I’m in my go-cart of a car, by name of Micro-Blue, coming back from the comic book store. I stop at a red light and wait, my mind in the automatic pilot of the daily grind. I happen to look in my rear view mirror at just the right dramatically appropriate moment, and I watch the Batmobile draw up behind me. Not the Batmobile of the recent movies that started with Michael Keaton as Batman. No, I’m talking the Batmobile from the BAM-POW days with Adam West as Batman.

For a split second, it’s one of those surreal moments where you feel like you’ve just switched universes, and I’m actually in an episode of Batman. I’m one of those ordinary people the Dynamic Duo always passes by on the way up a building or through some everyday street. The goofy person who waves or says a few corny lines to them before they carry on. You know, a filler character. They shake their heads. You know how it is being a superhero; everybody wants to stop you for a moment to chat when you’re hot on the trail of the Riddler or the Penguin.

So I turn around, fully expecting to see Batman and Robin and to have my ten seconds of corny dialogue in the alternate universe. Only, the guy behind the wheel of the Batmobile looks like Chuck Norris during the moustache years with mirror shades. I smile and give him the “thumbs up” sign and he waves at me like the peasant I am. I’m disappointed to be back in Droid Land, to be sure, but it’s still the mutha-scratchin’ Batmobile, for goodness sake! The guy turns off at an intersection and I continue on, totally pumped that I got to see live and in person the actual Batmobile that I used to own as a kid, only in smaller size.

Corgi toys made a die cast metal Batmobile back in the seventies (or it was Dinky, but I’m fairly sure it was Corgi), and I had one as a kid. It was pretty cool, with a tiny plastic replica of the batphone in between the two seats, a plastic replica of flames shooting out the back tailpipe, the triple exhaust in the back shot missiles out the back, and you could press a button and a huge buzzsaw would pop out the front. Totally keen! Of course, it never survived the rough years of my wild childhood, and is lost to the ages, except perhaps on the internets as jpegs.

I get home and tell K, and she doesn’t believe me. So we hop in the car to go looking for the Batmobile! We don’t find it, which of course puts me in the position of having seen Batman and Robin, but no one will believe me. No really, I did see the Dynamic Duo! K gives me the eye. She believes me, but its fun mocking me for seeing things. Later on we discover that a diner near where we live holds “classic” car shows. So we’re guessing that was where the Batmobile was headed, and that it may still reside somewhere in the area!

But that’s how close a Carlos Castaneda moment can be. At any time, something can drive up behind you and send you into an alternate universe, or connect you with another reality. It may be that in another parallel dimension, I turn around and it is Batman and Robin behind me. What would I have said? Which episode would it be? Crumbs, it’s weird thinking how close I came to being a cornball one-shot character in the Batman real world show.