may remember my recent article in which I
explored how one goes about getting superpowers.
Eventually I succeeded but I couldn't tell you
which of the methods detailed worked. Personally
my money's on the toxic waste one, but the fact
remains - I now have the power to light fires
with my mind, or 'pyrokinesis' as we oh-so clever
people call it. I can also glow in the dark, but
that's more of a distraction power.
first step in being a superhero is to work out a
costume. Now, according to the many comics I have
read, these come in three flavours: Traditional
Garish, Swishy Gothic and Big Boy Vest. Also
known as the 'Spiderman, The Crow, Duke Nukem'
sequence. Being a man of dignity I decided to
ditch the first option, and since my new power
had not granted me rippling pecs and rock biceps
the last option went the same way. This left
Swishy Gothic, a sub-genre which involves wearing
long, black garments and a hat that casts a
shadow over my face.
systematic sweep of the local charity shops
turned up only a furry black dressing gown. I
slipped it on, left it open so it could swish
properly, donned my favourite red cap so the
shadow fell across my face, and set out about
town. I ditched my secret identity and became the
superhero LIGHT FIRES WITH THE POWER OF THE MIND
MAN. Five seconds later I changed it to Pyroman.
ONE: Bar fight
a prerequisite of the new superhero to find some
cocky git who thinks he's so hard to take you on
in fisticuffs, then beat them shiteless. This I
was particularly looking forward to. Off I went
to my local pub. No-one seemed in the mood to get
into a fist fight. There was no-one there but the
barman, two old men and a Yorkshire terrier. This
absence got me a bit down so, I'm sorry to say, I
had a few too many pints. Eventually, some time
around seven, some students came in and started
getting a bit tipsy too so I dragged myself up
from my stupor and asked them if they wanted a
fight. One of the boys called me a wanker and
they all laughed. So I set fire to their barmats
with my pyrokinesis. That about concludes what I
remember of that evening, but I woke up in some
vomit in the gutter outside with bruised
knuckles, surrounded by unconscious students.
TWO: Good or evil?
question everyone with superpowers has to ask
themselves is this - do they use their powers for
good or evil? To take on the bad guys and
villains, helping humanity regardless of colour
or creed, or to just use being superhuman for my
own personal gain? All options had something to
be said for them, so I decided to go for a happy
medium. On my first night on the prowl I went
through the seedier streets and found an old lady
being mugged. I instantly leapt into action,
dressing gown swishing nicely, and floored the
thug with a superpower-enhanced sucker punch to
the stomach. Then I kneed him in the balls and
set fire to his turn-ups. None of which was much
fun, so I set fire to the old lady too and ran
off with her handbag. But I called an ambulance
from a phone box round the corner. I'm only
profit from one evening's work - a bit of
underworld reputation, fifteen quid, a pension
book and a packet of Mint Imperials. Not bad for
THREE: Nosy pressmen
final stage of establishing a superhero identity
is to get some boring mortal interested in you.
To come out of nowhere, do some superhero deeds,
then fade back into the shadows always catches
the eye of some nosy git. Or git-ess, as they do
inevitably turn out to be women. This is
incidentally a sure-fire way to get girls, as
Highlander and Superman demonstrated. Anyway, one
morning the world awoke to find all my old
childhood bullies, and everyone I didn't like,
lying around in gutters groaning and sizzling. To
my utter dismay no-one was looking in my
direction, merely blaming some kind of new
Russian virus or some foolish thing. So then I
thought I'd be clever and, in my secret identity,
I asked a private eye to get me some info on my
are you asking me to investigate yourself?"
mouth dropped open. "How did you know?"
still wearing the hat."
was so angry I burnt the whole office building
down. Oh, sod this, I don't really want to be a
superhero. I just wanted the superpower discount
at AllSports. Ooh look, Frasier's on, gotta go.
That dog cracks me up.
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