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 apparat-
us, which, to my eyes, looked vaguely similar to ADAM WEST's
equipment-laden waistline accessory on TV.
for my costumed exploits 'round the neighbourhood, as did my com-
panion 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.
of wonder and admiration in their eyes, I agreed, and as we were play-
ing 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.
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 somersault-
ing high into the air as 'though propelled by the explosive.
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.
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 fear-
some frustrated furies from so very long ago.