Friday, 30 January 2015

THE DAY 'BATMAN' FAILED...



You'll perhaps recall me relating the tale of how myself and one of my pals used to play at BATMAN & ROBIN back in the 1960s. (You're no doubt relieved to hear that it wasn't just a few months ago - I'm not that sad.)  For my utility belt, I used part of the accompanying paraphernalia from my father's wartime portable morse code apparatus, which, to my young eyes, looked vaguely similar to ADAM WEST's equipment-laden waistline accessory on TV.

Now, usually I came in for a fair bit of mockery from my peers for my costumed exploits 'round the neighbourhood, as did my companion in crime-fighting, JOHN FIDLER (lucky his nickname wasn't 'KID', eh?), who assumed the role of ROBIN, The BOY WONDER.  However, one evening, three local girls, who'd never previously paid the slightest bit of attention to me, seemed impressed by the striking appearance of my makeshift 'utility belt' and enthusiastically asked for a demonstration of its capabilities.

Touched by their obvious interest and spurred on by the look of wonder and admiration in their eyes, I agreed, and as we were playing close to some nearby lock-ups, I headed over to the water tap used by car owners to wash their vehicles.  It was housed in a grey-painted, oblong wooden 'box' against a lock-up wall, and picking up a metal bar from the ground, I placed it atop the flat surface of the box.

Directing the girls to stand at a distance over to my right (on the faux grounds that "it might be dangerous") I pretended to take some imaginary 'plastic explosive' from my belt and apply it to the iron rod.  Then, standing beside the tap and preventing their uninterrupted view, I simulated the act of pressing a button on what passed for my buckle while simultaneously attempting (surreptitiously) to bring down my left elbow on the end of the bar and hopefully send it somersaulting high into the air as though propelled by the explosive.

Alas, my ability was not the equal of my ambition, and my ruse was rumbled right away.  Disillusioned cries rent the air, along with contemptuous looks and jeering tones from the trio as they stormed off in disgust at my barefaced attempt to defraud them.  Ah, how fickle were the affections of these three feisty females, the extent of whose eager expectations I had clearly underestimated and been found sadly lacking as a consequence.

Even today, I remember how deflating it was to see the look of awe and adoration fade from the eyes of the three former fawning fillies who, only a short time before, had regarded me as a figure worthy of respect and admiration, if not actual hero worship.  There have been several females down through the years whose unrealistic expectations I've probably been unable to live up to, but nothing fills me with such feelings of failure as the memory of the faces of those three fearsome frustrated furies from so very long ago.

12 comments:

John Pitt said...

Piccie from Super DC #14?
We've all humiliated ourselves trying to impress the fairer sex in the past. It's what makes us what we are.- GEEKS!!

Kid said...

Indeed it is, JP. Thing is, when someone is placed on a pedestal, they're likely to fall off if they move more than an inch in any direction. There's profundity in there somewhere.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, this is nothing to do with Bat-Man but I just thought I'd mention that I looked on Google Play Books for The Three Investigators - sadly there were none but they did have both Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books including "The Mystery Of The 99 Steps" which is the only Nancy Drew book I can actually remember reading. I'll definitely be buying that and a couple of others to see if they're as good as I remember :)

Kid said...

I'm sure Batman won't mind, CJ. You can still get 3I books in the shops. I bought a few some years back, paperbacks that had 3 (then, later, 2) stories in each book. And I'm sure I saw some in Waterstone's a while back.

Colin Jones said...

Thanks very much, Kid - I didn't know that.

Kid said...

Nae bother, CJ.

Dunsade Dave said...

When I was in primary school in the mid-80s, my friends and I would play at superheroes at break time, and I decided to raise the bar: I got an old grey shirt and some double-sided tape and made myself a superhero mask- it was a bit like Captain Mar-Vell's, but grey and a bit flappy round the chin.

Next day at school, I took it out of my bag, ready for playtime, where I would astound my superhero colleagues with my new 'costume'- unfortunately the teacher seen it, asked 'What's that?', and when I showed her, assumed I had taken some sudden interest in embroidery and invited me to stand in front of the class and demonstrate it. One secret identity, well and truly blown.

Kid said...

Teachers, eh? School would've been all right if it hadn't been for them.

Dunsade Dave said...

To be fair, I'm sure she meant well- I think she genuinely thought she was encouraging me in my new hobby of clothes-making.

Although the teacher in question was a lovely, laid-back friendly woman, I do remember her flying into an absolute rage once when she heard me and someone else reading the 'magic incantations' from a Catweazle paperback out loud- I now think she must have misheard something and thought we'd said something rude, but at the time I honestly believed it was proof that she was into black magic and was scared of Catweazle's spells.

Kid said...

Or a fundamentalist Christian woman who was against the 'black arts'? I once let a friend, who was heavily into religion, read the issue of Superman where aliens who looked like angels were actually the bad guys. The moral of the story being that you can't always judge by appearances. He pronounced it anti-Christian. I pronounced him a pillock.

Dunsdale Dave said...

When people go looking for agendas, they tend to find 'em!

Kid said...

Only too true. Incidentally, I wasn't implying that he was a pillock for being religious, only because he'd missed the point of the story, which wasn't in any way at odds with religious precepts.

(Apologies, DD - I corrected a typo in my comment, meaning I had to cut and paste your response to keep them in sequence.)

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