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Monday, March 14, 2011

Superhero Sunday (Monday): Support Staff

"I'm not cleaning that up."
Of all of the items in Batman's arsenal - the Batplane, Batmobile, Batcave, Batcycle, Batarangs (anyone else sensing some narcissism here?) - probably the most useful thing the Dark Knight has on his side is his faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Manservant to the Wayne family, Alfred became parent and guardian young Bruce Wayne after his parents were gunned down one night in Gotham. Of course, the little boy did grow up to be a masked vigilante, so maybe it's best if we don't linger too long on Alfred's parenting skills. . .
"Me, neither."
In addition to cooking, cleaning, and laundry, Alfred is a skilled medic, even honing his skills to the point of surgery and more. This is a useful ability when you work for a guy who can't simply drop by the emergency room: "Why do you have a razor-sharp playing card lodged in your ribs?"
Alfred is also a skilled computer programmer and engineer, maintaining and often re-building much of the crime-fighting gadgetry used by Batman in his nightly exploits.
With all of the things he does to maintain Wayne Manor, the Batcave, and the Batman himself, I hope that Alfred gets a really good 401K plan.
Incidentally, the latest cinematic incarnation of Alfred, Sir Michael Caine, turns 78 today. Happy bloody birthday, sir!

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