No, I Am Not Batman...!

Before anything else, I want to thank you all for being willing to spend part of your lunch hour in the conference room so that I could clear up something for everyone at once. I’ll try to be as brief as possible. I did consider sending a mass email, but I was concerned that an email might be misconstrued by some as “mysterious” and consequently only add fuel to the fire. So let me get right to the point now: I am not Batman. I am just wearing a Batman T-shirt today. If that dispels whatever confusion you might have had, by all means feel free to go and get something to eat at this point. If you want more details, however, please stay.

As most of you know, Batman is a fictional character. He’s a superhero, by virtue of the fact, as it were, that he fights crime, but not as the member of any authorized police organization. He’s a vigilante, and when he fights crime, he wears a costume. There are three very important pieces of information there, and I will explore each one in turn.

Batman is not real. I, on the other hand, am real. So I can’t be Batman. No one is actually Batman. Batman might seem real to you because you’ve seen a lot of him in recent years, but you haven’t ever really seen Batman. You’ve seen movies about him and maybe you’ve read comic books about him, but nobody has ever seen Batman in real life. But you’ve seen me, most workdays, here at the office, where our dress code is pretty lax and any one of us might come in on a warm day in jeans and a T-shirt, and today I thought it would be cool, in more ways than one, to wear my new T-shirt with the “Bat-symbol” on it. I never expected that by 10:30 a.m. all productive work would have stopped because of rumors that Batman was here.

Even if I were Batman—if Batman were real and someone or other were him—I would not wear a T-shirt with my superhero symbol on it to my day job, so to speak. In the comic books and movies, as you might recall, Batman—who is really Bruce Wayne, who is also fictional—only fights crime at night, for a variety of reasons I won’t go into just now. Bruce Wayne, as a rule, never appears in costume during the day. So, if I were Batman, I absolutely would not wear anything Bat-like during the day, in broad daylight.

And I definitely would not wear just a T-shirt with the Bat-symbol on it and nothing else. I mean, not the rest of my costume. Not that a T-shirt with the Bat-symbol would even be a part of any costume I might wear to fight crime, because a T-shirt offers absolutely no protection at all. A T-shirt doesn’t even offer protection from sunburn on one’s arms, much less from bullets or knives. But remember what I said about Batman never appearing during the daytime, anyway. So if I were Batman, I would absolutely not wear a T-shirt with the Bat-symbol on it to my mundane workplace, exposing me to danger by completely blowing my cover and revealing my alter ego as a fictional vigilante superhero, while offering me no protection from any physical threats because this T-shirt is made of 100% cotton and is, in fact, already fraying a little at the bottom hem, I just noticed.

I will now take questions, I suppose. Yes... Clark?

Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.

Read more humor here. Or read some fiction here.