I am Batman
But my groin still hurts.
Tracy and I babysat for some good friends of ours who have a 2-year-old (Lucas) and a few-month-old (Ryan). I’m not too good with ages, and I figure most guys aren’t so one kid could talk (though not perfectly) and run around and stuff and the other could sit up and eat, but couldn’t stand on his own without the aid of a table. Both of them are cute as can be and very well behaved.
When we showed up for the gig, we found another boy around the same age as Lucas, though probably a little older because he was bigger. He was Lucas’ friend and his name was Ty. First, a funny Tracy-esque tangent about that… At the end of our time with the boys, I was coloring with them and showed them how to trace their hands with Crayons. First I traced Lucas’ hand and wrote Lucas on the palm so he could show his mom. Then I traced Ty’s. Without even batting an eye I wrote “Thai” on the palm. I’ve never been much of a speller, but it cracks me up to think the parents are going to get home and the boys, who were given direct instructions by me to show their parents their hands, were going to see I had written “Thai”. Ah, Quacumque Sunt Vera, Northwestern.
Back to the story. At one point early on in our babysitting, the boys and I were sitting at the lunch table waiting for Tracy to slice the pizza for us. To pass time and quiz the boys, I pointed at Tracy and said, “What’s her name?” Both Ty and Lucas looked at each other and then agreed on “Ms. Tracy.” It was quite cute to see two southern gentlemen in the making. Here comes the good part: Tracy asks the boys, “Who’s that?” and points at me. Lucas quizzically puts his hands out to the side and says, “Who?” Ty responds, “That Man” and points at me. At the time, I found it funny to be called a man, but I find what comes next even funnier. Lucas, having misheard Ty’s slightly strained English, looks at me wide-eyed and with a sweet southern voice that got progressively higher as he asked me a question says, “Batman?”
Now, had I known what would transpire the rest of the day ahead of time, I would have definitely answered differently and said, “No, actually it’s Chris, but people call me Disco.” But I was assuming he was just repeating what Ty said and was asking “that man?”, so I immediately said yes. Lucas’ eyes got huge and his legs start to kick in his high chair in excitement. At the point I realize what just happened and I understand why, I could sense how thrilled he was. He said “‘Batman’, not ‘That Man'”. It was funny and flattering for me, and for him, how cool was it to have Batman come to your house and babysit you? Again, had I known what was going to ensue, I would have put an end to it right there, but I didn’t know and besides, how can you let the kid down at this point? He couldn’t even eat a piece of his pizza, he was so excited to get to play with Batman.
The Dark Knight
We go out to the front porch area and start to play on their Big Wheels. The two boys were having a blast riding their tiny cars between Ms. Tracy’s and Batman’s legs. Lucas was so excited to be playing with Batman he began calling himself Spiderman to not be outdone with superpowers. After a short stint on the porch for Ty–after all, I’m pretty sure he knew it was just Ms. Tracy and Mr. Chris–he returns back inside and leaves Lucas and I outside. Lucas asks me, Batman, to ride the Big Wheel with him. He gets on his bike and, for some reason (common sense does not come standard on a Bat Suit, I guess), I try to sit down on the other Big Wheel, though it’s really just one of those mini-Big Wheels made for toddlers. I put my butt down on the tiny seat and at exactly the moment my hands come off the ground–where they had been supporting my weight–and move them towards the handle bars to try to steer, the axle snaps and the car breaks in half. Lucas whips his head around to see what Batman is doing to his toy to find me bent over at the waist with the steering column of the Big Wheel lodged directly into my groin. When the axle broke, my weight shifted forward and my momentum was stopped by a 2-inch-wide plastic nutcracker. At this point my eyes are protruding from my head, and though I don’t think I could see out of them, I could feel the presence of Lucas wondering with amazement what trick Batman was pulling. The only trick I had in mind was to refrain from swearing and crying as the steering column made its way deeper into my personal space (I have a rip in my jeans from the accident proving the pinpoint location and force with which I was Big Wheeled in the nuts). I peeled myself off the pavement and out of the grasps of the plastic groin-shot toy and began the slow process of walking off the pain. You know how there are certain walks that are unmistakable? Like when it’s raining everyone lowers their head just a bit and kinks their spine forward at the neck and raises their eyebrows and walks a bit hunched. Well there is a groin-pain walk that involves short strides, a mild squint and a green-tinted face that Batman perfected yesterday. Perhaps concerned, but most likely just curious, Lucas ran over and tapped me on the hip and said, “Batman” and pointed at his Big Wheel. I tried to say, “Sorry buddy,” but all I could muster was a wheeze out of my mouth.
The real Batman does not get taken out by shots below the belt. He probably wears a cup at all times and if not, he’s Batman and doesn’t put himself in compromising situations like this. But after all, I’m still just Disco and my groin still hurts.