Tag Archives: Batman

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That headline is not just clickbait my fine-feathered friends. Actor and professional handsome guy, Adam West, really did save this humble podcaster’s life.

As all of you reading this undoubtedly know, Mr. West played the title character in the superhero TV classic Batman which was first broadcast in the U.S. on the ABC television network in 1966.

The show was campy, ridiculous and a riot of primary colors (a fact I only realized much later in life since my family only had a black and white set) but as a kid, it was a half-hour escape from the realities of growing up in the South Bronx of the 1970s.

Now don’t go feeling bad for me, life was tough but there was hope. My family did their best to shield me from danger but I had to find my own way of dealing with those “mean streets”.

Imagination, fueled by Mr. West’s bat-shit crazy interpretation of the world’s greatest detective, became my weapon of choice.

Batman was both an escape and a coping mechanism for dealing with the devastation in the Bronx brought on by fires, drugs, and crime – the effects of which were clearly visible to even very young kids like myself.

I spent hours plotting elaborate scenarios where Adam West in his spandex, cape and cowl swooped in to defeat the gangs that frequently settled their beefs with guns and knives outside our first floor windows.

I was tired of having to hide behind furniture in hopes of avoiding a stray bullet listening to my mother and grandmother plead with my granddad not go outside. The man was huge and an ex-boxer who could beat the snot out of the gang-bangers with his fists, but he couldn’t stop a bullet or a knife.

But Batman could!

In my imagination, Batman would say to my abuelo in perfect Spanish, “Thank you citizen of Gotham for your bravery and courage but Robin and I will deal with the Savage Skulls and the Black Spades today!”

The Dynamic duo would then crash through the windows of our apartment, stopping to assure us that they would pay for the damage, and proceed to beat down both gangs. The music would swell and the fight graphics would fly, many with tildes and upside down exclamation points.

After vanquishing the street thugs, Mr. West as Bruce Wayne (wearing an ascot of course) would cut the ceremonial ribbon at the opening of a new playground or building built with his millions in the rubble-strewn lots that were dotting my neighborhood with increasing frequency.

Bruce and Dick Grayson (Burt Ward, natch) would then join the dads in a game of stickball and pound back a few Rheingold’s and cuchifritos.  The moms giggled about the handsome Mr. Wayne and made excuses to saunter by the men in their kitten heels, swinging their hips with just a little more enthusiasm than usual.

These fantasies helped ignite my love of comic books, which then fostered my love of books and of storytelling in general. New worlds opened up at school for me, keeping me off the streets. Watching reruns of Batman, reading or creating elaborate flights of fancy with my toys at home kept me safe.

And alive.

I always meant to thank him in person, at a comic book convention or in an interview for one of my shows, but kept putting it off. Sadly, I’ll never get that chance. The best I can do now is to thank him here and hope he gets the vibe wherever his soul may be residing.

My eternal gratitude to you for saving my life, Adam West. You were there for me as Batman when I needed you most and helped show me a different path. This is the first time in my life I’ve quoted Bob Dylan but it fits perfectly:

“I’ll remember you. When I’ve forgotten all the rest. You to me were true. “

I’m Batman

And lo, at about 11 o’clock at night, a cry was heard throughout the house.

My youngest son, downstairs, shrieking for my wife.

Meg was in a dead sleep when Dan’s blood-curdling screams echoed through the house.

A fire? A burglar? An injury?

Worse: A bat had somehow gotten into the house.

Dan was watching TV when he heard an odd noise that sounded like the heat coming on. But it was a rapid-fire clicking noise, like the baseboard heat was working overtime.

He put the light on and then he saw it:

Swooping and clicking, the bat made its presence known. And then so did Dan.

“Meg!-Meg!-Meg!-Meg!”

I got the call around 11:20 p.m. on my way back from work.

It left me very upset. Here I was, at least another hour away from home, unable to do anything to help as the “man” of the household.

Plus, to be honest, I’m afraid of bats and I did not want to admit that over the phone, fearing it would only make a bad situation worse.

I’ve had experiences with mice in the house. A bit unnerving, but not that big a deal.
mouse

And one time, living in New York, my late fiancée and I had a squirrel infiltrate our house. This led to a lifelong antipathy toward squirrels that fueled many practical jokes.

squirrel

We even had a bear stalk our driveway a few years ago.

Bear sighting 003

Bear sighting 004

But a bat? In the damn house? No, this was new.

Before I got home, Meg had called public safety and not one, but TWO, officers arrived.

And don’t you know that when they got there, there was no sign of the bat, which I had named “Buddy”?

For five full days, there was no sign of Buddy. We figured he had flown the coop, so to speak. (For the record, we are still not entirely sure how he got in.)

We thought we were in the clear, until…

Well, I’ll let Meg’s email take it from here:

Dan spotted a spider, which he was figuring out how to do away with when he looked toward the exercise bicycle and there, hanging on the pleated curtain, was Buddy.

He called me — not the bloodcurdling shriek of a few days ago — but enough to let me know that our friend had returned. I said, “What should we do?”

“Call public safety,” he said.

I did and then crept downstairs, towel in hand.

We waited maybe five minutes for public safety — it was the same guy who had been here before.

But this guy didn’t have the tennis racket. So all three of us waited for the other guy who did.

While we were waiting, I saw movement.

ICK. And then it spread its wings.

DAMN. It was a bigger than I thought. Wing span of maybe 10 inches, tip to tip.

And, of course, it launched. Dan screamed and we both bee-lined for the front door, leaving public safety man to do his thing.

A few moments later, he came out with the very same towel I had brought downstairs, and let the bat go, and the bat, of course, headed straight for us. We moved, pronto, out of its way.

Public safety guy just laughed.

So, Buddy is gone.

Or is he? Dan said that he thought the bat he had seen was much smaller….

So maybe this was Buddy’s mama, and we’re still hosting little Bud.

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