Monday, September 06, 2004

73. Dick

Tonight I witnessed two things I never thought I'd see: one of Gotham City's wealthiest citizens and its most famous mystery crimefighter both getting read the Riot Act by their manservants.

Let's just say Alfred was none too pleased with either Bruce or Batman--or me, for that matter--when he learned that we'd spent the last five nights out in the woods at Bruce's Toth County cabin, in no danger whatsoever.

Well, I guess technically I was in quite a bit of danger at various points, if you count scaling tall trees, being submerged in Lake Kane, trying to break free of various mock torture devices, being buried alive for the better part of an evening, testing out a new flameproof cape the hard way, and so on. It was all part of another intensive training weekend, and I guess B didn't bother to inform Alfred of that fact.

Hell, he didn't even bother to inform me. When we hopped in the "Bat-mobile" last Wednesday night and buckled our safety belts, I was fully expecting that we were racing off to bring the Tempest--a.k.a. Phil Farnish--to justice. If I'd known what Batman actually had in store for me, I would have at least packed a toothbrush.

It wasn't all training exercises for the two of us, by the way. The Wayne "Cabin" puts most of the finest homes in GC to shame--complete gym, wave pool, hot tub, sauna, fully stocked bar and pantry, you name it. And I don't really think I've ever seen a country cottage with such an elaborate master bedroom.

Not that I got to see much of those amenities. Most nights I had to spend outdoors, tied to a tree or chained to spikes on the ground, sometimes in the pouring rain, and obliged to find the one and only way to free myself if I was ever gonna get a decent sleep. I usually did, although Friday evening I never quite figured out how to extricate myself from a twenty-foot hole in the ground (and to think the proper tool was on my belt all along!).

The first night I made my way out of the trap du jour, which involved dangling upside down by one ankle, I walked into the cabin dead tired at 3 a.m. and suddenly realized I had no idea what the etiquette was regarding sleeping arrangements. I wanted more than anything to creep into that master bedroom and join Bruce under the covers, but the door was closed, and something told me not to open it. I picked a spare bed down the hall and was dead to the world until something that sounded like a fire alarm woke me up three hours later--yet another drill, this one requiring me to locate and free three small children (actually dolls) from a simulated burning building.

Enough of this talk. Time to make nice with Al and then--believe it or not--head out to catch the Tempest for real this time. No rest for the weary in this world.