“The Day I Met Captain Canley” – Jack Parker

Blimey.

Talk about never meet your idols. I’m not sure who said that, but they sure got it right. If someone could’ve taken my photo then, as I sat in the cubicle of a reeking men’s toilet three floors up, staring at the interview notes I’d made on my coffee-stained Morrisons refill pad, it would’ve been an internet sensation. One of those “be a journalist they said, it’ll be fun they said”, memes. I’d been conned by head office alright. Big time. At least I knew then why nobody else had wanted the job of interviewing the local vigilante. Sure, getting the role had inflated my ego like a supercharged tire pump that’d won awards for blowing that any hurricane would be jealous of. Finally, I’ll make it big, I remember thinking. They can see that I’m better than all the others. Time for some serious reporting. I let my head fall into by notebook. It would’ve been the perfect dramatic expression of sadness, had I not slammed my forehead into the loo roll dispenser midway through my performance. Still, the bruise was a better reward than the interview I’d got.

Surely no one could’ve judged me for wanting to do what I did. Captain Canley was the talk of the city. He’d captured nearly a dozen burglars in weeks, all before the local police had even figured out that Smiths’ new tech shop was to thieves what overpriced coffee is to students. And when I’d finished with him? He’d be the talk of the whole damn country. The man I met… let’s just say no headline could turn him into the real world’s answer to Superman. Pants on outside his clothes, wearing sunglasses in winter, a gaudy blue uniform that looked far too tight to be healthy, and a ridiculous cape which had ingrained itself so far into the office chair he was sat on that I wondered if he’d ever be able to get up.

First meetings. If only we could see them before they happened. I’ll pull a sickie tomorrow. I deserve fictional influenza after that.

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