Local Super Villains – Part 01
Sherlock Holmes has his Moriarty, James Bond has Blofeld, whilst the likes of everyone from Batman to Doctor Who have a plethora of extreme foes who come around again and again. They’re the Super Villains, a cut above the rest, and that’s what I see my life, as I walk amongst the scum and the detritus of the local criminal fraternity, one of whom I personally tracked to his lair when I became a chief suspect in his reign of terror.
It had seemed that the highlight of local villainy were the drug dealer who gained fleeting notoriety because he was caught selling cocaine to a “hot” undercover cop because he thought she looked like a famous actress and the other drug dealer who brought the whole town into disrepute when he was caught storing his drugs between his buttocks.
Yet it was against this backdrop of comical fly-by-night villainy that it began, in November 2009, when he first struck. The unknown person in question was found, after the event, to have wiped what the local paper described as a “sticky liquid” and a “white substance” on the back of schoolgirls’ tights in a spree which ran into December of that year. But, like his victims, this story had legs.
These attacks heralded a decline in life on the streets as they soon started resembling downtown Detroit as walking home from Costa Coffee, one sunny Sunday afternoon, I missed the town’s first drive-by shooting by an hour. I walk down that road. I could have been collateral damage from some ricocheting bullet resulting from street gang rivalry. Although in a very un-gangsta manner they failed to “pop” a “cap” in the guy’s “ass” and shot him in the foot instead.
As my alternative route home from Costa was through the cemetery – which kept me safe from feuding rappers – it was shocking to hear the story about a 16 year old girl getting raped in there. Fortunately for everyone concerned it was established very quickly that the girl in question made the whole thing up.
The Police, on a roll now, went on to solve the “drive-by” as well through being able to recreate the trajectory of the bullet and extrapolate a wealth of information from the angle of impact of the hole in the pavement to establish that it had very little of a horizontal vector, as you might expect, and much more of an up-down one.
The drive-by victim then owned up: he’d accidentally shot himself in the foot. The idiot. Case closed.
I thought that the net must have been closing in on the sticky liquid guy when the Police narrowed down his location to the Bury-Whitefield-Unsworth area. As this was where I lived I had to peer worriedly out of the window but I couldn’t see the roadblocks.
Living within the “triangle”, as I did, was worrying enough but as the description obtained from the victims was that he was “25-35 and carrying a bag” then I realised this described me to a tee and that now I was presumably one of the chief suspects.
The Police labs were able to identify his weapon-of-choice only as a “sticky white substance” which seemed a somewhat hollow victory in narrowing down the newspaper description from four words to three. At school they teach the tests to distinguish between different chemical elements, but it turns out we’re on the frontier of human achievement with a “sticky white substance”. I’m thinking Pritt Stick glue, I’m thinking wallpaper paste, I’m thinking Christmas cake icing… If only we could narrow it down then maybe we could catch this person.
In the final Holmes story the titular detective famously tracked his nemesis Moriarty across Europe until their final confrontation. In an effort to clear my name I turned Armchair Sherlock and saw what the Police didn’t and tracked my foe – the Bury-Whitefield-Unsworth clue being not so much as a triangle but more of a route – following the sticky white trail to its source… Which was Unsworth. Do you see?
Bury, the town, with Whitefield being the tram stop you would alight at if you were going to go to Unsworth. QED. He obviously lives in Unsworth, I theorised, within walking distance of the Whitefield tram stop. And you don’t visit Unsworth unless… well, at all, really. I recommended that the Police should have gone along to my old school and got the old school photos out and bingo: you have a ready-formed line-up parade.
I mean the Police are trained to think this stuff: I’ve just picked it up from reading Agatha Christie and watching Columbo.
Alas the only Police breakthrough in the case came when the boys in the lab narrowed down the description of the culprit’s modus operandi still further from a “sticky white substance” to “animal semen”. They couldn’t go so far say whether it was from griffin, badger, or donkey, but then I imagine that this was possibly only a mere detail that couldn’t at all possibly help in aiding with his capture.
Then, as if this wasn’t enough to cope with, a new villain emerged onto the playing field. It’s great to see the local paper breaking stories, being first with national and international news, and that week they led with the headline: Man wanted for wiping excrement on women.
In an effort to make this headline sound less like a job advertisement the paper later revised this to the mouthful: “Police hunt for ‘disgusting’ man who wiped excrement on women”.
Those events took place at the posh end of town, in Ramsbottom, where the mystery assailant emerged from the pub toilet on two occasions before manhandling a surprised woman. They later discovered, to their horror, that he’d left them a little deposit which the latter of the two described as a “four-inch smear” on her arm. Only four-inches? Surely that’s not so much between friends?
With a name like The Sticky White Substance Sex Attacker I’m thinking that he needs a PR company to work on his Super Villain name, which isn’t very Hollywood, but with The Four-Inch Smear now that is a winner.
All this fuss and I reckoned that the local “animal sperm wiper” would have had to have upped his game. However here the trail went cold and our Super Villains went to ground.
With both of them on the loose – out there, somewhere – it was bad enough, but then they were about to be overshadowed spectacularly by someone new who was set to come riding into town. A Super Villain of such magnitude that she even managed to upstage the worldwide media palaver surrounding the Royal birth of Prince George himself.