Saturday, October 31, 2015


Not to get all TMI, but yesterday I had a routine mammogram.

"I'm not worried," I had remarked to Dave, days earlier. "I honestly don't think I'm going to get breast cancer. Nobody in my family's had it, that I know of. This is not how Batman dies."

I was referring of course to The Lego Movie (2014), in which Batman -- the most arrogant Lego, preoccupied with the romance of his own Batman-ness -- is in a spaceship under enemy attack. While the other characters run around trying to fix things, Batman simply announces, outraged: "This is not how Batman dies!"

I love that guy.

And, indeed, he does not die. At the end of the movie, he is still very much alive and fabulous.

In perilous circumstances -- like the log ride at the state fair, or any ill-considered carnival ride for which you are, you realize too late, too old -- TINHBD is a bracing rallying cry. Not this day, log ride! Not this Batman!

* * * * 

When I was a child, my parents told me I would live until age 96. It was that specific -- not "a long time"; 96 -- and based on Vedic astrological calculations.

Since then, with my own eyes, I have witnessed the fallibility of Vedic astrology. My parents were supposed to die in 2007 and 2009, respectively, but the actual date (in one's case) was 1993.

Yet I was assured of this fact (96!) so many times, by my own parents, some part of me thinks I will probably just go ahead and survive till 96. As I have a long way to go, I may as well start hitting the gym and flossing, or by the time I hit 80, I will be a hot mess . . . for 16 years!

Dutifully, then, I went to my annual mammogram: for the non-news. As the x-ray machine mashed and beeped, I thought idly of other things. How many Halloween sandwiches would I need to make for the potluck? Was the new Brad and Angelina movie out yet?

What, done already?

As I put my hospital gown back on, the radiology technician informed me there was a small bowl on the table filled with "breast cancer awareness keychains," and I was welcome to take one.

"Do you have a bat symbol?" I asked.

"Excuse me?"

"Do you have one with a bat on it? Like the Batman logo? Or a miniature Batmobile? Or some kind of commemorative black cape -- you know, like Batman wears?"


"Okay, I'm good then. Thanks!"

"You'll receive a card in the mail in two weeks with your results. If you have any ques--"


(Image: "The Joker is Back!" by Bruno from Roma, Italia [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons)

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