Yes, that is the actual topic for today. When does Batman stop to go potty?
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Now, this might seem like a joke topic, and certainly, it will be somewhat tongue in cheek, but it is also serious. I've read a lot of Batman comics, yet I cannot think of a single time he has ever stopped to use the restroom, and that's a serious problem.
Batman seems to spend almost all the nighttime hours prowling the darkness and meting out justice, so on average, Bats spends about twelve hours a day on duty. The average human bladder takes about ten hours to become full, so by the end of shift, Batman would have a very pressing need to relieve himself.
“So what?” you say. “This guy can take bullets, knife wounds, and body slams from metahumans all day long. Do you really think a full bladder is going to stop him?”
Fair point. No doubt Batman could withstand the annoyance and discomfort, but would it affect his performance? It almost certainly would. Science has proven many times that ignoring a full bladder causes cognitive processing to decrease dramatically. Peeing is one of those basic human functions that your body demands of you.
There are also implications for combat. You know how you feel when you have to pee really bad and you don't want to bend or lift anything for fear the extra pressure on your bladder might make you wet yourself? Now imaging being in a fight needing to pee. One uppercut to the stomach from the villain of the week, and Batman could easily wet his Bat Britches.
There is no way Bruce would let something as simple as urine interfere with his war on crime, so how does the World's Greatest Detective handle the urge to pee?
Helping Batman Pee
I've come up with numerous solutions to the problems most of which are fundamentally flawed and/or gross.
1. There are a lot of rooftops in Gotham. What's to stop Batman from just dropping trou on a rooftop and taking care of business? Well, its gross for one thing, but few people are actually on the roofs, so it would probably go completely unnoticed and the smell would wash away quickly. In addition to being gross, it would be dangerous. Bruce might be seen by neighboring buildings, and it would give an enemy an excellent opportunity to strike. That option is definitely off the table.
2. Public restrooms are for everybody. Fighting crime is a dirty business and not for the faint of hearts, but would even the mighty Batman be willing to brave the stench, filth and cockroaches of a public restroom? Sure he would! Would it be safe? Not completely. Batman would still be at a disadvantage if someone attacked him, but at least he would only have to guard from one direction, and besides, if you saw someone in a Bat costume enter a public bathroom, would you really think it was “The Batman” or just some weirdo doing cosplay. I think Bruce could probably get away with this stunt without much risk of interference.
3. Readers, for your intellectual horror, I posit the Bat Diaper. There are people who do put their selves in harms way for the good of mankind who engage in frequent combat and often have no time to use the restroom. I am speaking of the U.S. Marines and diapers are often taken with them into battle. Now, some marines claim that those are used only for patching up wounds and that no military man would ever pee his pants, but come on! There are better tools than diapers for triage. The painful truth is that if you are operating as a sniper, you might have to stay in concealment for days at a time without moving while waiting for your target. I'll let you work out how that situation works.
4. If you found the last paragraph horrifying, read no further because I present yet another theory, the Bat Catheter. Okay, gross yes, but seriously, if Bruce could spend ten minute more fighting for justice, by...inserting a catheter, are you going to tell me he would not consider it? The waste could go into a little compartment on his leg armor. It's a good plan.
The Real Answer
Okay, Batman is not real, and as far as I know, Batman's bathroom breaks have never been officially discussed, so I do not know how Batman “really” handles this, but there is a reasonable theory. It has been established in numerous comics that Batman has various Bat Bunkers spread throughout the city with various equipment. It would only make sense to equip these Bunkers with a restroom, some food bars, a water tap, a first aid kit, and a bed so he can rest up. I am not sure how many of these bunkers are around town, (the number twenty-four is in my head for some reason. I might have read that somewhere) but there are certainly plenty of Wayne Enterprise buildings around Gotham that could easily have a rooftop addition.
There is still a security risk with how Batman could enter these Bunkers unobserved. I suppose one solution is that he could just put them on the highest nearby buildings which would eliminate most chances of him being observed. Also, he's stealthy, he's wearing black, and he could probably just kill all the roof lights on any given Wayne Tower buildings with a few simple computer inputs.
We also have the Batmobile and the Bat Plane which are frequently used by the Caped Crusader to get around town. Jet fighter pilots have a special “relief bag” which has a one way flow tube and some absorbent material in the bottom. Bruce certainly could and probably has designed one of those for all his vehicles, and if we get right down to it, all Bruce would really need is a coke bottle.
As amusing/disturbing as it may be, the Batman probably does not use public bathrooms or a Bat Diaper, but the Dark Knight must have some way to answer nature's call, and I for one would be interested to see some exploration of the more mundane elements of Batman's war on crime presented in a comic. I don't want to see his business done on panel, but its always interesting to see how Bruce has prepared for every eventuality, and that would include handling the need to pee.
Keep an eye out for Monday's article, “What's wrong with Birds of Prey?”