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

Why We're Voting For Kathy Lennon

Why would someone want to run for elected office in today’s highly abrasive political environment? Why would someone be willing to subject themselves to the possibility of personal attacks, smear campaigns and unbelievable distortions of the truth that we see on an unprecedented scale across all political spectrums?  In regards to Kathy Lennon, candidate for Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Mike Carter Fights The Tough Fight

Mike Carter is an outstanding legislator, and deserves re-election to the State house.  Rep. Carter is hard-working and has a proven track record of getting things done to better the lives of those he represents.  I encourage my friends and colleagues to join me in voting for Mike Carter in his re-election bid to represent the 29th District.  Rep. Carter knows ... (click for more)

Morning Fire Destroys Vacant Valleybrook House; 2 Firefighters Suffer Burns

Fire destroyed a vacant house in the Valleybrook Community early Thursday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 5:35 a.m. and responded to a reported fire at the Valleybrook Golf and Country Club off Hixson Pike. When the first firefighters from Station 19 arrived on the scene, they could not find the fire. Lt. Scott Sheets with Quint 19 said that ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Williams Hired To Lead Restart Of Owls Boys' Basketball

Jay Williams has been hired as Ooltewah’s head boys’ basketball coach, a program rocked by a rape scandal last December that eventually led Hamilton County School officials to disband the varsity team and cancel more than half its schedule. Williams, who has strong ties to Ooltewah High School, previously coached at LaFayette School and Northwest Whitfield high schools in Northwest ... (click for more)

TSSAA Sets Future Division I, Division II Classifications

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has released the minutes from Wednesday’s meeting in Hermitage pertaining to football classification period for the 2017-18 and run through 2020-2021 1.  Roll Call 2.  Division I and Division II Classification The Board of Control voted the following for the classification period that ... (click for more)