Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Fabulous Adventures Of Wheelchair Man

Sometimes you paint yourself into a corner. I, like countless other parents around the globe, tell my children bedtime stories. And when I can't stand another Horrid Henry or Captain Underpants story I make one up with the help of Matty and Sam. By far and away the favourite of these made up bedtime stories are The Fabulous Adventures of Wheelchair Man, in which the eponymous hero and his two sidekicks, Speedster Sam and Destroyer, save the world and, not infrequently, the entire solar system. Wheelchair Man is a mild mannered father of two with a wheelchair that, at the press of a button, transforms into a flying, laser shooting Superchair. The boys, who chose their own hero names and powers, super speed and super strength respectively, assist their father in his missions to save the world and demand disabled access to the Fortress of Evil. All the adventures, alien invasion not withstanding, have to be fitted in around school and homework, or, as in the case of the current adventure, during school holidays, because saving the world is all well and good but if you can't read and write how will you be able to understand the instruction manual of a top secret space ship?

The stories have a somewhat eccentric narrative because both Matty and Sam like to fully participate in the telling, so anything from monkeys to red-armoured scorpion robots have to be incorporated. Matty, who has improvisational skills to dazzle Robin Williams, likes epic adventures with lots of battles and cliffhangers. Sam is currently most concerned with finding the exact right word to initiate the transformation from school boy to superhero. “Transformulation!” seems to do the trick at the moment. However, since each metamorphosis requires getting out of bed and spinning around whilst shouting the trigger word, we tend to limit the number of times school boy Sam is required to become Speedster Sam each episode.

Currently, the super team are on a remote tropical island helping a team of scientists to install 'the tower of electricity', which will help solve the worlds energy problems. They've already battled pirates and now, whilst exploring the island and rescuing a trapped monkey, have been caught in a deadly trap themselves. With Destroyer down a spike filled pit, Speedster Sam entangled in a net hanging from a tree, and Wheelchair Man faced with a ramp steeper than 1:12 (and a huge number of guns), can they escape? If yes, then how? Let me know, there are only a couple of hours until bedtime!