Even if I was Batman, I wouldn't be cool all the time, says the writer of `Father Ted'

I was travelling back to central London from Heathrow, my suitcases in the back of the taxi (I hadn't been flying, I just sometimes like to go to the airport with lots of suitcases), when I looked to my left and saw something that actually made me do a real double-take. Just like in a movie - I performed the full "Whu-whu-what-the" triple double-take. Driving alongside us, effortlessly drawing level with the taxi, was a silver BMW driven by two ... what looked to me like ... well, two 12-year- old children. And it was two 12-year-old children. Two boys. All right, maybe in their teens but only just. Their little necks straining so they could see over the dash. One pair of hands white-knuckled on the wheel.

For a moment, I seemed to forget who I was and almost shouted: "Get them!" What I thought the taxi driver and I might do if we caught up with them I dunno, although you can bet that there would be one or two stern words involved - harsh, wounding words like "little menace" and "tearaway", words that would send them away with something to think about, I can tell you. Sanity regained, but my imagination still doing cartwheels, I started to see myself in various dangerous situations, coming out of most of them doing very well, I have to say.

What if I was suddenly in a large building taken over by terrorists led by Alan Rickman? Would I be able to keep it together and engage the terrorists in a deadly game of cat and mouse? I had to say, looking at all the evidence, that yes, I would. I wouldn't wear a vest like the one Bruce Willis had because I don't think I'd look good in a vest. I think I'd wear a plain black T-shirt and black jeans. But apart from that I'd behave exactly as he did.

And if I was the marshall in a small seaside resort that was being terrorised by a giant shark, would I be able to hang on to the only part of the sinking boat still visible and shoot at the oxygen canister lodged in the animal's mouth? Again, I didn't see much of a problem. I'm actually a pretty good shot, as my recent imaginary showdown with the guy in the dress from Silence of the Lambs proved. All these fancies fail to take into account the fact that whenever I've been in any kind of physical danger in the past, I've run away as fast as my little legs could carry me. But even then, as the sound of derisive laughter dwindles behind me, I'm still thinking about how they'd be laughing on the other side of their faces if only they knew my true identity: Batman.

All right, I'm not Batman.

But if I was Batman would I be cool all the time? No. Even Batman can't be cool all the time. I have a lovely mental image of Batman having just received the Batmobile, getting all excited and beeping the horn. So I'll just have to be content with being cool 99 per cent of the time. Ninety- nine per cent of the time, of course, I'm either sleeping or staring out of the window. The remaining 1 per cent covers many things, all of which come under the banner marked "Interaction with Humans". After I'd finished flipping through my mental Rolodex of possible hijack situations, I came back to earth somewhat. What if, somehow, we did manage to catch up with those two kids? Would I be able to reason with them? Talk the language of the street and point them towards a better life?

No.

And what if it got violent? I'm pretty tall, would I be able to take them? Two 12-year-olds?

Again no. Even if they had their hands tied behind their backs, even if I was wearing a black T-shirt and jeans or a vest, I'd somehow end up with a dustbin on my head. Heavily armed terrorists? No problem. A pair of bold children? You hold them off and I'll run for help.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

    £13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

    £19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future