I managed to speak to Sad-case today. He's one of the Three Hoodies who saved the world. The fact that he also almost destroyed it in the process is something he prefers to forget.
So, Sad-case. You and your brother do seem to have some rather, er, strange names.
S/C 'Well that's not my fault. If my mum and dad hadn't run out of the hospital the day I was born and left the nurses to call me BABY 53, I would have had a really cool name. I mean, that almost went on my birth certificate.'
So it was you who decided on your nickname?
S/C 'No it was David. He thinks I'm a bit strange because I like to annoy grown ups and especially teachers. But I mean annoying teachers and girls - isn't that in the school curriculum?'
I don't think so. Does anyone actually know your real name?
S/C 'They all do. But I'm not telling you what it is and they'll only use if it they think I'm dying, or dead. And that happens a lot because they're such a pair of girls. I spend my whole life saving them. I'll tell you. If it wasn't for me, they would have been eaten, shot, squashed by a monster, sucked into a wormhole, blasted into space and vaporised by a sort-of robot. The list goes on and on, but someone has to do it.'
'So you have to look after them a lot?
S/C 'Well yeah, sort of. They need me. Derrick is brainy but doesn't remember where he left his socks half the time. And every time he gets afraid he hurls his lunch all over me. One of these days I'm really gonna get him for that.'
And what about David?
S/C 'Well he's brainy as well; and he does Kung Fu so he's quite tough but not as good as me.' Cracks his knuckles which hurts him but pretends that it doesn't. 'Sometimes he thinks too much and someone has to stop him getting barfed on by flying mutoids, squashed inside spaceships, and stuff like that. And as usual it's me who has to save him - again.'
And what about Yoreth? His face colours a little at the mention of her name. He's a big lad and I wouldn't want to annoy him but the moment I bring her up he glows red and becomes a little shy.
S/C 'Yeah, well, she's sort of alright. She was even pretty and quite cool (for a girl) when she was the same age as us. But as soon as we found out how old she really was, and that she wasn't even human. It sort of spoiled it, you know what I mean?'
Yes I can see your point.
S/C 'So, I'll keep on saving them and the world and the universe. And there's bound to be a girlfriend out there for me. But I've got to be picky. I don't want to spread myself too thin, do I?'
No that wouldn't do. And what about your brother? He shudders a little now but slicks back his hair and toughs it out.
S/C 'I really am going to get him one day. He made my dad leave and now my mum doesn't come home so much and I really miss her. Why can't things be the way they were when I was small?'
This was becoming just a little maudlin.
So, are you going to save the world again?
S/C 'Yeah. Probably. If it isn't us then who? I mean you can't leave that kind of things to grown ups. All they ever do is moan and complain and the first sign of a wormhole or prehistoric monster, they all go running for the hills. And where would the universe be, then? But do we ever get any thanks? Oh, no. It's "Sad-case do this, Sad-case do that, and don't annoy your teacher and who drilled the hole in the girls' changing room wall, and who painted the school cat silver?" I mean, it's enough to make me want to live in space all the time.'
I make a break for it as he begins one finger push-ups - on his mum's new Sunday frock.