By Raymond Duck
I’ll never forget the first time I watched Iron Man. I had just brought the cat back from the vets after his operation and we were both feeling drowsy and irritable. I had a heavy cold and he was tranquillised into a big furry mess. We sat together in a state of sedated serenity while watching Tony Stark sip whiskey in the middle of war-torn Afghanistan. We looked at each other and sneezed in unison. For more reasons than one, I was glad I had some tissues handy.
Just a few minutes later, when that Iron Man prototype emerges from a cave, gets shot a billion times by evil bastards who might be Islamist extremists of some kind and then says: ‘my turn,’ before burning them all up with his napalm and rockets from his metal arms, I rubbed the cat’s head so hard he was actually sick on my legs. It is a testament to this film’s editing, lighting, cinematography, directing, acting, special effects and catering that I waited another hour before I wiped it up with an old tissue that had hardened in my pocket.
We’d both been struggling to stay awake up until that point – the plot about Stark building weapons for Toys’R’us or something being too much for our foggy heads to follow – but that particular scene made the cat meow a war cry and raise both his paws in the air. We now watch Iron Man every single day, and it is only just occurred to me, after the latest viewing, that the film is even better than I previously thought.
The cat loves Pepper Pots, and Jarvis, and Jeff Bridges on a segue. He openly licks his neutered ball slit at Faran Tahir’s evil overload bit and he once coughed up a fur ball when Terrance Howard was drinking saké on a aeroplane. Although we rarely see the whole film these days, we always wake up to the bit where Iron Man eats a pizza. That is my favourite scene – and the cat’s. The vet has told me to stop feeding him cheesy, tomatoey bread, but what does he know about film?
I’m so inspired by Iron Man’s life-affirming themes that I’ve even taken to dressing up as the character. I frequently put on the tin foil arms and leg tubes and settle down with the cat on my oven tray lap, while contemplating the sociological critique that runs through the narrative like a tapeworm through feline bowels.
And I’d be lying if I said haven’t made little tin foil legs and a metallic segmented tail wrap for the cat. Once he he gets sufficiently fat and unable to run away, I’ll film Iron Cat. (I’ve got some cool clip-on red and gold ear armour made out of coffee pods.)
We’ve discussed it numerous times now and it’s quite clear that he sees himself as a bit of a star, as evidenced from the amount of self-fellatio he performs in front of my mother in-law. This morning, I looked out of the back window and saw him surrounded by birds. He was standing up on his entubed hind legs and clearly trying to say ‘my turn’, before burning all of the flying rats with his imaginary flamethrowers.
My cat thinks Iron Man is the best film ever made.