Loser's Guide Loser's Guide

 Loser's Guide to Life

Thursday, July 02, 2009

At the Gotham City Hotel 

Robin decided to visit Batman in his rooms at the Gotham City Hotel. He found him watching TV and drinking beer.

“Cars for the Summer”, said Batman, mimicking the TV, “exploding with values.” He looked at Robin briefly. “Get you a beer. Oh, that is—d'you want a beer?”

“Sure. Thanks.”

Batman went into the kitchenette, opened the fridge, removed two beers and, as an afterthought, grabbed the J&B from the counter and returned.

“Thanks,” said Robin. They swigged away at their beers for a few seconds. Batman noted that he had one open already and quickly drained that. Then he said:

“So, I dunno. You're probably gonna need a little bit of cash. For going out with the girls and so on—”

“Well, not really.”

“Well, there is some money. I can have some put into your account. Soon. Never fear.”

“That's all right,” said Robin. “Everything's fine.”

“I've gotta—oh, my, what I've gotta do! Gotta go there, gotta go here. Talk to people. Get things moving on the old Wayne Industries front. Are you meeting any nice girls?”

“No, sir.”

“What about that—”

“I am thinking about Gotham City U. Maybe going next autumn.”

“Well, kind of—I guess you know—” and here Batman became side-tracked in contemplation, or in consideration of some half-eclipsed memory that demanded his reluctant attention for several seconds. Robin waited. At length Batman said: “Selling the house.”

“What—you mean—”

“Yeah. The house.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes. Robin went to the bathroom and came back with a tumbler, which he unwrapped and filled with a small quantity of J&B.

“I imagine,” said Robin, “it would be kind of hard to sell with a Batcave underneath it.”

“Batcave! Just pave it over, if I had my way. Of course, you'd know more about that than I. What's he doing in there?”

“I don't know. Just living there, I guess. He has it sealed off, you can't get in.”

“What, heat-vision, melted, fused door thing?”

“Some junk like that. Also he did some super-tidying.”

“Oh, aren't we sensitive to our surroundings! ‘Oh, pooh, what is this? Batman's empties! Feh!’”

Robin smiled. “Something like that.”

“That guy. Y'know, it's funny—just thinking back, here, if you'll indulge me—I thought, when I met the guy—you know, Superman! Compared to me, he had undeniable, ah—”

“Yeah, well, he's got powers and stuff, but—”

“No, no, to be fair, now, Dick: it's not just that, there's a certain, ah, ethical, if you will, envelope that goes with that. He does—or did—live up to it.”


“No, no, in no way can I reproach him, for all the grief he's caused—and not just to me—he remains a, ah—remains—certainly, y'know—”

“He's a mealy-mouthed hypocrite, Bruce. Come on.”

“That's a fairly large thing to say, Dick.”

Batman remarked, with some alarm, that Robin had turned his face away, probably to conceal his tears, and said:

“Well, for Goodness' sake, there's no reason to get upset, Robin. Really.”

“I'm sorry, it's just—just—”

“Well, buck up, is all I can say, old fellow. Good Heavens, you'd think someone had died!” After a moment, he added, “You remind me so much of your mother, sometimes. No, we'll be okay. A little setback, that's all. Nothing to worry about.”

When the crisis was averted, Batman said:

“Here, I've an idea: let's listen to Hank Williams.”

“You have your LPs?”

“I do indeed.” Batman knocked back the J&B, poured himself another, and then got up, making his way to the stereo and singing, very much in his own manner: “Cow's gone dry, and them hens won't lay...” He turned to Robin and continued, brightly, pedagogically, “...but we're still a-livin', so ever'thin's oookay!” He then attended to his stack of LPs, humming as he sorted through the Frank Sinatras and Tony Bennetts. Robin stood up and wandered over to the window.

Down below he could see Central Avenue, still very busy with taxicabs and limos, dropping off people or picking them up. He heard Batman fumbling with the stereo behind him and smiled, and said to himself:

“Superman, you cocksucking son of whore. You'll learn to curse the cunt that shat you out before I'm done with you, you miserable fuck.”



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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.