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Tech Decay


once state of the art

only picked-clean bones remain

the fate of all tech

Found Objects


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silently spin tales of yore

eloquent earth tones

Batman Joke Circa 1967


I once heard a joke in my fourth grade classroom. The story around this joke, in its entirety, is embarrassing to me, but the amusement factor is such that I’m going to post it anyway.

 

I begin with some background…

 

I have always been a fan of super-hero-related TV shows and movies. It was no surprise that I enjoyed Batman, starring the late, great Adam West. I was too young to understand the campiness of the program. I was annoyed if my father made negative comments. To me, it was high drama, and bringing bad guys to justice was serious business, and I bristled at any disrespect shown towards the caped crusader. Every week, I dutifully tuned in to the same bat-time and the same bat-channel.

 

The other thing I want to say is this: the era in which I attended grammar school was before sex education, yet ironically I got most of my information at school. And details, and by that I mean ”accurate“ details, were sorely lacking in what was disseminated amongst boys on school playgrounds of the 1960s.

 

I was painfully shy, very nearly special-needs-level naive, and at the very bottom of the informational food chain. And the tidbits of data I accumulated were gleaned mostly from dirty jokes. 

 

So, here’s what happened. One day, in fourth grade, while lining up for lunch, a new joke moved through the line of kids like proverbial wildfire. 

 

Here it is:

Batman and Robin are in the batcave.

Batman: ”Robin, Batgirl is pregnant.“

Robin: ”Holy rubbers, Batman!“

Batman: ”Right again, Robin.“

 

Key the uproarious laughter.

 

I joined in, however, I didn’t get it. At all. 

 

What the hell did “rubber” have to do with Batgirl being with child?

 

At the earliest opportunity that presented itself, I asked a friend—who I was fairly certain wouldn’t turn town crier and announce my ignorance to the entire student body of Emerald Foothills Elementary School—what ”a rubber“ was. He matter-of-factly told me that it was a product used to prevent pregnancy.

 

Of course, I knew what the substance ”rubber“ was, for crying out loud, but the only examples I’d ever seen were bicycle inner tubes, tire patches, and the like. My imagination ramped up, trying to figure out how to wrap a hunk of rubber around the business end of the urinary tract. How did that work? Perhaps rubber had some sort of magical/medicinal properties that, nah, I was stumped. 

 

Thus began a quest to understand what this product was in order to understand what must be a truly hilarious joke.

 

And then, after transferring to Saint Genesius’ Parochial School, I came into the sixth grade classroom one day with some buddies and found a crudely drawn illustration on the blackboard. Though primitive, it came complete with labels. Mystery solved. Always a visual learner, I suddenly understood the structure of the product and its function. Armed with my newfound enlightenment, I analyzed the joke. Robin was saying that had the use of this particular product been implemented, Batgirl would not be in her current situation. Thus Batman’s reply, ”Right again, Robin!“ made perfect sense. 

 

So, I thought, I now get the joke; however, disappointedly, it was not very funny. 

 

As the years went by, every once in a while, I’d dust off the old memory and replay that joke in my head. It never got any funnier.

 

Fast forward to about three weeks ago. I was regaling my sons with tales of my youth—you know, “the olden days.” And I told them the Batman joke. Nathan paused a moment, then said, ”Oh, I get it. Holy rubbers! Ha ha ha!“

 

Boom! I got the joke.

 

Fifty years later.

 

All I can figure is that as a boy, I put all the emphasis and effort into understanding what the item in the joke was. That became my sole focus—not plays on words, double entendres, or anything of that nature. And through the years, when I’d think back on the joke, I continued to hear it as a child. But when my son repeated the line out loud, I heard it for the first time as an adult.

 
Or it could be that I’m incredibly slow. And I mean slow to the point where it could be considered a super power.

 

Regardless, the whole thing is wacky.

 

To be more precise…bat-wacky.

 

 

Post-it Note Gallery #3

At work, we have a Post-it note art contest approximately twice a month to coincide with our department meeting. Our boss suggests a theme each time, and we paste our note onto a little ready-made frame that hangs on the wall outside the meeting room. Occasionally, I think my offerings are blog worthy.

 

The theme for this one was: 

Create your own candy bar.

Writing Update #3


Some thoughts about my current writing project…

 

Still writing away. I sped through the beginning of the latest “part” in order to get to what I really wanted to write about. A total rookie move. So, per a recent discussion with my writing partner, I’m backing up, slowing down, and probably will split it into two parts.

 

Reminds me of an anecdote about legendary screenwriter Howard Koch expressing his concern to the great Michael Curtiz that the script for Casablanca was being written so quickly that it wasn’t making any sense. Curtiz, the film’s director, is supposed to have said, in his heavy Hungarian accent, “ Don’t worry…I shoot so fast, nobody vill notice.”

 

I’ve enlisted the help of an old friend to paint a cover for the story. I drew the hero, as seen above, so we can get an idea of what he might look like. I’m going to tell the artist to think of actor Clint Walker (Cheyenne, The Dirty Dozen) for the face, and athlete and actor Mike Henry (Tarzan) for the body. That should do it!

 

And, as my mind tends to work, I’ve triggered thoughts of trivia. The figure of Doc Savage, pictured on the numerous Bantam paperbacks I collected as a kid, was based on the actor and model Steve Holland. And the face of comic book super hero Captain Marvel was based on actor Fred MacMurray. I could go on, but…I have a story to get back to.

 

Post-it Note Gallery #2

At work, we have a Post-it note art contest approximately twice a month to coincide with our department meeting. Our boss suggests a theme each time, and we paste our note onto a little ready-made frame that hangs on the wall outside the meeting room. Occasionally, I think my offerings are blog worthy.
 
The theme for this one was: 

What is your spirit animal?

Haiku Ewww

dreadful sign placement

after-dinner messaging

digestion not helped