Post with 2 notes
It’s what I yelled when I was four or five watching the 60’s version of Batman. The funny Batman. Some say the good Batman. The Batman I think about when I think about Batman. The fights would start between the Caped Crusaders on one side and whichever evil henchmen of whichever evil villain on the other: the Joker’s clown-boys, the Riddler’s emerald goons, the Penguin’s wobbly stooges. And as the punches and kicks began to fly, the famous words of comic book combat splashed onto the screen and I wanted someone to read them out loud. So from the family room, I’d call to my mom in the kitchen: “MOM! READ THE WORDS! READ THE WORDS!” I guess I was too young to read such challenging text as “KAPOW!” and “SOCKO!” and “OOOOFF!” and “ZOK!” Or maybe I just wanted her to participate in the love I had for this show. So my Mom would run in and read ‘em like I asked, providing the closest equivalent to audio commentary I had at the time. She was right on it with the “BIFS!” and “SLAMMMMS!” and “CRUNNNNCHES!” But she always hesitated before one action word in particular: “BOFFO!” Right after Batman would put his foot in someone’s face, the word would slide onto the screen, usually in bright blue lettering against a blood-red background and Mom would slightly pause, awkwardly wondering if there was something she was missing, perhaps thinking there was a typo. Is that the sound violence makes? Or maybe she thought “BOFFO!” was something dirty. Which we now know it is. The thought of my mom saying those words now is funny. But that was a huge part of watching Batman for me: Mom reading the words.
Of course, these words are all about the pain of the punch. Think of the moments in your life when shit goes down that isn’t violent, but nonetheless hurts like a bitch. You’re moving in for that kiss because you know if you don’t now you’re probably not ever going to, and what does she do? She does the pull-back, the pat and “Hey, what’re ya doin’, champ?” Right above your head, in bright red, italicized letters with a scraggly exclamation point is the word: “NOPE!” You ask your boss for a raise, he immediately says no and right above your head, in pitch black letters, with a tongue coming out of the O is this: “LOSE!” You’re doing stand-up and eating shit for twenty minutes in front of people who want to kill you. And right above your head, in a blindingly sharp yellow font, is this little gem: “TAAANK!”
Don’t read the words, Mom. Don’t read ‘em.