Thursday, September 27, 2007

Restaurant code violations, Batman-style

Caveat venditor!

If Batman does not like the way you run your joint, he will shut you down, Dark Knight-style. In Gotham, restaurants, bars, and clubs that run afoul of local ordinances don't get cute little letter grades posted in their front window like they do in L.A.. No, if your tavern gets a "B" grade that means he shuts you down - with a BIG ASS STICK.

In Batman #400, Batman drops in on The Belly of the Whale, a quaint establishment on the Gotham waterfront with a colorful clientele. It's the only place on the East End that has Bludhaven Stout on tap due to an arrangement the proprietor made with some local criminal types. The Belly's local charms are lost on Batman, who finds the following violations:

  1. establishment used as a front to push skag
  2. no hot water
  3. unclean food contact surfaces
  4. illegal sub-lease to supervillain (The Riddler)
  5. improper food temperatures

Wow. Five violations. That's when Batman puts away the baseball bat and picks up the oar.

After administering his fine/punishment, Batman advises the proprietor on the appropriate course of action to correct the five violations: "Just close." The merchant is free to disregard Batman's advice, but is cautioned that he will return within 24 hours for another inspection - with an even larger stick - perhaps a fence post wrapped in barbed wire.

And that my friends, is why it's safe to eat out in Gotham.


SallyP said...

Ah Batman, your civic-mindedness knows no bounds. Health Inspector of the Night!

Of course if a big scary guy dressed as a bat trashed MY establishment, I'd probably call the police, but then again this IS Gotham.

John E Williams said...

I love this sequence (from Batman #400, if I'm not mistaken) on its own merits, but the extra plus for me is that I actually got to WATCH Joe Kubert draw the page you've excerpted here. I was a second year student at his school at the time, and one day after assigning us some in-class busywork, he sat at his desk and proceeded to pencil the awesomeness. I asked if I could watch, and he said "sure". Best experience I ever had at that place.

Thelonious_Nick said...

I wish Batman would visit the Taco Bell near my house where I got food poisoning.

Anonymous said...

I wish Batman would visit Taco Bell.


PaulW said...

You know, this plan of Batman's has a problem. He said he'd come back every week with a bigger stick. The one he's got right now is already pretty dang big. So, really, all you have to do is wait a few weeks until the stick gets so large that not even Batman can swing it properly. Then, as he's flailing around and wearing himself out under the weight of his massive stick, you can do what you please.

Oh, and not to get too nitpicky or anything, but last I checked there were more than 24 hours in a week. ;)

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

That's what's cool about the Batman. Does he need to use an oar to thrash everyone? Not really, but he does it anyway -- in style!

PaulW said...

Hey, wait a sec. It just hit me.

What Batman is really saying here is...

"Stop it. Oar else!"

ghostman said...

Batman's oar-fu is very powerful. Actually, since it's frickin' Batman we're talking about, it probably really is, since the oar is a martial arts weapon in places like Okinawa, the Philippines, Hawaii, and India, among others. Bats has probably been trained to bust up a sleazy bar with anything from a banjo to a toilet plunger.

But if you want to talk about violations (and who doesn't, really?), Batman better hope that OSHA never gets a look at the Batcave.

Anonymous said...

"Blimy. I'm glad I didn't mention the spot on the knife."

Bully said...

Anonymous wins.

deadeyedave said...

I suppose he used an oar to be thematically appropriate, i.e. he's beating the crap out of the owners of a seafood restaurant. But I wonder what he'd wield if he were busting, say, a fondue joint. "OH GOD, THERE'S A FONDUE FORK IN MY EYEBALL!"

Marcerer said...

And that's why Batman is awesome; if he's going to kick your ass, he at least makes sure he does it with some relevance.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be something about Gotham City--perhaps something in the water--that influences people to think in terms of themes. Obviously the villainous psyche is most strongly affected, as a glance at Batman's rogues gallery will show, but even the mighty Bat himself isn't immune.

Now I'm eagerly awaiting the issue--possibly written by Chuck Dixon--where Batman trashes a fondue restaurant with a fondue fork, a redneck joint with a banjo, and what, a plumber's convention, maybe? with a toilet plunger.

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