The Prompt: Pretend you're a cartoon character. What type of character would you be? What would a day in your life be like?
I decided to go with one of my favorite cartoon series from my childhood, Super Friends. I watched the show religiously for awhile when I was in maybe third or fourth grade until Mom made me stop because she thought I was getting "too obsessed " with the show. I'm now wondering if she made me stop watching it because of how terrible it was! The ridiculous plot lines, stilted dialogue, and implausible and downright impossible things that happened in each episode were reason enough not to watch! It took some sleuthing since there are no full episodes that I could find on YouTube, but I finally found a batch of old episodes on the Daily Motion website. I chose the character of Batman and based my story on the episode "Terror from the Phantom Zone." You can watch it here if you've got 20 minutes to blow. In my story Batman is harried and overworked, and in that sense his super hero life feels familiar.
|Wonder Woman took this snap of us as she and Aquaman were getting ready to leave for the Panama Canal. We should have all gone. But you know the Super Friends. . .we always have to do things the hard way.|
One thing most people don't know about me is how much I rely on coffee. Alfred knows, of course. He makes sure I have a hot cup to go every morning. I admit to being more than a little jealous of my colleagues at the Hall of Justice. All of their super powers also seem to come with unlimited energy. Honestly, I don't think I've seen any of them sleep ever. Granted I'm not the only one on the the team who is an ordinary human but Robin is just a teenager and has no responsibilities at all. In my case, I'm an ordinary human with superhuman responsibilities. Running Wayne Enterprises alone should be a full time job, but then add on my never-ending responsibilities as a crime fighter and enemy of evil, and you're looking at four hours of sleep being a luxury. And I'm sorry but, writing up a few stories for deadline at the Daily Planet and whatever it is that Aquaman and Wonder Woman do doesn't even come close to what I have to deal with on a daily basis.
The day starts in darkness with me checking my e-mail and replying to Lucius on a number of questions that have come up at the meetings in London. By sunrise, I'm ready to get into the city. On most days I prefer to fly to work, just to avoid the traffic, but today I need to work on the drive, so I have Alfred drive me in the unmarked limo. The heavily tinted windows and unremarkable appearance ensure that no one will identify me entering the Hall grounds. I climb into the back seat in sweatpants and a t-shirt and spend the entire time on the phone talking to Lucius about the acquisition deal he is laboring over in London. Even with the early departure we hit heavy traffic coming in to the city, and I start getting text messages.
Robin wants to know if I'm going to pick him up. I tell him no. I don't tell him that the reason is because I can't work with his constant chatter and "Holy This" and "Holy That, Batman."
He wants to know how he's supposed to get to the Hall. I tell him to figure it out.
Next it's Superman, wanting to know when I'm getting in.
I tell him I'm stuck in traffic. Not all of us can fly.
He wants to know why I didn't take the Batwing. I tell him I have to work, that we're working on a major acquisition and I really should be in London.
Can't Lucius handle it? he asks. I ignore the text. I hate it when he nags.
I arrive at the Hall a little before eight. We pass through the security gate and down into an underground tunnel that takes us underneath the spacious grounds of the Hall and underneath the building to a large parking lot that only I really use.
I take the elevator up to my chambers in the Hall. Each of us have our own chambers and mine is the largest. It includes an office, bedroom, bathroom, and gym. I'm hoping to get in a good workout before dealing with whatever the villains have to throw at us today, but no such luck.
Where are you?!? Superman again.
I'm here. Going to work out. What's up?
Just get up here.
The guy gets on my last nerve sometimes. And it's especially annoying that he has this super nice, patient public persona. I'm not the only one who gets annoyed by his assumption that he's the defacto leader of our group. Wonder Woman will roll her eyes behind his back and Aquaman will gripe privately. I'm the only one who will give him some push back.
No workout today, I guess. It must be nice to have supernatural strength and never have to put in any work to stay in fighting trim. I try to tell Robin that he needs to stay on top of his fitness regimen but he tends to be lazy. Typical of kids these days.
I doff the sweats and pull on my unforgiving batsuit. My colleagues don't understand that if I let myself go, I won't be able to fit into this thing. The end of Batman will come with a whimper of too much fast food and not enough exercise. Next is the snug briefs, my gold batbelt, boots, cowl and cape. I'm ready for business. My stomach is growling and I a grab a yogurt out of the fridge and wolf it down in the elevator on my way up to the main level.
I arrive in the main hall and everyone else is already there studying the massive screen where three skeezy looking characters are laughing maniacally while a volcano erupts behind them. Everyone turns to look at me, as I join the group.
"Sorry, everyone. Traffic."
It turns out to be another long day. First Superman goes to Naples to take on three criminals from his home planet. They blast him with rays from a chunk of red kryptonite confusing his abilities and turning him into a rapidly aging old man. Aquaman and Wonderwoman face off against the villains at the Panama Canal but are thwarted and sent to the Phantom Zone, this fifth-dimension no-mans land somewhere in outer space. Theoretically I could have gotten some work done while first Superman and then Wonder Woman and Aquaman were off fighting the bad guys, but we were too focused on monitoring our colleagues progress to do anything else. I do manage to nuke a microwave meal for lunch. Robin and I are next up. We jet off to Switzerland to tackle the evil trio who are attempting to wreak havoc on an alpine village there. I'm hoping for an easy victory, which would allow me time to stop off in London on the way home, but given the quick dispatch of the first three, I should have known better. Instead we're both zapped into the Phantom Zone too.
I spend a good portion of the day languishing in the Zone, which I have to say is about as boring as it gets. Everyone is just a vague shadow of themselves outlined in dimly glowing light and our voices all sound robotic. There's some discussion--especially once the Wonder Twins and their monkey arrive in the Zone as well--over whether we shouldn't have just all gone after the villains together rather than going in pairs. We essentially chose to challenge these guys outnumbered. We all agree that the approach was inefficient and didn't make much sense. But then again, we often do things that don't make a lot of sense. No one seems to be able to explain why. Still the Zone isn't all that bad. Wonder Woman and I talk for a long time. It doesn't take long to get used to the robotic version of her voice and we spend a long time just catching up. You don't get that kind of time very often in the Justice League. It's also possible to sleep in the Phantom Zone and I take a long nap, which honestly is the best part of my day. You might ask if we weren't more stressed with the strong possibility of being trapped in the Zone forever, as the villains promised would happen. After all, only a decrepit Superman was left to take them on. But I've been in this line of work long enough to have learned that things always work out for us. In the end, we always win. Things do get a little hectic when some sort of phantom zone energy monster comes after us, but fortunately Superman somehow gets us out in the nick of time and beams us back to the Hall. After that it's a quick trip to Space Sector Seven where I have the personal privilege of banishing the Kryptonian villains back to the Phantom Zone for at least the next seven thousand years.
It is close to dawn the next day by the time we all gather around our conference table in the Hall. Superman has remarkably repaired all the crisis spots the villains had destroyed (and undoubtedly will receive all the credit in the press for defeating these goons. Not that I'm complaining of course.) and we wrap up our day with some foolish antics from that monkey that somehow got into the banana cream pie in my fridge.
I decide to catch a few z's in my bedroom at the Hall. No point in going home, as the next assault on the forces of good will likely come with the morning light.
Oh, and one last piece of good news. The deal went through.
Good work, Lucius. Now if Robin doesn't forget to pick up my coffee at Starbucks, I should be ready to face another day in just a few hours.