Superman showed up on my doorstep at a most inopportune time. Another torn cape and laddered tights. ‘Tuesday,’ he said. ‘I need them by Tuesday.’
It’s not that I begrudge the work. Playing a small part keeping our Superheroes working is great, but they have no sense of priorities. In truth, it’s all a bit me me me. And they don’t try and avoid damage. Sometimes I think they deliberately try and snag something or test its fire resistance.
That Silver Surfer is the worst. You just don’t mix sea water with meshed aluminium/Lycra panelling. It is not a good combo. I suggested we use the new alloyed plasticised linen, but he said it looked grey in sunlight. Picky. That’s his trouble. It’s not like you care what colour he is when your life’s being saved, do you? Just because one time someone called him ‘Pewter Boy’.
Now Superman is considerate when compared to some. Apologetic. You want to hug him. Not that you can reach that far. Not like those awful Incredibles – so pushy – and their new outfits. A rebranding, they said. Make sure the colours don’t run. I blame bloody Marvel; it’s all about marketing and image for that lot. Still, I’d be out of business if I ignored what Marvel wanted.
Yes, Superman is my favourite. He’s why I’m in this business in the first place.
You see, one minute I’m at my loom, twenty metres into a soft furnishing commission that should never have got past the drawing board; next, there’s this explosion and we’re surrounded by fire. Well, you can imagine. All that material. And us, on the top floor. In the old days, before the influx of Superheroes, we’d have been toast.
These days, of course, everyone hopes for a rescue. It’s all kids talk about, how they’ll be swept up. Never mind school if you can inveigle yourself into a life-threatening disaster and a front page exclusive and a little piece of your own supernatural. Some say that there are those who start these fires deliberately. Dreadful.
Anyway, there were ten of us, getting a bit toasty but pretty sure they’d soon send someone. Maureen, of course – she’s that snooty cow from Knitwear – she said she wanted Thor because she’d had an Asgard themed party as a kid and her bloke liked a good hammering; Phyllis was more into someone stretchy – she thought they might do her back while they were there because her chiropractor had recently retired. I was the only one in favour of Superman – someone said he was ‘past it’. Ok, he’s not in the full flush of youth – he must have peaked back in the 50s, we know that – but he’s still working which is as much an indictment of today’s Super-people as it is the state pensions. And everyone knows he’s not in it for the cash – not like some who take a large severance before retiring to some planet where they’ve done away with death (I can only hope that the one remaining certainly is that there are swingeing taxes to cut into his payout).
No, Superman is doing this, using his experience, to do good.
Well, it was Superman who came. And while he’s carrying me to safety I see this tear. It’s only polite to offer to fix it. He’s sceptical; they use some tough fabrics but I know my stuff. Well, long story short, that was the first commission.
Now it’s all of them. I’ll fit him in. Of course I will. I just wish he’d take a bit more care. But they all do like showing off, don’t they? I suppose it’s in the genes.