Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chronicles of the Bat; Part one: Gotham was a Piece of Cake

Well, I got a PS3. God, I should have gotten this splendid machine way back. Simply, the second you hold the gorgeously designed stupendously comfortable controller in your hands and start playing, all problems and nuisances seem to disappear and whither away. It has brought back a fun a factor I had forgotten about and obviously direly missed. It has also in a way, brought inspiration.

As a result of playing a game for 3 nights in a row and of course eventually beating it, I have admittedly grown a bit of an obsession with the main character of the game, who in fact already is a childhood hero of mine. The game's name is Batman: Arkham Asylum. Enough said.

As I assumed the role of the Bat for the length of the relatively short game, a cartoony light bulb formed on the top of my head but was only lit last night when I was in bed and in desperate need of sleep. I stayed up till 9 am.

So, I'm putting off two pieces that are to be the epitome of my emotional evolution and writing skill, just to write this one for fear of its volatility. I'm not sure if this piece classifies as a burlesque, but it’s a different approach of testing my abilities as a raconteur. This fan-fictionish piece should – if satisfactory – be a part of many, and it for the purpose of the story will include Franco-Arab slang…

A huge mansion stood tall at the far end of Qattameya Heights in El Tagamo3 El Khames, Cairo. The Mansion was dark inside and out, whereas only one room seemed to be demonstrating forms of life and was indeed quite noisy.

"Ya akhy 7aram 3ala 2ommak!! Kharrag ya 3am abo sha3r da we nazel Bogy!! Law makansh bas el wad Bogy da Zamalkawy…mesh moshkela ma3lesh, el mohem el montakhab"

An excited man sat on a lazy boy with a can of coke in a hand and a slice of pizza in the other watching a soccer match, which was now a 2-2 deadlock, infuriating him. He was in his mid-thirties of dark rugged and fairly handsome features, but an onlooker would not see that given his current state. He was only in blue and white striped boxers and was shouting angry profanities at the LCD TV. Abruptly getting up to wash his hands and to get another can of coke, he looked out the window, grimaced and blurted out a 3 letter common Egyptian swear word.

"Yel3an abo de shoghlana ya akhy! Ana mesh fahem eh elly ramany 3al araf da!"

Across Cairo's sky was a floating giant turd, which – without Cairo's polluting fumes and numerous interfering lights – should be the Bat-signal. It was a turd only he could recognize…

Having washed his hands in a hurry the hero grabbed his Bat-Cell and phoned "Abd El Kerim" a low-ranking police officer (Amin Shorta), with whom he agreed to raise the signal whenever there was trouble. He does however recall that the signal was Abd El Kerim's idea, instead of simply just calling him or sending him a text message:

"Ya beh mana mesh beyeb2a ma3aya rasid we kalemny shokran bakhalas-ha 3ala Mourad basha (his superior officer) wel gama3a, wenta 3aref el as3ar el yomeen dool 7ara2a. Hala2eeha meneen ana wala meneen, enta 3aref enny akhdemak be 3enaya ya basha, bas eb2a edeny 7a2 el mowaslat bas."

"Hmmf...Mashy ya Abd El Kerim"



"Howa enta labes keda leh?"


After having to last through a whole minute of "El 3abd wel Shetan" instead of a normal ringing tone, Abd El Kerim didn’t pick up.

"God damn it!!"

He decided to get ready and geared up till the idiot decides to pick up. A big vintage grandfather clock overshadowed the main corridor connecting different sectors of the mansion together. Standing in front of the clock, the dark hero placed his right hand on the clock to get his print read, hence opening the secret door behind the clock, which is the entrance to the Bat-Cave/ Mansion-Garage.

"Your version of Windows is not genuine. Please insert disc #2 of Windows Vista Bat Edition to install Print Reader"

"Ass!! God damn this downloaded garbage!"

The Bat however always had contingency plans. He reached to the side of the clock and pulled a small lever. A small laptop popped out of the middle of the clock, he was going to enter a password manually.

"Umm…what was it again?"

Never having had to use this utility before, the Bat had of course forgotten his password. That's when the "Have you forgotten your password?" button shone like a full moon in a starless night. He clicked on it and the security question accordingly came up:

"What is my favorite animal?"

"Duh, that's a no-brainer"


He thanked god for putting an easy question for himself to remember later, or else he would have had to break in his own crime fighting headquarters. The password was sent to his e-mail: bat_ass@, he retrieved his Bat-Cave password and eventually entered.

"Goaaaaaaaaaal" he heard the joyful cheers echoing all around.


By snapping his utility belt on, the Bat 5 minutes later was dressed to kill, literally. He hopped in the Batmobile, grabbed his Bat-Cell and phoned "3obad" again.

"Ba2et tel3ab boookaar, we beteshrab joon wookar, agogogogogo….BASHA!!"

"Makontesh betrod leh be#$%#@$#"

"Ma3lesh ya basha, kont malhy fel match!"

"Hmmf...olly, fe eh?"

"Fe 3arka fe share3 metwally el motafare3 men share3 el haram"

"Mate3rafsh feen share3 metwally da bezzabt?"

"Wallahy 3elmy 3elmak ya basha"


The Batmobile's powerful engine roared to life, and he started heading out of the mansion"


Slicing the unforgiving Egyptian roads like a chainsaw cutting wood, the awesome machine started its journey to the destination where citizens are to be rescued. A quick fuel stop was needed first though. As the car approached the gas station, one of the workers made the well known victory sign with is fingers, which is a way of asking customers whether they want 92 gas pumped in their cars. That Batmobile's glass is tainted black, so Bats had to pop the hatch open and nod to the worker indicating that he does want 92. The worker shook his head in response.

"Kheles!!" the worker proclaimed smiling

"What the ass!! Then why was he leading me on? Is this some sort practical joke? Why can't they hang a sign instead of this bullcrap?"

The car screeched away heading to second nearest gas station. Valuable time was being wasted.

As he was getting his car fueled in the next station, a worker kept harassing him with different oils and accessories for his car.

"Monaqqy injection el mator?"


"Zeit tash7eem sawareekh el 3arabeya?"

"Shokran. Mesha7am"

"Fawa7a?" the worker smartly dangled a small air freshener that looked like a bat hanging upside down in front of Bats"

"Hmm…bekam de?"

"Khally ya basha, wallahy khally, 8 geneh bas. Ahem, lamo2akhza fel so2al ya basha bas enta labes keda leh?"

Out of the station and on the road, Bats rocketed through El-Da2ery, making good time.

"By this rate, I'll be there in no time"

Bats spoke too soon. He had totally forgotten about the police checkpoint that is usually active at this time of day. The Batmobile stood motionless in traffic jam over the Nile. There was no other option but to wait. Accordingly, the caped crusader decided to listen to some music to kill time. He switched the radio on…

100.6: " We 7obbo leya ya alby kan…7ob emtelak "

104.2: "Hello hello helloo…you are now with Khaled Mat..."

"Hell no"

Quickly realizing that there's no need to be upset, Bats punched a couple of buttons on his car computer and it started writing his favorite playlist on a disc. Yes, the Bat has a gadget for everything. About 10 minutes later the traffic jam had unraveled and he was fast and steady on his way.

"UD tiss, UD tiss, UD tiss…" a car full of young guys listening to loud house music was speeding up next to him and for no apparent reason was trying to overtake him. It seems that the lads were turned on (sekhno) by the mobile's speed and their macho competitiveness kicked into drive.

"This is too easy. I'm the God damn Batman $#$#%$" he spoke the truth. Without sparing a moment of his precious time, Bats eased the Batmobile past the over-excited youth and practically drove circles around them.

"Easy as pie"

"Teet teet teeeeeteeeeetet" accompanied by the usual right blinker - left blinker was the response of the defeated vehicle as it drove away. Very creative indeed…

Not much later the Batmobile was slithering its way around El Haram Street looking for Metwally Street.

"Elly yes2al maytohsh" he pulled over to ask fellow citizens for directions. Big mistake.

Half of the directions he got actually described the road to nowhere mentioned in many songs. The other half however started with "Bossssss", and people saved no effort in this opening word, thus spraying it on the Bat's face instead of saying it. The particles landed on the covered and uncovered parts of his face, and were equally disgusting. The Bat had to use his superior detective skills to piece the directions to the street, occasionally having to filter unnecessary comments said by pedestrians such as:

- "Howwa ma2alaksh feen?"

- "Leh?"

- "Howwa...enta gayeb el 3edda de 3ala kam" accompanied by an intruding head inside the car.

And of course a personal favorite:

- "Howa enta labes keda leh?"

He finally knew where the place was, drove there and entered the street. His keen senses and sharp eyesight instantly led him to where the fight was, he slammed the breaks, hopped out of the car and ran towards the crowd.

As he drew near the crowd an old guy intercepted him. The old guy. The old guy who magically appears in every fight to solve it. One would safely assume that there's one planted in every street for that sole purpose.

"HOOAAB, raye7 feen?"

"Raye7 al7a2 el nas de"

"Laa..makhalas etsal7o"

"Ezai, da fe nas say7a fe damaha"

"De kam ta3weera, da kalam faregh matakhodsh fe balak. Aslohom gabo le ba3d nas, bas khalas 7alenaha be 2amr ellah" the freaking "negeeb nas" theory.

"Ma3lesh fe nas gheltet we lazem tet3akeb" Batman was justice's fighting front.

"Ba2ollak eh, enta 3ayez tesagharny odamhom wala eh!! Ba2ollak gabaret yabny" now the "tasgheer/takbeer" theory.

"…Mashy ya 7ag" he didn't know what else to say nor do.

"Teslam yabny, yalla etekel 3ala allah men hena belly enta labso da 3ashan el 3eyal hatetlam 3aleek we mesh haye3ta2ook"


Mentally worn out, Bats walked back to his car, his head down. To him, this had been complete and utter bullshit. He reached the car, took a look at it and let out a loud sound occasionally used by Egyptians to express extreme anger or irritation which sounds more or less like a pig's snort depending on the power put into the nose-mouth inhale technique. The Batmobile's rear left tire was held by tire-cuffs (Kalabshat) and of course a ticket was spit glued on the car's hatch, because the car was double parked.

"Yeah, throughout my crime fighting campaign I'm expected to beat up thugs, bring down criminal gangs, while managing to stay alive AND parallel park? I hate this city"

During the next 10 minutes the Bat investigated where the officers were so he can set his car free, and discovered that they won't be around till next morning because a high ranking official was arriving for a business dinner at Mena House, and they were all moved to organize the traffic in that area and provide security.

Of course the Dark Knight could've simply gotten a gadget out of his utility belt that would unlock the cuffs, but superheroes are not above the law.


"3ala feen?"

"El Tagamo3"

"50 geneh"

"40, da meshwary kol yoom ya za3im"

"Khalas ne2sem el balad nosseen, 45"


Bats entered the cab, rolled his cape (which was then gray with dirt instead of black) inside the car and slammed the door shut.

"Salamo 3aleko"

"We 3alekom el salam"


"2alla…enta labes keda leh ya beh? Enta kont fe 7afla tankoreya wala eh? He3 he3 he3!!!"


The Song: Never Know - Jack Johnson


  1. That was effing long, and it made me laugh too :D

    I'm in love with your 'About Me' section. Passionately.

  2. It was more of a.. giggle, if you will :P
    I'm more of a comedy snob than you think.

    Thank you. You're not so bad yourself. I guess I'll be checking in more often. Good luck with that seemingly fun career choice. x

  3. For the record: that is the longest post I have ever read :)