Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Holy Phone Book, Batman!

Mea Culpa, chickens, I know I’ve been absent since the big contest reveal, and I do apologize most sincerely. Between some serious jet lag from the glorious France romp, getting back and immediately running to NY to kick some serious cocktail tuchus, immediately followed by a business trip and then the holiday weekend, I’ve just been the teensiest bit overwhelmed.

But I did want to share this delightful little piece of Americana I uncovered during my recent travels.

To fully appreciate this story, you must first go back to the mid-1970s when your young Polymath was just a precocious thing, when math homework was the scariest thing you could imagine, and kids all over the country were in charge of physically changing the television channels since there was no “clicker”. It was a bucolic time of enormous wing collars, orange and brown plaid bellbottoms (seriously mom?), and Sunday nights belonged to the Wonderful World of Disney and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. The Wizard of Oz was on once a year, and time stopped for its showing.

It was something of an odd time for after school television, what with all the Brady’s and Partridge’s endlessly going through puberty, and Tom and Jerry’s dysfunctional relationship playing out, but the one show that really stood out among the rest for me was the reruns of the 1960s series Batman. Unabashedly campy, clearly filmed to be watched stoned, and subversively sexy, it was one of my most favorite hours of television. Not that I didn’t love me some Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, but when it came to crimefighting and mystery solving, Batman was my guy. Blue tights, that pointy mask with the painted on sardonic eyebrows, plus the fact that as badass as he was in the cape, he was equally urbane and gentlemanly in the endless tuxedos that Bruce Wayne needed to don for all his charitable works.

My first major crush, pre-dating both Shawn Cassidy in his tight white jeans and Donny Osmond in his purple socks, was Adam West, the perfect Gemini boy for a Gemini Polymath, half millionaire Cary Grant type, and half secret identity superhero.

Meow indeed, Catwoman.

This infatuation led to my poor mother having to not only take me to the Chicago Auto Show to see the REAL BATMOBILE, but also having to wait in line with me for what felt like eleventy million hours (and was probably 40 minutes) to have my picture taken with Adam West in full Batman regalia. Of course it was just a Polaroid, and if memory serves I was so overwhelmed that I burst into tears, probably because I had assumed that Adam might offer to at least take a girl on a RIDE in that shiny black car after she had schlepped all over the McCormick place to find him and then waited in that interminable line…I’m not saying, I’m just saying. (Mom, you are totally forgiven for the orange and brown plaid bellbottoms, FYI. Not so much for the denim Arco jumpsuits, however…)
I of course did not understand at the time how truly awful it must have been for poor Adam, who had to sit for hours in that ridiculous get-up in a huge convention hall, where half the audience was made up of serious gear head guys mumbling homophobic jokes under their breath at him, and the rest of the audience was comprised of odd fans and quivery little girls who burst into tears when he smiled and said hi. On behalf of all of us, Adam, I am sorry and you were a real trouper.

Flash forward thirty-some years, and I am on a business trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, which is where Adam West currently resides.

And while I understand that he is very happily married, and old enough to be a grandfatherly sort of figure, and my current crush on Nathan Fillion leaves little room to be pining for Adam West, I do still have a soft spot for the caped crusader…which could lead a girl alone in a hotel room to look in the phone book.

You can only imagine my delight when I discovered the following:





And yes, I did defile the phone book in my hotel room, and no, I’m not sorry.

He’s still suave as hell.


  1. Thank you for my laugh of the day! I had a slight crush on him myself and that was hilarious.

  2. Although I didn't have a crush on Adam West (I was a little young) I do have the same current crush as you Nathan Fillion. Koodos

  3. Tallulah Bankhead as The Black Widow!

  4. Tallulah Bankhead as The Black Widow!

  5. Stacey?
    There must have been something in the water today. My post was about Batman as well.
    One of my commenters left a link to you in my comment thread.

    And Nathan? Yum.

    enjoyed the post.

  6. I love this. Not only because that is the greatest phonebook listing EVER, but also because I am relieved to know I am not the only person who has ever read a phonebook when alone.

  7. That series of listings has been in the Sun Valley phone book for years. It has got to be one of the CLASSIC up yours gags of all time.
    At least somebody in yupsterville has a sense of humor!