Timaru 'super hero' exposed as thief
Scooterman returns book borrowed in 1959AL WILLIAMS
Timaru's own super hero has been revealed to have been a boyhood thief.
Scooterman (aka John Watson) shot to fame this year with his mission of bringing a smile to people's faces while finding the time to sweep the streets and carry out other superhero duties on his trusty scooter.
His vehicle is equipped with two digital cameras, an MP3 player, mobile phone, broom, towel and spare underpants.
He is nothing like the fictional characters in comic books, but can be found rocking, rolling, and transforming in a phone booth near you.
However, The Herald caught him red-handed in a Timaru pub last night with a wartime book missing since 1959. Scooterman's childhood friend Russell McNee was just as surprised, as he was pleased to see the copy of V.C. Heroes Scooterman had borrowed from him in Standard 6.
The Herald inquired what else Scooterman might have stashed, but he was hesitant to reply.
''I might have one or two things at home,'' he said. ''I didn't steal the book, I just didn't give it back; I'm a slow reader.''
''He was silly enough to loan it to me.''
Scooterman said he had just finished reading the book this year.
Mr McNee said he would be too old when Scooterman finished the next book he had borrowed.
''I don't really like him that much; in fact I don't like him at all,'' Mr McNee joked. ''I was in the pub 20 years ago with him and asked where my book was.
''Now it's got to the stage where he will have to tell me what the book is about because I can't remember it.''
The men met when they were 7 years old and pupils of Waimataitai School.
''We spent four years together in Standard 4 and six years in Standard 5 together,'' Mr McNee joked. ''Scooterman doesn't look too bad for 70.''
Neither man would reveal his real age.
- © Fairfax NZ News