Crystal Clear: Holy cricket! 'Batphone' provides lifeline
December 17, 2009
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Those of us familiar with the 1960s-era Batman television show may vividly remember the "Batphone" -- the red phone the police commissioner used to communicate with the superhero.
The phone was used for only one thing -- calling Batman. And when that phone rang in alter ego Bruce Wayne's mansion, it did not go unanswered.
The key to the Batphone is that it was meant for a specific purpose, and Commissioner Gordon knew that anytime he called, whatever his problem was, it would be solved.
I recently realized that I, too, kind of have a Batphone, except mine consists of my cell phone, which is programmed with some key phone numbers, aimed at helping me in a variety of different situations.
The Babyphone is the one I use when I can't find the answer I need from one of my parenting books. I have several numbers I use specifically to answer my baby questions. "Did your baby use a spoon at 10 months'" "When did she start walking'" "Do you think it's possible that the baby is really saying the dog's name'"
No matter how stupid the question, or the time of day, the people on the other end of my Babyphone always calm me down and let me know that everything is really OK, no matter how difficult it may seem at the time.
This is probably the phone I use most. In conversations from the weather, to work, to what was on sale at the local department store last week, my mom is always ready to answer her phone for me. A word of caution though: The Momphone never closes, but for that convenience, you are likely to get some unsolicited (but well-meaning) advice. You may also often disagree with that voice you hear on the other end of the Momphone, but the worst part is -- she's usually right.
The 'Crisis' Hotline
This may be one of the most important phone lines to have. The person on the other end must be willing -- and able -- to calmly deal with the most irrational of situations. Those who answer my crisis calls have heard the good, the bad and the ugly.
And though most of my "crises" tend to lean toward the weird (Should I call the vet after I've cut the dog's toenails too short' I made a sweet potato pie without eggs -- should I pour out the batter and stir in an egg'"
They have also been there as I adjusted to life as a spouse - specifically a military spouse -- through periods of unemployment, and through those times that I'd allowed myself to get so overcommitted, I didn't want to get out of bed, let alone bake four dozen cupcakes for a battalion bake sale.
The most important part of these phones is that the caller and the receipient of the call are necessary for the conversation to occur. If Commissioner Gordon didn't call Batman, he wouldn't know when or how to respond in an emergency. And when Batman needed help, Commissioner Gordon dispatched his entire police force to help.
When it comes to your personal Batphone, remember, sometimes you will be Gordon, and sometimes you will be Batman. It's just important that when that phone rings, you are there to answer it.