There's nothing like getting ready to leave a place to let you know who loves you. Yesterday, my boss threw a going-away pizza party for a couple of us who are leaving - on company time, no less. That's kind of expected at Independent Study, though. What's not as to be expected is Malia Beckstrand giving me the coolest going-away present ever: A book of the Batman dalies (1943-1946).
Why this gift is particularly appropriate requires a bit of explanation, even knowing (as you, my faithful readers, should) about my penchant for superheroes. It all begins almost a year ago, when work was just heating up at Independent Study. (Man, if I were any good at drawing, I'd make a comic strip of it with that kind of intro - curse my clumsy fingers!) As Rush approached, Independent's customer service department opened up a room in the basement which became affectionately known as The Batcave. A handful of CS people would head down there every day to work.
What was special about the Batcave (other than the cool moniker?) The computers were faster, the screens were bigger - their only problem was lack of access to things like the fax machine (and the acoustics, but there's not much you can do about that). A call came up from the Batcave - we need a Robin! Since I preferred to work upstairs (that acoustical issue drove me nuts when I went down there), I was only too happy to volunteer.
I began to throw myself into the role. Our inter-office instant messenger, Spark, allows for an avatar - the Boy Wonder quickly became my symbol. When I got to work or returned from my lunch break, I would announce that the Boy Wonder had returned to Gotham City and was ready to receive orders from the Batcave. It was really lots of fun.
Malia, being a frequent Batcave denizen, was the first to join my enthusiasm. Her Spark avatar quickly became Catwoman and a fast friendship was formed - not that we hadn't been friends before, of course. Working the 6:00 AM shift together for a while will make either fast friends or bitter enemies out of just about anybody. Ah, those were the days . . . but I digress.
Since moving to the Morris Center, the Batcave is now long in our past, but the banter continues. We often swap jokes and stories or provide an electronic shoulder to cry on over Spark, something which helps keep me relatively sane in my repetitive work. And now she gets me a great going-away present.
I've already learned a great lesson from the book. The most important thing in becoming a real superhero is - yup, you guessed it - long hours. For those of you able to read that, I salute you. For the rest of us:
Both their parents innocent victims of the guns of Gangland, Bruce Wayne and his young ward, Dick Grayson, have dedicated their lives to fighting crime. . .
Long hours of rigorous training in their private gym . . .
. . . And long hours of diligent study in their scientific crime laboratory . . .
. . . Have created those mighty champions of justice - - - Batman and Robin
. . . Symbolized by the hooded bat costume, designed to instill fear in the denizens of the underworld!
Speaking of long hours, it's time for me to get back to studying for finals. Watch for the thrilling adventures of Steve, coming soon to this blog!
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