Love Hurts1

1 This has nothing to do with the old Batman TV series. Why, the people talking could be anyone!

“Holy dangling intestines, Batman! Are you all right?”

“It’s nothing, old chum. Just . . . get me to the . . . Bat-Reconstruction Chamber.”

“Sure thing, Batman! We’ll have your molecules back in their original locations in no time!”

Silence.

Whirr. Click. Whirr. Grind. Click.

Silence.

“Ahh. Much better. It’s nice to be in one bat-piece again. Yet I can’t help feeling this . . . strange hunger . . . for the blood of the living.”

“Holy pennangalan, Batman! Have you always been able to detach your head and viscera and fly them around the room?”

“Yes, Robin. It’s been my . . . little secret.”

“Wow! It’ll be an incredible asset in our fight against crime! I’d better call Commissioner Gordon!”

“Maybe we’d better not tell him about this one, old chum. He might . . . take it the wrong way.”

“Good point, Batman. He might want to modify the Bat-signal to show the head floating above the bat-body . . . and that would give away our edge!”

Music. Spinning. The world blurs.

“Penguin! You . . . dastardly fiend! I won’t let you corrupt the youth of Gotham City!”

“Wark, wark, wark, wark, wark, wark, wark. Now that I’ve taken Elvis’ six-week correspondence course on rock and roll guitar, I’m no ordinary Penguin — I’m a superstar!”

Strum.

“Robin! Quickly! The bat-earplugs! Before his devastating music proves the end of us!”

“Holy hip gyrations, Batman! Take this bat-blindfold, too!”

“Wark, wark, wark, wark, wark. If you can’t see or hear my fine fishy flunkies, you can’t fight them!”

Strum. Girls scream.

Strum. Something soft thumps onto the stage.

Biff! Pow!

“Holy self-inflicted handicaps! He’s right!”

“It’s all right, old chum. It’s time these pesky punk-rock pirates learned . . . to fear the night!”

Biff! Pow! Thud.

Piff. SLURP.

Tif. Tif. Tif. Thud.

Piff. SLURP.

Tif. Tif. Tif. Thud.

“Wark, wark, wark, wark — erk.”

Squish. Squelch. Tap tap tap tap tap.

Biff! Pow! “Take that, you carnivorous cowled crusader!”

Piff. SLURP.

Tif. Tif. Thud.

“It’s all right now, old chum. You can take off the bat-blindfold and earplugs.”

“Holy Godless universe, Batman! What happened?”

“Things were looking bad, old chum, when suddenly a giant shark showed up and tore the Penguin and his baleful backup band into bloody pieces. Then it licked my face and jumped into the sea.”

“That explains the blood on your mouth! Wow. I guess that sea life everywhere must hate the Penguin!”

“Not any more, old chum. Not any more.”

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