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Hey Batman! It’s Trish Miller, the woman you rescued from the gang of crooks after I’d tried to take a shortcut home from the theatre, by myself, through that unlit alley. I’m writing to say, first of all, thank you so much for saving my life. The Millers have always been #TeamBatman, even when there was that petition going around trying to make it illegal to fight crime while wearing latex.

That said, as you were rescuing me I couldn’t help but notice that your costume doesn’t comply with Gotham’s universal masking mandate.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last year, I’m sure you are aware there’s a global pandemic happening. And I’m sure you understand that it takes everyone’s cooperation to keep Gotham’s daily COVID numbers low. I know so many people are vaccinated and many cities have gotten lax with their mask mandates, but the people of Gotham know we can never let our guard down. Because when we do we get attacked by The Joker, or The Riddler, or The Scarecrow, or some other mononymous villain.

I get that, technically, you do wear a mask. But the mask mandate specifically states that “the mask must cover the nose and mouth.” I’m sure it must get pretty hot in that suit and the last thing you probably want to do is throw on a stuffy old surgical mask while you are rappelling down the side of a building. On the other hand, Gotham’s nurses and doctors—you know, the real heroes!—are double masking for 12 hours at a time as they treat the traumatic brain injuries you keep causing by throwing people off buildings.

And, honestly, who are we even kidding about the mask you do wear?

We all know who you really are, Bruce Wayne.

The billionaire with the geriatric patient for a butler. Maybe you should at least be wearing a mask for his sake? I’m sure Alfred is vaccinated, but google “breakthrough cases.” It’s a thing.

And hey, I get it. You have a whole “look” you are going for. But, honestly, it may just be time for wholesale change. Your brand really isn’t doing you any favors at this point. Consider that bats are ultimately responsible for the greatest pandemic of the last 100 years.

Not to mention that Bat-man just oozes with toxic masculinity and white privilege.

Have you thought about maybe pivoting to a different animal altogether? Something that says “I’m tough, but not too tough to consider how my own male white cis-gendered biases have shaped my views around the roots causes of racial and socioeconomic disparities and their impacts on crime”? Something big and fuzzy, maybe, like a panda, though with less obvious cultural appropriation.

I want to thank you in advance for taking time away from your vigilante-ism to consider what I have to say here. And as long as I have your ear, I couldn’t help but notice that when confronting goons you tend to stand a lot closer than the CDC-recommended six feet. Did you know that even whispering in someone’s face “I’m Batman” can disperse enough viral droplets to transmit COVID? I realize many of these folks are sociopaths, but The Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane is an at at-risk population for COVID transmission!

Anyways, I do hope you will strongly consider my advice. I’d really hate to have to escalate this complaint to your superiors. Did I mention that my husband Chip plays golf with Commissioner Gordon?

Jesse Stone

Jesse B. Stone loves science and writing. Apologies if you were looking for the "Jesse Stone" played by Tom Selleck in the CBS movies.

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