Inspired by the Actual Name of a Cleaning Company

There was one point in my life where for the longest time I thought my mom was having an affair.

My mom.

Having an affair.

With… Batman.

You see, before I moved up to Seattle, I used to spend about a month up here every year at my parents’ house during the holidays. I slept in the basement where there’s very little light coming in from outdoors, so I tended to oversleep an awful lot. So I wouldn’t wake up until about 11 or noon, long after my dad had gone to work.

Mom works from home for some internet startup company (A little behind the times, aren’t we?), so she spends most of the day sequestered in her office doing her thing. What was weird though was one Thursday I saw a check hanging by a magnet on the fridge made out to Batman and Robin.

What the hell is THIS about, I wondered? I didn’t want to bug mom while she was screaming at some underling in San Diego, so I just figured that maybe the Dynamic Duo had gotten one of her foofy cats out of a tree or something and she wanted to repay them. I went out for the day, came back, and the check was gone.

The next Thursday though, there was that check made out to Batman and Robin. My curiosity was once again piqued, but I didn’t get around to asking Mom about it. I went out for the day, came back, and the check was gone.

When the check appeared on the fridge for the third week, something finally clicked in my head.

Oh dear lord. Batman is mom’s gigolo. And oh god, with Robin at the same time?!

I had to be taken to the ER for a scratched cornea after I tried to claw my eyes out to get the mental image out of my mind.

So yes, my mom was having an affair. With Batman. I tried not to think about the whole Robin thing, Batman alone was more than I can take. And I knew about it.

I knew I should confront her, tell her to call the thing off before Dad found out about it or I would tell him. But I also knew at the same time that I couldn’t do such a thing, I’m just too much of a wuss. So I was feeling guilty like you wouldn’t believe.

And if there’s one thing I don’t do well, it’s handle guilt. This one time, I backed my car up into my friend’s mailbox and knocked it over. It was one of those fancy ones where it was encased in bricks and masonry work, so when it fell over it took a chunk of the sidewalk with it and smashed it. I left a pool of molten rubber where my tires had been, I peeled out of there so fast. And oh god, I couldn’t even look at him for like a month because I felt certain that he knew what I had done somehow. I was jittery and nervous the whole time, thinking that any minute the police were going to kick down my door and cart me away for wanton mailbox destruction. I was a wreck.

So yeah, imagine what swallowing the secret of mom having an affair did to me…

I was smoking like a carton a week, only stopping to take swigs of rum from a bottle of Bacardi. I didn’t even sleep anymore, just sat in bed and stared at the ceiling with mental images running through my mind of Batman shouting “Let’s go, Robin! To Mike’s mom’s house!” before hopping into the Batmobile and to their nefarious destination. I didn’t even shave anymore, I was too afraid I would slash my throat subconsciously or something. Fortunately I don’t have that thick of a beard, so I just got to look really scraggly looking.

This went on for about a year before I moved up here. After I did that, one day I decided I just couldn’t take it anymore; I was going to go down to mom’s house that Thursday morning and confront Batman. I was going to confront Batman, and though he would undoubtedly beat the snot out of me for standing in his way, I was going to say to him, “Hey, Batman!”

“Stop banging my mom!”

So I drove down to my mom’s street and parked the car to lie in wait for Batman to come by in the Batmobile, partaking of my bottle of liquid courage to build my resolve. Actually it was less a bottle of liquid courage and more a jar of moonshine, and I was getting really drunk.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Eventually, instead of the Batmobile driving down the street, this little red economy car putters down the street with a magnetic sign slapped to the door that said “Batman and Robin Cleaning Service.”

Now THIS was an interesting turn of events.

I staggered out of the car and stumbled down the street to my parents’ house to see what was going on. Sure enough, it pulled up in the driveway, and this Hispanic man and woman got out and started unloading cleaning stuff.

The hell?

THIS is what ruined my life?! Mom’s not having an affair at all, it’s just some dopey cleaning service that calls themselves Batman and Robin?! I didn’t know whether to feel pissed off that this had caused me so much distress or incredibly relieved that this had all been for nothing.

I went inside the house to tell my mom about what had turned out to be a ridiculous story, when who should come trotting down the stairs pulling up his pants?


“Oh, god! Mike… Um…. Wow, this is really awkward… Look, this isn’t the way we meant for you to find out about this…”

And that’s why I do heroin.