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Batman’s NJ Transit Problem

Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Take the bomb scene from the 1960s Batman movie and put it on a double-decker NJ Transit train. (
Please watch it here first
.) As the fuse shortens, Batman races with the bomb up the length of the train. At each car, he must decide between the upper level and lower level in a series of increasingly thorny ethical dilemmas. Up to the level with 50 kids on a school field trip or down to the level with two newlyweds? 6 ex-convicts or 12 stock brokers? 10 pregnant women or 5 parents each with their newborn baby? Robin or Catwoman? And so on.
Eventually, when the fuse is almost out and the harrowing music is reaching a crescendo, Batman reaches the first car (he’s been running forward through the train). Up the stairs are the man who murdered his parents and the Pope. Below are the Joker, the Riddler, Penguin and the Dalai Lama. He hesitates. A fierce, foul wind blows from the gap between the cars, causing Batman to stumble. He realizes there’s a gap between the cars and tosses the bomb out into the toxic swamp of the Meadowlands. Incidentally, a toxic swamp monster is on its way through the toxic swamp to terrorize Gotham at that very moment. It is killed by the bomb. Having defeated the toxic swamp monster and conquered utilitarianism, Batman rushes up the stairs, forgives his parents’ killer and french kisses the Pope, much to the envy of the Dalai Lama.