Superheroes seem terribly popular at the flicks these days and have been the mainstay of comics (though such pamphlets seem very short on the jokes that the name suggests to me) for some time. Whilst the acquisition of super-powers does seem to cause some initial angst, the powers always seem to prove very useful: either for the righting of wrongs or for their initial execution. I believe I may be developing some super-powers – and whilst I have the associated angst, it is hard to see how they will ever prove useful: for good or ill.
My first power seems to relate the Victoria line in the vicinity of Seven Sisters (nowhere near chalk-based cliffs – must be a different sorority, perhaps the former site of a very small convent?). I used to think that the effect was nothing to do with me, but reflected the fact that the Victoria Line Controller had been crossed in love by, or perhaps bought a dodgy second hand motor from, someone who lives north of Bishops Stortford. I would board the Victoria line somewhere within the Circle Line of a late evening and the advertised transit time would suggest I should reach Tottenham Hale with 5-10 minutes to spare before my train back to Whittlesford was due to arrive (and, more critically, depart). However, more than 9 times out of 10 I would miss the desired train. Instead, I would fritter away my time in a tunnel just before reaching Seven Sisters, and then spend further time admiring the tiling at Seven Sisters station itself. Sometimes this would be explained as “regulating the service”, but more-often-than-not there would be no explanation. It would seem that no Victoria line train is permitted to arrive at “the Hale” in the period from 10 minutes before a Cambridge train departs until two minutes after. However, the effect now also appears to be occurring whenever I travel southbound as well – so my explanation involving a disgruntled line controller is looking rather shaky. I am only left to conclude, in my solipsistic way, that I am causing this effect due to an unknown and uncontrolled super-power. Do I subconsciously want to move to Seven Sisters? Or spend quality time at Tottenham Hale?
My second super-power is also related to public transport, and the strange effect I have over people of the distaff persuasion. Sadly, this power only seems to work before they learn to walk or it could do wonders for my love life (pre-supposing that I also developed an interest in having a love life). However, for this limited demographic, I am a source of total fascination when they catch sight of me on train, tube or bus. Only this last week, a nipper caught sight of me on a busy Victoria Line train and was unable to tear her eyes away. I have no idea what it is that attracts the young female gaze: I certainly don’t find myself that interesting to look at and generally eschew the reflective surface where possible (though that is probably a case of over-familiarity with the subject rather than incipient vampirism). I don’t feel that I was particularly eccentrically dressed and whilst I am no oil-painting (yet! But I’m open to offers), I have yet to be played by a sack-wearing John Hurt on film. So, I can only assume that this is also evidence of my mutant DNA. I suppose I could (perhaps) raise an army of babies – but as they would all be pre-toddling, I’m not sure that I’m in any position to take over the world (but, perhaps N15 lies within my grasp).
All rather prosaic, but if anyone out there does fancy converting my life into a blockbuster or graphic novel, then I could be tempted. However, I’d like to make clear from the outset that I refuse to wear head-to-toe lycra and that my keks will be remaining beneath my trews as God (or, Beau Brummel for the atheists among us) intended.