“I know it might seem like a really crap superpower, but believe me, it could prove to be the salvation of mankind,” declares thirty seven year old Albert Nackler, who claims to have developed the power to remotely wipe the beards from the faces of hipsters. “I know that I’ve only destroyed the one hipster bear so far, but with proper training to harness my new power, I’m sure that I can rid the world of them all.” Nackler discovered his bizarre power as a result of a long-running parking dispute with one of his neighbours. “The hairy peasant from number thirty nine kept parking in the space I rent in the council car park, despite the fact that his permit is for on-road parking only – I pay four times what he pays for the privilege of putting my vehicle in that car park, so as not to have to fight for a space on the street,” the Thatcham stationary salesman explains. “The bastard just sneered at me when I confronted him, claiming that he could park where he liked after six o’clock – which is utter nonsense. That section of the car park is clearly for permit holders only. All day. On top of his arrogance, he sported this ridiculous hipster beard. All straggly and unstyled, it looked like he had some kind of fungicidal infection on his face. For some reason, it enraged me beyond all reason!”

Nackler found himself obsessed with his neighbour’s unruly facial hair. “Every time I saw him, I just kept beaming the thought ‘You look like a hairy twat with that beard’ at him,” he reveals. “I kept doing it for weeks: whenever I saw him parking his car illegally, whenever I saw him with his motorcycle in pieces all over both his and his neighbour’s front path, whenever I just saw him walking back from the shops. After I while I could tell that he could feel the force of my thoughts – even when he had his back to me, he sort of flinched when I glared at him and beamed those thought waves at him.” As it turned out, Nackler’s thought waves were exerting a far more powerful influence than he had suspected. “One Monday, a couple of weeks after I’d started beaming those thoughts at him, I was amazed to see him on the street, beardless,” says a still astonished Nackler. “Only the day before I’d seen him swaggering around in all his hirsute glory – clearly, my anti-beard thoughts had become so powerful that his beard had fallen out overnight!” With the out-of-control beard had also gone the neighbour’s swagger. “I’ve noticed that he’s stopped parking his car anywhere in the car park, let alone my space,” notes Nackler. “And without that beard, he looks a total geek!”

Doubts have been cast upon Nackler’s superpower, however, with other residents of his street claiming that the disappearance of the hipster beard has a more mundane explanation. “The way I heard it, the hipster bastard’s employers told him in no uncertain terms that looking like a tramp didn’t conform to company dress code,” opines Tim Holes, from number twenty six. “I seriously doubt that Bert keep giving him dirty looks had anything to do with it. As for the hipster’s change in parking habits, that’s down to the local parking wardens keep ticketing him for parking without a permit rather than any kind of mind-bending superpowers.” Nackler, though, remains undaunted. “Perhaps he did shave his beard off himself – but if he did, it was under the influence of my mental superpower,” he says. “It’s clear to me that I need to develop my powers further – I need to be able to destroy those beards instantaneously rather than taking two weeks to make one fall out. I’m assuming that there must be some kind of superhero school like the one Professor X runs in the X-Men films – hopefully it will be local, as there’s no way I can get time off work, so I’ll have to take evening classes.”

Dismissing allegations that the destruction of all hipster beards is too trivial a mission for a nascent superhero, Nackler maintains that they pose a very real threat, pointing out that only recently Crystal Palace midfielder Joe Ledley was ruled out of Wales’ European Championship campaign when he broke his leg after tripping over his idiotic hipster beard whilst taking a free kick. “But surely, just from an aesthetic point of view, eliminating the unsightly hipster beard would be a worthwhile achievement?” he muses. “I mean, just why would anyone want to sport something like that on their face? I know that they think that it is some kind of fashion statement, but all it really says is: ‘I’m too lazy to buy a razor’. I can understand people wanting to sport well groomed goatees or natty, neatly trimmed nautical beards, but a hipster beard?” Nackler hopes that, once freed of their nit-ridden fur, their former wearers will be released from the curse of hipster-dom. “Perhaps they will return to being normal, productive members of society, content to just quietly get on with their lives,” he speculates, “rather than continually parading around with their ridiculous facial hair and fashion sense, which is clearly screaming ‘Look at me! I’m just so hip, cool and important!’ whilst never realising that they just look like tiresome twats.”

Nackler has even floated the idea that hipster beards might actually be some kind of alien parasite, possessing their human hosts. “Just think about it – you never actually see anyone growing one of the things,” he points out. “They just seem to appear on people’s faces, fully grown! Once they’ve appeared, the wearer starts behaving in a very inhuman fashion: wearing ridiculous hats, losing their fashion sense and generally talking bollocks. Could the hipster beard be the manifestation of some kind of alien takeover?” Surprisingly, Nackler’s theory has found support in some quarters. “I don’t think that there can be much doubt that the hipster beard is some kind of malignant alien lifeform, hell-bent on the destruction of mankind,” says Sylvia Plinth, chief correspondent of the Thames Valley Flying Saucer Gazette. “By latching onto the faces of young males, they aim to make them repulsive to women, thereby preventing human production which will inevitably result in the extinction of humanity, leaving the earth free for them to colonise. It’s a good strategy – as woman, my first thought upon seeing one of those abominable hipster beards is ‘I bet that’s crawling with lice, there’s no way I’m going near that thing’.” Nackler, meanwhile, is looking beyond his inevitable victory over the hipster beards. “Once I’ve rid the world of the hipster curse, I’ll need a new challenge,” he says. “Perhaps I could move on to the idiots who text or speak on their mobiles whilst driving and make them throw their phones out of their car windows.  Then shit themselves.  Now, that would definitely be doing humanity a service.”