In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 9, 2006 / 17 Tishrei, 5767


By Dave Barry

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One evening, my wife mentioned, casually, that she had been talking to the son of one of her friends, a little boy named Alexander, about his upcoming fourth birthday.

"Alexander says he's having a Batman party," my wife said.

"Hmm," I said.

"So I told him that maybe Batman would come to the party," my wife said.

"Hmm," I said.

My wife said nothing then. She just looked at me. Suddenly, I knew who was going to be Batman.

I was not totally opposed. In my youth, I read many Batman comics, and it seemed to me that he had a pretty neat life, disguised as wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne, waiting for the police commissioner of Gotham City to shine the Bat Signal onto the clouds (it was always a cloudy night when the commissioner needed Batman). Then Bruce would change instantly — it took him only one comic-book panel — into his Batman costume and roar off in the Batmobile to do battle with the Forces of Evil or attend a birthday party.

Of course, Bruce owned his own Batman costume. I had to rent mine. It consisted of numerous black rubber pieces, similar to automobile floor mats, with strings so you could tie them to your body. One piece was shaped like rippling chest muscles, so you could transform yourself, like magic, from a flabby weakling into a flabby weakling wearing an automobile floor mat.

It took me a lot longer than one comic panel to get into this costume, but finally I was ready to speak the words that strike fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere: "Dear, could you tie my G-string?" It turns out that a key part of the Batman costume is this triangular floor mat piece that protects the Bat Region. It's very difficult to attach this piece to yourself without help, which could explain why Batman hooked up with Robin.

At last I was ready. In full Bat regalia, I stepped out of the house, and — as crazy as this may sound — for the first time I truly understood, as only a crusader for justice can understand, why people do not wear heavy black rubber outfits in South Florida. Staggering through the armor-piercing sunshine and 384 percent humidity, I made it to the Batmobile, which was disguised as a wealthy playboy's Toyota Celica.

When we got to Alexander's house, in accordance with our Bat Plan, I remained outside in the Batmobile while my wife went to the back yard, where the party was going on. We had bought Alexander a Batman walkie-talkie set; Michelle gave Alexander one unit and told him to use it to call Batman. These Batman walkie-talkies contain actual transistors, so when Alexander called me, I was able to hear, on the other unit, clear as a bell, a random bunch of static. Interpreting this as the Bat Signal, I pulled the rubber Bat Cowl over my head, thus rendering myself legally blind, and drove the Toyota Batmobile into the back yard.

The effect on the party guests, as you would expect, was electrifying. The adults were so electrified that some of them almost wet themselves. The younger guests were stunned into silence, except for Matthew, age 1, who ran, crying, to his mom, and probably did wet himself.

With all eyes upon me, I stopped the Batmobile, flung the door open, and, in one fluid, manly motion, sprang out of the seat, then got retracted violently back into the seat, because I had forgotten to unfasten my seat belt. Eventually I was able to disentangle my cape and stride in a manly, rubberized way over to the birthday boy.

"Happy birthday, Alexander!" I said, using a deep Bat Voice. After that, the conversation lagged, because, let's be honest, what are you going to talk to Batman about? The pennant races? So we just stood there for a while, with Alexander staring at me, and me trying to look manly and calm despite the fact that after 30 seconds in the sun I could have fried an egg on top of my cowl.

Finally the cake arrived, and everybody sang "Happy Birthday," and I announced that I had to go fight crime. Striding back to the Batmobile, I opened the car door, turned dramatically toward the youngsters and said, quote, "BWEEPBWEEPBWEEPBWEEP." Actually, it was the Batmobile that said this, because I had forgotten to deactivate the Bat Alarm. I climbed into the front seat, slammed the door with several inches of cape sticking out the bottom and backed manfully and blindly into the street. Fortunately, there was nothing in my way, because I would definitely have hit it, and the law would not have been on my side. ("Mr. Barry, please tell the jury exactly what you were wearing as you backed your car over the plaintiff.")

The next day, Alexander's mom reported that the first thing he did when he woke up was turn on his walkie-talkie and call Batman. He said he could hear Batman, but Batman couldn't hear him because he was busy fighting evil supercriminals named Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze. This was almost true: Batman was actually battling Heat Rash. So he will be out of action for a while. The next superhero from this household to visit Alexander — and I have made this very clear to my wife — will definitely be Cat Woman.

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Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness

© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.