Meet Batman and Robin CrankaTsuris
Growing up as a child in the 1960’s, I looked forward every week to my favorite TV show: Batman!!! I loved the choreographed fights. I loved the tongue in cheek seriousness they had with their roles. I loved Alfred the Butler. I loved the Bat Pole. How neat was that! All they had to do was slide down a pole to the Bat Cave, and they came down perfectly dressed for action. Their hair was perfect. No stomach upset going down the pole. It did not seem to make them sweaty. Their clothes were perfectly cleaned and ironed. Even more cool was that they never had to worry about what happens if they go out chasing the villains of Gotham City, and they ended up late for dinner.
But, while I did love the show, it was still a bit traumatizing for me. Every week, the Dynamic Duo located the villains in some warehouse along the river. They jump in and start a fight with all the goons the star villain had on retainer, and just when you thought the last goon was done, down comes the net. Batman and Robin are trapped.
We then are presented with the next scene, and Batman and Robin are tied up to a conveyer belt which either will go into this saw machine to cut them nicely in half or they would get dumped in a vat of boiling oil.
This is not a pretty picture for an eight-year old’s heroes. During this time, Robin is freaking out.
“Holy Death Trap!! Batman!!!”, Robin cries.
The announcer then raises the question of what the next week may bring. Will Batman and Robin end up as Superhero Tempura? Stay tuned. Same Bat Time, and Same Bat Channel.
I wait anxiously for the following week to arrive, worried about the Dynamic Duo. The show begins with Robin, once again, freaking out. However, Batman reminds Robin that he happens to have a Utility Belt. He always manages to get a hand free because Super-Villains are never good at tying people’s hands up. He gets some awesome tools from his utility belt. I do mean an awesome tool. He could pull out some remote control device that is in sync with the conveyor belt and shut down the belt. We are really talking about cool 21st Century technology back in 1968.
A feeling of relief came over me, but I was somewhat disturbed, especially after going through a few villains over the course of a season. Why is it that Batman always had a Utility Belt? Robin never had a Utility Belt. Even to an eight-year-old, it seemed really irresponsible for Batman not to provide Robin, a teenager who has to miss school, with a Utility Belt. Batman spends millions of dollars on that fancy Bat Cave and the Bat Mobile. Yet, he could not afford to get Robin a lousy Utility Belt. How much does one cost? No more than $15. He probably can get a used one for $10. Batman is just a bad employer. He did not even bother to get health or life insurance for Robin.
They do not tell you about this stuff, but it is all true. We never want to tarnish the reputation of our heroes.
As the season went on, there was another thing about this show that really bothered me. They paraded one villain after another, and they all did the same thing. With the Joker, it was the net. With the Riddler, it was the net. With the Penguin, it was the net. Cat Woman had a net. The Mad Hatter, the Black Widow, and King Tut all had amazing nets. The only villain without a net was Mr. Freeze. Mr. Freeze would freeze them. Yes. What a surprise that was!
So, it was perfectly excusable with the Joker in Episode 1, and maybe even with the Cat Woman in Episode 3 for Batman and Robin not to be too worried or concerned about a net. They are young, and they do not know any better. Nets are probably a problem for older superheroes anyway. However, after a while, especially when they representing themselves as professionals, and they keep getting trapped in nets on a regular basis, they absolutely need to look up and check to see if there happens to be a net ready to crash on their heads.
You mean to tell me that Alfred could not have warned them as they were leaving the Bat Cave. “Watch out for the net, Master Wayne!!”
Thankfully, these shows provide great lessons for our CrankaTsuris practice. Ask yourself how many times you had a CrankaTsuris, and the only reason you had one was because you did not have your Utility Belt. Ask yourself what you would have put in your utility belt. Here is an easy one. You have a CrankaTsuris because it is hot, and you are really thirsty. The Utility Belt could have been a bottle of water.
Here is an even better one. There is a pandemic going around, and you end up getting sick with a mean virus. That will give you a really bad CrankaTsuris. Now, if you only had a mask tucked inside your utility belt!!
While we are on the topic of pandemics and viruses, and the CrankaTsuris they cause, Batman and Robin remind us that we should always look up. We learn not only from our own mistakes but the mistakes of others as well. There are many heroes out there who forgot to look up and got trapped by the net. They did not have a utility belt to save them.
But, we watched the show, so when we go down the Bat Pole to the Bat Cave, we can be ready and prepared. The Joker won’t have a chance.
By the way, Batgirl always wore a utility belt.