(Batman sits on the couch across from his therapist, fiddling nervously with his cape.)
THERAPIST: So Batman, tell me, what seems to be bothering you lately? Inescapable guilt? Unrelenting rage? Blatant injustice?
BATMAN: I gotta tell you doc, I feel like I’m dealing with some very unrealistic expectations from the people here in the city.
THERAPIST: Ahh, like being expected to be the sole beacon of light amidst the crumbling infrastructure and hopelesss moral vacuum that is Gotham?
BATMAN: Um, I guess…
THERAPIST: And being expected to constantly walk the straight and narrow while simultaneously being hunted by the police and hated by virtually every citizen?
BATMAN: Well, sure ….
THERAPIST: And being expected to rid the city of its pervasive crime while also maintaining a secret identity and dealing with your own crippling inner demons?
BATMAN: Um, yeah, all that….but what I’m really talking about is the……bat signal.
THERAPIST: The bat signal? I’m not quite sure I follow.
BATMAN: Have you ever taken a minute to think about how impractical the bat signal is? And everyone thinks it was my idea. Well it wasn’t—it was those idiots’ on the city council. Some numbnut thought “Wow, we need an efficient way of communicating with our only superhero and source of protection so let’s shine a big spotlight into the sky, that should work well.” Like why not just call me for God’s sake? Or shoot me a text? Or even, like, email me?
(There is a pause while the therapist scribbles some notes.)
THERAPIST: So what you’re saying is that you’re having some communication issues in your personal life?
BATMAN: Well, I’m not the one with the issues! Look, try to understand me here: The bat signal is projected into the sky but my lair is in a cave. Traditionally caves are underground. How the hell am I supposed to see the signal?? Do people think I just sit in the Burger King parking lot throwin’ back Whoppers all night and staring at the sky waiting to be summoned? Just because I’m dark and brooding doesn’t mean I don’t have some semblance of a social life.
THERAPIST: So what I’m hearing is that you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by your responsi–
BATMAN: –and what if I’m like, peeing or sleeping or doing basically anything inside when they shine the signal? I have needs here, man. There was a kidnapping and a triple homicide last week that I didn’t even show up to and all the newspapers were like “Has the Batman Abandoned Gotham?” and “Where was the Batman in Gotham’s Time of Need?” Do you wanna know where the Batman was?? I was doing my Zumba regiment! Inside. Where I couldn’t see the bat signal.
THERAPIST: I see.
BATMAN: And another thing—the bat signal completely neglects the fact that crime can happen during the day. If a crook wants to rob a bank, literally all he has to do is do it at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I’ll never know about it because you can’t see a freaking spotlight when the sun is out.
THERAPIST: (writing something down) Hmm. Interesting.
BATMAN: And you know, even when I do see the signal, it’s not like it gives me any useful information. A call from Commissioner Gordon letting me know that three men armed with AK-47s are robbing Gotham 1st National Bank on Westview Street and have taken 19 hostages would be helpful. But, I mean, how is the outline of a bat projected into the sky supposed to help me at all? How am I even supposed to know where the crime is taking place? I’m rich, not telepathic! Every time it’s like “Oh no there’s the bat signal, something bad must be happening somewhere in the entire huge metropolis of Gotham here let me spend 2 hours driving around the city in the Batmobile trying to find out where I’m supposed to go because some moron on the City Council thought it’d be cooler to shine a big light in the sky instead of just calling me!”
(Batman pauses and catches his breath. The therapist looks up.)
THERAPIST: (grinning) But you do have to admit, the bat signal is pretty cool…
BATMAN: I should have let Bane blow you all up.