An Onion and Two White Chicks Sittin’ Around Talkin’

Get ready ’cause I was on medication last night, and it seems Heidi went off of hers. ;-)

We had a discussion about an issue Heidi raised, and something I’ve been asked about quite a bit in private and most often by new fans.

Note: I’m handling this like the old Point/Counterpoint segment on 60 Minutes with Shana Alexander and James J. Kilpatrick. You decide who’s Shana and who’s James. If you don’t know who those people were, then a) you probably live outside the U.S. or b) you’re not that old yet. :D

I’ll let Heidi go first:

OK.

There’s no easy way for me to graciously get into this without charging like the Taurus bull that I am into the China shop and just ask it:

Are RA’s letters to fans a hoax?

Now before the steam pours out of your ears like Popeye polishing off a chili pepper popper, let me tell you how this question came about.

Picture this: Heidi has insomnia, so to get to sleep, she decides to hit one of those sites that lists all of RA’s letters to fans. After all, the past snippets I’ve read sound like something straight out of a CBeebies episode, peppered with pleas for everybody to be “extra good, be willingly good,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Those things conjure an image of a placid, book-loving, thoughtful man who literally reads my child to sleep at night on Youtube in his sing-song, gentle voice.

You know.

This guy.

I mean, look at him, reading to that stuffed dinosaur. Aw. That’s exactly how I picture him talking to his fans through his letters. “Everybody, you be sweet and go to sleep and have sweet dreams, because we all need to be kind to each other.”

Aw!

Then all the miniature-action-figure-Thorin-toting women in the Western hemisphere collectively breathe a whisper of, “What a sensitive and caring man!” and nod off on their pillows and solemnly swear in their hearts to do every saccharine-dripping request that Richard Armitage asks of them.

You know, you picture this guy admonishing you in his gentle voice:

So Heidi is reading this stuff … trying to get to sleep … and then … WHAM!

A DRUNK GUY HAS TAKEN OVER RA’S COMPUTER AND HAS SENT THIS MISSIVE!

16th December 2008

Following the repatriation of the Robin Hood company to blighty, the spokesperson for RA has mysteriously disappeared. However, Hungarian ‘Rendorseg’ managed to locate a hotel room which was noted as his last abode. After searching the room and forensic dusting for fingerprints an ‘ubersuperduper unbelievably teeny tiny mini me micro film’ was located, secreted in a particle of dust which was lodged in a greasy finger print left on the rim of a pot noodle, evidence of Spokes persons seriously compromised existence. The ubersuperduper unbelievably teeny tiny mini me micro film then had to be dipped in Russian Standard Vodka for processing. Viewing the film proved to be nearly impossible but for a lucky purchase from Wollies at 50% discount of the very last “Ubersuperduper unbelievable teeny tiny mini me micro film player/clock radio with microwave and bagless vacuum attachment….it contained the following message:

“Agent A would like to wish all his contacts/agents a wonderfully joyous, peaceful and fun filled Christmas. He wanted to thank them all for their continued support this year and hopes to deliver ‘in spades’ for 2009. He is once again overwhelmed by all the generous gifts and messages and is attempting to respond a soon as is possible. He would like also to offer a toast to 2009 wishing all ‘agents’, success and happiness. In the spirit of peace and good will this message will self destruct in 3 seconds or if option B is exercised recipients will be termin…………… “

You know what, guys?

Um.

That’s completely and excessively much hotter than anything else I’ve seen RA quoted as saying, and here’s why:

HE. IS. FUNNY!

I mean, did he really WRITE that stuff?

Now, you have to understand that I’m a prankster at heart. I pulled countless pranks when I was in college. My
parents were convinced the family name would be so tarnished, that great-great-great grandchildren would be barred from our learning institution of choice, given the havoc I was creating on campus.

I know pranks.

And this, my friends, is one of the best pranks I’ve seen in ages.

Either:

A) RA’s friends stole his laptop in the dead of night and sent it off to this fan site for world-wide publication as a prank against their mate … or

B) RA himself drank five bottles of champagne by a roaring fire on a frigid Christmas season night and got so toasty silly that he fired this off and then decided to send it, just to see what kind of reaction he’d get. I mean, look at it. It’s Saturday-Night-Live-caliber comedy, poking fun at serious-minded middle-aged women who can’t get enough of reading about a man they’ve never met!

Richard, now come on. You are so busted.

Of those two options …. I choose A.

I think this letter is a hoax, and possibly many of the others he purportedly has written, too. I mean, you saw that intellectual and thoughtful thing he did at that blog with the book reviewers (if not, go here).

Either the guy is an onion with this prankster personality lurking under his Mr. Thornton persona – which, by the way, underscores his acting abilities – or someone has perpetrated one of the most hilarious hoaxes imagined: a letter embraced by fans as the real pearls of words penned by their beloved film idol.

Guys.

I’m going with the hoax.

And if RA actually did write that thing?

We will never hear it from him, because as a prankster to the core, I can tell you that we never breathe a word of our indiscretions. The fun of the prank is portraying to the world an austere and dignified front while on the inside, we are laughing non-stop at you.

Actually, I’ll bet this guy wrote it.

My turn:

This won’t take long. :D

Okay, let me see. You say he’s a prankster, Heidi, and that pranksters can effect an entirely different demeanor. Doesn’t that bolster the argument he did write the letter and wrote the Vulpes Libris answers as well? :D Speaking as a prankster and the offspring of a prankster, I totally know someone can pull off another side to themselves that might surprise people who think they know a person. ;-) Don’t ask me how I really know that. ;P

What I find interesting is this assumption Richard Armitage couldn’t haven’t written these because he’s sweet and kind and good with children — at least from what we can tell by the CBeebies videos. Yet most people have layers. Most people are onions. In fact, I’m married to an onion. He’s wonderful with children. They adore him. He’s a really gentle soul. But oh my gosh can he he come with the humor, and can also slice someone up with his tongue when it’s warranted, and sometimes when it’s not. Wait. He just came into the room. He’s grinning and doing some kind of twisty thing with his body while saying, “I can’t do this if you don’t put some curtains on the back windows.” LOL! Now he’s doing what looks like a dance. He just stopped to grin at me. ROFLOL!! I’m not sure I’m going to leave this in the post, but it may be too good to leave out!

By the way, this is the guy who our daughter wrote of him after his visit to her first apartment in NYC and her first time living away from home:

…my dad is an extremely kind, caring, down-to-earth person. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and is a funny, intelligent, artistic man. He loves the comfort of a well-written book, and has a better understanding of the true meaning of art more than anyone I’ve yet to meet in this artist driven city.

But one thing I love most about my father is his ability to love people exactly where they are. He can see past someone’s pain, someone’s anger or someone’s facade into their being and is able to appreciate them for everything that they are. He truly enjoys each relationship he has with people, knowing that each one is important in its own special way. Just as he enjoys admiring artwork and literature, he enjoys the beauty in humans as individuals.

And he’s also the guy who had me believing his girlfriend before me had a deformed ear which she covered with her long hair swept to one side, and when I met her, my shock evident that her hair covered no deformity. Yes, it was a good yarn. Damn good yarn. Oh that it were the last time he gulled me. He also has a way of twisting up words and phrases to make them funny. He’s the one who should be blogging, and honestly, he could have written that April letter. But those abilities don’t preclude being kind and sweet.

Yes, personal experience is king. Can’t you tell from my account and Heidi’s? ;-)

So B (see above in case you’ve already forgotten it :D), which I’m calling “the onion theory,” says Richard Armitage is thoughtful and kind (but not perfectly; who is?), and he was sitting around drinking beer with a bunch of his buddies who were teasing the hell out of him about the Army, and presto! the April letter (and maybe a few before it) was born.

So yeah, I’m going with the onion theory. :D

I feel another post coming on, and a good thing or this one would have difficulty loading.

47 Comments

  1. Peers head out. He wrote them. Take my word for it. I’m not going into details but some of the crusty old peeps got insider knowledge sadly now defunct. Not quite sure why you’d think he didn’t. *shrugs* and disappears back into the rabbit hole.

  2. Oh, I think he wrote them. Heidi’s the one who is questioning it. :D

  3. I’d like to think he wrote it, b/c it adds a new level of attractiveness to that entire package that is RA … but really, I still go with my original argument.

    :-D

  4. I’m going to say more in another post.

  5. Heidi’s point is that RA could have written the letter after a bottle of wine, but then he’d actually THINK he was funny as opposed to actually SOUNDING funny to the rest of us ;)
    Heidi won’t be happy until Richard invites her to his place to witness writing letters to his fans (BTW I still haven’t got my post-Armitage Day letter Richard…) so she can confirm their authenticity!
    PS> I REALLY hope it’s not the bald git in glasses writing the letters, cos that would shatter me… It’s enough that he litters my google news Richard Armitage list…

  6. God forbid it’s the bald guy! Yeah, that would shatter me as well. :D

  7. I like to think RA wrote them and I wish he would write another.

  8. I think you’re all full of malarky. His mother wrote it obviously. You know…to throw us off the trail.

    Thanks. I needed a good laugh!!!!!!! *wiping laugh tears off face*

  9. That he has a sense of humour and is an enthusiastic, good writer (Todd Garner/backstories/script notes) points to the letter being his IMO. The onion theory works for me.

  10. Aw, man, you guys!

    I can see my theory is dissolving into a big giant snow puddle.

    Boooooooooooooo.

  11. I think he wrote them. And one of the reasons I think he wrote them all is that I was following the whole thing way back when it happened originally and the stuff was verified fairly well. So much for the “official reason” why I think he did write these.

    The unofficial reason I believe he wrote them is that my father has a personality very, very much like RA’s. If you simply met him on the street you’d find him enjoyable to talk to, and friendly, but also fairly serious. He can be dark, moody, and he’s extremely artistic – he’s a professional musician and a minister, and so believe me when I say this is a serious but creative guy.

    HOWEVER, if you hit him on the right day, he is ab-so-lutely RIDICULOUS. I mean, silly and funny to the point of all three of the women in the house rolling our eyes as he makes astonishingly bad, childish jokes and ends up rolling around on the couch because he’s cracked HIMSELF up so badly. In short, he’s basically an undercover comedian. But only like…every third Tuesday.

    So…while I do understand that this argument won’t be settled finally until one of us has the opportunity to ask RA personally whether he wrote them (oh, please, Lord, let it be me…), I’m just saying I think there’s a decided case to be made for the claim that Richard Armitage did, in fact, send several very, very silly letters to fans who he obviously values (and, if we’re honest, occasionally just tolerates).

    There’s my two cents! (Or, five cents. You know, whatever.)

  12. Nice try Heidi. :) I think Frenz has won this debate! :)

  13. LOL!!!

    Kelly, ironically, I really want to be wrong about this. I would be very happy if Frenz was dead-on correct, because like the rest of you, I’d love to think this guy is super funny.

    Sort of adds a pixie dust sparkle to that aura he already has going on.

    BUT I STILL SAY IT’S A HOAX, DAMMIT.

    ;-P

  14. ROFL, Love it Heidi!

    This letter is hilarious, on par with drunk texting! LOL
    Trouble is I have one more question – Was this style of letter just a one off?? And why? No I haven’t read every single letter he has ever written, my RL gets in the way.
    This conspiracy theory is right up there along JFK’s assassination, some things we will just never really know…cue the spooky music!!

    Thanks Heidi and Frenz, you have both made me smile ☺

  15. Oooooooooooo, good question! I don’t know! Maybe all of the RA fans who have been around for eons can tell us. I can still claim newbie status and have not combed through each and every letter. I was scanning last night, and that one jolted me straight off my pillow in hysterics, and then I REALLY could not get back to sleep!

    Anyone know if this style of writing is in line with other things he has sent out?

  16. Here’s a link to all the letters chronologically laid out from most recent. http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/messages.html During the period of July ’08 to Aug ’09 the letters are from the “spokesperson” for Richard Armitage, actually Richard….”allegedly” :-D

    I can see why Heidi might question some of these. They are very different in tone from the previous or subsequent letters. If it is Richard, then my guess would be a few drinks and the “anonymity” of writing as another person freed him to show his sillier side. But they are definitely different in tone from the others.

  17. Since I am a newbie to the RA universe, I am not familiar with RA’s sense of humor or personality. However, after reading a few of the letters today, I would have to agree with Frenz. Heidi your post was hilarious!

    I could be totally wrong and way off track, but it appears that He was a little ticked off by the fan base. Perhaps, he wrote the letters so his fans wouldn’t take him so seriously? From reading some of the letters, he sounds like a guy who …1) Doesn’t take himself too seriously 2) Has a wicked sense of humor 3) Is completely humbled and uncomfortable with all the attention.

  18. Interesting you should say that. There was a problem in the fan base where some people got territorial. He was, I think, perturbed and wanting people to lighten up.

  19. Okay, my friends, I didn’t see Ashley’s post waiting to be moderated, so now she’s in the middle of these comments. :D Gone to read.

  20. Terroritorial? Are you serious? I am sorry, but that’s ridicules.

  21. When there’s blood in the water, as it were, it’s amazing what people can do.

  22. Women.

    This is why I much prefer the company of men. :-D

    Sexy, hot men.

  23. Did I mention sexy, hot men?

  24. It’s really funny – if you read back through all the messages RA’s supposed to have written, you can almost hear him shifting over into this older-brotherly tone like…ladies, calm yourselves…this is not life or death. I was sort of a lurker back in those days so I just kind of watched the drama unfold and didn’t get involved, but from what I saw back then it got pretty ugly. Which I completely don’t understand,because really, fandom is fabulously enjoyable but certainly not worth tearing out one another’s hair over. And definitely not worth making the dear handsome man feel like he’s got all the ugliness of a relationship without any of the perks!

    Anyway, many thanks to Frenz and to Heidi for this hilarity! The Twitter conversation last night had me absolutely in stitches! :D

  25. New interview with Richard here: http://memythoughtsandwhoknows.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/new-interview-with-ra/
    The last paragraph is very interesting!

  26. Yeah, I saw that. LOL!!

  27. Yep, I was sucked in big time!!

  28. regarding the fan messages: to be honest, I didn’t believe them at first glance back in 2008. Yep, my first impression was, oh this is bull, but hey, it’ was fun bull, put together by some fans. By the time I did believe it, which didn’t take long (LOL!), he had supposedly ceased. But now we know that wasn’t true or do we? :D No, seriously, I have long ago come to believe that it’s true, and here’s one reason why: Richard Armitage is not asleep at the wheel. He would have commented about this if it were bogus. Anyway, it seems the impression I had is a common one. Perhaps not the majority of people who read the messages but a notable portion. So Heidi’s stance is not all that unusual. Maybe her reasons for why she believes what she does are not the norm. I don’t know that since most people don’t give me their reasons, but it could be. Mostly, people just say they’re not sure they believe it and ask if I do.

    I’m going to write another post and cover not so much these messages but a mentality that’s at work that fascinates me.

  29. *Heidi circles around and rubs the sleep out of her eyes before dousing herself in the shower*

    OK, what did I miss???

    Did RA come over on the blog while I was sleeping and post a comment saying, “Y’all are NUTS! I DID NOT WRITE THAT LETTER. NOW GO BACK TO SLEEP AND BE GOOD GIRLS AND BE SUPER KIND TO EACH OTHER. I have to go read a children’s story now.”

    Did he?

    He did, didn’t he?

  30. I don’t think RA showed up to set us straight. But I need to drink some coffee first to be sure. :D

  31. I can just hear him now:

    “Girls. Be willingly good, and stop all of this nonsense about a letter I wrote in 2008. I am stone sober, an upstanding English gentleman and scholar, AND I DID NOT WRITE THAT LETTER.”

    I have made my earnest prediction.

  32. I had always assumed that they were genuine and he needed a few pints to have enough bottle to write them. No reason to change my mind.

  33. Agree with hedgeypig. As another one who has been around a long time – he wrote them. I don’t know the whole story but I trust those that told me.

  34. The letter had me laughing out loud. Oh, he’s a funny one. There’s just that glint in his eye sometimes, which leads me to believe that the letter is genuine … although yeah, it does sound as if he’s had a few before writing it. Either that, or he was very, very tired at the time. But yeah, I reckon he’s definitely an onion. :)

  35. @Traxy Would to God you are correct.

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

    That really would elevate the man to a new height of hotness.

    It’s even better than a beard on my neck.

  36. OK, now really, I’ve been thinking about this some more, and I need to fully explain how very hot this sense of humor is.

    This is a beard on the neck:

    And THIS letter, IF a man with a wicked sense of humor wrote it, is hotter than *that.*

    I am so not kidding.

    Y’all, if this letter really was penned by this man, he is an alien life form, because no man with all of these qualities exists on planet Earth. We will need to call NASA pronto and have them analyze what planet he is from. It’s a great scientific discovery. Let’s keep this between us so that we can collectively win the Nobel.

    Mum’s the word. No one say anything yet.

    :-P

    (I still don’t think he wrote it.)

  37. I have long said that. I am convinced he turns into a slimy green alien once he is alone. First sign that he’s not human were those ears.

  38. BTW in the message from August 5, 2008 he commented on not having written the messages himself…

  39. […] Is Armitage really writing his messages to fans? To answer that question, you’d have to know what role satire plays in the life of the writer, something I’ve pondered myself as a periodic writer of in that genre. The actor himself expresses uncertainty over whether he should continue writing under these circumstances. […]

  40. So is everyone okay? Phew! Okay, good, now I can proceed with what I have planned next. :D

  41. Yes, move it along, move it along!

    Let’s talk about that unfinished North & South audiobook sometime.

    :-P

    (You know me, I couldn’t resist getting that in here.)

  42. My brain must be in “sleep mode” today, because I don’t understand any of this. Didn’t he say in a TV interview years ago that he used to answer the handwritten letters fans sent him but he had to stop because he was getting too involved with the Army? Where did that 2008 “drunken” letter originally appear? Whatever is going on here, whoever wrote what, I think Richard is decent enough to not allow his many fans to believe that for years he sent them letters if he did not truly write them. He certainly has had plenty of opportunity to clarify the matter in many interviews. It’s one thing to be a prankster in real life, but to allow your fans to believe you care enough to pen an annual (or bi-annual) letter for years, when you did no such thing? No. That would become a PR disaster once you make it to the A-List and from what I gather, if there is one thing RA takes seriously, is his career. No way will he risk angering his long-time fanbase. He may not have any problems taking off his clothes and filming sex scenes that offend his mother, but he was brought up to be polite and he most certainly is that way. I can’t believe he would make fun of us in a public forum, no matter how mortified he might be about having us swoon over him. It would be a very stupid thing to do, and he is not a stupid man.

  43. He’s said several times in interviews that he communicates via messages with the fan base, and he has been diligent about being involved if his communications were misconstrued. So yeah, I believe him.

  44. […] An Onion and Two White Chicks Sittin' Around Talkin' […]

  45. I think RA is funny and a prankster. You’ll recall him in an interview during his SIr Guy years on Robin Hood, admonishing kids to brush their teeth because that is why Keith Allen’s tooth fell out? Giggles!

    I love all of RA’s letters–from the serious to the silly. He is a man after my own womanly heart.

  46. He is indeed after all of our hearts, and now Heidi has seen the light. :D

  47. This is a repost of my comment at the entry about RA’s most recent letter:

    As I am the guilty party who first caused this small little wave of doubt as to the veracity of the letters …. I feel that I should offer a serious comment here, especially because Ashley raised the question of whether this latest letter was the real deal.

    I know I joke a lot on here and on Twitter, but honestly, this is an earnest message:

    I have been convinced the letters are his, but it was this particular letter that sealed any remaining question for me.

    The reason is that RA gives a gracious nod to Annette, by name. Annette’s site is where these letters have originated.

    If any letters there were a hoax or had been tampered with in any way at that site, this letter would not have been sent there, and RA certainly would not have given a very public nod to the blog author by name.

    I want to clear up that I never thought any of you were lying. I just operate in this other world professionally and am trained to question everything. If I was dubious before, it was because I know the power of the smoke and mirrors of the Internet, and I was doubting whether the recipients of the letters had received them from a reputable source. If I caused any hurt in the fandom for this, I sincerely apologize.

    I think he wrote this letter, and as much as I have joked about getting a personal confession about the 2008 letter …. he doesn’t need to say it. This letter for me removes the previous doubt.

    By the way, it’s a really nice letter, and what a kind and gracious soul to remember the fans on his very big night of the red carpet.

    *curtsies Jane Austen style*

    Now back to my regular sarcastic self …

    As you were.


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