start sticking up for them when they’re being punished, and certainly don’t stop to help them if they’re in trouble during a battle. Your villain isn’t looking for you to be loyal to your peers. He wants you to be loyal to him, ’cause let’s face it–if he really wants to take over the world, he’s gotta be an egomaniac.

What’s His is His, and What’s Yours is His, Too

If you work for a villain, you have to accept on day one that everything you are now belongs to her. She needs $4000, you better get your wallet out. You’re there only to serve and to please, and if that means you lose your identity in the process, so be it. You can always make a new one when you become a super-villain.

You Have No Good Ideas

So you better learn to stop taking credit for them right now. I’m not saying that you have to stop coming up with good ideas–you just can’t make them your own. You have to present them to your villain as if it’s actually his brilliant idea. He won’t want to keep you around if he realizes that you’re a good thinker–and could potentially come up with a plan to overthrow him–but he will want to keep you around if he feels like he thinks better when you’re in the room. And if you keep giving him great ideas, he just might begin to realize that you’ve got a good brain in your head after all, and will start referring to you when he needs an evil plan.

Buy a Punching Bag… or Two Hundred

Even if you act like the darned best henchman in the whole evil world, you have to realize that there are going to be work days that are downright insufferable. Your villain yelled at you constantly, you got stuck cleaning out the evil washrooms, one of your co-henchmen stole your hilarious joke about the heroes and the light bulb–it goes on and on, and drives you absolutely mad! But you can’t lose your cool at work. That’s unprofessional. So get a punching bag for at home and beat the crap out of it when you’re in a bad mood. Not only is it fantastic stress release, but it will also give you a great chance to test out those fighting moves you’ve been learning. You should consider picking up more than one punching bag though… evil tempers are nothing pretty.

It’ll be a long haul, the road from henching to full villainy, and there will be days when you’ll just want to destroy a city, you’re so angry. But if you put up with it now and keep your wits about you at work, it will pay off. You’ll hit promotion after promotion until you’ve got the reputation and experience to strike out on your own. And then, when you’re a mega villain striving for world domination, you can punish everyone else for the torture you had to endure while a henchman. Win-win, right?

Do you have any tips for aspiring henchmen?

May your endurance sustain you through your henching career till the day that it all pays off.


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