The Misery of Being a Henchman

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work as a henchman for a villain?

I was exploring the Archive recently (as if I don’t have enough demanding my attention already) and discovered a fascinating document. What caught my attention was the title: The Misery of Being a Henchman: A Confession.

Intrigued, I pulled it out for further examination. This is what I found…

The Misery of Being a Henchman: A Confession

Many people think working for someone with aspirations to rule the world is a great personal investment.

They’re wrong.

Being a henchman (a term I thoroughly despise) is not a glamorous lifestyle. How could it be?

man feeling miserableThrough the centuries, certain individuals with less than admirable aspirations have recruited hordes of volunteers to do the heavy lifting, late-night watching, and messy fighting. I was one of them. Blindly lured into my role by promises of wealth and acclaim—yes, those most desirable incentives—but more than that, by the promise of contributing to a great cause.

Problem was, no one bothered to let me in on the dirty dark secrets accompanying this “esteemed position.”

Villains (let’s call them what they are) undoubtedly target the gullible in their search for followers. How else do you explain the host of people who willingly walk into what amounts to a life of misery?

What is it like to work as a henchman? It sucks.

We train for hours on end, days on end, weeks on end. We sign our lives away to our venerable leader.

Then we go out into the field and can’t inflict a gunshot wound in the “enemy” from fifteen feet.

We’re thoroughly versed in self-defense and hand-to-hand combat techniques. And for what? To get beaten up by every female character the opposition can throw at us—even though we’re big, tough guys with muscles like rock and faces like stone?

It’s enough to make any self-respecting henchman turn red in the face.

Along with the fact that we’re slow. We’re stupid. We fight terrible. Ten of us aren’t enough to take down a single opponent. When it comes to combat, we look like idiots.

But it gets worse. Oh yes, it gets worse.

Prisoners left to our charge must feel as safe as a baby in a crib. They know they’ll escape eventually. It’s how the world works. I can’t explain it and I don’t want to, but henchmen seem born with the inability to guard anything worth guarding.

Prisoners. Valuable information. Money. Special weapons we spent long hours perfecting.

One of the things that makes us special. We’re also slow to respond to threats and too ignorant for our own good.

When there’s a nasty job to do, the leader sends us out.

When it’s pouring rain and a fight looms, the leader sends us out.

When death is imminent, the leader sends us out.

We’re always the low man on the ladder, and who can blame our venerable leader for that? One does, however, question said leader’s wisdom and long-term planning in the recruitment of incompetent individuals. Either that, or said leader really has no skill in selecting people who would be useful to the cause…

Other than to provide targets for the opposition.

And someone to root against.

So much for visions of grandeur. Anyone in the employment of a villain knows better. The select few, perhaps, enjoy a better life than the one I’ve described, but the majority of my colleagues are right alongside me.

So much for world domination.

The upshot of this confession is this: feel sorry for every henchman you ever see. We’re way less dangerous than we’re made out to be. We’re an inept, unappreciated bunch of losers.

With utmost sincerity and disgust,

Anonymous ex-henchman who has now reformed his ways


What would be the worst part of being a henchman? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


The Misery of Being a Henchman — 2 Comments

  1. It’s so true. Poor henchmen. I’m glad this one has seen the light and changed his tune, so to speak.

    I think the worst part would be that most henchmen appear to have nobody who cares whether they live or die. And most of them die. And nobody mourns their passing. Most people cheer, actually… despite the ease with which the majority of henchmen are dispatched.

    • Yeah, henchmen are always the ones we overlook, the minor-minor characters. Actually, it would be super cool to write a story from the POV of a henchman. Hmmm…I might have to do that now. LOL

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