The Dare Devil



Suggested Audio Jukebox ♬

[1] Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone”

[2] The Vapors “Turning Japanese”

[3] Billy Idol “White Wedding”

[4] Cliff Martinez “Wanna Fight”

[5] Power Glove “Vengeance”

[6] Bow Wow Wow “I Want Candy”

[7] Paul Engemann “Push It To The Limit”



I likes me a challenge. Indeed, the more impossible the better, as we daredevils seldom shirk one of those. It’s in the genes I suspect, something that acts very much like a tick, whereby the only logical course of action is to risk life and limb for the most menial of compensation. Some call us thrill seekers, others nut jobs, but it matters not to us whether any press received is good or bad as we’re not in it for the plaudits. If we were all about the recognition then we’d have taken desk jobs instead and beaten all projected sales targets for the quarter. In no time whatsoever, we would likely have worked our way up from the guy who makes the coffee to one above the guy who makes the coffee but where’s the swashbuckle in that I ask you? Where’s the impending peril? The sense of adventure? An adrenaline junkie craves these things and won’t find them typing up memos for Mr. Everly-Grimes while gradually surrendering any vague slither of remaining individuality. Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that my middle name is Danger or anything as conspicuous as that but I’m certainly no stranger to hazard and search for it high and low in the hope that it has managed to track me down.


I struggle to recall precisely when I decided to become a fully fledged desperado but all signs seemingly point back to adolescence. Having discovered the secondary function of my genitals, it seemed positively impolite not to test this extracurricular activity out post-haste. This, in itself, was hardly the most dangerous of contact sports, as it could be performed in the comfort of one’s own boudoir. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it anti-climactic as there was unquestionably a degree of pay-off once those toes began to curl and I was left with an immense feeling of achievement after completing my assignment and at the paltry cost of a solitary squirt of my mother’s hand lotion. However, I’m sure it would have gotten old fairly fast, had it not been for my good friend ingenuity. What about if I set out to complete my objective while injecting a little harmless jeopardy into proceedings? Et voila – the danger wank was born and spanking my monkey was never the same again. I’ve never been one for animal cruelty so it seemed absurd not to offer my gibbon the opportunity to strike back every time he started to feel abused. Now all I needed was a defender of the realm to keep me on the front foot.


After exploring all options, there seemed no more fearsome an adversary than mother dearest and not because she was particularly heinous. On the contrary, my mom could do little wrong in my eyes, and was always on hand to apply those band-aids every time I got into a scrap. That said, there was definitely something terrifying about the prospect of my bedroom door opening wide to reveal “the dreaded face of utter disappointment”. Firstly, it is not easy to explain to one half of one’s parental unit why one of one’s fingers has slipped inside one’s bottom. Secondly, the chances of her being satisfied with your choice of celebrative literature were decidedly slim. It’s tough talking your way out of the jizzed up copy of Women & Labradors left wide open on the “Best In Show” centre spread. And that’s not to mention our own mortification at having haphazardly revealed to mom the very item we insisted she ceased flannel washing at seven, and in a state of extreme alertness no less. The words heaven forbid were invented with the danger wank in mind and only a lion-hearted daredevil such as myself would even contemplate running the gauntlet.


So here’s how it played out in earnest. Naturally there is a warm-up period to get out-of-the-way before rising to the ultimate challenge and things are all very leisurely and polite at this point. The monkey is happy to be receiving the shoulder rub he has been hinting at for hours and it’s all somewhat par for the course as far as masturbation is concerned. That is until the point of no return sneaks between our crosshairs and any chances of turning back have greatly diminished. We know exactly what’s coming and where it will come from, but are not so clear on where it’s headed as that part always was a lottery. However, the game is now firmly in motion, and this makes it time to introduce another player to the roster.


One word would suffice – “mommy” – as her ears were fine-tuned to pick up any disturbances in the status quo and her priorities had long-since been trained to shift in a heartbeat. I’d wait on tenterhooks until the very second when her slipper touched the bottom stair rung and that was traditionally around three seconds give or take (ordinarily the latter). Then all that was left was to let the games begin and pray for dear life that calf cramps didn’t pay me a visit at a critical moment. Those bastards were my kryptonite.


Anyhoots, it wasn’t long before two things became crystal clear to this up-and-coming danger ranger. Firstly, she was going to start hiding her hand moisturizer and, secondly, one of these days she’d catch me bang in the act. You see, the danger wank is rather a lot like shoplifting, only far more conspicuous an act to any roving store detectives. Once we acquire a taste for pilfering, risk assessment goes swiftly out of the window, and we begin to suspect that we may well be invincible. So what do we do? We continue to up the stakes until which time as a once simple in-and-out mission transforms into a fully loaded death wish and the inevitable cannot help but happen.


This simply couldn’t continue or else I was going to have some rather excruciating explaining to do not to plummet rapidly in her estimations. Given that there were six older siblings in my flock, none of whom played this particular game of death to my observation, that meant being branded the black sheep of the family and it’s a long thankless hike back from that far distant colony. That said, I had developed rather a liking for living on the edge, and intelligence suggested that there was more than one way to toss a caber.


If I was to commit myself to the daredevil cause, then the first thing I would be required to ascertain was whether to use my special powers for the purpose of good or evil. While I was more than content with being labelled “edgy”, I didn’t relish the prospect of being shunned from the masses in order to satisfy my every secret whim so refrained from partaking in any acts that could be construed as nefarious. The danger wank wasn’t deemed nefarious, precarious as all hell no doubt shadows, but it wasn’t like I had malevolent designs on jousting anyone’s eye out or fashioning a cunning slip hazard out of buck custard. And the kind of shenanigans I was proposing amassed to little in excess of more of the same, minus the sexy stuff as I’d heard that can land you in all sorts of hot water in the great outdoors. Take it from Superman, when a random passer-by suggested that he didn’t have the balls for saving the world, he was so desperate to prove them wrong that he wound up on public indecency charges.


However, with the man of steel now serving six months community service, there was undoubtedly a gap in the market for a new caped crusader, and I took to the mean streets immediately to carve out my own little niche. The problem was that I wasn’t what you would call a conventional superhero. I had no identity, no catchy slogan, no super powers to speak of, and the nearest I could find to a spandex costume were a pair of fishnet tights I found discarded in a dumpster behind my local Pizza Hut.


There’s a decidedly fine line between looking like Doctor Doom and Dr. Frank-N-Furter and I’d never been particularly adept at walking in stilettos so opted for a plain clothes approach to my newfound vocation and banked on good old-fashioned word of mouth to generate some interest. Now all I needed to do was find some petty criminals to thwart and I’d be Marvel’s new poster boy in no time. Regrettably, there wasn’t a great deal of shit going down in my hometown and the closest I got to saving the day was shooing a mangy local alley cat away from Mrs. Pettigrew’s front porch before it could take a dump in her chrysanthemums. Needless to say, that death-defying stunt did little for my superhero reputation, although it did earn me six free piano lessons.


Eventually I tired of investing my evenings and weekends into such a thankless occupation and accepted society’s pre-ordained place for me which just so happened to entail being perched behind an office desk from nine to five, putting in a shift for “the man”. If I’m honest, while this may have been a little demeaning for a budding champion such as I, it did pay well and I figured I could pick the whole superhero thing back up later on down the line if that itch still needed scratching so I applied the lipstick and suckled that corporate cock until my cheeks became dimpled.


What had I become? Where was the imminent danger? The threat to national security? How far would I be required to sink before I relocated my spine and got cracking with what I was placed on this infernal planet to do? More pressingly, was I about to be pipped for employee of the month by that snide rascal in accounting, Pat Talbot? It didn’t require x-ray vision to catch him frantically crunching his numbers as his desk was adjacent to mine and we were currently neck and neck in the race for that coveted prize magnum of Dom Pérignon.


So I did what any territorial top dog would do in such circumstances – I garotted him in the car park and dumped his still twitching body in the nearby canal. I’m sorry, were you expecting something a little more public-spirited? May I remind you that this is my life story being shared openly here and you’ll get what you’re given dagnabbit. Nowhere in the rules and regulations of being a superhero does it state that you’re not permitted to murder in cold blood once in a while. You think Tony Stark got ahead by being polite and accommodating? Negative, his very first act when slipping into his corrugated chain mail was sodomizing little Timmy Simmons from number 63.


While Iron Man was out there making a name for himself and becoming every little kid’s personal hero, the poor boy’s parents were left footing the chiropractor bills and Timmy still winces every time he picks up a quarter to this very day. You wish to know how I can be such an authority on such a contemptible act? Perhaps it would be a good time for me to reveal my true identity as I feel we’ve reached that point in our relationship now. Pleased to make your acquaintance, the name is Timothy Clyde Simmons but my close friends call me Timmy.


It’s all starting to make sense now isn’t it? You see, Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider before weaving his maiden web, Bruce Banner was exposed to gamma radiation prior to shredding his wranglers for the first time, and I had to suffer the indignity of being pounded with Iron Man’s alloy piledriver before I could ever hope to fathom my place on the periodic table. We’ve all got to start somewhere right? Perhaps now you can see why I took this futile gig in the first place. You’re darn tooting I wanted payback and graciously requesting a paltry 20% cut of all future royalties seemed more than fair given the whole loss of innocence deal. 


Of course, I couldn’t simply bowl into Stark Industries sporting an evident shoulder chip and start barking my demands willy-nilly as a billionaire inventor such as he would find a convenient way of making me disappear and this would all have been for nothing. Thus I kept my head down, continued to meet quarterly targets, and pleaded ignorance when Pat Talbot’s corpse washed up on the jetty the following week. And that Dom Pérignon tasted mighty sweet in case you were wondering.


I can almost hear you sneering your contempt as I write this memoir and wish to make it known that I wouldn’t take it to heart if you chose to call time on our association after the despicable data I just divulged. But we all make mistakes and, besides, I heard on the grapevine that Pat had been dipping into petty cash to fund his glue-sniffing addiction so he actually kind of had it coming. Nevertheless, I had my fair share of sleepless nights, and soon began to question my validity as a superhero.


I mean, what had I achieved other than murdering a man in cold blood and depleting my poor mother’s hand lotion? Precious little and it was imperative that this worrying trend be bucked before the powers that be could revoke my license to thrill and consign me to a life of pie charts and Powerpoint presentations. There was only one option available at this point and it involved wearing my jockeys on the outside of my leggings, standing up, and being damn well counted. Now if only I had the faintest clue how to throw a pukka punch, there’d be a breakfast cereal named after me in no time and Tony Stark would be forced to take my shit seriously.


Feeling utterly galvanized, I promptly handed in my notice at Madsen & Madsen and hurried on home to commence constructing an empire. Mercifully, my prior experience with danger wanking kept me one step ahead of the game here, and mom had no idea what was going on beyond my boudoir door unbeknownst to her. While she was cooking up a broth downstairs, I was up to my frown in multiplex blueprints and fashioning a suit of arms that would prove both eye-catching and practical. Coming up with a title worthy of my prowess was critical to successfully pimping myself out to the masses and this proved the most painstaking part of the process as most of the decent names were already taken. Fucking Marvel were up to their vile tricks once more and every last dick in tights this side of Wisconsin had jumped on their bullshit bandwagon. 


Please allow me to pitch you a poser. Have you ever been forced to suckle on a puckered up asshole? No reason, just curious. You see, Marvel Worldwide Inc. employ rather a lot of deck hands and every last one of them happens to possess a sphincter. We’re talking Pencilers, Writers, Cover Artists, Editor-in-Chiefs, Inkers, and Colourists, not to mention any skivvies paid pittance to get the Starbucks rounds in every morning. That’s not to mention theme park licensing deals and all other mergers and acquisitions. Meanwhile, there was only one heinous anus I had any inclination to get up close and personal with and I didn’t plan to use my lips for this particular transaction. If I had, then riddle me this my little tiddlers – What would have been the point of pioneering the world’s very first pair of barbed wire power gloves?


With nobody seemingly staking their claim on the name Catawumpus Man and a gust of glory now securely beneath my wings, I took to the meanest streets GPS could deliver me to and began opening numerous cans of whomp (one up from whoop) on any questionable undesirables I found straggling without an appropriate alibi. Starting with random bag snatchers, I soon graduated to the real baleful lurkers and city crime rates started to plummet in no time as I went about my superhero business like a dog with a bone.


As it transpires, word travels via FedEx in metropolis and suddenly my nemesis started glancing rather anxiously over his shoulder as he hadn’t forgotten little Timmy Simmons any more than little Timmy Simmons had forgotten him and knew full well that his days were numbered. There seemed only one way to settle our ongoing feud and I’ll provide you three free guesses as to what that might have been.


Arm wrestling? Have your marbles spilled from the jar? This rogue steals my childhood chastity and I pay him back by proving my superior forearm strength in full view of his associates. Give me a sodding break. Need I remind you that I am Catawumpus Man and that denotes being fierce, destructive, and completely off the chain. You must be mistaking me for Exoneration Man as that’s the kind of powder puff spread he’d lay on just to show that there are no hard feelings.


There was no way on earth we were going to resolve our differences this way but, to be fair, it wasn’t actually a million miles away from what I had in mind for our showdown bout. Interestingly the forearm would indeed play a significant part in our prizefight, although this would be far more about tempo and technique than it would brute strength. You see, while my mother warned me repeatedly about excess masturbation resulting in blindness, she failed to point out that it would supply me a lifetime of experience for this very moment.


The rules of engagement couldn’t have been more clear – whichever one of us managed to wrap up our jostling while arousing the least suspicion from my mother would reign victorious and never again would their name as a superhero be called into question. Meanwhile, the unsuccessful candidate would be required to pack their travel bags and take a one-way trip to furthest Alaska, where they would live out the rest of their days a modest fisherman.


Needless to say, my opposite number agreed to these terms without dalliance, as he no doubt felt that he held the psychological edge after effectively obliterating my boyhood. However, what he failed to realize was that, while deep emotional scarring may fade over time, hatred towards those who have wronged you tends to stick around. My entire life had been invested into acquiring myself this one opportunity to turn the tables and I damn well wasn’t about to squander it.


Judgement day was soon upon us and Iron Man arrived at precisely the designated hour, brimming with the kind of unflappable swagger that over a billion dollars in off shore accounts affords you. Part of me just wanted to stride on over and plant one straight on his chin for what he had put me through, but common sense prevailed as I knew I must focus all this nervous energy into what truly mattered. Next up we assumed our positions side-by-side on my divan, while my mother waited patiently downstairs under starter’s orders. To give us both an even playing field, my pristine copy of Women & Labradors wasn’t permitted as an optical sweetener as Stark had already stated his preference for Afghan hounds beforehand.


Thus we found ourselves a middle ground and, if there’s a man alive who disapproves of our eye candy elect, then you really should be asking yourself some pretty serious questions and don’t go expecting to get a kick out of the answers. Here, take a look for yourself and tell me there’s a solitary drop of blood in your upper torso once you do.


Where do I even start where Harley Quinn is concerned and need I even fritter the syllables when the above pictorial states it all so thoroughly eloquently? While so bubbly that she is positively effervescent, beneath all that forthy emulsion lies more than a hint of psychosis and this is every bit as intoxicating a fragrance for those bucks amongst us who secretly desire only to be bossed. Iron Man may have thought himself some kind of swinging dick, but I watched his pupils dilate to capacity the very moment Ms. Quinn flashed us those cheeky dimples and knew it was about to be game well and truly on. Feeling a tad hamstrung, Stark was allowed to wiggle out of his reinforced shell for the main event, while I removed my tights also just to make things fair, gripping my joystick tight like I was one gobbled power pill away from achieving a new lifetime best on Pac-Man.


In just a few hearty tugs time, one of us would have something to tell their grandchildren in years to come (after a few PG-13 tweaks of course), whereas the other would spend the rest of his sorry existence fending off stage three frostbite in a far-flung outpost without even the most rudimentary of wi-fi to soften the blow. I’ve heard it suggested that it’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts and adopting this approach may be all well and good if the activity involved is the egg and spoon race but not so when it entails doing battle with one’s sworn enemy.


Defeat was unthinkable, stalemate not even worth contemplating, and one-sided victory the only thing in the world that mattered. Anyhoots, with all seats now returned to their upright positions and the no wanking lights in full flash to tighten those grips further, it was time to slip on those protective goggles and watch some sparks and bodily fluids fly.


As the object of our observation, Harley knew precisely what she would be required to do to get our pistons firing, and it wasn’t a great deal to be perfectly honest. In truth, she could have just stood there motionless and we’d have gone off like a pair of possessed tommy guns but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill wallflower we’re talking about here. Ms. Quinn had made her name on account of kittenish antics and, from the very moment she bit her lower lip teasingly, she had herself the most captive of audiences.


Neither rival wished to bolt the gate too soon as we were still predisposed sizing one another up at this point, but deep down we both knew that we’d be powerless to resist our bodily demands once things began to get a little more risqué. Sensing weakness within the ranks, she wasted no further time in taking shit to the next level, and this involved flashing her spellbound audience her brand new twin piercings. Just to be crystal clear, they weren’t located in her ear lobes.


And we were off. Mom’s slipper had now officially touched down on the bottom step and we both knew that gave us only a limited time to discharge. Up until that point, I had been the consummate professional, but I found this executive stance slipping as I swiftly became sweepingly mesmerized by the brace of plumpened pendulums swaying titillatingly before me. Full body paralysis had never felt so doggone good.


My lone consolation was that my opposite number was already gurning like an infant and evidently the prospect of a second stint at breast-feeding had crossed his mind also. However, while we both prepared to latch on and take this skirmish to the burping stage, something totally serendipitous occurred to assist with our soda shaking monkey tricks and I’m not too proud to admit that I damn near crushed the stunt banana in my palm from the very first impish miaow.


The thing about felines is that, while fiercely independent creatures and seldom in the mood for sentimental snuggles, they soon show their faces when they grow thirsty and accomplish full purr at the first sniff of milk, whether semi-skimmed or otherwise. Judging by the come-hither look in Catwoman’s eyes and the creamy residue drizzling into her chin dimple as she widened her maw to commence feeding, lactose intolerance was unlikely to prove an obstacle and it appeared that her harlequin friend was only too happy to express a quart or two in her honor.


You’d think it something of a downer losing that watertight PVC catsuit and similarly suffocating hot pants wouldn’t you? Not so here as the girls were only too happy to compensate for any lingering vapors of disenchantment by dropping to all fours, assuming the kind of position that mental screen savers were invented for, and tasting each other’s pedicures for our very own viewing pleasure.


Do you know what? I’m not altogether sure that pleasure cuts it you know. Pleasure results from winning ten bucks on a scratch card we found in the street, pleasure is arriving home from a brisk country stroll at the precise moment that the ominous rain cloud hovering above bursts wide open, pleasure is a rare moment of symmetry in our otherwise chaotic universe. I believe that downright glee was better suited to this particular scenario and it took every last droplet of resolve for us not to blatantly disregard our differences in favor of embarking on a full-blown pillow fight. Granted, I would likely have stuffed mine full of house bricks before taking the first playful swipe, but it still would have looked suspiciously like this.


As tempting and potentially fun packed a proposition as this was however, I hadn’t gone to all this trouble just to engage in a spot of male bonding and patch up our differences. Unsolicited buggery is absolutely no laughing matter and I had to take this stand, or else run the risk of other innocents being placed in suchlike peril. Besides, mother’s slipper had just made contact with the top step and there was no more time on the clock for pussyfooting around, regardless of any climax entailed. Glancing to my right, it looked like my opponent was at a similar juncture with regards to evacuation and this dyspeptic dogfight appeared to be heading directly to the wire. If I had a devilish plan up my sleeve, then now was the ideal time to initiate it. What would a self-confessed daredevil do under such do-or-die conditions?


Close but no cigar. You see, while the prospect of pummeling this alloy slag into the asphalt was almost too tantalizing to pass up, I refused to sink to his level of abomination. Doing so would have made me no less despicable a subject and there appeared an alternative method to achieve the all-important coup de grâce that didn’t involve five busted knuckles and six months of community service. Having already ascertained that Iron Man’s shiny pugil was plated with the same less than precious metal as his impenetrable flight suit, I had unearthed his one true weakness and knew just how to expose it to maximum effect. By his side was a can of WD40 which I presumed he’d been using for lubrication. I flicked it out of his reach, lunged into the fray to retrieve Harley Quinn’s fully loaded flesh udders, and gave those beauties an almighty squirt of justice, directing the flow straight towards his swollen member.


Instantly he began to seize up as the lactose worked its way into his penile circuitry, which ground to a halt mere picoseconds from critical mass. Meanwhile, I was writhing around like a python on a bouncy castle, vein temples a gnat’s whisker from bursting, as I expressed a little dairy goodness of my own. By the time my mother arrived at the battlefield, little Timmy had already activated the escape pod and ejected himself from the blast radius. Regrettably for my nemesis, any pitiful attempts at bullet dodging now fell solely under his jurisdiction. Victory had been engineered, a number of past ghosts exorcised, and I’d proven myself the kind of death-defying desperado the world needs so desperately.


My only niggling uncertainty concerned whether or not I should utilize my seemingly unimpeachable super powers for the greater good. It was a toss-up for sure and I may have rescued the odd marooned kitten from its ill-considered tree pedestal from time to time, but there seem far more important matters to dedicate my time to than bailing out mankind each time some unruly criminal mastermind gets ideas above their station. Besides, if Iron Man 4 ever comes to fruition, I stand to make a cool $100 million net profit and that’s not to mention any merchandising dividends. Fuck it, if all else fails, I’ll buy myself a shiny new hand-glider and obtain my kicks the conventional way. Which reminds me, I do hope that ACME offer home delivery.


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