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Subject: An exhaustive catalogue

Monty Don
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Date Posted: 12:56:18 08/13/03 Wed

...of what's wrong with the Duke "The Man" Flincher story.

Alright so I know the webmasters asked not to be pestered about this as they;ve already sussed the story's flaws. And hey, who cares if it's true, really. But I thought I would start some kind of record of what exactlydoesn't add up in the story of the day Duke "The Man" Flincher tried to fly.

1. How the hell did anyone so mental get a cool (and respect-laden) nickname like "the man"?

2. Why does his brother call him "Flincher"? Seems a bit impersonal, and odd given that his brother, too, is called that.

3. Not a watertight story-buster this one, but his landlord says that his presence on the roof "dsturbed the other tenants". This suggests that he lived in an apartment block, or similar. But earlier, the story refers to him being on the roof "of his house" which does not imply a building which he and his family shared with other tenants. IF he did live in a building which had several tenants, one might expect it to be rather too high to jump from (see the next point). Of course, Lou Martin might be his *former* landlord - but he's not credited as such.

4. Most American houses, in that land with so much space, have front gardens. The ones that don't tend to be in towns and are usually two or three storys high. This makes it unlikely that Flincher could've jumped from the roof of his house onto Jason Crichton, assuming that the lter's pensioner-bothering was taking place on the pavement by Flincher's house. It'd either have been too far away, or too high a drop for Flincer to survive sufficiently uninjured to restrain Crichton until the police arrived. it's possible of course that he lived in a bungalow with no front garden. It just doesn't seem likely.

5. Isn't it inherently unlikely that a youth arrested for harassing an old woman would give an interview, with his name, about the incident? Ok, so he may have been exonerated after the fact. But, assuming that this story of Flincher's batlike rescue swoop didn't come to the reporter's attention until after Flincher's death, how did the reporter get his name, to see an interview? Are the American police in the habit of handing out to reporters the names of people they have wrongly arrested for crimes they didn't commit? It's possible of course that the reporter gathered this information closer to the time of the pensioner-saving incident; that this incident itself was reported in the papers and that V
Crichton's thoughts were recorded then; or that someone in the police tipped off the reporter after Flincher's death, and gave him Crichton's details.

6. Wouldn;'t he have been oing rather too fast by the time that he passed the 62nd floor for the witnesses therein to note that he threw out his batarang? After all, they would not be expecting him, so they would have been taken by surprise by the man plummeting (at damn near 120mph, probably) past their window. If they were able to assimilate any visual information about what he was actually doing, before he plummeted out of sight, then they should probably be flying fighter jets with those reactions. Not pushing paper in an admittedly probably quite cool office.

7. The big one - the fact that he was so keen on "maintaining his secret identity" sits oddly with the fact that he used to stroll around (and jump off) his own house in batman gear, in broad daylight. OK, so he was mad. He might have been under the impression that so long as he refused to answer to "Duke Flincher", nobody would draw any connection. But it would be interesting to know - did he do EVERYTHING bat-related under this pretence of identity? When he went to Mr Hartsmith's pet store and asked to buy bats, did he propose to use Duke Flincher's credit card? And why was he writing all the time to the TV networks if he didn't want anyone to know that Flincher was batman? Even if he was purporting to be writing as batman himself, he presumably gave an address or some other form of clue to his real identity, otherwise how would the networks have known it was him? Perhaps in his strange mindset, it was acknowledged that Batman and Flincher lived at the same address, just not that they were the same man. But something ain't right.

8. Why does his wife refer to him hiding in a hole in "his" backyard, instead of "our" backayrd? Were they estranged? Is't her appraisal of him rather a harsh statement to be made publicly about a dead spouse?

9. Exactly how big was this hole in which he spent so much time? Big enough to keep bats in without them wanting to move to more salubriuous quarters? And he dug this in his backyard. Right. Doesn't having a back yard of his own indicate that he probably didn't live in a multi-tenancy building?

10. The Empire State building hasn't been the world's tallest since the completion of the late World Trade Center and Chicago's Sears Tower in the early seventies. Far before the invention of the internet, which makes it odd that what (presumably) purported to be a contemporary internet-based report referred to it in this manner. Probably just a mistake, but a reputble source would probably get this right.

11. I've been to the top of the Empire State, and there aren't usually policemen there (although there are armed security guards). That Flincher spoke to police before his fatal descent thus suggests that he hung around (atop the fence or whatever) long enough for them to arrive. Why did he do this? Apprehension? Sits uneasily with his alleged nonchalant confidence that he could fly like a bird.

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