Roy Exum: It’s "Batkid Day Forever!"

Sunday, November 17, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

When young Miles Scott rode to San Francisco with his family from their home in northern California on Thursday, the precious five-year-old had just been told his 3½-year battle with leukemia was finally in remission and, as the family celebrated in San Francisco, he would get a genuine “Batkid” to wear like his superhero Batman. But minutes after he got suited up, there was a telephone call. Urgent!

“Please, Batkid, we need your help,” said Greg Suhr, who really is the police chief in San Francisco. “Batman is bringing the Batmobile outside right now!” and suddenly, as sirens screamed and lights flashed, a black Lamborghini with Batman decals on its $300,000 hood and doors, roared to a stop with a heavy escort of real cops on motorcycles.

That’s when the greatest-ever dream of the Make-A-Wish Foundation captured not just the hearts of San Francisco but an awaiting world as well on Friday. You see, a social media company got in on the caper and, by the time San Francisco had morphed into a modern-day Gotham, over 2,000 volunteers were involved in the production and over 10,000 crowded Union Square by mid-afternoon when Batkid was honored for his heroism.

You need to know that when the five-yearold saw the Batmobile, he climbed into the booster seat while his younger brother was hustled into an identical Lamborghini right behind. Wait! A message from The White House was pushed through the window. “Go get ‘em”  President Obama ordered (really!)

So with police blocking downtown streets and hundreds of onlookers holding signs and cheering the delicious parade as it zoomed along, they came to a scene where a woman was gagged and tied to the train track. Little Miles, his fists clinched and his expression tight, ran alongside Batman and they finally defused a plastic (fake) bomb only seconds before the cable car came rumbling around the corner. That was close!

But then the Batphone said there was a bank heist going on and “The Riddler” was stealing everyone’s money. But now there were so many people on the sidewalks, all alerted by Twitter, Facebook and other means, the police could hardly get through. Crime-scene tape had to be placed around telephone poles to keep the crowd from blocking the rescue.

Again little Miles raced into the bank and nabbed The Riddler before he got the cash. Batman said it was time to eat so with thousands of people outside Macy’s chanting “Batkid! Batkid!”  (and grown men as well as women weeping unashamedly) an elevator had been secured to zip the two superheroes and a battalion of cops to the Burger Bar on the roof.

Everybody said it sure was good to get a breather but just before Miles got his last bite, the police radios crackled. “We need Batkid! The Penguin has kidnapped Louie the Seal (mascot of the San Francisco Giants). This is terrible!”

By now people had climbed trees to snap pictures of Batkid running, his fists clinched as he climbed back into the Lamborghini’s booster seat (not original equipment) and they roared to the ballpark where Louie had been tied up and locked in the batting-practice cage. As they freed the delighted mascot, Batkid got the drop on The Penguin and marched him to the back of an awaiting police cruiser. Thank goodness Gotham was secure.

The ride wasn’t over. When they got back to a chanting Union Square, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was waiting with a Key to the (Grateful) City, much to the delight of the roaring crowd. A clothing company handed his mom a certificate for $10,000 worth of “undercover” street clothes for when Batkid needed to be on the sly. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag unveiled an “indictment” charging The Penguin and The Riddler with conspiracy and, along with (real) FBI officials, praised Batkid for his courage. Miles responded with a couple of fist pumps.

When Mayor Lee proclaimed Nov. 15 as “Batkid Day Forever,” the crowd went crazy, quite literally thousands of Smart Phones hoisted to take pictures, and after somebody draped an FBI “Raid” jacket on his shoulders and crowned him with a S.F.P.D. hat, the crowd went bonkers again. Then there was Barack Obama facing a camera. “Way to go, Miles! Way to save Gotham!”

Everybody had hoped young Miles would say a few words, but fighting crime is hard -- he was too tired. Instead his father and mother thanked the crowd profusely, saying their son was a fighter. “He fought cancer and he beat cancer.”

But it was Police Chief Suhr who said it best: “This is off-the-hook San Francisco!”

royexum@aol.com

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee presents a key to the city to five-year-old Miles Scott after he and Batman caught The Riddler and The Penguin after San Francisco briefly became Gotham City on Friday in a Make-A-Wish delight.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee presents a key to the city to five-year-old Miles Scott after he and Batman caught The Riddler and The Penguin after San Francisco briefly became Gotham City on Friday in a Make-A-Wish delight.
- Photo2 by Make A Wish, Bay Area

Humane Laws Are Bipartisan

I was outraged that the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.J. Resolution 69, authored by Alaska’s Rep. Don Young. It is the most cruel, heartless anti-wildlife maneuver I have seen in my lifetime.  This rule will overturn a federal rule years in the making, crafted by professional wildlife managers, aimed at stopping some of the most horrific hunting practices imaginable ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Eye Of The Storm

There is a very serious building in Norman, Okla., that houses the nation’s Storm Prediction Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. According to a Four-Day Forecast released on Sunday, north Alabama and the Chattanooga area are in the middle of the bulls eye for the United States. Yes, it was about 40 degrees and sunny ... (click for more)

Corker Wishing Trump Well On 1st Speech To Congress; Hopes For Clarity On Replacing Health Care Plan, Tackling Deficits

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday released the following statement in advance of President Donald J. Trump’s joint address to Congress.   “There is a lot of anticipation about the president’s speech  tonight  to Congress – his first. I know that a lot of people will be tuned in.   “I spend a lot of time with him on foreign policy issues ... (click for more)

Arson Suspected At Fire That Destroys Long-Vacant Ooltewah House

Arson is suspected in a fire that destroyed a long-vacant house at Ooltewah on Monday night. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fire at 4617 Woodland Dr. At  10:45 p.m. , a neighbor called 911 reporting a house fire. Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting the house was fully involved. Fire ... (click for more)

Bearettes Pound Stone Memorial Into Submission 75-49

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley Central wasn’t about to let the rematch with Stone Memorial to be a nail-biter. The top-ranked and undefeated Bearettes (31-0) had a 29-23 halftime lead and then destroyed the Lady Panthers with a stellar second half and cruised to a 75-49 victory Monday in the Region 3-3A semifinals at Jim Smiddy Arena. Bradley Central outscored Stone Memorial ... (click for more)

Red Bank Girls Eliminated By Sequoyah In Region 3-AA

ATHENS, Tenn. – It will be a rematch of the District 5-AA finals when the girls title is decided here at McMinn County High School Wednesday night for the Region 3-AA basketball championship. The McMinn Central Chargerettes and Sequoyah Lady Chiefs both advanced with semifinal victories on Monday and neither were close games. McMinn Central improved to 27-3 with its 66-30 ... (click for more)