Here’s a new feature for you: Rejected! Part of being a writer means dealing with rejection, and there’s really only one way to do that: alcohol and bitterness. That might sound like two ways, but trust me, it’s just one. But when the hangover’s gone and the bitterness has cooled to a dull sense of misanthropy, what’s left? What do you do with a piece that was written for a market with a very specific voice and would likely never find a home anywhere else? You stick it on your personal blog, because damnit, there are self-set goals to meet and you’re going to be out of town in a place that might not have internet this weekend.
So, as you may have heard me drunkenly proclaim the other night, I’ve been reading a lot of Batman comics recently (this economic downturn has been hell on us all.) But what you didn’t know is that reading all those comics got me to thinking about our relationship.
We’ve been seeing a lot of each other recently, what with my not having a reason to wake up before 11:30 anymore, and some of our interactions have gone… let’s say, “negatively.” I’ve honestly lost track of the number of times you’ve pushed me out of the bar and told me never to come back (we both know you don’t mean it. I’m pretty sure I’m a solid 10% of the Old Pro’s business.)
And sometimes things escalate. There was that time you pulled me away from that blonde girl I was clearly hitting it off with and told me, “No means no, buddy.” I threw my drink in your face and you threw me face-first into the trash cans in the alley out back.
And then there was the time you broke up the fight that injured veteran was picking with me. I swear, sometimes I think I can still feel those three teeth you knocked out of my mouth.
But despite our differences, we keep meeting up. We keep coming to the same places, we keep putting ourselves in the same positions, and we keep doing the same dance. I’d never really thought about it before, but when I was reading “The Killing Joke,” it all became clear to me.
Brock. You’re the Batman to my Joker.
Think about it. On a slow night, who’s going to be the guy doing five shots of Jägermeister in ten minutes and boasting that he’ll kick anyone’s ass with one hand behind his back? When that guy reaches for a bottle and breaks it on the counter because the son of a bitch who accepted his boast is a cheating bastard, who steps in to put everyone in a headlock? When things get out of control, who’s taking action before the cops get called? Who’s the guy that’s always escaping just before the cops can arrive?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Wow, this guy’s crazy.” But, really, stop and think about it. I’ve talked with some of my friends who have seen you on nights when I couldn’t make it out to the bar, and they always tell me that you seem sullen. Depressed. They say, “He’s got this look to him like he’s wondering why he hasn’t made more out of his life.” But I know what it really is, Brock. You’re not depressed that you can only find part-time work as a bouncer; you’re sad because your sparring partner isn’t around. I know exactly how you feel on those nights, Brock. I feel the same way.
We need each other, Brock. Without me, your life would consist of a never ending series of nights spent ushering sad drunks into cabs and telling them to get home safe. Without you, I would probably drink until I blacked out, and historically that’s only ever ended with me waking up in a jail cell. I spice up your day-to-day existence, you keep me in check so that no one gets hurt (well, except for those teeth, but I really don’t hold that against you at all. Honest.) We’ve got a total Batman-Joker dynamic going on, and I, for one, cherish it.
I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is this: I put a slow-acting poison in one of the top-shelf vodkas. Anyone who drinks a shot of it will be dead by morning. Just to make things really interesting, I also snuck some into your water bottle while you were flirting with that girl with the purple hair earlier. But don’t worry! The antidote is hidden somewhere at Spanky’s, that dive on Broadway.
Now, I’m not a monster (and the game isn’t any fun if you die,) so here’s a clue as to its location: Why is a raven like a writing desk? Answer that and you’ll find the antidote.
Good luck, Brock! I’m looking forward to our showdown on the roof of the Old Pro!
Yours In Crime,
P.S. Do you like my supervillain name? I was thinking you could be the Brock of Gibraltar, but we can talk about it later on the roof.