Copyright DC COMICS
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 around the neighbourhood, as did my companion in crime-fighting, JOHN FIDLER (it’s indeed fortunate that 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 actual ability was very far from 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.
from Ultimate Comic Blog