Everyone needs a mascot, everyone needs a prop. When you’re doing things with people (waaaaaaaaay!) it’s always good to have one particular item that everyone can focus on or channel their thoughts into when times are hard. The best example of this would have to be Dr Who, whose exploits of an eccentric flopping through dull science fiction stories would be even more boring had he/she been doing it on their own.
Heading down to Didsbury for a large selection of pints with scale perfect philanthropic Mexican-Chinese genius Kevin and grey-haired family man and insurance savage Tom, I decided that we needed something to drag along for our adventure. I already had a wealth of junk in my pockets (because that’s who I am) so I was immediately drawn to Lego Santa Claus. Yes, he’s small and likely to get lost however he’s made of the firm stuff: he can take twelve hours of drinking, easy to transport, brimming in playful colours and millions know who he is.
Cut to Tom’s wife Claire practically handing me an item that she is done with. “I don’t want to see it again, I don’t want it back. Please take it with you.” It’s a kid’s toy; Stretch Armstrong but it’s Batman. Bendy Batman. What possible harm could this have done to Claire? What evil lies within this rubbery realm of innocent fun? It didn’t occur to me, I placed him in my coat pocket and we left.
As it happens, even with my poor memory, I struggle to remember most of that Saturday. The tweets I made are baffling even by my standards. Photos are non-existent. Vague, sepia-tinged memories of being too drunk to go in the Slug and Lettuce, someone needing a jump start for their car outside a restaurant and pretending to care about football in the most crowded pub on the whole street are all that remain. Floppy Batman was there for all of it. He survived the night and came back in one piece, like a boss. There is a lot to admire.
As it happens, a few weeks later, I’m driving home from work and what do I see? An advert for Very.co.uk virtually on every single bus stop showing, in all his glory, Floppy Batman. It could have been another Batman toy, as there’s many many out there, but no, it’s him, the one and the same. Now he’s whoring himself out for Christmas everyone is going to have one soon. He’ll be accompanying other goons on other alcohol-fuelled Saturday evenings. It’ll take away the magic once the world is doing it. The tart.
I should have stuck with Lego Santa.