These characters were all created by myself and my great buddy, Chris (the afore-mentioned Mr Underfelt – his own blog is here) for a long, long ago radio series called The Globetrotting Adventures of Nigel Tritt (which I have written about previously here and, at the end of which, you may notice, I promised to never mention again). In keeping with the ethos of this blog, I felt that it was high time that I looked in on them to see how they are all coping with advancing years in this age of ‘New Normal’ – in short, how they are getting on. This is what I found…
Super-Nigel Tritt tucked himself tightly within the folds of his tartan ‘Slanket’, becoming increasingly agitated as he fiddled with the buttons of the TV remote. ‘Corinth, Corinth!’ he called, ‘Can you do something with this TV? The remote is not working and all the programs seem to be in Bulgarian.’
Corinth walked into the room. She still held the pneumatic promise of a twenty-something, although it did appear to be deflating in places. ‘That’s the telephone’, she said, taking it from his hand. ‘The TV remote is on the coffee table next to your glasses and your pills, which you haven’t taken as usual. The man on the TV is Danny Dyer – he always sounds like that.’
Nigel shifted uncomfortably in his chair: his leotard was giving him merry hell. ‘I don’t suppose you could just…?’
‘Again?’ asked Corinth, ‘I don’t know why you insist on wearing that thing these days. Just wait a minute whilst I go and get a couple of spoons.’
‘Remember to warm the cream,’ Nigel yelled at her retreating back. ‘You know what the cold stuff did to me last time.’
‘How could I forget,’ Corinth mumbled, with an involuntary shudder.
Covid isolation had proved to be particularly difficult for the retired Super-hero. Granted, his globe-trotting adventures had become increasingly rare in recent years – particularly since he now found it difficult to dodge anything more lethal than a speeding marshmallow – but this enforced isolation from his friends, How, the Professor and Freddie the Spy had left him low. They had tried Zoom calling on a number of occasions, but never with great success. The Doctor, as How preferred to be known, was struggling with his electric wheelchair – assembled from the bottom half of a Dalek – which had developed an alarming tendency to do exactly as it pleased. He suspected tampering by Davros, or possibly Huawei, but whatever the reason, he was seldom able to be at his laptop when the call came through – especially since his ‘assistant’ kept leaving it upstairs.
The Professor, the most technically gifted of the team, had become deeply suspicious of any post-millennial technology, believing that it was responsible not only for Covid, but also for the financial crash of 2008, the ceaseless seep of the gourmet coffee shop and a particularly persistent carbuncle with which he had been engaged in battle since 2013. Frankly, when they did manage a virtual ‘get-together’, his extreme moodiness ensured that he was never the best of company. Like Nigel, he desperately wanted to get back out into his world of do-gooding, but he had become, of late, concerned about How’s ability to pilot his time craft in anything approaching an acceptable manner; indeed, their most recent adventure, back at the dawn of time, was a perfect example. If Corinth had not somehow managed to bang two stray atoms together, Lord knows what might have happened. Besides, the on-board toilet arrangements were appalling and in no way equal to the requirements of four men with failing prostates and a woman whose pelvic floor was practically subterranean. In the Professor’s mind, it would be no bad thing if Nigel were to hang up his super-leotard for good.
The one member of the team who could always be relied upon to be present for their on-line chats was Freddy, although his paranoia had blossomed to such an extent that his many layers of auto-encryption meant that, in practice, it was almost impossible to see him unless you viewed the screen through a colander, and his voice emerged sounding something like a man-sized cockroach, which did rather set the teeth on edge.
Corinth herself, determined to confound her air-headed reputation of old, had studied every scientific home course available. As a result, she was perfectly capable of constructing a working nuclear reactor out of two kitchen spatulas and a selection of cutlery – although her efforts to work out what day it was still left much to be desired.
Even Nigel’s leotard, the seat of all his super-powers, had been less effective since Corinth had attempted to remove ‘certain stains’ by popping it into a boil wash, and it was only by dint of the ancient elastic going that he was able to struggle into its shrivelled remains at all. Yet despite its tendency to bring on the worst of his rashes, Nigel still liked to feel cocooned within its sagging mesh during times of stress – and times seldom came more stressful than these.
‘I’ve been thinking,’ he said to Corinth as she re-entered the room.
‘Oh gawd,’ she muttered.
‘We need to get the team back together. I have a plan to defeat this viral scourge.’
Corinth gazed into his glaucous eyes, for once sparkling again with a hero’s zeal.
‘Well?’ she said.
‘Well,’ he queried. ‘Well what?’
‘You just said about getting the team back together.’
‘Did I? I wonder why?’ he stroked his chin and small flakes of yesterday’s boiled egg fluttered down onto his lap. ‘Oh yes, my plan!’ he said at last. ‘My plan to save the world from Coronavirus. It is, I believe, infallible.’
‘I’ll make the call,’ Corinth stammered with genuine pride. ‘I always knew you’d come up with a plan… What is it by the way?’
‘Plan? What plan?’
‘To defeat Covid. You said you had a plan to defeat Covid.’
‘Oh that,’ he said. ‘Didn’t I tell you?’
‘No,’ she said, feeling the optimism drain from her like water down a dentist’s sink.
‘Oh bugger,’ he said…
I haven’t met these people in many years, but it took me no time to become familiar with them again. I enjoyed the catch up. I hope that I was faithful to their spirit.