Monday, January 18, 2016

Blue Collar Batman


Don't talk to me about Batman. You didn't know him. I did. I used to help him work on the Batmobile weekends. Sometimes, when crime was slow, we'd sit on the stoop, drink a beer or two, and just shoot the breeze. He was an okay guy, Bruce was. Big Packers fan.

All that bull about him being rich? C'mon. When was the last time you ran into a billionaire volunteering in a soup kitchen, much less putting his life on the line to save regular people? Batman was blue collar to the bone. Lived in a third-floor walk-up near the El.  Worked on the docks when that was available. Took temp jobs when it wasn't.

The Batmobile wasn't like what you see in the movies, either. It was a '57 Chevy that he spray-painted a flat black. I helped him do that, a long time ago, before people used respirators. God knows what the stuff I inhaled has done to my lungs. It was a rush job because there was something big going down that night, and when Bruce put on his costume and jumped behind the wheel, we discovered we'd covered the headlights too. Later, we laughed about that, but it wasn't funny at the time. You shoulda heard us cussing as we scrapped off the paint.

Old Bruce died in '78. Lung cancer. He always said the cigarettes would get him in the end. It really came as a shock to those who knew him. We all thought he'd last forever.

Like I said, a real sweetheart. One time, when I was out of town and my mother's toilet overflowed, he came right over and fixed it for her. Wouldn't take a penny for it, though of course Mom offered. That's just the kind of guy he was.

His real name was Waynzowski, by the way. He was a Polack. But we never held that against him.



Sandy said...

A wild retelling of the Batman legend. Hmmm, maybe we should take another look at the Wonder Woman story. What,not really a princess? I'm crushed. Worked at a Playboy Club? It must have been fun to date a girl with her own invisible airplane, but beware of that golden lasso that makes you tell the truth!

Joe Stillman said...

Thanks, Alfred.

Michael Swanwick said...

And the prize for best blog post response so far this year goes to... JL STILLMAN! Take a bow, JL.