Recently I came across an old periodical from days of yore, (well maybe not yore, but certainly days gone by). It was a copy of the notorious Weekly World News. I'm sure you remember it...you'd see it at the check out of the grocery store. Headlines would read things like: Dick Cheney is a Robot or Victims Pajamas are Haunted.
Many of you may have been tempted to pick up a copy and add it to your shopping list...usually it was only if the line was short...or late at night when no one was around. If it was just you and the check out person you could explain yourself..."this stuff is hilarious" you'd say.
I vividly remember the first issue I purchased had the infamous headline "Bat Child Found".
It was 1992 and I was at the supermarket grabbing beer for a poker game. I couldn't resist. It was a touching tale of a young bat man that was found in some caves of West Virginia.
A few months passed before I picked up another issue of the Weekly World News. I was once again hosting a party and needed some noshes. This headline read: Bat Child Escapes.
Apparently the infamous child had managed to find it's way out of a government facility. One of the best things about this particular issue was an op-ed by Ed Anger (who...by the way was always angry about something), who went on a rant about the how inept U.S. government and its inability to keep and contain this menacing creature. Over the years, Bat Boy has had a variety of romps in the pages of the WWN. Now that the print version is no more, Bat Boy seems stronger than ever on there web edition. Recently:
Heidi Klum and BB are a thing. Read the whole story here: http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines/43069/heidi-klum-dating-bat-boy/
Paul Ryan is that you?
Bat Boy has become a cultural phenomenon. He became the source of and off Broadway play...Bat Boy the Musical.
And he is also featured in comics.
And of course the Bobble Head
A decade later I was at the check out with a friend of a friend (someone that I didn't know very well)...lets call him Bruce. As we waited I playfully picked up a copy Bruce laughed because he told me he used to work at the Weekly World News. He explained the laws in Florida made it possible to print just about anything....thus Bat Boy, dolphins with hands, etc. He also told me that he and his girlfriend (who was also once employed there) could be seen in past issues wearing various costumes, wigs, fake mustaches, bizarre appendage for accompanying stories. I asked him, "Bruce...are you Bat Boy?". He didn't say a word, he just stood there stoically until a small devious smile appeared. I'm not entirely sure....but I think on that evening long ago...I met Bat Boy.
So if you ever wonder what sorts of things inspire me...among other things look no further than an issue of the Weekly World News.