Tag Archives: swine flu

Why I’d make a crap superhero

This is my idea of saving lives...My mate Dave writes blogs. He wrote one last week about superpowers. In it, he described the concept of having hammers for hands. Pretty useful if you are Polish and want your CV for Barratt Homes to stand out, but pretty useless on all other counts.

It reminded me of Edward Scissorhands. That poor bloke didn’t have much luck did he? Even a nifty bit of topiary on his neighbours’ hedges did little to stop people viewing him as a freak.

It got me thinking anyway. There is a fine line between superpower and freak, with the main difference being visibility. Superpowers, I have decided, should be secret. It’s all about the going into a phone box dressed like an Apprentice candidate, and then coming out like the Green Giant. I mean even he must have surely had a day job? Harvesting all that sweetcorn before turning big and green and stuff (something I have never understood as surely he would have turned yellow unless he was eating peas? Maybe he was in the wrong field).

Anyhow, powers should be kept under a bushell. That’s why Clark Kent and Peter Parker had dual identities. Only idiots parade powers about, like Geoff Capes and people who go on Britain’s Got Talent. Superpowers should be secretpowers. They should, like Jack the Ripper, only come out at night. And when they do, they should be ruthless, silent and deadly. Or maybe not deadly. Or else you really will get arrested as a serial killer, no matter how much you protest. It’s like that silly bloke in No Country for Old Men, going around with a compressed air tank to kill people with in broad daylight – I did not feel scared in the slightest. He was a crap killer and that was a crap power. It’s like killing walking about with a drip and then strangling people with the cord.

I got to thinking about hammerhands and other variations that included DIY tools, such as the Allan Key killer, which I think sounds rather intriguing. I might start that screenplay after all.

But what if I could choose my superpower, rather than having to wait for some Kryptonite to fall from the sky. Invisibility is a good one, a cliché, but a good one at that. The possibilities are quite endless… perving aside, it would be great for just spying on people you know and hiding when the ticket man comes down the aisle on the train. But saying that, it could get tedious. And I think being invisible would cause me to give up all effort made, however currently minimal that is, on my appearance. I would be a very scruffy and unapproachable invisible. It would be difficult to find an invisible girlfriend without lowering my standards.

So what about being able to see for miles? Or to have super-sensitive hearing? Well, seeing for miles would be good. The risks of an RTA would be massively decreased and I would know when one of those charity knobs with a clipboard was about to close in on me when I’m out shopping. Hearing everything would be good – I could eavesdrop in on conversations and pretend that I was highly informed. Yet the downsides to both are pretty obvious. My world is chocca with information as it is. Any more and my poor shuddering little brain will jump off Beachy Head with a big rock.

It is easy to see that any physical powers would have people branding you a freak. Any implement, outdoor or kitchen, is just silly and would have people laughing rather than running out of the door. You just couldn’t command any respect, even if you could whisk an egg in two seconds and make pizza dough with your toes.

Michael Jackson was always called Wacko but that guy could moonwalk – a true superhero trait in my book. That move would foil any criminal. As would grabbing their crotch and screaming ‘Schmooaan’.

Roger Federer, now he’s a guy with some pretty inhuman tennis ability. But he is still a freak, which ever way you look at it. That’s why everyone wants Nadal to come back and beat his ass back to Switzerland with a giant Toblerone.

I guess the power that I would most like would be travel. Not necessarily time travel, although I would quite like to give the thumbs down to a few gladiators in Rome and perv on some ankles in medieval England. No, I mean travel Star Trek style. I want to get beamed up and beamed down faster than Peter Andre can get a divorce. The potential scope for coolness with this power is limitless. Plus I would never be late for work again.

If I wanted to go on holiday, I could get transported without having to sit on one of Ryanair’s multi-coloured tin cans ever again. Transport for London wouldn’t get a penny more of my hard-earned wages and I would never miss an episode of Neighbours. If I was needed anywhere, I could be there in a flash, without flying or anything. I would just appear, like swine flu in Mexico, cause some chaos, and then eff off somewhere else.

I guess if I had a superpower, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing a blog though. I would have much better things to do. But in order for such a power to be bestowed on me, I would probably have to lose a little of my laziness. It’s no good being able to go anywhere if you can’t be arsed and usually, I can’t be arsed. I can barely drag myself to the tennis courts, work, cinema, pub – take your pick.

I wouldn’t be saving lives, I would end up some loser superhero, dried up, on the superdole and disappearing into invisibility whenever the bailiffs came round.

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Taking a shower with your boss

My employers have installed a shower in our office block. I presume this is to help cleanse the sweaty martyrs that pedal to work each day and thus to prevent mass body odour epidemics.

I have no issue with the installation as such. Except that the location chosen seems to me, slightly odd. The women’s shower has been built in what was once a cupboard in the ladies’ toilets. Toilets makes them sound like there are many of them. There are in fact two. Two cubicles for nearing 100 women I would say. Nice. Apart from being a breeding ground for swine flu, there is a strategy issue here. You can’t go in there for a nice ‘private’ moment shall we say. Instead, you are subjected to privacy invasion at its worse kind, along with sound effects that invoke images of M15 waterboarding terrorists in the cubicle next door.

Back to showers though, there is the blue door that leads into it, literally half a metre opposite the cubicle door. Inside looks pretty much like any other shower. Except it is in a toilet at work. It is not even one of those cleverly sound-proofed doors – it has a 12in gap at the bottom and top, meaning every Tommie, Dicksie and Henrietta can catch a glimpse of my feet.

This isn’t the middle ages and ankles aren’t considered sexually forbidden territory, I know, but I don’t share my feet readily. They are usually clothed in socks and shoes when I greet colleagues. Sandals are acceptable in certain weathers, but naked feet are just creepy.

Plus, the idea of standing naked, wet and exposed with my boss having a piss only feet away fills me with a feeling that I cannot quite pinpoint. It could be dread. It could be fear. It could even be a strange kind of excitement. But whatever it is, it is wrong. I have to deal with the noise issue in the toilet on a daily basis, but coming out of the shower to face people in suits, or even, just people in clothes? It is too intimate. Forget team building if that’s what they call it. I would rather shower alone.

Unless it means a pay rise perhaps…

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