Suit Up

Ever since I was twelve, all I really wanted was a trench coat. I don’t think it was that unreasonable a request, but my parents seemed to be opposed to it for no other reason than because they could be. I mean it’s not like back in ’92 there was any sort of stigma attached to a trench coat, short of, you know, flashers and Colombo and stuff.

Maybe they just didn’t like Colombo.

Anyway, in college I finally managed to acquire a trench coat. What I didn’t realize though, was that the waterproofing on them wears off after a while. How was I supposed to know? I’d never owned a trench coat, and no one had ever said “Gee, don’t you hate it when the waterproofing on your trench coat wears off?” to me or anything. And honestly it didn’t really rain especially frequently in Santa Barbara, so this was something that could go on for quite some time without you ever realizing that it doesn’t repel water anymore.

And since this is my life, guess how I end up finding out? Yeah, when a friggin’ hurricane comes ashore and starts blowing rain horizontally while I’m walking from the campus to my apartment in Isla Vista. By the time I got home, one side of my trench coat was 50 pounds heavier, because apparently when it’s not repelling water, it’s absorbing it like a sponge.

So while it’s drying out over the period of god only knows how long, I do some checking and find that you have to take it to the dry cleaners when you want to get the waterproofing reapplied.

So I take it to the dry cleaning place nearest to my house, and as I’m waiting there at the counter waiting for some service, this big moving van starts backing up into the parking lot. I don’t think anything of it until the driver walks into the shop and plunks down a shoebox jammed packed with claim tickets.

I look, and then do a double take. That’s BATMAN standing next to me!

“Wow, what are you doing here, Batman?” I ask.

“Picking up my dry cleaning. I have to get my suits cleaned periodically.”

“Holy hell man, how many suits do you have?”


“What on earth do you need so many suits for?”

“I have one for every situation.”


“EVERY situation.”

“Arctic expedition suit?” He rummages through his box, and thrusts a claim ticket in my direction.

“Low orbital flight suit?” Another second of looking through the box, another claim ticket.

“Aquatic exploration?” He produced yet another ticket.

“Space combat?” Claim ticket.

“Stealth cloaking?” Claim ticket.

“Jungle ambush?” Claim ticket.

“Sewer diving?” Claim ticket.

“Lion taming?” Claim ticket.

“Alligator wrestling?” Claim ticket.

“Water cooler chat?” Claim ticket.

“Formal wear?” Claim ticket.

“Semi-Formal wear?” Claim ticket.

“Casual wear?” Claim ticket.

“Anti-leg humping dog suit?” Claim ticket.

“Accosted by a homeless guy named Steve on a Wednesday in July?”

“I’ve got one for a guy named Bob…”

“Close enough. Wow, guess you really do have a suit for every situation. And to think all this time we all just thought Hasbro and Mattel were being stupid for making endless swarms of you in different suits.”

“Nope. All licensed products.”

“Huh. Go figure.”

As I was leaving the store, I could hear Batman arguing with the clerk at the counter.

“What do you mean ‘describe it?’ Oh all right… It’s got a big bat symbol on the chest, it’s covered in neon green stripes– What? Yes, I KNOW it’s supposed to be urban camouflage, but you’re not in charge of naming these things, are you? Don’t you give me lip!”