The Dark Nightie Rises.
Smoke belches out of a thousand chimneys, choking the blacked atmosphere of Gotjam City. Skyscrapers shape the skyline, towering above the smog. Below them at ground zero the slums are over-populated by the sickest criminal minds known to man. The leader of the worst of the gangs, an evil drug taking scum known to the underworld as The Toker is puffing away on a gigantic bong and plotting evil plans in a filthy alleyway. “Ha-ha-ha-ha, we shall steal the jewels of Gotjam City from the museum and sell them to the highest bidder!” he claims to his dirty, no-good associates.
They all grin in unison, “Yes,” snarls one of them, rubbing his grubby hands together, “that would be an excellent plan master!”
They break out in a babble of insane giggles that rise above the noise of traffic, barking stray dogs, police sirens and other everyday background noises. The sound horrifies anyone who maybe in earshot; except one person, who stealth-like drops into the alley from above without any of the gang noticing. The person is dressed in a costume and cloak as black as the night, if not blacker. The first member of the gang gets no warning; he is quickly wrapped in a flexible wire, trapped. Before he gets the chance to sound his disapproval his neck is cranked round further than it should naturally turn. He is scared beyond words, unable to talk when he sees his attacker raise their finger to their mouth, “schh,” they whisper.
The second member of the gang, the one they call dog-boy, is the first to notice that one of the gang is missing. Locked in fear he looks around at the darkness beyond their dimly lit group. In the shadows he sees a nose and mouth, grinning at him. Then he spots through the blackness a covered head, then piercing eyes staring straight into his own. He finds the time to scream, alerting the others that suddenly make a break for it. Then before he knows what is happening he is caught in the same wire as the other captured gang member and the figure thrusts its hand in the air, pulling the wire tighter. They whirl around until they smash into each other, knocking them both out cold.
“It’s…It’s the BAT!” one cries. The Toker laughs and makes his getaway. The rest of the gang are assembled together in the wire mesh and the figure stands before them, “I thought I told you boys you’re grounded for a whole week!”
“But, but….” cries one.
“No buts!” the figure shouts and they all shut up, save for the Toker himself who rides off into the night. The figure leaps from the ground up to amazing heights, back somersaults and lands directly in front of the Toker. The Toker tries to throw a punch, “How very dare you!” says the figure, catching his punch and clipping the Toker around the ear with the other hand.
“Bitch!” screams the Toker, holding his left ear in pain.
“Right I’ve just about had enough of your filth!” says the dark figure and swishes its cloak away from its torso, exposing a yellow utility belt. Unsnapping one of its pockets the figure produces a simple bottle of water. The Toker looks in confusion, rearing back against the wall. Another swish of the cloak and into another pocket the figure stands poised with a bar of soap in the other. “NOOOOOOOO!” screams the Toker.
“If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a thousand times’ young man!” says the dark figure, “I’ll teach you for using that disgusting language.” The figure grabs hold of the Toker by the jaw, cracking his mouth open and thrusting the water into it. Next in goes the bar of soap, causing a lather to grow in his mouth. “I’ll wash your mouth out with soap and water young man!” the figure yells while the Toker lets out a petrified screech.
Spitting the taste from his mouth the Toker now crouches, staring up at his nemesis in horror. “I will leave you in the capable hands of Chief Commissioner’s boys,” says the figure and promptly flies upwards, ducking into the window of a building high above their heads.
Helplessly awaiting the arrival of the source of the sirens they can hear ascending in volume one of the tied up gang members calls out to the Toker; who lies on the floor a few feet away spitting bits of cheap lemon flavoured soap out of his mouth; “hey Toker, wasn’t that your Mum?”
The Toker takes a long drawn out sigh, “how embarrassing,” he mutters under his breath.
Betty Wayne is back in her mansion, there is so much tiding up to be done. “A woman’s work is never done,” she complains, and decides to put her Cliff Richard long-player on to help her pass the time. She has completed the dusting before “wired for sound” finishes as she dances over to her next chore; “must get these dirty clothes in the wash before the sun goes down!”
Something in what she is doing triggers a memory into Betty’s mind and she relives the horrible moment in her life when things would never be the same again. Running she was, in the wood with her little brother. Up a short incline she tramples the soft autumn leaves beneath her feet until suddenly, without warning the ground opens up and young Betty falls into a disused well. She hits the bottom hard and stares up at the tiny circle of light, seemingly miles above her head. The noise alarms a cloud of bats that frantically flap their wings, circling above her head in screeches. “Oh my god!” she cries, “look at the state of this place, it’s lucky I’ve bought some j-cloths and a bottle of cream cleaner!” and so she gets to work, tiding up the cavern for those dirty, dirty bats.
It is a day she will never forget, her obsession for cleaning started here, she cannot stand a dusty bookshelf, and she cannot abide to a pair of socks lying on the floor. She hates the brown stains under a u-bend and cannot live another minute if the oven is not in pristine condition. Betty has to have everything clean.
This dirty city needs a clean-up she decides after another horrible episode in her life. Now her wandering mind focuses back on that fateful evening. She was taking her aging mother and father to the bingo, oh how they loved the bingo. Out of the hall they came, laughing, joking and her mother carrying a cuddly Paddington Bear under her arm, “this will be great for your first nipper!” said her mum, how little did she know at the time.
Suddenly a man approaches them, pulls a gun and demands the fluffy toy. “Don’t let him have it!” cries her mother, but Betty disagrees. A father’s pride is broken, he has to obey his wife and he tugs the bear back from the criminal. The man flinches and puts the gun into her father’s chest, he fires and in a moment her life has changed forever. The man turns to the screaming wife and shoots her to shut her up. Betty is left speechless as the man runs away into the night. Determine that he was bought up wrong Betty vows to raise her children up with respect. Oh yeah, she also claims revenge on all that do the slightest thing wrong like leaving the top off the toothpaste and not wiping their feet when entering the house.
So wrapped up in her thoughts she failed to notice the sound of the knocking at the front door, by the time she gets there her estranged teenage son is facing away from the door, kicking it with his heel. She thrusts the door open so that he falls inside. He picks himself up and Betty looks him in the eyes. Not a scratch upon his person, not a single bruise nor scar she shouts, “And who have you been fighting with?”
“But mummmmm, no one….” he whines in his usual whiny tone.
“Look at me,” she says and he does half-heartedly, she takes the corner of her apron and wipes a bit of mud from his face, “look at the state of you!”
“But mummm…. I’m the Toker, the master cri…..”
“Master Criminal or no, my son does not go out with mud all over his face understand? What if Roy and Shelia from next door see you, what would they think? Oh, what would they think?” Betty throws her hands in the air, “get upstairs now and tidy your room!”
“I did that last year!” whines the Toker, flapping his arms at his sides and shrugging.
“Go, and don’t come down until you’ve remembered the names of boys you’ve been fighting with!” she points to the stairs.
The boy goes up them, “hate you!” he mutters under his breath, “hate it here!”
“What was that?”
“I said, what was THAT?”
“I said ok…ok?” he stamps on every step, the harder the further he goes up. Betty slams the door, I bet the whole neighbourhood heard that, she thinks in disgust. No matter how hard she tried to raise her son properly he still denied her discipline. It was going too far now in her opinion, a little teenage delinquency was one thing, but master criminal of all Gotjam City was simply not on, she ought to confiscate his PlayStation, that is where he gets all these silly ideas from.
“Police Commissioner Gofer, is it true you are allowing this vigilante to roam the streets taking the law into their own hands?”
“Police Commissioner Gordon if you don’t mind,” replied the gofer, the press really got his goat up, he sighed and continued, “and no, she is acting against the law and if and when we catch her she will be taken before Gotjam City court. Justice will be done, mark my words!”
The journalists made notes in their Mr Men notepads, Gofer knew though they did not take heed of his words, they would twist them, edit them, they always did. It was a far cry from his old job, he hated this position, when will Philip Schofield come back for him he thought? I mean, what does Holly Willoughby have over him? Then he thought about it a bit more, her blond hair, pouting lips and startling good looks, well, I know what she has over me but still, Schofield, fucking deserter.
I mean I’m not even telling the truth, thought the gofer, the press knew this too. He supported the vigilante superhero for he knew he did not have the resources to overcome the blight of the criminal underworld that was rising up in his city. He was powerless without Batmum, even Holly Willoughby wouldn’t be able to cope, and so what gives Phil?
“Get Fern Britton on the phone!” demands the gofer as the press dismantle and leave.
His second in command protested, “We can’t bring out the Fern, we don’t know what she is capable of……”
“Just do it!” demands the Commissioner, “we have to be seen to be doing something!”
After a busy day the Gofer goes home, sits alone in his flat, he jumps when he gets the feeling that someone is behind him. He looks, “How….how did you get in?” he nervously asks.
“We want that same thing Commissioner, do not try and hunt me!” a voice spoke from a dark figure behind him.
“I want that Toker banged up for good!” demands the gofer, head in his hands.
“I’ve grounded him for a whole week because he’s been a very naughty boy; that gives you time to round up all the others,” the voice says, “I want this city cleaned up, it’s a bad influence on my little Toker. He’s a good boy really.”
“Ok, what if I do as you say, after that you have to keep a low profile, the press and general public want me to arrest you,” said the commissioner, slowly reaching for his phone trying not to be noticed.
“I’m out of here, you know what you have to do…..oh, and Commissioner?” asks the voice.
A rolling pin comes spinning from out of nowhere, knocking the phone out of the Gofer’s hand; “Leave the Fern out of this!” demands the voice.
Gofer looks behind him but Batmum has mysteriously vanished like a bat in the night, there must be Corrie on the tele or something.
A gathering of evil minds sit around a crumby table in a sweaty, dingy room on the nasty side of Gotjam City. They are all concerned; they do not know what to do. All of a sudden there is a bang on the window.
“What was that?” jumps one of them.
Another goes to the window, “ah, you jumpy bastard, just a pigeon hitting the window is all!”
“Not the Batmum is it?” asks one nervously.
“Don’t be so gods damn stupid!” shouts the one at the window, spitting through the gap in his teeth “If the Toker was here he would……”
A voice from the window interrupts them, “BUT I AM HERE!!!”
“Shit, the Toker!” they all cry.
“YES! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!” (there might have been a few more ha-ha’s but I thought it was enough to get the idea.)
“Say, whatcha doin’ hanging from the window boss?” one asks.
“Huh? Oh just shut up and let me in!”
“Were you tryin’ to scare us by breaking in through the window boss?”
“Huh? No, course not you idiot, I was, errr, errr, I was testing this window see if was strong enough to keep that pesky Batmum at bay while we thrash out this plan for the city Jewel theft!”
“Arh, hooray!” they all shout, except one who asks, “How did you get out boss?”
“I made a rope, organised a helicopter and just lifted myself outta there!” claimed the Toker. As he climbed in the window a note fell out of his pocket. The nearest gang member quickly picked it up and the Toker tried to snatch it back, “hey give it back, its mine!” He tried to thrash out at the guy but missed. The guy threw the note to another member, the Toker gave up the chase and looked down at his feet as the gang member now holding the note opened it and read; “Dear Mum, I am so sorry for fighting and that, I will not do it again I promise and if you let me out, just tonight I promise I will wash the dishes for a whole month, love Toker xx.”
They all burst out laughing and the Toker sinks into his chair, “yeah laugh it up now you bunch of knobs, we will see who is laughing when I become the richest man in Gotjam!”
They all shut up and sit around the table while the evil Toker lights up his bong. A bubble sound and a puff of smoke after he unfolds his master plan, infallible, watertight and, well, it may involve lots of muddy old football boots.
That is one thing Batmum cannot stand, the Toker knows this. Muddy football boots, all over her nice clean carpet. No mum can stand this; she would be beside herself in anger, too preoccupied by sorting them out so that the heist could take place before she cottoned on. That was the Toker’s master plan and everyone had to admit that it was a stonkingly good idea.
Betty was washing up, frustrated but not surprised that her son had not stuck to his promise. All of a sudden she heard footsteps, not one pair but many of them, marching up and down her hallway. “You better have taken your dirty boots off boys!” she yelled, “I’ve just cleaned that carpet!”
The door slammed shut and she heard them all running away laughing. She went to have a look, she gasped, and there were muddy footprints everywhere, the carpet and even the walls. She screamed “TOKER!!!!” but it was no good, they were long gone. At the end of the hall the door was blocked by hundreds of football boots, dripping wet mud. She was filled by a red flush of anger and squeezed into her Batmum outfit, “This is a job for Batmum!” she announced. She tried and tried to clean them, but there was so many. Just then the Batmum signal shot into the sky, Chief Commissioner needed her assistance. “Blast! I can’t go anywhere until I’ve sorted out these boots!” she shouted, raising her rolling pin to the sky in anger.
Just then a man arrived in a green Ford Ka, he was wearing blue hot pants with white stars on them, a red boob-tube laced with gold and a yellow crown with a star on that. He stepped out of the car with a glum look on his face, “You’ve got a nerve showing your face around here Wonder Wanker!” shouted Batmum.
“What? It’s my weekend to have the kids, or did you forget that?” he whined, walking up the garden path.
“Well, they are out, probably getting into trouble again, no thanks to you!” she shouted, pointing out the bat-signal.
“If you have to go I will sort out these boots,” he said and began bashing them together in an expert way, slates of mud with stud-holes going everywhere.
“Clean the hallway too!” she demanded, Wonder Wanker knew his place, arguing got him nowhere. Batmum raced off to the museum.
The gang were all there. “They’re trying to steal the city jewels!” cried Gofer, “they’re up in the tower of the museum, they have a hostage; a young girl by the name of Vicki Valve and they are demanding that we supply them with a helicopter to get away.”
“Do not worry Commissioner, I will get them!” Batmum scaled the building and cut them off. In minutes she came back down, holding all the gang members either by the scruff of the neck or bended ear. “The only one still up there is that blasted Toker!” she informed the Chief as he thanked her and put the cuffs on the gang.
A cop was shouting through a megaphone, “come down and talk, we are willing to listen to your demands, just do not harm the young girl!”
“Give me that!” snapped Batmum snatching the megaphone off him and then she shouted through it, “TOKER! Its Mum, have you washed behind your ears?”
A voice came from the museums clock tower, “Oh Mum, what do you want?” They saw him peer through the window, holding the girl in front of him.
“Put that girl down right now, you don’t know where she’s been!”
“But Mum! I want a helicopter! I want a helicopter mum, mum, mum I want a helicopter NOW!” he pleaded from tower.
“You’ll get a sore arse when I get hold of you young man!” she shouted back. Just then his father, Wonder Wanker turned up at the scene, she turned her attention to him; “you cleaned up the hallway?”
“Yep, all done!” he proudly said.
“It was bloody quick,” she pointed out.
“What did you expect, I am Wonder Man?!”
“Yes well,” she replied, “that is the name you give yourself but I say it’s an oxymoron….and talking of morons, do you realise that our son is up there with some dirty slag from the dole queue?”
“Oh let them be, they are only just starting out, learning the game, let’s encourage them,” said the dad. Then he went to the cop car and turned up the stereo, “let’s give them something to groove out to…..” He began to dance around, singing; “ain’t no doubt we are here to party!”
The boy suddenly looked out the window; they heard him say, “Oh hell, that can’t be…..can it? No…not in his….no!!!” Sure enough his dad was outside, in his costume, dad-dancing around the road, his ex-wife, the Batmum staring in total disbelief with her hands on her hips.
“Boogie Nights, come on now got to get it started. Dance with the funky gibbon, la-la-la, boogie nights are the best in town!” he continued, strutting around the car park.
Red in face, the boy could be seen, “That is just like, so embarrassing! I might have to quit this whole idea and go climb under a rock!”
“Oh don’t worry about them,” said Vicki Vale, “come here, I’ve got something to show you.” They both disappeared inside the tower for the best part of twenty seconds.
“Wonder Wanker stop that at once,” shouted Batmum, “you’re not going to be able to embarrass him out like that!”
“Well,” retorted Wonder Wanker, “you’re nagging isn’t going to work either!”
Just then the Toker and Vicki Valve came out of the tower, hand in hand. They approached the Chief Commissioner and handed him the city jewels, “here you go sir,” said the Toker, “ever so sorry for the inconvenience.”
He turned to his parents who stood staring in disbelief, “Father, your pathetic antics will embarrass me no longer and mother, your constant nagging has become tiresome and irritating however I wash my hands of you both from now on, this stupid and immature bickering has found its natural end; I’m over it now. Victoria and I intend to take a gap year in Thailand to go and find ourselves, goodbye forever!” And with that he walked away with his girl.
“YOU WHAT???” shouted Batmum, “Come back here at once young man and as for you, you dirty little slapper I’ve a good mind to…….”
Wonder Wanker held her back, “let them go Batmum, it is for the best.”
The gofer came over and said, “Yes Batmum, thanks; you have saved Gotjam City once again, although I have reports that there is another criminal mastermind at work. He is stealing all known chocolate biscuit bars so he can get the monopoly of the chocolate biscuit bar business. They call him, The P, P, Pick up a Penguin, you have to stop him!”
“Hummm,” replied Batmum rubbing her chin in contemplation “Sounds like what that young man needs is a healthy plate of cabbage and greens.”
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