Monday, December 20, 2004



by Thomas Drury
Staff Reporter

The weather outside was frightful--and the scene indoors was even worse.

Despite temperatures in the single digits, approximately fifty mostly young protestors gathered outside the headquarters of WayneTech Industries Saturday night brandishing signs and chanting slogans decrying the company's indirect involvement in the Iraq War. They lit fires on the lawn, burned WayneTech CEO Bruce Wayne in effigy, and huddled together in the warmth generated by their property destruction.

Inside the building, over 200 WayneTech employees, their spouses, and other invited guests enjoyed a catered feast and open bar. The occasion? The company's annual Christmas party. Live music was provided by the Molehill Gang, one of Gotham City's most popular rock/rap ensembles.

The revelers remained mostly undisturbed by the chaos outdoors until the demonstrators began hurling stones and bricks through the windows of the ground floor of the high-rise structure. Panic ensued--and the chaos only heightened when the mysterious, little-seen figure Gothamites know as "the Batman" arrived on the scene.

Contrary to his image in the popular imagination as a defender of the weak, this Batman branished a gun and demanded that the party attendees hand over their wallets and handbags. Rather than attempting to quell the disturbance outside, as many expected him to do, the masked man invited the protestors to "join the celebration" before departing into the night.

CEO Wayne was unavailable for comment. The usually highly visible entrepreneur left the party in an ambulance sometime in the midst of the confusion, complaining of severe stomach cramps.

In a press release issued yesterday, however, Wayne promised that each of the employees in attendance would receive holiday bonuses in excess of the money stolen from them during the unfortunate incident, and he vowed that "this 'Batman,' or whoever he turns out to be" would be tracked down and brought to justice, adding that there was no hard evidence that the "real" Batman was involved. Witnesses confirmed that the costume of the intruder closely resembled the one which has been widely seen over the past few years, but varied from it in several key ways.

Police arrested twelve of the protestors, and the party continued late into the night. "This is the weirdest holiday party I've ever been to," observed Gerald Reedy, 27, an accountant for WayneTech. "And I used to work at a dotcom, so that's saying a lot."