Hell boy

Hands up everyone who’s ever been chased by an angry mob. Hmmm. Quite a few of you. OK then, hands up everyone who’s ever been chased by an angry mob who believe that you’re the spawn of Satan come to do battle with Jesus in an apocalyptic battle for the very Earth itself. Yeah, I thought so. That particular privilege was reserved for us Damiens in the early nineteen-eighties when one or other of the Omen films was on TV every Saturday night. You will doubtless recall the original, in which Gregory Peck took a very long time to accept that his adopted son’s biological parents were not poor unfortunates who couldn’t, for whatever reason, raise a child, but rather the Prince of Low Lighting himself and some trollop of a jackal he met in a nightclub. In fairness to Gregory, he eventually realised his mistake and went to the kitchen drawer for the Seven Daggers of Meggido. When push came to stab, however, he was unable to do the necessary and before very long there was a sequel. Damien: Omen II, they called it. Oh-oh, I thought. Sure enough, someone at my school noticed that by merely inverting the M in omen, you could make the word Owen. And what did those Roman numerals represent if not the number 2, which is nothing more than a backwards letter S, squashed a bit? The evidence was overwhelming. The antichrist was alive and well and sitting not ten feet away with an E.T. flask and a Wagon Wheel. Cue chase music and a lunchtime spent running eight feet in front of the aforementioned angry mob. It wasn’t so bad, really. Once they’d cornered me and established, with some violence, that my scalp was free of little sixes, they lost interest quickly and permanently. I was one of the lucky ones. Some of my classmates had even more unfortunate names and endured sheer hell throughout their entire primary school careers. Poor old Gareth Vader … I wonder where he is now.

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