So a four year old boy dressed as Robin sat next to us, and I pointed him out and then we all looked around for Batman. What’s the point really, is there a point, really, having a Robin without a Batman? But there wasn’t any. So then we looked each other up and down, and realised that we were all dressed a little bit like Robin. I was wearing my forest-green shirt, and A had a canary-yellow pointed collar, B kept putting her black-rimmed glasses on and off, on and off, C had on a tomato-red sweater, D was wearing a pair of fetching tights. I think E may have had a really cute short haircut with a side part, and a cheeky little young-boy look about her feminine face. F through S really did well keeping up with the general sartorial trend, I spotted a black belt with a big golden buckle, even a pair of hand-dyed felted green booties; but no-one was wearing their undies on the outside, which was a relief. I pointed all of these details out to the group.
J was the first one who actually got where I was coming from, she said “Holy smoke, Robin, where’s Batman?” But then I realised this whole group, the entire A through S, had discussed this thing before, and it was, like, so last year. Like, how they had already made action figures of us that had sold like hotcakes in Toys R Us, and how we each had the cutest little hand-sewn limited edition superhero costumes with embroidered letters above our hearts. So maybe I was the only one out of the bunch that had been half-asleep last year when this all happened. They all knew Batman was done to death already.
That’s when T through Z arrived at the table, and we all had to skootch over and give them some goddamn room, and was it just them or was it friggin hot in this friggin tiny, stinky diner? Well, you’ve got some nerve, I said, coming around to my home and taking over my kitchen, and sipping my homely home-brewed java, and complaining. I banged down my number one mum cup and almost raised the dead. I don’t have enough place-settings for 26, Bloomingdales doesn’t give 26 as an option, and in any case, like I would ever have even half a dozen friends sitting in my kitchen. As if.
I wondered if the Russian would be home from work soon, I was getting damned annoyed at this point, what with having 26 Robins, or actually 27, if you reckon I count myself as one. I figured that when the Russian came home he’d at least be able to help me keep them all in line. You know, maybe he might say that they can’t come over unannounced any more, or maybe, like hospital visiting hours, they can only come visiting between the hours of 9 and 11am.
So Z pipes up out of nowhere, somewhere down the line of the dining table which has both extensions in and still feels like playschool furniture, so Z says that she reckons it might be more convenient if we all kind of take the party outside people, because Z can’t breathe in here. So then we’re off, like a flock of flying Robins, floating out to the grass, someone switches on the floodlight, F & G mess around in the shed and jump out victorious with a cricket bat, and S wheels out two garbage bins for the wickets. So now, A through Z are having sporting fun in my backyard, and I’m the cat in the hat, no, no bloody way, I yell at them, I will NOT be a cat. I want to be Batman. I, said, I, want, to, be, Batman. But nobody, absolutely not one body, hears me.
It might also have something to do with the fact that B & Q have fired up some sausages, sizzling away, and I grudgingly admit that, yeah, it might just be that I’m hungry, and yes there’s tomato sauce in the fridge, no, it’s there, I’m sure, on the door of the fridge, and why am I the only one to ever know where anything is in this house. Oh, yeah, that’s right, because A through Z do not live here permanently, they’re only visiting, and no I don’t know any of their names or addresses, and no I couldn’t tell you what any of them really looked like officer. I know it’s hard to believe. I know. But things like this must have happened before, you must have had some similar experience with this sort of thing officer? No? Never in your entire career? Oh, but they did take something of value, officer, they did. What? Well...apart from the cricket bat, and three dozen sausages, and a number one mum mug? Well, they took my mojo officer, my mo.jo.officer. No, this is not a joke. Joke wasn’t here. How do I know? Um...well...no...I don’t have proof that this isn’t a joke. That noise? The door? Oh, of course, yes, yes, no, it’s not them, it’s just the Russian, yeah, he’s cool, you can let him in, he, um, lives here.
Hi honey, what’s for dinner? The Russian says. The Russian walks into the house like a lamb to the slaughter. WHAT did you just say? What’s for dinner? Was that your hello comment for the evening? Yes, officer, of course, I’ll see you out, thank you so much, but are you sure it’s no use checking for prints? Ok.
Now, you Roosky, what is it now? What? I can’t hear you, speak up? I’m not deaf, no, it’s just that A through Z were here and they stole my mojo. What? What are you saying to me? Come closer....the black boots? The black cape? These old things....na,na,na, nyet mate, I didn’t buy them today, are you kidding me? These old things, I’ve had them for years...I just decided to try on some old clothes today...What was that? You think I look cute in this outfit. Oh. Well, gee. Thanks. Yeah, I love you too. What did you say? You missed me today? Yeah...me too. Oh...I thought we’d have a barbecue for dinner actually. The two martinis, how did they get here? Well...I have absolutely no idea...oh, and look, a martini glass with a B engraved on it, well, I never! But what’s that on your collar? Is that a capital “R” in canary-yellow, in a black circle, placed over your heart? Oh.....you’ll do anything to cheer me up!