Part 1: Cat-Tales
|What is the first thing that comes
into your heads when we mention the following word?
Now, expand your mental image slightly to encompass a room full of psychopathic criminals. Its not pretty is it.
We sat in a corner of the room, trying our best to make the best of a very bad situation.
All the usual gang was there - Jack, Harley, Eddie, Jervis, Jonathan, Ivy, ourself of course. We had tried to convince Selina to come - of course we had - we spent our life engaged in this hopeless enterprise. On this particular occasion she had muttered something about being busy - which was better than her usual derogatory remarks we supposed.
As usual, with hindsight, we had been inclined to agree with her and wish we had come up with some kind of suitable excuse.
Jack was up next in the game. Producing two ping pong balls from his jacket, he stuffed them into his cheeks, and managed to get a good two seconds into his Godfather parody before collapsing on the floor in a fit of giggles, spitting out the balls as he did so. Harley had joined him in the mirth, and the two had rolled about on Jervis' sky blue matted carpet (for it was Mr Tetch who was our host for the evening) laughing uncontrollably on the floor at their own wit.
The rest of us sighed and looked away.
Jonathan Crane stood up next. He managed to make the symbol for a film, his
hands artfully forming the camera and its rolling spool before Eddie piped up.
"'Scream!'" said Nygma, clapping his hands delightedly.
Crane shook his head smugly.
"Part two!" Eddie said, except it was so quick and so insistent that the words formed a blur. He glared around the room, daring anyone else to either defy him or beat him to this particular punch. We sighed. It didn’t take a man of The Riddler’s impressively high I.Q to work that one out. It was The Scarecrow for crying out loud! And he had done ‘scream' the last five times we had played, each time subtly changing it to become part 1, 2, or 3! We could just cry sometimes.
Jonathan sat down looking disappointed at the shortness of his turn. Nygma stood up and took his place in front of his captive audience, enjoying the limelight. His movements were theatrical and swift, the overall effect looking like a mix between ‘swan Lake' and a lorry jack-knifing itself across a freeway.
We were seriously considering suggesting to the assembled throng that we play Pictionary, or maybe even Gotham themed 'Clue', ("The Penguin, with the poisioned water supply, in the Batcave!") when we noticed out of the corner of our bad eye that Jervis Tetch was edging slightly uneasily on his ample rump towards the door.
We squinted, but even for our bad eye our vision seemed to be blurred. But then we remembered that we were still wearing the monocle from our, in our humble opinion, hilarious impersonation of The Penguin.
We threw it to the side irritably, where it landed with a tinkling smash, and laid a heavy hand on Jervis' shoulder. He turned with a look in his eyes like a rabbit with a pocket watch caught in the headlights. We shook our head at him, and mouthed something to the effect of "You aren’t blowing this Popsicle stand so easily, especially when it’s your own house party!" His posterior remained rooted to the floor.
We returned to our corner, passing Harley and Jack who were still laughing. We prayed for their immediate asphyxiation and then rested our head against the cold wall. We sighed theatrically, as only we can.
Sat with our knees up, our arms resting on said knees, and our head tilted to one side, we caught a glimpse of Ivy sitting equally bored on a sofa, idly swilling a half empty flute of champagne.
She caught a glimpse of us looking at her, narrowed her eyes, and slightly poked her tongue out of the front of her mouth at us.
We were aghast. We tried not to show it. We looked away coolly, inspecting the cracks on Tetch’s ceiling, reasoning to ourselves that the little flash of pink could well have been our imagination.
It would be just like her though.
A while back she and we had. a thing. Don’t you just hate that word? We often curse 'Friends' and shows of its ilk for bringing the word into common usage. Aggravatingly though it describes our relationship perfectly. We dated a couple of times, we watched a couple of sunsets together. we even hired out a Gondola for a romantic cruise through night time Venice.
One of the drawbacks of being a famous villain is that nearly all of your activities become nocturnal. It costs a fortune in carrots, we can assure you. As it happened, we also realised that most Gondoliers would not be too keen on taking the two of us out for a ride.
So we asked Eddie to do it.
OK, OK, that may have been a mistake, but we were blinded by. love we suppose. All we wanted was to make Ivy, or Pamela as her bed fellows are permitted to call her, happy. And he seemed the logical choice.
So madly in love were we that we didn’t even question when he appeared wearing a red and white striped vest and black trousers that left very little to the imagination. A straw hat balanced jauntily on his flame red hair, and he had even drawn on a small black moustache in what we were to eventually discover was (much to our amusement) permanent black ink.
His green question mark spotted facemask completed the picture. We must have looked a picture as we sailed down Venice canals, the four of us, us and Ivy cuddling as only lovers in Venice can, and Eddie desperately trying to steer and hum the song of gondoliers. Fortunately there was no-one to see us.
It was on that Gondola that Ivy and we shared our very first kiss - a moment that has been burned into our memory for its sheer perfection. Later, we became lovers in the traditional sense of the word.
We had never been happier.
But the relationship began to sour. We don’t know why - or maybe the reasons are too complicated and too long to replicate here. Especially as we are far enough off our original course as it is.
Where were we again? Aah yes.
We looked back at the spiteful wench to see if we had been mistaken. She caught our eyes, her eyes feline in appearance, and she bristled. and stuck her tongue out us more forcefully this time.
We couldn’t help ourselves. We stuck our tongue out back at her. Over the other side of the room we saw her bristle even further, and she made an L sign on her forehead and indicated to us.
By this point we were fuming with rage, and despite all of our instincts screaming not do so, we placed our thumb to our nose and waggled our fingers of the same hand high in the air, stuck our tongue out and blew.
With a noise like an elephant relieving itself of constipation, we waggled our fingers even more and continued blowing what English people call a raspberry, and a king size one at that.
The room had gone silent. Everyone was looking at us. Ivy smirked at our embarrassment. Even Jack and Harley had stopped laughing. They looked at the expression of embarrassment on our face though and continued laughing even more.
We shrugged apologetically.
We could have sworn we heard Jonathan muttering, "There’s enough material here for a confererence."
Before we could object to being the butt of a joke clearly ripped off from 'Fawlty Towers', there was the sound of the doorbell.
Skipping merrily away from the scene, Tetch grinned like a cheshire cat as he left the room.
Everyone remaining except Joker and Harley was still staring at us.
"What?" we said.
Suddenly, the door of the room burst open and Hugo Strange crashed into the room.
He tripped over the giggling Harley Quinn, who had somehow managed to spread her curvaceous body across the length of the doorway. He stumbled, landing flat on his face in a heap. She found this even more funny, and continued giggling.
Behind Strange, Jervis was shrugging apologetically. An incident occurred a couple of months ago at 'The Rogues' Scrabble Night' (tm), where a full scale fight had almost errupted when Strange claimed that gaylord was a legitimate word (a word that would have won him the game, over the furious Oswald Cobblepot). Ever since then Hugo had been banned from Rogue get- togethers. We must confess we were glad when he was barred. The man has body odour like fetid sweat socks.
In Strange’s outstretched hand was a newspaper. Jonathan Crane grabbed it and began reading.
"Catwoman purrs," he read. "They say God writes lousy theatre."