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It’s Hard Out There For A Gotham City Resident

In case you haven’t been reading the news lately, Batman’s been holing up in Metropolis where he’s engaged in a bro fight with an all-powerful alien whose only weakness is an allergy to extraterrestrial rocks.

As a longtime Gotham resident —that’s me in the upper left corner, hanging out with some of my pals at a recent football game interrupted by a terrorist act— people keep asking me, “Do you get upset or worried whenever Batman leaves town?” My answer: Fuck. No.

My friends are always raving about how Batman protects the city. And that if it weren’t for him, Gotham would be controlled by an oligarchy of criminal masterminds, they say. Gothamites are so fanatic about Batman that they seem to have forgotten that if some wacko “took over” Gotham, the villain have to do much more than battle the Gotham police. He or should would also have to take on the National Guard and the FBI, duh. Batman zealots also ignore that their “caped crusader” has destroyed our city’s infrastructure, raised insurance rates, and is an inconsiderate prick who seems to have been raised by extremely wealthy snobs given how badly he fails to recognize that he’s in a rare spot in having access to what seems like never-ending funds and resources.

I get that some damage is inevitable in crime fighting, but that doesn’t give the Bat the right to destroy the whole damn city. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, when he was in car chase with the Joker a few years ago, he pretty much obliterated one of our city’s main passageways. Then, instead of just leaving his tank-like vehicle after it was damaged, he decided to blow the damn thing up.

DC Entertainment

His supporters say he just wanted to avoid leaving any evidence that could be tracked to his true identity. But that’s bullshit. There was a lot of material and serial numbers left in that wreckage and police still weren’t able to track it back to a specific person. Batman’s a very calculating guy and knew how to erase his consumer history without blowing shit up. He just blew it up because it felt right in the moment.

And then even after he destroyed his tank and morphed it into a motorcycle, he still decided to unnecessarily destroy people’s property. I bet like hell there was a path to get out of the tunnel, but he didn’t take time to think about that. No, no, no. He just shot off in a straight line and blew up every car on the road. And you want to know why I’m so furious?

BECAUSE ONE OF THOSE CARS WAS MINE, GODDAMMIT.

DC Entertainment

Which brings me to my next point.

You know how hard it is to get car insurance when your cars keep exploding?

Batman has damaged so many cars the past few years that he’s created something akin to a “preexisting condition” among insurance companies. Most insurers in our state won’t even cover Batman-related-damage unless you purchase a separate rider. AND EVERY DAMN MONTH THAT RIDER COSTS MORE THAN MY FUCKING PREMIUM!

Some people tell me, “If you are so mad about how pricey it is to maintain a car in Gotham, why don’t you ditch your car and rely on public transit?”

In a perfect world, that would be a fair point to make. Especially since I think American city planners have done more to destroy our environment than totalitarian leaders, oil companies, and all evil people combined by designing metro areas around an inefficient and deadly mode of transit that has sprawled our cities past the point of no return. Given how I feel about the evils of the America’s inexplicable reliance on the automobile, I would love to sell my car and take public transit to work.

Except there’s one thing that’s stopping me from doing this.

In his battle with Ra’s al Guhl, BATMAN DESTROYED OUR FUCKING TRAIN SYSTEM.

DC Entertainment

Since he’s destroyed our train system, damaged scores of roads and tunnels, and made it a living hell to maintain a car in the city, sometimes I believe there’s an X-Files-like conspiracy behind Batman’s actions where car insurance companies pay him based off how much damage he does to our city’s infrastructure.

That might not make any damn sense to most people. But neither does a psychotic vigilante having access to such expensive gear and top-grade weaponry. If the car insurance companies aren’t supply Batman with revenue, who the hell is? God knows our city has no budget given that it’s always trying to patch up everything he destroys. The mafia has money, but paying Batman would be self-defeating for them. The only other figure that has unlimited funds in our city is Bruce Wayne, but he’s too busy running a multi-billion dollar company, racing Lamborghinis, and having threeways with beautiful European women to devote time and resources toward fist-fighting lunatics in makeup.

Regardless of whoever is supplying Batman with his cash, I’m glad that son of a bitch isn’t around right now. I hope he stays in Metropolis forever.

But there is one thing about Batman’s stay in Metropolis that actually has me worried. Metropolis has their own nut, some douche in red cape who looks like a journalist that lost his glasses, who might inspire others to take up the “superhero” cause.

After Batman arrived in Gotham, scores of aimless middle-aged men who couldn’t afford a sports car to sedate their midlife crisis turned to vigilantism as imitator Batmans. Once Batman and Superman drop their grab-ass façade, it’s very possible that they’ll join forces, which could inspire all sorts of socially-undesirable costumed nerds to come out of hiding. If this ever occurs, pray like hell these jackasses don’t form a league of some kind.

Ross Benes (@rossbenes) is working on a book about indirect relationships between sex and society. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Deadspin, and Slate.

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